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Board praised for passing Right to Farm Law

The Erie County Farm Bureau can't say enough nice things about the Wales Town Board.

Passing a right-to-farm law tends to bring that kind of praise from the organization.

Fred Harrington, vice president of the bureau, appeared before the board Tuesday to give officials a certificate and a plaque, honoring the board for a move he said was both "far sighted and courageous."

Wales passed the Right to Farm Law in May to protect farmers against nuisance complaints by people unfamiliar with normal farm operations, such as slow-moving farm vehicles and odors from manure and animals. Farms covered under the new law include -- but are not limited to -- horse farms, dairy farms, greenhouses and vegetable farms.

"It takes a vision to take a stand in favor of open space and the farmers who help keep it that way," Harrington said.

Councilman Bud Bogucki said he had hoped 90-year-old Ernie Kuntz, a fourth-generation Wales farmer, would be at the meeting to hear Harrington's comments. Kuntz still does haying and chores for more than 30 cows with the help of his son Ken, but said he is too tired at the end of the day to do much more.

Supervisor Rickey Venditti said the board was pleased to do something to preserve the town's rural and agricultural heritage.

"It's a win-win situation for all and we get to keep our green space," he noted.

In other business:

* The board directed Town Attorney Ron Bennett to outline a description of a crawl space and its size and include it in a draft of new town codes for homes and manufactured homes.

Some board members said they thought the issue had been settled at a past meeting when members voted to require full basements for manufactured homes. But Bogucki said Building Inspector Walter Raichel thought a crawl space on a foundation would be strong enough and sufficient.

* Venditti said Wales will continue to support the Erie County Sheriff's Department as its sole source of police coverage, even though the Town of Aurora is willing to contract with smaller towns to provide their police coverage.

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