Saturday, February 21, 2009

Copake Adopts Law that saves Clerk's Hours

Written by Staff

COPAKE-The Town Board unanimously adopted the first local law of the New Year at its February 12 meeting, creating the positions of court clerk and deputy court clerk. The new law formalizes what the board agreed to do at its organization meeting January 3.
The full-time court clerk position is held by Margaret Hosier, who put up a successful fight last month to save her hours and benefits from threatened cuts.

Mrs. Hosier will work a minimum of 30 hours/week and be paid $13.80 hour. She will receive health benefits at a cost of about $400/month to the town, according to Deputy Supervisor Joseph LaPorta, who presided over a public hearing on the matter and the regular monthly board meeting that followed Thursday night.

Supervisor Reginald Crowley was out of town.
Also at the February meeting, Steven Winkley, head geologist with the New York Rural Water Association, gave an hour-long presentation about Copake's groundwater resources.

In compiling his hydrogeological analysis, Mr. Winkley consulted the U.S. Geological Survey, the state Department of Environmental Conservation and the state Department of Health. He reviewed existing surficial geology maps and conducted his own field mapping.

Mr. Winkley discussed yields from bedrock wells and wells in what are called Walloomsac formations. He also addressed public and community water systems, as well as potential sources of contamination, areas of hydrogeologic sensitivity and what level of development or density of housing the area can sustain.

He did note that there are some areas around the lakes and in Copake Falls where wells showed elevated levels of nitrates.
His report is available from the town clerk and will soon be posted on the town website,

In other business, the Town Board agreed to ask the town attorney to look into the legality of putting up sponsor advertisement signs along the back fence at the Little League baseball field at the town park during baseball season.

Michael Bradway, superintendent of parks, and Krista Goodacre, the chair of the park commission, spoke in favor of the uniform four-by-eight-foot signs, which would generate funds to pay for youngsters who otherwise could not afford to play baseball.
Planning Board Chair Marcia Becker said the sign idea is the subject of debate, and some residents are opposed to the "commercialization of the public park." She pointed out that "the Little League does not own the park."

Mr. Bradway noted that the Little League spent $7,100 for improvements to the ballfield.
Before a decision can be made, Councilman Bob Sacks suggested that the town code be reviewed to see whether such signs are permitted.
In personnel matters, the board accepted the resignation of Louis Kibler as chairman of the Board of Ethics.
Councilman Sacks presented Charles Dodson with a distinguished service award for his work "above and beyond the call of duty" on the Economic Advisory Board. Mr. Dodson has resigned as chair of that board.

The Town Board appointed Leslie Wood as the new chair and Karen Hallenbeck as secretary.

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