SPENCER — About a dozen Spencer Village residents were on hand for the latest Spencer Village Board meeting to voice complaints about the condition of many properties in the village and the lack of response from the village code enforcement officer Mike Katchmir.
The first resident to speak was a former village board member and she pointed out the lack of building permits being reported yet homes are being added on to. She went on to talk about garbage around some homes, people living in Winnebago and not sure where the sewage is going and more.
The resident reported on the health of a 3-year-old in the village having seizures with no medical explanation.
“Moles, voles and rats running around due to lack of mowing,” she stated.
The resident went on to state the code enforcement officer is not doing his job. She is so frustrated she is actually looking into legal counsel to help get the situation improved.
Other residents spoke up and talked about junk vehicles; and neighbors’ junk crossing over on to their properties. When talking about the junk vehicles, Mayor Ken Sutfin reported there can only be one unregistered vehicle on a property. If the vehicles are registered not much can be done.
There was mention of concern over a methadone lab explosion in the village a few weeks ago — and what that may have released into the atmosphere or the ground.
Another resident reported on the many vehicles in his neighbor’s yard may be registered but are leaking oil and gas on to the ground.
More complaints were about residents not keeping their lawns mowed. Sutfin talked about the need to change the code because the way it is stated now if the village mowed someone’s lawn it would be considered trespassing.
Discussions went on about doing a zoning study as many feel zoning laws would help the situations that need work in the village.
Another resident talked about accidents waiting to happen at intersections due to the lack of trimming back of trees and shrubs.
Many demanded the firing of the code enforcement officer, who they claim is not doing his job. Some suggestions came from the group as others who might be interested in the job.
Board member Nicole O’Connell pointed out they need to come up with the code enforcement officer duty description before looking into getting a new one.
After listening to many more complaints, Sutfin promised to talk to the code enforcement officer, and will give him 10 days to get going and do his job or he will ask for his resignation. Some in the audience who work in building and construction offered to help pick a new code enforcement officer.
There was also talk about what Sutfin called, “Zombie houses,” or homes that basically need work but the residents are unable to do what is needed due to age, income, or health issues and looking in to how to get them help.
The board passed a resolution accepting the County Hazard Mitigation Plan after Sutfin read it aloud. The resolution will be updated every five years.
The board accepted a $2,000 grant from the Mildred Truman Faulkner Foundation for a cage for the back of police car and some other items, thanks to Spencer Police Officer Montaro.
Montaro reported after investigating for many months; a warrant was executed and “a very dangerous individual” is out of the village. The individual faces charges dealing with firearms and drugs along with some other charges.
Tim Goodrich reported the joint planning board is looking at zoning and land use. He asked the board to approve moving ahead with a zoning study, and the board agreed.
Goodrich also reported on the county planning board and talked about solar projects coming in everywhere. He talked about one being put in Nichols, on farmland that was very usable. “Good, viable farm land being taken away is not good,” he said.
Later in the meeting a resident reported on the fact that she has not received a bill for her electric from NYSEG in months. She has tried to correct what she is sure is an error by calling every month and even sending pictures of her meter to them; but has had no results. A mix up in the switch over to MEGA is being blamed by NYSEG; and somehow she ended up with a credit. She ask the board for ideas to help in this matter.