Hanover balks at big Forestville bills

HANOVER — Before another penny gets spent on fixing up equipment or infrastructure in the now-hamlet of Forestville, officials want to put each proposed expense through a triple-check process.

At a recent town board workshop, Councilman Louis Pelletter said he was uncomfortable with spending any more money in Forestville until the town learns how much it will receive in consolidation grants from the state — since, in only about three months, Hanover has spent more than $20,000 updating the former village’s equipment and buildings.

“I’m getting a little concerned about (the bills from Forestville),” he said. “Maybe, we will be getting $30,000-ish back (in consolidation grants). There’s a lot in there, and there’s a lot already spent. Now, … I don’t know how much money we have … but I do know what we’re spending.”

The town of Hanover has hired Paul Bishop of CGR Solutions to help obtain that grant money, since, without it, no one is quite sure how what needs to be done will get done.

Most pressing on that to-do list is straightening out the water meters in Forestville; residents have not paid usage bills in a very long time (though debt service payments have been made), and though the former village did update its meters recently, no one can actually read them.

At the meeting following the workshop, board members voted to put proposed Forestville expenses through three checkpoints: the budget officer, town clerk, and town supervisor must sign off on them.

“We just want to make sure we have the money before we spend it,” said Pelletter.