July 5, 2004

Remaining June meeting issues

It doesn't look like I'm going to have time to write up the rest of the June Town Board meeting the way I'd like to, and the town's minutes are already available, so I'm just going to talk a bit about the meeting beyond the infrastructure and recreation issues I've already covered.

If you've been curious about the construction at the Marrotte site on 13, formerly L and A Auto, the board approved an application for a two-bay garage to be put there for auto detailing.

The board also heard from Jennifer Eames representing AFLAC about the prospect of disability and other benefits for town employees. The employees would pay the (pre-tax) premiums, but the town would manage paycheck deductions and have a reduced FICA tax bill as well. The board suggested setting up a meeting to see if employees were interested.

The most troubling part of the meeting, for me, anyway, was the continuation of the septic problems at 483 Hunt Hill Road. The town became involved when the county asked Dryden Zoning Officer Henry Slater to close the premises down, which Slater did, only to find someone else living in a trailer on the site later. Councilman Chris Michaels, who had pushed hard at the previous meeting for Town Attorney Mahlon Perkins to take action supporting Slater's order, now supports Perkins' opinion (based on the County charter and other applicable law) that it's a problem for the county to solve. Environmental Planner Debbie Gross did offer them data on waterflows through their area, and County Legislator Martha Robertson had some suggestions as well, but the conclusion seemed to be that it's not an issue for the town.

Mahlon Perkins talks to the board
Town Attorney Mahlon Perkins talks to the Town Board

Legally, I suspect that they're correct. This particular property is snarled in an unfinished will probate and a disputed land contract as well, which makes it very easy for everyone involved to point to someone else and say that it's someone else's problem. Given Dryden's many watersheds and many septic systems, it seems dangerous to let these kinds of issues rest in limbo. I don't know if changes are necessary at the state or the county level, but I'd like to see a better roadmap of how this works and perhaps active support from the town as a first responder. The town manages sewer systems and is busy with aquifer studies, but its hands appear to be tied when it comes to septic systems.

There was also some discussion of the other dispute among neighbors at the May meeting, the proposal by Nick Bellisario to build a self-storage facility on Oak Brook Drive. Councilman Michaels said he'd heard and investigated chainsaws and trucks running at the property under consideration. Zoning Officer Slater said that Bellisario had reported the work was being done elsewhere on his property, but Michaels asked for a history of work that had been done and was being done.

The Board discussed HUD loans that apparently hadn't been paid last year, in a period where the books for the town were not in order, and decided to ask for payment. They also designated polling places for 2004 and approved changes to the budget. The board postponed consideration of a payment request from the Ellis Hollow Community Center on grounds that their web site describes the center as for use of Ellis Hollow residents only. There weren't a lot of details, and presumably it will be addressed at a later meeting. They also appointed Molly Riley to the Recreation Commission.

According to the minutes, the board took no action during executive session regarding the acquisition of a piece of property, most likely the golf course.

Posted by simon at July 5, 2004 2:12 PM in , ,
Note on photos