Poland Receives $400,000 CHRIC Grant

KENNEDY – Town of Poland Supervisor Kelly Snow announced at the recent Town of Poland Board meeting that the town had been approved for another CHRIC grant recently.

An award of $400,000 has been given, for work on homes within the town. Anyone who would be interested in the program can contact the Town Clerk’s office for more information.

In a related matter, one resident, during the first privilege of the floor, told the board that she had been having issues with work done on her home two years ago, as part of the last CHRIC grant program in the town. She stated that a variety of problems have arisen, and she has not been able to get a satisfactory answer from CHRIC officials. The resident stated that she has had Town of Poland Code Enforcement Officer Alan Gustafson come out to her home, and he has agreed with her that there are problems which need to be addressed.

Snow stated that a representative from CHRIC would be coming to town the next day, because of the new grant, and she would discuss the matter with her at that time. The town of Poland is only the intermediary in such programs, and only knows of any issues when residents bring them to the board’s attention. The resident said that she planned to pursue the matter.

Under old business, Dennis Stornes reported that the state had supposedly approved the plans for the new library building, but that they still do not have the stamped plans returned. These are necessary to apply for any permits required. It is still hoped to have the building up within the next couple of months. Highway Superintendent Larry Mee stated that one of the hand railings in the entrance way of the town hall had become loose. This will be repaired. If the final plans for the accessibility project remain the same, this entrance will become secondary, possibly only for emergency situations.

Snow updated the board on the comprehensive plan. Lisa Schmidtfrerick-Miller from Small Town Planning Services talked with the Planning Board. She will be talking with other groups and residents about what people feel should be part of the future plans for the town of Poland. Council members Stevan Hatfield and Kathy Stanton agreed to be part of a steering committee for the Comprehensive Plan.

Gustafson said there were still issues with a property on Sprague Hill. Ownership of the property is in question, but Gustafson stated that the problem is getting worse. He will continue to pursue the matter.

Stanton reported on the Accessibility Committee. She stated that she contacted the architect about the timeline. He can’t start a real timeline until the library plans are confirmed. No one wants to have construction ongoing during tax collection season.

Mee told board members that he had heard nothing more on plans for work on Dry Brook Creek. Engineers for the project have been down to look at the site, but no definite timeframe for the work has been forthcoming.

Snow gave board members copies of the letter she sent to the State Comptroller’s office regarding the corrective action plan for the town. The town is now awaiting state approval for the plan. It has already been implemented.

Under new business, board members discussed the employee handbook. Snow told the board that she had met with Highway Department workers, and they had questions about the wording of several different portions of the handbook. Board members made some changes to the wording. It was also noted that the handbook applies to all town employees, but that the Highway Department contract would supercede anything in the handbook. Legal questions in the handbook will be brought to Town Attorney Paul Webb for his opinion.

Snow reported that cemetery caretaker Alan Short had gotten quotes for a new sign for Riverside Cemetery. Board members approved the purchase of the new sign. It will be ordered as soon as possible.

Maintenance for the new phone system was brought up. Snow informed the board about two different proposed contracts from the supplier. The first was a block of hours service agreement. Cost would be $950, and would give the town 10 hours at regular business hours to use over a one-year period. Moving of phones and other routine work would be covered. Snow said that this would save the town $380 for that 10 hours from regular service call prices that would be paid. Since the accessibility project will involve moving of lines and their phone systems, this was deemed to be a wise choice by board members. The second contract was maintenance for the phone system itself for one year for $204.16. This would cover many different scenarios should any phones fail. Board members approved both contracts.

Snow noted that the town liability insurance was due in May. The agency the town has been dealing with reported that the cost for the same policy with the same company, Trident, would increase 6 percent, to $19,747.10. The Association of Towns had asked the town to consider using New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal for their insurance. Quotes for this policy were significantly higher, and the agency stated that the current town insurance actually had better coverage for the lower cost. Board members agreed that they should stay with the current insurance carrier.

Mee gave board members a printout of all the activity of his department in the last month. He noted that the wireless carrier used by the town would provide a free service to notify residents in case of emergency. A representative will have to come to the town to set it up. Snow stated that Mee would have to sign the contract, since it is in his name.

County Legislator Ron Lemon updated the board on the legislature. He noted that the county landfill is looking to expand. Right now, they are just about breaking even. The county is making money from the methane plant. About $1 million was made from garbage taken to the landfill. Lemon stated that a motion was expected to be brought before the legislature for a windmill farm in the town of Charlotte area. He felt this could be a worthwhile project.

The next regular town of Poland Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, June 10, 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.