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NEWARK (AUG. 17 10) – The village board of trustees took first steps tonight to begin to address a pending five-project upgrade to Newark’s sewer plant, something that could cost about $17 million.

Village Treasurer Steve Murawski said engineers from MRB Group presented a report six weeks ago, detailing each component project and why it was needed at the wastewater treatment plant.

On the agenda was a motion for Mayor Peter Blandino to sign an agreement to employ the services of Bernard Donegan Inc. of Victor to assist in getting grants and managing the finances of the project. The board approved the motion unanimously.

Murawski said the village is at the early stages of organizing for the project, and Donegan’s services might not be needed for three years or more. “It’s a very reasonable fee structure,” he told the board, noting that the village has used Donegan for other projects at the plant.

Operations Manager Jim Bridgeman and Murawski also spoke briefly about the village taking over state-owned lands on south Vienna Street. Bridgeman said Newark will acquire about 160 acres – a cemetery on the east side of Vienna, and an old Boy Scout camp on the west side. The SEQR (State Environmental Quality Report) for the site is being completed. Bridgeman expects the next step in the turnover of the land to occur within three or four months.

In other business brought before the board:

FLOODED BASEMENT – John Peters, 110 Elmwood Ave., told the board the storm sewers in his street are not handling the load in a heavy rain and water is backing up from the street onto his yard and down into his basement. “I’d like to see if I can get some help,” he asked.

Bridgeman asked if the street had flooded.

“Way up over the curbs,” Peters said. “If we have torrential rains for an hour, I’m in trouble.” He said he had lived there for 30 years and hadn’t had trouble until the village resurfaced the street. He suggested Military Brook, where the storm sewers empty into, should be dredged because that’s where the backup might start.

Mayor Blandino said the village asked DEC for permission to dredge Military Brook, a protected stream, about a year ago. The state said “rooted vegetation and a minimal amount of sediment could be removed.” A July letter from the DEC commended the village for the job it did.

“We have stringent controls on this,” Blandino said. “We’d like to dredge down a few feet. It seems these 100-year storms are happening about five times a summer.”

PARK PROPERTY – B.J. Meeks asked the board to investigate how portions of Perkins Park had somehow been turned into something other than recreational space over the years.

In particular, she cited “Parcel B” of the park on early maps – a portion that abuts West Maple Street – and where there is now a parking lot west of Perkins School.

“How did the school get the parking lot?” asked Blandino.

“They usurped it, I would imagine, “ said Meeks.

Trustee Kurt Werts said his recollection is that the southern boundary of the park lies roughly along the line of the present park walking path. But Meeks’ map shows otherwise. Bridgeman, who had ordered a survey of another potion of the park, said he’d check into it.

GARAGE SALES – Trustee Helen Blandino asked Police Chief Dave Christler if someone could hold more than one garage sale at their location in a year. “No,” Christler said, adding that if there’s a complaint, residents should call the police department to talk to an officer.

Lawn and garage sales are regulated in the village, with entrepreneurs asked to register their sale (at no charge). The regulations are printed on the reverse side of the permit.

POWER OFF-GRID – The village has agreed to take the sewage-treatment plant off the power grid when asked by NYSEG during peak usage periods. The plant has a generator to power operations, and NYSEG will compensate at a rate that allows the village to break even or make a little money. Two such requests were made in July.

CO-MINGLED GARBAGE – The board okayed the low bid of K & D Disposal of Palmyra to remove garbage and recyclables at five village locations for $435 per month, May through October, and $295/month November to April.

Trustee Chris Avery’s building at 165 E. Union St. shares a single dumpster with the village’s municipal building. Trash from the two buildings is co-mingled, and Avery asked to get the same deal as the village for a second pickup of the same dumpster during the week – which also hold co-mingled trash. The board agreed and in its vote, Avery abstained.

MORE COSTS – Murawski told the board the state comptroller’s office had sent a revised bill for retirement/pension costs for village workers -- $60,000 more than was originally requested. Mayor Blandino pointed out that sum represents a nearly two percent tax increase, noting that seven or eight years ago, the village paid literally nothing because the retirement funds were solvent.

ROAD MILLINGS – Trustee John Bailey asked where the road millings for the resurfacing work on East and Maple avenues was going. Bridgeman said the millings were being used to resurface roads in the village cemeteries. Bailey asked if some of the millings could be used on the walkway through Perkins Park.

Bridgeman also told the board the binder coat for the resurfacing work had broken up and had to be redone, at an additional cost – he had no solid figures yet.

POLICE TRAINING – At Chief Christler’s request, the board approved photo line-ups and witnesses training for Investigators Gary VerStraete and Jay Warren, Fire Investigators School for VerStraete, and Supervisor’s School for Sgt. Mike Patton.


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