[HISTORY: Adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Sweden 12-13-1972. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The preservation and improvement of the quality of the natural and man-made environment within the Town of Sweden, in the face of population growth, urbanization and technologic 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 the governing body of the Town of Sweden. It is recognized that the biologic integrity of the natural 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 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 an Environmental Conservation Board is a necessary step in fostering unified action on environmental problems.
The Town Board of the Town of Sweden hereby creates a Board which shall be known as the "Sweden Environmental Conservation Board," hereinafter called the "Board."
Editor's Note: The terms "Commission for Conservation of the Environment" and "Commission" were changed to "Environmental Conservation Board" and "Board," respectively, throughout this chapter 9-24-1996.
The Board shall consist of seven members, who shall be appointed by the Town Board, who shall serve at the pleasure of said Town Board and whose terms of office shall be for two years, with the terms of no more than three members expiring the same year.
[Amended 12-27-1972; 9-24-1996]
Persons residing within the Town of Sweden who are interested in the improvement and preservation of environmental quality shall be eligible for appointment as members 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 the expiration of term of office shall be filled only for the remainder of the unexpired term.
The Supervisor, Mayor, Town Board, Village Board of Trustees, Chairman of the Planning Board, Superintendent of Highways and other officials that may be hereafter designated by the Town Board shall be ex officio members of the Board.
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 Board shall adopt rules and procedures for its meetings.
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 the 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 of 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 Sweden 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 municipality, 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 and present 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 Sweden in accord with the purposes of this chapter.
Maintain liaison and communications 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 Planning Board, recommend from time to time to the Town Board features, plans and programs relating to environmental improvement for inclusion in the Comprehensive Plan of the Town and, similarly, recommend to the Town Board appropriate and desirable changes in existing legislation or recommend new legislation relating to environmental control.
Prepare, print and distribute books, maps, charts and pamphlets in accord with the purposes of this chapter.
Obtain and maintain in orderly fashion maps, reports, books and other publications to support the necessary researches of the Board into local environmental conditions.
When authorized by resolution of the Town Board of the Town of Sweden, the Board may accept, by gift, grant, devise, bequest or otherwise, property, both real and personal, in the name of the Town of Sweden as may be necessary to conserve and otherwise properly utilize open spaces and other land and water resources within the boundaries of the Town. Such real property may be accepted in fee for land and water rights or as any lesser interest, development right, easement, including a conservation easement, covenant or other contractual right, including a conveyance with limitations or reversions.
Carry out such other duties as may be assigned from time to time by the Town Board.
The Board shall submit an annual report to the Town Board, not later than the first day of April 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 members of the Board shall receive for their services as members thereof such compensation as set forth from time to time by the Town Board. Members may be reimbursed for reasonable and necessary expenses incurred in the performance of their duties within the appropriations made available therefor.
All members of the Board who shall fail to attend two consecutive regular meetings of said Environmental Conservation Board without prior written notice to the Chairman of that body shall be deemed to have resigned from the Board.
It shall be the duty of the Chairman of the Environmental Conservation Board to report such absences as would result in the removal of a Board member to such Board member and to the Town Board.
This chapter shall be deemed an exercise of the powers of the Town of Sweden 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.