ELIZABETHTOWN - Divisions amongst the members of the Elizabethtown Town Board were evident April 21 as they discussed several contentious topics.
For the first time in two months, all five board members were present, including councilman Phil Hutchins, who had taken a lengthy vacation to Florida. Both Hutchins and town supervisor Noel Merrihew addressed a letter to the board criticizing Hutchins for his extended absence, arguing that it caused a delay of important town business.
Merrihew said the assertion was "simply untrue," and that the board only needed four members present to vote on a proposed local law.
"I believe it was important enough to have all the board members present for that," he said.
"There's an assumption that, because I was away, the town couldn't function," said Hutchins, "and that's absurd."
Councilmen Joseph Martin and Ken Fenimore also recorded absences in either February or March.
Back to the drawing board
With all board members present, voting on a proposed local law restricting outdoor wood boilers was first on the agenda. The law would have placed a ban on the furnaces after a three-year phase out period, during which, any existing furnaces would be required to meet strict operational guidelines.
Fenimore suggested adding an amendment to the law that would reduce the phase-out period to two years and increase the setback requirement to 250 feet. The amendment would allow OWB owners to convert their existing furnaces into newer, less pollutant phase two furnaces. Also, it would allow the town's public health officer to order discontinued use of a device if it was determined to be a nuisance or a health hazard.
Merrihew explained that, if any amendments were made, the law would have to again be presented at a public hearing and given 30
See BOARD, page 3