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Potsdam recreation reprieve likely

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POTSDAM — Recreation programs will likely get a reprieve as the village’s budget deadline looms.

The 2013-14 village budget must be approved by May 1, and will take effect on June 1.

Trustees will hold a special meeting at 7 p.m. Monday to vote on the budget.

The first budget vote was tabled last week when Town Supervisor Marie C. Regan made a plea to extend the village’s share of funding for the joint town-village recreation program.

The cost of recreation has long been split evenly between the village and the town. The village voted last month to drop its funding at the end of 2013, in hopes that the town would pick up the additional cost to keep the program going.

Now the village will likely acquiesce to the town’s request for an extension of an additional year as the town tries to decipher the legal issues that surround the takeover, according to Administrator David H. Fenton.

Town officials are concerned because the village of Norwood has its own recreation program. Charging Norwood residents for services they don’t use could be illegal, according to Town Supervisor Marie C. Regan.

The town is considering the creation of a special recreation district to tax all residents except those who live in Norwood for the program, but the legality of such a move is still unknown. If it is legal, it would require a townwide referendum.

“I personally think the recreation issue can be solved much more easily than the town is saying,” Mr. Fenton said.

However, with the May 1 deadline coming up quick, the trustees have very little time to look at alternate options.

The town and village have still not formally met to discuss the issue, and with Mrs. Regan out of town it probably will not happen in time for the budget vote.

“We don’t have time to talk out all these issues with them,” Mr. Fenton said.

The board is expected to approve the funding extension, according to Mr. Fenton. The full budget would entail a 1.6 percent property tax increase on village residents, a total of $15.33 per $1,000 of assessed value.

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