May 5, 2005

Dryden Town Hall site selected

This morning's Ithaca Journal reports that the Dryden Town Board decided where to put the new Town Hall in a meeting yesterday afternoon. There were several locations on the 47-acre parcel they purchased, and the board chose the easternmost site. The costs of infrastructure for a location elsewhere in the parcel figured into the decision, as did other possible uses for the land:

Road construction costs, steep hills and potential other uses for the land led to the rejection of the other two suggested sites.

One considered land use was recreation. Fields, equipment storage, nature trails and playgrounds were all mentioned as possibilities. After much, conversation turned back to the question at hand.

Work yet to come will involve marking wetland and wetland buffer areas where no construction may take place, and designing the actual Town Hall building. The architect warned that costs may have increased as plans for the building have grown:

"I really want to get you up to date with numbers because the one's you have are really old. The building has grown by several thousand square feet (since it was originally proposed). I want to get you those numbers so there aren't any surprises," Kingsbury said.

County Legislator George Totman, who had earlier announced his run for re-election, was arrested for driving while intoxicated in McLean. Totman represents the northeast corner of the Town of Dryden as well as the Town of Groton and the eastern edge of Lansing.

Briefly in Tompkins notes that the Dryden Board of Education will be having a public budget meeting tonight at 7:30pm at Freeville Elementary School, a public hearing next Monday at 7:00pm in room C-13 of the Dryden Middle School/High School, and information sessions Tuesday at 7:30pm at Dryden Elementary School and Wednesday at 7:30pm at Cassavant Elementary School. It also mentions a Red Cross blood drive to be held Monday, May 16th, from 9:00am to 2:00pm at Dryden High School.

On the opinion page, the editorial tells readers that the problem of increasing taxes isn't a matter of assessments, but rather of increasing overall tax levies. This section in particular is worth considering when evaluating tax bills:

Politicians love to hide behind increased assessments. Some will talk big about holding the tax rate steady, knowing all the time that increased assessments have been pulling more cash out of our bank accounts and pouring it into the government kitty every year.

In Dryden last year, the town's tax rate stayed at 1.47, which sounds good, except that the levy increased 7.9%, from $846,000 to $914,000. The previous year, the rate was also 1.47, but an 8.5% levy increase happened then too. Assessments may affect the distribution of taxes, but it's the tax levy, not the rate, that affects how much we all pay in.

A letter from Timothy Fahey of Dryden presents the contradiction between Cornell's claimed goals of attracting "the best and brightest students" and promoting sustainability, concluding that "Acknowledging this dilemma and engaging in dialog are the first steps needed to address it."

Posted by simon at May 5, 2005 8:08 AM in , , ,
Note on photos