Friday, May 11, 2007

May Town Board Meeting, Part I

It was a long meeting again last night - 7:00 PM to 12:30 AM. But I think it was Councilman Makar (thank you, David) who suggested that we take a short break around 10:45 PM. Under the heading of "misery loves company" I was pleased to find when I got home at nearly 1:00 AM and switched on CSPAN, that the House of Representatives was still in session and having a lively debate about intelligence funding - so lively that it sounded more like the House of Commons than the House of Representatives.

The Town Board meeting began with Public Hearings regarding unsafe structures on two different properties. The owners of 1195 have expressed no interest in dealing with the collapsed garage. When the time period for them to respond expires the Board will act to have the building demolished and add the cost to the tax bill for the property. Evan Carpenter, co-owner of 2242 Dryden Road, was present at the hearing. He reports that he has received a Historic Preservation grant for the restoration of one of the barns in question and wants to salvage materials from the other for use in the restoration. We agreed to allow him to continue working on it providing he will be finished by November 1, 2007.

Kris Bennett, representing the Dryden Youth Commission, presented their 2006 annual report. DYC's $82,000 budget is funded by the county and state with matching funds from the town. Take a look at the annual report for descriptions of the many programs offered by DYC. Dave Hall and Tom Archibald discussed Dryden Youth Services available in cooperation with Cornell Cooperative Extension. With them were two young people who enthusiastically described their participation in the programs, particularly "Primitive Pursuits" which helps develop self-responsibility and leadership through wilderness activities. Finally, Linda Schoffel described the work of Tompkins County Rural Youth Services.

Ann Grant, on behalf of the Southworth Library Booksale, described the benefits to the library as a result of the booksale fundraising. Booksale funding has increased the library's DVD and large print book collections. Ms Grant asked us to consider providing storage space to facilitate the volunteers work for the booksale. Ms Grant also spoke on behalf of the Sleeping Bag Ladies. (Turns out that's Sleeping-Bag Ladies, not Sleeping Bag-Ladies.) They are part of a nationwide movement to provide sleeping bags to homeless people. They've received a grant and are asking the Town to allow them to donate a memorial bench to honor members of the group.

Mr Perazone, from Mason Dixon Energy, representing Ansbro Petroleum, described the company's natural gas exploration work in the area. Some town owned land is within their "area of interest" and they want to talk to town officials about mineral leasing. Supervisor Trumbull will meet with him.

Under Citizens' Privilege, Helen Mandeville, who lives in the far southwest corner of the town (not far from Councilman Makar), asked the board to find ways to make more information about town activities available to the public. Joseph Solomon, from Etna, asked the board to find a way to make the right-angle turn in Lower Creek Road safer.

Highway Superintendent Jack Bush reports that work on the sewer extension to the new town hall site is complete much to the satisfaction and relief of the people who worked on it. Jack also discussed the need for changes to the "284 Agreement" which describes roadwork the department will undertake this season. The agreement is considered by the board in January and spring inspection of roads often reveals different priorities. Some of the roads scheduled for surface treatment this season actually need replacement crossover culverts. So, surface treatment will be postponed 'til culverts replacements are complete and a group of roads next on the list for surface treatment will be moved up to this season. The goal is to surface treat all roads once every five years to prolong the useful life of the surface. Though the department continues to try, they are not yet meeting that goal partly because of budgetary constraints and partly because the crew has spent more time than usual on public works tasks associated with the construction of the new town hall.

With apologies to County Legislator Martha Robertson, I don't have any notes on the County Briefing. But I remember that it was very brief.

T G Miller engineer Dave Putnam reported that he's very pleased with the quality of work recently completed by the Public Works department on the sewer extension to the new town hall site.

Recreation Coordinator Jen Dube presented a request which the board approved to hire six summer recreation assistants to staff the new skateboard park. This year funding for this staff comes from the Dryden Youth Commission. Jen asked for authorization for Supervisor Trumbull to sign contracts for artists scheduled to appear in the Music in the Park series. This year there will be eight concerts at Montgomery Park in the Village of Dryden and six at the Ellis Hollow Community Center. I hope the schedule will appear on the Recreation Department website. I hesitate to provide the link to that page 'cause, well, it's a mess right now. In further news, Jen and one of her assistants will now be listed as authorized Red Cross training providers and the board approved a raise for Recreation Assistant Amanda Christofferson who has recently completed her associates degree.

Attorney Perkins asked for the sense of the board regarding keeping Cortland Road Sewer District rates and the amount quoted by the Village earlier this year although the Village is actually charging a tiny bit less than the original quote. The board agreed to let the rate stand. Any resulting surplus will be applied to future district costs. Perkins reported that negotiations with Hunt Engineering and DiVincentis contracting have resulted in a potential agreement to complete the CRSD flow monitoring for $90,000, somewhat less than the original bid. The equipment has been received and this agreement will allow the work to proceed.

That was item #11 on the agenda and it was 10:45. We took a break which I'm going to do, too. You may be as tired of reading this as I am of writing it. I'll finish tomorrow.


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