Use Of Town Resources On Private Property Discussed
FREWSBURG — New York State Highway Law Section 284 was apparently broke earlier this week to resurface the parking lot at the Carroll Rod & Gun Club.
On Wednesday, the Carroll Town Board discussed the situation where town equipment and personnel was used to tar and chip the parking lot at the club, located at 1111 Frew Run Road. Russ Payne, Carroll supervisor, said it’s against state law for town equipment and personnel to be used on private property during a non-emergency situation. He said during the meeting there were a couple of citizen complaints about town equipment and personnel being used to resurface the parking lot.
“This will not happen again,” Payne said.
On Thursday, Payne told The Post-Journal that not only was town of Carroll equipment and personnel used Tuesday during the resurfacing project, but the town of Poland, Ellicott and village of Falconer equipment and personnel were also used. He said the towns and village, who share services to save taxpayer money, had been doing some highway surfacing work in the town of Carroll before the work was done at the Carroll Rod & Gun Club.
“The town highway superintendent (Jim Mitchener) shouldn’t have done that,” he said. “It’s strictly prohibited and the town attorney (Paul Webb) has agreed with me. That cannot be done. Those kinds of activities will not be tolerated.”
Payne said the highway superintendents in the other towns and village were notified of the illegal activity. Payne said Mitchener will not face any further discipline for the mistake. Payne added that this is Mitchener’s first year as Carroll’s highway superintendent.
“He knows going forward that cannot be done. He is certainly aware that cannot be done. He was chastised by the board (Wednesday) evening about doing it,” he said. “Any shared services activity going forward will be reported back to me and the board. It’s a matter of checks and balances. It’s an additional step that we added to report shared services activity to the board.”
In other town business, the board agreed to cancel the summer recreation program this year because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Patty Ekstrom, board member and Parks and Recreation Committee chairwoman, said with the potential of 40 to 60 children participating in the program that it would be challenging to have them practice social distancing and to sanitize crafts and equipment like jump ropes and basketballs. She said a lot of other municipalities have canceled their summer recreation programs this year too because of the pandemic.
“How do we keep kids from high-fiving? We just have a lot of concerns,” she said. “I’m recommending that we don’t have the program this year.”
The board also discussed whether to allow the Frewsburg Bears Baseball Camp to use the town park this summer. Payne told The Post-Journal Thursday that after the board meeting he had a discussion with coach Jay Grann, who is still determining if he will coach the camp this year. Payne said Grann has to worry about issues like social distancing and insurance documentation for each player if it’s held at the town park. Payne said if the baseball camp is held this year, the board will again discuss allowing them to use the town park at their August meeting.