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Neighbor of Elma nursery property complains of drainage problems

A resident of Bullis Road near the property where Seasonal Nursery will be building told the Elma Town Board this week that ongoing water problems are getting so bad that he had to slosh through four inches of water in his driveway to get to his mail box.

Chuck Cicone of 1131 Bullis Road, who said his sump pump is working constantly, blamed the water on the lack of proper drainage from the nursery site. He said a pond has formed on the site and is overflowing the border Seasonal owner Bryan Young installed along the edges of his property in the fall.

Supervisor Dennis Powers said the drainage plan for Seasonal has not been finalized by the company's engineers and the engineering firm of Clark, Patterson and Lee hired by the town at Seasonal's expense has not filed a report with the board. Representatives of Clark, Patterson and Lee are expected to attend the next work session on Feb. 8.

Town officials agree that one source of the problem could be a ditch that begins about two miles east on Winspear Road that needs to be cleaned out, but Powers later said it is on private property and the town cannot go onto private property to clean out ditches or pipes.

Powers said one solution would be to form a drainage district and have the neighbors split the cost of cleaning the ditch, but that is subject to a permissive referendum requiring more than 50 percent of property owners to agree to it. Because of the distance, it is difficult to prove the source of the problem.

In other business, the board learned that Transit Commons, a large condo business complex under construction, has its first tenant, PayChoices, at 2711 Transit Road.

The Town issued a business use permit for Suite 123 to be used as a payroll service with four employees. The business currently is located in West Seneca.

The Planning Board reviewed a site plan by Building Solutions owner Todd Huber, who wants to have property behind his company on Seneca Street rezoned to allow him to build a 5,600-square-foot commercial building. The board set a public hearing for 7 p.m. Feb. 15 for the rezoning of six acres to be followed by a second hearing on extending the drainage district on Huber's land.

The board heard a request from Vicki DeFoe, the town's senior citizen director, for a new street light or lighted sign on or near the driveway of the center on Bowen Road. She said there is a lot of nighttime activity at the center, and drivers cannot see the driveway.

Building Inspector Joseph Colern gave his annual report for 2011. His department issued 304 building permits and collected fees of $176,140 on estimated construction of $39.3 million. Colern said 29 houses were built, including eight patio homes. He said the fees collected were $60,000 more than in 2010.

The town historical society's annual report submitted by President Marlene Baumgartner revealed membership had increased from 89 in 2008 to 220 in 2011. She said the saw mill dedication, fair display, Santa visit, extended museum hours, and the donation of an antique car were the highlights of the year.

This year the society plans to build a shelter, put up shutters on the museum building, update the old equipment display in the barn and build walkways around the museum complex. She thanked the board for its support and the dedicated volunteers that assist the society.

The board also approved an emergency disaster plan and a hazardous response plan for this year.