Friday, August 16, 2019

Dusty roads hot topic in Hope

Hope TB Aug 12 2019

Dusty roads hot topic in Hope
By Pete Klein
When the Hope Town Board met on August 12, resident Colin Hershey addressed the board with a concern regarding the condition of River Road. He stated his family has multiple residents at the location well known as Hearts Delight. They have been there since 1891. He went on to say the Pitbladdo family has always had a very good relationship with the community and Town of Hope. He said his family has watched almost all roads in the Town of Hope get paved, except the River Road. He said it is very dusty and the dust rolls in and covers their homes. He would like to know the cost to pave the road and if it is possible that it can be done.
Town Supervisor Steven Tomlinson stated the project is very expensive and funds are not available. Highway Superintendent Zachary Colson gave the breakdown of the cost quote he obtained. He states that cost to be estimated at almost $200,000 for about 1 mile of road. Councilperson Mark Stuart asked what the town could do and what has it done in the past for dust control. Colson stated he obtained Calcium from Hamilton County Highway Department and put that down today. He said this was normal practice in the past as well. He stated this should hold up for about one month.
Resident Allen Dunham asked if crushed stone would help. Councilperson John Stuart, Jr. added that the crushed stone, over the years, has broken down into the dust that is present today. Causes of this are raking, traffic and sunlight, all things that are present as part of normal road maintenance.
Resident Gladys Pitbladdo said the town board told her husband that they wanted to pave it a few years ago. She would like to know what has changed. She went on to add that the dust is bad for those with asthma. As far as maintenance, she said her family must go out and hand pick the stones off the lawn every spring from where the plow pushed them up into their yards. She stated that her family is willing to help with any grants if there are any available.
Supervisor Tomlinson and Superintendent Colson both explained that CHIPS money has decreased over the years and that just to pave a one mile stretch of road, would cost half of the town budget for a year. They went to talk about priority projects, such as a current emergent one on the River Road not too far from the Pitbladdo residence. There is a major washout and the town is working with Hamilton County to find a way to get the money for that project.
There was further discussion on this, and it ended with Supervisor Tomlinson telling the Pitbladdo family that he appreciates their presence and he has heard their concerns. He advises he really is trying to find a better solution to fix the River Road. He has some phone calls out and some people to talk with and he will keep them apprised as to the outcome of those further discussions.
Resident Ron Batcher asked who he must contact to get his address to appear correctly on GPS. After some tabletop discussion, he was advised to contact the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Department and the Postal Service. They may be able to further assist him.
Highway Superintendent Zachery Colson presented the board with his written reports as follows: “We paved the topcoat on the section of Creek Road that we did the full depth reclamation on last year.
“With the help of the county we ditched the whole Scribner Hill Road. Now we are going to put a couple of under drains in and grade the road to get the water to shed of properly. We have graded all the other roads.
“I rented a man lift and we will be using it to cut brush over the next month.
“I ordered the dumpster for the Transfer Station. We will be picking it up in a few weeks.
“We ordered all the new picnic tables for the pavilion and assembled them. They are in place for use now.”
Councilperson Mark Stuart asked if anyone talked to Tracey Eldredge regarding the Solid Waste Grant that will pay for half of the dumpster.
Supervisor Tomlinson stated he already did and has given him the Preliminary Copy of the bill.
Superintendent Colson also added that he had just found out that Northville Central School may need to use the field at the pavilion again this year. If so, more clay needs to put down and he said the Highway Department would help again. He just needs an answer from Leslie Ford. Councilperson Dianna Downing will reach out to her and find out what is going on and get an answer.
Code Enforcer Mike Stewart reported on the following: “I made multiple inspections at property owner Dennis Lynch’s of 860 NYS RTE 30 regarding trash, junk and junk vehicles. The property has made much progress toward substantial compliance. There remains an RV that was legal to have on the property but is being removed and has been pulled out of the woods for pickup and a pile of scrap metal that was collected and piled for pick up. The two converted buses there, are registered and therefore are allowed and there is one unlicensed vehicle that is permitted under the law. I expect completion of the clean up within two weeks.
“I have been continuing to talk with the Reffitt’s of 323 Hope Falls Road and am waiting to hear from their contractor regarding a ramp and bathroom modifications.
“I issued a permit to John Pertell for an addition and alterations being made at 639 NYS Rte. 30.
“I conducted a final inspection for a CO at Ron Batcher’s new house on
NYS Rte. 30 – a few items remain to be completed.
“I conducted a fire safety inspection at the Alpine Inn.
“I have been inspecting the foundation for the Vandenberg house on Rice Rd.”
Town Clerk Jill Dunham passed around a list of items needed for the upcoming 4th Annual Town Picnic and what she needs to be received by town board members. She handed Superintendent Colson about 100 Town Picnic flyers to hand out at the Transfer Station over the next few weeks. The picnic will take place on Sunday, September 15, 2019 from Noon until 4 PM. Ms. Dunham also advised that she will be collecting donations to raffle as prizes at the picnic this year. Donations can be dropped off at the town hall on Wednesday evenings.
Supervisor Tomlinson will be having a meeting with Fire Chief Peter Robinson on the building project. They have an engineering coming in. Once on paper, Supervisor Tomlinson will present it to the town board.
Jill Dunham stated that on Saturday August 10, she came to the town hall to do some work at 10:30 in the morning and found it wide open. The door was unlocked an open. The lights were all on and her office was unlocked and opened as well. After asking everyone present, she would like someone to ask if it was the judge or his court clerk and address the reason for concern as to why this can’t happen. There are cameras around the building, but no footage is available. The cameras stopped working after the last storm. Supervisor Tomlinson was aware of this and he will call someone to fix them.
Barbara Horton (formerly known as Barbara Wadsworth) called, inquiring if she can sell cemetery plots. Jill advised she could. Ms. Horton was given two plots (hers and her daughters) in a settlement of divorce. There were three plots in the original deed. However, all that is on record is a deed with no money transfer attached to a copy of the divorce decree stating that these two plots were to go to Ms. Horton. The town board advises that they are interested in buying these plots back and will do so by purchasing them for the price of today’s plot, which is
$100 per plot. Jill will reach out to Ms. Horton to advise her of this offer.
Supervisor Tomlinson states he has talked to Tracey Eldredge, Hamilton County Highway Superintendent, about how we increase CHIPS money. He states Tracey said they are willing to give back Bennett Road to the town. Superintendent Colson will look at the numbers with Supervisor Tomlinson as to if this would be a benefit to the town or not.
Supervisor Tomlinson handed out the 202 Budget Request Forms to all town board members. He stated that over the next two weeks he will be plugging numbers in for the 2020 budget to prepare for a public hearing.
Councilperson John Stuart Jr. – Councilperson John Stuart Jr. stated that he received a couple of compliments about the work done on Creek Road. Everyone that called said it looked nice. He also states he would like to see a Garden Club started. Town Clerk Jill Dunham will investigate starting one and see if she can interest from more folks in town.
Councilperson Dianna Downing asked if anyone knew if Hamilton County was going to fix the sides of the roads in Hope Falls. Superintendent Colson will see if the town guys can do it and then get reimbursed by the county.
Councilperson William Witts states everything is fine at the Recycling Center and Court.
Town Clerk Jill Dunham asked when the new Welcome to Hope signs would be coming.
Superintendent Colson states he is waiting for a response from NYS as to whether they can be placed where he would like to put them.

Editor’s note: This story is based upon meeting minutes provided by Town Clerk Jill Dunham.

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