Laona parade funds will now be handled by Pomfret

The town of Pomfret is now in charge of registration funds collected for the annual craft and yard sale at the Laona Playground during the summer.

The Pomfret Town Board, during a recent meeting, unanimously amended a resolution approved last month allowing Laona Recreation Secretary Evelyn Sievert to hold the sale, pending approval by the town attorney and accountant; the amendment stated money collected must now be surrendered to the town, which will give it back when needed for the town-sponsored Laona Halloween Parade.

“If she (Sievert) is going to be renting space during Attic & Seller Days, there has to be some sort of accounting,” Town Clerk Allison Dispense said. “She can’t just charge people and take their money with us not knowing how much she’s charging, how much money she’s taken in, if there’s no receipts or accountability.”

Town Attorney Jeffrey Passafaro agreed with Dispense.

“It’s fundraising for part of what we always did as part of the recreation department, which was have a Halloween parade,” he said. “This is reminiscent of the problem we had with the seniors several years ago; people were collecting money in the name of the town and spending money in the name of the town and we never knew that.”

Councilwoman Ann Eckman previously expressed her feelings on allowing Sievert to hold the sale and be in charge of funds collected.

“I am uncomfortable for her using a town site and charging people (to reserve a spot at the sale), and then utilizing funds at her discretion (for a town-sponsored Halloween parade),” she said. “I know she does really good things; it’s not what goes on, it’s just the process, because she charges people when we don’t charge her to utilize town property.”

Eckman voted “nay” on last month’s resolution, but approved of the amendment.

Also during the meeting, the board accepted the budgeted purchase of a $28,030 2015 Ford F-250 four-by-four crew cab for the highway department. The truck, from Shults Ford in Jamestown, is off county bid pricing. A 2008 Ford F-250 the town currently possesses will be traded in as part of the agreement, deducting $10,500 from the price.

A local law was approved allowing the board to award purchase contracts on the basis of best value. Councilperson Christopher Schaeffer voted against the measure since the law does not stipulate all bid openings must be opened publicly.

Highway Superintendent Dan Bigelow was approved to attend highway school in Ithaca for three days in June. The budgeted cost is around $500.

Passafaro announced the town received the deed for the premises to house the Webster Road pump station.

Dispense announced two free rabies clinics will be held May 31 and Aug. 16 from 1-3 p.m. at the town barns.

She also informed the board she received a $400 scholarship to attend the New York State Town Clerks Conference in Saratoga.

The board entered into executive session to discuss personnel at the highway department.

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