New town board discusses moratorium

By Connor Linskey
Posted 1/8/20

The new Montgomery Town Board showed at the reorganization meeting last Thursday that they are eager to make change.

After constant feedback from the community, the town board set a special work …

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New town board discusses moratorium

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The new Montgomery Town Board showed at the reorganization meeting last Thursday that they are eager to make change.

After constant feedback from the community, the town board set a special work session meeting to discuss a potential development moratorium. The work session will be held on Tuesday, Jan. 14 at 4 p.m. This was music to many residents’ ears, who expressed a need for a moratorium during the public comment portion of the meeting last Thursday.

“The need for a moratorium and comprehensive plan right now are more critical than ever,” said Barbara Lerner, a resident of the Town of Montgomery. “We’re working with a plan whose basis was in 1998. It has been updated slightly, but not really enough to account for the types of projects that are coming before the boards.”

The town board also plans to make changes to the comprehensive plan. They are in the process of forming a comprehensive plan committee. The board will interview two planning firms on Thursday, Jan. 23 at 7 p.m.

The new board has set out to honor Montgomery’s outstanding residents by awarding the Town of Montgomery Citizen of the Month. This honor will be presented each month to a resident of the Town of Montgomery that has shown outstanding dedication and service to their community. Any resident of the Town of Montgomery can recommend to the town board a deserving honoree to be considered. Potential honorees can be emailed to Town Supervisor Brian Maher at bmaher@townofmontgomery.com.

As a way to foster community involvement, the town board is encouraging all Town of Montgomery residents to submit letters of interest to serve on the following boards: planning, zoning, industrial development agency, historical preservation, conservation advisory council, board of assessment review, ethics and the comprehensive plan committee. Letters of interest should be emailed to Supervisor Maher at bmaher@townofmontgomery.com by Friday, Jan. 17 at noon. Letters of interest can also be mailed to Supervisor Maher at 110 Bracken Road, Montgomery, NY 12549.

The supervisor also announced at Thursday’s board meeting that he will be establishing an advisory task force to look into ambulance services within the Town of Montgomery.

There are many purposes of this task force, one of them being to identify all stakeholders associated with ambulance services within the Town of Montgomery and define their roles. Supervisor Maher also aims to identify communities struggling that have similar makeups as the Town of Montgomery. He wants to learn what those communities are doing right and what needs improvement. In comparison, Maher wants to identify what the Town of Montgomery is doing right and what needs improvement.

The task force also aims to identify any funding shortfalls related to ambulance services and provide detailed reasons for these shortfalls and potential short term and long term solutions. Maher wants to provide a report on emergency response times by all ambulance services who operated within the Town of Montgomery for the last 24 months.

The supervisor is also starting the task force to determine how the town board should spend the $100,000 budgeted in 2020 for ambulance services within the Town of Montgomery. He wonders how the town should fund ambulance services moving forward. One of the most critical reasons for the task force is to provide the town board with any and all recommendations that will lead to the best possible ambulance services being provided to the Town of Montgomery.

Maher noted that this process will have very specific target dates. By Thursday, Feb. 20, the task force chairman will appear before the town board with a recommendation on how to best spend the $100,000 budgeted for 2020.

A special meeting will be called in the month of May to discuss additional findings of the task force. The town board’s goal is to ensure in the years ahead that the Town of Montgomery’s success can be a case study for other communities to follow on how to provide exceptional ambulance services to its residents.

This task force is a major step forward for the Town of Montgomery. Not too long ago, right before the 2020 budget was adopted, there was no funding in the budget regarding the town’s ambulance corps. This brought frustration to the community and there needed to be a change.

“We can’t have a community that feels secure and safe and not have an ambulance service,” said former Walden Village Trustee Mary Ellen Matise at a budget hearing in November.

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