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2018-07-11 / Front Page

Walton Council Directs Highway Boss to Cut Chain Illegally Blocking Town Road

Additional Roads to be Resurfaced
By Lillian Browne

WALTON - Walton Highway Superintendent Walt Geidel was directed to cut a chain prohibiting traffic on a portion of Bonnie Fond Road, off state Highway 206 - about one-half mile north of Delaware Sports Center - at a meeting of the Walton Town Council on July 9.

Geidel reported that the town road was “blocked” with a chain and though he made attempts to contact the property owner where the chain was placed via telephone, he was unsuccessful.

Upon the suggestion of Councilmember Luis Rodriguez Betancourt, law enforcement will be requested to be on hand when the chain is “cut” and a letter from the town will be attached to the chain, so the person who placed it there will know who removed it and why.

Geidel advised the council that if all of the property owners along the road request that the road be abandoned by the town and it be privately maintained they must all contact the town. Until the ownership and maintenance of the road changes, Geidel said, “You can’t put a chain across a town road.”

Rodriguez Betancourt stated that the road provides access to a “well known” fishing spot on the West Branch of the Delaware River.

In other highway department activity, Geidel received authorization to expend nearly $61,000 in CHIPS (Consolidated Highway Improvement Program) funds to resurface portions of additional roads throughout the town. Those roads include: Bill Finch, Wakeman Brook, Weber, Tom Denman, Miller and Beers Brook Roads in addition to the Industrial Park on-demand road and the roadway leading to the former radio station on top of Bear Spring Mountain. In total, approximately three miles of roadway will be resurfaced.

In other business before the town, newly appointed Supervisor Joe Cetta thanked the town council members for their vote of confidence in his ability to lead the town. “I am extremely humbled that the town council looked to me to replace a guy with the caliber and quality of Charlie,” Cetta said.

Prior to the start of the meeting,

Cetta asked the council for a moment of silence to remember Charlie Gregory.

Cetta encouraged the public to view town council meetings on the town’s YouTube channel or on the town’s website at townofwalton.org.

In other business:

• The town’s equalization rate is officially 100-percent. The town will consider undertaking additional steps to ensure the rate remains at 100 percent, which, Cetta said, will be to the town’s benefit. The last time a town-wide reassessment was undertaken was nearly 40 years ago, Cetta said.

• The New York State Department of Transportation “pull off” on top of state Highway 206/Bear Spring Mountain, is undergoing prep-work for repaving. The rest-area will remained closed until it is repaved, Cetta advised. Cetta applauded the efforts of New York state to maintain its properties in Walton, saying “If you keep it nice, they will come.” State Department of Environmental Protection property maintenance crews have recently mowed the multi-use trail system on the Bear Spring Mountain Wildlife Management area which Walton relies on as part of its tourism-driven economy. The town will strive to work with the state to keep the trail system mowed and maintained, Cetta said. “Maybe we can share equipment and do it (mowing) through the town. This is a plus for everybody,” Rodriguez Betancourt said.

• Walton employee union, Teamsters, have notified the town that its contract expires Dec. 31 of this year and it would like to begin negotiating a new contract. The last employee contract was a three-year retroactive contract.

• The council unanimously passed a resolution upon the request of Delaware Opportunities, which administers the federally funded small cities

Community Development Block Grant, to allow for applicants to the grant program to file complaints for discrimination, which will in turn be referred to the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

• The Walton Chamber of Commerce will host its next concert at Basset Park on July 16 from 6:30 - 8:30 p.m. If the concert is rained out, it will be held on Wednesday, July 18.

• The Walton Dog Control Officer received three complaints in June and of those complaints seized two dogs, which were turned over to the Heart of the Catskills Humane Society in Delhi. The dog control officer drove 86 miles in June for related activity.

• The Walton Town Code Enforcement Officer issued 13 building permits; completed one certificate of occupancy inspection and completed 32 building inspections in June. During June, the code enforcement officer drove 321 miles.

• The town approved the use of More Park for a wedding ceremony on Aug. 25 and the use of Veterans’ Plaza on Aug. 4 for vendors as part of an annual car-cruise event. There is a $50 refundable deposit for the use of Veteran’s Plaza, there is no fee for the use of More Park. Permits must be secured for use of either town owned park.

• Kevin Armstrong was appointed as Deputy Supervisor. Armstrong has been a long serving deputy supervisor under the leadership of former Supervisors Charlie Gregory and Bruce Dolph.

The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Walton Town Council is scheduled for Aug. 13 at 6 p.m.

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