Infrastructure improvements on tap in Highland

By SUSAN WADE
Posted 7/21/20

ELDRED, NY — At its monthly town board meeting on July 14, Town of Highland Supervisor Jeff Haas outlined several projects that will occur in the town during the next few weeks and …

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Infrastructure improvements on tap in Highland

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ELDRED, NY — At its monthly town board meeting on July 14, Town of Highland Supervisor Jeff Haas outlined several projects that will occur in the town during the next few weeks and months. 

Among them are renewed efforts by NGGilbert, subcontractors for NYSEG. The town is plagued by frequent power outages and Haas said he or other town representatives are engaged in an almost daily dialogue with NYSEG and line crews. Haas said that the town is served by the worst circuit in the state. Commencing in the Highland Lake area, the work will eventually encompass the entire town and will involve cutting trees and cutting back the rights-of-way, and repairing switches, wires and poles. This portion of the work is scheduled to take about seven or eight months and is part of a 10-year improvement program. Haas further said that people call from all corners of the town when their power fails and that the company and PSC are contacted by town representatives as soon as each incident occurs. 

Work on the new town salt shed will begin within the week with equipment and a construction trailer being set up on the Route 55 site. The construction is scheduled to be completed by October 16. It was reported that a grant for $125,000 is inching closer to payment. The grant was initiated in 2016 for the highway garage and has moved from the review desk to the approval desk and hopefully soon to the treasurer’s office so that a check can be cut and delivered to the town.  

The town was approved by the NYS Department of Transportation for about $97,000 of CHIPS money, which is reimbursement for paving activity in the town. This represents a 20-percent decrease from prior amounts and highway superintendent Tom Ebers reported that the paving plans have been adjusted to reflect that reality. 

The stones to replace the steps at Heroes Park have been delivered and will be installed soon with the assistance of highway personnel. 

The bridge replacement work on County Road 33 approaching Eldred from Yulan has been permitted to proceed after being suspended in May. This will necessitate the closing of the road for about three weeks beginning on or about September 14 with a detour being established. The overall project will take approximately five weeks to complete. 

Town clerk Doreen Hanson responded to a constituent’s concern about the proposed project to hang veterans’ banners in the town. Hanson said that the existing banners would not be removed. A committee will be formed to scope out the initiative.  

The Yulan Fire Department canceled the September 19 Von Steuben Day celebration.

As part of his report, Haas stated that concerns have been raised in the public regarding code violations. Said he, “This board is actively looking into any violations and trying to correct the violations that may or may not be out there. We are aware of a changing landscape in our town. COVID-19 has been very tough on a lot of things and a lot of people and everyone is very aware of what their neighbors are doing now. We are trying to keep abreast of all complaints that come in and deal with them as rapidly as we can before they snowball into something that none of us need to deal with.”

During the public comment session, a resident asked about the rumored report that the Catskill Mountain Resort property was sold and whether that could affect the town’s tax base. Haas responded that the town can’t comment about a sale but stated that a lease had been negotiated. The town’s attorney added that any further comment would be “just speculation”. 

At the conclusion of the public portion of the meeting, the board entered into executive session. Sheriff Mike Schiff, Undersheriff Eric Shaboty, Lt. Paul Pratti and acting District Attorney Meagan Galligan, who had joined the town meeting in progress, were asked to attend that session. 

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