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Town board takes on issues with septics, contractor regulations and the noise ordinance

The Town Board set a public hearing for Oct. 1 on proposed changes to its requirements affecting septic systems.

The resolution to set the hearing came after debate between Councilman Albert Dickson and the rest of the Board over whether a public hearing should be held before resolving an issue that has been delayed pending further discussion.

The original proposal had included requirements to install nitrogen-reducing I/A systems in any expansion or renovation, or basement refinishing of any residential structure, or construction of any new accessory structure.

The only way to avoid an upgrade would be to have the existing system certified by a New York State licensed engineer to show that it’s working effectively. The provision would not apply to external work having no impact on water use.

Mr. Dickson’s colleagues didn’t oppose the provision, but saw it as too broad and wanted an opportunity to discuss it further without delaying action on the remaining provisions.

“This is embarrassing,” Mr. Dickson said at Friday’s meeting about not resolving that provision. “It doesn’t do anything,” he said about implementing the other provisions.

The vote was 3-1 to move forward with the public hearing while continuing to discuss the provision Mr. Dickson sees as key to improving water quality. The provisions to be discussed on Oct. 1 appear on the Town website under the Town Topics tab.

Home improvement contractors

Another public hearing on Oct. 1 would scrap the current Town Code Chapter 79 dealing with home contractors.

It is to be replaced with a new chapter aimed at licensing contractors and landscapers to set standards, including provisions for insurance, Workers Compensation and other requirements. Supervisor Gerry Siller said he would be meeting with contractors prior to that hearing.

The proposal as it currently stands is on the Town website, under the Town Topics tab.

What’s in a word?

An attempt to clarify the existing noise ordinance with an exemption for charitable events is on hold pending further discussion of whether the word “primary” or “sole” should be used to indicate the purpose that constitutes a charitable event.

Some favored starting with primary and then tightening it to sole purpose, if that became necessary.

But others thought using primary was building a loophole that could allow commercial events to qualify for an exemption from the noise ordinance. It’s back to the drawing board before this comes back for a vote.