Town officials concerned about health coverage

B y Jaime Thomas

Town officials are wondering if the Affordable Care Act will require the town to cover volunteer firefighters for health insurance.

“With the new healthcare plan, there may be a question of whether volunteer firemen are eligible for Obamacare,” Town Supervisor Matt Hicks said during a meeting Thursday night. He addressed Middle Granville Fire Chief Milt Dunbar about the issue, which would include such factors as hours spent working.

“There are a lot of hurdles to clear. It’s something we have to look at,” Hicks said. He said many smaller towns or cities would not be able to afford such a change.

“Municipalities would be crushed, so there’s going to be a lot of lobbying about this,” he said.

During the meeting, Councilman Matt Rathbun brought up a potential problem with free salt for town residents; he said he was worried constituents were taking advantage of and profiting from the setup.

“People shouldn’t be making a business out of the salt,” he said, asking Town Highway Superintendent Eric Towne how he addresses the issue. Towne said there are signs prohibiting commercial use, and the department keeps an eye on the site.

Organizational business

The board also passed a slew of organizational resolutions, because as the first meeting of 2014 it was the town’s organizational meeting.

TD Bank and Glens Falls National Bank were designated as town’s official depositories, and the Granville Sentinel was again designated as the official town newspaper.

Eric Towne will serve as highway superintendent and will be authorized to purchase materials through the Washington County official bid prices. The town will retain Michael Catalfimo as town attorney with William DeCare as his deputy, and Owen O’Brien will serve on the ethics committee for a three-year term.

A number of other officials will stay in their appointed positions. Joel Carpenter will be town accountant and town budget officer, Russel Bronson will serve as ordinance officer, Lee Tugas has the position of town historian, Dr. Gordon Thomas is the town health officer and Raymond Boyea is town constable with Todd Balcom as his deputy, and Boyea also serves as dog and animal control officer.

Salaries, fees

The board also approved rates of pay for town employees.

As supervisor, Hicks makes $7,451 annually, councilpersons make $2,898, Carpenter received a 2 percent raise for a salary of $26,266, the town justice makes $5,731, the clerk $33,132, the deputy town clerk $26,369, the registrar of vital statistics $702, Towne gets $46,000 and the sole assessor makes $18,134.

The assessor’s clerk makes $16,867, the animal control officer gets $5,731 and his deputy makes $630, while the ordinance officer gets $2122, the health officer gets $551, the constable makes $562 and deputy constable gets $250, town historian gets $562, town attorney earns $8,500 and the deputy highway superintendent gets $500.

Various fees for the town were also established, with a junkyard license costing $100, genealogy fees of $22 per name per year and certified copies of marriage, death and birth certificates costing $10 each.

 

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