By Rose Mary Carver
Board members heard from local residents about ongoing issues in their neighborhood during the recent Town of Poland Board meeting. Several residents of a local mobile home park stated that they have been having ongoing issues with dogs in the park, as well as with the park itself. They asked the board what they as residents can do about the situation.
Because it is private property, it is the responsibility of the park owner to maintain the rules. The owner has not responded to requests from the dog control officers or the board to meet with them about the issues currently plaguing residents.
Town Attorney Paul Webb told the residents that, while the board sympathizes with their concerns, the board cannot take sides on the issues. He said residents should consult their own legal counsel. If there are issues with junk or buildings, residents should contact the code enforcement officer.
Highway Superintendent Larry Mee noted that the agreement to purchase the bucket truck had been completed with the other municipalities. The Jamestown BPU will come down to the town and give highway department members training in its use. Mee noted that members of his crew already have their own safety gear for use in the bucket truck.
Under old business, Mee stated there had been no major problems with the town hall. A piece of trim up in the eaves has come loose, but they will have to wait until warmer weather to be able to get the bucket truck onto the lawn area and reach the trim to fasten it down again. The furnace has been working well.
Clarence Robbins noted that Kennedy Pride had discussed placing a gas grill in the new pavilion in Hallquist Park when it is completed. No plans for work in the park would be done without board approval, since it is town-owned property.
Dog Control Officer Brian King stated that with better weather, he should be able to finish the townwide dog enumeration soon. A rabies clinic has been tentatively set for Saturday, May 4. A nurse has been lined up for filling syringes, as required by law. One local veterinarian had given an estimate for the charge to the town for services. King said he had talked to a person at the SPCA, who said she had never heard of veterinarians charging for that service, so she said she would look into it. It will be held at the highway department buildings on Grubb Hill Road. The health department supplies the materials, and guidelines for the volunteers needed have been given to the town clerk. He hopes to have final plans made before the next board meting.
King also wanted to show the board the new microchip scanner he has received. This will enable him to scan a pet for a chip and find its owner. King said local residents Chad and DeeDee Sischo purchased the scanner and donated the equipment to the dog control officer. He asked the town to send a very nice "thank you" to them for their generous gift.
Supervisor Kelly Snow requested that town clerk Barb Czerniak prepare one right away. King also gave an update on a dog that was a victim of a hit-and-run. The animal had been struck near the cemetery on Willard Street Extension at the end of February. He said he had called all the area dog control offices, and no one had reported a missing animal that matched its description. The animal turned out to be a Norwegian elkhound, which King stated was an expensive breed. It had been abandoned and then hit. He was happy to report that the animal is now up for adoption at the SPCA. It had not suffered a broken leg, but had severe contusions and abrasions, which were healing well. He noted that the SPCA has pictures of him on its website, and the animal is doing very well, enjoying playing in the snow.
Residents on Route 394 by Waterboro Bridge have sent a letter to the town formally requesting a reduced speed zone be implemented in their area. They stated that traffic coming off the bridge and headed east on Route 394 has caused some close calls with residents trying to enter or exit their properties near the bridge. The board can now forward the request to the county, who will forward it to New York state, so a traffic study can be done. The final decisions will be up to the state, since it is a state road.
Dennis Stornes said that progress had been made on the possible purchase of property to relocate the library. If the purchase is completed, the hope is to have a structure in place for the library before the end of the year.
Councilman Terry Walker noted that it was time to schedule the first Memorial Day Committee meeting. It appears that a speaker has been secured for the service at Riverside Cemetery. Board members set the first committee meeting for Tuesday, April 16, at 7 p.m. in the town hall. The meeting will be open to the public, and anyone wishing to participate may come to the meeting.
Councilwoman Kathy Stanton reported on the accessibility committee. They recently held their first meeting. The purpose of the committee is to prioritize projects and report to the board their recommendations for making the town hall building more accessible for all residents. The plan is to meet on the last Wednesday of even months for their normal meeting. This would set the next meeting for Wednesday, April 24, at 6:30 p.m. in the town hall. The meeting is open to the public, and anyone is welcome to express their ideas about accessibility issues.
Snow reported that there had been two recent resignations. In the first letter, Craig Short resigned from the planning board. He had been serving as chairman as well. Snow noted that the planning board needed to have new members in order to have enough to conduct business. She asked town board members to consider any possible suggestions for residents to serve. Anyone interested in serving can contact town clerk Barb Czerniak.
In a second letter, deputy town clerk Marti Telford had sent in her resignation. Now that the tax collection has been done, it is not as critical, but the position definitely needs to be filled. Anyone interested may contact Czerniak for an application.
Stornes said that the revaluation has been completed. He said that it appeared from gas well royalties people have been receiving that the valuation on wells would not be increasing any time soon. Other property values have been holding pretty steady.
Mee reported that the new truck was in Erie again, after throwing another code. While under warranty, any time a code appears, a lengthy process has to be followed by certified technicians to find out if there is an actual problem, or just a sensor. As machinery continues to become more complicated, with increasingly computerized electronics, Mee said he foresaw similar experiences in the future. He said they had gotten in plenty of sand and salt for the roads, and felt he would be in good shape for the rest of the current plowing season. New blades had been purchased for the plows, and, while their cost is more than the former ones, they last so much longer that they are a more economical choice.
The next regular Town of Poland board meeting will be held on Tuesday, April 9, at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall. Snow will be available at 5:30 p.m. to meet with concerned residents. Everyone is encouraged to attend.