Pomfret sets budget workshops, discusses water district hiccup

The Pomfret Town Board is ready to begin work on its 2014 budget.

During a recent meeting, the board established five budget workshops in anticipation for accepting the final budget at its next regular meeting in November.

Workshops are slated for today (which will solely be a review of the first draft), Monday, Oct. 29, 30 and Nov. 4, all at 6 p.m in the town hall. Each meeting will run for two hours at most.

“I encourage people to come to the budget workshops,” Councilman David Penharlow said. “We have little or no turnout for them usually and it’s really where the rubber meets the road. That’s a really good time for people to show up and give their views and opinions and comments, or at least be an observer in the process. That’s really the time to participate.”

A public hearing for the adoption of the final budget was also established. It will take place Nov. 6 at 6:15 p.m. in the town hall.

Also during the meeting, Supervisor Donald Steger read aloud an update from Wendel Engineering on the North End Water District, which stated Phase I is 82 percent complete.

“(They) just ran into a major issue on the Little Canadaway Creek bridge,” he said. “There was a gas main that was not properly delineated on the records. So, a temporary stop light was set up and there’s quite a groove cut in the bridge and they’re waiting for authorization from National Fuel to relocate that surprise gas main at a cost of $7,200 (to the town).”

Highway Superintendent Dan Bigelow reported to the board that the speed reduction for Concord Drive has been approved. The speed limit will be lowered to 40 miles per hour on that road. A petition to reduce the speed was given to the board in July.

The board approved Zon-ing Enforcement Officer James DeJoe to the Agricul-tural Plan Advisory Com-mittee, with a term expiring at the end of 2015. One seat has yet to be filled on the five-member committee.

Councilwoman Ann Eckman reported that contract negotiations with the village of Fredonia regarding the fire district are ongoing. The board previously expressed dissatisfaction with its share of costs associated with the Fredonia Fire Department at a July meeting, citing how it pays a third of the costs for less than 20 percent of the calls.

Eckman also reported that Fredonia would like Pomfret to begin contributing to costs for the Fredonia Police Department. The department, according to Steger, is authorized to respond to calls up to 500 yards outside village limits.

The next regular board meeting is Nov. 6 at 6:30 p.m. in the town hall. The board expects to renew the fire contract with Lily Dale then. A public hearing on the contract will take place at 6 p.m. prior to the meeting.

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