Ithaca Times

Town Board Hits Bump in Opposing Zoning

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Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 2:18 pm

The Spencer Town Board met for further discussion of a number of items on which they will soon take action and one item where they actually are unable to take action.

Last month the council held a public hearing on a local law that would establish setback requirements that were previously overlooked when the Town adopted the State’s unified building code. However, town attorney David Dubow explained to the council that they could not establish those setbacks through a local law and would have to establish those setbacks through a zoning law. The Town council has been on record that they are not agreeable to zoning laws. The council decided to set aside discussion on the issue until the next board meeting.

The board also addressed the two proposals they received for work on the Spencer Historical Museum building. Both proposals were rejected as one did not meet specifications and the other was too expensive. Councilman Al Fulkerson will contact the local bidder and work on a proposal with specifications that better fit the project. However, part of the issue is that the council does not yet know the extent of the work that needs to be done to the building.

The council once again addressed Agenda 21, the sustainability concept from the United Nations that resident Arnie Pasto brought before the board before asking that the council make a resolution opposing it. Agenda 21 is a non-binding, voluntarily implemented action plan of the United Nations. Although the plan is not law in the United States the Republican National Committee has adopted a resolution opposing Agenda 21 on the grounds that it would erode American sovereignty. The council held off on action on the item as there was a member missing, and the council wanted to hear all the opinions on the item.

The Town received a letter from FEMA that stated there could be a $500 million grant available for flood relief. Spencer could use that to replace a bridge, however, they would need to front the total cost of the project before being reimbursed by FEMA. Additionally FEMA would only reimburse 75 percent of the project. The council felt that they would not be able to fund a project like that at this time.

The Town has been looking for a tractor for a little while and Town Supervisor Arvo Rautine said he may know of one that would be available for purchase in the near future. He will keep the board informed on the issue.

Tom Bailey, chairperson for the Spencer Joint Village and Town Planning Board, was on hand to distribute a draft of the joint comprehensive plan to the council members. The draft is the end of the planning boards’ work at refining the document and now the planning board is asking for the Town and Village boards to review the document and suggest any further changes. All three boards will meet at the next planning board meeting, June 24, to discuss the document. From there any changes will be made and the first draft will be ready for the county and the public to review. The planning board will run public meeting on the comprehensive plan before both board decide on whether or not to adopt the plan. Bailey hopes that the comprehensive plan project will be completed by December of this year.

The Town next meeting will be held on July 9.

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