TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY
TOWN BOARD MEETING
MONDAY JULY 10, 2017, 7:00 PM
SALLY P. CARLSON, SUPERVISOR PRESENT
FRANK STOW, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
DICK SENA, COUNCILMAN ABSENT
DUNCAN MCNEILL, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
LOUISE ORTMAN, COUNCILWOMAN PRESENT
OTHERS PRESENT: Dave Stapleton, Attorney; Pierre Chagnon, Legislator; Brad Lawson, Zoning C.E.O.; Robin Miller, Bookkeeper; Dan Strickland, Highway Sup’t.; Clayton & Helen Emick; Katie Zimmer, Deputy Court Clerk; Louis Rieg; Nancy Thomas, Town Clerk
- MINUTES: 6/12/17
- MOTION # 73 OF 2017
- MCNEILL MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE MINUTES OF THE 6/12/2017, TOWN BOARD MEETING AS PRESENTED BY THE TOWN CLERK. MRS. ORTMAN SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- PUBLIC COMMENT:
The following correspondence has been received by the Town of North Harmony and is available for review at the offices:
- PETER D. CLARK, ESQ. – SPECTRUM CABLE FRANCHISE FEE AND BREAKDOWN
Mrs. Carlson said we received a letter from Mr. Clark who questioned our 3% franchise fees. She said the renewal for the franchise in question does not come up until 2018, so we do not have the option of raising it to 5% at this time.
- NYS RETIREMENT – RETIREMENT ONLINE
- ASSOCIATION OF TOWNS – Letter of explanation concerning NYS Volunteer Firemen enhanced cancer disability benefits act – unfunded mandate because coverage is mandatory
Mrs. Carlson said the AOT is opposed to this because it is mandatory unlike the previous bills which gave the municipalities the choice to opt out. She said this bill was amended in the final weeks of session to make participation mandatory and AOT feels this is another unfunded mandate and there is a lack of fiscal analysis. She said under the Volunteer Fireman’s Benefit Act, a volunteer fireman who can demonstrate that he or she developed cancer as a result of his/her fire service is currently entitled to medical care and other financial assistance.
- DOUG BUSH – Relay around Chautauqua Lake – 9/10/17 on the shoulder of the road; not crossing traffic at any point
Mrs. Carlson said the teams will consist of 4 runners each and the relay will start and end at Southern Tier Brewery. She said they expect a total of 150 teams (30 person waves over a period of 2 ½ hours) so impact to traffic will be negligible. She further explained the race rules and the insurance coverage provided through the event company.
Mr. Stow asked if there would be any liability for the town.
Mr. Stapleton said Rt. 394 is a NYS road not a town road. He said the letter indicated that the event company would issue certificates of liability to villages, towns, etc. that requested them.
Mrs. Carlson said she would try to find out who the beneficiary of this event is.
- MOTION # 74 OF 2017
MRS. ORTMAN MOTIONED TO REQUEST A CERTIFICATE OF LIABILITY INSURANCE NAMING THE TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY AS AN ADDITIONAL INSURED BY THE EVENT COMPANY, ENDURANCEFACTOR, LLC, TO COVER THE RELAY AROUND CHAUTAUQUA LAKE ON 9/10/17. MR. STOW SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- GEORGE SPANOS – Drawings for Lighthouse
- NYMIR – Harassment Prevention Policies and Procedures Handbook
- ASSESSOR – MAY PROPERTY TRANSFERS
- NYS-DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE – NATIONAL GRID RATE INCREASE
Mrs. Carlson said the letter dated 6/30/17, indicates that National Grid has requested a rate increase for electric and gas delivery rates. She said the NYS-DPS will hold hearings to solicit public comment on the proposed increase. She said they are requesting a 22.8% delivery revenue increase for a 13% increase in total revenues. She said the letter indicates that for a monthly bill for residential heating customers using 600 kHz hours per month, their bill will increase by $11.23 per month. She said the town should at least submit a letter of opposition to such a sizeable increase.
- MOTION # 75 OF 2017
- STOW MOTIONED TO AUTHORIZE THE SUPERVISOR TO SEND A LETTER OF OPPOSITION TO NYS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICE IN REGARD TO THE PROPOSED NATIONAL GRID RATE INCREASE FOR ELECTRIC AND GAS DELIVERY. MCNEILL SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS MINUTES 5/24/17 AND 6/28/17
- REQUEST FOR CERTIFIED RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT – A6505 / S4630 – Relates to prohibiting the co-location of certain children’s facilities with adult facilities in Erie County
Mrs. Carlson said the request is from Michael P. Kearns – NYS Assembly 142nd District and Senator Patrick Gallivan. She said the issue is a plan to move the WNY Children’s Psychiatric Center, located in West Seneca which serves 19 counties in WNY, to the Buffalo Psychiatric Adult Facility.
- MOTION # 76 OF 2017
- STOW MOTIONED TO ADOPT THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT FOR A6505 / S4630 RELATING TO PROHIBITING THE CO-LOCATION OF THE WESTERN NY CHILDREN’S PSYCHIATRIC CENTER WITH THE BUFFALO PSYCHIATRIC ADULT FACILITY. MRS. ORTMAN SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
CERTIFIED RESOLUTION OF SUPPORT – A6505 / S4630 – Relates to prohibiting the collocation of certain children’s facilities with adult facilities in Erie County.
WHEREAS: The Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center opened in West Seneca in 1970. The center takes seriously emotionally disturbed children between the ages of 4 to 18 years old from 19 Western New York counties. The 19 different counties in New York State include: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Erie, Genesee, Herkimer, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Ontario, Orange, Orleans, Oswego, Schuyler, Seneca, Steuben, Tioga, Tompkins, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates; and
WHEREAS: Despite the significant volume from these 19 counties the Western New York Children’s Psychiatric Center has the lowest 30 day and 90 day reinstatement or re-institutionalization rate of any facility in New York State. The costs of long term hospitalization and institutionalization are drastically reduced and eliminated when the readmission rates are low; and
WHEREAS: Governor Cuomo in his 2017 Budget proposed that the West Seneca Children’s Psychiatric Center be moved to the Buffalo Psychiatric Center, an adult facility and campus. Moving these children into an adult setting would not be therapeutically beneficial and may in fact be detrimental to the psyches of many of these children; and
WHEREAS: The medicinal and therapeutic benefits of treating and counseling children with mental illnesses in both rural and school settings have been documented in many medical journals and academic papers. The Governor’s proposal to place these children in a lock down facility with adults runs counter to science, logic and common sense; and
WHEREAS: The New York State Assembly and Senate unanimously passed A6505 / S4630 which prohibit the collocation of certain children’s facilities with adult facilities in Erie County; and
WHEREAS: Governor Cuomo needs to sign this bill and save WNY Children’s Psychiatric Center in West Seneca.
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: The Town of North Harmony Town Board supports the passage of the above bills in the New York State Legislature and also strongly encourages Governor Cuomo to immediately sign this necessary legislation into law.
Carlson YES McNeill YES Sena ABSENT
Stow YES Ortman YES
- REQUEST FOR LETTER OF SUPPORT FOR THE SOUTH & CENTER CHAUTAUQUA LAKE SEWER DISTRICT EXTENSION OF SANITARY SEWERS IN THE HAMLET OF STOW ON THE WEST SIDE OF CHAUTAUQUA LAKE
Mrs. Carlson said this extension would be paid for by the people that the sewers would serve.
- MOTION # 77 OF 2017
MRS. ORTMAN MOTIONED TO AUTHORIZE THE SUPERVISOR TO SEND A LETTER OF SUPPORT FOR THE SOUTH & CENTER CHAUTAUQUA LAKE SEWER DISTRICT EXTENSION OF SANITARY SEWERS IN THE HAMLET OF STOW ON THE WEST SIDE OF CHAUTAUQUA LAKE. MR. STOW SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- TOWN TAX RATES – COUNTY WIDE
Mrs. Carlson said she wanted to note that there are only 6 towns and 2 villages with lower tax rates than the Town of North Harmony.
- OLD BUSINESS
- COURT ADDITION / TOWN BUILDING – Harrington Architect
Mrs. Carlson said we have received a revised drawing of a new building which is smaller (6,500 sq. ft. down to 5,200 sq. ft.) than originally designed by Mr. Harrington. She said we are still trying to find ways to reduce the cost so that court fees would cover the expenses. She said it would reduce the cost from $2,300,000 to $1,300,000 for 30 years.
- LIGHTHOUSE RECONSTRUCTION
Mrs. Carlson said we have received the original drawings of the lighthouse from George Spanos. She said Dan Strickland is going to take them to BOCES.
- CHQ 250 PROGRAM
- NEW BUSINESS:
- NYS DOMESTIC RELATIONS LAW – MARRIAGE LICENSE – CHANGE IN AGE OF CONSENT EFF. 7/20/2017
Mrs. Thomas said the new law prohibits the marriage of a minor under the age of 17. Issuance of a marriage license to a person at least 17 year old but under 18 requires the approval of both parents (or one parent if other conditions are met) and written approval of a justice of the supreme court or a judge of the family court, having jurisdiction over the town or city in which the application is made.
- PARTIAL PAYMENT OF TAXES AT THE LOCAL LEVEL
Mrs. Thomas said the NYS Budget includes a provision that allows for partial payment of taxes at the local level. She said she will attend a meeting with the County on 7/19/17, to discuss the implications.
Mr. Stow asked how the ability to make partial payments would affect foreclosures after two years.
There was discussion on how this might affect people’s ability to stay in their homes.
Mrs. Carlson said she feels it will be bookkeeping nightmare. She said when the roll is returned to the county, they accept partial payments.
- RUN ON RT. 394 – Doug Bush (addressed under Correspondence 4.)
- PARK USE FOR WEDDINGS OR SPECIAL EVENTS
Mrs. Carlson said over the weekend a couple had reserved the Lighthouse Park for a wedding. She said we do not charge for the use of our parks. She said personally she feels it is not a suitable location for that type of event because there is limited parking; no water; outhouse, etc. She said she is not sure the town wants the liability, although the couple did provide a certificate of insurance naming the town as an additional insured. She said the couple asked for the park from 5-9 PM. Then they wanted to put up a tent; have the outhouse pumped; and no limit on the time they had to leave. She said things just kind of snowballed.
Mrs. Ortman asked if it would help to put a cap on the numbers.
Mr. McNeill said maybe there need to be rules for the use of the park established.
Mrs. Carlson said the problem with that is enforcement.
There was further discussion and the board decided to talk about it at the next meeting.
Mrs. Emick said perhaps a large security deposit would help deter any problems.
- EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK – Revision to Bereavement Policy
Mrs. Carlson said the reason this is on the agenda is that the CLWMA had added language to their bereavement policy that ours does not include. She said at this time she does not want to modify our policy. She said the CLWMA bereavement policy includes same sex partners that are emotionally and financially dependent on one another. She said if they were married they would get the coverage.
- MOTION # 78 OF 2017
MRS. ORTMAN MOTIONED TO KEEP THE LANGUAGE OF THE TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY EMPLOYEE HANDBOOK BEREAVEMENT POLICY AS IS. MR. STOW SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- NEW PROBATIONARY HIGHWAY M.E.O., RODNEY TOMBS
Mr. Strickland said Mr. Tombs appears to have a lot of experience and he hopes he will be a good fit for the job.
- MOTION # 79 OF 2017
- MCNEILL MOTIONED TO APPOINT RODNEY TOMBS AS A PROBATIONARY HIGHWAY M.E.O. EFFECTIVE 7/10/17, AT A RATE OF $15/HR ($17.50/HR OT). MR. STOW SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
PIERRE CHAGNON, LEGISLATOR
Mr. Chagnon said the following occurred at the June, 2017 Legislature meeting:
- We recognized and presented certificate awards to the valedictorians from the 17 high schools in the county.
- We received a presentation of the 2008 Capital Budget and 2019 – 2023 Capital Plan recommendations from the Chautauqua County Planning Board.
- We authorized municipal assistance to the Town of Hanover in the amount of $50,000 for the ongoing transition and expenses incurred by the dissolution of the Village of Forestville. 50% of the payment may be utilized by the town with no restrictions, and 50% of the remaining funds may be used for purposes previously undertaken by the village, including, but not limited to, youth programs, senior programs, sidewalk snow removal, and debt service reduction.
- We updated the Investment Policy for the County in accordance with the Corrective Action Plan in response to an audit by the Office of the State Comptroller. Henceforth the Director of Finance will notify the County Attorney and obtain approval as to the legality of an investment prior to making purchases of any new type of investment not currently in the County’s portfolio. We also added the existing practice of The Director of Finance providing written monthly investment reports to all County Legislators and the County Attorney, the review of the investment program by the Audit & Control Committee quarterly at its committee meetings, and the annual review with a financial advisor of the County’s current investment holdings.
Mrs. Carlson asked how the County Solar Policy is going to work as far as loans.
Mr. Chagnon said that is a NYS program, the Pace program. He said it enables a commercial building to get low interest financing for green energy innovation projects. It is all NYS funded and there is no cost to the County. He said the County had to adopt a local law because the repayment of the loan goes on the County Tax Bill. He said that is the first step in the process to becoming a green energy county and if 2 other steps are completed (install a couple of electric charging stations for cars; survey of all electric use of county facilities), then they will be eligible for up to a $250,000 grant from NYS to start incorporating some of those energy saving ideas. He said that pool of money decreases as more counties join. Chautauqua Co. is leading the state in the numbers of municipalities that have signed up and the county will be in line for that.
Mr. Stow asked if these funds would help the town on a new building if we use solar power.
Mr. Chagnon he does not believe it would qualify as a commercial building.
Mrs. Carlson asked about the other grant.
Mr. Chagnon said if the town were to become an agreed energy town, he believes it would allow us to be eligible for a $50,000 grant for energy conservation measures which you could probably use for the new building.
Mrs. Carlson said the solar could benefit both the town building and the Fire District building.
Mr. Chagnon said this all being coordinated by Southern Tier West and suggested Mrs. Carlson contact them for more information.
DAN STRICKLAND, HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT
Mr. Strickland said the highway department had finished oiling/sealing last week. He said blacktop will be held off until August and they will not make the deadline for CHIPS reimbursement for September. He said they will just have to wait for their reimbursement until December. He said they will be paving Hewes and Steinhoff Roads (1.7 miles). He said they plan to NOVA chip Neits Crest, Connolly Park, Ashville Bay, and possibly some of Hadley Bay. He said the highway had done some mowing for the CWC in the Old Girls Camp area.
Mr. Stow asked if Mr. Strickland would be sealing around the highway building this year.
Mr. Strickland said he was not planning to.
Mr. Stow asked about new lines for traffic at the transfer station.
Mr. Strickland said they could do that next time they seal or overlay, but the board needs to make sure where they want the lines. He said it might be better just to hire it done.
HOWARD PEACOCK, JUSTICE
Mrs. Carlson said Katie Zimmer, Deputy Court Clerk will be reporting for the Court.
COURT REPORT FOR MONTH OF JUNE 2017
$37,947.00 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 June, 2017. We opened 339 new cases and closed 281 cases.
Of the $34,348.00 collected by the Court in May, 2017, the Town retained $11,652.00.
BRAD LAWSON, ZONING CEO (Copy of report in Minute Book)
Mr. Lawson reviewed his report for those written. He said there still seems to be an issue with the helicopter in Ashville Bay and another video was sent to the office.
Mr. Stow said he had seen the video and the complainants have a very legitimate concern.
BRAD LAWSON, AFD COMMISSIONER
Mr. Lawson the District continues to try to find new ways to fund a truck and engine. He said the boat lift is in at the Power Boat Club and is ready for use.
Mrs. Carlson asked about the hydrant in need of repair at the Ferry.
Mr. Strickland said he told Randy that when they were ready, the highway would help them.
Mr. Lawson said he would address it.
JOHN STOW, DCO
Mr. Stow’s report indicated that there were several calls regarding lost and found dogs due to the fireworks. He also indicated that there was a call near Panama regarding two dogs fighting which resulted in a bite. Mr. Stow said he would be following up on that.
- TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY CENTENNIAL COMMITTEE MEETING – TUESDAY, 7/25/17 AT 7:00
NANCY THOMAS, TOWN CLERK (Copy of report in Minute Book)
Mrs. Thomas said she had nothing further to add to her written report.
- MOTION # 80 OF 2017
- MCNEILL MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE TOWN CLERKS REPORT AS PRESENTED. MRS. ORTMAN SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
SALLY P. CARLSON, SUPERVISOR (Copy of report in Minute Book)
- MOTION # 81 OF 2017
- STOW MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE SUPERVISORS REPORT AS SUBMITTED. MRS. ORTMAN SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- MOTION # 82 OF 2017
- MCNEILL MOTIONED TO APPROVE THE GENERAL FUND VOUCHERS AS AUDITED AND REVIEWED EARLIER IN THE AMOUNT OF $49,214.16. MRS. ORTMAN SECONDED.YES (4): STOW, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- MOTION # 83 OF 2017
MRS. MCNEILL MOTIONED TO APPROVE THE HIGHWAY FUND VOUCHERS AS AUDITED AND REVIEWED EARLIER IN THE AMOUNT OF $115,490.78. MRS. ORTMAN SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
Mr. Strickland asked if anyone knew anything about Ashville Day.
Mrs. Carlson said as far as she knew there would not be one. She said no one was willing to head it up and the LLAMA Club does not have funding for fireworks this year. She said she assumed that people would still have their lawn sales.
- MOTION # 84 OF 2017
ON A MOTION MADE BY MR. MCNEILL, SECONDED BY MRS. ORTMAN, AND NONE BEING OPPOSED, THE MEETING WAS ADJOURNED AT 8:05 PM.