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GV Board Discusses Mining District Ponders Consolidation of Youth Programs

By Mary Fox

Supervisor Dan Brown opened the meeting of the Great Valley Town Board at 7:05 a.m. on June 9, 2014, with the pledge of allegiance to the flag.

Brown informed the board that the Town Assessor, Jeff Forster, reported that the Assessment Board of Review had eight people grieving 11 parcels of land, saying their assessments are too high.

“That’s really great, out of 1,500 parcels,” said Brown.

A discussion of a mining district, which would include all existing mines, north and south of Route 219, was held.

“This district would be run by state agencies,” said Brown, “and then we can keep out of it.”

Currently, the board must review anyone wanting to open a mine. With a mining district, the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and or the Corp of Engineers will be responsible for monitoring the district.

The planning board and town board will continue to work on it. Details will be reported as they develop. The planning board’s recommendations will be brought to a public hearing before a final decision is made.

“Having mines nearby has been a benefit to the town,” said Highway Superintendent Jack Harrington, “because of the short distance our trucks must travel for gravel. We have our own gravel pit but use Gernatt for sand and washed stone. One pass through the town can use 40-50 tons of sand.”

Harrington also reported that eight roads were tarred and chipped last week in one day.

Code Officer Rich Rinko was not present but reported that four new building permit applications have been received. One is by Ray Emerling of Emerling Chevrolet for an eight-unit apartment complex on land recently purchased on Martin Road. Emerling said he has built 60 such units around this area. No plans have been submitted to the planning board yet, unless they are presented at the Great Valley Town Planning Board meeting on Wednesday, June 11.

A proposal from Landscape Structures, a Minnesota firm that builds playgrounds, was presented. The playground would be for an age range of 5-12 years. The estimated cost of the 950-square-foot area would be $9,636.

Money for this project would come from money designated in the budget for the Youth Program.

“Playgrounds are no longer teeter totters and swings,” said Town Clerk Toni Evans. “Our playground (behind the Town Hall) is obsolete and unsafe.”

A decision was tabled until the July 7 board meeting. Brown is planning to meet with Landscape Structures representatives this week to discuss the playground.

Brown reported that the Missionary Alliance Church in Killbuck has requested the town to paint the rooms the Killbuck summer youth program uses in their building.

Treasurer Hildegarde Krause said, “The funds would have to come out of the summer youth program funds.”

A discussion was tabled until further information could be gathered.

The question of whether to consolidate the two youth programs in Great Valley and Killbuck was brought up. A special board meeting dedicated only to this issue will be held on June 23 “to set priorities” for the youth program.

The next meeting of the Great Valley Town Board is Monday, July 7 at 7 p.m. at the Great Valley Town Hall.

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