The Putnam Examiner

Southeast Assessor Receives State Award

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For the twelfth year in a row, the Town of Southeast and Town Assessor Laurie Bell received a state honor for excellence in maintaining the town’s tax rolls.

Stephen Hartnett, from the state Department of Taxation and Finance, presented a 2012 Excellence in Equity Award to the Southeast Town Board and Assessor Laurie Bell at the Sept. 27 meeting.

At the Sept. 27 town board meeting, Stephen Hartnett, the real property services manager for the northern region of the state Office of Real Property Tax Services, presented a 2012 Excellence in Equity Award to the town board and Town Assessor Laurie Bell. According to the agency, the award is presented to municipalities that have conducted a reassessment that met state standards for equitable assessments.

Hartnett told the town board 2012 marked the 12 consecutive year in which Southeast earned the state award. Only 19 municipalities in New York State have won the award more times, he said.

Bell thanked her staff, which has been reduced in recent years due to town budget cuts. The staff, which formerly consisted of three full-time employees, is “down to one full-time and two part-time” positions, she said, adding it is important for the town to keep updating its property assessments.

Town Supervisor Tony Hay thanked Bell and her staff for doing, “a great job.”

Heating oil program

Also discussed at the Sept. 27 town board meeting is a new program that is being created to provide town residents savings in purchasing heating oil.

Councilwoman Lynne Eckardt said the town is seeking bids from heating oil companies who would provide discounts to residents.

The heating oil company chosen by the town would offer residents heating oil at 35 cents per gallon above the wholesale price, she said.

“Hopefully it will save our residents some money,” she said.

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