Thursday, 10 January 2013 15:04

Malta Town Board January 7

By Chelsea DiSchiano | News

MALTA- The majority of the January 7 Malta Town Board meeting focused on resolving the ongoing issue of a resident’s lack of driveway maintenance at his home on Ruhle Road North, which has allegedly been causing problems in his neighborhood for around four years.


Paul Snyder’s unpaved driveway has been a topic at various public meetings since the town got involved in the matter in December 2011, as water and debris have continually washed down his driveway to the main road, causing safety issues. A neighbor across the street previously told the board his daughter fell and broke her arm after slipping on the ice and debris that had run down from Snyder’s driveway.


Snyder’s failure to fix the problem on his own prompted the board to create a driveway maintenance law in October 2012. The law states that “Property owners having access to a public road shall have an ongoing responsibility to maintain their properties, including any driveway, and may not permit any condition to occur or develop that results in the deposit of water, snow, ice, gravel, rubbish, dirt or other debris into any Town Roadway, including unpaved portions of any such roadway.”


Several steps must be taken before violators of the law are punished, but the ultimate punishment if the resident doesn’t solve the problem by a certain deadline is to pay a fine of up to $50 a day until it is fixed.


At the public hearing, Snyder admitted that his driveway has been a problem but said that he has been “diligently trying to fix it” by installing a drain at the bottom of the driveway. Roger Crandall, Malta Highway Supervisor, said that though Syder did put a drain across his driveway, it still clogged up and is allowing a runoff of ice and debris into the road. Crandall added that his department has been by the house several times to scrape ice off the road.


After the public hearing and discussion period, the board officially adopted the resolution of giving Snyder a deadline of May 31 before taking the next legal steps against him. The board also adopted the Exit 11 Mini-Master Plan, which states in its conclusion that though controversial, roundabouts will be the preferred method for the intersections in the plan, a subject previously reported on by Saratoga TODAY in December 2012.


Councilpersons John Hartzell and Maggie Ruisi got into a small quarrel about the wording of the comprehensive plan’s conclusion, as Hartzell introduced an amendment that would change the wording to note that the town accepts the plan “…with the exception that the Town Board hereby determines to not identify roundabouts as the preferred alternative of the Town Board for the referenced intersections pending further engineering evaluation.”


Ruisi, who spearheaded the entire comprehensive plan, scoffed at Hartzell’s amendment, telling him that “if we don’t accept the current conclusion, we might as well not accept the whole report.”


After a few minutes of discussion, the amendment was denied on a 3-2 vote. The board then proceeded to vote on the actual adoption of the comprehensive plan as is, which was accepted on a 4-1 vote.


Other resolutions adopted by the board at the meeting were the amendment of moving the Adirondack Deck Planned Development District to the planning board for review and the adoption of the 2013 Fire Protection Contracts, which state that the town is moving forward with the planning process of a joint fire station.

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