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Wbg. leaders weigh new zoning laws, shift in streetlighting costs

Jaclyn Hakes (rear), former principal planner for Saratoga Springs, presents proposed zoning changes Feb. 8 to the Warrensburg Town Board (foreground). The changes are expected to make the hamlet more conducive for small-business development as well as streamline the permitting process.

Jaclyn Hakes (rear), former principal planner for Saratoga Springs, presents proposed zoning changes Feb. 8 to the Warrensburg Town Board (foreground). The changes are expected to make the hamlet more conducive for small-business development as well as streamline the permitting process. Photo by Thom Randall.

— “While some object to what they call ‘light pollution,’ others see it as a matter of providing walkability and commerce downtown,” he said.

Town Supervisor Kevin Geraghty, while professing neutrality on the issue, said that the streetlights can be compared with the landfill — not everyone uses it, but they all share the expense.

“The lights are important to the community,” he said, adding that he had no strong opinions on the issue. Another public hearing on the issue is to be held in March.

In other business, Geraghty announced that the town board will likely be raising the maximum income limit on senior exemptions on town taxes from $12,000 to $18,000 or higher. He noted that Warrensburg has one of the lowest income caps among all Warren County communities, and an increase was overdue.

Geraghty observed that commercial customers of the town water system were having their meters installed and activated. This is an initial effort in converting from a flat fee system towards having all water customers pay for actual gallons used.

Board member Bryan Rounds said commercial meters were now being read to provide baseline data to establish equitable charges that would adequately cover the local water district’s costs.

“It’s a work in progress,” he said.

Geraghty noted that the car wash property on Richards Ave. downtown, which was excavated years ago to remove petroleum pollution, would likely be cleared later this year by the state for redevelopment.

Geraghty noted that a public information session on the car wash environmental cleanup is set for 10 a.m. to noon Tuesday Feb. 21 at the state Department of Environmental Conservation headquarters in Warrensburg on Hudson St. Extension. Geraghty remarked that DEC’s pending sign-off on the project was welcome but overdue.

With the car wash soon to be available for redevelopment, he said, one designated brownfield would be left in town — the former Warrensburg Board & Paper Mill on state Rte. 418. Located on the banks of Queen Village Pond, the plot will someday host a town park, Geraghty said.

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