Branchport, N.Y. – At their regular meeting Oct. 19, the Jerusalem Town Board opened four public hearings:
• The proposed wind farm regulations will remain open for public comment until they come up for a vote at the Nov. 16 meeting.
• The demolition of the dangerous structure at 2958 Rte. 54A owned by Kathleen Yells brought emotional comments from her grandson about why they have not been able to comply with the demand to finish demolition of the derelict house, and why they could not give any timeline for when it might be done. The board voted to serve Yells with a letter in 30 days which would then give her 60 days to demolish the structure and make the property safe. After that, the town will demolish the structure and add the cost to Yells property tax bill.
• The 2012 water and sewer district budget was presented, and elicited questions about the promised landscaping to conceal the Culver Hill water tank which is seven years overdue, and how the $600,000 in the general fund will be divided into separate capiatal project funds. The budget was unanimously approved.
• The 2012 town-wide budget was presented, and elicited questions regarding the $1200 for General Code Inc. to make all town codes available online. This expense is less than for the hard copies and makes code searching, citation, and changes much more efficient for the town and the public. According to a letter received by board member Max Parson, the cleaning services which have been being done by The Arc of Yates will have to be revisited since they have been forced by state officials to charge prevailing wage, despite the fact that this may jeopardize the Arc’s client’s eligibility for Medicaid. The issue will be investigated. The budget was unanimously approved.
Highway Superintendent Bob Payne reports that the dept. is on budget and that current salt prices are right in line for what was budgeted for winter.
Town Enginner Wayne Ackart reports that a new pressure valve was installed at the Keuka Lake State Park by the town water and sewer workers, and he praised them for an exceptional job. The communication problem with zone 3 has been solved by Aqualogics Inc.
The Rte. 54A subcommittee is exploring options for determining the boundaries of the Rte. 54A corridor. Set distance and line of sight are being considered.
The town’s Hydrofracking Impact Study Group will host a public information meeting Nov. 1 from 7-9 p.m. at the Branchport Fire House. The group have forwarded their proposed zoning changes to all the boards involved. Peter Gamba explained their sense of urgency arises from reports that Gov. Cuomo is fast-tracking the process, and the DEC may begin issuing permits in the new year.
The SEQR for a proposed zoning amendment, H-2011 Explicitly Prohibited Uses, (relating to hydrofracking) was unanimously approved, and the public hearing was set for Nov. 16 at the regular town board meeting. The proposed changes were prepared with the assistance of an environmental legal team from Ithaca, who offered their services to the town pro bono. They have been reviewed by town attorney Phil Bailey who has made minor changes.
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