Peerless Street Bridge progress moving forward

BROCTON – Progress is continuing on getting a bridge replacement on Peerless Street in Brocton. Portland Town Council, lead agency for the bridge project, met recently for its monthly meeting and discussed the next steps in the process.

It was determined the bridge shall consist of a concrete structure in order to cost effectively and safely get all pieces of the intended structure to the site in the easiest manner possible.

Council members wish to see future meetings take place with village leaders, who will essentially be responsible for the roadway portion of the project.

The council resolved to authorize Town Supervisor Dan Schrantz to sign the necessary paperwork which will allow talks to begin with Army Corps of Engineers and DEC to begin reviewing plans.

Council members also officially threw in their support for NYS District 142 Assemblyman Michael Kearns efforts to make contact information on foreclosed properties transparent. Assemblyman Kearns is co-sponsoring bill number A00088 in order to make contact information reporting mandatory where foreclosed properties that blight neighborhoods in municipalities.

The town supervisor added, “This is an issue we’ve personally dealt with in the town; when someone just leaves and abandons a property, there’s no way to contact them. Our Code Enforcement and Zoning Officer Signe Rominger is often times left in limbo trying to access that information, and the intention for the property just hangs in the air. This would at least give you power to go after the bank.”

Councilman Gary Miller agreed.

“This is definitely something that would be beneficial to us,” stated Miller, before making the motion to offer the council’s support.

The councilmen also heard from Portland resident Dale Morse in regard to an estimated dwelling unit charge for water service in Water District Number 7. Although there are two structures on Morse’s property, one is deemed vacant and has subsequently removed from tax rolls. Morse now finds himself being charged for two units, even though one structure is vacant, used for storage and would have no reason to utilize tapped water service.

Morse contends that as the water district was being constructed, no one approached him to ask if both structures were occupied. He alleges project engineers assumed both dwellings were being occupied but never investigated to confirm that.

Understanding the position and frustration of the property owner, the town supervisor asked Loveland to investigate whether the charge can be credited back to the property owner as he was not made aware that he would be charged for two units.

The council also accepted the retirement of Town Court Clerk Kathy Cave at the meeting and resolved to appoint Lisa Gugino to Cave’s full-time position. The council authorized the appointment of Cave to Gugino’s present part-time position, which will commence March 4 and be compensated according to CSEA pay scale standards.

The council thanked Cave for her many years of qualified full-time service to the court, and noted she will be an expert addition to the part-time position, for which she will require no training.

Councilman Miller noted that he and Councilman Rick Manzella recently conducted a full audit of the Town Clerk and the Town Court Clerk’s records and found both offices to be in “very satisfactory condition.”

“All of these girls do a fine job of recordkeeping for the town and keep up on all requests received by their offices,” added Miller.

The council will be conducting audits of the Town Supervisor, the Tax Collector and the Assessor’s Office at a future date.

The council will meet again on March 13 at 7 p.m.