Living In A Camping Trailer Year-Round Has Some Residents Of Bly Hollow Road Concerned
By Doug La Rocque
At the public comment session of last Thursday night’s Berlin Town Board meeting, Brenda Saunders and her son Kevin brought to the Board’s attention that someone has been living in a camping trailer at 242 Bly Hollow Road for what Kevin said has been more than a year.[private] He said during the past week, a second camper has appeared, and there is no sewage or water on the site, and they are running a very loud generator day and night.
Berlin Codes Enforcement Officer Allan Yerton said he is very aware of the situation, as is the County Health Department, and they are working on it. Saunders said he thinks the year-old occupancy is a violation of Berlin Land Use or Zoning Laws. Yerton replied, “there are no concrete regulations in the Town of Berlin that prohibit such use” of a non-permanent structure. He confirmed that sewage is not allowed to be dumped on the ground, and creating a disturbance, such as the aforementioned generator, is prohibited He assured the Saunders it is an ongoing concern, but that “unfortunately, these things take time to resolve.”
Changing The Land Use Regulations Is Not Easy
The Saunders asked if Berlin could make changes to the land use and zoning to prohibit such use of camping trailers, but Planning Board Chairwoman Pam Gerstel explained the Board put forth a number of proposed changes in 2005, only to have all but wind generator and cell tower changes shot down at a public hearing. Town Board member Steve Riccardi reminded all that people choose to live in towns like Berlin, because “they enjoy their space,” and sometimes resist change. Board member Tara Fisher told the Saunders they were welcome to bring any proposed changes they would like to see enacted to the Board for consideration.
“We Found The Leak”
At May’s Town Board meeting, Water District #2 Commissioner Jim Winn reported there was a leak somewhere in the system, but that he was unable at that time to locate it. He told the Board, rest assured, it will show itself. A little more than a week ago, it did. Mr. Winn said a split pipe was found near the base of Green Hollow Road, and has since been repaired. He also said that with the help of NY Rural Water Assn, he has found a second leak near the bridge on Park Avenue. This leak he is holding off on until after school is out if possible, so any repairs or problems that might arise during these repairs, won’t negatively impact the Berlin Elementary School. Winn said the PFOA water filters have all been tested, the by-pass is installed, and the system is up and running.
Winn said his crew is doing their normal summer work, down one person due to an illness. He did remind the Board he needs a new roadside mower – the department’s current mower is no longer functional. He told the Board he has priced a new boom mower at $25,000. He also said he found a used mower with an extended arm and a brush hog head on it at Capital Tractor for $5,200. Winn said he has looked it over, and it appears to be in good shape, but assured the Board he would not buy it until he had a chance to try it out. The Board voted unanimously to allow the Highway Superintendent to purchase the mover if it meets with his satisfaction.
Working On The Landfill And PFOA
Town Supervisor Rob Jaeger said he and Councilman Riccardi held a joint meeting with officials from Petersburgh, the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation and Kevin Young, the environmental attorney representing both towns. The meeting dealt with the landfill concerns as well as the water systems of both towns. Jaeger said DEC has come up with a formal document of more than 2,300 pages of their findings. Jaeger said the document is being reviewed by their attorney, and that is all they can say about it publicly at this time.
A Second Rabies Clinic is Scheduled
Dog Control Officer Doug Goodermote asked for and received permission to hold another Rabies Clinic at the Municipal Complex on Monday, June 26 at 7 pm. The cost again is ten dollars for dogs and cats. Goodermote also praised Berlin Town Justice Thomas Carr for helping to rescue a stray dog along Route 22, and reminded the Board the kennel contract to board animals is up for renewal.
In other Committee reports, Codes Enforcement Officer Yerton said work is progressing on the new Dollar General Store on the north side of the village, and that they hope to have the store open sometime in August. The Zoning Board of Appeals also said they will meet later this month to consider Dollar General’s request for a sign that is larger than current restrictions permit.
Youth Commissioner Tammy Osterhout said that the Summer Swim Program will be held in July this year at Hoosick Falls Pool. She said more information about the program will be forthcoming as soon as the specific dates are set. She is also considering changes to the Summer Recreation program, that would include afternoon or evening programs, instead of just in the mornings. She also indicated these could be family oriented, and not just for children. The Planning Board is still looking for a full-time member and Town Historian Sharon Klein is looking for some help to open the new Historical Center on a regular basis. Presently it is open by appointment.
The Transfer Station reminds all you must now have your new permits, and that they did experience an electrical problem that has since been resolved.
The Town Board plans to meet shortly with the Assessors to go over some matters of concern, and they formally approved the audit of the Town Justice books. Town Clerk Anne Maxon reported a total of State, County and local revenues of $7,483.50 and non-local revenues of $1,337.50. The Board is next scheduled to meet in a workshop session on Thursday, June 22 at 7 pm. [/private]