Berlin Completes Transfer Of The Watipi Building To The Taconic Valley American Legion, Pending Possible Referendum
By Doug La Rocque
Following a public hearing at which there were no speakers, the Berlin Town Board gave its unanimous blessing to Local Law # 1, which officially transfers the ownership of the one-time rail station to American Legion Post # 937.[private] The Legion approached the Town Board two months ago, and the Board, calling the maintenance and upkeep of the structure at 15 Railroad Ave. a continuing burden on the taxpayers of the Town, agreed to the transfer in lieu of a $500 annual gift to the Legion. Once the law is officially filed, it becomes subject to a permissive referendum if enough voters in the Town sign petitions requesting such. If not, the Legion will take possession of the building. Commander Chris Lecce said the plan is to refurbish the structure to use as their home and meeting place, as well as make it available to community groups for public gatherings.
There’s a Leak
Water District #2 Commissioner Jim Winn said he has noticed a drop in pressure in the water system, and believes there is a leak somewhere, but as of yet, he has not found it. He said he spent a good deal of time on Thursday, May 11 checking the entire system for signs of the leak, but to no avail. At this point, it seems to only be affecting one residence located above the reservoir. Winn said he is confident that the leak eventually will show itself so it can be addressed.
Winn said the carbon filters are now installed at the pump station. The filters cannot go on line however, until they receive clearance from the NY State and Rensselaer County Health Departments. The filters were installed by the NY State Department of Environmental Conservation at no cost to the town. The DEC has assured the Town it will take care of maintaining the filters also.
Supervisor Rob Jaeger said he had received from Petersburgh Supervisor Alan Webster a quote for mowing the Petersburgh/Berlin landfill of $1,300. Town Councilman Steve Riccardi said he looked into it, and all his estimates were much higher. The Board voted to accept the quote, which would cost Berlin $650, provided the proper insurance certificates were on file.
The TRACS Organization also made a presentation at the opening of the meeting, highlighting the work done by the Youth 2 Youth group in helping their peers deal with social pressures to use drugs, alcohol, and tobacco as well as self-esteem problems. As they have in previous presentations, they focused in on the success the group has had at Berlin Central School, taking it from the school with the highest rate of substance abuse in 2008, to the lowest now. The Board voted in their workshop session to fund two Berlin students trip to their annual Northeast Conference at a cost of $850. The contract calls for these students to also perform a day’s work for the town.
A Tail Of Two Towns
Dog Control Officer Doug Goodermote had quite a story to relate at this meeting. Goodermote received a call late one night recently about a dog stuck in a culvert pipe on the north end of the Town. He responded, but could not find the animal. He said he was about to pack it in, when he received a call alerting him that two state troopers were on their way to assist him.
A callback to the woman who placed the initial call indicated the dog was in a large culvert pipe running under Route 22, with about six inches of water running through it. One of the troopers said he would attempt to flush the animal out and Mr. Goodermote could catch him when he came out the other side. Instead, the dog tried to run past the trooper, who tried to grab him by the collar, only to get bitten on the hand.
They then decided to use Goodermote’s dog pole, and both troopers went into the culvert. The dog then lunged at the trooper with the pole, who jumped back, and the dog bit the other trooper as well.
The troopers then decided it was time to go to Samaritan Hospital for treatment and Berlin’s would-be dog catcher crawled back up the embankment to deal with the situation the next day, only to notice in the beam of his flashlight as he walked back, a sign that read “Welcome to Berlin.” Berlin’s Dog Control Officer had spent the better part of the night trying to catch a dog in Petersburgh. The dog was identified the next morning and returned to its owner. Neither trooper suffered serious injuries, and Goodermote said the next night he was called to go over to the Sand Lake Troopers barracks to sign a statement about the incident, stating neither trooper had any marks on them until they met the dog.
In other department reports, Building and Codes Enforcement Officer Allen Yerton said he expects concrete will be poured within the week for the foundation of the Dollar General store. He also reminded residents that fences do need permits in the Town, and must have the appropriate set back distance from the neighbor’s properties and from any roadway.
Youth Commissioner Tammy Osterhout said she is close to working out a deal with the Hoosick Pool to once again host the Berlin Summer Swim program and an alternative to the Arts and Recreation program, which was not well attended last summer.
The new Historical Center is on target for a Memorial Day weekend opening, and the Board discussed relocating the Town’s time capsule to that site as well.
The Zoning Board of Appeals indicates they have two proposals coming before them this month. The Planning Board is looking for a new member, as Chris Lecce has tendered his resignation to spend more time as the Legion’s Commander and the refurbishing of the Watipi Building.
The Town Board indicated it would like to have a meeting with the Town’s assessors and will work with them to set it up. Town Clerk Anne Maxon reported a total of $7,889 in local, county and state revenues, $1,180 in non local funds taken in. The Board went in to Executive Session for a legal matter, before returning to approve bills and adjourn the meeting. [/private]