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New Scotland Archives — The Altamont Enterprise, November 26, 2009

Water project on the rise, town budget comes in low

By Saranac Hale Spencer

NEW SCOTLAND — Going into next year with half the engineering budget of 2009, the town will contend with a nearly $60,000 project for the Northeast Water District.

After unanimously adopting the 2010 budget, the town board voted unanimously to accept six change orders for current engineering projects.

The adopted budget includes $15,000 for engineering expenses, down from this year’s allotted $33,000.  One of the change orders the board accepted was for an additional $5,000 to finish work in the fourth quarter of this year, making the annual total $38,000.

The supervisor’s tentative budget, produced in September, proposed cutting that line by 85 percent, to $5,000.

“I cut the engineering budget because I think we should only incur engineering expenses when they can be charged to a specific project,” Supervisor Thomas Dolin said at the time, adding that the cost of engineering should be weighed with the cost of the project as a whole.

The board decided to add $10,000 to the line during budget workshops, he said this week.

At its most recent meeting, on Nov. 16, the board made what had begun as a maintenance project into a capital project — allowing up to $60,000 for improving the northeast water district, up from the originally estimated $10,000.

“Originally, it was not expected that the Northeast water system would have to be completely taken out of service to implement the proposed improvements to the chemical feed system,” wrote Mark Dempf, of Stantec, the town’s engineer, in a memo to the board.

For a temporary water supply, while the tank is being worked on, a connection to the village of Voorheesville’s water system will likely be built, which will also be able to act as an emergency supply in the future.

Rising levels of iron and manganese in the Northeast Water District prompted the project, Dolin said.

Other business

In other business, the town board:

— Heard recognition from Diane Deschenes, town clerk, of election custodians Paul Barrowman, who served 29 years, and Jacob Herzog, who served five years.  She also thanked the town’s historical society for putting up new pictures in Town Hall;

— Voted unanimously to authorize Burl Cable, of the Onesquethaw Volunteer Fire Company, to attend the New York State Weekend National Fire Academy in March at a cost of $200;

— Voted unanimously to authorize the supervisor to execute contracts with Penflex, Inc. to administer the Onesquethaw and New Salem fire district Length of Service Award Programs;

— Voted unanimously to appoint Lance Moore, the alternate member of the town’s zoning board, to fill the vacancy left on that board by Todd Britton’s resignation.  The town received two résumés for the post, Dolin said, and “both people seem interesting.”  The town board will interview them for the alternate spot;

— Voted unanimously to establish Metlife as the dental insurance carrier for town employees rather than Assurant;

— Discussed taking the first step towards establishing a “workplace violence prevention program,” which is to create a “threat assessment team.”  It will be discussed further at the meeting in December; and

— Heard from Elizabeth Kormos that she’d like to prepare a Community and Transportation Linkage Planning Program grant that could require up to $12,500 from the town for matching funds.

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