Jerusalem fills town planning board vacancy in split vote

John Christensen The Chronicle-Express

After five months of wrangling and dissension, the Jerusalem Town Board has appointed a new member to the town’s planning board. Paul Zorovich has been appointed for a 7-year term through December 2023 as recommended by the interview committee.

The vacancy attracted two applicants, Zorovich and Mark Catlin. However, Catlin’s application was dated after the Jan. 6 deadline. In February, board member Daryl Jones proposed a resolution appointing Zorovich to the post. 

Supervisor Patrick Killen proposed another resolution appointing Catlin, claiming Catlin has a family history in agriculture, which Killen would prefer when replacing Ed Pinneo as a representative for farmers on the board. Pinneo’s sevice ended Dec. 31, 2016 after 23 years.

Killen said it would be legal to consider a late application. Neither man was appointed in February, and the board voted 3 to 2 to re-advertise the post with the preference for a background in agriculture, with Jones and Max Parson dissenting.

At the town board meeting in May, with town board member Paul Andersen absent, a resolution to appoint the Zorovich recommended by the committee was defeated in a 2 to 2 tie.

This month, Jones’s motion was seconded by Anderson. Killen again stated that the committee’s recommendation did not meet the agricultural component desired. Jones called the question and the vote tallied: ayes - Jones, Anderson, and Gary Dinehart, nays — Killen and Max Parson. Killen then reiterated his statement of concern for an agricultural representative.

In other business:

• Water & Sewer: Town Engineer Ackart reported there was a water main break on Central Avenue June 20. Ray Stewart thanked the Fire Department for pumping out flooded basements, and claims have been submitted to the town’s insurance carrier.

The town will be undertaking a sewer rehabilitation project estimated at $172,500, along with a capital contribution of $50,000 toward the Village of Penn Yan’s improvements project.

The water system improvements project is estimated at $800,000 to replace water mains in Keuka Park and mixing units in the State Park water tank. 

The town will contract with Larson Engineers and financial consultant Bernard Donegan Inc. on these projects.