When the New Paltz Highway Superintendent says that there’s not enough money to keep roads passable and that some might need to be closed, it’s hoped that residents take notice. At least one resident heard what Chris Marx reported at the last Town Board meeting, and had something to say about it. Speaking during public comment, Edgar Rodriguez speculated that the financial shortfall in the Highway Department that Marx said occurred in 2017 may have been caused largely by poor fiscal oversight leading up to that point, but implied that this issue could have been fixed by not committing to the new justice center and firehouse. The justice center moved court personnel from an aging building in need of extensive work, and also moved police headquarters from an expensive lease with a rent that increased four percent a year, into a warehouse that was converted to bring those two services back under one roof. The commitment to pay for half of the debt service on the firehouse was based on the fact that half of the emergency calls made by Village firefighters occur in parts of the Town outside of the Village line. Rodriguez noted that New Paltz is a Town with low crime and “limited” fire calls.
Dan Torres, the deputy supervisor, later acknowledged the concern Rodriguez held. Torres noted that the alarming news Marx brought was new to council members, as well as everybody else. Marx did not mention it during the budget process last fall, and Torres also doesn’t think that requests for additional funding have been ignored in the ensuing years. “Not every request [for funding] is fulfilled.”