Skaneteles: Christmas comes early for local developer

"Merry Christmas to me," Alan Briggs said as he got ready to leave Thursday night's town board meeting.

Briggs, a local developer, was approved for a sewer district following a public hearing on Dec. 17. The district will serve a 24-townhouse condominium development in Skaneateles Falls.

Speaking in support of Briggs' project, Rick Rapple said he works with Briggs every day.

"Alan has a great passion for getting something in Skaneateles to keep young people here," he said.

According to Rapple, the sewer system is simple and the project overall would be a good one for the community.

Architect Bob Eggleston, the zoning expeditor for the project, said a project like this, particularly the affordability of housing, is not available in Skaneateles.

"The time is now that we need this," he said. "We need the sewer district to make the project bonafide."

The sewer district was one of the first steps Briggs needed to take before completing plans for the project.

"It's one step built on the other," Eggleston said.

While some residents neighboring the sewage district are concerned about drainage, Eggleston said the location is an excellent place for drainage and there is no need for use of retention or detention ponds. The board did receive two letters for the record that state residents' concerns with runoff and drainage.

"I did a little homework and I'm happy with it," said Councilor Jim Greenfield.

Town engineer Doug Wickman said the project is not going to have any impact on draining. Wickman suggested a $150 per unit cost for the district.

Councilor Dave Laxton said his only concern was fractures in the limestone and questioned where the water was going and if there is a liability on the town regarding the drainage.

Briggs said the county visited the site three different times and drilled down at least 10 feet. They never hit the bedrock.

Wickman said it is nobody's intent to let sewage flow directly into the bedrock. The project has been carefully looked at and will be followed throughout construction.

The board voted unanimously, 4-0, to approve the district. Supervisor Phil Tierney was not in attendance.

The board also gave a negative declaration for the State Environmental Quality Review.

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