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Newburgh officials: More than $16,000 council table is practical purchase

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Albany/HV: Newburgh officials: More than $16,000 council table is practical purchase
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The Newburgh city council agrees to move forward with a purchase of a new high end wood table. While it may seem routine, YNN's Eva McKend learned the table will cost the city more than sixteen thousand dollars.

NEWBURGH, N.Y. -- With the Newburgh City Council expanding from five to seven members, city officials say a more than $16,000 new council table is a practical and necessary purchase.

"It's a very big table, so you know what, it ends up costing a little money," said Mayor Judy Kennedy.

Not all Newburgh residents believe it's a good use of funds from the roughly $45 million budget.

"Sixteen thousand dollars for a table is ridiculous," said Ralph Ocker.

"That is a lot of money," said Elizabeth Davis.

"Out of all of the things you could purchase to better the community around here?" asked Damel Di’yari.

The Interim City Manager says characterizations of Newburgh as cash strapped are inaccurate. He argues the city is in the financial position to be able to afford a new table.

"If it had been back in the days of 2009, when we were in a poor fiscal position, I would say we couldn't afford a table but the city has a significant fund balance. We have cash and are fiscally responsible," said James Slaughter.

The improvements will extend beyond the table. The council also plans to install a new video system in the chambers to allow members of the public to see the agenda on a screen.

"I really think we need to take pride in our Council Chamber and in our buildings. Many of them haven't been the best taken care of over the years," said Kennedy.

"To lower our taxes would give me more pride than this," said Ocker.

The city will be using local vendor Royal Fine Woodworking to design and construct the high end hard wood table. The old one will be moved to another room in city hall.

"Well, if they got the money, more power to them, that's all I can say," said Jimmy Chavers.

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