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BOARD AFFIRMS ITS REJECTION OF 'CAUTION' SIGN

Supervisor John Foss' request to the Marilla Town Board to reconsider last month's decision not to put up a "caution children" sign in a residential area near Winchester and Porterville roads was rejected, 4-1, Thursday.

Residents had requested the sign as part of an effort to deal with all-terrain vehicles and mini-bikes racing through their properties.

The board, in August, discussed putting up a sign but was discouraged by Town Attorney Nathan Neill, who said that, in his opinion, it could make the town liable.

Residents had petitioned the board to have the speed limit reduced and signs put up. The board voted against referring a request for a speed-limit reduction to the state Department of transportation because it didn't think it would be approved. The board, instead, asked the Planning Board for suggestions to deal with the ATVs.

At Thursday's meeting, the board learned that Councilman Earl Gingerich Jr. and Dan Handy, chairman of the Planning Board, both farmers, have had problems recently with ATV drivers on their farmland. Councilwoman Mary Giambra recommended the sheriff look into the matter and step up patrols in that area.

Foss said he wanted the board to reconsider because there were a few similar signs up in subdivisions in the town and that he had found that the town would be covered under its liability insurance policy.

Neill said the signs "create an expectation that someone will drive slowly."

Councilman Rich Ferber said his concern was it implies it's OK for children to play near or in the road in subdivisions. He said the answer is not signs but traffic enforcement.

Foss said he didn't have a problem with the board's decision but thought there would be "a problem because there are some signs up already, and it could cause some flack."

In a separate action, the board voted, 4-1, to take down three signs around town.

At a recent work session, the board received four suggestions from the Planning Board on controlling ATVs and minibikes on public and private property.

The board agreed to include an article in the next town newsletter summarizing the problem and noting that it is illegal to operate such vehicles on public roads and private property.

Suggestions to set up a system with the town clerk to accept phone calls reporting violations, sending letters to guardians or individuals regarding the violation and a referral to police after several complaints were turned down.

The board is continuing to investigate other options.

Town Engineer Michael Smith told the board that construction on the town's newest water district, District 4, should begin in October. Bids will be opened at 4 p.m. Sept. 24 in Town Hall.

Building Inspector Fred Specht reported that property located at 1886 Two Rod Road has been cleaned up and that the site is now for sale.

The board also:

Set 7:15 p.m. Oct. 14 for a public hearing on federal community development funds. Foss said any suggestions must meet specific criteria for low income.

Set 7:30 p.m. Sept. 21 for negotiations on the fire company contract.

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