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Pomfret plans meetings for budget preparation

FREDONIA – Budget preparation meetings for the Pomfret Town Board were approved at the meeting Wednesday in Town Hall.

Supervisor Donald R. Steger made plans to present his version of the 2016 budget on Sept. 30. A special meeting will be held at 5 p.m. that day for the first draft to be given to board members.

Among items that may change are fees for the Planning and Zoning boards.

Permit fees for wind towers and wind farms were among the proposed fee increases. Town Attorney Jeffrey G. Passafaro suggested further research and said the issues were brought before the board several years ago. He said he will research the most recent changes and report to the board next month.

“It is the belief of Zoning and Planning board members that we are not covering the costs of administering the applications and related costs,” Councilwoman Ann Eckman said.

In other matters, final business from the North End Water District project was reviewed with Lauren M. Glose, a representative of Wendel Engineering. Board members unanimously agreed to close out the project and settle the financing, which will be $4.9 million at no interest, as negotiated with state funding sources.

The new district receives water from the Village of Fredonia.

Steger said that 115 fire hydrants in the town will be flushed and checked for maintenance issues.

“This will be an expense that was not necessarily planned for,” the supervisor said. Town Highway Department Superintendent Daniel D. Bigelow said his department will work with Town of Portland crews and share the labor for the process of checking the hydrants.

Steger said that when board members review budgetary issues, they will have to consider if the maintenance is a water district or fire district expense.

In other business:

• Town Clerk Allison A. Dispense was elected district director of the New York State Town Clerks Association. She will be the liaison for District 10, including Chautauqua, Cattaraugus and Allegany counties. Board members congratulated her on the new post.

• Under his reports on highway matters, Bigelow said, “Our building is in desperate need of repair.” He requested approval for a facilities study at a cost not to exceed $3,900 to prioritize remodeling needs for the buildings on Chautauqua Road.

Councilman Brett M. Christy said he would support a study to project long-term costs, including utilities, drainage issues and possibly consolidating the buildings. Christy said he hoped the study would help board members consider budget issues. The work with the Clark Patterson Lee design firm was approved in a 4-1 vote. Steger voted against the request.

• Bigelow said Kelly and Hahn roads have been reopened after they were repaired from damage caused by the July flood. He said both roads were closed to traffic, except for neighborhood residents, until recently and are not complete but are “passable.” Work still needs to be done on Shumla Road, he said.