June 16, 2004

June infrastructure issues

Finally, time to write about last week's Town Board meeting.

Highway Superintendent Jack Bush told the board that highway crew had made progress in spite of the rain, putting down the first layer of surface treatment on roads including Upper and Lower Creek, Brooklyn, Game Farm, Dodge, Barr, and the portions of Ellis Road and Enterprise Drive which weren't annexed to the Village of Dryden. He warned that while this first layer is curing, there would be loose stones, and that drivers should slow down. (Since then, there's been an accident on Lower Creek Road where loose gravel was a cause.)

<span class=Jack Bush at the Town Board" />
Jack Bush reporting on highway construction to the Town Board

Bush also told the board that "There is going to be no work done on Hunt Hill and Genung. There is no way." Aerial photography, planning, consultation with residents, and work on Virgil Creek starting August 15th means that the work, which has been controversial, will be delayed until next year. Residents will still be notified about planning, and the Town Board will formally discuss removing those roads from the list of work to be done next month. Temporary repairs on Hunt Hill Road appear to holding up well.

Bush proposed adding a mile and a half of roads along Yellow Barn Road, including Top Forty Road, Foote Road, Corn Crib Road, Thresher Place, and Spring Run to the list of work to be done this summer, and the board approved the additions.

Sewer pump work completed, Freese Road
Sewer pump work completed at Freese Road

After discussing how much the cost of asphalt, gasoline, and other road materials had increased, Bush also noted that the work on the sewer pump at Freese Road was nearing completion, with just some grading and landscaping to go. The pump, which failed in January, is now operational.

A resident of Midline Road complained during Citizens' Privilege of the dangerous state, both in repairs and signage, of Midline Road, leading to discussion with County Legislator Martha Robertson about prospects for focusing the County's attention on the problems.

During the County Briefing, County Legislator Mike Lane talked about how the county is facing the same pricing pressures as the town on highway materials costs, and talked about the county's reponsibility for maintaining bridges on both town and county roads as well. Dryden has more than its share of bridges, with a third of the county bridges and half of the town bridges. Lane also discussed the airport's current status, and how having an airport affects economic development in the county. Martha Robertson pointed out that a working group of county and Cornell representatives were meeting to discuss concerns, and that the airport was high on that list, with the business school doing analysis.

The Town Board also discussed its own infrastructure, in the form of a new town hall. Councilman Steve Stelick showed maps and diagrams of the various options considered for a new town hall, and consensus on the board was that all of the options were too expensive except for the current location, which has water and sewer though it may need some more acreage. The board approved moving forward with an architect on the basis of using the current site.

Later in the meeting, the board discussed one last infrastructure issue, the computers in town hall. Councilman Marty Christofferson had met with the Computing Center, and pared down their proposal (625KB PDF) to essentials. The board approved spending up to $15,000 to upgrade systems in the Town Hall. Councilman Stelick said that the previous Board had left additional money in the discretionary fund to cover such expenses.

On sewer infrastructure, Town Attorney Mahlon Perkins said that he hadn't heard anything from the Village of Dryden on negotiations for the Cortland Road Sewer District that were the subject of an earlier meeting.

Near the end of the meeting Zoning Officer Henry Slater and Engineer Dave Putnam discussed renewed interest from NYSEG in giving the town an old water pump station on Lower Creek Road, which I wrote about a long time ago. It hasn't been used since 1989. Slater and Putnam said that the building's construction right in the floodway of the creek limits its potential for redevelopment and use, but that the fire companies were interested in it as a training site and as a water collection point for their trucks. The town board was interested, provided that the price tag was a dollar or less.

NYSEG water pump building, Lower Creek Road
NYSEG water pump building on Fall Creek off Lower Creek Road

Posted by simon at June 16, 2004 7:02 PM in , , ,
Note on photos