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Carlton and Kendall will share assessor

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 9 October 2013 at 12:00 am

Gene Massey is picked to fill vacancy in Carlton

CARLTON – The Town Board hired a new assessor on Tuesday, and didn’t need to go to far to find a new official who will establish valuations for properties in town.

Gene Massey has worked for the town of Kendall as assessor for nearly six years. He will continue as Kendall’s full-time assessor. He actually started in Carlton on Oct. 1.

Carlton sought a replacement for Karen Adams, who wasn’t reappointed in June. Residents were in an uproar this spring when new assessments came out with big increases for some properties, and no increases or drops for others.

The Town Board ultimately voted to freeze the assessments at the 2012 levels. The board is seeking a firm to help with data collection for the properties in the town. Carlton needs an accurate database that shows the square footage of all buildings, as well as other property improvements, Town Supervisor Gayle Ashbery said.

Proposals are due to the town by Nov. 12 and Ashbery said the Town Board expects to pick a firm at its Dec. 10 meeting. The accurate data plus the experience of Massey should ensure accurate assessments in the future, Ashbery said this afternoon.

Carlton agreed to pay Massey a $30,000 salary, and will also contribute $3,000 to Kendall towards Massey’s health insurance costs.

“He is very familiar with residential, lakefront and agricultural properties,” Ashbery said about Massey.

The two towns are working on a 10-year contract for shared assessing services. Once the two towns are at 100 percent equalization rates, they should be eligible for state funding with a Coordinated Assessment Program. Kendall is at 100 percent, but Carlton isn’t because of the decision to use 2012 levels. The towns typically do new re-evaluations every three years. The soonest they are both at 100 percent may be 2016.

Dan Gaesser, the Kendall town supervisor, said Kendall benefits by having Carlton pay $3,000 towards the assessor’s health insurance. The deal also keeps Massey working for Kendall.

“We’re able to retain the services of an assessor who’s been here since 2008,” Gaesser said.

Kendall officials are reviewing the 10-year agreement between the two towns. Gaesser said he expects the Kendall Town Board will approve it either later this month or in November.

“It’s a real good agreement for the two towns,” he said.

Ashbery praised Dawn Allen, the director of the Real Property Tax Services for Orleans County, for her assistance to Carlton during the transition in recent months.