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Starkey wants to change junk law

DUNDEE—Junk was a hot issue at the April 9 meeting of the Starkey Town Board. Members of the board reviewed the current law as written in 1992 and noted some ambiguity in it. They also discussed interpretation of junk and junk yards as well as distinctions between the local and state laws. Town supervisor Richard Burcaw said the town will have to look at the property maintenance law, not just a junk yard law so see, “What we want our town to look like.” Councilman Bill Holgate said if the town was to enforce the existing law they would need a gang to go around, adding, “I don’t think the people of Starkey want this.” Councilman Fred Shoemaker said, “We need to go over this law and redo it so Brian Quackenbush has something to enforce.”
Moving to discussion of a specific property in the town, Burcaw commented on the amount of material in back of Black Rock Speedway, stating, “There is a lot of junk down there by the stream. My concern is the number of old tires down there.” Code enforcement officer Quackenbush said he had completed a fire inspection of the property and it passed. At that time he spoke with owner Dean Hoag and his attorney about ways to clean up the property, stating the owner will come up with a plan. He said, “My intent is not to shut the track down. I will issue a operating permit for 60 days and try to get improvement. If there is no improvement then, an order to remedy could be issued, giving 30 days for that to happen. If there was no improvement, a ticket would be issued. Councilman Tim Gibson said he had noticed a dumpster is in use on the property.
Holgate said, “I think it is a unique situation for the town. It’s an up and going business. I think we need to work with the owner and get interpretations of the laws; try to work with them but say there are things that need to be addressed. I think we need an open dialogue with Dean Hoag. I think he is willing to work with us.”
In other business:
• Burcaw announced the DCS community service program will be May 14. Students will help clean up the cemetery next to the town hall on that afternoon. Discussion followed about the possibility of future  student projects for the town that included assessor Tony DeStephen’s need for photos of hundreds of properties in the village.
• The Tri-board meeting on March 31 was a topic of discussion. Burcaw said the town insurance agent recommended the town not sign a hold harmless agreement regarding sharing services. He said he had spoken with highway superintendent Louis Seeley who told him an informal agreement is working well. Shoemaker said he was impressed with Dundee Fire Chief Dan Peterson’s presentation at the meeting, commenting, “I appreciate what he did. It was the first time there was an honest and sincere discussion of what they do and how they spend their money. I liked the actual service numbers. Starkey pays 52 percent of fire and ambulance and we are not being treated fairly. By doing it by assessed value it is unjust to us. My gripe is that we’re being assessed more than our fair share. I appreciate everything they do. It’s not the fire department.  They deserve whatever they go for because they are volunteers.” Tri-board, which is made up of Starkey, Dundee village and Barrington, meets annually unless more meetings are necessary. Starkey will host the next meeting and the town council agreed they would like to have the 2010 meeting earlier in the year when the village is working on their budget so they might have input in the fire contract.
The next meeting of the Starkey town board be at 7 p.m. May 7 in the town hall on Seneca Street in Dundee.

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