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Hector town board 10/13/09

Meeting: The Hector town board met Tuesday, Oct. 13, starting at 7 p.m. The meeting lasted 1.5 hours.
Attendance: All board members were present. Four members of the public attended.
Action: Approved prior meetings’ minutes, including special sessions in September and early October to begin discussions on the budget. Board approved various accounting journal entries and approved payment of audited bills.
• Board voted unanimously to remain in the Schuyler inter-municipal consortium for providing health insurance for eligible employees of the town, despite the 17 to 20 percent increase in premium costs for 2010.
• Board approved unanimously a request for a credit on the water bill for the business site of Gary Kirton due to work on a water meter on his property.
• Unanimously approved a software support contract for the code enforcement officer to run through September 2010.
Discussion without action: Smith Park closing in a week. All regular campers have either removed their personal property for the winter or have paid winter storage fees, with the exception of one individual, who is expected to finalize his preference soon. Discussion on handicapped accessible toilets that need to be maintained in the Park for next year, select tree removal during the off-season and the shut-down of water service. Board is considering whether to hire a full-time park manager in the coming year. The manager would provide a regular, stabilizing presence for all Park users and be able to enforce park rules.
• Code enforcement officer reported that permits were down by 12 percent over the same year-to-date period last year. Some preliminary discussion centered on how to classify storage trailers or pod units on residential property. Some nuisance reports are expected from landowners in the Mecklenburg area.
• The Comprehensive Plan Committee is awaiting guidance of the Energy Resources Taskforce created by the County Council of Governments before considering municipal action on the imminent arrival of gas drilling rigs, trucks and the industrial-level of activity expected in the town. All board members are aware of the DEC’s release of the S-GEIS report on gas drilling Sept. 30, 2009 and the municipal and public comment period currently underway.
• There was considerable discussion on the topic of the fire and ambulance district servicing a three square mile area of Hector from the village of Trumansburg. The Trumansburg fire and ambulance service plans to reduce reliance on special tax district revenues by instituting a billing procedure for ambulance service for Hector residents who have health insurance coverage that includes reimbursement for ambulance transport. Supervisor Ben Dickens and board member Alvin White expressed strong concerns over the legality of Hector taxing residents to support the ambulance service and at the same time allowing Trumansburg to file claims against an individual user’s health insurance plan. There will be a public input session of the Trumansburg Village Board on this topic in early November.
Upcoming meeting: The next regular meeting will be held on Tuesday Nov. 10, 2009 at the Town Hall beginning at 7 p.m. The Hector Town Board usually meets on the evening of the second Tuesday of the month. The public is encouraged to attend.

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