Petition to Reduce Speed on Rte. 417/Rte. 219 Detour

By Mary Fox

The monthly meeting of the Great Valley Town Board was held Monday, Aug. 11 at the Great Valley Town Hall.

A public hearing at 7 p.m. preceded the regular meeting to address whether or not the property where the Kill Buck post office now stands should be kept or deeded to the Kill Buck Volunteer Fire Department, which has shown an interest in the property. The fire department would then benefit from the rental of the building (currently $6,120 yearly).

The possibility of the Kill Buck post office closing in the near future has brought about this question of what is to be done with the property.

“We should keep it (the building and land) for youth programs and public meetings as well as community events.  We may regret giving it up,” said Councilwoman Lori Finch.

“One issue is maintenance, which the rent has covered so far.  But if the roof needs replacing, that expense will far exceed the income,” said LaCroix.  “Currently, minor repairs have been done by (Great Valley Town) Superintendent (Dan) Brown.”

Options discussed were keeping it, deeding it to the Kill Buck Fire Department or selling it on the open market, which puts the property back on the tax roll.

No one from the Killbuck Fire Department attended the hearing to address the issue. The town’s attorney, Peter Sorgi, recommended the hearing be left open until the next board meeting on Sept. 8, when there would hopefully be representation from the fire department and a full board present.  Only three board members were in attendance at Monday’s meeting.

“People will benefit from it somehow, whether owned by the fire company or the town,” said Councilwoman Ann Rockwell.

LaCroix reported a request has been received from a local citizen to petition the state to do a study to reduce the speed limit from 45 mph to 35 mph on the Route 219/Route 417 detour through Killbuck.

“Even when it is not a detour it needs to be changed,” said the request.

“There are lots of kids on that road,” said Finch. “The number of children participating in the summer youth program has dropped considerably this year, because parents don’t want their children walking along that road.”

“The state projection for completion of Route 417 is the end of December 2014,” said Town Clerk Toni Evans.  “That is when the study should be done.”

Resident, Bob Skibniewski, expressed his concern that he had trouble contacting Jeff Forster, the town’s assessor, after sending in his STAR application for next year.  He felt he was being left up in the air as to whether or not it is approved.  The board agreed to send Forster a letter requesting he provide the board with a monthly itemized activity report.  It would allow the town clerk to answer questions such as this about assessor transactions.

In other business, Brown said he is still waiting for a call back with a bid for cutting down trees in the Willoughby Cemetery.  The cleanup will be done by the town crew.

Code Enforcement Officer Rich Rinko reported he is starting to make contacts to begin a dialog with individuals who have been cited for property maintenance issues.

The next meeting of the Great Valley Town Board will be Monday, Sept. 8 after continuing the public hearing at 7 p.m. regarding the issue of the Killbuck post office property.