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Meeting Includes Several Important Issues

Peru – A subdivision agreement, sidewalk construction, grant applications, water testing, zoning board issues, highway department budgeting and a report from County Legislator Peter Keenan highlighted the Peru Town Board’s June 27th meeting.

The proposed Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) between the Town of Peru and Buttonwood Subdivision developer Donald Swain has been sent to Swain for review. In return for deeding land to the town for a new sewage lift station, the MOU has a provision exempting Swain from including sidewalks in the next phase of his subdivision. Counselor Brandy McDonald asked town attorney Matt Favro what options Swain would have if the Peru Planing Board required sidewalks when the subdivision comes up for review. Favro responded, “He probably will sue the town.” The Planning Board has required sidewalks in at least one other development. The majority of board members believe that Swain’s subdivision does not need sidewalks because of its wider lots, his sidewalks would not connect to any existing sidewalks and the fact that his first phase did not include sidewalks.

Highway Superintendent Michael Farrell reported that he will be training his personnel on sidewalk construction. He has acquired forms, pins and dividers and needs a concrete vibrator. Town Clerk Kathy Flynn asked if this might be an area where Peru could share services with neighboring communities.

The town applied for a NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation $1,006,000 water-sewer grant. Assemblyman Billy Jones visited the sewer plant and submitted a letter supporting the application. Last year the grants were announced in August. An application for a State Revolving Funds Grant has also been prepared. Qualifying may require perfecting the recent household income survey. Upgrading the system has been estimated to cost just over $4 million.

An application has also been submitted for a $30,000 NYS Engineering Planning Grant for the preparation of an engineering evaluation of the wastewater treatment plant. It will include options for effluent disinfection. Notification of these grant awards is made in December.

The New York State Health Department has significantly increased the required water sampling for lead and copper content. Peru’s water department recently changed water disinfection chemicals to save money.  The increased testing will reduce those savings.

Matt Favro who serves as town, zoning and planning board attorney said he will be holding pre-meetings with the zoning board to inform them of his legal analysis and how to fit that analysis to the matter being considered. He also recommended that zoning board members attend a Town of Plattsburgh Zoning Board meeting to witness how that board functions.

Highway Superintendent Michael Farrell told the board that he recently attended a budgeting school. He said a few costs such as garage maintenance (approximately $50,000) have been allocated to his department; however, they should have been allocated to the town’s general fund account.

County Legislator Pete Keenan reported that county sales tax collections for FY 2017 are $400,000 above projections. Legislators are hopeful that air service can be established to Philadelphia. The Penn Air connection to Boston is extremely underutilized. It leaves too late to make many connections. Keenan said, “There have been weeks (not days) when Penn Air has had zero passengers.”

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