Petersburgh Accepts Bid For Floor Replacement
By Alex Brooks
At the Petersburgh Town Board meeting on April 16, bids were opened for the court renovations planned under a $8,500 grant from the Justice Court Assistance Program (JCAP) announced in January. The biggest part of this grant is to install a pass-through window for collecting fines, paying tickets, etc. The cost of this was originally estimated at about $6,500 (it is expensive because bullet-proof glass is to be used), and the remainder of the grant was for work on the windows, including shutters. There was only one bidder on this work, which was C&H Builders of Petersburgh. The bid to install the pass-through was $6,500, about what was expected, but the bid for work on the windows came to $5,830. Since the total bid was for $12,320 and there is only $8,500 available for the project, the bid was rejected. Supervisor Webster and Justice Manchester planned to meet with the contractor and talk about how to adjust the specifications on the window work so that it will fit in the budget of the grant. Manchester said the JCAP requires that the money be spent and accounted for within a 180 day period, so there is some urgency to resolve the matter and get the work scheduled, as it is supposed to be completed by some time around the end of the summer.
The Town also received bids to have the flooring replaced in the hallway of the Town Hall. This bid was also from C&H Builders, and was for $5,500 for labor only. The cost of the materials will be paid by the Town separately. The Board accepted this bid.
The Town Clerk Deidra Michaels’ report said she has been working on 9 Freedom of Information requests. She reports spending 28.5 hours so far on these requests, as well as 8 reams of paper and a toner cartridge. Since some of the requests involve attorney-client privilege, this has also involved Town Attorney David Gruenberg’s time and that of Allyson Phillips of Young/Sommer. Michaels offered no estimate of how much attorney time was used responding to these requests.
Michaels also said she has been very busy with the Records Room renovation, which she said is nearly completed. Records consultants will be coming in May to do training on records management. Michaels also reported that community service worker Courtney Sherman has been helping with digitizing records and responding to the FOIL requests.
Supervisor Alan Webster said there is no generator in the Town Hall, the Highway Garage or the PVMCC. He said he would like to look into the cost of providing one, to improve the Town’s emergency preparedness.
Washed Sand Law
Town Attorney David Gruenberg provided the text of a local law requiring the use of washed sand on all paved roads for traction in icy conditions.
The purpose of the law is to reduce dust when the roads dry up. But in discussion of this law, concerns were raised about how it would be enforced.
With no ready answer to this question, the Board tabled it for further consideration. Supervisor Webster pointed out that it would not be an issue for another six month or so, so there was plenty of time to consider it.
Some residents who have had carbon filters installed in their homes (POET systems) spoke to the Board about what next steps for them might be. They noted that the Town is seeking an alternative water source for those in the municipal Water District, but they wonder if the POET systems they have now are the final solution for them. They had questions about the cost and reliability of these systems. No one had any good answers for these concerns, but the Board agreed to continue asking questions and seeking better answers.
423 private wells in Petersburgh were tested for PFOA, and in 186 of those, no PFOA was detected. 136 POET systems have been installed.
Tom Berry expressed concern about the area next to the pizza shop where the building was removed. He said the ground drops off steeply there and it is dangerous for people parking to pick up their pizza. Supervisor Webster said the NYS DOT had been out to look at that situation, took pictures of it and are planning to install guardrails there.
At the conclusion of the meeting, the Board went into executive session to discuss “litigation relating to the landfill.