Oxford County panel debates
Albany Township status
by Christopher Crosby, Staff Writer Sun Journal Nov. 20, 2014
PARIS — Oxford County officials are asking for clarification on how townships organize to assess whether Albany Township would benefit from leaving the umbrella of its administration.
County Commissioners Steven Merrill, David Duguay and County Commission Chairman Caldwell Jacksonon on Tuesday requested Administrator Scott Cole to seek a legal opinion from their attorney on whether Albany Township's status with the county should be re-evaluated.
The request comes on the heels of increasing correspondence between Albany Township residents and the administrator's office, which runs the day-to-day affairs for the unorganized township.
"I don't think it hurts to ask the question," Merrill of Norway said.
Between calls and meetings about tax bills and snow plowing details, Cole said the workload from Albany Township has increased.
To offset the work, commissioners agreed to fund a new, $60,000 clerical position in the adminstrator's office, with three-quarters of the wages and benefits bill picked up by the unorganized territories.
In September, Albany Township resident Jeff Rosenblatt expressed concerns over a tax hike that saw residents' bills increase by 17 percent. Telling commissioners he represented nearly 20 other residents, Rosenblatt said the additional $308,000 raised from the previous year for road projects was unnecessary.
Much of that money will be spent in Albany, with Hunts Corner Road, Old West Bethel Road and Vernon Street in need of repair. In all, for fiscal year 2015, the county plans to fix bridges and culverts on some 60 miles of roads, with 27 of those miles in Albany Township.
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