2019-02-06 / Front Page

Walton Resident Spars with Trustees Over Street Name

Sidewalk Salting Fees Adopted
By Lillian Browne

Walton resident John Masseo argues the village’s decision to rename and/or designate addresses at a meeting on Feb. 4. Pictured are Masseo, Village Attorney Dave Merzig, Mayor Ed Snow, Village Clerk Jody Brown and Trustees Steve Condon and Dave Breese. Lillian Browne/The Reporter Walton resident John Masseo argues the village’s decision to rename and/or designate addresses at a meeting on Feb. 4. Pictured are Masseo, Village Attorney Dave Merzig, Mayor Ed Snow, Village Clerk Jody Brown and Trustees Steve Condon and Dave Breese. Lillian Browne/The Reporter WALTON - Refuting Walton’s authority to designate addresses, resident John Masseo argued with trustees for nearly 30 minutes about the naming of “Clark Street” at a meeting on Feb. 4.

The village’s designation of Clark Street, which Masseo and trustees agree is a privately owned right-of-way and/or drive, remains a point of contention with Masseo, despite the fact that he has no ownership interest in the renamed drive and that maps and assessment records reflect a Clark Street address for the parcels in question.

The renaming of the private drive, Masseo contends, “Is tantamount to confiscating private property.”

Walton attorney Dave Merzig, attempting to explain the village’s renaming decision, said, “Our position is that it is a private drive. My position today is the same today as it was in 2007 - that it’s a private drive.”

Merzig clarified that just because the drive/roadway in question has joint easements, the property owner does not get to decide what it’s called. “The power to determine addresses in the village lies with the village,” Merzig said. A village is the sole determiner of address names in its jurisdiction.

The village alone has the power to change names of streets and to set addresses, Merzig told Masseo. Confused as to why Masseo thought the village was trying to confiscate private property or turn private property into public property by virtue of assigning an address, Merzig asked Masseo to explain his position.

Just because a GPS says Clark Street is an address, doesn’t mean that it’s the address, Masseo responded. In turn, Mayor Ed Snow displayed aged maps depicting the area as Clark Street as well as 1980s assessor records indicating that the addresses in question were previously designated as Clark Street to which Masseo responded that the map is simply a proposal and the mayor and clerk have self-serving reasons for the re-naming.

Neither a post office, a 911 office or a property owner can designate an address within the village, Snow concluded the conversation. “The village is the only one who can designate an address.”

In other business before trustees, upon the recommendation of Code Enforcement Officer Steve Dutcher, the village adopted a $15 fee to sprinkle salt for ice removal on “single” sidewalks. The fee for “double” sidewalks - those that are on a corner lot - will be charged $30 if salting is necessary. “Salt is not cheap,” Dutcher told trustees.

Walton has a sidewalk snow and ice removal law which requires property owners to remove snow and ice from village sidewalks within 24 hours of the end of a snow event.

The village also imposed additional fees for water meter replacement due to frozen pipes and street shutoff of water service due to frozen/burst water pipes to cover the cost of department of public works staff after normal work hours. A $25 fee will be assessed for water meter replacement and a $100 fee will be assessed for a street shutoff.

In other business:

• Shepard Street rehab options were discussed resulting in trustees requesting that Delaware Engineering propose multiple options for repair which include securing guide rails in cement and anchoring them with soil nails to prevent a further narrowing of the roadway and to protect the embankment from further failure between Shepard Street and Tripp Avenue. The village was awarded a $100,000 grant for rehab work, which Delaware Engineering estimates will cost $190,000. The proposed Delaware Engineering plan calls for narrowing the roadway by moving the guide rails away from the embankment edge toward the road and stabilization of the slope. Approximately 130 residents signed and submitted a petition asking the village not to narrow the roadway or make it a oneway street. No action was taken on the issue.

• Trustees approved the $24,856 cost to refurbish the weir and baffle on a clarifier at the wastewater treatment plant, by Advanced Fiberglass Services from Sharpesville, Pa. New York City will pay 20 percent of the cost and the village will pay 80 percent of the cost. Trustees further approved the cost of installing liners in the containment basins at the sewer plant at a cost of $28,951. New York City will pay for the liners. Trustees also approved the purchase of a chemical feed pump at a cost of $5,413.80; structural repairs to the de-chlorination room in the amount of $14,500 and the purchase of a gear motor for the sludge conveyor belt in the amount of $1,334.75. New York City will pay for the costs of the chemical feed pump and structural repairs to the de-chlorination room. The village will pay 80 percent of the cost of the gear motor, with New York City paying 20 percent of the cost.

• Tax foreclosure proceedings were authorized for 31 properties with past-due taxes. Property owners are: Michele D. Reed; Joseph Bux Jr.; Jacqueline Finn; Kimberly Cook; Alan Moore; Jean Pierre Regazzi; Corrine Asvazdourian; Santo Saporito; John Holley; Robert Kafarski; Lorraine Hahn; LB 137 LLC; Eric Mead; Edwin Arias; Frank Morgen; Pinnacle Ventures Group LLC; Janice Richardson; Keith Werner; Manuel Fernandez; Dawn Houck; George Pliauplis; Sara Hood; Russell Alvarez; John Robinson; Basil Fullteron and Susan Brazie. Past-due taxes owed are $32,032.08 with penalties of $10,544.40 for a total of $42,576.48.

• Maxine Locherer, Mary Cullen and Joann Pomeroy were appointed as election inspectors for the March 2019 village election.

• In January, Walton Police responded to 388 calls which included 63 property checks, 36 interviews, 14 fire department/ EMS assist, 15 assists to other departments, 5 alarm activations, 2 civil complaints, 9 criminal possession of a controlled substance arrests, 2 custody disputes, 7 domestic complaints, 4 driving while intoxicated complaints, 3 erratic operator complaints, reports of suspicious activity, 4 trespassing complaint and more. Walton Police made 7 felony arrests, 15 misdemeanor arrest, 1 juvenile arrest and 6 violations. Police issued 69 traffic tickets and 6 parking tickets in January. Officers drove the department’s two patrol vehicles 3,314 miles during January.

• Two building permits and one renewal were issued by the code enforcement officer in January. Two fire inspection were completed, 2 complaints received and 2 certificate of occupancy searches were conducted. The code enforcement office collected $536 in permit fees in January resulting in increased valuation of $31,000 for a roof replacement, floodproofing of a building and renovations of space which includes new bathroom construction, electric upgrades and partition wall construction.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of Walton Trustees will be on March 4 at 6 p.m.

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