Restructuring debt helps Andes water district

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By Cheryl Petersen
“With the work and persistence of Marge Merzig, Bud Gladstone, and Senator Seward and his staff, the water debt has been reconstructed,” said Town of Andes Supervisor Marty Donnelly at the town’s board meeting last week.
“This will keep the costs down for water users in Andes water district.” The resolution for bond restructuring formalized persistent efforts to keep costs down. Other actions included approval for Highway Superintendent Mike McAdams to rent an excavator and discussion on upcoming roadwork.
Residents can be aware of a temporary road closure on Bush Hill Road, closed to any vehicle with a gross weight in excess of four tons on any one axle. Notices will be posted by the highway superintendent and continue until such time as conditions will permit opening.
“As for the water district debt reconstruction, the payment was reduced from $21,000 per year to $8,000 per year,” said council Bud Gladstone. “The town received a 10-year extension and the debt payment won’t increase with time.”
A motion was passed to authorize the purchase of 1,023 pounds of carbon, for the library well carbon tank replacement project. Installation will be completed by the General Carbon Corporation at a cost of $7,689.
The town received correspondence from Senator Seward in March stating Senate Bill 1356A is designed to put into the hands of the towns, rather than the state, the ability to set speed limits on roads. “Don’t post signs yet,” read the letter, “This bill has been killed in the assembly in years past.”
“The town also received a letter from the United States Department of Agriculture in regard to the town’s loan from the USDA for the Andes highway garage,” said Supervisor Donnelly. “We signed the papers on this loan five years ago, and the USDA is now telling us the town must increase insurance coverage on all garage employees, as if the employees will steal the building.”
Insurance coverage already covers tools and other mobile assets. The board will ask Town attorney Dave Merzig to write a letter to appeal the USDA request for higher insurance coverage since the loan has been successfully in order for five years. The USDA does not have a lien or any financial interest on any of the Andes equipment in the building.
Town board members are assisting an Andes resident who experienced a fire in their home electrical box and cable last month. “The town insurance company investigated the matter and determined they were not liable for payment because the fire appears to have been caused by faulty plumbing,” said Supervisor Donnelly. “The homeowner has been guided to pursue their homeowner insurance company for help.”
Discussion revolved around how to better communicate with New York City so as to keep their road repairs more up to date. Discussion also revolved around how to better communicate with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). Currently, the Town of Andes is being held back from receiving funds because of more paperwork. “They change the staff agent so often, that they lose paperwork and continue to ask us for more copies,” said Mike McAdams. “It’s ridiculous.” The FEMA project being held up in Andes is under disaster 1710. Documentation will continue to be submitted, however Supervisor Donnelly will disclose the plight to Congressman Gibson, to initiate a new plan that entails better communication.
The highway report stated that the crew continues to upkeep equipment. A motion was made to authorize Superintendent McAdams to take the International truck and the old trailer to Oneonta as junk. “We are removing all useful features from the trailer, like the brake shoes and valves, before taking it in for junk money,” said McAdams.
Supervisor Donnelly and resident, Ann Roberti, scouted the roads for possible signage. “To direct drivers to hiking trails and other features in the Town, Ann and I located 14 possible sites for signage along the roads. The goal is to have direction yet not too much signage.”