CHESTERTOWN Most discussion at the Chester Board meeting Sept. 11 concerned the health and safety of town residents. First, there was a presentation by Dr. Delman, a dentist with his office in the middle of the hamlet of Chestertown. He reported that the science is overwhelming on the toxicity of open burning of garbage and plastics. Strictly speaking, burn barrels are illegal in New York State and New England. But towns with population under 20,000 can make their own local laws on this matter and at the present time they are legal in the Town of Chester with a permit if only paper and wood are burned. It was pointed out by Dr. Delman that even paper and treated wood can be unhealthy if there are chemicals dyes involved. Supervisor Monroe also pointed out that the reason the town invested in the expensive waste collection and transfer station was to collect and apply emission controls to garbage.
But board member Frank Shaw and other members were concerned about town residents that save money with burn barrels in the country. Shaw questioned whether a burn barrel ban would apply to campfires, outdoor boilers, indoor wood stoves and even indoor fireplaces where people burn garbage.
Board members finally decided to pursue a local law on allowable hours for outdoor burning and better enforcement of allowable items in burn barrels.
Next there was discussion of unsafe traffic conditions with more tourists and year round residents in town. As in last months meeting, there was a plea for the town to pressure the state to straighten out the curves on Route 8 near Loon Lake. Especially dangerous is pulling out unto Route 8 from Blue Bay Road. Also parking on the side of the road in the hamlet of Pottersville makes driving there difficult. Enforcement will be stepped up there, as cars must be all the way off the road and not on sidewalks.