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The year in review and a look ahead

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.

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