2019-01-09 / News

Property Transfer, Water Bill Payment, Snowmobile Traffic/Trail Top Walton Meeting

By Lillian Browne

WALTON - A property transfer approved by trustees in 2003, an over-due water and sewer bill amounting to several thousand dollars, and a snowmobile trail and traffic topped the agenda at a meeting of Walton trustees on Jan. 7.
Marvin Avenue resident Bob Harvey asked that trustees finalize a property transfer of Marvin Avenue Extension to him, agreed upon in 2003. The roadway, Harvey told trustees, is a privately owned driveway that was abandoned by the municipality and supposed to be transferred to him under the Carl Vogel administration.
The property transfer was to contain a provision for access, or right-of-way, to adjacent property owners.
Speaking on behalf of the board, Mayor Ed Snow said the village is agreeable to the transfer but the village attorney must be consulted and give approve.
In other business, Paul Wood, speaking on behalf of a relative property owner at the corner of Mead and Townsend streets, asked the board to clarify a rejection of payment on a July 2018 water bill, and for the amount due to keep the water on.
An attempt to pay the bill was made on Friday, Jan. 4, but payment was rejected by the village clerk’s office, deeming the amount listed on the July 2018 bill - $2,405.60 - as a “partial payment;” partial payments of water bills are not accepted by the village of Walton.
Wood said the amount listed on the bill was the amount presented to the clerk’s office for payment. The clerk rejected the payment on grounds that a 15 percent penalty was added to the bill and made the original amount a partial payment, although the bill contains language that refers to the listed amount as the amount due.
Trustees voted 2 - 1 to allow payment of the original amount without penalty to satisfy the bill.
Trustee Teresa O’Leary voted against the measure; trustees Stephen Condon and Dave Breese voted in favor of accepting the amount listed on the July bill as “full” payment.
Aaron Shelton, representing local snowmobilers, updated the village on efforts to designate a trail along West Street to provide snowmobilers access to the village, where snowmobiling is permitted along the shoulder of roadways. Shelton is awaiting permission from private property owners to connect a designated trail to the roadway.
In other business before the board:
• A request from Department of Public Works (DPW) Superintendent Butch Smith for heating system repairs at the DPW garage, totalling approximately $6,400, was unanimously approved. Smith advised trustees that the DPW garage roof is in disrepair and he will work with committee members to budget for repairs for next year. During December, Smith reported, village crews salted streets six times, replaced Bridge Street street lamps with LED lighting, and installed three water meters in addition to routine tasks.
• Approval of a $100,000 grant was received for repair a failing slope on Shepard Street. The scope of work will now be identified, according to Bill Brown of Delaware Engineering.
• The village approved the purchase of a power actuator for the air valve aeration tank blowers at the waste water treatment plant for $1,350. The village will pay 20 percent of the budgeted-for cost. New York City Department of Environmental Protection (NYCDEP) will pay 80 percent of the cost. Trustees also approved the purchase of a back-up CBUD influent pump at a cost of $13,842, to be paid for by NYCDEP.
• The village clerk’s office will work with sewer plant operators to identify the source of rags, baby wipes and other debris in the system. Written notification of disposal prohibition will be sent to those blocks of residences to reduce or eliminate those materials from being flushed or otherwise disposed in the sewer system. The debris continues to cause pump clogging, additional wear and tear on the system and additional work for sewer plant staff, Craig said. There is also a prohibition on draining sump pumps into the sewer system, said Craig. The additional water must be treated and results in increased costs at the plant.
• In December, Code Enforcement Officer Steve Dutcher issued two building permits, completed 24 field inspections, conducted three certificate of occupancy searches and issued six certificates. In 2018, Dutcher reported, his office received 14 complaints, issued 61 building permits and six renewals, completed 242 field inspections, issued 59 certificates of occupancy/completion, conducted 46 certificate of occupancy searches and issued two floodplain development permits. During the year, the code enforcement office collected $6,695.52 in revenue for permits and fees, for permits valued at $1.46 million.
• Walton Police Chief Paul Olsen gave the department’s December 2018 and year end summary of activity, indicating that 2018 arrests increased by 137 more than 2017. “This year was the most arrests the agency has ever made,” Olsen said. Olsen credited the young, enthusiastic officers for the increase in activity. “They are to be commended for that,” he said. In December, Walton Police issued 86 traffic summonses, made five felony, 15 misdemeanor and one juvenile arrest, issued 10 violations, conducted 69 property checks and 16 interviews, responded to four criminal mischief complaints, five disorderly conduct complaints, four domestic complaints, and two burglary complaints. The department received 44 general calls, made eight arrests for unlawful possession of marijuana, one petit larceny arrest and served two arrest warrants, in addition to other activity. Year-end total reveal 745 general calls, 817 traffic summons issued and 519 arrests made. In 2017, 864 traffic summons were issued and 382 arrests were made.
• Trustees approved the annual planning services contract with Delaware County at a cost of $3,000. The contract and cost remain unchanged from previous years.
• Village elections will be held on March 19 from noon to 9 p.m. Three trustee seats and the mayor’s seat is up for election.
• A sole bid of $3,000 was unanimously approved for the foreclosure purchase of 42 Harby Street.
The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Walton trustees will be on Feb. 4 at 6 p.m.

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