KENNEDY - The Poland Town Board voted to convey the old Temple property, adjacent to the town hall, to the Kennedy Free Library during its recent meeting.
Town Attorney Paul Webb told the board that they had two options if they wanted to let the library use the property.
First, they could convey the property outright, for use as a site for a new library. If at any time the library no longer wished to use the property, it would revert to town ownership.
The second option would be to grant the library a lease on the property, with their payment covering the town's cost for insurance and other things.
After discussing both options, the board voted unanimously to convey the property to the Kennedy Free Library.
This is subject to a permissive referendum. If residents feel this should be brought to a public vote, they can get a legal petition and bring it to the town board within 30 days of the referendum's passage, which in essence means by the Oct. 8 board meeting. It would need signatures from at least 5 percent of the eligible voters in the town of Poland who voted in the last general election. Webb felt that the matter would have the support of the public, and did not think it would be an issue.
In other legal business, Supervisor Kelly Snow stated that she had received a letter from a Dry Brook Road resident prior to the meeting in which concerns for erosion problems on several properties were again expressed. Several property owners signed the letter requesting that the town of Poland Highway Department bring equipment into the Dry Brook Creek to maintain the creek and reverse the erosion problem.
Webb stated that since the entire creek bed is actually private property, the town is not allowed to do work for private landowners.
Highway Superintendent Larry Mee stated that the person who actually owns most of the streambed in the affected area had not signed the letter.
Councilwoman Kathy Stanton suggested that the residents should be sent a letter explaining the reasons why the town cannot do work in the creek.
Mee stated that he would draft a letter and forward it so board members could read it before it was sent to residents. Snow said she would put the matter on the agenda for the next meeting.
Also, Mee reported that everything had been working well in the town hall building. He noted that the new "Welcome to Kennedy" signs purchased by Kennedy Pride had been received, and his department would get them installed as soon as possible. New posts and vinyl sleeves will be purchased, and the signs are of a quality that should last for many years. They will be installed in the same locations as the previous signs. A gravel pad has been completed in Hallquist Park, ready for the contractor to build an open pavilion in the park this construction season.
Mee reported that work on the blanket on Dry Brook Creek, under the DEC grant from New York state, was in the engineering phase. Construction would take place next year.
Town Clerk Barb Czerniak told the board that there had been no word yet on funds for CHRIC grants. Whether any funds will be available this year after monies are used for Hurricane Sandy relief is unknown as of this time.
Dog Control Officer Brian King said he hoped to have the enumeration completed within the month. He asked the board if they had all looked at the current leash law in the town. He feels that an expansion of the current dog control law from the lighting district to the entire town would make his job easier. The last ordinance was passed in 1995. Board members read through the current law and discussed the various stipulations.
Councilman Terry Walker stated that any changes to the law would have to be brought to a public hearing. Board members debated whether any changes to the law would make a difference. They decided to talk to Webb next month about amending the dog law to the whole town.
Councilwoman Kathy Stanton reported on the Accessibility Committee. Two options for handicap accessibility were presented to the committee by the architect at their recent meeting. The first would involve putting an addition on the front of the building, and then installing a limited-use elevator for access to the current main floor of the town hall. The cost estimate for this option was $187,000.
The committee felt this option would not only involve more construction, but would make for an awkward entrance for everyone.
Option two would use the existing library entrance on the ground floor. Doors would be made wider. The limited-use, limited-access elevator would be installed inside the current building.
Some town facilities could be moved to ground level if the library moved, as is currently planned. Two egresses would then be available for the current main floor. Cost for option two was estimated at $160,000.
The Accessibility Committee recommended option two. Board members agreed with the committee's recommendation.
Construction would not be done until next year. A motion was made to plan to use option two, and to include $160,000 for the option in the budget for 2014. The motion was passed.
Under new business, Snow made a motion to appoint Dennis Stornes as assessor, with term to start Oct. 1 of this year and end Sept. 30, 2019. The motion was unanimously approved.
Snow reported that the Independent Health contract for 2014 had been signed. She will have the information on rates to use for her budget proposal. Also noted was the fact that budget worksheets had been handed out that evening. She requested that they be handed back before the end of the month.
Code Officer Alan Gustafson reported that a notification on the continuing safety issues with a Sprague Hill property had been sent to the current owner. If no changes are made, legal recourse can now be undertaken. There are still some questions about what a new fee schedule should be. Snow noted that she had requested that the new fee schedule be ready before the end of the year.
Mee informed the board that cemetery caretaker Alan Short requested two trees be removed in Riverside Cemetery. Mee stated that he had no money in his budget for removal. He said he was willing to get a quote from the tree-removal company if Short has the funds in his budget. They will talk to Short to see if he has the funds in his budget, Mee said.
Mee asked for permission to put the old 550 truck in the fall auction in Hamburg. Board members approved. The new truck is ready for approval. Mee will be going to look at it to make sure it meets specifications. If ready, it will be shipped and put into sevice shortly.
The last couple weeks had been spent helping other area municipalities in kind after their assistance earlier in the town of Poland. Mee stated that he still plans to work on some sidewalks. Repair work has been done on Mee Road. Finishing work still needs to be done. CHIPS reimbursement funds have been applied for and should be received shortly.
The next regular Poland Town Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, Oct. 8, at 7 p.m. in the town hall. Snow will be available at 5:30 p.m. to meet with residents about their concerns. The public is encouraged to attend.