February 5th, 2018
CANISTEO, NY – Canisteo Village Hall has taken out a $200,000 loan to pay bills and keep them afloat. Mayor Monica Recktenwald wanted to set the record straight with the board and packed house as to why the Revenue Anticipation Loan was needed and put to rest any rumors that were still circulating. “Im going to be very open truthful to all of you why we needed to take out the loan. There was a huge lack of oversight regarding the former Treasurer/Clerk position. Apparently there were 4 years where our year end reports were not submitted to the State Comptroller’s office and it put us in a very difficult position once we were finally notified,” explained the Mayor.
According to the Mayor, as soon as the board was informed, they immediately got a hold of the Comptroller’s office and had them come do an audit. “The village clerk’s position tends to be very independent,” said Recktenwald, “But it does need oversight.”
Other matters that were attributed to the necessity for taking out the large loan were the lack of residents paying water sewer bills on time. According to the Mayor, it could take up to 2 years by the time they collect the money through the county taxes and they have to carry that financial burden until then. Current unpaid water/sewer bills in the village have been as high as $180,000 in recent weeks.
Also several unexpected high retirement payments that had to be made and should have been handled by the former clerk never took place, and department heads reported a lack of support regarding communication about their budgets. “Even the former Mayor came in and apologized for this mess,” said Recktenwald, “And we seem to be on the right track now with new Clerk Catrina Oliverio doing an excellent job.”