Utley to take over as clerk
Utley succeeds Mary Watkins, who held the clerk’s office for the past 26 years.
The clerk’s office is now open Monday, Tuesday and Thursday from 9 a.m. to 3:30 p.m., and Wednesday and Friday from 1-7 p.m. Phone 716-532-4090.
The town may help with funding for upkeep of public cemeteries, Supervisor Dennis Stopen said. He was responding to an inquiry in June as to whether the town could provide funds for cemetery maintenance. He quoted from general municipal law allowing such assistance. Currently there is no specific item in the town budget for such work. Cemetery associations may request funds at budget time. The Ruggtown Cemetery on West Perrysburg Road has no more space available, which rules out any future income from the sale of burial lots. Stopen said the town board will discuss this matter and decide if the town will provide funding, and if so, to what extent.
Councilman Lynn Varney said he received an offer from a private citizen who wished to donate money for cemetery upkeep. After discussion, the board encouraged anyone wishing to donate to their local cemetery to contact treasurers or other officials of the town’s five cemeteries.
The board then listed the following cemeteries with their respective contacts: Versailles, Carol Long; Mallory (North Road), Maria Steuernagel; Jolls Road, Cindy Lauer; Ruggtown (West Perrysburg Road), Janet Hans; and Perrysburg (Route 39 west), Lee Sanders.
Highway Superintendent Daniel Stang reported a “busy, hot month” of June. His crew oiled and stoned roads and did some skid paving. They ground and reprofiled Townline Road. He asked for assistance from residents along rural roads to mow the weeds along their road frontage, if possible.
The board approved spending funds budgeted for an unfilled position in the highway department to be used instead for road repairs, at Stang’s discretion. He cited the cost of materials, such as $26,000 for one half-day’s worth of oil for stoning roads. He said the town will be reimbursed about $63,000 from New York State through CHIPS, the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program.
Water Superintendent Robin Clark said they found a water leak in an old copper service line at a North Road property and repaired it. The leak was on the opposite side of the road from the water main, so they had to push a new pipe under the road. “It was a long, long day,” Clark said. He estimated the loss at about 15,000 gallons.
Clark received quotes for improving the driveway from Route 39 to the new pump station under construction west of Mosher Road, and for a new roof on the existing building. He is still waiting for word from the health department on the new treatment plant on Peck Hill Road, and doesn’t expect it to be completed until next year. Clark said that the Central District water wells are still at adequate levels, given the scarcity of rainfall this season. He said the Gowanda sewer department has been cleaning and flushing sewer lines between Perrysburg and the Gowanda wastewater treatment plant on Aldrich Street.
Cattaraugus County Legislator Paula Stockman gave an update on the Thatcher Brook Task Force. Supervisor Stopen and Highway Superintendent Stang are Perrysburg’s representatives on the committee. Stockman said the local municipalities involved have listed their available in-kind services to be used as the local match for grant funding for flood-control projects. So far no local money has been committed. There has to be a non-federal sponsor to work with the U. S. Army Corps of Engineers, the federal sponsor. It is Stockman’s understanding that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is to be the non-federal sponsor, although the state has not yet committed funds to the DEC for this purpose.
Gowanda Village Trustee Paul Zimmermann is the new chairman of the Thatcher Brook Task Force, succeeding former Gowanda Mayor Richard Klancer, who represents Gowanda on the Cattaraugus County Legislature. The task force is asking for letters of support from area municipalities to get the state to commit to the flood-control project. The task force meets again on Aug. 6 at 5:30 p.m. at the Gowanda Municipal Building, 27 East Main Street.
The board expressed concern over the continual erosion of land along Cattaraugus Creek in the Prospect Street-Indian Hill Road area. Both the Army Corps of Engineers and Soil Conservation Service are aware of the situation, but the board is seeking some preventive measures before the washout reaches the road. Councilman Richard Gabel said there used to be 11 acres between the road and the creek, which are now gone. Highway Superintendent Daniel Stang said there was a strawberry field there more than 25 years ago. Councilwoman Mary Denea said the Corps is monitoring the situation, but no action has been taken.
Clerk Mary Watkins collected $1,782 in fees in June, with $850.70 sent to Cattaraugus County for transfer station tickets, $46 to New York State Agriculture & Markets for the spay and neuter program, and $9.45 to the state DEC for sporting licenses. The town’s share is $875.85. The town board approved the purchase of an electronic cash register with a credit/debit card reader for $839. This includes set-up and training.
Animal Control Officer Kathleen Hagner issued seven tickets for delinquent dog licenses. She picked up seven strays, five of which were claimed and returned to their owners, while two dogs were adopted. She asked residents along West Perrysburg Road to watch for a lost tabby cat. There will be a free rabies clinic for cats, dogs and ferrets at the Cattaraugus County Highway Department barns in Markhams on Tuesday, Sept. 4 from 4:30-7:30 p.m. For information, call 1-800-251-2584. Donations are accepted.
Hagner said the county is sponsoring a “Capture the Bat” campaign aimed at testing bats for rabies. Anyone encountering a bat at their home should capture it live and call the Cattaraugus County Health Department at 716-373-8050.
In other business, the board:
• Approved payment from the following accounts: General Fund, town-wide, $20,992.39; Highway Fund, town-wide, $50,994.68; Gowanda Prospect Street Water District, $30; Perrysburg Central Water District, $2,959.28; Special Residential District, including lighting and waste disposal, $992.14; Special Sewer District, $210.92; and Versailles Water District, $1,604.08.
• Learned that Code Enforcement Officer James Pacanowski had two building permit applications pending. The town is examining regulations from other area municipalities governing unmowed lawns and weeds for incorporation into a new local law governing the same.
• Heard Assessor Mary Bailey’s report that taxable property valuation rose by $35,429 in the past year, despite a drop in gas well production. The assessor’s office is open Mondays from 1-4 p.m. if any property owners wish to speak with Bailey about their tax assessments.
• Discussed the issue of loud music at a local establishment and determined that State Police or the county Sheriff’s Department should be called if someone wishes to lodge a complaint.
• Announced the annual town picnic in Versailles Commons on Sunday, Aug. 26 beginning at noon. In case of rain, the picnic will be in the Versailles Community Hall.
The next regular Perrysburg Town Board meeting is Monday, Aug. 13 at 7 p.m. at the town hall, 10460 Peck Hill Road.