Lee Board supports using Town Hall for COVID-19 vaccinations

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TOWN OF LEE — The Town Board is interested in having the Town Hall be a site for upcoming administering of COVID-19 vaccinations, and the town will let Oneida County know of its willingness to participate.

The matter, in response to a county outreach to municipalities as potential locations, was addressed by the board Tuesday night at a meeting conducted online in a Zoom format.

Among other topics, the board reviewed the Town Hall’s continued closure for regular walk-in office functions due to COVID-19; noted a speed limit reduction request for a road on the outskirts of Lee Center; and appointed a new town assessor on an interim basis to fill a vacancy.

• The Town Board agenda said the county is reaching out to municipalities inquiring if they would be interested in hosting the dispensing of COVID-19 vaccinations.

“I think we should do it,” said Lee Supervisor John Urtz. Councilmen Shawn Finster and L. James “Jamo” Jones Jr. agreed. Jones said if there is “anything I can do” to help set up the Town Hall as a site for vaccinations, “I’m all for it.”

Urtz said Town Clerk Sharon Mortis will get back to the county regarding the town’s interest. There are not yet any specifics such as vaccination dates or procedures at the Town Hall, said Urtz while adding “it’s part of their planning,” in reference to the county. The Town Hall is at 5808 Stokes-Lee Center Road.

• Regarding the Town Hall’s status for regular ongoing office hours, Urtz said it will stay closed until further notice, and be open “by appointment only.”

The board at its Dec. 8 meeting had reviewed plans calling for the facility to be closed other than certain limited office functions from Dec. 21 until Jan. 12, with conditions to then be assessed further.

• Urtz noted the town’s request to reduce the speed limit from 55 mph to 40 mph on Slone Road, located on the western edge of Lee Center, has been filed with the county and a final decision will be made by the state.

Residents along the approximately 1.5-mile-long road have complained about drivers “flying down the road” and speeding, Urtz said when asked about the reason for the request. He said the state will review the road, adding the town sometimes has waited as long as about a year for decisions on such requests.

• The board appointed Brenda Furman as a town assessor, to fill a vacancy due to George Blanchard’s retirement and finish his term which Urtz said expires at the end of 2021; she is Blanchard’s daughter. To continue after that, Furman would have to run for election for a full four-year term, he added.

The part-time position pays $10,000 annually, said Urtz. The town has three assessors overall.

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