B'ville, Van Buren purchase bridge

In an act of intermunicipal cooperation, the town of Van Buren and village of Baldwinsville have purchased a pedestrian bridge for $17,000 to use for the South Shore East trail. The bridge will allow trail users to cross over a portion of Crooked Brook in the town of Van Buren, connecting the village to Community Park.

The 44-foot length by 8-foot wide bridge was acquired from Ogdensburg, which purchased the bridge 12 years ago. When the stream the bridge crossed was filled in, the walk-through truss bridge was no longer needed. The cost of a new bridge for the trail would have been $34,000.

The town of Van Buren purchased the bridge from Ogdensburg and was reimbursed by the village.

"This is a tremendous example of intermunicipal cooperation," said Mayor Joe Saraceni. "It's been a pleasure working with Claude and his administration."

VB sends decision to ballots

The Van Buren board recently approved a motion to place a referendum abolishing the receiver of taxes position, which is an elected position, onto November's ballots.

In an effort to streamline town government and avoid having the duties of the position being taken over by the county government, the town would merge the duties with the town clerk's office.

The current receiver of taxes, Barb Johnson, approves the move.

"As an elected official, my four year position will be up in December," she said adding that she was concerned about what would happen to her position.

Johnson told the board about a county task force she was asked to join that discussed changing the town position of tax receiver to a county position. She said town residents would not only lose personal contact and convenience, but the town would lose control of when the town taxes are paid in full, additional revenue from interest and any late payment fees, which would instead go to the county.

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