Kendall asked to clean up houses, push for water lines

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 19 November 2014 at 12:00 am

School leader worries about declining enrollment

Photo by Tom Rivers – Kendall Town Supervisor Tony Cammarata says the town is working to extend public waterlines in Kendall.

KENDALL – Town officials were asked on Tuesday to push to extend public water in the town and also to target abandoned and distressed houses.

The lack of public water and the unkempt houses is a deterrent to growing the community, said Nadine Hanlon, president of the Kendall Board of Education. She offered to write letters to state officials, including Gov. Andrew Cuomo, if it would improve the town’s chances for a public water project.

The school district keeps shrinking. It had 762 students last school year and is now down to 729, a 4.3 percent drop. In 2001, Kendall had a student enrollment of 1,132. It is down by 403 students or 35.6 percent over 13 years.

“To me that’s very concerning,” Hanlon told the Town Board.

She sees some of the distressed properties as potential housing for young families if the sites could be improved. Public water lines could also draw more families to Kendall, she said.

“Anything you can do to get more water in the community and clean up the houses,” she told the Town Board.

She noted the school district is about to upgrade its facilities and the district also has been recognized as a leader for student achievement.

“We strive to provide a great education, but we can’t do that without children in our schools,” Hanlon said.

The Town Board is working on a new Water District that would include Kendall Road, Norway Road and Creek Road in the northern part of town. Kendall’s chances for federal funding for the project increase if the majority of the households in the district are low to moderate income, with $56,000 considered the threshold, said Tony Cammarata, the town supervisor.

Kendall needs at least 80 percent of the property owners in the district to complete income surveys. By Monday, the town reached the 80 percent mark with 63 out of 78 turned in. Cammarata also said the majority are under the $56,000 threshold.

The town will take the next step in the process, which could be adding more homes to the district or forming the district with the three roads.

“I’m sitting here at a very high confidence level that we’re moving to the next level,” Cammarata said.

Two other residents said abandoned and unsightly properties are driving down property values and driving away potential residents. Carol D’Agostino, the high school principal and life-time Kendall resident, suggested the town and local service clubs could offer to haul away some junk and debris from properties. The items could be collected or dropped off at the town and then hauled away.

Cammarata said he would see if a committee could be formed to pursue the “Town Cleanup Day.”

Lynn Mael, a Kenmor Road resident, says a neighbor has moved out of a house and left it abandoned and in disarray. The site is owned by the Bank of America and attracts rodents, said Mael, a former code enforcement officer. He suggested the town look into condemning the property.

Paul Hennekey, the current codes officer, said he wants to avoid condemning sites because of the legal process involved. It’s also difficult to resell and rehabilitate condemned sites, he said.

Hennekey agreed there are many properties in distress in Kendall.

“The abandoned buildings are a problem,” he said. “My approach is to keep them sealed and mowed. But sometimes it is hard to find a contact for the owner.”

The Town Board on Tuesday welcomed Wayne Martin to his first meeting as town councilman. He won an election on Nov. 4. Rather than wait until Jan. 1 for Martin to take office, Cammarata and the Town Board appointed Martin to a vacant position on the board caused by the resignation of Patrick Snook.

Martin served 30 years in the Navy, including 20 years of active duty. He works part-time for a pool company in Spencerport and also part-time for the Public Safety Training Facility in Rochester, maintaining equipment. He’s also a CPR instructor.