KENNEDY - During the recent Poland Town Board meeting, members received a first-hand look at the work being done by Town Historian Rebecca Lindquist and her assistant, Sandy Tellinghuisen, on restoration and preservation of valuable historical records.
They have been diligently archiving the Matteson collection, making copies that will be available to the public for research, while preserving the original items pertaining to the history of the town of Poland and its families. Currently, 12 archival books have been created from this collection, and the process is ongoing. As one of many historical treasures the town possesses, Lindquist asked the board to consider creating space in the town hall when remodeling is done to make access to items easier for the public. Many items dealing with land records and other vital statistics are supposed to be housed in a municipal facility, so moving the collection to the separate new library is not really an option.
Town Attorney Paul Webb stated that the title search and deed have been duly signed and sent to Mayville for recording, so the transfer of the former Temple property to the Kennedy Free Library is official. Dennis Stornes told the board that they thought the plans for the new library had been approved by the state, and had been sent to the builder. They are waiting for a break in the weather.
Dog Control Officer Brian King informed the board that the rabies clinic had been scheduled for Saturday, April 12, from 1-3 p.m. at the Highway Department building on Grubb Hill. Dr. Mary Fales will be the attending veterinarian again this year. Those bringing their cats, dogs or ferrets should bring proof of previous inoculations. Animals need to be in carriers or on a leash.
Councilwoman Kathy Stanton reported on the Accessibility Committee. An internal meeting for those who will be needing space in the redesigned town hall was scheduled. Testing for asbestos remediation was again discussed. Testing can be done now, even though the date for beginning construction has not been set. As estimate of $4,050 was given for the testing. It would not include any costs for actual abatement. Board members agreed that the work needed to be done, and voted to sign the contract for the testing.
During the second privilege of the floor, Roland Swanson said that he had secured a speaker for the Memorial Day service. Swanson told the board that he was pleased with this person's acceptance and that he had a very distinguished record.
Under new business, Supervisor Kelly Snow informed the board that the town court had been awarded a 2013-14 Justice Court Assistance Program grant of $4,000. This will be used to partially reimburse the town for the cost of the new phone system last year.
The New York State Comptroller's Office audit report was discussed. The report has been made public, and Snow said the board now needed to discuss the Corrective Action Plan, or CAP, they were going to submit to the state within 90 days to address the issues found in the audit. The state will then tell the town if they find the measures acceptable.
State officials felt record keeping for fuel inventory needed to be updated and better controls over access to the fuel supply should be instated. The town currently provides both gasoline and diesel fuel for use by the Highway Department, Kennedy Fire Department and the cemetery caretaker. Board members discussed what methods should be taken. Snow said a plan would be presented to the board at the April meeting, and when approved, will be sent on to the state Comptroller's Office.
The board officially appointed Darla Rissel as deputy town clerk. She has already begun training.
The comprehensive plan for the town was discussed. A contract for Don McCord, who has been an adviser for such plans, was presented after he had met with Planning and Zoning boards. McCord has suggested that members of the Town Board and the highway superintendent should also be involved in developing a comprehensive plan. The cost of the proposed contract is $12,000. The board had budgeted $5,000 for this year. The contract for McCord is a multi-year contract, and he felt the $5,000 in this year's budget would cover the costs for the first year's work. Town officials would be expected to take active roles in developing the plan. Public meetings and surveys could be an integral part of such a plan.
Highway Superintendent Larry Mee told the board the last of the stone for oiling and stoning had been hauled in recently. He hoped they would not have to order any more salt for this season. Mee felt they had been fortunate in their planning for salt purchases this year, and use of sand during colder weather when salt is ineffective also helped reduce the need for salt. He has talked to zoning and code officials about the permit for the addition to the highway building. They hope to trade in the loader again this year for the new model. The municipal contract for the cellphones is up this year, and Mee asked if he could have permission to switch to the state plan and change the superintendent's phone to a smartphone. The monthly charge would remain about the same; there would just be a one-time charge for the upgraded phone. Board members approved the request.
County Legislator Ron Lemon informed the board that it could take anywhere from six months to two years for the state to give its final approval for the sale of the Chautauqua County Home. He said the group which purchased the home got their last purchase expedited, and that took six months, so he hoped the sale would be finished by the end of the year, but nothing was certain at this point.
He said the legislature unanimously passed and sent to Albany a request to create a residency requirement for welfare benefits. Snow told Lemon that the board appreciated that he comes to the town board meeting and gives them a monthly report on the county legislature activity.
There will be a public hearing on Tuesday, April 8, at 7 p.m. for a local law to override the tax levy limit. The regular Poland Board meeting will follow the public hearing. Snow will be available at 5:30 p.m. to meet with residents about their concerns. The public is encouraged to attend.