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Contributed Illustration

KAUNEONGA LAKE'S COMING downtown streetlamps – or more appropriately, aidewalk lights – will be constructed of concrete and look like this, minus about half the tip at the top (the design was changed).

Ban Large Sewer Users in Bethel

By Dan Hust
KAUNEONGA LAKE — July 17, 2007 — Though it’s not a moratorium – or even a local law – developers in the Town of Bethel may face one more hurdle in a township that’s putting the brakes on rapid growth.
On Thursday, Bethel Town Board members unanimously approved Councilman Bob Blais’ motion to ban out-of-district major subdivisions (5 or more lots) from hooking into Bethel’s municipal sewer system.
The ban is a directive to town officials to not entertain applications from such potential users until the extension of the line along Route 17B west from White Lake to Bethel Woods – known as District 2 – is complete. (The town board already has the legal power to approve or reject out-of-district applications.)
Those within the two districts – including any portion of a major subdivision – continue to have the right to apply for and receive sewer service. And those already receiving service will not be cut off.
However, town officials don’t anticipate construction on District 2 will begin until next summer or fall, meaning that any development along that 1,000-foot-wide corridor – in- or out-of-district – will have to wait if it’s seeking town sewer service.
Blais said his motion’s intent is to ensure capacity in the sewer plant, although Smallwood resident Bob Barrett characterized it as a de facto moratorium.
Giving the monthly building report, Supervisor Harold Russell said total construction in the township is down from this time last year – from $11.9 million worth in 2006 to $8.4 million in 2007.
“And it’s expected to drop more,” he related.
Brightening Kauneonga Lake
Leon Smith and Susan Gordon told the board that the Bethel Local Development Corporation (BLDC) has been working with Bethel First to design a set of streetlights for Kauneonga Lake and White Lake.
Thursday, they unveiled the multi-phase plan, beginning with 15 lights in downtown Kauneonga Lake – 10 50-watt high-intensity lamps along the business corridor and five smaller ones within the triangle.
Future phases would finish the Kauneonga Lake project and add eight more lights along Route 17B in White Lake’s business corridor.
The lights would all be focused downward to reduce light pollution and would be energy-efficient, perched atop concrete poles set about 18 inches back from the roadside – meaning they’re more for pedestrians than traffic and won’t replace the utility-pole-mounted Cobra lights already in existence.
The 12-foot-high lamps would be spaced about 45 feet apart and sit on a 2’x2’ square filled with brick pavers.
“These are very, very cost-efficient, low-energy . . . soft lights,” said Gordon.
They’re guaranteed to last 100 years, but they’re expensive to buy. Though nothing has been put out to bid yet, Smith and Gordon estimated the first phase in Kauneonga Lake would cost around $200,000.
Smith said some grant money has already arrived, but they’ll be looking for private donations, and a major fund-raising effort will begin soon.
“We haven’t given up entirely on asking the town for money,” added Smith with a smile – but for now that simply seems to be the approximately $1,000 a month (or less) electricity and maintenance are estimated to cost.
That’s why Smith and Gordon made their presentation that night – to get a commitment from the town board to pay such ongoing costs, plus approval of the conceptual plan and permission to install the streetlamps on town property.
All three requests got unanimous approval.
In the process, a resident repeated a longtime request to have a full traffic light installed at the southern end of the Kauneonga Lake triangle, and the board unanimously approved sending another letter to the county (which oversees that portion of NYS Route 55) asking for such a light.
Bethel Councilman Dick Crumley mentioned his awe with an unlit Ithaca intersection he recently visited where everyone politely let other drivers proceed when it was their turn.
“That’s not Bethel anymore,” was the sighed reply he received from the audience.
In other business
Town Clerk Rita Sheehan was proud (and relieved) to announce that town, planning and zoning board minutes and agendas will now be posted online at – sure to save her plenty of time with the numerous FOIL requests for such material.
She was also pleased to see the board unanimously approve the purchase of a $1,200 system that will utilize a CD to record the audio from board meetings – and make it available to the public.

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