Benton waits for housing project data

Loujane Johns

“The ball is in their court,” said Benton Town Assessor Mary Lilyea. 

Asked to give a report on a proposed housing project, St. Mark’s Villa, Lilyea said she has not received any of the required paperwork yet.

“We can’t proceed until the paperwork is done and checked.  Then there will be a lot of work to do.  It is not a simple process,” she told the Benton Town Board members at the August meeting.

The proposed development is to be located on Pre-Emption Road near the State Route 54 intersection. 

The $12.5 million project is planned for a 31-acre site with 48 one to two bedroom apartments and 30 one to two bedroom cottages or patio homes.

 Lilyea also told the board that state cuts are starting to come through.

She has learned that assessors will be getting less state money to administer the STAR exemptions. The town reimbursement for assessor training is also being reduced.  “This is just a taste of what is to come,” she said.

 In other business:

 •CLINIC:  Supervisor Bob Clark said he was very pleased with the turnout for the rabies clinic.  Receiving their shots were: 114 dogs, 34 cats and four parrots. He thanked the employees who helped out. Town Clerk Bobbi Wolfe said by being present at the clinic,  she was able to register quite a few dogs.  The county is already looking to hold another clinic at the Benton location.

• BUDGET: Clark said he would be working with bookkeeper Linda Johnson on the 2009 budget. He said the biggest impact will be in the insurance and fuel portions of the budget.

 •AUDIT: Clark asked if the members would like to have an audit done.  He said it has been almost five years since the last audit.  Town audits are not mandatory, but town justice audits need to be done and reported to the state yearly.  All members agreed to plan for a town audit in next year’s budget.

 •CEMETERY: A family has asked to “adopt” the Cronk Cemetery (Westwood) on Baldwin Road.  Clark consulted with Steve Stork on liability issues.

Stork said there is liability coverage but no town equipment should be used by the volunteers. Clark said the property will not be turned over to the family, they are just interested in caring for it.

 •COMMUNITY CENTER: A request from the Village of Penn Yan to be the lead agency for the Yates County Community Center was confirmed.

• SCHOOLHOUSE: Historian Eleanor Parker said the old schoolhouse on 14A will be open on Saturdays from 10-1 for tours.

 • HEARING: A public hearing for sub-division laws will be held at the Sept. 10 meeting.

 • HIGHWAY: Superintendent Jeff Mann reported the price of salt has already gone up 16 percent.

The town may have to chose between buying fuel and salt or fuel and sand this year, he said. 

Mann said in 2007 fuel went from $1.96 a gallon to $3.20 for a total of $26,000 for the year. 

This year it has gone from $3.15 to $4.59 and he has already spent $34,000 to date.  Hot top, according to Mann, was $78 a ton last week and went up $4 on Monday.