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2018-12-05 / News

Much Discussed at December Walton Village Meeting

By Ron Galley

The last regular meeting of the year for the Walton Village Board was eventful.

During the public input segment, Walton Chamber of Commerce President Maureen Wacha asked if there was a buyer for the bowling alley property on Water Street, which suffered severe water damage from the 2006 flood, and has remained vacant since. Mayor Ed Snow stated he is “sure” a buyer is in place. The unnamed person, according to Snow, anticipates the bowling alley will open within the next year and the adjoining restaurant, formerly The Loft, within two years. The Mayor also announced the Italian restaurant at the former Tom’s Tire Barn business on Liberty Street is expected to open for business in early 2019, and he said there are plans in the works for an Italian bakery to open by spring in the building next to the former Webb’s Clothing Store on Delaware Street.

Snow expressed dismay at rumors that the restaurant would be shut down .

Kathleen Hayek, representing West Branch Artists, talked to the board about producing a Walton Art Walk the weekend of July 20 - 21. The group envisions a walking tour of store windows in which art would be displayed, beginning at the art studio on North Street, and ending at Veterans’ Plaza.

The Hamden Hill Ridge Riders Snowmobile Club asked the village to allow member’s vehicles to enter the village for the sole purpose of purchasing gas for their snowmobiles. Sherrie Pierce, representing the club, talked about the benefits snowmobiling has brought to the state, from a tourism standpoint. According to Pierce, the plan is to enter the village from the Sheffield Farms area. Village attorney David Merzig sited liability concern and signage issues. The board agreed to look into this issue further.

Village of Walton resident Ann Berton had an issue with the computerized water bill system. Her claim was her recent bill which she paid on time and in full but which included a late fee, for which she wanted a reimbursement. The issue up for vote, there was a proposal, by Trustee Dave Breese made a proposal to make the refund, but no one seconded to proposal, so the request was denied.

Jason Craig, Cedarwood Environmental, updated activity at the wastewater treatment plant. He advised the board there were no requests for materials this month; he said there was high turbidity at the plant last month, which was controlled with chemicals. Craig said rags are a continuing issue and as a result pumps at the plant are showing wear and tear. Overall the plant is running very well, he said.

Delaware Engineering representative Bill Brown updated the board, announcing the grit screw work has been completed. A recommendation to issue payment to Vacri Construction for the grit screw replacement project met board approval. Senator Bonacic’s office arranged a $50,000 grant to help with the cost of the project.

Brown broke the news to the board that the application for the water grant Walton had applied for was not approved. Snow commented that despite not getting the grant, “The system is in good shape.”

Concerning repairs to retaining wall, including guide rail replacement, paving, storm damage repair and curbing along Shepard Street, Brown recommended the board authorize Snow and Village Clerk Jody Brown to proceed and sign the DASNY Grant Disbursement Agreement.

Also, Brown said the Catskill Watershed Corporation has grants available for feasibility studies for Walton properties such at the Walton Central School Bus Garage, Big M, Danny’s Restaurant, Wayne Bank and LB 137, LLC. Applications for all five properties will be submitted at the same time. The board unanimously approved going forward.

Village of Walton Superintendent of Public Works Butch Smith said the furnace at the Walton Theatre is in need of repair. He is waiting for an estimate. Board member Theresa O’Leary suggested to go ahead with the repair work, if it does not exceed the budget. If it does, a special meeting will be needed.

The only item that came up during trustee reports came from Dave Breese concerning the theatre. The Walton Theatre Preservation Association (WPTA) has requested assistance with the cost of parts and material to repair the projector, proposing the WTPA will pay for the parts if the village picks up the tab for labor. Not certain about how much money the village had budgeted, O’Leary suggested determining the cost before making a decision. Breese asked if a decision could be reached before the board convenes in another month. Merzig suggested agreeing to a figure as long as it does not exceed the budget amount. The board approved an amount not to exceed $500.

Walton Police Chief Paul Olsen did not have any news to report. He had words of support for what he called his “young crew.” He said they are enthusiastic, wise beyond their ages and well traveled.

Steve Hood, director and Dallis Wright, administrative assistant at Delaware County Department of Emergency Services (DCDES) were present. Wright explained that DCDES, which coordinates the Emergency 911 system, was recently contacted by a Bruce Street resident that wanted to change their official 911 address. There is confusion, Wright said, when it comes to correct addresses, and with DCDES the confusion can cost precious seconds during an emergency. Mayor Snow responded, saying the village is responsible for addresses within the village limits, and if residents want to change their resident number, they should contact the village clerk’s office.

Rita Ray was named to the planning board, a position which continues into April, 2019.

Delaware County Planning Department Hazard Mitigation Plan update was approved.

The next meeting of the Walton Village Board will take place Monday, Jan. 7.

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