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Johnsburg Board Tackles Budget, Zoning Issues

WEVERTOWN Staying true to the plan established by Supervisor Sterling Goodspeed following his election, the Johnsburg Town Board continues to put budget issues at the forefront of their agenda. At Thursday evenings regular meeting, the board voted unanimously to enter into a new health insurance agreement for the towns qualified employees and retirees. The new plan would provide coverage identical to the plan currently offered to members, while saving the town an estimated $30,000 per year in premiums. There doesnt seem to be any drawback to this program, Goodspeed commented. It actually seems a little bit too good to be true. Ive been in communication with other communities that have adopted this plan and the response has been overwhelmingly positive. A recent development regarding the towns water district was resolved, with the board voting to accept the resignation of Charles Rawson as the towns water district operator. Acknowledging the burden placed on Rawson by the towns aging infrastructure and increasing demand resulting from property development, the board passed a resolution to out-source all water district management to Delaware Operations of Albany. The firm has several other municipal contracts in the area, and Goodspeed noted his confidence in the arrangement, including a slight anticipated financial benefit. The parallel issues of zoning and property development continue as board topics, with a recent zoning issue related to the towns sign ordinance being a primary focus. Following requests for clarification on the ordinance, including equitable enforcement policies, Goodspeed pledged to resolve any current concerns and to publish a summary of the ordinance for public review. In other business, town residents were reminded of the alternate-side parking ordinance currently in effect in North Creek. Audience members commented on the difficulty that town and county road-crews were having with vehicles parked along the roadway, particularly in the Main Street business district. Local resident and community volunteer, Robert Nessle, reminded the board and attendees that the towns skating rink was open with the ice in perfect condition. We put a lot of work into the rink every year, Nessle said. Id like to see everyone take advantage of it. Jill Broderick, chairperson of the Ski Bowl Park Committee, updated the town on the success of the recent Winter Extravaganza and noted the committees interest in updating the 1997 and 2001 Ski Bowl Park master plans. There has been an appreciable amount of progress made since the most recent plan in 2001, Broderick said. I would like to come up with a plan thats agreeable to all parties, and reflects the $5 million in improvements that have already been made. The 1997 plan outlined $14 million in suggested improvements to the park, including a re-design of the access road and parking areas to make better use of the property. A resolution was passed to establish an advisory committee dedicated to deciding how best to distribute revenue received through the Warren County occupancy tax. The committee will be comprised of a balanced community group, including representatives from business, tourism, and youth-related organizations. Shawn Lynch, director of the Cornell Cooperative Extension 4-H program, also addressed the board and attendees. Lynch outlined some of the current programs sponsored by 4-H, and encouraged local residents to explore the possibility of starting a local chapter. The next regular meeting of the Johnsburg Town Board will be Thursday, Feb. 21, 7 p.m. at the Wevertown Community Center.

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