Chester Town Board report

CHESTER Two public hearings held during the regularly scheduled monthly meeting of the Town of Chester Board on Jan. 8 will be continued at its next meeting on Feb. 12. The first hearing, regarding a septic system variance request on a Clarkson Road property on Loon Lake, had already been discussed in December. There was a continuation granted to see if the variance could be decreased to cover only a four bedroom structure, not the 5 bedroom structure which might eventually be built. Neighbors on the south at lower elevation and with a dug well are contesting the variance, while neighbors on the north at higher elevation with a drilled well wrote letters of support since the new system replaces an antiquated cesspool. But the other hearing was on a new issue. Contiguous neighbors on Igerna Road are requesting a local law allowing road shoulder passage for their snowmobiles to access snowmobile trails there. Such local laws are allowable, but none exist in the town at present. The town attorney will draft a possible law and the hearing on this issue will be continued in February. The first hearing will be at 7 p.m. and the latter at 7:30 p.m. on Feb. 12. At the privilege of the floor section of the meeting, a neighbor of R&R Auto Rebuilders on Schroon River Road asked again for the status of the Notice of Violation issued to the company for running an unauthorized junkyard. The answer was that the Department of Environment and Conservation (DEC) had ruled no violation and that a permit was pending for the junkyard based on grandfathered operations. This answer was not received well by the neighbor and several in the audience. An appeal will be made to the Zoning Administrator. Junkyards are not open to site review, it turns out, so the Planning Board is not involved. It was reported that private citizens have spent their own money to fence in the Darrowsville Church and shore it up until title to it can be straightened out and grants received to restore it. In their plans, Chestertown Historical Society will own it and use its history as part of the Underground Railway to write grants. The Loon Lake Beach bathroom project is progressing and might possibly be open this summer. Finally, an extensive report on the milfoil in Loon Lake was presented by consultant Steve LaMere. Two years ago it was estimated that there were 5 sites of this invasive species, but 25 have been found in the reconnaissance part of the program. 414 plants were harvested the first year and 4,600 the second. Unfortunately in October 2007 a huge half-acre infestation in the northern part of the lake where waterskiiers make the loop was found. It has probably been there two decades. This, plus the discovery of a new invasive species, curly leaf pond weed, will make the eradication job bigger and more expensive in 2008.

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