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Geneva board won’t rezone for church

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Posted: Wednesday, October 10, 2012 1:38 pm

GENEVA — The Town Board will not rezone an industrial parcel to allow a church to be built on Route 14.

Jericho Faith Ministries, which owns the three-acre site, submitted a petition requesting the zoning amendment needed to allow construction. The Town Board was expected to vote on it Tuesday night and potentially refer it to the zoning and planning boards.

However, when Town Supervisor Mary Luckern asked someone to make the motion, silence ensued.

Jericho Faith Ministries first sought the zoning change several years ago, but the Town Board voted against it.

Councilman Pat Riley said not only does the board not want the town to lose industrial land, he wasn’t eager to revisit an old decision.

“It was already voted on by this board,” he said. “With no changes in information, the request was pretty much the same as was voted on before.”

The site is currently vacant, except for a sign announcing that it is the church’s future home.

In other matters:

WATER: The board voted to raise the water rates for town of Benton residents who get their water from Geneva. The rate will increase from $1.55 per 1,000 gallons to $1.75 per 1,000.

BUDGET: The board scheduled a budget workshop for 7 p.m. Oct. 17 at the town hall. The first draft of the spending plan includes no town property tax.

ASSESSMENTS: The board voted to hire an outside assessment firm to help the town with lawsuits filed over the recent revaluation. Girasole-Penale LLC will work 10 to 15 hours at a rate of $250 per hour.

INSPECTIONS: Code Enforcement Officer Bill McAdoo told the board he will be doing his annual inspection of places in the town where people assemble, such as restaurants. He notified the owners of those properties by letter in September and expects to conduct the inspections this month.

McAdoo said he looks for safety issues.

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