G’town super grilled on plan committee names

GERMANTOWN—“I was hoping that tonight’s agenda would include appointments to the Comprehensive Plan Committee,” said resident Kay Abraham during the public comment period of the March 22 Town Board meeting.

Another month had gone by, Ms. Abraham observed, without appointments to a committee that residents had requested six months ago to review and possibly revise the plan. Such a committee was promised once the new Town Board was in place, but three months later, it still hasn’t happened.

“There must be people who have asked to be on it,” said Ms. Abraham.

Supervisor Joel Craig agreed, “Yes, we have a certain number of names.”

“Maybe you don’t love everyone who’s volunteered, but you’ll have a committee chair, said Ms. Abraham. “Just bite the bullet.”

Trying to find the right person to lead the committee was part of the delay, Mr. Craig said Monday. “People have volunteered to serve, but we still need a leader.”

Some of the people who had served in writing the original, 2007 plan were asked to “step up, but they didn’t want to,” he added. Finding “balance” on the committee was also a problem, he acknowledged.

In other business, the board:

• Passed unanimously Local Law #1, “for defense and indemnification of employees and officials” of the town. Introducing the law at the Public Hearing that preceded the meeting, Mr. Craig described it as a “carbon copy of the state law, which covers elected and appointed officials in town as they go about their town duties.” Resident Joseph Guido expressed concern about the insurance policy, which he said seemed to have “a lot of loopholes.”

Mr. Craig said that he had asked the town’s insurance carrier to look through the policy and make sure it was “up to best practices”

• Approved unanimously spending up to $8,000, contingent on multiple bids, for 40 tons of clay and 90 yards of topsoil for the baseball fields at Palatine Park. Highway Superintendent Richard Jennings has promised donated material and staff time to prepare the fields. “By mid April we’ll have seed down, and kids will be playing on the field by the end of April, said Councilman Matthew Phelan, who is overseeing the project

• Announced that Palatine Park Road from Route 9G to the Germantown Library (31 Palatine) has been excavated for installation of sidewalks, a town project that has been pending for at least 10 years. “Tomorrow [March 23] is the first regular construction meeting. It’s for real!” said Mr. Craig.

In a related matter Main Street will eventually be closed for sidewalk installation, “hopefully after the July 4 celebration,” said Mr. Craig. By Monday, however plans had changed, and Mr. Craig was looking to have sidewalk construction in the hamlet completed before Memorial Day, of this year, because of concerns expressed by hamlet merchants.

After Memorial Day business traditionally “picks up” in the hamlet, Mr. Craig noted, and hamlet merchants and residents did not want major construction going on then

• Authorized unanimously Supervisor Craig to request a grant from the state Local Government Efficiency Program for a study of how the town’s highway and sewer services could be consolidated with other municipalities or otherwise made more efficient. The grant money is available, said Mr. Craig, and “this year our tax cap is about 0, so we’re looking for efficiencies.” Germantown’s property tax levy cap as computed by the state is 0.73%

• Approved unanimously seeking proposals for waterfront recreational activities concessions. The full request for proposals is on the town website, germantownny.org. With a due date of Monday, April 11 the goal is assessing interest and having proposals to discuss at the April 26 Town Board meeting.

• Noted upcoming programs and events: NYSERDA/Citizens’ Climate Lobby presentation, Sunday, April 24 at 4 p.m., check the town website for details; town-wide yard sale, plant sale and book signing by Billy Shannon Saturday, May 14; Camp Palatine dates July 11 through August 19 with signups at Town Hall June 4 and 25 from 9 a.m. to noon

• The Planning Board meets Thursday, March 31 at 7 p.m. in Town Hall for continuing review of the Dollar General retail store proposed for Route 9G just north of County Route 8/Main Street. On the agenda are a review of a revised site plan and revised full Environmental Assessment Form, among others. Dollar General application background documents are on the town website.

All board members and a dozen residents attended the meeting.

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