Details, details, finishing the Highland garage

DAVID HULSE 
Posted 9/19/18

ELDRED, NY — Highland is in the middle of a million-dollar project and that project, the new highway department garage, has dominated recent town board business and Supervisor Jeff Haas’ …

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Details, details, finishing the Highland garage

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ELDRED, NY — Highland is in the middle of a million-dollar project and that project, the new highway department garage, has dominated recent town board business and Supervisor Jeff Haas’ telephone traffic for months.

Now that the six- and seven-figure numbers have been sorted out, all the details need doing: the water well, the septic system, etc. Haas reported on September 11 that the last of concrete base walls for the garage have been completed and preparations for backfilling to bring everything to grade was ongoing, prior to the arrival of the “erector set” package containing the pre-designed parts of the steel structure.

It’s all supposed to be done by late December or early January, but last week the focus was on details. The board approved: well driller Pete Kestler’s proposal to provide a water well, priced between $5,910 and a maximum of $11,000; the purchase of a septic and leach-field materials, not to exceed $3,000; seeking bids to be submitted by October 1, for the purchase of some 2,000 tons of parking lot sub-base materials and some 2,000 tons of backfill material to be put in place early next month, prior to the arrival of the building kit; $3,000 in contract addendums for professional services to Highland’s State and Municipal Facilities Program (SAM) and Water Quality Improvement Project program (WQIP) grants.

The board also approved a resolution creating a Town of Highland Climate Smart Community Task Force, naming Carol Roig, John Back and Nancy Gilmore as members and Councilman James Gutekunst as coordinator. The task force is one of the requirements for the town’s ongoing certification effort to be named a NYS Climate Smart Community. When certified, the program would provide opportunities for energy-saving project grants and a $5,000 bonus, Gutekunst said. Some 240 New York State communities have joined the state program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

In other business, Haas announced that in response to the lack of responses Highland had gotten from Frontier Communications about repeated billing and service issues, the town had decided to push back approval of its franchise renewal. Town clerk Doreen Hanson said the town had been without a correct bill for months. But after notifying the company of the franchise decision, Hanson said “Lo and behold, guess who called?” She said Frontier claimed they were working diligently to resolve the problem, which they blamed on their bill receiver.

Haas also complained about storm repairs. “It’s a terrible situation when they can’t get around the lake to get the trees off the wires.”

Upper Delaware Council (UDC) officials say Highland has not been responsive to the council’s requests for information it needs to conduct a zoning compliance review for a Barryville accessory building on property adjoining the river. UDC earlier this month voted to file a formal zoning complaint if no response is received by its October 4 meeting. The town board did not address the issue at last Tuesday’s meeting.

The board scheduled its first workshop session for the 2019 budget to take place on September 27.

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