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More than a handshake with new agreement

Towns of Bethlehem and New Scotland enter into a formal shared services contract

— “This has a long history not only in Bethlehem but in towns across the state,” Bethlehem Town Supervisor John Clarkson said. “The tradition always was highway superintendents of adjoining towns would reach agreements with neighboring superintendents on a handshake and that was the way that business was done for many years.”

Clarkson said state auditors and lawyers would get “very upset” about these informal agreements, because there are liability issues not covered through a simple handshake.

“As a matter of public disclosure, it is good to have those relationships known,” Clarkson said.

Clarkson said “money was saved and good services” were provided previously through the informal agreements, but the contract is a more “proper way” to do it.

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