Poland Board Overrides Tax Cap
KENNEDY – The town of Poland Board held a public hearing prior to their recent meeting for Local Law No. 1, 2014. This law is to override the tax levy limit for the 2015 budget, should it be necessary. No one present spoke about the proposed law, either in favor of it or against it, during the privilege of the floor. Board members unanimously voted for the override.
Under old business, Dennis Stornes reported that the Kennedy Free Library was still waiting for the state to give final approval of the plans for the new building. Until the plans are approved, the library project is at a standstill – they can’t even apply for a permit. Stornes said that Kennedy Free Library Board President Tim Mead would contact the state to find out when the project will be able to move forward.
Larry Mee stated that there had been no issues with the town hall building. No one had complained to him about water or dampness, so the new drainage system around the building seems to be working. Mee noted that Kennedy Pride had set Saturday, May 17, for the townwide clean-up day, from 9 a.m. to noon. Several area residents had been calling to find out when it would be scheduled. Brush and lawn debris will be picked up at the town hall, and other home trash may be brought to the Highway Department garage on Grubb Hill Road. No garbage, tires, appliances or hazardous waste will be accepted. Volunteers are encouraged to help clean up around the downtown and other local areas.
Dog Control Officer Brian King said that the rabies clinic had been promoted by various media, so he was hopeful that there would be a good turnout. If it goes well, a second clinic might be scheduled. He noted that an SPCA cruelty investigator has been working in the town on a couple of pit bulls. King said the dogs didn’t look in the best of shape. He also called in an ag and markets inspector to look at some horses.
Councilwoman Kathy Stanton reported on the Accessibility Committee. Bonding for the project has been completed by Town Attorney Paul Webb. The timeframe for construction could be a problem if it goes into the busy season of tax collection at the beginning of the year. Stanton said the timeframe given to her by the architect seemed to take longer than was first discussed, so she wanted to clarify with them how long it would take from request for bids to completion of the project.
Since there is still no definite date for the library to move to their new building, the town cannot give the architect a definite timeframe for beginning construction. Stanton also noted that the report on asbestos in the building had come back, and there was good news. Coverings on electrical wiring in the construction area did not contain asbestos and would not need abatement. Four windows have asbestos in their surrounding caulking, which was already known, and some asbestos was found in an exhaust duct covering. However, the ductwork was not in the construction area. Contractors would include an abatement plan in their bids.
DRY BROOK, AUDIT
Highway Superintendent Larry Mee reported that the state has been working on plans for repairing the blanket on Dry Brook Creek. He has heard from the engineer who will work on the project. The letter to send to residents along Dry Brook Creek has been given to Webb for legal approval. Copies will be sent to all property owners along the creek.
Supervisor Kelly Snow updated board members on the Corrective Action Plan for the state audit. She and Highway Superintendent Mee have discussed the results of the audit and the recommendations from the Comptroller’s Office to address the issues on fuel inventory controls. Snow stated that she was working on a letter to the State Comptroller’s Office and planned to have it ready to send shortly, even though they had 90 days to respond.
Councilman Terry Walker noted that plans needed to be finalized for the Memorial Day parade and the service at Riverside Cemetery. Roland Swanson, who will again act as Master of Ceremonies, has confirmed that James C. Johnson, currently the president and chief executive officer of the Robert H. Jackson Center, will serve as the speaker for the service of remembrance. Walker later noted that anyone who would like to participate in the parade and/or the remembrance could contact Town Clerk Bonita Wallace at 267-2912.
Town Assessor Dennis Stornes noted that the valuation for gas wells in the town would probably be going down again. This would have an effect on the budget planning.
Mee said that his department had been grooming the roads, sweeping the sand and salt off. The previous week they had used the bucket truck to do some tree trimming in the town. The upgrade has been done on the cellphones. They still have one truck equipped for plowing if necessary. Other vehicles are being prepared for summer, and paint and repairs are being done.
Zoning Officer George Gustafson noted that there has been an increase in building permits. A couple violations are being looked into, and one may end up in court. Code Officer Alan Gustafson reported that a variance had been granted for one local building that had been built under a permit for a different usage. There are still some issues with the structure, and he is working with all concerned on the matter. He noted that even though the variance was granted for the usage, the structure must comply with rules for the type of structure for which they are using it.
Snow informed the board that the liability insurance for the town was coming up in May. The agent should have information before the next board meeting about which company would have the best rates, and whether they should change carriers.
Cemetery Caretaker Alan Short’s report noted that spring clean-up work had begun in the cemeteries. Repair work had been done on the small tractor by Z & M Ag and Turf. The cost was $252. He said that he was still working on getting quotes for a new sign at Riverside Cemetery.
The next regular town of Poland Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 13, at 7 p.m. in the town hall. Snow will be available at 5:30 p.m. to meet with residents about any concerns. The public is encouraged to attend.