KEENE-During the town's June 16 board meeting, Keene Supervisor BillFerebee said he was unsatisfied with the New York State Department of Transportation's (DOT) decision not to add traffic control measures near the Keene post office on Route 73.
While the DOT won't stop Keene from getting a highway work permit to install a permanent traffic warning device, according to a letter from DOT regional traffic engineer Mark J. Kennedy, this solution would be at the expense of the town.
Ferebee argues the state should pay for device, as the post office is on a state road.
DOT conducted a field investigation of the area in question on May 26, Kennedy wrote.
"We found most Route 73 motorists adjusted their speed when negotiating this area with 84 percent driving at or below the speed limit," Kennedy wrote. "Our sight distance measurements found more than adequate sight available to Route 73 motorists approaching the parking lot at the post office."
DOT returned the following week, Kennedy wrote, to again observe traffic conditions.
"We did find some reasons to be concerned with the manner which post office and the medical center users entered and exited the parking lot, primarily when vehicles backed out of the parking lot into the roadway," he wrote. "During busy times, the sight distance for motorists exiting the parking lot may be limited due to adjacent parked vehicles."
DOT will revisit whether additional traffic control is needed early this summer, Kennedy wrote.
The predicted increase in traffic at the post office over the summer amounts to an accident waiting to happen, Ferebee said. For the money it took to conduct two studies, DOT could have implemented a solution, he said.
In other regular business:
•Carol Treadwell of the Ausable River Association presented a stormwater run-off ordinance for the town to consider implementing that she described as "boilerplate." The two biggest pollutants in the Ausable River are sand and chloride coming off roads and ditches, which ruin fish habitats, she said. The ordinance would require new developments to outfit their sites so there would be zero run-off. Lake Placid, North Elba and Wilmington all have stormwater ordinances.
•Supervisor Ferebee provided an update on the continuing landslide at Adrian's Acres. The earth is still moving, he said, having slid "maybe another foot" in four days.
One house has been condemned and a second is being moved by professionals. The house movers have slid the structure about 12 feet off its foundation and will eventually move it about 100 yards.
The geologist involved can't say when the movement is going to stop. Charity and Jim Marlatt's property was drilled 84 feet deep, revealing "nothing but clay," Ferebee said. It was his understanding that one could see the wreckage of the landslide from Baxter Mountain.
•Ferebee protested what he characterized as unfair press coverage of the state Comptroller's Office audit of the town's finances. The audit stated that eight of the town's 23 bank accounts were not needed.
"I am not in trouble, as rumors state," he said. "The town is not in trouble."
Councilperson Lawrence Jaques agreed.
"As someone who has worked in accounting a little bit, I can fully understand how this happened," Jaques said. "There was no funny stuff going on."
Ferebee said improper training for him and a switch to a computerized accounting system were responsible for the problems. Councilperson Marcy Neville said she felt "much better" about the new system.