Dresden passes two local laws for code enforcement

Staff Writer
The Chronicle Express

The May meeting of the Dresden Village Board began with three public hearings. Two local laws involving codes and the third allowing public input on the 2008-2009 village budget were presented.

Mayor Roger Wadsworth thanked the eight members of the audience for attending.  He said it was the first time he could remember that members of the public had showed up for a budget hearing. Although some questions were asked about the budget, most audience members were more concerned about the code enforcement laws.

Those in attendance came mostly from the same neighborhood and they wanted to know if the proposed laws  would help speed up work on a house in their neighborhood. 

The house they were referring to, on Cornelia Street, was badly damaged in a fire on New Year’s Eve 2007.  The neighbors are concerned by yard maintenance, safety and appearance of the property.

Wadsworth told the audience the two local laws would give the building and code enforcement officer and the village authority to act on these situations.

The first local law dealing with unsafe buildings, “which does provide for the safety, health protection and general welfare of persons and property in the Village of Dresden by requiring that unsafe buildings be repaired or demolished and removed,” would cover the house in question.

The second local law is based on the New York State Uniform Fire Prevention and Building Code Act.  Each municipality was required to pass this law on an individual basis. 

Wadsworth explained that area code enforcement officers also worked on the law to standardize the codes.  “By enacting a uniform law, everyone will be on the same page,” Wadsworth said.

During the budget hearing, Wadsworth and Trustee Loujane Johns answered questions mostly about rising costs of fuel, benefits and highway maintenance. 

Wadswoth explained how the budget was calculated and reported that there would be a 7 percent increase on tax bills.  A recent re-assessment will determine if bills go up or down. 

Wadsworth also talked about the water budget. He explained that the village has a 6 percent obligation in the water treatment plant in Penn Yan. 

The plant is slated to undergo some major repairs in the future, so Dresden is earmarking some money in the budget to cover their portion of the cost. 

Wadsworth said water rates will remain the same for the coming year, however the board is looking at some changes in connection fees.

The hearings were closed and later in the meeting all three matters were approved by the board.  Trustee Ron Merritt was absent from the meeting.

Other business on the board’s agenda included:

FIRE DEPARTMENT: The board approved the new slate of officers for the Dresden Fire Department as follows: Chief, Charles Leach; First Asst., Warren Zimmerman; Second Asst., Howard Leach;  Third Asst., John Stryker;  Captain, David Parkhurst; Lieutenant, Dan Egburtson; First Asst., Brian Ellis; Second Asst., Nick Sexton; President, James Johns; Secretary, Joyce Stryker; Treasurer, Dick Mashewski; Parade Captain, Joyce Stryker; Trustees, Burge Morris, Bill Updike and Ken Shaner.

Loujane Johns asked the board to recognize the many years of service given by out-going Chief Ted Cox and Assistant Chief Ken Shaner.

Leach said 14 Dresden members are taking the pump operators course using the new pumper.  Foam training and hazmat courses will also take place at the firehouse in the upcoming months.

Zimmerman reported the department answered 10 calls in March including: three fire calls  and three EMS in the Town of Torrey and one fire call and three EMS in the village.

DPW:  Highway Superintendent John Stryker reported the department had tried picking up leaves with the machine, but had problems with the machine clogging due to branches and miscellaneous objects being raked into the piles. 

Stryker and employee Brian Ellis attended a meeting sponsored by Cornell about signs.  New state regulations will require all street and road signs to be more highly reflective by 2012.  Stryker said all future signs to be purchased should meet these requirements.

An inspector did a preliminary review of the new ADA meeting room addition and pointed out some minor corrections. 

One requirement is that the parking area must have a designated marked  space for the handicapped.

TREES: Clerk Terry Dilts was given approval to apply for a DEC grant for trees in the village.

MEMBERSHIP: The board voted to become a member of the New York State Conference of Mayors and Municipal Officials (NYCOM) for the coming year. 

The agency offers legislative advocacy, training and informational material.