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Porter session short, but newsworthy

by jmaloni
Sat, Aug 13th 2011 01:50 am

by Terry Duffy

With pleasant weather on the outside and few residents inside, the Porter Town Board session was short in duration Monday at Town Hall. In stark contrast to July's heated session on the boating law controversy that had the meeting room overflowing, this one lasted well under an hour. But it did include productive discussion and some work done also.

Supervisor Mert Wiepert opened by announcing the town was still accepting comments on the boating law amendment. While some boaters were in attendance, none spoke, with all seemingly waiting to see what the next step by the town would be. None was to come, and Wiepert informed the "public hearing" phase would remain open; he invited residents to comment and attend next month's work session and board regular meeting for more.

Resident Ken Lawson of Youngstown-Lockport Road inquired on any conflict of interest regarding comments heard at last month's public hearing by Planning Board Chair George Spira, who spoke out against the boat law proposal, but Town Attorney Mike Dowd dispelled any concerns. "That wasn't a legal conflict of interest, it was his own opinion," said Dowd, who said Spira was not speaking for his board or the town on the boating issue. "This board will make that decision," said Dowd.

In other news of note:

•Wiepert reported on the newly formed Town of Porter Founders Day Celebration Committee, organized in preparation of Porter's 200th birthday celebrations planned for 2012. "They're a good committee; a lot of ideas were discussed," said Wiepert. Acting on input from the committee's first meeting held July 26, the town formally approved June 1-3, 2012, as Town of Porter Founders Day Weekend. Wiepert said the committee intends to meet periodically over coming months as preparations continue. New members are welcome; f or more information, contact Porter Town Hall at 745-3730.

•Town financial matters were briefly discussed. Wiepert reported that Supervisor's Assistant/Bookkeeper Norm Ault, who was absent that night, would be beginning the budget planning process this month. Wiepert was uncertain as to what impact, if any, the new state 2 percent property tax cap would have on town finances and the upcoming budget.

•The board approved spending up to $3,000 to address drainage problems affecting a Brentwood Drive property. Town Engineer Dave Brittan of CRS Associates said he was awaiting estimates from the contractor and forecasted the project would be in the $3,000 range, and would correct drainage problems for the Brentwood Drive residence and for up to three neighboring properties. "It will definitely drain it," said Brittan of the upcoming corrective measures.

•Wiepert reported the town Recreation Department's youth program, which is winding down, has had a successful summer overall. He said there were 346 children registered, and an average of 150 daily attended programs and field trips this summer. "It's worked well with no problems," said Wiepert.

•On a request from a Blairville Road resident concerned about speeding vehicles on the roadway, the board agreed to proceed with a request for the county highway department and state Department of Transportation to conduct a speed limit study. Speed limits range from 30 mph in the Church Street area in the Village of Youngstown, and increase to 55 mph when it becomes Blairville Road, which the resident felt was too abrupt and steep.

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