Town sponsors Bluffview residents for grant

The Manlius Town Board recently sponsored and submitted an application for a grant that, if approved, could potentially end an ongoing dispute between residents of The Bluffs, a private neighborhood located off Pompey Center Road, and the town.

A four-unit complex within the residential development fell victim to a mudslide in 2002. Over the years, Dr. Joe and Marcia Novek, of 8183 Bluffview Drive, have demanded the town compensate them for the damages, filing various lawsuits and codes enforcement complaints against the town.

Though the town has been found to have acted appropriately, Supervisor Ed Theobald is extending an olive branch to attempt to resolve this longstanding matter without spending taxpayer money.

The Noveks and neighbors affected by the mudslide met with Theobald, and Councilor Dave Marnell Aug. 5, as well as Planning and Development Director David Tessier, who found a grant suited for their purpose under the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program. The grant was created for pre-disaster mitigation plans.

"A lot of our interpretation or thought process was that it had to already have been a disaster to apply for these plans, Theobald said. "And it doesn 't have to be.

A Letter of Intent was due Aug. 9, and under tight time constraints, officials made deadline.

"They were very, very pleased, Theobald said. "In fact, [residents] actually clapped [at last week 's Aug. 11 board meeting] when I said we got it in Monday.

The grant request is for funding to repair the ledge behind the complex, or for relocation altogether, Theobald said.

If awarded, residents would be required to match 25 percent. If the grant is not approved, Theobald said officials would continue to look for other grants that would best suit their needs.

Additionally, the board advised that unless necessary, it need not organize a task force discussed in last month 's meeting due to Tessier 's successful research into grants.

In other action:

The Manlius Town Board set a public hearing for 7:05 p.m. Wednesday Aug. 25 to address the adoption of the state 's Retirement Incentive Program, which the board has elected to provide to all its eligible employees.

The board unanimously passed its sign ordinance with few changes from the original July 28 presentation.

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