March 27, 2005

March Town Board minutes

Minutes are available for both the March 2nd hearing on the possible annexation of the Dryden Mutual Property to the Village of Dryden and the Town Board's regular meeting on March 10th, which I missed. The March 2nd minutes are fascinating because they're pretty much an exact transcript of what was said, a different (though I'm not sure better) style from the usual minutes. It looks like the Village Board uses a court reporter for their minutes, as it was a joint hearing.

At the March 10th meeting, the Board covered a lot of issues:

Youth Bureau Presentation

Tracey Kurtz of the Dryden Youth Commission and Linda Schoffel of Cooperative Extension gave a presentation on the programs funded by the Dryden Youth Commission. (That link seems to point to Recreation rather than the Youth Commission - I'm not sure what's going on.) Town Board member Marty Christofferson asked about where money goes and where it comes from. Cooperative Extension has two employees who work on Dryden programs, focusing on ways to:

reach out to the kids who most need those opportunities. The programs target middle school children, are run after school and participants are often referred by the Guidance Office and teachers. They look for kids who because of social skills issues or other factors are in need of opportunities for good youth development, but any child is able to attend.

Christofferson was concerned both that the programs may duplicate other offerings of the recreation programs and whether volunteers could do some work currently done by paid employees. Schoffel replied with a story we seem to hear constantly in Dryden: "it's a wonderful plan to have everything done by volunteers, but that is getting harder today." She also noted that some Cooperative Extension programs, notably 4-H and youth development, are led by volunteers. Cornell apparently pays for the benefits employees receive, lowering the cost of paid employees to the municipalities.

Windmill Opposition

A group of citizens used Citizens' Privilege to present their opposition to a wind farm Cornell has proposed on Mount Pleasant. William Openshaw presented his objections, and Marie Read read a petition (which is a pretty thorough summary of the objections) signed by 20 people. Zoning Officer Henry Slater said that after a review of the law with Town Attorney Mahlon Perkins, they "concluded that windmills and windmill farms are not a use permitted in the Town of Dryden at this time under the zoning ordinance."

Highway Department 284 Agreement

Highway Superintendent Jack Bush distributed his plans for road work this year, and Town Board members signed off on it. I'll get a copy of that and post it here.

County Briefing: Income Tax, Jail, Ringwood Road Bridge

County Legislator Mike Lane discussed the income tax proposal that a county study group had developed, emphasizing that this is a question of substituting one tax for another, not an additional tax, and that there are lots of reasons to believe it will never happen.

County Legislator Martha Robertson addressed complaints on the radio about the county's boarding out inmates rather than spending $20 million on a new jail. Unless the county is boarding out 52 inmates at once, the costs are lower than the costs of a new jail.

Robertson also noted planned 2006 reconstruction of the Ringwood Road bridge near Ringwood Court, and that the County has been talking with residents about detours.

Topographic Mapping

Following up on a proposal from Dave Putnam of TG Miller Engineers at the Feburary meeting, the board voted to have TG Miller create a topographic map from aerial photos of the property the board is purchasing for a a new town hall.


Recreation Coordinator Jennifer Staton reported on the boys travel basketball tournament at Dryden High School, which included 167 participants, the Easter Egg Hunt on March 20th, a survey for Town Board members from the county Recreation Partnership, and contra dancing which will be today from 2:30pm to 4:30pm at the Bethel Grove Community Center (map).

Golf Course Bid

During Citizens' Privilege, Gerry Ryan of Dryden asked if anyone from the town would be at the Lakeview Golf Course foreclosure auction March 11th, and Town Supervisor Steve Trumbull said he'd be there. The board authorized the supervisor "to submit a bid under certain conditions for the property identified as the former Dryden Lake Golf Club at the foreclosure sale to be held March 11, 2005." As the Courier reported, Trumbull didn't bid and the owner of the course bought it back for $100 less than Trumbull was authorized to bid.

Town Hall Land Purchase

Having held an informational meeting on the purchase of land for the Town Hall, the board passed a negative SEQR declaration for the purchase and ratified the purchase offer. Zoning Officer Slater reported that the building committee would start up again, and a site selection committee needs to pick the actual site of the building. Environmental Planner Debbie Gross has been working on energy efficient planning for the building.

Conservation Board, Forest Lands

Environmental Planner Gross also discussed with the board the planned work list for the Dryden Conservation Board and got a resolution from them supporting a joint grant application with the Towns of Danby and Caroline to manage and protect the forested area shared by the towns. (You can see the parts of Dryden included in a map I posted in an earlier article, where they're #9, the Forest Lands.)

It's All Here

Supervisor Trumbull proposed "Welcome to Dryden, It's All Here" as the slogan for the signs the Tompkins County Chamber of Commerce will be posting on Routes 13 and 38.


Following on the hearing about Dryden Mutual Insurance's annexation petition and an earlier public meeting, the board discussed questions about larger-scale annexation in the area north of the Village of Dryden, including state legislation in progress that might simplify such things, and the question of who supports or opposes annexation.

Fire companies

Town Board member Mike Hattery asked if the Village of Freeville had had a meeting about the Length of Service Awards Program (LOSAP) for volunteer firefighters, and once is being planned. Town Board member Chris Michaels also brought up the emergency services consultant position the board had budgeted last November, and said that he was talking with the departments to determine requirements and create a position, which he thinks will be a permanent one.

Time-Warner Cable

Marty Christofferson raised the possibility of TC3 doing some local broadcasting (including of town meetings) on public channels, and noted that he'd asked Time-Warner what it would cost to provide Road Runner internet service to all of Dryden. They answered $1-2 million. Steve Stelick said that he has also been working with Time-Warner on their long-delayed franchise agreement.

Agriculture Committee

Mike Hattery reported that Ken Miller had asked that the agriculture committee formed to review the Draft Comprehensive Plan be made a permanent committee, and Supervisor Trumbull will be meeting with Miller about this.

Civil Service

After an executive session, the board passed a long resolution about Civil Service positions. I need to figure out what this is about.

The next Town Board meeting will be April 14th at 7:00pm, at the Dryden Town Hall (map).

Posted by simon at March 27, 2005 9:00 AM in , , , , , , , , ,
Note on photos