In a special meeting called last week, the Jerusalem Town Board gathered at 12:10 p.m. Friday, Aug. 2 to consider two items: scheduling a public hearing for a new law regulating commercial dog kennels, and to rescind last month’s resolution to purchase a gravel screener for the town’s gravel pit.
Supervisor Patrick Killen stated that the new kennel law had been drafted by the planning board and reviewed by the town attorney, so he called the special meeting in order to schedule a public hearing for the law.
Immediate objections were raised by the board members asking why they had not seen the law earlier, why comments and questions from the code enforcement officer, planning board members, and residents had not been forwarded to them, and why there is rush to enact the law.
Killen said a new kennel on Sutton Road is coming up for approval and he wanted the law in place before that time. He added that enacting a moratorium would take at least two months and he would prefer the law move forward.
It came to light the planning board had already approved the site plan for that kennel, with a limit of eight to 10 dogs.
The code officer has also forwarded his questions to the N.Y. State Dept. of Ag. and Markets regarding local inspections. No answer has yet been returned. Town board member Paul Anderson stated he would rather there be no commercial kennels in the town, saying there are two near his home and there are noise problems with those. “And you know that there are kennels out there we don’t even know about,” said Anderson, referring to a fire at an un-permitted kennel earlier this year.
In the end, with exasperation and barely contained tempers over the poor communication, plus unresolved questions on the proposed law, led to Killen’s motion for the public hearing being defeated. The drafting of the law will continue until the next town board meeting Aug. 21
Last month, the board approved the purchase of a gravel screening machine for the town’s gravel pit at the cost of just under $200,000. However, Highway Superintendent Rob Martin said he had received incorrect information on one of the quotes, pertaining to the extended warrantee pricing. After conferring with the Association of Towns and the town attorney, they all recommended the resolution on the purchase be rescinded, and the purchase go out to bid.
The screener will allow the town to use all the resources of the pit without purchasing and hauling screened material from other pits or renting a screener. The purchase is covered under the equipment fund.