Pomfret board to consider zoning, planning boards’ attendance policy

Members of the town of Pomfret’s Zoning Board of Appeals and Planning Board may soon have a required amount of meetings to attend before they can be compensated for their services.

During a recent Pomfret Town Board meeting, the board set a date and time for a public hearing on the first proposed local law of 2014, which would bar ZBA and Planning Board members from missing more than three of their respective board’s duly-called meetings within any calendar year. The local law will also detail training requirements for board members and will apply to both regular and alternate members.

“My issue is people who consistently miss meetings, whether they’re consecutive or otherwise,” Councilwo-man Patricia Lynch Christina said.

It was Christina who brought up the issue of attendance at a previous board meeting.

“When your board has five or six meetings, and you miss more than half of them, … and when you have people come to one meeting, maybe, and then line up for their check in December, it’s pretty frustrating,” Christina continued.

“This (local law) gives us the authority to take action, but doesn’t require us to take action,” Supervisor Donald Steger added.

“Minimum training for all members and alternate members … shall be a minimum of four hours per calendar year,” an abstract of the local law, which appeared in the OBSERVER in a legal notice on Friday, stated. “Non-compliance with minimum requirements shall result in ineligibility for reappointment, and shall be a proper cause for removal.”

The public hearing will be held Jan. 8 at 6:15 p.m., which is 15 minutes before the town board’s regular monthly meeting.

Also during the meeting, the board approved a reimbursement of no more than $1,000 to the village of Fredonia for consultation services from its engineering firm for a proposed, permanent pump station in the town’s North End Water District. The Fredonia Village Board had requested Pomfret to pay for the consultation, which it desired in order to ensure Fredonia’s water system would not be subjected to problems from the pump station.

The village has yet to officially sign off on the pump station, which it must do since it would result in an alteration in the water district contract between Fredonia and Pomfret.

Highway Superintendent Dan Bigelow announced the passing lane on Route 60 between Eagle Street and Wilson Road was approved by the state, which will take care of the changes there.

Bigelow also announced the town has been reimbursed for $28,080 in Federal Emergency Management Agency funds as a result of the heavy storms in late June. The money was disbursed for labor and material expenses.

Bigelow also reported an old loader was sold at Auctions International for $39,900. The board approved the sale. A new loader has already been purchased for $147,000, which is “a very good price,” according to Bigelow.

The part-time, seasonal hires for the Fredonia-Pomfret Winter Recreation Program were approved. The hires are Stephen Dando, Steven Puglisi, David LeBarron and Benjamin Tatt, all of Fredonia. Dando will earn $10 per hour, while the latter three will earn minimum wage.

A resolution was approved that authorizes the town justices to seek a request for proposal for security to be provided by the village police force.

“There’s been concerns in the court over security coverage, whether there’s enough available,” Steger said. “All it is is a letter requesting a firm commitment to the cost of supplying an officer at certain limited times (in the courtroom). We currently have two court officers, but there’s been times when availability has been an issue.”

The board will convene for its year-end special meeting today at 3 p.m. in the town hall.

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