Public review of assessment will move to online

Potsdam Town Hall. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

POTSDAM — Following a plan to allow town residents to review the assessment rolls at Town Hall, like all plans during the COVID-19 pandemic, those plans have now changed and have become an online and telephonic plan.

On April 14, Town Board members approved a timeline for residents to have access to the town’s assessment roll, file complaints and have those complaints heard before a board.

The resolution, passed April 14, accepted the recommendations from Town Assessor James P. McGuire for review of inventory and valuation, hearing of complaints and Board of Assessment Review Hearings.

Town Supervisor Ann M. Carvill said she, Mr. McGuire and the Town Board were committed to making sure the public knew how to access the assessment rolls, grieve, and have those complaints heard during this pandemic.

“After the assessor devised a plan and the board approved it, the governor ordered that it was to be done virtually,” Mrs. Carvill said. “Thus, this is what we are obligated to do as the governor does not want to increase the likelihood of spreading COVID.”

Due to the COVID-19 emergency, the Town Hall is closed to visitors.

Under the new plan, the tentative assessment roll is only available for viewing on the town of Potsdam’s website,,or the St. Lawrence County website,, under the state Real Property Tax Law section 1590(2).

Mr. McGuire or his designee will be in attendance with the tentative assessment roll and will only be available by phone at (315) 265-2810 during the following dates and times:

— May 13 from 10 a.m. to noon, 2 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.;

— May 16 from 8 to noon;

— May 18 from 10 to noon and 6 to 8 p.m.; and

— May 20, from 10 to noon and 2 to 4 p.m.

The Assessor’s office will also be open from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Monday to Friday, to answer phone calls and emails.

The Board of Assessment Review will meet from 2 to 4 p.m. and 6 to 8 p.m. May 26, via Zoom Technologies videoconferencing, to hear and examine all complaints in relation to assessments, on the application of any person believed to be aggrieved.

With regards to COVID-19 public health and safety concerns, as permitted by the NYS Open Meetings Law and under the governor of the State of New York’s Emergency Order Number 202-1, property owners are encouraged to call the Assessor’s Office at (315) 265-2810 to obtain up-to-date instructions.

Zoom Technologies videoconferencing information and filing instructions will be posted on the town website.

A publication containing procedures for contesting an assessment is also available at the Town website and by contacting the assessor’s office.

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