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Town board considers shorter hours at Austin Park ice rink

— McGlynn suggested the town close the ice rink at 3 p.m. on Sundays rather than the usual 5 p.m., to save on staffing costs. Councilor Rick Keyes suggested that when reserving ice time for community groups no gaps be allowed in the schedule, such as the three-hour gap that would occur with a 6 p.m. YMCA time on Sundays.

The board agreed, and directed Parks Department manager Sue Murphy to discuss with the YMCA a different use time, such as 3 p.m. on Sunday or some other time that would not create a gap in the schedule.

As for YMCA’s request for a reduced hourly ice rate, Keyes said the board should check its projected costs per hour before it sets its rate per hour to avoid further revenue losses. McGlynn suggested keeping the hourly rate at $95 for everyone except figure skating and hockey groups, saying it is “not bad” considering that Cicero-North Syracuse charges $125 per hour, and the YMCA itself charges $125 per hour.

The board agreed to delay a decision on the YMCA rate request until it could evaluate its projected costs for the upcoming ice season.

Also at the meeting:

—Codes Officer Debbie Williams said revenues from building permit fees this year are nearly double that of last year, with $51,000 collected so far in 2012 versus $26,263 in 2011. The number of permits issued, however, is only one off from last year, meaning more people are improving their current homes rather than building new homes.

—Budget Officer Bridget Winkelman said it is budget time again for the town, with budget workshop meetings starting this week for individual departments. The tentative town budget should be completed by Sept. 28, Roney said.

—The board announced that it is seeking applications from town residents to fill an unexpired term on the Zoning Board of Appeals, which was made vacant recently by the resignation of Scott Winkelman. The unexpired ZBA term ends Dec. 31, 2016. Applicants must be a town resident. Letters of interest should be sent to Town Supervisor Terri Roney at the town hall by Sept. 28.

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