Milo hears good and bad news about Himrod water district

Loujane Johns

Before Himrod Water District 1A moves into the bidding stage, approvals have to be given from the New York State Department of Health (DOH) and Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).  Greg Cummings of Larson Design Group told the Milo Town board at its Dec. 15 meeting, “The good news is that DOH has given approval of the plan. The bad news is DEC has lost our application.” 

Cummings says a new application was quickly filed. He added that it is frustrating, because the information asked for on both agency applications is exactly the same. When he asked DEC for a time frame for approval, he was told 30 days. With the holidays, Cummings says this puts the bidding on a tight schedule.

Bids need to be out and opened by the end of January. He said Larson does not normally recommend going out for bid until all permits are in hand.

He also learned that an environmental notification has to be published for 15 consecutive days. He is waiting to receive a copy from DEC.

Two easements are still needed, but he felt confident they could be obtained. He asked to have a workshop meeting scheduled with the town.

Other business before the board:

• PUBLIC: Jonas Stoltzfus of Himrod came to ask the board questions about easements on his property for Himrod 1A.  He said he was told the easement would be 25 feet and he measures it at 29 feet. “I understand we are getting water and I’m glad, but it’s taking my property,“  he said.

He asked what would happen if he wanted to build a garage.  Cummings said some of the easements had been narrowed.

Stoltzfus wanted to know if it would cost more going under the railroad track.  Cummings said the railroad is very difficult to work with and yes, it would be more costly.

Councilman Earle Gleason said the town was trying to keep the project’s cost down.

Cummings said there were three options: redesign, eminent domain or to loop around.  He told Stoltfus if they looped around his property his water pressure and quality would not be as good because he is on the end of the line.

Stoltfus replied that he had just received the letter that day and needed a little time to think about it. Supervisor John Socha thanked him for coming to express his concerns and asked him to give the board an answer soon.

OUTDOOR FURNACES: A roll call vote to adopt a law on outdoor furnaces was unanimously defeated.  The law had been the subject of much discussion over the last several months. Bill Laffin, zoning board member, asked the board why it was turned down after so much work. Councilman Arden Sorensen said the 150 foot set-up was the issue. Socha asked Hallings to work with the committee and bring the law back to the board with as little change as possible. Changes will require another public hearing.

RECOGNITION:  Supervisor John Socha thanked the board, committees, Town Clerk Pat Christensen, Town Justice John Symonds, Highway Superintendent Phil Strong, Engineer Wayne Ackart and all other town employees for their hard work this year.  “The people in this town are fantastic,” he added.

HIGHWAY: The department has a new mower.

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN:  Councilman Dale Hallings reported the zoning consultants are compiling information gathered from a survey of Milo businesses and the community to be used in the comprehensive plan.  He said it is getting close to completion.

FEE: All members voted to adopt a 3 percent fee for tax transactions paid by credit card.

CONTRACTS:  Socha was authorized to sign fire contracts with Penn Yan and Himrod.

APPOINTMENT:  Peter Masia was reappointed to the Board of Assessment Review to serve until Sept. 30, 2013.

TESTING: Strong was authorized to sign a contract for DOT drug and alcohol testing with Occumed of Western New York,  since Finger Lakes Health is no longer providing this service.

AGREEMENT:  Socha was authorized to sign a service agreement with Ted Cox for grinder pumps. 

MEETING:  A year-end meeting for fund transfers and an organizational meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, Dec. 30 at 5:30 p.m.

WEBSITE:  An audience member inquired about the proposed town website. It was reported that someone had offered to work on the site at little or no cost to the town.

ENGINEER:  Wayne Ackart reported the first major saddle break in the past 11-12 months occurred at 4 a.m. on Dec.. 11, resulting in a loss of 170 gallons per minute.

This, he said was the third break under the emergency situation.

Five saddles have now been replaced in the East Lake Road District. Water Operator David Blauvelt told Ackart it was the worst corrosion he’s seen so far.