[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Elma 9-21-2005. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Conservation easements — See Ch. 70.
The preservation and improvement of the quality of the natural and man-made environment within the Town of Elma in the face of population growth, urbanization and technological change, with their accompanying demands on natural resources, are found to be of increasing and vital importance to the health, welfare and economic well-being of present and future inhabitants and require forthright action by this Town Board. It is recognized that the biologic integrity of the environment, on which man is dependent for survival and the natural and functional beauty of our surroundings, which condition the quality of our life experience, cannot be protected without the full cooperation and participation of all of the people of the Town working in partnership with local and state officials and with various public and private institutions, agencies and organizations. Establishment of a Conservation Board is a necessary step fostering unified action on environmental problems.
The Town Board of the Town of Elma hereby creates a board which shall be known as the "Town of Elma Conservation Board," hereinafter called the "Board."
The Board shall consist of seven members, who shall be appointed by the Town Board. One of the members so appointed may be, but is not required to be, at the time of his appointment, between the ages of 16 and 21 years of age. Persons residing within the Town of Elma who are interested in the improvement and preservation of environmental quality shall be eligible for appointment as a member of the Board. Vacancies on the Board shall be filled in the same manner as the original appointment, except that a vacancy occurring other than by expiration of term of office shall be filled only for the remainder of the unexpired term.
In addition to the above, a member of the Town Board to be selected by the Town Board shall be an ex officio member of the Board, but shall not have a vote as a member of the Board.
All members shall be appointed for terms of seven years.
The Town Board shall designate a member of the Board to act as Chairman thereof.
At the first meeting of the Board, its members shall elect from among themselves a Recording Secretary.
The powers and duties of the Board shall be to:
Advise the Town Board on matters affecting the preservation, development and use of the natural and man-made features and conditions of the Town insofar as beauty, quality, biologic integrity and other environmental factors are concerned and, in case of man's activities and developments, with regard to any major threats posed to environmental quality, so as to enhance the long-range value of the environment to the people of the Town.
Develop and, after receiving general approval by resolution of the Town Board, conduct a program of public information in the community which shall be designed to foster increased understanding of the nature of environmental problems and issues and support for their solutions.
Conduct studies, surveys and inventories of the natural and man-made features within the Town of Elma and such other studies and surveys as may be necessary to carry out the general purposes of this chapter.
Maintain an up-to-date inventory or index of all open spaces in public or private ownership within the Town Elma, including, but not limited to, natural landmarks, glacial and other geomorphic or physiographic features; streams and their floodplains, swamps, marshlands and other wetlands; unique biotic communities; scenic and other open areas of natural or ecological value and of the ownership, present use and proposed use of such open areas, so as to provide a base of information for recommendations by the Board for their preservation and/or use.
Seek to coordinate, assist and unify the efforts of private groups, institutions and individuals within the Town of Elma in accordance with the purpose of this chapter.
Maintain liaison with public and private agencies and organizations of local, state and national scope whose programs and activities have an impact on the quality of the environment or who can be of assistance to the Board.
Working in cooperation with the Town Planning Board, recommending from time to time to the Town Board features, plans and programs relating to environmental improvement for inclusion in the Master Plan of the Town of Elma and, similarly, recommend to the Town Board appropriate and desirable changes in local laws and ordinances relating to environmental control.
Carry out such other duties as may be assigned from time by the Town Board.
The Board shall submit an annual report to the Town Board not later than the first day of June of each year concerning the activities and work of the Board and from time to time shall submit such reports and recommendations as may be necessary to fulfill the purposes of this chapter.
The reasonable and necessary expense of the Board shall not exceed the appropriations that may be made therefor by the Town Board. The charges and expenses so permitted by appropriation of the Town Board for such Board shall be a charge upon the taxable property of that part of the Town of Elma outside of the Incorporated Town of Elma and shall be assessed, levied and collected therefrom in the same manner as other Town charges.
To assist the Board in carrying out its functions, powers and duties, it may request the New York State Department of Conservation to provide research and other technical assistance, in accordance with the provisions of § 239-x of the General Municipal Law of the State of New York.
This chapter shall be deemed an exercise of the powers of the Town of Elma to preserve and improve the quality of the natural and man-made environment on behalf of the present and future inhabitants thereof. This chapter is not intended and shall not be deemed to impair the powers of any other public corporation.