Members of the Marilla Conservation Advisory Board huddled with the Town Board during a work session Tuesday to seek direction in the aftermath of the resignation of Chairman James Hopper on Oct. 1.
“The conservation group has had no agenda or information to review ahead of time, and the last meetings have not had enough members in attendance to do anything,” said Debbie Beats, a member of the panel.
It is unclear why Hopper resigned.
Supervisor George Gertz suggested the conservation panel regroup. The next meeting will be held at 7 p.m. next Thursday in Town Hall, 1600 Bowen Road. Gertz said the board has a new member, Sara Mochrie, and others are interested in joining the panel.
Also, Barbara Johnson of I. Brown Associates, who is putting together the Farmland Protection Plan for the town as part of its master plan, suggested the panel should consider changing its name to better represent farmers, as well. The Farmland Protection Plan will be considered for adoption by the Town Board when it meets in December.
Holly Beats, an Iroquois student and daughter of Debbie Beats, suggested that the advisory panel include junior members, similar to the Future Farmers of America. Gertz, who applauded the idea, noted that high school students need community hours to graduate.
In another matter, Councilman Donald Darrow said he is working with Town Attorney Joel Kurtzhalts to update the town code to ban the spreading of sludge.
Gertz said he would have an environmental attorney study the idea for possible inclusion on the board’s January meeting agenda. Under the proposed change, sludge would be considered a potential contaminant of property and water supplies, and a health and safety hazard to residents, crops and animals. The proposed law would establish penalties, including $250 per offense and imprisonment up to 15 days.