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Wales Town Board gives second chance for public to speak

The Wales Town Board this week voted to give residents a second opportunity to speak at the end of its meetings. The vote was unanimous and took effect immediately.

The request was made at the last work session by resident and environmentalist Dorothy Carlone to allow an informal, but active, citizens group to be allowed to speak at the end of each meeting along with other town organizations. Some board members hesitated then, claiming the opening at the beginning of each board meeting was ample opportunity for all to speak.

The informal environmental group has called for a ban on “fracking,” protested noise at the new National Fuel Compressor Station on Reiter Road and promoted renaming part of Hunters Creek as Mark Rademacher Memorial Park. Carlone said the group has no interest in becoming a formal organization.

The group’s recent work was to persuade the Town Board to consider getting the county to name the park as a critical environmental area. Board members Jude Hartrich and Donald Butcher are working on it and said that because it is a county park, it is up to County Executive Mark Poloncarcz, and “the ball is in their court.”

The group also wants a review of the current town laws on natural-gas well drilling to see if they need tweaking.

Although the board voted to include a second opportunity for residents to speak at the end of meetings, Supervisor Rickey Venditti pointed out that all the board members are available for anyone to contact with questions or concerns any time.

Venditti said he has heard from Ed D’Amico of National Fuel that the company ran a test at the end of March when the noise level was supposed to be at its highest, but the results have yet to be released.

In other action:

• The board voted to give Meals on Wheels a donation of $500 for 2013 from its account for the aging.

• There will be a public hearing May 14 prior to the board meeting on a request from owners of a house at 12288 Big Tree Road next to the general store who want a special-use permit to rent out space for professional offices.

That hearing will be followed by a hearing on the new farming code. Councilman Gerald Klinck said the new farm code “did quite a bit to make it easier for farmers with less than 10 acres. They will now need one permit, instead of a permit for each small parcel. The two-year renewal for a permit has also been eliminated, said Klinck, and a permit will run with the land. Venditti said the code will still be for the health, safety and welfare of hooved animals and livestock and their neighbors.

• The board voted to hire Superior Insulation for work at the Emery Road Memorial Building at a cost of $1,750.

• The board approved the purchase of a new John Deere tractor at a cost of $6,231.18 from D&A Turf of Alexander.

• It approved a new security system from Direct Security for town buildings.

• It authorized a donation of $100 to the Holland schools for a post-prom party.

The board held a public hearing prior to the meeting on a request from 7-Eleven on Olean Road in South Wales for a special-use permit.

No one spoke at the hearing, and the board voted to give the permit to 7-Eleven. There will be a new sign and some interior remodeling.

Historical Society President Deanna Zeigel said volunteers are needed for the Erie County Fair this August, and anyone interested can call George Hewley at 652-3524.

Venditti said he was going to ask the Town of Aurora if it would consider continuing dog control for the Town of Wales for the remainder of the calendar year instead of the 90 days provided by their agreement.

Aurora had said it does not want to continue doing any dog control for Wales because its Highway Department now is too busy. The two towns had entered into a three-year agreement for Aurora to pick up dogs for Wales at a cost of $3,000 a year.