The New Albion Town Council once again confronted an old problem concerning a New Albion section of the Pat McGee Trail.
Rick LeFeber, Cattaraugus Local Development Corporation executive director, appeared before the group to reopen a longstanding complaint against a Linlyco Lake resident who, in 2004, built a structure extending more than fifteen feet into the trail's right-of-way. He said that despite the fact he reported the problem almost six years ago, the council has failed to do anything about it in the intervening time.
"This individual continues to make improvements on his house, which is partially on 'my' property, meaning the Pat McGee Trail," said LeFeber. (The CLDC is the entity that brought the trail into being, as part of the Rails to Trails effort. It continues to hold and maintain the right-of-way.)
This house was built partially on the Pat McGee Trail according to the trail’s founder, CLDC Executive Director Rick LeFeber. Although the home would seem to have a split personality, appearances can be deceiving.
LeFeber told the council he felt the problem needs to be addressed by the town because it is the town's zoning law which is being violated. "It's important to act on this," he said. "Zoning ordinances build property valuebut only if we uphold them."
LeFeber continued, "The town should be pursuing this through their own court and through Judge Himelein (the Cattaraugus County judge)."
"Otherwise," he concluded, "the CLDC will be forced to file suit against the town for failure to enforce their own code laws."
Councilman Michael Weishan responded that he felt the council had indeed, been rather complacent about the issue. "I agree that it's time we did something about it," he said.
In other business, Supervisor Loyd Chilson opened two truck bids, one on a Five-Star International six-by-four at $99,787.00, and the other on a Kenworth T500 at $103,980. Highway Superintendent Jerry Cobo said these prices were for the chassis only, adding that he hoped to have specs ready for the plow and body in two weeks, in time to publish them before Christmas.
Cobo reported that the previous month's work had been "pretty much routine," and included cutting roadside brush, cleaning ditches and hauling ice control materials. He said the crew replaced a large culvert on Potter Hill, and confirmed that the Potter Hill Road would get "a complete rehab" next summer. He added that the electrical work had been completed on the inter-municipal salt/sand storage building, and the bill submitted.
Concerning August's flood assistance to the Town of Otto, Cobo said that after several meetings with FEMA and SEMA, those agencies directed New Albion to submit a bill to Otto, which would in turn pay them from funds received from those agencies. "I've kept a record of time, equipment and man-hours, so this will be a simple matter," the super said.
Judge Brenda Smith attended the meeting and reported on the court's activities, including:
Dan Busekist appointed new court clerk.
2 court sessions held in October.
Attendance at Lake Placid meeting/school.
Collection of $575 in fines.
Smith also reported on the status of a grant she applied for earlier in the year. "We didn't get everything we asked for," she said, "but I'm going to keep plugging away for it." She also mentioned that the court was pursuing scofflaw offenders who had failed to pay levied fines in the past.
In the clerk's report, Clerk Rose LaQuay said that Gayle Patterson had resigned from her position as village trustee and the village had hired her as a deputy clerk. Mrs. LaQuay requested that the council also hire Mrs. Patterson to the post of deputy clerk for the town. A motion to that effect was made and passed.
LaQuay informed the council that yet another burial had taken place at the Tug Hill Cemetery. Mary Schmidt was interred there on November 14. The Town of New Albion has administered the Tug Hill Cemetery ever since the old cemetery board relinquished it to the town over ten years ago.
LaQuay also requested and received permission to attend a couple of training courses held in Little Valley.
In final business, the council addressed completion of payments for the joint salt/sand storage building. This structure was built with the assistance of a $400,000 incentive grant to the town and the Village of Cattaraugus. $143,000.74 was the town's first reimbursement, based on a revenue anticipation note for that amount. A balance of $99,131.94 remains, and it is that amount that LaQuay is presently working on.
Treasurer Gene Doucette said that he wanted to discuss interest on the loan with the Village of Cattaraugus, as he was unsure how evenly it was divided between the two municipalities.
HOTO CAPTION: AND A FENCE RUNS THROUGH IT: This house was built partially on the Pat McGee Trail according to the trail's founder, CLDC Executive Director Rick LeFeber. Although the home would seem to have a split personality, appearances can be deceiving. Actually, the fence was erected well inside the trail's right-of-way, according to LeFeber. It runs up to the northern wall of the house, and resumes adjacent to the southern wall. (The two individuals in this 2-year-old photo, happened to represent the Cattaraugus County Department of Economic Development, Planning and Tourism, and the Catt. County Federation of Snowmobile Clubs. They had no connection with the problem discussed in this story, and were present simply to advertise the interconnecting system of snowmobile trails that make the county such an exciting snowmobile destination.)