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Collins residents voice concerns about Gernatt gravel pit

COLLINS — Approximately 18 residents from the Vail Road gravel pit area attended the Aug. 12 Town of Collins Board meeting. They were there to hear what conclusions the town board had come to, regarding the expansion of the Vale Road gravel pit by Dan Gernatt Gravel Products Inc.

Their main complaint was that they had built their homes in the countryside, off the beaten path. After the gravel pit was started, they have had to live with the noise of machinery and trucks.

Resident Liz Reid, told of how she and her husband had approached the Gernatts and asked to purchase land adjacent to their property, in order to maintain neutral ground between their property and the gravel pit. Reid said that they were told the land was not for sale, but that there would never be any further encroachment, during their lifetimes. Now, with the pit’s expansion, that will all change.

Some residents said that they feared that their wells and springs would be affected by the ground disturbances. Several board members also spoke about their visits to the area and their conversations with locals.

The Collins board read a resolution, which agreed to items that had been discussed between representatives from Gernatt and the board. The board approved it, with some verbal changes to be rewritten by Town Attorney James Musacchio, to be signed by the Town Supervisor David Tessmer. That resolution will be submitted to the county, for final approval.

Tessmer reported that work on the Painter Center is beginning. The first project is the installation of an emergency generator and outside lighting, to be followed in early September with window replacement and west wall brick renovations. He also reported that the local towns, including Collins, are still in negotiations with the county, on payments for snow plowing county roads. A representative from the county said that it wants to reduce its costs. Tessmer will be doing a cost research study, to produce figures that may justify a deal.

Town Clerk Becky Jo Summers, said that her office took in $7,177.80 in July, of which the town’s portion was $6,876.74. She also announced that hunting licenses are now for sale.

Code Enforcement/Building Inspector Gene Degman, reported 16 building permits were issued in July, for a total value of $353,832., two of which were for single-resident homes. Degman also asked the board to reconsider the fines and fees for starting a building without a permit. He said that he thought, from recent experience, that some of those fees were much higher necessary.

Planning Board Chairman Brian Martin submitted a revised plan on zoning areas for the town.

In other board matters:

– The board modified the town’s policy at the transfer station, to allow residents to purchase tire disposal permits for passenger tires, with up to a 2- inch rim size.

– The board approved a resolution endorsing the Helmuth Fire Dispatch to purchase a voice recording system through the Wimac Company on state bid, at a cost of $19,838, with the aide of a $5,000 donation from the chief’s council.

– The audit by Freed Maxic, CPA of the two town justices, Daniel Kuligowski and Norman Peters, for the year 2012, was accepted.

– The town supervisor’s report for the months of June and July was accepted.

– The board resolved that the town clerk may accept payments by credit and debit cards, for any transactions in her office.

The next regular meeting of the Collins Town board will be on Tuesday, Sept 3, at 7 p.m. in the Collins Town Hall.


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