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Developers wait for town's approval

    BRANCHPORT—A proposal to build townhouses in the town of Jerusalem is one step closer to reality following the meeting of the Jerusalem town board on Wednesday, July 20.
    David Wegman, one of the partners in the project, said it has been in the planning stages for two and one half years. The current issues are connected with septic and stormwater management. The site in question is off Route 54A just south of the hamlet of Branchport.
    Wegman asked the board for conditional approval in the spirit of time. Town Attorney Philip Bailey recommended the board wait until approval is received from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. Bailey said a special town board meeting could be held after it is received.
Supervisor Daryl Jones asked town Engineer Wayne Ackart, “Are we talking weeks or another month?” Ackart responded, “Days, not months.”  Jones said, “I want to make sure we do things the proper and legal way.”
    In other business:
    • Councilman Neil Simmons spoke about the Worker’s Compensation program. Simmons said if the two percent tax cap comes in, it could put the town in jeopardy. The premium for coverage would then have to be taken from the budget. The town has been studying the possibility of purchasing coverage through private insurance rather than through the Yates County program.
    • There was extended discussion of when to hire a replacement for Water and Sewer Department head Gary Dinehart. Councilman Ray Stewart proposed advertising in October. Simmons suggested an agreement with other municipalities. Councilman Mike Folts said he would like to wait until January. Jones said, “‘I think we need to do something or we’ll be running the sewer department with one man.” After discussion concluded, a motion to advertise in October failed by a three to two vote. A second motion to approve advertising in January 2012 passed three to two. Dinehart plans to retire in 2012.
    • Action on wind farm regulations was tabled. The plan is not quite finalized. The town attorney has some questions. A public hearing is required before it can be put into law.
    The next meeting of the Jerusalem town board will be at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Aug. 16.




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