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Columbia Solar Law Reviewed

More steps in the process to update the Town of Columbia’s Commercial Solar Regulations were done this month.


At the Town Board’s May meeting, changes as suggested by the Planning Board were incorporated into the draft.


The new version was sent to Herkimer County Planning Department for a review.


Councilman Jim Cotton said the working group of residents led by Councilman H. Ed Reed did a fantastic job on the updates.


After the county Planning Board reviews the law, the Board will set up a public hearing for residents to comment.


The hearing date could be set at the June 6 meeting.


In other matters, Supervisor Nathan Seamon said town funds were transferred to NBT from Bank of Cooperstown as well as invested.


Town clerk Therese Winchester said the recent notice about dog licensing has prompted people to send in their renewals, as has reminders about building and zoning permits.


Instead of being in the office Mondays, Winchester has switched that to Tuesdays from 8:30 to 11 a.m.


Highway Department Superintendent Mark Buddle said the new loader arrived. Drainage work was done at the Town Hall.


Buddle reviewed road work that will be done once the CHIPS funding is confirmed. He said it is assumed towns will get the same as last year from New York state.


Columbia received about $198,000 in 2023.


Buddle also talked about a new state law that requires manufacturers of heavy duty vehicles to sell 50 percent internal combustion engines and 50 percent electric.


Codes Officer Ray Donley said he completed training.


Donley said a commercial building is going up on Route 28 near Hoffman Road.


A residence on Brewer Road has a new deck but did not apply for a building permit, he said.


Through his role as a Herkimer County legislator, Donley is helping coordinate monthly meetings of all municipal codes officers in the county.


He and Buddle discussed the problem of filling vacancies in the county’s Highway Department; assistance to municipalities is limited because of the 35 to 40 unfilled positions.


Buddle suggested keeping employees on full-time.


Donley has information for teens looking for summer work through the county’s program.


Tax collector Mary Doremus said four payments came in the mail too late to be included and were sent to the county.


After review town officials decided the town’s 2010 dog law is sufficient and there is no need to bring in the state law for support.


One difference, Seamon said, is the state law says the dog control officer shall seize all loose dogs.


The town’s law says the officer may seize the dog as needed.

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The full story is in this week's edition of the newspaper. 

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