Greenbush seeks post office site

by Sabrina Nucciarone
Review Correspondent

GREENBUSH - Not having a post office in the Town to serve the residents was the first topic of discussion during the public concerns portion of Aug. 27 Town Board meeting.

“Maybe I am a terminal romantic of the 53026 zip code, but I want to save the zip code for Greenbush. Without it, it diminishes our sense of place. I want a Greenbush address. I want a sense of place,” town resident Alan Pape said.

With Pape expressing the desire for the board to look into the prospect further, Supervisor John Kline indicated that no one has come forward or is interested in where a post office could be placed. “The Wade House thought about it and reneged on that opportunity,” he said.

“Maybe as a group we could come up with an idea,” Pape said.

As to why the Town Hall could not be used, it was explained that the space can not be rented for a federal office and even land that belongs to the town would have to be developed at the town's expense. Chairman Mike Limberg said that it would have to be approved by voters, in the form of a referendum.

The post office building, wherever it may be, has to have electricity, sewer and water.

• • •

With about 80 percent of the nation’s smaller cities, towns, and villages represented by volunteer firefighters, the discussion of pay for firefighters was brought up by town of Greenbush Fire Chief Steve Dickman. When he surveyed 21 of the town firefighters, 20 of the responses were for some kind of pay or stipend.

Dickman said he asked chiefs from different areas and various municipalities about the amount of remuneration for being sent out on fire calls. “The dollar amount is all over the place,” he said, though payments were mostly consistent between $10 to $15, depending on the event or drill.

Another department, Dickman said, has a set dollar amount, then do it on a point system for those who participate, then pay out. Like other municipalities already paying or considering it, a little incentive would keep people on, Dickman explained.

“What I would like to see is the Town Board put together a committee to see what can be done for what they all do,” Dickman said.

Supervisor Beth Legacy said that during a previous meeting she had written down a note to inquire about forming a committee about the possibility of paying firefighters.

“I did research online, printed it out to read, but it is good information about why to pay, when to pay, and how important it is to keep what we have. It’s testimony. It is very interesting. I personally would like to see a committee formed. It will open up a discussion for what is to come and what it’s like to not have a fire department,” she said.

Looking into options as to where the money could possibly come from, Limberg said the insurance agent for the town suggested improving the ISO rating of the fire house which would possibly lower insurance premiums for town residents.

Based on the ability to do so, Limberg appointed Supervisor Ken Stemper, Kline, Dickman, and another person yet to be named to look into the options.

On the prospect of paying firefighters, Limberg aksed,“I’m not against it, but where is the money going to come from?”

• • •

Lagacy read a letter she composed to the board regarding a resident whom she knew that mowed down high grass and weeds that would have been the responsibility of the town. To place the safety of the resident’s family above the town schedule to mow now that the tractor mower, which needed repair, is now operable, Lagacy felt it was proper to consider paying the resident for their time, even though it’s after the fact.

“We can’t legally pay someone for their services, unless they come before the Town Board to request payment,” Limberg said. And, even then, payment is not guaranteed because it requires at least a majority vote by the board.

With the cutting of weeds in mind, in a later agenda item, Legacy approached the subject of some land owners who have farm land but not using it for agricultural purposes, letting noxious weeds grow.

“If we adopted the county’s noxious weed ordinance, the board can decide how to handle it. It’s not fair to farmers that take care of their land compared to owners who do not crop their land,” she said.

If there is a compliance ordinance for the height of weeds, the board would contact the town’s attorney to assist in composing a letter that the town can provide to and advise the land owner, give them time to comply, and charge a fine if the time has been exceeded. The compliance would only relate to land zoned A-1.

• • •

Recent rains will have the board taking a closer look at roads that will need repairing. Flowing water, which can wash out gravel along the roadside, can leave the road itself in a vulnerable state. Any effort made now may not be worth the money spent on repairs because of the toll the rains have taken.

The Leynes of Shady Lane said that there have been problems with the roadway in the past because of this issue. “It’s really washed out. With the first wet heavy snow, they won’t plow until the gravel freezes, until the snow gets packed down by the residents who access the road,” they said.

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