Funds may help property owners in Himrod water district

Loujane Johns

Milo Town Engineer Wayne Ackart had good news for people in the new Himrod Water District at the February 19 meeting of the Milo Town Board.  He said Keuka Housing Council will apply for a government grant to assist people who qualify, for connections or home upgrades to get the service.  Homeowners could receive up to $4500.

Ackart announced there will be two meetings for those in District 1A.  The first will be on Feb. 26 at the Milo Town Office at 7 p.m.  The second will be held at the Himrod Fire House on March 5 at 7 p.m.

Keuka Housing will explain the details at the meetings.  Ackart said the process will involve 100 percent participation by the residents. Everyone will have to apply and answer an income survey.  The income information will only be seen by KHC.  He said this is a great opportunity with no deductible or matched amounts.  But he also said the residents must move quickly and get forms filled out.

Also in connection with the Himrod Water, a public hearing was held to officially form the district and proceed with the engineering bid and construction. Supervisor John Socha told the audience the project is scheduled to be completed by Sept. 1, 2009. 

Only a few questions were raised from the audience. All members voted to approve.

Other business  discussed or acted on included:

• BOARDS:  A public hearing was held to discuss the elimination of a requirement for a common person on the Planning and ZBA Boards.  Socha explained  that in the past there would be one person who  held a seat on both boards.  The requirement will be  eliminated.  He added that  someone could sit on both boards if they chose.  All members voted in favor of the change.

• FENCES AND HEDGES:   A law pertaining to fences and hedges had previously been heard, but audience members had questioned some parts of the law.  The board changed two items pertaining to “temporary fences” such as snow fence and construction fence.  The law was referred back to the planning boardfor final draft. 

• GRINDER PUMPS:  Ackart told the board NYSEG has agreed to meet with them to talk about brownout problems which have led to the burnout of several grinder pumps in the last few months. Before the meeting NYSEG has asked for a detailed letter explaining the problem.

• SERVICE SADDLES:  Ackart reported there was a failure of two service saddles.  When they were dug up, it was discovered that they had disintegrated.  Harris Beach Law Firm investigated a law suit against the manufacturer, Smith Blair. 

Service saddles attach service to a water main.  Stainless steel was not used in the manufacture of the pieces, which caused the failure.  The board voted to declare Smith Blair harmless of liability for the problem in Water 1 in exchange for assistance in solving the corrosion problem. They are to identify and replace saddles at risk. There are 170 of these connections in Milo.

• HIGHWAY: Superintendent Phil Strong reported the town will receive $70,000 from the state CHIPS program.

• CODE ENFORCEMENT:  It was reported that former Code Enforcement Officer John Welsh agreed to do the public building inspections this year and has started that work.  New Code Enforcement Officer Dan King said he needs a new CO2 detector.  He said he was called to a possible leak in Himrod and the detector wasn’t working properly.  He also said more code inspector calls are being answered because of chimney fires and use of alternative fuels.

• WATER CHANGE:  Representatives from Larsen Engineering were present to ask for an engineering change in the Himrod  A1 system.  They said a required backwash leach field needs to be added at a cost not to exceed $5,000.  All members approved.

• KEUKA MAID:  The board agreed to pay one third of the charges for the Keuka Maid injunction.  The Village of Penn Yan and Yates County will share the bill.  When Milo started the injunction process they budgeted $2,000 for the cost.  The bill came to $15,000.  Milo will pay $5,066.

• ZBA:  Members approved a guideline for the ZBA to define jobs and what is expected.

• PARKING LOT:  Members authorized Yates County as lead agency for the demolition of property at 414 Liberty St. 

The county will then make it into a parking lot.  Members voted in favor with Councilman Carroll Graves voting against.