TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY
MONDAY, 5/09/16, 7:00 PM
SALLY P. CARLSON, SUPERVISOR PRESENT
RALPH WHITNEY, COUNCILMAN ABSENT
FRANK STOW, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
RICHARD SENA, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
DUNCAN MCNEILL, COUNCILMAN ABSENT/ILLNESS
OTHERS PRESENT: Dave Stapleton, Attorney; Penny Best; Rene Yates; Robin Miller, Bookkeeper; Jordan & Bridgette Rourke; Lynn Smith; Joseph Johnson; Matthew Henry; Will Ortman; Roger Miller; Nancy Thomas, Town Clerk; Dan Strickland, Highway Sup’t.; Howard Peacock, Justice; Brad Lawson, Zoning CEO; Dan Thomas, Historian/ZBA
- COUNCILMAN, RALPH WHITNEY
Mrs. Carlson said that Councilman, Ralph Whitney had passed away unexpectedly of a massive heart attack just prior to tonight’s board meeting. She expressed our deep sympathy for his family and a moment of silence was observed by all present.
- MINUTES 4/11/16:
- MOTION # 54 OF 2016
- STOW MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE MINUTES OF THE 4/11/16 TOWN BOARD MEETING AS PRESENTED BY THE TOWN CLERK. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (3): CARLSON, STOW, SENA. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- PUBLIC COMMENT:
- LYNN SMITH
Mrs. Smith thanked the board for the trash receptacle at Cheney’s Point. She said she feels it makes a great difference in the area. She asked about the Sign Law and Mrs. Carlson said she could get a copy of the law from Brad or Nancy.
Mrs. Carlson said the following correspondence has been received by the Town of North Harmony and is available for review at the office:
- ASSESSOR – Property Transfers for March, 2016
- NYS-DOS – Confirmation of Filing for Local Law #1 – Signs; and Local Law #2 – Sawmills
- CHAUTAUQUA ALLIANCE – ANNUAL MEETING 5/12/16 at N. Harmony Sr. Citizens – Candidates
Mrs. Carlson said the slate of proposed candidates for the Chautauqua Alliance is Pierre Chagnon, Dave Wesp, and Ken Shearer.
5/9/2016 (Pg. 2)
- MOTION # 55 OF 2016
- STOW MOTIONED TO SUPPORT THE PROPOSED SLATE OF CANDIDATES FOR THE CHAUTAUQUA ALLIANCE: PIERRE CHAGNON, DAVE WESP AND KEN SHEARER. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (3): CARLSON, STOW, SENA. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- ACCESS CH-5 – Thank you for continued support
- TIME WARNER
- CHAUT. COUNTY FINANCE – SALES TAX RECEIVED OF $131,309.80 (up $869.53)
- GREEN COUNTY BANK
- NYS – AGRICULTURE & MARKETS – Inspection of Dog Shelter on 5/2/16 and all was satisfactory
- CLA – LETTER REGARDING THEIR SPRING ACTIVITIES ON THE LAKE
- PROSTAR ENERGY – Municipal Energy Program
Mrs. Thomas said that the town had contracted with ProStar for energy costs through the Association of Towns previously as part of a shared service to help meet 2% tax cap requirements. She said they are advising that they will be conducting another bid for services in the spring. She said they indicated they will be providing more information soon and she will advise when it is received.
- DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE – Letter regarding Clean Energy Standard (CES) Program
Mrs. Carlson said they will be having informational meetings regarding renewable sources of energy such as solar, wind and hydro.
Mrs. Thomas said their goal is to have half of the energy used in New York State be renewable by 2030.
- OLD BUSINESS
- AUDIT OF COURT BOOKS – BAHGAT & LAURITO-BAHGAT
Mrs. Carlson said Mrs. Stow had left a message that the audit will start on 5/17/16.
- DAN THOMAS – HISTORY
Mrs. Carlson said Dan Thomas, Historian has completed the book for 2015.
Mr. Thomas said he has also located the original 1919 Town of North Harmony Tax Roll. He said they are keeping it in Mrs. Carlson’s office. He commented on several of the articles in the History of interest to those present. He said he still has a little fine tuning to do on it.
- COURT ADDITION – RELOCATE UTILITIES
Mrs. Carlson said she had pursued getting funding for a new town building and at this time it is not feasible. She said we are back to adding on to the building for the new court. She said we will be using the court grant funds to relocate all of the utilities at the building.
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Mr. Peacock said he will double check, but he believes the funds must be spent within 180 days or July, 2016.
Mr. Sena has spoken to the architect and they have another drawing to review that is a compromise from the last one. He said he will be bringing that in soon.
- VETERANS’ PARK
Mr. Strickland said Gary Lucas has indicated that he hopes to start work on the Veterans Memorial project in late May. Mrs. Thomas said she had spoken to Mr. Lucas today and he was hoping to start by the end of next week.
Mrs. Carlson said there may be a slight cost overrun on the project.
Mrs. Thomas said fundraisers have raised approximately $65,000 for the project.
Mrs. Carlson said we may need to use about $16,000 unexpended balance to complete the Memorial. She said it is a very exciting project and feels it will make everyone in the community proud.
- EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK REVISIONS – SCHEDULE COMMITTEE MEETING
Mrs. Carlson said the board needs to schedule some meetings on the Employee Handbook. It was discussed that maybe they could meet on a Thursday evening.
- MEMORIAL DAY OBSERVANCE – SUNDAY, 5/29/16, 2:00 PM AT LIGHTHOUSE PARK Carlson said it had been discussed previously that because of the work scheduled in Veterans Park, the town would not be holding a Memorial Day service this year. She said after consideration, it was decided to have the service at Lighthouse Park on the date indicated.
Mrs. Thomas said Randy Hinsdale of Lakewood Legion Post #1286 had contacted her prior to the meeting and indicated that they would provide the Color Guard for the service.
- SEWER INSTALLATION
– Pursuing funding – EFC, Rural Development
– Health Dept. – Inspecting septic systems older than 30 years with no plans on file within 250’ of the lake – starting in Findley Lake and moving to the Town of Ellery, etc.
- TREES PURCHASED FOR NURSERY
Mrs. Carlson said the trees that were purchased are at BOCES and Jeff Angeletti and his classes will be creating a tree nursery at BOCES that will be managed and then used for plantings at various locations around the town in the future.
- SURVEY OF BUTTS PARK
Mr. Sena asked Mrs. Thomas if she had heard anything about the survey.
Mrs. Thomas said she had not heard from Mr. Masters whether or not the survey had been completed.
- JOSEPH JOHNSON AND MATTHEW HENRY – STEDMAN CAFÉ
Mr. Henry asked if there was any news about the situation they had brought to the board at the 4/11/16 meeting.
Mr. Lawson said there had been a ZBA meeting on 4/25/16.
Mr. Henry said they had not received a notice of the hearing.
Mrs. Thomas assured them that she had mailed a copy of the notice to their address. Mr. Lawson indicated that it had also been published in the P.J. and was on the town website.
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Mr. Lawson said the ZBA had granted the variance requested by the owner at the hearing. He said the county health department has been out to review the septic and well and they have no issue with it. He said after the construction is complete, the health department will come and test again to determine if anything needs to be done regarding the septic and well.
Mr. Henry said he has been keeping in touch with the NYS Health Dept. about the gray water issues.
Mr. Lawson said if Mr. Johnson and Mr. Henry have any further issues, they should contact him.
Mr. Henry said there is still concern about the café’s dumpster being open and animals getting into it and scattering garbage in their yard. He said the dumpster is open all the time and they never close it.
Mr. Lawson said he had not noticed that, but would go and check on it.
Mr. Sena said at the ZBA hearing every concern expressed by Mr. Henry at the April town board meeting had been discussed and made clear to the ZBA members (ref. ZBA minutes 4/27/16). He said the road issues were clearly for the county to address. He said this is on record and it will be followed up on by county health. Mr. Sena explained that the café owners explained that the ditch on the neighbors’ property had been very clean until the county had come in and worked on it.
Mr. Henry said the county had not done anything to the ditch on their property in years.
Mrs. Carlson explained that both of the roads intersecting the café are county roads and the town cannot work on them. She said she understands their frustration but the town cannot do anything. She said Mr. Strickland will contact the county and see if there is anything he can do to expedite the matter.
There was further general discussion and Mr. Strickland said he would contact the county and meet them there to look over the situation.
- NEW BUSINESS:
- ROGER MILLER – RIGHT OF WAY OFF STOW FERRY ROAD
Mr. Stapleton said the letter from Mr. Miller states that he had spoken to the County and they indicated that they thought the town had some sort of legal authority over a private ROW off Stow Ferry Rd. He said he had not spoken to the county but normally the town would have no authority over what appears to be a private ROW. He said if Mr. Miller could get something from the county in writing stating that there is something the town has the authority to do in regard to abandoning a ROW the town would be willing to look at it.
Mrs. Thomas said she had spoken to Brian Ellis at County Mapping and he had indicated that the ROW belongs to the town. She said Mr. Ellis also said in the conversation that the ROW in question was created for the use of the 7 lots located there and they all have the right to use it. She said it was very confusing.
Mr. Stapleton said the map provided by Mr. Miller appears to be a private map of the subdivision and anytime there is a private map, those ROW’s are private ROW’s and the town doesn’t dedicate them and the county cannot dedicate them. He said it appears there are seven lots in the subdivision and each of those seven lots has the right to cross the ROW. He said it appears that all the lots have an alternative ROW off Watson Rd. to get to their properties. He indicated that this would be a private lawsuit between Mr. Miller and Mr. Thompson where Mr. Miller would have to bring an action to get the Supreme Court to determine that Mr. Thompson no longer has use for the ROW and that the ROW is critical to Mr. Miller’s ability to sell his property because he owns both sides of it.
Mr. Ortman indicated that he had gone with Mr. Miller to the county and he understood from the conversation with them that the town has jurisdiction over all ROW’s located in the town.
Mr. Stapleton said unless there is a deed on record giving the town title to a ROW, they do not have any ownership. He said there are lots of paper streets and ROW’s in the town that the town has no jurisdiction over or liability for. He said the subdivision map does give the town the offer/opportunity to
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take title to a road, highway, only if they choose to. He said the town has searched all the deeds for all the ROW’s on Chautauqua Lake 15 years ago and that was not one of them.
PIERRE CHAGNON, LEGISLATOR
Mr. Chagnon expressed his sincere condolences on the passing of Councilman Whitney.
Mr. Chagnon said the following occurred at the April, 2016 Legislature meeting:
We passed a Motion calling on the State of New York to fully reimburse counties for District Attorney salary increases set by the State. The New York State Commission on Legislative, Judicial, and Executive Compensation recommended increasing all state judge salaries in 2016 and 2018, placing Supreme Court judge’s salaries at $193,000 in 2016 and $203,000 in 2018 and County Court Judges at 95% of a Supreme Court Justice’s salary. New York State Judiciary Law links judicial salaries with county District Attorney salaries to be equal or higher than either the County Court Judge or Supreme Court Judge. For over 50 years, the state has funded all salary increases that they imposed on the counties. This salary increase recommendation occurred well after all counties set their 2016 budgets in law. The State Legislature enacted a $150 billion State Budget, but did not include the funding for the reimbursement costs for the increase in DA salaries.
We passed a Motion urging New York State to increase the share of revenue Counties retain for providing State DMV services. 52 of the 62 New York Counties are mandated by the State to operate a local DMV Office, and under current law the State of New York takes 87.3% of all fees collected from the work performed at the county operated DMV offices.
We passed a local law proposal to prohibit the sale of tobacco products and e-cigarettes to persons under the age of 21. I addressed the Legislature on this local law saying “Since this local law was proposed last month and was tabled, I’ve had an opportunity to speak to many of my constituents about it. Several of my constituents raised concerns about government further abridging individual liberties and individual freedoms. I share those concerns and I respect those concerns. However, many more of my constituents raised the issues that we heard described very eloquently this evening about the health effects of tobacco and nicotine on developing young brains. Although I am conflicted on this issue, I have come to the conclusion that this evening I will be supporting this Local Law”.
We authorized allocation of 3% Occupancy Tax reserve to the Bemus Bay Pops for the Chautauqua Lake Circus Themed Waterski Show attraction, allocating $12,000 to offset the $41,300 in costs associated with developing this new tourist attraction.
We unanimously defeated a resolution to appropriate $495,000 of Fund Balance and amend the Chautauqua County Health & Human Services 2016 Budget for increased Medicaid payments to the State, due to the department’s error in developing the 2016 Budget. I addressed the Legislature on this resolution saying “When this resolution was discussed at the Audit & Control Committee, although we appreciated learning early on in the year about this Budget error, we felt that it was too soon to appropriate fund balance to correct this error and we would prefer to wait later in the year to see how effective and successful the County Executive, the Budget Director, and the County Legislature are in finding other savings to offset this Budget issue. So, for that reason, the Audit & Control Committee was unanimously opposed to this resolution”.
Mr. Chagnon said Councilman Stow had taken him on a field trip under the I-86 Bridge to show him the erosion that is occurring there. He said he was shocked and was immediately in contact with the County Watershed Coordinator who has contacted the NYS-DOT Engineer and they are trying to arrange a meeting for him to come and view the situation. He said the erosion and access to the site is on state property and he hopes to get them here so they will see that it needs attention. He said personally he feels it is imperative
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that it be addressed soon.
KEVIN OKERLUND – ASSESSOR
Mrs. Carlson said the assessor had sent a report which indicated that Grievance Day will be on Wednesday, May 25, 2016, in Mayville from 3-5:00 PM and 6-8:00 PM. He indicated that the Tentative Roll has been filed at the county and change notices have been sent out.
Mrs. Thomas noted that the Tentative Roll is on the town website and the assessor is scheduling informal meetings at this time. It was noted that if there is an increase of assessment you will get a written notice; if you don’t receive a notice, there is no change in the assessment. There was a discussion of the states intention to raise all farmland assessments by 10%. Mrs. Thomas noted that there will be a STAR exemption change beginning in 2016. Anyone applying for that exemption, either Regular or Enhanced STAR, will apply directly with NYS and the exemption credit will be issued as a check to the taxpayer rather than an exemption deduction on their tax bill.
DAN STRICKLAND, HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT
Mr. Strickland said they will be doing oil and stone with the county again. He said they will be putting the flags up soon.
HOWARD PEACOCK, JUSTICE
Mr. Peacock read the following report for April, 2016 into the record:
$47,152.50 in fines, fees, and surcharges was collected by the Court and given to the Town of North Harmony CFO for the court cases reported to the NYS Comptroller for April, 2016. We opened 338 new cases and closed 303 cases.
Of the $47,499.00 collected in March, 2016, the Town retained $14,619.00.
BRAD LAWSON, ZONING C.E.O. (Copy of Report in Minute Book)
Mr. Lawson said things are beginning to get busy. He said it appears that the Bootey Bay property has been sold to a blacktop contractor from Wilson, NY. He said hearsay has it they want to tear down the red cottage and do some work on the other two for their family. He said the Power Boat Club has purchased their property and are beginning to do some renovations to the club. Mr. Lawson reviewed his written report for those present.
BRAD LAWSON, AFD COMMISSIONER
Mr. Lawson said the Chiefs are looking at a new truck but that appears to be at least 2-3 years down the road.
NANCY THOMAS, TOWN CLERK (Copy of Report in Minute Book)
Mrs. Thomas said she had received a Certificate of Satisfaction on the 2016 Tax Warrant from Chautauqua County. She thanked the Town Board for funding for the work done in her office. She thanked Dan Strickland, Brad Lawson, Dan Thomas and Stephanie Gibbs for their help in the renovations on the Clerk’s Office. She said the office looks wonderful and she is very proud of it.
- MOTION # 56 OF 2016
- STOW MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE TOWN CLERKS REPORT AS PRESENTED. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (3): CARLSON, STOW, SENA. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
5/9/2016 (Pg. 7)
SALLY P. CARLSON, SUPERVISOR (Copy of Report in Minute Book)
- MOTION # 57 OF 2016
- STOW MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE SUPERVISORS REPORT AS SUBMITTED. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (3): CARLSON, STOW, SENA. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
MOTION # 58 OF 2016
- SENA MOTIONED TO APPROVE THE GENERAL FUND VOUCHERS AS AUDITED AND REVIEWED EARLIER IN THE AMOUNT OF $24,868.22. MR. STOW SECONDED.
YES (3): CARLSON, STOW, SENA. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- MOTION # 59 OF 2016
- SENA MOTIONED TO APPROVE THE HIGHWAY FUND VOUCHERS AS AUDITED AND REVIEWED EARLIER IN THE AMOUNT OF $23,692.22. MR. STOW SECONDED. YES (3): CARLSON, STOW, SENA. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED
- MOTION # 60 OF 2016
ON A MOTION MADE BY MR. SENA, SECONDED BY MR. STOW, AND NONE BEING OPPOSED, THE MEETING WAS ADJOURNED AT 8:00 PM.