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Miller questions Dundee village budget items 

DUNDEE—Prior to the Dundee village board meeting on April 13 there was a public hearing on the proposed $1,545,807 village budget.
Historical Society Director Pamela Miller objected to the budget increase for the Dundee Youth Center, from $2,000 to $3,500, a 75 percent increase, when the budgets for the other village non-profits remained the same. The total in the village budget for the historical society is $18,080 which includes rent of the building.
During the public hearing when Mayor Fred Cratsley Jr. said the village provides maintenance for historical society building on Seneca Street as well as insurance and the alarm system,  Miller lashed back.
She said, “We cannot insure the building. We as a historical society have been doing maintenance and doing all the repairs.” After listing other items such as providing a copies and office materials as items provided by the society, Miller challenged, “Does the village want to pay for a historian?”
Cratsley responded the board felt that the budget amount was right and Miller asked, “Don’t you think it’s a little unfair, that one, referring to the youth center, is more important?” Cratsley repeated they felt it was right to put the amount in the budget.
Miller stated, “You don’t make any repairs. When the village accepts the responsibility to make repairs then we won’t expect more. The historical society could say we won’t provide the service.” Cratsley said, ”Well, that’s their choice.”
Trustee Judy Duquette rebutted Miller by saying, “I was always an advocate for the Youth Center. The center has really stepped up to the plate. They have opened their doors to the community. They have gotten involved in the health project.”
Miller said, “The health grant has created more work for the Historical Society. I feel the village doesn’t feel the services are as important. You don’t do the repairs and you don’t take care of the building. It’s not correct or morally proper.”
Dundee Library Director Glenna Flannery also expressed disappointment in the lack of an increase in village contributions to the public library. The 2011 amount in the village budget for the library is $9,000, the same as last year. In 2009 the village contribution to the Youth Center was $2,000. The $3,500 earmarked for the center in 2010 brings it up to an amount more even with the historical society.
Contacted later, Miller said the repair and maintenance issues at the building are, “Too numerous to list.” In regard to her contention the health project has caused more work for the historical society, Miller said she has discussed possible activities connected with the health project such as a historic walking tour and a video with project coordinator Lauren Snyder.
Later in the week Village Clerk Christine Sutherland said the accountant for the historical society informed their office a village may not allow the historical society to use an unused portion of a  building owned by the municipality without fair and adequate compensation.
A rent of $560 per month was decided on. No cash is involved because the society is providing services to the village. The current village budget for the historical society provides $6,720 a year in building support and $3,200 in cash. The village pays for insurance on the building and personal property at a cost of $1,975 as well as the phone line for the alarm system at $500 and the annual inspection at a cost of $375.
The society pays for insurance on historical artifacts and the restored clock in the park. Sutherland said the roof was replaced about two years ago and the village portion of the $22,375 cost was $17,000. Village employees respond to problems such as lighting, electrical issues and tracing odors in the historical society building. Maintenance of the park it is located in is performed by village employees. 

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