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Putney municipal briefs

Resident distressed over dog license fiasco

PUTNEY—PUTNEY— A resident expressed dismay to Selectboard members at their March 25 meeting at a letter from the town telling him he needed to license his dogs for the year.

Wayne Wagenbach said his disappointment stems from the recent audit report which found Putney’s treasurer, Anita M. Coomes, failed to deposit more than $10,000 in dog license fees, spanning the last three years [“Audit finds three years of dog license payments,” Town & Village, Jan. 28].

Some of the money is owed to the state, and a number of those checks cannot be cashed because they are well past their void date.

Town Manager Cynthia Stoddard and the Selectboard asserted that, while they have spoken to Coomes, they are unable to direct the treasurer because she is an elected official.

“I can’t make the treasurer post deposits in a timely fashion,” Stoddard asserted.

Wagenbach strongly urged Stoddard and the Selectboard to ask that Coomes appear at the next board meeting on April 8 so this matter can be discussed “on public record.”

Town analyzes streetlights for future planning

PUTNEY— A new map of all streetlights in town reveals that the town pays for the upkeep of 33 streetlights; others are private, and some belong to schools.

Town Manager Cynthia Stoddard says this map will be “used for guidance and procedure with requests for new streetlights, or for taking them down.”

The map was created by University of Connecticut student Emily Wilson, who worked in the town office on the project for four months last year as a policy development intern.

Board members offered a few questions about possible streetlights to remove — one on Westminster Road and another on River Road — because some seem redundant, but they might need to remain if they are near school bus turn-arounds.

Stoddard will contact the schools, and people living near the streetlights in question to find out if the lights are needed, or if — as she suggests the residents might possibly say — they’ve “always thought this streetlight was stupid.”

Up to nine members will serve on an “exploratory, not voting” committee designed to look at the issue of tax-exempt properties in town, Selectboard members said at their March 28 meeting.

The Selectboard initially decided to appoint seven members to the Property Tax Exempt Properties Impact Committee, but after receiving word from a number of interested parties, the board increased the number.

Town Manager Cynthia Stoddard said she will make sure Landmark College President Peter A. Eden is invited to the meetings, as well as “the Putney School, and other interested parties.”

The committee was suggested during debate at the March 3 Annual Town Meeting on whether to grant Landmark College’s request for tax-exempt status on three of its properties.

All three motions were defeated. [“Putney rejects tax-exempt status for Landmark College properties” March 4.]

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Originally published in The Commons issue #299 (Wednesday, April 1, 2015). This story appeared on page C4.

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