Proposal lacks full approval

Thousands of trees have been cut down on Burdick Street in preparation for a proposed retail and residential area, but the site plan still lacks full approval from the town of Manlius.

David Tessier, director of the planning and development department, said the town has agreed to preliminary terms for approximately 18 homes that Fietta Realty Corp., a Florida developer, has proposed. However, the retail area has not been approved in the site plan of the 126-acre property, and a building permit has not been obtained.

Tessier said town engineer Doug Miller has talked with the owner about putting a plan in place for the former gravel operation site, with two ponds and wetlands. A fence has also been installed on the property to keep silt from running into the creek.

At last Wednesday's meeting, Manlius resident Mike McGrew said the town should keep a closer watch on this site. He suggested fining the developer $37,000 a day for working without a building permit, but Tessier later said no permit was needed for only cutting down trees.

"We have been watching them very closely," Tessier said.

Councilman David Marnell said he is "very concerned" about this project, and the board would like more information from the developer before moving forward.

F-M School District

The Fayetteville-Manlius School District presented its budget for the 2009-10 school year at the town board meeting, with the lowest percent increase in spending in more than 10 years, said Assistant Superintendent for Business Services Michael Vespi.

Superintendent Corliss Kaiser said that the district lost $1.7 million in state aid cuts, but it was recently restored by the federal stimulus package, given that the district would save or create jobs and help taxpayers.

The district also made some cuts, including reducing the number of athletic contents by 127 in order to cut transportation costs. Budgets for field trips, conferences and school supplies have also been reduced by 10 percent.

"We have been able to create a reasonable budget for taxpayers while still holding all our programs in tact," Vespi said.

Lindsay Kenton is a regular contributing writer for the Eagle Newspapers.

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