KENNEDY - The recent Poland Town Board meeting had council members hearing from residents about property concerns. Status reports on different projects were also discussed.
During the first privilege of the floor, a resident from Dry Brook Road asked the board what could be done about erosion of the bank of Dry Brook Creek at the rear of her property. She stated that the ongoing problem has greatly lessened the distance from the rear of her residence to the creek. Trees have been uprooted, and the bank has been eaten away from under the sod, so the edge is unstable.
There is currently about a 20-foot drop to the creek bed. Some out buildings are now being threatened. The resident would like to know what could be done.
Because the creek is actually private property, the town is unable to do work on it. Larry Mee, highway superintendent, said he had talked to the DEC. DEC officials also say that since it is private property, it is up to the landowners to do something. Mee suggested getting the permission from the person who actually owns the creek bed, and then hiring someone with a bulldozer to go in and stabilize the bank.
If several of the affected neighbors get together, they could share the cost, and the time it would take would be shorter. Paul Webb, town attorney, said one of his partners is involved in the watershed issues. He took the resident's contact information and would see if there are any programs available that could assist her with this problem. Mee said that if the landowner gave permission for working in the creek bed, the town could provide access by the expressway for a bulldozer. It is not considered a protected stream in that area, so no DEC permit would be necessary. The resident wondered if the erosion problem could cause a change in her property assessment, and was told it was a possibility.
Ron Lemon, Chautauqua County legislator, updated the board on the issues before the legislature. A resolution was passed during their last session to use some money from the surplus funds to put toward IGT funds. This is federal money, which gives $2 to the county for every $1 it contributes.
One resident had contacted Lemon about the condition of the road from Falconer to Frewsburg. Major potholes are causing people to drive on the wrong side of the road, making for dangerous situations. Lemon said he had gotten in touch with George Spanos, head of the county Highway Department, and he would be looking at the road to see what could be done. Lemon noted that the town of Poland Highway Department staff does an excellent job on the roads they maintain.
Lemon noted that the cost of Medicaid for the county is an ongoing problem. Sales tax revenues will not be able to keep up with the costs if the current trend continues.
Sales tax increases are not being approved in Albany at this time, so property tax increases would be needed to cover any shortfalls. County legislators feel this places an undue burden on property owners, Lemon said. He noted that every .25 percent of sales tax rate equals about $3 million to the county. Each million is worth about $0.16 per thousand on the property tax bill.
LIBRARY TARGET DATE
Councilwoman Kathy Stanton asked when the library expects to be able to occupy its new building. Dennis Stornes replied that right now they are hoping for August. Stanton stated that they would now be able to give the architect a guideline for requesting bids for work on the town hall accessibility project.
Plans have been drawn up for repair of the concrete blanket on Dry Brook Creek. Ted Meyers, a DEC official from Buffalo, told Mee that he thought they would complete it this summer. Mee said he would inform the board when he has a definite starting time for the project.
Stanton told board members that the town had received an Active Community Enhancement award of $2,500 for small town planning. This is for developing the use for streets in a community for others besides vehicular traffic.
Mee said his department has been repairing damage from the recent storms. Three department members also assisted the town of Carroll with significant damage. First mowing along town roads has been done. Oiling and stoning work along town roads may possibly be delayed due to the weather. Mee noted that the down payment had been made for the addition to the garage on Grubb Hill. This addition will increase storage space for the larger equipment owned by the town.
The next regular town of Poland Town Board meeting will be held on Tuesday at 7 p.m. in the town hall. Supervisor Kelly Snow will be available at 5:30 p.m. to meet with residents about their concerns.