Jerusalem should begin to see progress on 54A in late 2010

Loujane Johns

There was a little laughter from the audience at the Dec. 17 town board meeting, when Jerusalem Town Supervisor Daryl Jones said he had an update from DOT engineers on work to be done on State Route 54A. 

Jones said he and Highway Superintendent Bob Payne had met with the engineers, who told them, “We haven’t forgotten you. “  The engineers went on to say, “You should see some minor progress by the fall of 2010.”

The deteriorating roadway has been the subject of discussion and protests for quite some time.  Town officials and residents have been appealing to the state to fix the road.  Letters and phone calls have been made to senators and congressmen in a effort to get something done.  At one point a large piece of loose road material was presented to an official.

Jones said they were told the state hopes to have the work completed in 2011.  Plans call for peeling off the black top, opening and filling joints then putting on a two and a half inch layer of asphalt.  He said some turning lanes may be taken out. 

The project is currently estimated at $6 million.  Construction will be from the Penn Yan water plant area to Sugar Creek.  Jones said, “Stand-by for further details, they’re coming slowly.”

REPORT: Jerusalem member of the Yates County Planning Board, Chuck Mitchell, gave the board an overview on how the county board reviews applications.  Councilman Neil Simmons asked, in light of recent correspondence the town had received on application timing, what could be done to speed the process up.  Mitchell told him that the deadlines were necessary to give the county board members time to review the applications prior to meeting.  He also said, especially in the case of more complicated applications, the town should encourage the applicant to attend the county meeting.  Mitchell said sometimes the board has questions and if the applicant or a representative is not there to explain, the application is sent back to the town.  This can delay  projects for another month.

HIGHWAY: Payne reported that he is pretty sure the CHIPS (Consolidated Highway Improvement Projects) money will be cut by the state.  “If they cut what others are saying, it could be $37,000 for Jerusalem.”  He said last year’s amount was an increase.  “We are fortunate to get what we can.  Nothing is set in stone.”  He added that with fuel costs going down, it should help his budget.

SCHOOL:  Members discussed the recent decision by the Penn Yan Central School Board to sell the Branchport School.  Councilman Ray Stewart said it might be a golden opportunity for the town to find a use for the building.  “Once it’s gone, it’s gone,” he said.

Town Engineer Wayne Ackart said he had contacted the school for information on the condition of the building.  He was told the school architect would be issuing a condition report to interested parties. 

PLANNING BOARD: Simmons announced that Bob Evans was re-appointed as chairman and Mary Coriale as vice- chairman of the planning board.  The board has reviewed two steep slopes applications since the new laws were adopted.

COPIER: Councilwoman Loretta Hopkins introduced a resolution to purchase an office coping machine for $2529.  In the past the town has leased a machine, buying the machine is less costly.  All members approved.

SUBDIVISON:  Tom Close reported the sub-division committee has met three times since the November meeting.  They are concentrating on definitions and ways of enforcing a proposed sub-division law.

POSITIONS: Two applicants for a position on the board of assessment review will be interviewed in January.

EXEMPTIONS:  A public hearing was held concerning a local law making changes to exemptions for veterans and senior citizens.  Similar laws have been approved throughout the county because adjustments had not been made in many years.  The law was voted on and approved by all members later in the meeting.

ZONING: A public hearing was held on changes to the zoning ordinance  in R-1 District in regards to home occupations, building height, set-backs for sheds and other set-backs and allowing one RV.  All members voted in approval.

FEES: A new fee schedule for the Branchport/Keuka Park Water District was approved. Ackart noted the schedule needs to be reviewed and approved every year with the budget.

WATER: Members voted to set-up a repair reserve fund for the water district.