Boat ramp hits snag

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PERU – The proposed boat ramp on Worthley Pond is facing permitting problems.

The Inland Fisheries and Wildlife Department is to build the ramp. It intends to meet the environmental requirements of the project by the Permit-by-Rule process, which avoids most of the normal review process.

But after Richard Baker of the Department of Environmental Protection inspected the proposed site with Board of Selectmen Chairman Bill Hine and others, he indicated that the scope of the project and special conditions at the site made it a candidate for a more thorough environmental review.

Baker also said that the project would have to meet town ordinances. The site is between two creeks that empty into Worthley Pond. In places, the creeks are only 135 feet apart. Peru’s Shoreline Zoning Ordinance requires a 75-foot setback from each creek. A variance from the Appeals Board will be needed to make the site usable.

David Trask, the contractor for the new sand/salt shed, met with the board. Groundwork will begin in June, and the project will be completed by the end of September. The only uncertainty is the amount of ledge that must be removed. It will cost $200 per cubic yard to remove any ledge in excess of that specified in the contract. Trask will use subcontractors to do the groundwork and the Peru Road Department will not be involved.

Paul Bickford, who lives on Worthley Pond, failed to correct zoning violations as ordered by the previous code enforcement officer, the board said. The town’s new code enforcement officer, Jack Plumley, will request permission to inspect the property, according to the board. If this request is refused, the town will request an administrative inspection order from the District Court. If the code enforcement officer finds the violations still exist, he will write a notice of violation, the board said.

Selectmen indicated that they will follow the necessary legal steps to have the problem resolved.

In other business, Hine pointed out that anticipated increases in assessments will result in a corresponding decrease in the tax rate and no increase in total taxes collected unless the townspeople vote to spend more money.

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