Jan 21, 2009 Elizabeth C. Moran Uncategorized
Once again, 2008 was a busy year. The Cazenovia Town Board adopted three significant local laws in 2008: allowing windmills for on-site energy generation and setting standards for their approval, requiring storm water controls to reduce runoff and requiring site plan review on new development.
Another major accomplishment was adoption of the town and village joint comprehensive plan, culminating 18 months of analysis and public input. The comprehensive plan provides the legal framework to modify our zoning and subdivision regulations. A task force is preparing proposed revisions to the town codes; a draft will be ready for review within a few weeks.
Cazenovia was awarded a second Purchase of Development Rights grant. These grants protect some of our most productive farmlands. The program helps our local economy, the environment and rural quality of life. We have submitted a proposal for a third farm.
Some of our 2008 accomplishments are less dramatic, but will also have a long-term impact on the conduct of town business. An employee manual was adopted in September. The Teamsters, who were certified to represent the town’s Highway Department employees, continued to negotiate their initial contract. The town and village held a joint work session to discuss ideas for shared services. We are optimistic that several initiatives will emerge to increase efficiency and save taxpayer dollars.
The town board has modified our meeting rules to include two public comment periods. The first comment period is prior to the board’s discussion and voting and provides an opportunity for the public to comment on issues before the board. A second public comment period closes the meeting; comments on all issues of concern are heard.
The last of our state Department of Environmental Conservation-required environmental remediation projects is underway on Riverside Drive. Soils have been excavated and transported for proper disposal. We continue to work with the DEC, attorney John Langey and Stearns & Wheler Redevelopment to close out the site.
The goal is to allow the Green & Shannon team to develop the site in a way that expands the tax base and optimizes the use of this important parcel.
Finally, the condition of Cazenovia Lake has been a significant focus of the town’s efforts. In June, the town, village and Lake Association agreed to form the intermunicipal Cazenovia Lake Watershed Council to serve as a forum for integrated actions in lake protection and restoration.
The Summit convened by the Lake Association allowed experts to review alternatives for controlling the growth of water milfoil, the weed that has tipped the lake’s ecology out of balance. The consensus is that a chemical treatment program using Triclopyr, trade name Renovate, is a potentially cost-effective alternative.
The town and village will apply for a permit for chemical treatment. The Lake Association will lead the fund-raising effort.
The town has introduced a local law banning the use of phosphorus-containing fertilizers within the lake watershed. This requirement, coupled with the septic inspection efforts and storm water controls, will help reduce the amount of nutrients and sediment entering the lake.
Elizabeth C. Moran is supervisor of the town of Cazenovia. She can be reached at 655-9213.