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Town Board ends services with assessment consultant

NORTH EAST — The town of North East discussed the performance of Robert Strell and his firm, MBA Consulting and Valuation Company, which reviewed the revaluation and annual assessment project the town has undergone in recent years. Its main objective in the discussion was to decide upon whether to pay Strell the remainder of his fee or keep him on to do more work.

“He’s advised me that he’s willing to come back to work with the town to address our problems, but he is busy, and we would have to wait at least 60 days,” town Supervisor Dave Sherman said. “He did say he could reduce his fee.”

Strell also told Sherman he would reduce his charges to the town for services performed thus far, which include a report on his findings. The charge for those services was $9,250, which was discounted to $6,700 by Strell. He also offered an 18 percent discount on a $14,250 charge for further services, which would bring the total cost down by $2,555.

“I would just as soon pay him the less amount and call it done,” Councilman Carl Stahovec said. “We’re able to go on with our assessor and data collection process.”

“Let’s pay him for getting somewhat reduces rates,” agreed Councilman Dave McGhee. “He did have some good points and we got started down the right road, but let’s get rid of him like we got rid of the last one.”

“We’ve incorporated what he recommended to us so far,” Sherman said. “So we have gotten value out of his work. It comes down to a question of is he going to tell us something that is useful to us?”

“I think he did give us a list of recommendations that we went on and acted on, but I think we moved on,” said Councilman Dan Briggs. “Kind of where we’re at is where we’re at, and it’s time to move on.”

“On farm exemptions, some buildings, land, commercial properties, etc., there were some little discrepancies,” Stahovec said. “He said on the annual assessments there should be site visits. There were points that were made [that we can adopt].”

“There are things out there that somehow escaped our notice,” Sherman said. “I don’t know if there’s anything more he can tell us that’s going to change our views. If the board feels it wants to take his offer and settle on payment, we can.”

The board moved to accept Strell’s proposal for $6,700 for full and final payment for his services. The motion was met with unanimous approval. The board then moved to pay for that amount and signed the voucher to do so.

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