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Mansfield Board Revised Building Fee Schedule Approved

By Jann Wiswall

The Town of Mansfield board approved a revised fee schedule for building applications and related permits at its monthly meeting on Dec. 16, 2013.

The revised fee structure was prepared by the town’s Planning Board.

The board added a junkyard fee to the proposed list. After some discussion, an increase from $100 to $500 for new junkyards and for annual renewals was approved by a vote of 3-2, with board members James Hammond and Robert Schmidt in dissent.

The board also discussed the planning board’s proposed fee for a “permit after construction has started.” The fee of “$100 plus two times the permit cost” is intended as a deterrent to starting construction without a permit.

Board member James Hammond felt the fee was too high, but Town Supervisor Bob Keis and board member Nancy Meeder both argued that people will be less likely to skirt local building laws if the fee is expensive.

“Word will get out,” Meeder said, “so we won’t have to collect the fee more than a couple of times.”

The board approved the revisions and the fee schedule by a vote of 4-1, with Hammond voting no.

Street Lighting in Eddyville

An ongoing topic of discussion by the board has been to consider a petition from 10 residents of the Hamlet of Eddyville asking the board to install two streetlights to improve visibility and safety in the community.

Supervisor Keis reported that he had talked with the town attorney about the matter and discovered that in order to install lights, Mansfield would have to establish a “street lighting district” for the hamlet. An engineer would have to be hired to determine where lights would need to be placed. Keis said an engineer likely would recommend four to five lights.

At a cost of $117.64 per year per light, as quoted by National Grid, the annual cost would total $470-$588 per year. That cost would have to be shared equally by all residents of the hamlet. There also would be one-time costs to the town for the engineer’s and attorney’s time, along with costs associated with holding a public hearing on the issue.

Keis said he will talk to several of the original petitioners to determine how they feel about paying for the lighting. The matter was tabled until that informal survey can be completed.

Mansfield resident Richard E. Bowen attended the meeting to ask the board for its approval to allow him to help the Mansfield Fire Department on a volunteer basis if an incident occurs when he is in the area. Bowen, who is a volunteer with the Ellicottville Fire Department, needed Mansfield’s approval in order to be covered by the town’s liability insurance and worker’s compensation policies while on the job. The board approved the request.

The next meeting of the Mansfield Town Board will be held Jan. 20, 2014,  at 7 p.m. in the Town Hall.

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