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Kendall passes workplace violence protection law to help keep town employees safe

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 19 April 2017 at 10:30 am

Town officials eager to see improvements on Parkway

Photo by Kristina Gabalski: A bumblebee embraces a blossom on a flowering tree outside the Kendall Town Hall Tuesday evening.

KENDALL –  Town Board members on Tuesday evening  unanimously adopted a new Workplace Violence Prevention Policy for the town. The policy will be filed with the New York State Department of Labor and Supervisor Tony Cammarata says the town will review it on an annual basis.

“All employees are subject to the training process,” he said.

The policy is designed to meet the requirements of New York State Labor Law and defines workplace violence as any physical assault or act of aggressive behavior occurring where a public employee performs any work-related duty in the course of his or her employment. That includes all town property as well as altercations at sites where the town highway department works on projects.

The goal of the policy is to promote the safety and well-being of all people in our workplace, the policy states.

“We want to make sure employees have good, safe working conditions, as well as anyone who comes into the Town of Kendall (town property),” Cammarata said. “We want them to feel safe. We want employees who work late in the town offices to feel safe. We put a lot of thought into this process.”

Under the policy, all incidents of violence or threatening behavior will be responded to immediately upon notification.

The town’s designated contact person is Deputy Town Supervisor Margaret Lynn Szozda.

The policy includes guidelines for managing workplace altercations, general procedure, discipline and procedure for violent incidents.

In other business, Supervisor Cammarata reported that Governor Cuomo’s office has notified him that funding has been approved for the resurfacing of the Lake Ontario State Parkway.

Plans are to resurface the Parkway in Orleans County from the eastern border to Rt. 237 in Kendall. Cammarata says there is no word yet on when the paving will take place.

“Maybe by this time next year it might be resurfaced,” he said.

This past January, Assemblyman Steve Hawley announced that work will begin this summer on resurfacing the Parkway from Payne Beach Road in Parma to Rt. 19 in Hamlin – all in Monroe County.

Last summer the state announced paving west from Rt. 19 to Rt. 237 in Kendall would take place in 2018.

Local leaders in both Monroe and Orleans counties have said the entire Parkway – all the way to Lakeside Beach State Park in Carlton – needs resurfacing.  The Parkway received attention last year when it was named to the 2016 list of the Landmark Society of Western New York’s Five to Revive list.

Cammarata additionally reported on progress of the review of an emergency disaster plan for the town.

He said he met last week with Kendall School Superintendent Julie Christensen and the school’s buildings and grounds superintendent to discuss the plan.  Another meeting is set for May and will include Orleans County Sheriff Randy Bower and members of the Kendall Fire Department, and Morton and Walker Fire Departments.

Cammarata said he wants a plan in place and, “ready to serve the needs of the public,” during emergency situations. He said he welcomed input from other Town Board members regarding items they would like to see on the agenda for the next meeting.

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Kendall school budget includes slight increase in spending

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 14 April 2017 at 10:12 am

KENDALL – Members of the Kendall Board of Education on Wednesday evening adopted the district’s 2017-2018 budget.

The budget of $17,415,783 will be presented to district voters May 16. The budget is up slightly from the 2016-17 budget of $17,392,234.

District officials said comments from residents who attended Wednesday’s meeting of the school board were very positive.

District Clerk Sheryl Madison said parents were pleased that the district combined its wrestling team with Holley rather than disbanding the program.

“Parents and students were there and told the Board they were grateful the wrestling program had combined and not been cancelled,” Madison said.  “It was refreshing to hear such positive comments.”

Kendall will hold a budget presentation meeting for the public at 6:30 p.m. on May 3 at the Kendall Jr./Sr. High School Library. Board of Education candidates will also be introduced that evening.

In addition to the budget, voters will elect two members of the Board of Education on May 16 – one for a five-year term and one for a year to fill the remaining term of a vacant seat on the board which expires June 30, 2018. The vacant seat will be filled immediately following the election, rather than waiting until July 1 when a new term typically begins.

Additionally, voters will see a proposition for usage of funds from the School Bus Reserve Fund on the ballot. The sum, not to exceed $250,000, is for the purchase of motor vehicles for the district including passenger buses.

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Mr. Kendall competition proves a crowd pleaser

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 9 April 2017 at 10:39 pm

Photos by Kristina Gabalski

KENDAL – Mr. Kendall Cameron Heller, left, and runner-up James Longrod are pictured at the 4th annual Mr. Kendall Pageant on Friday evening.

The popular tongue-in-cheek event is hosted by Kendall High School Senior Council and gives upperclassmen the opportunity to get out on the stage and show off their talents.

The 2017 pageant featured nine contestants – seven seniors and two juniors.  They were judged in categories including Workout Wear – won by Cameron Heller; Group Dance Number; Lip Sync – won by Joey LoSapio; Sleepwear – won by Kenny Price; Formal Wear won by Ryan Barrett (who was actually part of the crew and who interviewed the contestants); and Individual Talents – won by Miguel Aguirre.

Guest judges this year were Mr. Driesel, Ms. Mason, Creagan Maclaren (2016 Mr. Kendall) and Kari Hurlbutt.

Mr. Kendall contestants began the evening with a group dance number in their Workout Wear.

Contestant James Longrod performed the Barbie Girl Song by Aqua during the Lip Sync portion of the show.  He was assisted by crew member Ryan Barrett – riding pedal tractor.  The pair was deemed the tallest Barbie and shortest Ken ever.

Ryan Barrett poses a very specific question for contestant Jeremy Browe.

Cameron Heller made a very bold fashion statement with his Formal Wear selection.

Contestant Brandon Miller – who noted his beard sets him apart from fellow contestants – assists Ryan Barrett with his fashion accessory during the interview portion.

Contestant Joey LoSapio had the help of fellow contestants during the talent portion of the show. Joey performed a cheerleading routine.

Contestant Jacob Adams said his future plans include growing older and becoming the best sit down comedian. His talent performance featured a sit-down “stand-up comic” routine.

A highlight of the evening was the surprise prom proposal contestant Miguel Aguirre made to his, “assistant chosen from the audience,” for his magic routine during the talent portion of the pageant. Miguel’s “assistant” accepted the proposal.

Jeremy Browe chose to stage a hot dog eating contest for his talent number. He is seated on the far left side of the table. Fellow Mr. Kendall contestants also took part.

The audience gets one last look at the contestants before the announcement of winners.

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Kendall gives final approval to build new Dollar General

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 6 April 2017 at 10:43 am

Town would like sidewalk from store to main intersection, but can’t require Dollar General to do it off its property

KENDALL – Members of the Kendall Planning Board unanimously gave site plan review and subdivision approval on Wednesday evening to a 9,100-square-foot Dollar General. The retail store is proposed for Route 18, just west of the Kendall Road (Route 237) intersection.

Board members recessed their regular meeting on March 28 to set down conditions of the approval in writing before their vote.

Those conditions include two from the Orleans County Planning Board – that signage shall be in compliance with the Town of Kendall Zoning Ordinance, and that the area of the parking lot travelled by heavy duty truck traffic be constructed pursuant to the State Department of Transportation standards.

Also spelled out in conditions are stipulations in the selling and subdivision of land between the buyer and the seller and conditions of the Planning Board.

A number of changes were made before the vote was held. Board members included maintenance of the area of the parking lot travelled by heavy trucks, and added a condition that the construction of a concrete sidewalk from the store to the east property line be completed at the same time the store is built.

“We want to make sure it gets done,” Planning Board Chairman Andrew Kludt said.

Kendall Supervisor Tony Cammarata attended the meeting and said there will eventually be sidewalk all the way to the Rt. 237 intersection.

“Safety, health and welfare is important,” Cammarata said. “I am concerned. I don’t want to see pedestrians on Rt. 18 going west to Dollar General.”

He noted the speed limit is 55 miles per hour and the road is used by tractor trailer trucks.

Cammarata asked Planning Board members if the developer is willing to pay for sidewalk construction all the way to the intersection. Kludt explained that developers had already responded “no” to the board’s request.

“Sidewalk is a main concern for us,” Kludt said. “Their (the developer’s) perspective, is that it is not a concern. We don’t have the leverage in the codes to compel them to do it.”

Additional conditions of the Planning Board include a negative declaration on the environmental impact review as long as the developer’s plan meets state regulations regarding retention ponds and wastewater treatment.

Developers must return to the Planning Board regarding approval of proposed signage. Developers have said they have a separate sign vendor who works to pursue any necessary variances following site plan approval.

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Big turnout at pasta dinner to support Kendall junior firefighter, 16

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 1 April 2017 at 10:46 pm

Photos by Tom Rivers

KENDALL – Payton Walters is pictured with a row of Kendall fire trucks this evening. The trucks were parked outside the fire hall to make room for a pasta dinner which was a benefit to support Walders and his family.

Payton, 16, sustained a concussion in a hockey game on Jan. 22. CT scans showed had an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in his brain. This is a leading cause of stroke in younger people.

Payton received good news this week. He is a candidate for proton beam radiation in Boston. The radiation will help to resolve his tangled up network of blood vessels in his brain.

Walters became a Kendall junior firefighters about two years ago. He has at the fire hall every other Tuesday, doing some light training and helping with tasks around the fire hall. He said he enjoys the camaraderie of the firefighters.

“When I go over theory, he knows his stuff,” said Jim Barrett, president of the fire department.

Jim Barrett stirs the pasta during today’s dinner to benefit Payton Walters. Barrett said 200 dinners were sold in the first hour.

Payton said he appreciated all of the support in Kendall, as well as others in the region. Payton and his family moved from Flint, Mich. to Kendall 3 1/2 years ago. His mother, Dawnn, is a nurse and his father, Scott, makes prosthetics for a company in Buffalo. Payton said he enjoys life in a small town.

“I just want to thank everyone for all of the support in the community,” he said. “You don’t get this kind of support in most places.”

Payton is pictured with two junior firefighters, Emma Robb (left) and Sadie Howes.

“He’s a nice kid who is always willing to help people out,” Robb said. “Nothing seems to bother him.”

Payton said he is “staying positive” as he awaits the next step in determining his treatment. He is thankful the headaches have gone away from his concussion. He struggled for about three weeks to be able to read and concentrate.

Emma Robb and Wendy Balka serve up pasta dinners this evening at Kendall. Balka’s son Steven is also a junior firefighter.

Mrs. Walters posted this message on Facebook after the dinner tonight:

“Overwhelmingly amazing day. Thank you to the Kendall Fire Department and Auxiliary from the bottoms of our hearts. Thank you friends who came out for dinner to support us. There aren’t enough ways to say thank you to express how blessed we feel to have all of you in our lives. I don’t know how we can ever repay the generosity and love you have given us.”

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Students, alumni show Kendall’s ‘Got Talent’

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 1 April 2017 at 9:44 am

Photos by Kristina Gabalski

KENDALL – Katie Driesel and Kaitlyn Curtis, both members of the Class of 2008 who are now teachers at Kendall Central, sing “For Good” from Wicked.

After taking a year off, Kendall’s Got Talent returned to the Jr./Sr. High Auditorium Friday night with a mix of Elementary (Grades 3-6), Jr./Sr. High School (Grades 7-12) and Alumni acts. The evening was sponsored by AFS and the Class of 2020.

AFS advisor Mirjam Bauer, who was herself an exchange student from Holland, and who decided to move to the United States following her experience, said AFS promotes, “cultural diversity through the exchange of students.”

She explained that the annual talent show had been a big deal in Kendall for many years, but took a break last year when participants said they struggled with the judging.

This year’s contest featured what Bauer called, “non-traditional judging,” with several acts honored from both divisions.

Ayla Huff, a member of the Class of 2012, performs the song, “Issues.”

Winners of the Elementary Acts Star Quality Performance Award went  to  “Twin Trumpets” Hannah and Ben Brundage, who performed a trumpet duet.

The Elementary Acts Most Creative Performance Award went to the members of the Glow Stick Crew – Jonny Conte, Nicholas Cole, Aidan Kwaitkowski, Brooke Rodas, and Brandon Barrett.  The group were crowd pleasers with their dancing routine.

Leigha Zugehoer sings as part of the Elementary Acts portion of the show.

Kiersten Rodas performs “Hallelujah” on the piano during the Jr./Sr. High portion of the show.

Sarah Knapp and Ryan Barrett received the Out of This World Performance Award in the Jr./Sr. High Act portion of the show.  They performed the song, “Dear Happy.” In the Elementary Acts portion of the show, Paige Hardenbrook won the Out of This World Award for her dance.

Shelby Kruger received the Jr./Sr. High Acts Star Quality Performance Award for her performance of the “Cup Song.”

Kierstyn Christensen and Michela Hanlon tap-danced their way to the Jr./Sr. High Acts Most Creative Performance Award.

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Kendall praises Dollar General for look of proposed store, pushes back final vote on April 5

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 29 March 2017 at 11:06 am

Photo by Kristina Gabalski: Caryn Mlodzianowski of Bohler Engineering reviews plans during a public hearing Tuesday evening for the Dollar General project in Kendall. The proposed retail store is 9,100 square feet and includes 36 parking spaces.  Mlodzianowski said the project meets setback requirements of the town, includes green space and will connect to public water.  The store will have a private septic system.

KENDALL – Members of the Kendall Planning Board recessed their March meeting on Tuesday evening, putting further site plan review and subdivision approval for the proposed Dollar General store off until April 5.

Planning Board Chairman Andrew Kludt decided to table the decision and recess the meeting to allow for detailed conditions to be spelled out before the necessary subdivision is approved.

Members of the Orleans County Planning Board on March 23 recommended Kendall approve the project with two conditions: that the signage be in compliance with zoning, and that the area of the parking lot where there will be truck traffic must have a darker, more heavy duty pavement.

The Dollar General is proposed on 1.4 acres of land on Rt. 18 (Roosevelt Highway) just west of the Kendall Rd., (Rt. 237) intersection.  The location is now a vacant field in the General Business zoning district of the town.

In addition to the conditions of the County Planning Board, the Kendall Planning Board’s list of conditions includes evergreens planted on the west side of the property along a six-foot high fence, septic approval by the Department of Health, a six-foot high fence on the east side of the property not to interfere with a drainage ditch, and an eventual tie-in with sidewalk, once the town is able to install sidewalk to the Dollar General property line.

Several residents and town officials attended the meeting, which included a public hearing on the requested subdivision.

No one spoke out against the project. One resident asked if the interior of the store would be similar to other Dollar Generals in the area.

“If you look at any of the stores built over the last five years, the inside will be virtually identical,” said R.H. “Rob” Neill, Jr., project director from Primax Properties.

Planning Board Chairman Andrew Kludt said he has visited a new Dollar General store on Rt. 63 near Rt. 104 in Ridgeway and was very impressed.

“It’s a really nice store,” he said. “Very clean and organized.”

Town Councilperson Bruce Newell asked about traffic flow during deliveries made by tractor trailer trucks.

Caryn Mlodzianowski of Bohler Engineering said there will be service doors on the store where the trucks will pull up for deliveries.

Neill said deliveries are always made during regular store hours which tend to run from 9 a.m. to 9 p.m.

The exterior of the proposed Dollar General in Kendall includes lap siding in brown, a peak roof on the facade over the entryway and shutters and awnings for the windows.

“We’ve come a long way,” Mlodzianowski noted, “before it was all flat lines and metal siding. We are excited to continue the review here and are hopeful we can move forward.”

“I’m very pleased,” Councilperson Barb Flow said. She described the exterior as “rustic and rural,” exactly what the town wants. “I am very happy to see what you have done to the front of the store.”

The Planning Board will meet at 7 p.m. at the Kendall Town Hall on April 5.  Chair Andrew Kludt said he expects to approve the environmental review for the project as well as the subdivision at that time.

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Community continues to rally in support of Kendall boy, 16

Chester Photography: This collage shows Payton Walters of Kendall playing hockey, one of his life’s passions since he started at age 4.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 28 March 2017 at 12:57 pm

A concussion on Jan. 22 revealed a more serious health concern for Payton Walters

Provided photos: Payton Walters and Steven Balka are both junior firefighters with the Kendall Fire Department.

KENDALL – Payton Walters was knocked out on Jan. 22 during a hockey game. An opposing player checked him hard along the boards, a brutal shot to the chin.

Payton, 16, couldn’t get up off the ice without assistance. He had a seizure and was rushed to Golisano Children’s Hospital at Strong.

The concussion proved to be a blessing in disguise, Payton’s family said. Two CT scans, 2 MRI and an MRA later, doctors gave Payton and his family scary news that he had an arteriovenous malformation (AVM) in his brain. This is a leading cause of stroke in younger people.

Payton’s mother, Dawnn, describes an AVM as a tangled up network of blood vessels. The family is visiting a specialist in Boston at the Massachusetts General Hospital, looking for the best treatment.

Payton could have proton beam radiation. The family worries a craniotomy could lead to paralysis of his right leg and hand. The future is very much unknown. (More than 90 percent of patients survive with appropriate treatment.)

The Kendall community and “the hockey family” have all rallied around Payton, a junior at Kendall. There have been several fundraisers to help with medical and out-of-pocket costs.

This group of Kendall school teachers and staff played a basketball game on March 16 against a team of Holley staff. The game ended in a tie, 52-52, and proceeds going to Payton Walters and his family. Payton is in the front row. The Masonic Lodge also held a bowling tournament with proceeds going to help Payton.

The Kendall Fire Department is planning another event this Saturday, a pasta dinner and Chinese auction from 5 to 8 p.m. That benefit is at the Kendall Fire Hall, 1879 Kendall Rd. Payton is a Kendall junior firefighter with the department.

The Walters family moved to Kendall about 3 ½ years ago after living in the Flint. Mich. Area. Scott and Dawnn Walters both work in healthcare. The shrinking of the Flint community has led to many downsizings.

“The Flint economy collapsed,” Mrs. Walters said.

Her husband works in Buffalo making prosthetics and Mrs. Walters is employed in Rochester. Kendall is in between their jobs. They wanted to live in a small town with a high-quality school district. They say they found that in Kendall.

Jimmy Zs in Brockport held a fundraiser for Payton on Feb. 6 and many local hockey players were in attendance, including Payton in front row near center.

Payton has been playing hockey since he was 4, starting as a mini-mite. He joined a team in Brockport through Tri-County Youth Hockey.

He struggled with nausea for weeks after the concussion and has just now begun to feel back to normal, his mother said.

Payton’s teammates put his No. 6 on the back of their helmets after he was sidelined from hockey after a concussion on Jan. 22.

However, he can’t play contact sports, including gym. It’s been difficult to be on the sidelines, not able to play a game he loves, his mother said.

The response from the community, after Payton’s injury and diagnosis with AVM, has been deeply appreciated by the family, Mrs. Walters said.

Besides the fundraisers, many friends in the community have dropped off meals and been supportive in many ways.

“It’s been such a blessing,” she said. “The community we live in is amazing. If we lived in the city, it wouldn’t be happening. In Kendall, everybody cares about everyone.”

A GoFundMe has been set up to help the family. Click here for more information.

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Students on Kendall’s Code of Conduct Committee suggest end to banning hats in school

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 26 March 2017 at 1:55 pm

School will look to add more healthy options at ‘Eagle’s Nest’

Photo by Kristina Gabalski: Ninth grade students Skylar Ammerman and Garrett Sheffield present to Kendall Board of Education members during a public hearing on the Code of Conduct.

KENDALL – The Kendall Board of Education is currently considering annual updates to the district’s Code of Conduct. During the board’s regular meeting on Wednesday, board members heard from two students who have been part of a committee preparing recommendations.

“We love to have student support,” Kendall Jr./Sr. High School Principal Carol D’Agostino said.

Garret Sheffield and Skylar Ammerman, both ninth-graders, are student members of the Code of Conduct Committee.

“They volunteered,” D’Agostino said of the students. “They had ideas for making the code stronger.”

During their presentation, which was part of a public hearing on the Code of Conduct, Sheffield and Ammerman said they felt the code’s ban on students wearing hats during the school day should be removed.

“We think it’s a great way to express yourself,” they said regarding hats. “We know that some people feel headwear can be offensive, but we feel students should have the right to express who they really are.”

They also said they felt the “Eagle’s Nest” – an in-school cafe which provides beverages and snacks before and after school hours – should provide more nutritious flavored waters and juice drinks instead of coffee drinks and sodas.

The students also felt they should be able to use their phones for calls during lunch periods.

D’Agostino reported to board members following the public hearing regarding the changes that have been proposed in the code. She said the committee worked to reflect student input in the process and that there is still some work to be done.

“There will be no hats,” D’Agostino said regarding headwear, but efforts will be made provide more healthy options at the Eagle’s Nest.

“We will strive to be more health conscious,” she said.

Board President Nadine Hanlon noted that the in-school cafe was created to give students choices for snacks outside of school hours as an alternative to walking to a convenience store.

In other business, board members approved the creation of a library club. Jr./Sr. High School librarian Alicia Charland told the Orleans Hub she hopes to create a “maker space” in the library for students. The maker space allows for student creativity through up-cycling and recycling projects. It is a space for participants to create something and explore their interests.

Charland said she already has two sewing machines which have been donated for the program.

D’Agostino commended Charland for her enthusiasm.

“She has so many ideas about how to get kids excited about reading, we are blessed to have her,” D’Agostino told board members.

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Kendall innovation committee focusing on community improvements

By Kristina Gabalski, Correspondent Posted 25 March 2017 at 2:09 pm

KENDALL – Members of the Kendall Community Innovation Advisory Committee (KCIAC) provided members of the town board with an update on their work and areas of focus during the Town Board’s regular meeting this week.

KCIAC Chairman Glen Spellan provided council members with a list of focus items.

“We’ve been meeting for nearly two years,” he said and explained that the committee would like to take a greater interest in what is happening during Town Board meetings.

The list of focus items includes the clean up of the four corners; maintenance of the Lake Ontario State Parkway; extension of water lines; sewers within the hamlet; the Kendall marina and Lake Ontario water levels; connecting the community Pavilion, Kendall Central School athletic fields, the town hall property and Kendall Fireman’s field with walkways and trails as well as providing an all-season pavilion for community use; the Cottages at Troutburg; and the Kendall Post Office.

Orleans County Legislator Ken DeRoller is a Kendall resident and member of the KCIAC.  He noted the Kendall Post Office window service hours are very limited. There is no window service after 3:30 p.m. on weekdays.

“The Kendall Central School District is our biggest employer and school is still open at that time,” he said.  The committee hopes to open up conversation regarding postal service and ensuring the U.S. Post Office in Kendall remains open, DeRoller said.

Kendall Supervisor Tony Cammarata said the Town Board would review the committee’s focus list during a work session. He said he uses a “traffic light” scenario to prioritize goals.

“Green lights are for things that we should keep doing the way we are doing; yellow lights are for things we are doing, but could improve; and red lights are for things we are not doing or what we are doing and should stop altogether,” he explained.

The KCIAC includes members from the community who meet monthly to discuss, evaluate and list proposed community improvements with the goal of improving the quality of life in the Town of Kendall.

In other business Tuesday, Town Board members accepted a $4,098 grant from the state Justice Court Assistance Program. Councilwoman Barb Flow said the funds will be used to purchase a new automatic electronic defibrillator and new cabinet case for the foyer in the town hall.  Council members approved spending $1,111.99 of the grant on the new defibrillator.

Flow said the new cabinet will have plexiglass doors and replace a glass-door cabinet. She said the plexiglass will be a safer option.

Council members also passed a resolution extending the town’s moratorium on industrial solar energy facilities.  The local law will give the Planning Board additional time with creating a code for industrial solar energy facilities.  The local law extends the moratorium up to 6 additional months, but Cammarata said the Planning Board will likely  not need that entire time to finish its work.

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