Johnsburg Board implements TPCC usage fees

NORTH CREEK After several months of meetings and draft proposals, the Johnsburg Town Board unanimously decided this week to fully implement the new Tannery Pond short-term usage fees. All TPCC usage requests made to the town hall for dates after Sept. 30 will require payment to the town in accordance with the approved rate schedule. Usage rates are determined by the area of the center to be utilized and a copy of the rate chart is available in the town hall for review. A similar fee agreement has been established with the facilities heavy users that allows local organizations, groups, and businesses to keep using the building while the town strives to correct a significant budget expenditure. Issues and discussions surrounding the vacant highway superintendent position continue to plague the board as a letter of support for the establishment of a Johnsburg Department of Public Works was discussed. The discussion was prompted by a letter from local resident Robert Nessle, which contained 17 signed statements of support from concerned residents. Nessles letter follows a recent letter to the editor published in the News Enterprise from area realtor Mark Bergman, requesting the town act immediately to submit the item for a public referendum vote in November. Bringing change forward in government is difficult, Nessle wrote. And we all know this particular issue is a powerfully political one that may resonate throughout the balance of your political careers. However, not taking action at this time, when a mid-term vacancy exists in the Highway Superintendency, will resonate even more deeply in the minds of town residents. The Board and Supervisor Sterling Goodspeed continued to defend their decision to maintain the departments operation with the assistance of Highway Superintendent Deputy Rick Sprague, until the general election in November. They also vowed to revisit the matter following the election, with Goodspeed noting his desire to explore all sides of the argument before moving forward. In other business, the board discussed an apparent delay in the cellular tower project as the 60-day feasibility agreement expired this week. Goodspeed further commented on his understanding that the project had been reassigned within the tower company and the new project leader has not made contact with the town. In light of recent discussions, and continued concerns with the towns liability in the event of a labor dispute, the board was notified by Goodspeed that the town had reached an agreement with a regional labor law attorney to utilize his services on a retainer basis. The attorney will assist the town in drafting a unified human resources and disciplinary policy an issue that has recently come to light on several occasions within the towns highway department. We need someone that can give us exact surgical answers, if you will, that will tell this board exactly what we can and should do to straighten out that department, Goodspeed stated. We need some exact yes or no answers about the parameters of our authority and what our options really are. The next meeting of the Johnsburg Town Board will be Thursday, Sept. 4, at 7 p.m. in the Wevertown Community Center. The meeting will open with a brief public hearing to pass a local law establishing a Cold War Veterans tax exemption.

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