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From the desk of
Town Commissioner Chris Staiger

March, 2010

Spring is right around the corner, or at least that's what they're telling me… We seem to have survived the worst winter in the last ten years, with a nod to the fact that March can still serve up a big storm. But at this point I'm trying to look at the glass as half full! As you've seen, town staff was hard at work putting things right as quickly as possible - and, I think, with GREAT success.

I did find myself joking with people that you could get out and around town the morning after the snow ended (in both cases), but the real question was how far you could then get if you tried to leave town! Thanks also to partners at Bollinger Construction, WF Delauter & Sons, and S&W Construction who provided additional plows and heavy equipment.

Finally, thank you to all of you who were able to at least get some sort of path cleared on your sidewalks. It's always dangerous to walk in the streets. Please continue to keep in mind your friends and neighbors who aren't up to the shoveling or don't have a snow blower. Events like these are when we should all pitch in to help where we can.

So our infrastructure survived largely intact, although there were one or two sewer overflows when inbound volumes four to five times the design capacity of the plant occurred. Once again, staff has found ways to cope with heavy rains and snow melts so that all effluent can be processed - except in the most dramatic instances.

No one was hurt during snow removal operations and I am not aware of any major accidents or incidents specifically related to the weather. The budget will take another hit, but a manageable one. The Town Office is already working to claim funds that may be available from different tiers of government to cover emergency related expenses. So, all in all, I think we've made it through okay! Bring on spring!

One specific bit of town government news I would like to share concerns recent changes to the town's committee structure. The Water, Streets, and Charter Review Committees have been discontinued while a new Citizens Advisory Committee has been established to replace them. The older committees seemed too narrowly focused to get "traction" or prove sustainable.

The new committee will have an open agenda to provide recommendations directly to the Board of Commissioners. It will have up to ten members with a Commissioner acting as Chairperson and therefore a direct link between the committee and the Board. My hope is that this body will serve as a source for grass roots recommendations to the town government. The meeting schedule has not been set, but I would expect once a quarter unless projects are actively being pursued. If you would like to serve on this committee, please send a letter of interest to the town office at 300A South Seton Ave.

Otherwise, we continue to work toward redefining our zoning and development ordinances so they are in line with our Comprehensive Plan goals and newly defined State requirements. I expect to have a Municipal APFO ordinance on the books by the end of the year. The Town Council continues to dedicate the second meeting of the month to planning issues and I hope to make hay while the sun shines and have our new template in place before development pressures renew again.

In this same context we also continue to try to better define our relationship with the County in terms of authority, responsibility, and expectations - keeping the lines of communication open and the relationship cordial, but continuing to protect our interests as a municipality. Best wishes for a safe and happy month!

Chris Staiger

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