Grafton Town Board Action – June 2010
by Erin Hogan
At the Grafton Town Board meeting in June, Highway Superintendent Herb Hasbrouck reported on a project that the Highway Department has been working hard on for a long time. This project is an Emergency Management Program, a program that has been approved and accepted by the County. At the heart of the program is a radio communication system that connects every highway superintendent in Rensselaer County. Grafton now has an opportunity to get an emergency radio communication device so in case of emergency, or if the Town needs to communicate with other towns or with the County Highway Department, they can. The only catch is that if the Town buys the radio it must be purchased directly from the County and be programmed by the County as well. If the radio is misused then it will immediately be turned off by the County. This way instead of having to go through many people to get a hold of who the highway department needs, they can get direct contact. It is estimated that the communication device will cost $2,300. Town Supervisor Allison Kirchner said that the Board would have to look at the budget to see if there are funds available.
Grafton Building Inspector and Code Enforcement Officer Tom Withcuskey reported that there were six building permits year to date, two new houses and one house taken down voluntarily on Cranberry Pond Road. Also, Withcuskey wanted to thank the townspeople for doing such a great job removing the junk cars on their property.
Supervisor Kirchner reported that Noelle Goyer is working really hard as the new Youth Director. So far she has scheduled a dance on August 20 as a welcome back dance before school. Kirchner is very excited to get the program back to where it used to be.
The Rescue Squad reported that there was a total of 12 calls this month. There was 60.2 hours put in this month and 24 training hours. The Rescue Squad traveled a total of 309 miles this month.
Helen Hemendinger was recognized at this meeting for her wonderful achievement of getting the PTA’s Founders Day award from the Hoosick Falls PTA. This is an award that recognizes “someone who carries on the tradition of making an outstanding contribution to the well being of children and youth.” Not only did she get the award, she got $100 to benefit a youth program of her choice. Supervisor Kirchner was very pleased that she got this award.
The Board announced that they faxed a letter of intent to Van Bortal Ford of Rochester, NY, about purchasing a 2011 pickup truck from them. The price for the truck will be $24,141.95.
Planting A Baby Oak
Gordon Gundrum wrote the Board this month with a green request. It came to his attention that the oak tree outside the Grafton Senior Center is dying. He wanted to ask the Board if it was possible to plant a baby oak tree behind the dying oak tree at the Senior Center. The Board had no objections, so the new life will be planted.
Resolution 46 was passed revising the budget. The Highway fund was increased by $4,500 in the brush and weeds department and decreased by $4,500 in the permanent improvement section
A Big Thanks
During public comment time Dale Crandall from the VFW #6340 thanked the Board and Town Clerk Sue Putnam for replacing the flags in the cemetery that were missing. Putnam said that he was very welcome.
Public With A Voice
Also during public comment Doug LaRocque asked about Town Justice Dennis McGurn and why he wasn’t working. Supervisor Kirchner said that it wasn’t the Board’s place to discuss Judge McGurn’s personal business and only said that she doesn’t even know completely what is going on with the Justice’s suspension. According to Sue Putnam, the Board hadn’t received anything official about McGurn’s suspension and that very little is known about the whole situation.
Next LaRocque wanted to know where the minutes were available for the public to read. Supervisor Kirchner told him that they are posted in the Town Hall and could be posted online if that’s what he wished. Also, if you contact Town Clerk Sue Putnam, you can get a copy. Kirchner said that the minutes are not available until after they have been approved at the following month’s meeting.
Lastly, LaRocque wanted to discuss the agenda of the Town meetings. In his opinion, the public comment should come before everything in the meeting as opposed to after. He commended the Board on being so flexible when, several years ago, they moved the public comment from the beginning to the end of the meeting. But LaRocque made it clear that it made logical sense to be able to speak before anything on the agenda was passed. He thinks it is nonsense to not be able to speak until after items are passed. Supervisor Kirchner didn’t seem enthusiastic about changing it back. This item was tabled.
Nancy LaRocque wondered if the Board could look into getting a grant for the Emergency Management radio that Hasbrouck suggested getting. Supervisor Kirchner completely agreed about grants. She said if anyone knows of any grants for anything to let her know. She explained that it is hard to get grants in this economic environment but she tries when the opportunity arises.