by Terry Duffy
An update on the status of a limited town acquisition of Harrison Lane from a private owner to allow for improved access for nearby neighbors was a discussion item at an otherwise very low-key Porter Town Board regular meeting earlier this month.
Under a scenario discussed with the town and affected neighbors, the town is considering handling the requested improvements by means of acquiring control of a private driveway access serving residents and doing the needed repairs involving drainage, paving, etc. Affected residents would in turn pick up the costs born to the town via their tax bills.
Town Attorney Mike Dowd advised resident Irene Putz, who inquired on the matter in public comments, that a design plan was being prepared and contacts made with the current owner. "We're at the point where once a map is finalized, we can notify the homeowners" regarding the project cost, impacts on property assessments, etc.
The town reported that planning by CRA Engineers was continuing with regards to improvements, what a finished job would look like, and the cost to property owners. A map plan would be issued, a public hearing conducted followed by the solicitation of bids and actual construction. An April timeframe was envisioned for more action.
In other news:
•The Town Board approved a resolution to appoint Kara Hibbard as deputy town clerk/registrar, grade level one, effective Dec. 9 at a rate of $14.30 per hour.
•The town reported that despite its expected closing in June, W.H. Stevenson Elementary School in Ransomville would again be used for the 2014 Porter Summer Recreation program. Details on the program are expected over coming months.
•Town Assessor Sue Driscoll reported that town property owners have until Dec. 31 to register for Basic STAR property tax exemptions. Registration can be done with the New York State Tax Department online at www.tax.ny.gov or by phone at 518-457-2036.
•Town Highway Superintendent Scott Hillman reported that winter parking restrictions are in place on all town roads now until April 1. For more information, visit www.townofporter.net.
•The Town Board will hold an end-of-year meeting Monday, Dec. 30, at 3 p.m., and set Thursday, Jan. 2, 2014, at 3 p.m. as its organizational meeting. Swearing-in ceremonies of town elected officials will occur prior to that session.