PORTVILLE – The Portville Town Board is in the midst of a lot of planning.
“The biggest thing we’re dealing with right now, besides paying the bills, the biggest thing is solar farms,” said Tim Emley, supervisor. “We’re not seasoned yet, but we’re getting there.”
That’s because the solar farm proposed last summer by Borrego Solar at 414 Rowe Avenue in Westons Mills is “almost complete” Emley said Tuesday night before the board meeting.
Now there’s another proposed site.
Omni Navitas, a solar energy developer out of Boston, Mass., has been purchasing and leasing acreage on Windfall Road. Emley reported that while he wasn’t aware yet of the exact size of the proposed solar farm, it is a “fair amount of acres.”
They contacted the Portville Town Planning Board about three months ago, which in turn notified the town board. Phase 1, a public hearing with a representative from Omni Navitas, is planned for 6:15 p.m. Oct. 22, which the board hopes will be well attended, as the public hearing required for the proposed 2020 budget will be discussed the same night at 5:30 p.m.
“I’ll be in touch with any property owner that I feel will be impacted visually,” Emley said. “These solar farm companies seem to do a pretty good job with blending in.”
The highway department is busy weatherizing the trucks and will be weatherizing the overhead doors with new weather stripping. They’ll be on West River Road Friday, spending $128,000 to pave and seal the road surface prior to winter.
They’re also replacing culvert boxes as needed on Faulkner Road and are replacing breakage on the sides of some sections of Lillibridge Road.
“We blew through $20,000 in two days,” said Todd Shaw, highway superintendent.
While the cost of everything is going up – the price of salt has doubled in the last seven years — Shaw pointed out how much money has been saved with the new high efficiency furnaces and lighting that has been installed.
IN OTHER NEWS, work will begin on a new kennel after weatherization is done, which was good news to Denise Barber, dog control officer for the town.
While the kennel recently passed inspection by NYS Agriculture and Markets, it was noted that the bare metal needs to be painted. Barber mentioned the porousness of the cement floor can also be detrimental to the animals.
Options for the next dog census were discussed, including how to reach out to dog owners in a more cost-efficient way. Barber noted that the last census took the dog count from 316 registered animals to 989. There are currently between 600-700 dogs licensed.
Robin Pearl, the new assessor appointed last month, has hours at the town hall each week. The first Tuesday of the month she will be there 4 to 7 p.m., with office hours on the remaining Tuesdays 9 a.m. to noon.
A new town attorney was elected following the resignation of Bronwyn Enders due to her opening a new Belmont office.
“She was very efficient. I liked her. You can quote me on that,” Emley remarked.
Michael Burke, an experienced municipal attorney, was approved by unanimous vote and will be under contract through Nov. 1, 2020.