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Moving Forward - Land Swap & Sand Shed

Written By The Mountain Eagle on 4/19/24 | 4/19/24

By Mary A. Crisafulli

DAVENPORT - The Davenport Town Board met on April 16 where they discussed plans for a vacant parcel and a new salt shed. 

The town had previously sold a property to Habitat for Humanity which was gifted back to the town. Supervisor Timothy "Tim" Kelso said the roughly one-acre property is located on Davenport's main street without any dwelling on it currently. Habitat for Humanity had planned to build a home on the property but is no longer able to do so. Once the town attorney writes up the paperwork for the property, Kelso said the property will belong to the town again.

There was a past-due water bill attached to the parcel of $140, which the town was unsure which entity had responsibility for. After consulting with county officials, Kelso said neither the town nor Habitat are required to pay it as they both qualify for tax exemption. After filling out some paperwork, Kelso reported the issue was resolved. The town does not have any plans for the parcel, but is discussing options, said Kelso.

In another discussion, council members hired Herrmann Engineering of Oneonta to develop construction plans for a highway sand shed. The shed will protect sand from inclement weather conditions. The cost of engineering plans is between $8,000 and $10,000, Kelso said.

In February, Highway Superintendent Fred Utter said he was hoping for a 70' x 24' x 100' structure with a concrete floor and walls and a metal roof.

Kelso reached out to the O'Connor Foundation and state agencies to discuss funding and grant opportunities for the project. 

In other business:

The board approved the internal audit of the town court.

A new part-time clerk position was created to comply with county regulations. Carol Malz is now permitted to do bookkeeping for the water district and update the town website.

Council members approved purchase and installation of an upgraded phone system from Delhi Telephone Company for $2,500. The system will have individual lines for each town official. 

In February, Utter was authorized to purchase a screener machine for $15,000. A screener sifts out oversized particles in sand and gravel and can divide items into specific particle size ratio requirements. Gravel and sand are used for road maintenance purposes. The machine Utter was hoping to get did not work out. Utter is still exploring options.

Kelso reported on community concerns regarding property owned by Christian Brothers Home Improvement and Housing of Oneonta. The residents said the property, located on NY-23 in Davenport with a Oneonta address, is overloaded with uncontained trash. Code Enforcement Officer Tomi Tompkins issued a code violation on Mar. 14 with a 30 compliance timeline. Kelso said the clean-up of the property is going well and after speaking with concerned residents they are pleased with the efforts of the town.

The next town board meeting is scheduled Tuesday, May 21 at 7 p.m.


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