October 26, 2011 —
The major topic of discussion at the Cochecton town meeting on October 12 was the proposed Cochecton Zoning Advisory Committee, whose primary mission will be to advise the town on what should be done about hydraulic fracturing. With little conversation about it, the board voted to create the committee.
Gary Maas, the town supervisor, appointed six members. He said there were three on each side of the gas drilling debate. The members are Allan Rubin, Grace Van Hulsteyn and Michael Lebron on the anti-fracking side, and Pauline Johnson, Earl Bertsch and Peter Grosser on the other side. Maas further appointed Johnson and Rubin co-chairs of the committee for the time being.
Board member Larry Richardson said the town board should not micro-manage the committee’s meetings. Brenda Seldin of Fosterdale asked how the names were generated. Maas replied that he had asked Rubin for some, and that Maas himself had come up with the others. There was no discussion about members before the vote was taken at the meeting.
In other business, a member of the Cochecton Youth Commission said they are expecting a cut in funding from the state, and asked the town to continue to make up the difference as the commission provides programs free to the youth of Cochecton.
The only other comment from the public was made by Sue Pierce of Lake Huntington. She asked why the transfer station has such short hours. Maas explained that the transfer station is run by the county and his understanding was that the short hours are due to economic reasons.
Pierce also had concerns about dogs being in the new park, and Maas explained that the town doesn’t own it, but the ambulance corps does. She also reported that there is a building on West Shore with broken windows. She said that a veterinarian owns the building and he stores supplies in it, and it seems children are getting into the building through the broken window. The town building inspector said he would check it out.
After all members of the public left the meeting, the board discussed the new budget. They said they need to cut $20,000 from the budget. They discussed where the cuts would come from, and considered reducing funding for the youth commission and the bicentennial celebration.
The final proposed budget will be presented to the public at the next town board meeting on November 9.