G’town taps Kukon for vacant board seat

GERMANTOWN—Without fanfare, the Germantown Town Board appointed John Kukon to a seat on the board through December. He replaces Matthew Phelan, who resigned in March.

Mr. Kukon did not attend the April 18 meeting and could not be reached for comment before press deadline. He is a principal in Kukon Brothers, LLC, a family-owned hay and grain farm on Route 9, and a member of the Comprehensive Plan Review Committee.

In other business, the board:

• Approved an upgrade to the town’s wastewater treatment plant, not to exceed $2.5 million, after a Public Hearing of 45 minutes. During the hearing, Mary Beth Bianconi, senior project manager of Delaware Engineering, reviewed the need for renovating—not replacing—the 20-year-old plant.

In answer to residents’ questions, she said that only buildings on the sewer system pay for it. The current cost is an average of $734 per year, which includes the current debt service and operation of the plant. The current debt service will be paid for before the new bond debt starts. The average annual fee is estimated to increase to $798 following the renovation. This is an average; when resident Martin Overington said that his annual bill is $600, he was told that it would increase by a percentage, not to $798

• Adopted the revised Local Junk Law, which is more forgiving for first-time offenders. The exact language of the law can be found on the town website, germantownny.org

• Set a public hearing for Tuesday, May 16 at 6:30 p.m. for comment on a proposed commercial event law. The draft text of Local Law 2 of 2017, amending the town zoning law to regulate commercial event venues, is on the town website. After the public hearing, the proposed law will go to the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals. The town’s commercial event law is “vague,” said Supervisor Joel Craig, and needs clarification. “Livingston just grappled with this about six months ago and came up with a law,” he said. “The law we have drafted is based on theirs”

• Approved the extension of the Planit Main Street contract through June 1. Alan J. Sorenson of Planit has been advising the Comprehensive Plan Review Committee with its update. This process has taken longer than estimated, said Mr. Craig, resulting in Mr. Sorenson working beyond his original contract. The committee, which meets the third Thursday of the month, has two more public meetings and the June 1 community meeting on the plan. The project should be finished then, unless there are still changes to make in response to public input

• Appointed George Atwell chairman of the Board of Assessment Review

• Appointed Randy Phelan to the Zoning Board of Appeals to fill the seat of Charles Abraham, who had resigned at a special meeting on March 9. The board thanked Mr. Abraham for his service

• Approved the Highway Department going to summer hours beginning May 1. This consists of four 10-hour days, through Labor Day

• Extended by two weeks the request for bids to install seven streetlights in the hamlet, since no bids had been received. Streetlights have been purchased, bases and anchor bolts installed and a conduit run. Bids are due May 2. Details are on the town website

• Approved the hiring of specific counselors for Camp Palatine and an increase in tuition for the six-week camp, July 10 to August 18. Residents will pay $100 per child, non-residents $150 this summer. “But we have never turned a kid away,” said Mr. Craig. Camp sign-ups are at Town Hall two Saturdays, June 3 and 17, with June 17 the deadline. Details will be on the town website

• Announced a plethora of spring events: the Roe Jan Boat Club’s Canoe Race, Saturday, April 29, which benefits the American Cancer Society (518 398-1054); the 20th annual Riversweep, Saturday, May 6 from 9 a.m. to noon (meet at Lasher Park, have boots and gloves; a snack is provided, and a ride back to the starting point); yard sale day Saturday, May 20 throughout town, including a garden club plant sale and a book sale at the Germantown Library; and Grievance Day Tuesday, May 23 , about which Mr. Craig said, “We encourage you to do your research before you come in.”

The next Town Board meeting is Tuesday, May 16 at 7 p.m., preceded by the public hearing at 6:30 p.m.

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