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Jerusalem approves subdivision law

JERUSALEM—Months of hard work came to quiet completion when a public hearing on the Town of Jerusalem subdivision law ended and the town council voted to accept the document, Nov. 18.
Prior to receiving public comments, committee chairperson Tom Close outlined the definitions, process and proposed regulations for the audience that nearly filled the meeting room in the Branchport/Keuka Park firehouse.
Close said the idea of the plan presented, “Was to allow people to do their business. We didn’t want them to have to go to review every time.” Close said the new law has a lot of leeway built in for people to divide their property without subdivision. Both minor and major subdivisions are addressed in the document. Very little comment was made by members of the audience during the hearing. Following the presentation, audience member Donald Schneider said, “We as residents of the town owe a huge vote of thanks to the committee. Tom is an excellent conciliator and did a huge amount of work.” About half of Yates County municipalities now have subdivision law.
In other business: Highway Superintendent Bob Payne reported the sidewalks in the Four Corners of Branchport are completed and he has contacted the state regarding striping of crosswalks. Some town residents had expressed concerns about safety at the intersection and the town reached an agreement with New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) regarding modification of the corner so that road striping could be done.
• The proposed Finger Lakes Cultural and Natural History Museum Project was a topic of discussion during the meeting. An area in Keuka Lake State Park is one of the final sites being considered for the museum.
• There was brief discussion of an unsigned letter several members of the audience had received from the Jerusalem Preservation Association that contained a request for people to come to the town board meeting.
• Jennifer Grushow was named to serve on the town planning board. She will complete Annette Toaspern’s term which ends Dec. 31, 2010. Council member Loretta Hopkins said the town had four candidates for the post, all well qualified, calling the selection process, “Really difficult.” Hopkins said the other candidates are willing to serve on other town committees.
• Councilman Ray Stewart said a letter has arrived from the DOT related to the addressing project in the town. This will allow work to progress in changing some road names that were considered to be confusing.
• Councilman Neil Simmons suggested the board begin looking at the town budget in May or June next year. He said he would like the town to look at modifying salaries so that the town could get out of the insurance business. Municipalities throughout the county are being faced with large increases in the cost of health insurance for employees in 2010.
• The town received a petition from Doug and Joan Paddock for establishment of a new water district. Construction and maintenance would be at the applicants own expense and when completed would be transferred to the town. The board will consider the petition. A public hearing on the matter was scheduled on Dec. 16 at 7 p.m.
• There was brief discussion of a report that the Village of Penn Yan is considering shutting off a portion of the town sewer system. An ongoing dispute about payment of sewer charges has resulted in lawsuits being initiated by both municipalities against each other. Following the meeting, Supervisor Daryl Jones said, “Our offer to sit down is open to them any time.”
The next meeting of the Jerusalem town board will be at 7 p.m. on Dec. 16 in the town hall on Italy Hill Road in Branchport.  

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