TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY
TOWN BOARD MEETING
MONDAY June 12, 2017, 7:00 PM
SALLY P. CARLSON, SUPERVISOR PRESENT
FRANK STOW, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
DICK SENA, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
DUNCAN MCNEILL, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
LOUISE ORTMAN, COUNCILWOMAN PRESENT
OTHERS PRESENT: Dave Stapleton, Attorney; Pierre Chagnon, Legislator; Brad Lawson, Zoning C.E.O.; Howard Peacock, Justice; Robin Miller, Bookkeeper; Dan Strickland, Highway Sup’t.; Lynn Smith; Clayton & Helen Emick; Phil & Donna Bickel; Vickie Stow, Court Clerk; Katie Zimmer, Deputy Court Clerk; Don Harrington, Harrington Architecture; Louis Rieg; Nancy Thomas, Town Clerk
- MINUTES: 5/8/17
- MOTION # 62 OF 2017
- MCNEILL MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE MINUTES OF THE 5/8/17 TOWN BOARD MEETING AS PRESENTED BY THE TOWN CLERK. MRS. ORTMAN SECONDED. YES (5):
STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- Nancy Thomas – Receives NYS Registered Municipal Clerk Designation
Mrs. Carlson and the Town Board presented Mrs. Thomas with a bouquet of roses and congratulated her on her RMC status. Mrs. Thomas thanked them.
- HARMONY HISTORICAL SOCIETY – Meeting 6/20/17, 6:00 PM, Speaker will be Art Palmer (son of Mildred) who owned the restaurant in Ashville
- PARTY FOR SALLY CARLSON – Sun., 7/2/17, 1:00 PM at Sr. Citizens
- NORTH HARMONY CENTENNIAL 2019 COMMITTEE MEETING – 7:00 PM, 7/25/17
- PUBLIC COMMENT:
DONNA BICKEL – Resident Chautauqua Ave.
Ms. Bickel asked if there was any news on sewer for the lake.
Mrs. Carlson said the county continues to search for grant funding to lower cost enough to make it economically feasible. She said without grant funding it will not happen as the cost is too high.
Mr. Chagnon said that pretty much sums it up, but they will be applying for more grants this year. He said the state came out with their 2.5 billion funding for water and waste water, but then attached a requirement that you can only apply for the grant if you have a district already formed and bonded before construction. He said under those conditions, we are not eligible.
The following correspondence has been received by the Town of North Harmony and is available for review at the offices:
- ASSESSOR – PROPERTY TRANSFERS/SALES APRIL, 2017
- NYS DEPT. OF TAXATION & FINANCE – Equalization rate is 99.5%
- NATIONAL GRID 10,000 TREES – Funding available
Mrs. Carlson said they have funding if a homeowner wants to plant trees (of National Grid specifications) under their wires.
- CHAUTAUQUA CO. TAX OFFICE – Tax Roll Letter of Satisfaction
- RADON LEVELS IN CHAUTAUQUA CO. FOR 2016
- CHAUTAUQUA CO. MORTGAGE TAX – $21,204.60 (up $2,044.77 from 2016 $19,159.83)
- TOWN OF ELLERY – Notice of Public Hearing on Proposed Zoning Change
- PETER D. CLARK – Cable Franchise Agreement with Spectrum (formerly Time Warner)
Mrs. Carlson said Mr. Clark’s letter asked what rate we were getting on our franchise agreement. She said because we have 2 different franchises (1) town line to Ashville Bay Rd. @ 3% (2) hamlet of Ashville @ 5%. She said Mr. Clark is asking all municipalities served by Access CH5 to help contribute to the cost of capital construction. Mrs. Carlson said she felt we needed a great deal more information before we commit to anything of that nature.
- ACCESS CH5 – Letter of thanks for our support from Chuck Kelsey
- NYS AG & MARKETS –
- “Satisfactory” status of Municipal Shelter letter
- “Satisfactory” status on Dog Control Officer letter
- NYS-DEC – Notification of Inactive Hazardous waste in city of Jamestown
- OLD BUSINESS
- COURT ADDITION / TOWN BUILDING – Harrington Architecture
Mrs. Carlson introduced Don Harrington and said he has been hired to evaluate renovation of the current town building compared to constructing a new building. Bonding would be at 4% for all options.
Mr. Harrington distributed copies of his preliminary findings on three options:
NEW FULL PLAN +/- 6,800 SF
New Building @ 6,800 SF x $250 = $1,700,000
$1,700,000 @ 4% for 30 Years = $97,392/YR.
NEW INTERMEDIATE PLAN +/- 5,800 SF
New Building @ 5,800 SF x $250 = $1,450,000 (SQ.FT. COSTS ACCORDING TO
$1,450,000 @ 4% for 30 Years = $83,076/YR. BAER & ASSOC. BUFFALO, NY)
EXISTING/ADDITION +/- 4,800 SF
Renovate Existing Building @ 2,500 SF x $150 SF = $375,000
Addition to Existing Building @ 2,300 SF x $250 SF = $575,000
$950,000 @ 4% for 15 Years = $84,324/YR
Mr. Harrington said that renovating and addition of the current building will be very disruptive to operations. He said the big picture leads toward new construction as indicated on page 4 of the report. He said at this point he needs direction from the board in making a determination. He said some of the advantages of a new building next to the fire hall on Stow Road would be shared parking and possibly shared emergency generator; shared energy and others that would lead to long term savings. He indicated that he is all for preserving old buildings, but at some point you have to decide if it is worth saving and at what cost.
Mr. Sena asked about the bonding. He said the bond amounts per year are about the same except one (renovation) is for 15 years and the other (new building) is for 30 years.
Mr. Harrington said the renovation would save money in the short run, but you could also bond the new building for 15 years and that would be a savings.
Mrs. Carlson said in order to get the 30 year bonding; the construction has to be fire proof or totally non-combustible.
Mr. Harrington said you can get 25 year bonding for ordinary construction (non-combustible outer walls and combustible interior).
Mr. Stapleton said that is the law according to NYS Local Finance Law.
Mr. Sena asked if the figures on payments include interest rates for 15 and 30 year bonds.
Mr. Harrington the interest rates are the same at 4% for both the 15 and 30 year bond.
Mr. Stapleton said the bonds are done pretty much like a home loan with straight amortization. He said typically in the early payment years you pay more on the interest than the principal.
Someone asked what would happen to the existing building if a new one is built.
Mrs. Carlson said she imagined that the town would sell it. She said we had been given a real estate appraisal value of approximately $62,000. She said she does not believe that is a realistic value.
Mr. Emick asked how the town plans to finance a new building.
Mr. Stapleton said the bonding would go out to whatever commercial banks might wish to purchase it. He said you also have the opportunity to try to get a loan through the USDA group in Syracuse. He said some materials have been presented to us that might lead to an interest percentage savings. He said of course the town would go with whoever gives the best price.
Mr. Sena discussed demolition of the existing building as opposed to using land owned by the town that has a high appraisal and commercial value for the site of the new building. He also asked about the drawings/design costs for a renovation as opposed to a new building.
Mr. Harrington said generally the smaller the building, the lower the fees. He said full service fees (design, construction documents, on site supervision, etc.) usually run around 6-8% of the construction cost. He said since this is not a very complicated building, he would expect it to be on the lower end of the range.
Mr. Stapleton indicated that Mr. Harrington is very familiar with court construction as he did all the work for the Surrogate Court; City of Jamestown Court; and Mayville Court.
Mr. Harrington said usually a renovation costs about the same as a new build.
Mr. Stow asked how “green” the new building would be.
Mr. Harrington said it would be as “green” as you want to pay for. He said you can see 30 – 50% energy savings on a new build using energy efficient systems. He said there might also be funding available through entities such as NYSERDA.
Mrs. Carlson said we need to look at what will serve the town in the long run. She said an addition would answer what the court needs, but will not answer what the town needs.
Mr. Harrington said the current building is very chopped up and not very efficient.
Mr. Sena said some of the question is whether we want to spend $2,000,000 or $1,000,000 or less. He said with consolidations and shared services there are other issues to be considered.
There was discussion of consolidation of courts with Harmony.
Mrs. Ortman said this should be looked at systematically with a +/- chart so that a better understanding of current and future needs can be reached.
There was discussion of problems with work disruption during a renovation.
Mr. Sena said an addition could be 95% complete before you even have to tap through the outside wall.
Mrs. Carlson said the only people who would have office space in the addition would be the court personnel.
Mrs. Emick asked if the town has a clear plan with long term needs in mind; will there be a need to downsize with consolidations, etc. She said the cost of a new building will actually be $2.9 million over the 30 years. She said the addition will be $1.3 million over 15 years. She said the renovation may be an inconvenience to a few employees, but does it outweigh the inconvenience to the taxpayers who have to pay for the new building?
Mr. Harrington said there are ways to work with either option.
Mr. Stow asked about elevation of the current building site as opposed to the location on Stow Rd. He noted that the current building is near Ball Creek. He expressed concern about future flooding.
Mrs. Carlson said she had only seen it flood here once in the last 45 years.
Mr. Emick asked if in future planning the town was considering more employees or less employees; consolidation with other towns and villages.
Mrs. Carlson said the town has explored consolidation with Harmony, Sherman and Ellery as far as court services and thus far none are interested. She said our court is the busiest in Chautauqua County. She said they collect significant fine money (about $200,000/yr.).
Mr. Emick asked if the fine money would cover the payment for the renovation/construction.
Mrs. Carlson said yes.
Mr. Sena said the numbers provided by Mr. Harrington are in line with the numbers he received some time ago from Mr. Keefe and Mr. Laubshaer.
Mr. Harrington said that the numbers provided are ball park figures and a place to start. He said through the design process economic decisions are made that can affect the final figures.
Mrs. Carlson said the original size of the addition to the court discussed was 1,800 sq. ft.
- CORRECTION TO APRIL, 2017 GENERAL FUND SUPERVISOR’S REPORT – Disbursement list missing
- MOTION # 63 OF 2017
- STOW MOTIONED TO CORRECT THE SUPERVISORS GENERAL FUND REPORT FOR APRIL, 2017 TO INCLUDE DISBURSEMENTS WHICH WERE OMITTED. MR. MCNEILL SECONDED. YES (5): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- TIM RICE – Purchase of Town property
Mrs. Carlson said Mr. Rice was given a map and has not contacted her to date.
Mrs. Carlson said Dan Strickland has contacted BOCES about the project. She said Mr. Spanos has the original lighthouse drawings and is supposed to be getting them to the town. Mr. Strickland said he would pick them up.
- 3% OR 2% GRANT – ADD EDUCATIONAL PIECE
Mrs. Carlson said she had spoken to Dave McCoy about eligibility for grant funding for the lighthouse and he had indicated that there might funds if you have an educational piece for the public incorporated into the project.
Mr. Stow asked if anything had been done about the concrete bench at the park.
Mrs. Carlson explained that someone had taken the top off the bench and said at this time nothing has been done.
Mr. Sena said the light for the flag at the park has been completed by Vidal but they are still working on the lights at the Ferry.
- NEW BUSINESS:
- “SPRING CLEAN-UP” – for large items? – $150 per roll off, plus tipping fee
Mrs. Carlson asked if the board would be interested in arranging something of this nature. She said someone from the highway department would be needed to run a loader to get things into the roll off.
Mr. Sena said Mr. Beichner indicated that each full dumpster can run as much as $300-$400 and with 4 to 5 dumpsters a total cost would be around $2,000.00. Mr. Sena said he would like to get more info from Mr. Beichner.
- INTERNET BAND WIDTH – GEOFF TURNER – Complaint about service
Mrs. Carlson said she had spoken to Mr. Turner and asked if he would get the addresses of the groups he has been contacting so that the town could send a letter.
Mr. Stow suggested that the letter be sent to our local and state representatives also.
- MOTION # 64 OF 2017
- SENA MOTIONED TO AUTHORIZE THE SUPERVISOR TO SEND A LETTER REGARDING INTERNET BAND WIDTH TO VARIOUS GROUPS AS DETERMINED. MRS. ORTMAN SECONDED. YES (5): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- TOWN BULLETIN BOARDS – One in Ashville and Stow
Mrs. Carlson suggested that bulletin boards be put up: one at Ashville 4 corners and another perhaps at the Transfer Station. She said it was suggested by someone that it would be helpful for events such as the Memorial Day Service. She said apparently they don’t check the website or the newspaper. She said she would check into the cost.
- TRANSFER STATION
Mr. Stow said he feels we need to paint lines for lanes at the Transfer Station so that traffic will flow safely.
Mrs. Carlson said she has provided a sketch to Dan Strickland of what she thinks is needed to direct traffic.
- BLACKTOP PARKING LOT AT VETERANS PARK
Mrs. Carlson asked Mr. Strickland if he would be able to blacktop the parking lot at Veterans Park.
Mr. Strickland said there is a little drainage above it that needs tidying, but they will be doing the blacktop. He asked if this will come out of the highway budget.
Mrs. Carlson said yes. She noted that Mr. Strickland had been down there cutting weeds in the ditch and thanked him.
- RYAN HINSDALE, M.E.O. – $1/HR. RAISE
- MOTION # 65 OF 2017
- MCNEILL MOTIONED TO GIVE A $1/HR. RAISE ($21/HR) TO RYAN HINSDALE, M.E.O. EFFECTIVE 7/1/2017. MR. STOW SECONDED. YES (5): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- NYS – EMPLOYEE RETIREMENT SYSTEM – Standard Workday & Reporting Resolution
Mrs. Thomas said that this resolution is required by NYS-ERS in order to establish a standard workday for employees and determine the number of days per month that are reported to the retirement system for them based on a 90 calendar of activities that each employee completes. She said the resolution must be posted at the town for 30 days before being submitted to NYS-ERS. This resolution is for Justice, Howard Peacock; Bookkeeper, Robin Miller; and Court Clerk, Vickie Stow.
- MOTION # 66 OF 2017
- SENA MOTIONED TO ADOPT THE STANDARD WORK DAY AND REPORTING RESOLUTION TO BE SUBMITTED TO THE NYS EMPLOYEE AND RETIREMENT SYSTEM FOR THE FOLLOWING: JUSTICE, HOWARD PEACOCK; BOOKKEEPER, ROBIN MILLER; AND COURT CLERK, VICKIE STOW. MRS. ORTMAN SECONDED. YES (5): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED. (A COPY OF THE RESOLUTION HAS BEEN ATTACHED TO THESE MINUTES).
- CHQ 250
Mrs. Thomas said Lisa Schmidt-Frerick Miller, Chautauqua County Health Dept. had spoken at the Municipal Clerks Association meeting. She indicated that the County has among the highest rate of heart attack and stroke deaths in all of NYS. The CHQ 250 program is aimed at preventing 250 heart attacks this year countywide. Mrs. Thomas said they are trying to encourage businesses, governments, etc. to participate by making a pledge/commitment. She said she would like to ask for the boards support and permission to host a hands only CPR training. Mrs. Miller has all the equipment we need and the program is only about 20 minutes long.
Lynn Smith asked if others beside town employees could participate.
Mrs. Thomas said she does not see any reason why not, but she will check with Mrs. Miller.
It was also discussed that a hands on demonstration of the defibrillator located at the town would be helpful.
- MOTION # 67 OF 2017
- SENA MOTIONED TO AUTHORIZE PARTICIPATION IN THE CHQ 250 PROGRAM AIMED AT PREVENTING HEART ATTACKS IN THE COUNTY. MR. MCNEILL SECONDED. YES (5): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- DAVE GROTH – email WATSON RD.
Mr. Sena said Mr. Groth had contacted him about ruts left by the highway when removing a willow tree on Stow Ferry Rd. Mr. Groth asked if they could be repaired by 7/4/17. He also complained about the porta-john at the park and pipes at the ferry for the fire hydrant. He also asked about lowering the speed limit on Watson.
Mrs. Carlson asked for a copy of the email.
PIERRE CHAGNON, LEGISLATOR
Mr. Chagnon said the following occurred at the May, 2017 Legislature meeting:
- We confirmed re-appointments to the Chautauqua County Aging Advisory Council, including Mary Anne Johnston and Dan Girts from Ashville.
- We approved distribution of Mortgage Taxes from the period October 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017, with $39,465 to the Town of Ellery, $21,205 to the Town of North Harmony, and $2,624 to the Village of Bemus Point. Overall, the County received 9% more tax revenue this year from the same period last year.
- We adopted a resolution providing villages that dissolve or towns that consolidate up to $50,000 to assist them in the process, if the local residents choose to do so.
- We confirmed the appointment of Jessica Wisniewski as the new Chautauqua County Director of Human Resources. Jessica has 12 years of experience in employee relations, benefit administration, recruitment, and policy and procedure development.
- The Audit & Control Committee commenced a review of all open capital projects. When we initiated this process two years ago we were able to close several projects that never commenced and many that had excessive delays in closure, freeing up hundreds of thousands of dollars in capital funds. It takes several months to review all open projects, but in the first group we reviewed last month we again found some that we were able to expedite to closure.
KEVIN OKERLUND, ASSESSOR
Mrs. Thomas said Mr. Okerlunds report provided the results of Grievance Day 5/24/17, which resulted in a reduction of $268,700 in taxable valuation. He indicated that the final roll will be filed on 7/1/2017.
DAN STRICKLAND, HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT
Mr. Strickland said he is pleased with the oil and stone program he implemented when he was first elected. He said this is the first year they will recover roads that were done 3 years ago. He said the previous superintendent had only done 7 miles of roads in 5 years when you really need to do 10-12 miles per year to even begin to have a pulled together program. He said everyone is a little behind this year. He said they are currently doing intersections which included all of Ashville, Hoag Rd., Fardink, Bly, Cheney, Potter, Stebbins, etc.
Mrs. Carlson said an inspection had been done on the bridge on Old Bridge Rd.
Mrs. Thomas said the inspector had indicated that with 7 being the best bridge condition, the bridge had received a score of a low 4 rating.
HOWARD PEACOCK, JUSTICE
Mr. Peacock read the Court Report for the Month of May, 2017. $34,348.00 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 May, 2017. We opened 345 new cases and closed 227 cases.
Of the $37,118.00 collected by the Court in April, 2017, the Town retained $12,668.50
BRAD LAWSON, ZONING C.E.O. (Copy of report in Minute Book)
Mr. Lawson reviewed his report for those present. He said not a lot is going on permit wise, so he has been working on violations. He said the Planning Board will be discussing solar energy and ROW’s to the lake where people have been placing docks.
BRAD LAWSON, AFD COMMISSIONER
Mr. Lawson said the commissioners have been meeting with the chief’s to discuss the purchase of a new truck. He said there are funding issues due the cost of the building in Ashville.
NANCY THOMAS, TOWN CLERK (Copy of report in Minute Book)
Mrs. Thomas said she had nothing further to add to her written report.
- MOTION # 68 OF 2017
- STOW MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE TOWN CLERKS REPORT AS PRESENTED. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (5): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
SALLY P. CARLSON, SUPERVISOR (Copy of report in Minute Book)
- MOTION # 69 OF 2017
- STOW MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE SUPERVISORS REPORT AS SUBMITTED. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (5): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
Mrs. Carlson said Brian Devine in Conelly Park had stopped in to discuss putting in a sluice pipe. She asked if he had contacted Mr. Strickland.
Mr. Strickland said not yet.
- MOTION # 70 OF 2017
- MCNEILL MOTIONED TO APPROVE THE GENERAL FUND VOUCHERS AS AUDITED AND REVIEWED EARLIER IN THE AMOUNT OF $27,742.00. MRS. ORTMAN SECONDED.
YES (5): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- MOTION # 71 OF 2017
MRS. MCNEILL MOTIONED TO APPROVE THE HIGHWAY FUND VOUCHERS AS AUDITED AND REVIEWED EARLIER IN THE AMOUNT OF $34,141.86. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (5): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- MOTION # 72 OF 2017
ON A MOTION MADE BY MR. SENA, SECONDED BY MR. STOW, AND NONE BEING OPPOSED, THE MEETING WAS ADJOURNED AT 8:30 PM.