The Elma Town Board is gathering information to create a new fill ordinance to regulate earthen fill brought to local sites to make sure it is clean and appropriate.
New regulations would apply only to fill 800 yards and over. This is equivalent to 40 truckloads or more.
The board agreed at a work session Wednesday that a paper trail is needed to trace the origin of any fill brought into Elma.
Board members discussed who would be responsible for the certified material, the contractor or the property owner. Fines will be determined for code abuses. Permits will be available, and fees will be paid through the town’s Code Enforcement Department
The board will bring up the subject at a joint meeting April 30 of the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, Conservation Board and Town Board at 7 p.m. in Town Hall.
Mark Hanna, of Hazard Evaluations, will be invited to the joint meeting to give advice on what is considered clean fill, which will help the board continue its work on the ordinance.
Some “what ifs” were discussed, such as contractors who dump fill on a site close to the target site to save truck time and go back to get it later.
Also, concerns were raised about how to deal with the midnight dumper who comes in when no one is around to a site that has some fill on it and dumps fill that is not appropriate or clean. This fill covers up the clean fill previously dumped by a contractor in compliance, who comes back and unknowingly dumps more clean fill on top of the illegal fill.
Councilman Michael Nolan said, “The board will do everything we possibly can to make sure the fill coming into Elma is OK.”
In other action, the board went into a private executive session to discuss retirement benefits and sick leave policy for part-time employees. When the board reconvened the meeting, Supervisor Dennis Powers said the town would canvass other similar sized towns to make sure the policy is fair for the employees and taxpayers, but in the meantime, “We will adhere to the employees manual.”
The board thanked local Fire Chief Brian Nolan Jr., who donated two new sets of turn-out gear consisting of helmet, trousers, coat and boots, saving the taxpayers $1,200. The gear will be used by Disaster Coordinator Ed Sauer and his assistant, Mark Kowalski.
Councilman James Malczewski suggested the board form a Drainage Review Committee to start the process for using the two acres donated to the town by the Fargo family to alleviate drainage issues in that part of town.