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2017-09-13 / News

Walton Approves Assessor, Code Enforcer Contracts, Franchise Agreement

By Lillian Browne


Walton Supervisor Charlie Gregory presents Tony Possemato, who has just resigned from Board of Assessment Review after a lengthy tenure, with a certificate of appreciation for his many years of service, at a meeting of the Walton Town Council on Sept. 11. 
Lillian Browne/The Reporter Walton Supervisor Charlie Gregory presents Tony Possemato, who has just resigned from Board of Assessment Review after a lengthy tenure, with a certificate of appreciation for his many years of service, at a meeting of the Walton Town Council on Sept. 11. Lillian Browne/The Reporter WALTON - There was no comment at public hearings on authorizing a franchise agreement with Delhi Telephone Company to provide unserved or under-served portions of the town of Walton with broadband service or the renewal of a first-time home buyers’ program before a meeting of the Walton Town Council on Sept. 11.

Though the village of Walton is serviced with broadband, telephone and cable service by Spectrum, formerly known as Time Warner Cable, and Frontier Communications, many residents outside the village do not have a choice of providers. Sprectrum does not service most of the town and residents must use Frontier Communications if they desire those services, if they are available.

The council unanimously approved the franchise agreement, with a franchise fee to be negotiated, to allow Delhi Telephone Company, who is part of the Delaware County Broadband Initiative, to operate in Walton.

The council also unanimously approved a first time home buyers’ program, which is funded by state and/or federal grants and administered by Delaware Opportunities. The program has been implemented annually, Supervisor Charlie Gregory explained, to allow people who qualify for financial assistance to purchase a residence in the town.

Gregory, on behalf of the town, presented long-time board of assessment review member Tony Possemato with a certificate of appreciation for his many years of service as a board member. Danny Hodges will fill the position that Possessmato left vacant upon his retirement.

Highway Superintendant Walt Geidel announced that the town will receive approximately $30,000 in reimbursement for expenses incurred due to the March snowstorm that dumped a couple of feet of snow in the area.

In other town business:

• At Geidel’s request, the council approved the acceptance of a donation of a bucket truck, for parts, owned by Keath Davis.

• Permits for the Army Corps of Engineers to realign a portion of East Brook on property owned by Art Siegel, as a training project and for New York State Electric and Gas (NYSEG) to relocate electric lines beneath the West Branch of the Delaware River, were approved.

• Permits for the use of Veterans’ Plaza were granted to Nam Knights for a POW flag dedication ceremony on Sept. 23 and to Riverside Alliance Church for a community outreach day on Sept. 30.

• Town Clerk Ronda Williams announced that there are 62 dog licenses that have expired and are past due. Gregory urged residents to renew licenses which also ensures that dogs are vaccinated against rabies. If residents no longer own previously licensed dogs they should alert the town clerk, he said.

• Fran Zujovic was appointed sole assessor at a rate of $30 per hour. He has been acting assessor while pursuing required certifications. Zujovic’s term expires in 2019.

• The hours for the code enforcement officer have been increased to include flood plain manager duties, at a salary of $22 per hour. The rate of pay is retroactive to July.

• The council unanimously voted for Art Merrill, Bill Layton and Mark Tuthill, supervisors from Colchester, Tompkins and Delhi, as regular members of the Coalition of Watershed Town’s governing board. Andes Supervisor Bud Gladstone, Middletown Councilman Jake Rosa and Gregory were unanimously voted for as alternates.

• Gregory announced that the town of Walton must pay back $4,144.21 in taxes received in 2016 from Kraft, as part of the tax assessment lawsuit that was settled by agreement. Gregory said the reduction was “fair,” and resulted in a reduction in assessment - from $1.35 million to approximately $906,000.

• A presentation on a statewide clean energy initiative was given by Cornell Cooperative Extension. Though no action was taken council members expressed interest in including electric car charging stations at Veterans’ Plaza and the Breakey Motors property, once it is vacated and excavated.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Walton Town Council will be held on Oct. 2 at 6 p.m.

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