The Elbridge Town Board unanimously voted last night to enter into a Coordinated Assessment Program with neighboring Camillus, a move that was put on hold last month when the Elbridge board decided to allow the public more time to learn about the program.
The CAP essentially hires Camillus assessor Celeste Karakas as a full-time assessor with Elbridge, outing Larry Fitts, who served as part-time assessor in Elbridge for about 15 years. Karakas will oversee assessment offices in both towns and be available on a full-time basis to residents of both towns, one of the major draws of the program for Elbridge.
Supervisor Ken Bush commented that after a tumultuous revaluation this spring, the public had made it clear that more accessibility to the assessor was a must.
The existing offices will be maintained in both towns, Bush said.
The CAP will require both towns to perform annual revaluations, a schedule Camillus has been on for several years, and one which Elbridge board members had said would begin with the 2009 reval.
Being on a yearly schedule would make both towns eligible for state incentive funding, about $71,000 in the first year for Camillus and between $10,000 and $15,000 for Elbridge. The agreement includes a $20,000 payment from Elbridge to Camillus to pay for the assessor, and an additional $5,000 to pay for contracted services through Camillus. The town had budgeted $21,500 to cover payroll and costs of maintaining its own assessor in 2010.
For more on the CAP, see next week's Eagle Observer