More Truck Issues For The Grafton Highway Department
By Doug La Rocque
Supervisor Ingrid Gundrum started off the June 12 Grafton Town Board meeting with the Highway Report.[private] Superintendent Herb Hasbrouck reported that the box on the 2004 large tandem truck is virtually beyond further repair and needs to be replaced. Hasbrouck said because of the money involved for such a replacement, he is willing to forgo the purchase of a new pickup, to purchase a stainless steel box that will last 10 to 12 years, probably longer than the cab and chassis of the truck they wish to install it on. Hasbrouck was authorized by the Town Board at last month’s workshop to seek bids to replace the 2009 Ford, which is also in questionable shape, with a new diesel version. He feels replacing the box on the tandem takes priority, and has obtained a state bid of $47,720, which includes sand blasting and bringing the “frame of the truck back up to top standards.” Deputy Supervisor Tom Withcuskey, who has been working with Hasbrouck on this issue, said one of the advantages of such a purchase is the length of time the stainless steel box lasts so that when necessary, it could be placed on a new truck frame, thus saving some money. Members of the Board asked about getting three bids for such a purchase, but longtime Board member Michael Crandall reminded all a state bid fulfills that requirement, because the State has already done the bidding process before issuing any purchase contracts. The Board decided to table any purchase until they could further discuss the issue at the June 26 workshop.
Josh Hall Pond Road Paving Crumbling
Comment about the way the pavement laid last summer is breaking down has been a discussion at recent meetings between residents and Board members. Hasbrouck informed the Board Monday night that Gorman Brothers Inc. has been up twice now to look at the road. It is Hasbrouck’s contention that the material supplied by the Albany-based company was incorrect for the project, and is working with them for some sort of remediation. He also reported the Highway Department’s chipper is down, but that he hoping to have the replacement parts by the end of the week.
He said the crew continues to work on town roads, with work scheduled for Jay Hakes, Shaver Pond and Clickner Roads. Councilman Buckley said he believes a new program where complaints about specific conditions on town roads are forwarded to the Town Board and then to Hasbrouck is working well, indicating most problems have been remedied the next day. The Board also asked their highway committee if the new time clock purchased for use in the department is functional yet. Board member Buckley reported it is installed, but a software compliance issue has delayed its implementation.
Camping Law Change Is Coming
David Buckley asked the Board if they have heard from Town Attorney Sal Ferlazzo yet on the proposed local law that would allow the use of camping trailers in the town during certain portions of the year, and with certain restrictions. Councilwoman Allison Kirchner said he has returned the documents “with a few minor tweaks,” and that she will meet with Mr. Buckley and his brother, Councilman Buckley next week to discuss the proposed changes.
Kirchner said she hopes to be able to introduce the changes in the form of a local law at the July meeting. Grafton does not currently allow occupied camping trailers outside of an established park, but has for several years granted variances to the law, including annually to the Grafton Trail Riders. Buckley himself received just such a variance last month for his Benker School Way property.
Dog Control Officer Vicky Burdick reported three calls this past month, including one for a newborn fawn on a resident’s front yard. She contacted DEC, who advised to leave it alone, and if still there the next day, they would respond. She was not sure of the outcome.
Burdick also presented the Board with a proposal for a dog enumeration (census). The firm she would like to hire would charge $495, which is under the $500 threshold to require a bid. The Clerk said she has the money in her budget, and the Board approved the purchase. Burdick also said she would like to apologize to any town residents who received a letter that their dog license was overdue. She said she regretted the wording, and that it was in no way meant to be threatening. The Town will hold a rabies clinic on June 20 from 5 to 7 pm at the Grafton Firehouse. She also received permission from the Board to construct a short term boarding kennel inside the recycling center. The DCO said she already has everything that is needed to erect the facility and pass inspection by NYS Agriculture and Markets. She also reported she is covering for Petersburgh, whose DCO is on a leave of absence.
In her other role as Town Clerk, Burdick advised the Board the clerk’s hours are being extended during the summer months. Her office will now be open on Tuesdays and Fridays from 9 am to 1 pm, starting July 1. She also informed the Board she would like to start a newsletter for Grafton residents, as well as a directory of Grafton Businesses. The Board liked the idea, and urged her to work in conjunction with the Grafton Community Library. Assessor David Galarneau sent a written report to the Board, indicating he spent most of the month of May preparing for Grievance Day on May 24. He said he disagreed with many of the assessment changes made by the Board of Assessment Review, stating that in his opinion they lacked the proper evidence to justify the changes.
Grafton Lakes State Park Manager Melissa Ann Miller sent in a report, that some trenching was being done along the entrance road for enhanced WIFI service; the dry well near the concession stand failed, but has since been repaired. She also indicated she hopes the new Visitor’s Center will be open in the fall. The Board also approved the use of the Town Park on July 15 for the annual Grafton Summer Festival. Besides all the displays, the festival will again feature its famous chicken barbeque. Tickets are 12 dollars. The Board approved the payment of monthly bills totaling $24,885.96, and adjourned in memory of Patricia Anne Etman Gundrum. [/private]