AMBROSE CLANCY PHOTO | Community Land Preservation Fund Advisory Board Chairman Peter Vielbig, left, with board member Charles Krause at Monday’s meeting.
The town Community Fund Land Preservation Advisory Board (CFLAB) met Monday with acquisitions and maintenance on its mind.
The board is feeling flush these days, taking in $123,700 in October, the fifth month in a row the fund has collected double digit figures. Projected income to the fund for November and December is set at about $130,000.
The cash position of the board is at about $1.7 million
The board targets open space properties for preservation and the town purchases them from the Community Preservation Fund. Also known as the “2-percent fund,” the CPF is financed by a 2-percent tax buyers pay on real estate deals, with the first $250,000 of the sale price exempted from the tax. That tax collected then goes into the town’s CPF fund and is solely dedicated to open space acquisitions and maintaining them.
Monday CFLAB Chairman Peter Vielbig asked board members to make a priority list of properties to target and, once a consensus is reached, a short list will be posted on the town’s website.
As for maintenance, the board tuned to complaints by William Dickerson, aired in a feature article in the Reporter last August and a recent letter to the editor by Mr. Dickerson (“Bad neighbors,” November 7).
Mr. Dickerson’s property borders on a 2-percent property known as Lawnsdale on Dickerson Creek located on the northern border of Graces Lane. The small lot, just 1.2 acres, is shaped like a boot. The property’s border extends 113 feet north of the intersection between Grace’s and Ian’s lanes and then turns east to the creek.
Mr. Dickerson said the property is overgrown and infested with ticks. He claims that when the property was purchased he was promised it would be cleared out. Supervisor Jim Dougherty denies any promise was made. Mr. Dickerson also said tree growth on the property could damage his pool and the walkway surrounding it.
CFLAB member Charles Krause said he had recently spoken with Mr. Dickerson’s son Steven and he’s “embarrassed by what his father is doing.”
Supervisor Dougherty agreed, mentioning he had been in touch with Steven Dickerson recently as well. “We all get old,” Mr. Dougherty said.
Emails between town officials show that Highway Superintendent Jay Card visited the property in August and found no danger to Mr. Dickerson’s property.
According to the record of the 2007 acquisition for Lawnsdale, “The balance of the property will be left in its current state, to act as open space, habitat for animals and for storm water recharge. It is currently overgrown with invasive, non-native vegetation, and this plan may be amended at some future time to deal with removal of those plants, grading and other materials which may have been dumped on the property.”
Mr. Vielbig said brush will be cleared at a spot near Dickerson’s Creek for picnickers and bird watchers, but the rest of the property would remain untouched.
Resident Howard Johansen said maintenance on all properties has to be reconsidered. He noted that recently he had to chop his way into the Turkem’s Rest property off South Midway Road. Last spring a path was cleared but now it’s completely overgrown.
After the meeting, Mr. Johansen said that “overall, properties haven’t been maintained.” He added it wasn’t because of policy, but “it’s just a matter of getting around to doing it.”
At a recent Town Board meeting, Supervisor Dougherty had criticized the board for focusing too much on maintenance and not being aggressive enough on targeting properties.