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Moreau preparing for development

An aerial view looking south on Route 9 in Moreau as the road nears Northway Exit 17, with Route 197 intersecting at the bottom right, is seen last August. The sewer will be constructed along this portion of Route 9, and officials hope the wooded areas will then be developed.

MOREAU — A sticky note is apparently the only way to make a formal complaint with the town’s building department.

Resident Dominic Tom had to leave a sticky note with his name and phone number on it when he came to Town Hall to complain about a partially collapsed building on Route 9.

The town doesn’t have a code enforcer, although the Town Board just created a part-time position and expects to start interviews next month.

Those who want the building inspector or zoning administrator to inspect a possible code violation are routinely given a sticky note to leave messages.

Tom objected, calling the system “ludicrous.”

He said the town must prepare for a wave of development when sewer is installed on Route 9. At some point soon, a part-time code enforcer who checks on a couple of sticky notes won’t be enough, he predicted.

“A town of this size, with all the projects coming up, especially with the sewer, need at least two full-time building inspectors,” he said.

And those inspectors should drive through town, looking for violations, he added.

“You need active, pro-active building inspectors,” he said. “Who’s going to come here when they drive down the main drive and see the messes that are allowed to stand? Or fall over?”

The board has struggled to keep a full-time building inspector in recent years. Supervisor Todd Kusnierz is trying to get the town ready for major development when the Route 9 sewer project is built, but he has started with the planning and zoning boards. Now he’s working on updating the zoning code.

He agreed the town needs a part-time enforcer, but not multiple people.

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“The town has responded to every single complaint regarding our code,” he said. “Now, can we do more code enforcement where it’s not just based on complaints coming in? Absolutely.”

That’s why the board wants to hire a part-timer, he said.

“The town has gotten to the point in population and growth that it warrants having somebody who is dedicated to that position,” he said.

But he’s not too concerned about the sticky notes for code complaints.

He lets department heads run their departments themselves, he said. They can decide what materials to use for communication.

He just wants them to be responsive.

“I want any member of the public who has a concern to have it addressed,” he said.

That’s what got his attention. At Tuesday’s Town Board meeting, Tom said he had not heard back from the code enforcer on the issue, which he had reported weeks earlier.

Kusnierz said that delay was not acceptable.

“It is the goal of government to be responsive to its residents,” he said. “I will get you an answer.”

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You can reach Kathleen Moore at 742-3247 or kmoore@poststar.com. Follow her on Twitter @ByKathleenMoore or at her blog on www.poststar.com.

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