TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY
TOWN BOARD MEETING
MONDAY 3/14/16, 7:00 PM
SALLY P. CARLSON, SUPERVISOR ABSENT/ILLNESS
RALPH WHITNEY, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
FRANK STOW, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
RICHARD SENA, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
DUNCAN MCNEILL, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
OTHERS PRESENT: Dave Stapleton, Attorney; Louis Rieg, Planning; Helen & Clayt Emick; Robin Miller, Bookkeeper; Nancy Thomas, Town Clerk; Dan Strickland, Highway Sup’t.; Howard Peacock, Justice; Brad Lawson, Zoning CEO; Pierre Chagnon, Legislator; Dan Thomas, ZBA
During the absence of Supervisor Carlson, Deputy Supervisor Whitney chaired the public meeting.
• MINUTES: 2/8/16
• MOTION #25 OF 2016
MR. STOW MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE MINUTES OF THE 2/8/16 TOWN BOARD MEETING AS PRESENTED BY THE TOWN CLERK. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (4):
WHITNEY, STOW, SENA, MCNEILL. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
• NEW STRIKER LOADER SYSTEM FOR AFD AMBULANCE
Mike Swanson and other Department members gave a demonstration for those at the board meeting of the new striker loader system which was recently purchased and installed in the ambulance.
• PUBLIC COMMENT:
Mrs. Miller gave an update on Mrs. Carlson’s health condition. All present expressed good wishes and prayers for her recovery.
The following correspondence has been received by the Town of North Harmony and is available for review at the offices:
1. TIME WARNER FRANCHISE FEES TOTAL FOR 2015 – $19,606.88
2016 FRANCHISE FEES RECEIVED $1,676.75
2. SOUTHERN TIER WEST – LOCAL GOVERNMENT CONFERENCE, MAY 11, 2016 AT
3. U.S. CENSUS BUREAU – 2016 GOV’T. UNITS SURVEY
4. CORNELL LOCAL ROADS PROGRAM (Brochure)
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5. ACCESS CH5 – ANNUAL REPORT
6. CHAUTAUQUA LAKE SNOWMOBILE CLUB – Will Ortman – Request for consideration of future trail from Hogan’s Hut
There was discussion about the proposal and that it would require obtaining permission for snowmobile easements from local landowners.
Mr. Sena said Mr. Ortman had spoken to the board about this about a year ago and they had requested further information about proposed trail connections.
Mrs. Thomas indicated that there is a map enclosed with the letter which outlines possible trails that could be used to connect routes. She said she believes it is Mr. Ortman’s intent to present the proposed map to the snowmobile club and it would be their responsibility to obtain easements from individual land owners.
Mr. Stow indicated there are several drainage ditches that it may be difficult to obtain permission from the state to cross.
There was brief discussion of snowmobile roads located in the town.
7. EMPIRE CENTER – FOIL REQUEST – Requesting current copy of contract/agreement with
Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Dept.
Mrs. Thomas said she had responded to the request and indicated that as advised by Kurt Gustafson at the County we do not have a 2016 contract with the Sheriff’s office for Court Security as it is currently in draft format.
• OLD BUSINESS
• COURT ADDITION
Mr. Whitney said prior to the meeting a discussion was held on the preliminary drawings for the court addition.
Mr. Sena said currently we are on the third version of the original drawing and it looks like there will be a fourth version after tonight’s discussion. He said they are trying to tweak it in order to get the best use of space, satisfy NYS requirements and keep it cost effective. He said they are also discussing the best use of the existing space in the old section of the building. He said next month there will be another drawing to present.
Mr. Whitney asked if the grant funds already received have to be used during a specific period of time.
Mr. Peacock said they have to be used within 6 months (July, 2016).
• SCHEDULE SEQR AND PUBLIC HEARING FOR PROPOSED LL#1-2016 – SIGNS & LL#2-2016 SAWMILLS
Mr. Sena requested that a SEQR and Local Law on Sawmills also be added to the schedule of hearings. He said the Planning Board is trying to be proactive on sawmills since the issues Busti had with them. He said it is a short, simple law and could be done at the same time if the board agrees.
Mr. Stapleton said a SEQR is prepared for the Sign Law and he could certainly prepare one for the Sawmill Law if the board wanted to hold a joint public hearing on both laws.
Mrs. Thomas said she will make certain that all board members have copies of the final laws.
• MOTION #26 OF 2016
MR. SENA MOTIONED TO HOLD A SEQR AND PUBLIC HEARING ON PROPOSED LOCAL LAW #1-2016; ZONING CODE ARTICLE VI; SUPPLEMENTAL REGULATIONS; SECTION 617
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SIGNS. A LOCAL LAW TO AMEND AND CLARIFY EXISTING REGULATIONS GOVERNING SIGNAGE IN THE TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY AND PROPOSED LOCAL LAW #2-2016; ZONING CODE ARTICLE VI; SUPPLEMENTAL REGULATIONS; SECTION 642 SAWMILLS. A LOCAL LAW TO AMEND/ADOPT REGULATIONS TO PROTECT THE ENVIRONMENT AND PUBLIC WELFARE OF NEIGHBORING RESIDENTIAL PROPERTIES FROM THE IMPACTS CREATED BY SAWMILL OPERATIONS. THE SEQR AND PUBLIC HEARING WILL BE HELD ON MONDAY, APRIL 11, 2016, AT 6:30 PM, PRIOR TO THE REGULARLY SCHEDULED BOARD MEETING. MR. MCNEILL SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, WHITNEY. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
• AUDIT OF COURT BOOKS
Mrs. Thomas said Mrs. Carlson had contacted BWB Auditors and they had not contacted her back. She said Mrs. Stow had indicated she would contact them, but she is currently out of the office due to illness.
Mr. Sena said we can’t keep putting this off.
Mr. Peacock said one of the issues is getting Judge Bensink’s books closed out. He indicated that the Court system said there was no real deadline to do Judge Bensink’s books, just sometime this year.
Mrs. Thomas said both Judge Bensink and Judge Peacock’s books need to be audited for 2015. She said she believed that Mrs. Stow had received a written quote from Bahgat, Laurito-Bahgat, but she does not have a copy. She said she believes the amount was around $3,000.00 just for Judge Bensink’s books.
After review of the January minutes, it was determined that an actual amount for the audit had not been indicated at the meeting. There was also discussion of procurement policy as it relates to the expenditure of funds for the audit work.
• MOTION #27 OF 2016
MR. STOW MOTIONED TO TABLE THE ISSUE OF AUDIT OF THE COURT BOOKS FOR 2015, FOR ADDITIONAL INFORMATION AND QUOTES. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, WHITNEY. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
• NEW BUSINESS:
• HAY ON TOWN LAND – Fee for Paul Spas to harvest hay
Mr. Stow said he had spoken to Mrs. Miller and apparently Mr. Spas paid something for the harvest of the hay in 2015. He said she indicated that the town needs something indicating that he is our authorized hay harvester and he is paying us market price for the hay.
Mr. Sena said he believes Mr. Spas paid us $150 for the first cut and $125 for the second cut.
Mrs. Miller said she would have to verify that amount.
Mr. Stow said that agreement keeps the town from having to cut it and receiving no funds for the hay.
It was noted that the first year Mr. Spas cut, the field had been seeded with alfalfa and that subsequent cuts would not be as good as the field has not been seeded again.
• MOTION #28 OF 2016
MR. STOW MOTIONED TO CONTRACT WITH PAUL SPAS TO CUT HAY ON TOWN FIELD
LOCATED ON STOW ROAD AND PAY MARKET PRICE FOR HAY FOR 2016. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, WHITNEY. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
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• NYS COMPTROLLER – TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY ANNUAL UPDATE DOCUMENT FILED BY BOOKKEEPER 3/10/16
Mrs. Miller said she has filed the document, but had not received verification of filing from the State.
Mr. Sena reported the following:
• STATE WIDE BRUSH BURNING BAN IN EFFECT FROM 3/16/16 THRU 5/14/16
Mrs. Thomas said she would put something on the website about the BAN.
• PLANNING BOARD MEETINGS TO BE HELD ON AN “AS NEEDED” BASIS
Mr. Sena said the Planning Board has been updating the Zoning Laws and he feels that they are pretty much up to date. He said he had discussed it with Mr. McCord and unless there is an agenda he feels that the board should meet on an as needed basis.
• MR. SENA REPORTED ON ANNUAL SNOWFALL FOR 2015-16 AT 121” IN ASHVILLE
• ESTIMATE OF COST TO SURVEY ALL TOWN PARKS
Mr. Sena said he would like to have all the town parks surveyed and especially Butts Park to begin with. He said there has been a lot of logging in the vicinity and he is not sure if it might encroach on town property. He said we use very little of the parks money and he feels this would be a worthwhile expenditure.
Mr. Sena wished Mrs. Carlson a Happy Birthday.
• MOTION #29 OF 2016
MR. STOW MOTIONED TO ENGAGE A SURVEYOR TO SURVEY TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY BUTTS PARK (349.00-2-68). MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, WHITNEY. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
Mrs. Miller asked Mrs. Thomas if she has received a contract for the Assessor’s services from Busti.
Mrs. Thomas said she does not believe we have that contract yet but she will contact Busti’s town clerk about the contract.
• SURVEY OF TOWN ROW ON MAGNOLIA RD. (Chaut. Escapes) (Ref. Aug. & Sept., 2015 Minutes)
Mr. Strickland said he had been contacted by Mrs. Obrachta about the situation that exists. He asked if it is official in the minutes that the town does not allow any docks off town ROW’s nor does it allow storage of docks on those ROW’s.
Mrs. Thomas said yes it is and Mrs. Obrachta had also contacted her. There was discussion that the McMahans are trying to claim adverse possession of Mrs. Obrachta’s land where they put out their dock. She said she had provided Mrs. Obrachta’s attorney with excerpts of town board meeting minutes from August and September, 2015.
• FIREMANS BALL FIELD IN ASHVILLE
Mr. Strickland said he had been approached by the local girl’s softball team and the little league asking if the town might be willing to help do some upgrades to the field so that it can be used for practice. He said they need help financially with bases and maybe a load of baseball mix dirt.
Mr. Sena said it would be good to have the request in writing with estimated costs presented to the board at the next meeting.
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Mr. Stow indicated that Tri-James would probably be willing to donate the dirt needed if they were contacted.
There was general discussion and Mr. Lawson said he thinks that the Department may still have the bases stored in the small storage shed. Mr. Strickland said he would get more information for the board.
PIERRE CHAGNON, LEGISLATOR
Mr. Chagnon said the following occurred at the February, 2016 Legislature meeting:
• Confirmed re-appointments to the Chautauqua County Fire Advisory Board, including 4th Battalion appointments of Jeff Molnar, Pete Samuelson, and Barry Swanson from Bemus Point.
• Confirmed re-appointments to the Emergency Medical Services Council, including Doug Conroe from Maple Springs and Ron Hasson from Ashville.
• Accepted New York State funds for the establishment of PFC Joseph P. Dwyer Peer-to-Peer Veterans Support Program bringing returning veterans together with other veterans in a secure, anonymous setting in order to help one another cope with the effects of Post-Traumatic Stress Disorder and Traumatic Brain Injury.
• Authorized acceptance of funds from New York State Department of Health for an Alzheimer’s disease Caregiver Support Initiative to provide care consultation, coordination, support groups, respite, and other non-institutional services to support Alzheimer’s caregivers.
• Authorized the refunding of bonds issued by the County in 2010, with a current par amount of $10.23 million, at a lower interest rate that will yield $718K in savings over the next 15 years.
• We reviewed and approved 25 resolutions to amend the 2015 Budget for year-end reconciliations required for expenditures last year in excess of the amounts appropriated. Each of the Department Heads involved appeared before the Audit and Control Committee as well as their home committees to explain the situations. Many displayed a firm understanding of their budgets and causes of the excess appropriations; some did not. All department heads affirmed they will henceforth obtain prior legislative approval to amend the budget for all expenditures that could exceed the appropriated amounts as specified in the adopted budget.
Mr. Chagnon provided the following report on Chautauqua Lake Total Maximum Daily Load (TMDL):
Directly addressing two recommendations in the Chautauqua Lake TMDL and specific recommendations in the Chautauqua Lake Watershed Management Plan, Chautauqua County Soil and Water Conservation District received extra allocations from the County’s 2% Bed Tax to progress all farms within the watershed enrolling in the New York State Agricultural Environmental Management (AEM) Program, which practices would be eligible for state or federal funding because they address water quality impairment associated with the TMDL. The results for 2015 were impressive:
1. Completed the Chautauqua Lake Watershed Agricultural inventory, which identifies all farms within the watershed, and specific cropland areas having resource concerns. The inventory will be cross-referenced with the county AEM database to determine farms that have not participated in AEM to date. In the future, all farms identified will be contacted with information on AEM and an invitation
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to participate. For those farms that have participated in AEM in the past, they will be encouraged to move to higher levels of participation in the program.
2. Assisted 11 agricultural producers with the planning and implementation of agricultural best management practices.
3. Completed one successfully funded 2% application for a Chautauqua Lake Watershed forest land owner.
4. Completed an AEM Tier 3B Comprehensive Nutrient Management Plan (CNMP) for a Chautauqua Lake Watershed Dairy Farm. The plan will be the basis of a potential future AgNPS grant application. The plan was submitted to NYS Ag & Markets for certification review in September. The Ag & Markets review team met on the farm in November for field verification. They will be submitting review comments within the next several months.
Directly addressing one recommendation in the TMDL and specific recommendations in the Chautauqua Lake Watershed Management Plan, Chautauqua County Soil and Water Conservation District received extra allocations from the County’s 2% Bed Tax to hydroseed during routine highway maintenance in the Chautauqua Lake Watershed. The SWCD attends the monthly highway superintendents meeting to promote hydroseeding in the Chautauqua Lake Watershed. After the highway departments prepare the ground for seeding, they contact the SWCD to come out and apply hydroseed to the exposed soil.
In 2015, hydroseeding was performed for the Chautauqua County DPW, Town of Chautauqua, Town of Ellery, Town of Ellicott, Town of Harmony, Town of North Harmony, and the Village of Lakewood. The total area treated was 251,770 square feet. Based upon the area treated and the slope at the individual locations, 293 tons of soil loss due to erosion was prevented.
Mr. Chagnon said the Legislature is being asked in March to amend a capital project for the runway extension at Dunkirk that was completed several years ago and was $1,000,000.00 over budget. He said the budget was amended in 2012 to reduce the cost by $1,000,000.00 and yet the money was still spent. There was discussion of how this could happen with a purchase order system. He said the actual expenditures of the county came in under budget for 2015. There was discussion of bonds issued by the county and interest rates.
Mr. Stapleton asked about the plan to extend sewers and the inspection of existing septic tanks around the lake.
Mr. Chagnon said there was a meeting with the North Chautauqua Lake Sewer District (NCLSD). He said the original plan was to extend the NCLSD which included decommissioning the treatment plant at the Chautauqua Heights Condominiums. He said that would have called for increasing the size of the treatment plant at Mayville. He said the NCLSD will put into place the necessary steps to decrease the phosphate load to bring them into compliance with the new levels imposed by the DEC which have to be in place by 2018. He said their engineers have redesigned that work so that when it comes to the point of expanding the treatment plant, it will basically be a plug in. He said the Town of Chautauqua has taken the project to decommission the Chautauqua Heights plant and put in a pump station to send it the NCLSD. He said the extension of the sewers for this side of the lake up to North Harmony was conditioned on the capacity of the S&CCLSD treatment plant in Celoron. He said the S&CCLSD has done a lot of work to their system over the last two years and at a meeting in Buffalo the DEC indicated that nothing further needed to be done to acquire additional capacity and the district can be expanded. He said now instead of concern over whether the S&CCLSD needs to expand capacity the next step is how to take the first step in extending the district.
Mr. Sena asked about the Southern Tier Brewery expansion. He asked if there are any plans to help them.
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Mr. Chagnon said they are not hauling treatable waste. He said there has been a requirement for them to treat their waste because it has a very high biological oxygen demand and requires special treatment.
He spoke further about this and said they have gotten their system rebuilt and hopefully it is working.
Mr. Chagnon said that the County held an investigative meeting for all the municipalities to discuss the possibility of creating a health care consortium. He said the Executive Director of the Tompkins County Health Care Consortium had spoken and it appears that the plan could be very beneficial to the municipalities. He said they will have a committee to pursue it further.
There was discussion of the heroin epidemic in Chautauqua County.
KEVIN OKERLUND, ASSESSOR
Mr. Okerlund’s report indicated that all legal notices for the new assessment roll will appear in the Post Journal on 3/1 and 3/8/2016.
DAN STRICKLAND, HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT
Mr. Strickland said the Highway has been doing a survey of town road signs in order to start repair and replacement of those needing it. He said all should be up to date by the end of the year. He said they have been sweeping the roads and will be oiling and putting down stone as oil prices are down right now. He said the catch basins at Stow and at the shop that needed it had been cleaned by the Falconer Highway Department.
HOWARD PEACOCK, JUSTICE (Copy of Report in Minute Book)
Mr. Peacock read the Justice Report for February for those present. Mr. Peacock said he needs to appoint Mrs. Stow as Court Clerk.
Mrs. Thomas said that Mrs. Stow was appointed under the 2016 Reorganization Schedule. She asked if the Judiciary System required something different.
Mr. Thomas indicated that Town Law says that appointments should be made at an open meeting and a majority of the board must agree on who to appoint.
• MOTION #30 OF 2016
MR. SENA MOTIONED TO APPROVE THE APPOINTMENT OF VICKIE STOW BY JUSTICE PEACOCK TO THE POSITION OF COURT CLERK OF THE TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY. MR. MCNEILL SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, WHITNEY. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
BRAD LAWSON, ZONING CEO (Copy of Report in Minute Book)
Mr. Lawson reviewed his report for those present. He said things have been very slow, but he hopes it will pick up this spring. He said he is working on a plan to hold some type of building/zoning question and answer session for residents sometime in the near future. He thanked the Planning Board and the Town Board for their work in getting the Local Laws on Signs and Sawmills ready. He spoke about Lakeside Campgrounds and said we now have a map and he is hoping to get the fire department to look it over and make suggestions.
BRAD LAWSON, FIRE COMMISSIONER
Mr. Lawson said the District has enacted an Accidental Death policy for all Department members. He said this policy is a good one and covers them for accidental death even if it is not in the line of duty.
Mr. Stow thanked Mr. Swanson and the Department members for bringing and demonstrating the new Striker Loader System in the ambulance.
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NANCY THOMAS, TOWN CLERK (Copy of Report in Minute Book)
Mrs. Thomas gave a brief report on County/Town Tax Collection: Original Warrant $3,482,218.09
Full Payments $3,109,897.86
Tax Outstanding $ 372,320.15
Mr. Thomas said she would like to thank Carol Sena for all her work done on behalf of the Town and the Town Clerks office. She said Mrs. Sena did a fantastic job helping with tax collection this year and although she hated to lose her, she wished her well in her work with the school transportation system which she has been involved in for some time. Mrs. Thomas asked the board to appoint Stephanie Gibbs on a probationary basis to the position of Deputy Town Clerk. She said Mrs. Gibbs is a young woman who lives in North Harmony and is very enthusiastic about the position.
Mr. Whitney asked about her qualifications for the position.
Mrs. Thomas said Mrs. Gibbs has completed computer courses in Word and Excel and is currently working at Heritage Ministries at Greenhurst as a Certified Nurses Aid. She said Mrs. Gibbs family was military and she has traveled and worked in a number of places including the Postal Service in Alaska and Okinawa Japan. She said she feels Mrs. Gibbs will be a good fit for the Town.
Mrs. Emick asked if a background investigation had been done on her as related to bonding for the town.
Mrs. Thomas said no, that had not been a usual practice in the town.
Mr. Stow asked if she is required to be bonded.
Mrs. Thomas said she believes anyone who handles money for the town is bonded under our insurance policy, but that would have to be discussed and verified with our agent or Mrs. Miller who has the policy in her office.
There were several more questions related to hours and salary.
• MOTION #31 OF 2016
MR. SENA MOTIONED TO APPOINT STEPHANIE GIBBS AS DEPUTY TOWN CLERK ON A PROBATIONARY BASIS AT $10/HR. MR. STOW SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, WHITNEY. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
Mrs. Miller mentioned that she had not received resignation letters from former Deputies Kristy, Carol or Penny.
Mrs. Thomas said Mrs. Best had resigned at a public meeting. She said she would obtain written resignation from both of the others.
• MOTION #32 OF 2016
MR. STOW MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE TOWN CLERKS REPORT AS PRESENTED. MR. MCNEILL SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, WHITNEY. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
SALLY P. CARLSON, SUPERVISOR (Copy of Report in Minute Book)
• MOTION #33 OF 2016
MR. STOW MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE SUPERVISORS REPORT AS SUBMITTED. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, WHITNEY. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
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• MOTION #34 OF 2016
MR. MCNEILL MOTIONED TO APPROVE THE GENERAL FUND VOUCHERS AS AUDITED AND REVIEWED EARLIER IN THE AMOUNT OF $84,091.74. MR.SENA SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, WHITNEY. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
• MOTION # 35 OF 2016
MR. MCNEILL MOTIONED TO APPROVE THE HIGHWAY FUND VOUCHERS AS AUDITED AND REVIEWED EARLIER IN THE AMOUNT OF $90,922.33. MR. STOW SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, WHITNEY. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
• VETERANS MEMORIAL MEETING – THURSDAY, APRIL 14, 2016 AT 10:00 AM
• MOTION # 36 OF 2016
ON A MOTION MADE BY MR. SENA, SECONDED BY MR. MCNEILL, AND NONE BEING OPPOSED, THE MEETING WAS ADJOURNED AT 8:30 PM.