Questions were raised after several reports were given at the Town of Pomfret council meeting on Wednesday evening.
Highway Supervisor Dan Bigelow told the board about a drainage issue on Johnson Street due to prior construction of Ventura Circle in the Village of Fredonia. "It hasn't been a problem this year," due to dry conditions, Bigelow said, "but in years past, there's been flooding going on in neighboring properties."
A drainage ditch has been proposed to resolve the issue with flooding, which would redirect water to a nearby creek. "I'd like to request an easement to create and maintain a drainage ditch," Bigelow told the council.
OBSERVER Photo by Shirley Pulawski
Numerous reports were given at a recent meeting of the Pomfret Town Council. From left, Councilwoman Pat Christina, Superintendent Don Steger, attorney Jeffrey Passafaro.
Councilwoman Ann Eckmann said the drainage issue is problematic in the area and affects the properties in the village as well. Bigelow said, "Basically, the village said it's my problem."
Town Superintendent Don Steger asked Bigelow if the existing creek could handle the additional water flow, and Bigelow said it would.
"Let's start the process to see how receptive the property owners are to the easement," Steger said.
Councilman Scott Johnston reported on investigation into a property located at 201 Newton Street. It is located adjacent to Forest Hill cemetery, which the town owns. Johnston said the property is currently in arrears on taxes, and if they are not paid by January, the town has the first option to purchase the property. The property could be purchased for the amount owed, which is currently over $8,000. At a previous meeting, the board discussed the acquisition in order to expand the cemetery property.
Town Clerk Roberta Valentine presented court reports. Judge Prince handled 245 cases totaling over $19,000 in August and Judge Pulci handled 134 cases totaling over $11,500. Councilwoman Pat Christina questioned the discrepancy in the number of cases handled by the two judges. Steger said past judges handled separate kinds of cases one tended to handle mostly vehicle and traffic related incidents, while the other focused on property cases. "I don't know if they still do it that way," he said. Town attorney Jeffrey Passafaro said several factors determine the attendance in court, including the night of the week on which court is held.
Don Steger reported paperwork filed with the state Department of Transportation to begin study of road speed reduction on Frisbee Road. He said the engineer in Falconer who will conduct the study has received the paperwork. Bigelow told the board he also had a request from a resident on Harmon Hill Road for a speed reduction on the road. Steger suggested the residents put the request in writing and the board would begin the process for a study to be requested on that road as well.
Steger also reported progress on the water district. He said the company handling the development of the project, Wendell, "now has bids from 20 contractors, up from 17," which was reported to be a very strong response from contractors by Wendell. Ten of the contractors came to an informational pre-bid meeting. He reported the town would soon have written approval from the several state departments needed to move forward with installation of water lines, but said there were still have some issues with the Department of Public Works regarding Webster Road. He also reported the final notice required by the state Department of Environmental Conservation had been published, which will allow the permit to be issued within 30 days.
Eckmann reported she and Johnston met with Village of Fredonia Trustee Joseph Cerrie informally to discuss business affecting both municipalities. She said the fire contract was among the items discussed, but the meeting was "preliminary" and they hoped to accomplish more in future meetings with village board members.
The next regular meeting will be held on Oct. 10 at 6:30 p.m. at the fire hall in Lily Dale. "This is a tradition," at the time the fire contract is renewed with the Lily Dale Assembly, Councilwoman Pat Christina said. Prior to the regular meeting at 6:30 p.m., a public hearing at 6:15 will take place regarding the fire contract. At 6:20, another public hearing will be held regarding the proposed tax cap override.
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