by Terry Duffy
Porter Town Board members for the most part held a low-key session on May 10, one that was absent complaints from residents, but also one that had some news.
Drainage and energy were among the items of interest, as the board had updates on both.
Tim Lockhart, administrator of the Town of Lewiston Water Pollution Control Center who also serves as storm water management officer for Lewiston and Porter, delivered the town's annual storm water update to board members. In it, he said Porter can look forward to new monitoring expenses, as changes in state mandates mean the town will be expanding its oversight of outfalls. "They're expanding 10-fold," said Lockhart, calling the change an unfunded mandate and said it results from the state expanding the permit area outward to the town's municipal boundaries. Porter will now be charged with conducting surveys from Youngstown to Wilson.
It means the town will be required to keep greater track of such concerns as drainage ditches, including those from other municipalities, surface area discharges, and discharges from sewers. In its monitoring, the town will also have to determine the extent of drainage problems and any sources of pollution, Lockhart said.
"It depends on what's discovered, what is the source of the pollution," he said, telling board members the onus on solving any problems will be on the permittee (the town) to find and correct it.
New area boundaries are expected to be in effect as of June 1, as a limited commentary period concluded this week. Draft reviews of the document on any changes are expected to take three years. Lockhart said.
In energy news, there was discussion on the town's windmill project proposals. Council member Jeff Fleckenstein inquired on the status of NYCERDA grants following news at a recent session of Porter being approved to address the estimated $350,000 projects eyed for the town highway garage and at Town Hall. Supervisor Mert Wiepert questioned potential kilowatt-hour capacities - 10 kwh verses 20 kwh - what was more practical and efficient and the number of towers, one or two. Fleckenstein said NYCERDA favored the two-10 kwh tower setup and said it was in the town's interest to consider that. Discussion on bidding closed the matter and no action was taken.