Saugerties Town officials hold off on property maintenance law vote

Saugerties Town officials decided to delay voting on a controversial property maintenance law after it appeared on last week’s meeting agenda.

In a recent Town Board meeting dominated by speakers expressing opposition to plans to override the property tax cap, just one speaker, former Conservative Town Board candidate Gaetana Ciarlante spoke on the proposed law. She expressed concern that the law would open the door for the Town to have grass police.

Deputy Town Supervisor Leanne Thornton simply said the board would not vote on the law that evening and the board did not discuss it further.

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Dozens of Town residents have decried the law at public hearings last summer and this fall, while Town officials say such a law is necessary to crack down on problem properties without having to bring the matters to court.

During the most recent public hearing in October, Town Supervisor Fred Costello and Building Inspector Alvah Weeks shared horror stories of tenant-landlord disputes devolving into the landlord ending trash pickup at a multi-family residence leading to garbage containers overflowing and trash blowing all around the neighborhood. This forced the Town to step in to pay to resume the garbage service, Costello said previously.

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