B y Jaime Thomas
After a seemingly endless string of modifications and meeting, the town board finally approved a new subdivision law last week.
Despite numerous public hearings and a recent workshop between both the town board and planning board, Councilman Matt Rathbun was not happy enough with the regulations to approve them and was the lone board member who voted against the measure.
“I still have a few issues, but I’m not going to hammer on it anymore,” he said, before voting no.
On Friday, he explained that there are two minor aspects to the law that he doesn’t like.
“If I own 200 acres, and I want to split 5 acres out of it for my son, I have to survey it all—that’s very expensive. I’d be better off going out and buying him a separate piece of land,” Rathbun said. When he expressed his opinion about that to the planning board, members said they would waive a survey in such a situation.
“If they’re going to waive it all the time, why bother putting it in?” Rathbun asked. The other issue he took was with an automatic designation of major subdivision for houses built on certain right of ways, which he questioned.
Though he didn’t feel town officials answered his concerns to his satisfaction, he appreciated that there were many modifications.
“We did make a lot of changes, and I’m glad about that. It’s a lot better than it was,” he said.
Town Supervisor Matt Hicks was glad the regulations finally passed.
“I think it’s a good law,” he said. John Norton, a planning board member, said the planning board spent a lot of time on the law, which saw a lot of changes.
“The first few months of it is going to be difficult to get the public to recognize this, but we think it’s a good law,” Norton said.
Also during the meeting, Hicks discussed an idea he had that would help organize official business for members of the town board.
Jessica Hantsbarger, who serves as secretary to the planning board and also does other work for the town, will do work for the town board on an hourly basis.
Hicks wants her to create a four-drawer file for every member of the town board that would hold all the up-to-date paperwork and laws they might need to reference.
“So if one of us gets hit by a bus tomorrow, the next member of the board will have something to work off of,” Hicks said. He said it would be a one-time project, and Councilwoman Mary Emery will work with Hantsbarger.
Bridge, appointment, vaccinations
Paving began Friday on the Lower Turnpike Bridge, a project that has been in the work for months. Hicks said the contractors completing the project estimate it will be finished by the end of October, which is a month ahead of schedule.
The board also appointed Jeffrey Decker as deputy dog control officer, upon the request of current dog control officer Ray Boyea.
Boyea announced he currently has two dogs in his custody, if anyone is interested in adopting them. He described one as a Benji-looking dog and the other as a German shepard/ lab mix.
Upon Boyea’s suggestion, the board also approved a motion to allow him to ticket unvaccinated dogs he encounters.
“The clinics are free, what more do people want,” Boyea said.
The next regular town board meeting will be held Thursday, Nov. 14, at 7 p.m.