May 1, 2005

April Town Board meeting minutes available

I spent most of April writing about wind turbines (which now seem not to be happening), and only covered two small pieces of the April Town Board meeting, discussing executive session issues related to the golf course and wind turbines.

A lot more than those conversations happened, of course, and minutes for the April 14th meeting are now available. Here's a quick rundown of what happened beyond what I've already covered:

Time-Warner Cable Franchise

Carol McTague of the New York Department of Public Service came to talk with the Town Board about Time-Warner Cable's franchise agreement having been expired for 14 years. Rich Strong and Tom Doughney were also there. The discussion looked at what's changed in franchise law since the old agreement, and at the costs - about $2 million - of extending cable service to the entire town, if the town wanted to do that rather than accept the usual formula of 20 homes per mile. It didn't sound like the Town Board wanted to do that, but they did ask McTague to review the proposed franchise agreement, and will plan a public hearing in the near future.

Six Mile Creek Monitoring

Dan Karig of the Conservation Board gave a brief rundown of progress on the Six Mile Creek Monitoring Project, which he felt had learned from the experience of similar volunteer monitoring groups like that monitoring Fall Creek. The U.S. Geological Survey will be helping with some aspects of the project. Later in the meeting, the Town Board approved the Six Mile Creek Monitoring Program's 2005 proposal, and appointed Timothy Woods and F. Robert Wesley to the Conservation board.

Electrical inspection issues
Mike Talarski raised concerns about electrical inspection performed by Atlantic Inland at the new F & T Distributing building on Hanshaw Road, saying that while their inspector hadn't found problems, a different inspector, Floyd Ferris of Commonwealth Electric Inspection Service, documented 24 code violations, and then found another three later after the 24 were resolved. Zoning Officer Henry Slater said that he would look into the requirements the town can demand of electrical inspectors and their qualifications.
Town Highways

Highway Superintendent Jack Bush reported that while this winter had been relatively mild and not required too much overtime for ploughing, the rains earlier this month had caused damage that would take about two weeks of work to repair. Blocked culverts caused many of the problems, and he asked that residents check their culverts. He also reported on spending a day in Albany meeting with legislators.

County highways, Park and Ride

County Legislator Martha Robertson reported on a variety of highway-related issues, including $75,000 to $100,000 of road damage from floods and work to come this year on Turkey Hill Road, Caswell Road, Midline Road, Game Farm Road, and Irish Settlement Road. She also discussed Cornell's ongoing survey for possible park-and-rides, including one near NYSEG. Councilman Chris Michaels seemed to think the idea would work better nearer the Ithaca Community Child Care Center on Warren Road. Councilman Mike Hattery asked Robertson how close they were to hiring a County Highway Manager, and Robertson said they were restarting the search. Robertson also thanked the Dryden Courier for its recent coverage of the Dryden Kitchen Cupboard.


Recreation Coordinator Jennifer Staton handed out her monthly recreation report (92KB PDF) to the board, and spoke about the successful (200 participants) Dryden Band Showcase held April 8th. She also proposed a shift in location to Davelle Office Equipment until the new Town Hall is built, avoiding several moves in Dryden School District buildings. The board approved that, as well as some performer contracts and later a $500 salary bonus provided for in her original hiring contract.


Town Attorney Mahlon Perkins reported that contracts were ready for Tompkins County and Cornell Cooperative Extension for Youth Services. He also said that an issue regarding trees along the new portion of Sapsucker Woods Road had been worked out with the Cornell Laboratory of Ornithology, and that the board would be voting to abandon the old portion of the road and accept the new portion in the near future. He had litigation and collective bargaining for executive session and reported briefly on progress in the Dryden Mutual Insurance annexation proposal and the Paul Simonet annexation proposal.

Environmental Planning

Environmental Planner Debbie Gross reported to the board about the Six Mile Creek Monitoring, and discussed the Planning Board's interest in talking with the Town Board, which they did on April 28th. She also discussed upcoming requirements for stormwater management laws, including a joint grant proposal with the county and other towns. She also reported on training for planning water and sewer systems, which she recommended to the board.

Dog enumeration

Town Clerk Bambi Hollenbeck reported on talks between the SPCA and a number of towns to have them take over dog enumeration.

New Town Hall

The Town Board remains undecided about where to place the new Town Hall, and will be having a meeting about it on May 3rd, at 3:00pm with Egner Architects at the current Town Hall. There was also some discussion with Paul Simonet about sharing the costs of sewer for the new Town Hall with a planned development of his. There was also some discussion about a proposed recreation building near the new Town Hall, including bathrooms and storage, but no plans have been sorted out yet, and board members aren't sure how much money is available to build the Town Hall.

Game Farm Road water

Citizens living near the Game Farm Road and Ellis Hollow Road intersection have requested discussion of a water district there. Engineer Dave Putnam suggested it might be very expensive.

Village Police/Zoning Office trade

Details were vague, but Town Justice Clauson has requested that a Village of Dryden Police Office attend Town Court sessions, at a likely cost of about $10,000, for which the Village might accept a trade of zoning officer services. Town Supervisor Steve Trumbull said he'd investigate and bring more information to the board.

Emergency Services Consultant

Town Councilman Michaels brought up the emergency services consultant the town had budgeted for, and said he'd write up a Request For Proposals to present at the next meeting. He emphasized that it would be for a consultant, not a permanent position, and targeted at needs assessment.

The Town Board's next regular meeting will be May 12th at 7:00pm at the Dryden Town Hall (map).

Posted by simon at May 1, 2005 3:31 PM in , , ,
Note on photos