February 27, 2005

Catching up on the Februrary Town Board meeting

I've been slack in covering the February Town Board meeting, and the minutes are now available if you want full details on what happened. Some key moments stand out in the meeting, so here are some highlights. I've bolded subjects for easy looking around.

  • After a long search, the Town Board appointed Kimberly Gazzo, a Village of Dryden resident who works at the The History Center, to be Town Historian.

  • A site plan review for JC Leasing, which would reuse existing buildings at the corner of Lower Creek Road and Route 13 for a DHL Courier office, was approved easily.

  • A continuation of a hearing from May about development on Oak Brook Drive lasted over an hour. Nick Bellisario presented a stormwater management plan that was a huge improvement over what he had presented previously, but neighbor Susan Boutros had only received it two days earlier. She asked for another month to review the 200+ page document, but the Board moved forward with an approval while requiring landscaping improvements to shield her property from the effects of opening a self-storage facility. The environmental review passed 5-0, and the approval passed 4-1, with Councilman Chris Michaels dissenting.

  • Highway Superintendent Jack Bush presented some early plans for improving the area around the Highway Department, including tree plantings and the conversion of the existing Town Hall into Highway Department offices once the new Town Hall is built.

  • Possible new highway department site improvements
    Plans for possible new highway department site improvements.

  • In the County report, County Legislator Mike Lane talked about Northwest Airlines coming to the Tompkins County Airport in May, as well as about the meeting he called of property owners in the Cortland Road Sewer District, an area with increasing discussion about annexation to the Village of Dryden. He also discussed Town Clerks' concern about a request the County had made about the costs of collecting taxes, and stressed that this was just information gathering by an intermunicipal group, not the County planning to take over tax collection.

  • County Legislator Martha Robertson discussed the possibility of property tax exemptions for owners who improve their house to provide access to disabled residents, as well as the early discussions on replacing the county property taxes with an income tax.

  • In recreation, Coordinator Jennifer Staton reported that plans for a portable ice rink at Montgomery Park would be postponed to next year because it's too late to have much of a season. A Club Dryden event February 5th attracted 240 children rather than the expected 100, as well as lots of enthusiasm for more. The town is also doing a telephone survey through SUNY Cortland about residents' interests in recreation. Following on last month's discussion of recreation lands and the new Town Hall, as well as the impending arrival of the Comprehensive Plan, Councilman Steve Stelick:

  • said he would like a town committee established to look at the recreation opportunities in the Town and would like that committee to consist of himself, Jennifer Staton, Debbie Gross, and representatives from each of the town's centers (Ellis Hollow Community Center, etc). He would like them to meet and come up with a plan for recreation for the Town because it is not specifically addressed in the comprehensive plan other than to say the town is under with respect to recreational areas. He said there were good questions brought up at the last board meeting and he would like to address them properly. Cl Christofferson said the recommendation for our population is somewhere between 80 and 100 acres of town-owned recreational land and we have about 15 acres, so by national standards we are under. Cl Stelick asked Cl Michaels to also serve on this committee. Cl Hattery said he believes the comprehensive plan essentially says we need a recreation plan. Cl Michaels said it has been talked about with increased frequency since he has been on the board, and Cl Christofferson reviewed what was in the comprehensive plan.

  • The Town authorized Supervisor Trumbull to sign contracts for Neptune Hose Company and Dryden Ambulance to use the the town's fuel depot, and (after some discussion about what might constitute conflicts of interest) for the town to use Tectonic Engineering as its telecommunications consultant. They also agreed to sign a necessary extension on the recently revived Virgil Creek stabilization project. The Town Board postponed discussion of a contract with Cornell Cooperative Extension to discuss costs. On the status of the Town Hall land purchase:

  • Atty Perkins said he understands that the Town has a contract signed with Empire Livestock and there is a provision that it is contingent upon the Board holding a public meeting within 30 days. The acceptance date for purposes of this is February 2 so it would be appropriate to schedule that meeting sometime prior to March 4. After discussion, the board decided to hold the meeting on March 3 at 7:00 p.m. at the Village Hall.

  • Zoning Officer Henry Slater reported that the Virgil Creek stabilization money that FEMA has withheld should be on its way now that FEMA's objections have all been resolved, and they plan to finish work on the creek this year. He also noted that he and the Planning and Zoning boards had assembled a training program for their members, and that the Comprehensive Plan is making its way toward the Town Board.

  • Environmental Planner Debbie Gross handed out copies of the Draft Comprehensive Plan to board members. The Board approved a contract for consultants on the proposed Dryden-Freeville trail, as well as an agreement that lets the Town of Caroline use Dryden's environmental planning services on an hourly basis. There was some discussion of the ongoing aquifer study and of Dryden's possible participation in an intermunicipal grant application (with Tompkins County, Danby, and Caroline) for conservation and management of their shared forest areas. There was also some discussion of land along Fall Creek coming up for sale that might be worth buying for conservation.

  • The Board authorized the Supervisor and Thoma Associates to apply for funding for the development of a recreation master plan, which should fit well with Councilman Stelick's earlier suggestion about developing a recreation plan.

  • The Town Board (unlike the Village of Dryden Board) voted to support various proposals being made at the state level providing "tax breaks and other enticements to encourage firefighting and emergency service volunteerism." The vote was 4-0, with Councilman Hattery abstaining because he hadn't had enough time to evaluate the bill.

  • At the end of the meeting, after an executive session, the board approved re-publishing "the press release indicating the Town's willingness to partner with someone who is intersted in purchasing the golf course for certain specified public purposes." As Joe Osmeloski pointed out at the hearing on the Draft Comprehensive Plan, the golf course will be up for auction on March 11th.

The Town Board will be meeting twice this week. The first will be on Wednesday, March 2nd at 7:00pm at the Dryden Village Hall (map) in joint session with the Village Board to discuss an annexation petition from Dryden Mutual Insurance, which would like to join the Village to get municipal water. The second meeting will be on Thursday, March 3rd, and will be an informational meeting about the "purchase of property for town hall." It will also be at 7:00pm in the Dryden Village Hall (map).

Posted by simon at February 27, 2005 9:13 AM in , , , , , , ,
Note on photos


jesus christ said:

anyone posting on this site and terrorizing the citizens of dryden will go to hell.