by Jay Lawson
The Town of Webb Board conducted an array of monthly business at its regular meeting held on Tuesday, March 8th in Old Forge.
Charles Bogardus submitted his resignation and finished his employment at the Town of Webb Department of Public Works on February 27. Supervisor Moore offered public thanks to Bogardus for his service to the town and wished him well in his future endeavors.
The Town of Webb resolved to enter into a Development Agreement with Smith Construction LLC, providing for the Smith’s completion of the roads, drainage system and utilities to be constructed at the Smith Heights subdivision.
Engineering plans have been prepared by Boulder Consultants and submitted to the Town Board.
If the project is not completed in accordance with the plans by August 1, 2016, Craig Smith of Smith Construction will provide the Town with a surety bond to insure the completion of the road, drainage and utility work.
Supervisor Robert Moore is authorized to sign the Develop-ment Agreement.
Last year the town entered into an agreement with Levi Lumber for a timber stand improvement on Town lands located on the back side of McCauley Mountain off Bisby Road.
Seventy-one hardwood logs were generated from the project and advertised for sale by bid.
One bid was received from Bailey Lumber in the amount of $4,161.
“Our forester, Steve Bick, reviewed the bid, that also included a non-collusive bidding certificate. Our forester recommends…the sale,” said Supervisor Robert Moore.
The Board approved the acceptance of the bid.
The Town of Webb Board took action to appoint a Constable for the Town of Webb in February, but a snag was encountered during the filing of necessary paperwork with Department of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS), according to Supervisor Moore.
A DCJS representative said a local law must be adopted creating a constabulary prior to the appointment of a Constable.
Town Attorney Richard Frye said he could find nothing in law requiring this, but that DCJS requirements must be adhered to regardless.
They are the lone legal authority, he said.
Prior to the adoption of any local law, a public hearing must be held. So the Board resolved to hold a public hearing to consider the adoption of Local Law No. 1 of 2016.
This would establish the position of Town Constable in the Town of Webb. It would also waive the residency requirement for the position.
The public meeting will be held on April 12, 2016, at 7 p.m.
In the meantime, the Constable designee will serve the Town of Webb Justice Court as a Temporary Court Attendant.
The Department of Public Works Superintendent conducted interviews and recommended that the Town Board consider appointing individuals to fill two open positions at the DPW, according to Robert Moore.
The recommended candidates were Scott Bush and Dana Pashley, both as full-time Mechanical Equipment Operators, effective March 14, 2016.
The Board approved those appointments from among a total of nine candidates.
A third position was available for an Assistant at the Town of Webb Wastewater Treatment Plant.
The Board deliberated extensively before appointing Alex Ross to the position.
Though Alex is the son of Councilman Mike Ross, the Councilman assured the public that he participated in none of the discussions on this position and recused himself from all votes relating to it, due to the obvious conflict of interest.
Code Enforcement Officer Andrew Getty will be preparing a major project application to the Adirondack Park Agency (APA).
This involves a proposed Water Tank Replacement at the top of Maple Ridge.
“The project has been under way for a couple of years, and we are gaining ground with every battle,” said Supervisor Robert Moore.
The application is to be submitted by Getty on or before April 8, Moore said.
The Board thanked Mr. Getty for preparing the application on the Town’s behalf, which will save money for the taxpayers.
“It’s a big commitment,” Councilman Ross said, referring to the work that would be required of Getty.
Councilman David Berkstres-ser said his meetings are continuing with Jay Vanderwalker of Herkimer County Emergency Services, regarding the Emergency Communications Tower proposed for the top of McCauley Mountain.
“We tried to get around a generic base diagram for the tower, and we can’t,” Berkstresser said. “So, we’re going to have to get a drilling rig up there to drill core samples.”
That will allow for the design of a proper base for the tower, he said.
Consequently, some rocks and such with have to be cleared on an old access road. This will allow an ascent of the drilling equipment.
Councilwoman Kate Russell asked if there was any place else, where this tower could be located.
Berkstresser said Bald Mountain was ruled out due to an unavailability of power.
A location in the Town of Inlet could not be utilized due to a requirement that the tower be located in Herkimer County.
The tower will ultimately be owned by Herkimer County, so it must be geographically located within the county.
Councilwoman Barbara Green reminded the Board of a need to address the Town’s employee sick leave policy.
That will be looked at in the future, Supervisor Moore said.
Regarding another matter, Councilwoman Green said has met with McCauley Mountain Manager, Steve Uzdavinis. She also met with Mike Farmer, head of the Town of Webb Publicity Department.
Green said she would like to facilitate a meeting between those department heads, and Councilwoman Russell, Councilman Ross and herself.
She would like to improve communication and coordination between those departments, she said.
Also, Councilwoman Green said she was interested in the organization of a community meeting in Eagle Bay, perhaps at the fire hall. This would help in gathering information about the needs of those residents, she said.
Councilwoman Kate Russell said she agrees with Green as to the need for a tighter sick leave policy for the Town.
She said this and other topics should be discussed in open meeting sessions and not through emails.
This is for a couple reasons, Russell said.
She wouldn’t want an email that needs an urgent response to go potentially unnoticed or unreceived.
“And I wouldn’t want there to be anything that really should be discussed in this board meeting room forum, that is done through email instead,” she said.
“And I wouldn’t want any board member to miss out on the opportunity of having a voice in that topic or issue, because they haven’t responded to the email.”
On another topic, Council-woman Russell commended Ron Johnston for the work he has done since becoming Police Chief.
She noted his many accomplishments in his first year in the Town of Webb.
“He has worked very hard and deserves the respect of that acknowledgement from all. There should only be praise placed on him for what he has done for the department, the officers and the town.
“Thank you, Chief Johnston, for staying the course, even though at times it may have been easier to toss in the towel. I commend him for his report tonight. I commend him for his awards that he presented to his officers… I think that was a very nice thing that he did for his officers,” Russell said.
Lastly, in honor of Women’s Day, which was observed on Tuesday, March 8, Council-woman Russell said she is proud to serve on the Town Board.
“In the wake of adversity, I must stay strong, follow the course, and stand tall. I am grateful to the many who have encouraged me to do so. On this day, I would also like to acknowledge, and say thank you to, the many good, upstanding, hardworking women of this community. It is the dedication of so many of you, that makes this such a wonderful community to live in. Happy Women’s Day,” she said.
Councilman Mike Ross updated the Board on the soccer field lighting project, which continues its progress regarding design, cost and financing. He will continue to coordinate with Superintendent of Schools, Rex Germer.