SALLY P. CARLSON, SUPERVISOR PRESENT FRANK STOW, COUNCILMAN PRESENT DICK SENA, COUNCILMAN PRESENT DUNCAN MCNEILL, COUNCILMAN PRESENT LOUISE ORTMAN, COUNCILWOMAN ABSENT
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; Jim & Laurie Wroda; Doug Conroe, CLA; Al Chapman; Howard Peacock, Justice; Louis Rieg; Nancy Thomas, Town Clerk
PLEDGE A moment of silence was observed in remembrance of those who lost their lives on 911.
MOTION # 98 OF 2017 MR. MCNEILL MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE MINUTES OF THE 8/14/17 TOWN BOARD MEETING WITH A CORRECTION TO SPELLING ON MOTION #97. MR. STOW SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, CARLSON. THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
JIM WRODA – 2864 RT. 394 – ISSUE WITH DOCK Mr. Wroda said his home on Rt. 394 has deeded lake rights and he provided photos. He said his neighbor, Mr. Angelo sold his property to a family named Weatherup and they have deeded lake access through a 5’ ROW on his property. He said they had come home on 5/14/17, to find that the Weatherup’s had installed a dock on the 5’ access. He said he contacted Mr. Stapleton and was told that since he represents the town, he should discuss it with his attorney, Dana Lundberg. Mr. Wroda said he is trying to find out if the town has any standing on these docks that are going in on the lake. He said they have been to court on the matter and the Weatherup’s are saying that the town does not own the lake and they can put a dock in wherever they want to on public access as long as it begins 10’ out into the lake. He said they have since listed the property for sale and indicate in the listing that it has deeded lake rights which is untrue. He said they have now taken the first 10’ section of dock out and placed a ladder on the dock for access. There was discussion that New York State owns the lake bottom. Mr. Wroda said when they bought their property they bought 25’ of lake shore and the Weatherup’s have a 5’ walking access on their 25’. He said the Weatherup’s are now listing the property for rent 365 days a year with boat access and RV parking, and in his opinion this is now a commercial enterprise in a residential neighborhood. He said today they got Maureen Brady of the DEC involved and they have a court date on 9/25/17. His concern is that this may set a precedent for other people without lake rights putting docks wherever they want on the lake. Mrs. Carlson asked what the DEC says since they claim ownership of the lake. She said she didn’t think you could put in a commercial dock in an R-1 district.
TOWN BOARD 9/11/17 (pg. 2)
Mr. Lawson said he had spoken to the realtor and Mr. Stapleton and he would be sending a letter to the Weatherup’s. He said in his mind and in zoning they cannot advertise for rental 365 days to transients because it does become a commercial entity. If it becomes a commercial dock then the access to lake goes to the property owner not the renters. There was discussion of funneling and also creating a liability. Mr. Wroda said the photo shows the new dock that he partially installed and was not able to complete because the Weatherup’s extended theirs out and then over. Mrs. Thomas said she also spoke to Ms. Brady, DEC and she is looking into the situation and will also be contacting the NYS Office of General Services (OGS). She said Ms. Brady indicated that at this point she is unable to find any documentation that the Weatherup’s have completed any type of permit application to do what they have done. Mr. Stapleton asked Mr. Wroda if his suit is asking the court to issue and injunction to remove the dock. Mr. Wroda said yes. Mr. Stapleton said then that is Mr. Wroda’s private remedy and the town has nothing to do with that portion. He said upland owners are called riparian owners and their rights go out historically to where the water was when the Warner Dam came in. He said the states property rights for the land start at that point and move out into the lake. He said if in fact you have a dock long enough that it goes beyond riparian rights owners’ property out to the area where the state previously claimed the sovereign rights, then you have to get a license from the OGS to extend the dock out for that little portion and a survey would be involved. He gave examples. He said the state owns the navigable waters and as soon as the waters flood over the riparian rights of the upland owners, you can’t stop people from floating on the water. He said that does not give the state the right to the ground underneath, nor does it give anyone the right to in anyway diminish the title rights of the upland owner. He said no one can claim the right to use any of the states property no matter what. He said in his opinion it is a private matter and the court should determine the intent of that 5’ strip of land and issue an order of injunction to remove the dock or not. Mr. Wroda said the Weatherup deed indicates deeded lake access of 5’ to go to and from the lake by foot. There was further general discussion. Mrs. Carlson said she agreed that it is a private matter, but she would be very interested in hearing what the court has to say. Mr. Wroda said if this is allowed to happen it will affect the entire lake and property taxes.
DOUG CONROE, PRESIDENT CLA Mr. Conroe provided information on services the CLA provides on the lake including debris removal; water quality monitoring; harmful algae bloom documentation; weed growth inventory density; herbivore monitoring; mussel presence monitoring; water craft steward program and work with the WNY Invasive species management. He said there is a lot that they do other than just weed removal. He gave a report from the CLA and stated that the lake is underfunded and has been for years. He said that is no longer acceptable to the residents and people who use the lake. He said they cannot keep up with the demand for service by the lake residents. He said their approach for 2018 budget will be developed for full services. He said they are asking North Harmony to re-evaluate their donation ($6000/2017) for the 2018 year. He said the CLA provides more services for the money than any other operation. He said the lake is the town’s economic future and the CLA plays a huge roll in addressing those problems. He stated that the CLA services the entire lake shore no matter if someone donates or not. Mrs. Carlson said the town would certainly take his information into consideration. Mr. Sena said the CLA needs to do more to inform the public what services they provide when they are soliciting donations.
TOWN BOARD 9/11/17 (pg. 3)
Mr. Conroe agreed and said they are trying to do more to get that information to the public. He said most people believe that their taxes pay for lake services, which is not true. He said their budget for 2017 was $678,000 for the entire 40 miles of lakeshore.
CORRESPONDENCE: The following correspondence has been received by the Town of North Harmony and is available for review at the offices:
1. CHAUTAUQUA CO. – WORKMANS COMP FOR 2018 $68,539.40 (down $7,823.60 from 2017 budget of $76,363.00)
2. KAREN KEARNEY – GOOD GRASS FARM – DEC Permit applied for – must be published in Post Journal by 9/18/17
3. TODD EDDY – LETTER OF INTENT TO RETIRE 11/14/2017 Mrs. Carlson read Mr. Eddy’s letter to those present.
4. ACCESS CH5 – Consolidated renewal of Cable Mrs. Carlson said CH5 is asking the town to do a consolidated renewal of cable. She said she has talked to Charter and they want to consolidate the towns 2 franchises (1) town line to Ashville Bay at 3% franchise fees (2) Jamestown end of Ashville into Ashville at 5% franchise fees. She said she wants to make sure that the town gets the first one renewed at 5% before we pass any resolution to join with CH5. She said the first franchise expires in one year and she would prefer to wait. She said CH5 provided a sample resolution.
5. SENATOR CATHY YOUNG – Letter re Grants Mrs. Carlson said she had received a letter from Senator Young concerning Senate funding and other grants that might be available for our building project.
6. KEVIN OKERLUND, ASSESSOR – STAR CREDIT CHECK Mr. Okerlund indicated that they are receiving numerous calls about the STAR credit checks. He said the town should refer these callers to NYS, but to continue reporting STAR Exemption information to the Assessor’s office.
7. NYS – DEPT. OF FINANCIAL SERVICES – INFORMATION ON VACANT/ABANDONED PROPERTIES – Meeting on 9/20/17, UB Center for Tomorrow Mrs. Thomas said the letter indicates that NYS has signed a new law that helps identify delinquent properties and holds banks and mortgage servicers accountable for their inaction in maintaining them. Some key provisions in the new law: Mortgage servicers are obligated to maintain vacant and abandoned properties and are subject to enforcement actions and daily fines if they fail to comply. A vacant and abandoned property registry has been created and mortgagees are required to report vacant properties into the DFS registry. Information from the registry will be shared with Public Officials, such as county executives and other local officials. A new expedited foreclosure process was created to allow mortgagees to quickly foreclose on vacant properties.
TOWN BOARD 9/11/17 (pg. 4)
8. NYS ATTORNEY GENERAL – EQUIFAX HACK Mrs. Thomas said the Attorney General’s office provided information to the public on steps to take if you feel your personal information may have been compromised by the information hack that may have affected over 140,000,000 Americans and over 8,000,000 New Yorkers. OLD BUSINESS
COURT ADDITION / TOWN BUILDING – Schedule Public Hearing
MOTION # 99 OF 2017 MR. MCNEILL MOTIONED TO SCHEDULE A PUBLIC HEARING ON A NEW TOWN BUILDING; RENOVATION/ADDITION ON CURRENT BUILDING, ON TUESDAY, 10/3/17, AT 7:00 PM AT THE ASHVILLE FIRE DEPARTMENT LOCATED AT 5338 STOW RD., ASHVILLE, NY. MR. STOW SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, CARLSON. THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
Grant applied for from Senator Young in the amount of $900,000 Mrs. Carlson said she has applied for grant funding for a new building through Senator Young’s office and she has discussed court consolidation informally with some of the towns. She said Mr. Stapleton has done some research and she will be discussing that with Mr. Peacock. Mr. Sena suggested that the Supervisor check with STW on this as he had spoken to someone on a committee there for the Regional Court System and they are well on their way to making the actual decision for Jamestown, Dunkirk and Mayville consolidation locations. He said it is being pushed heavily by the state and although there is no time table as yet, they are discussing it. Contacted town’s of Sherman and Ellery about consolidation of courts
LIGHTHOUSE RECONSTRUCTION – Cost Estimate Mrs. Carlson asked Mr. Strickland if he had gotten a cost estimate for the lighthouse. Mr. Strickland said the plans have been given to Chris O’Brien at BOCES, but he has not received a cost estimate yet. Mrs. Carlson asked if he could get that before the budget is final. Mr. Strickland said Mr. O’Brien wants to come up and review the existing building and he will ask him again about the cost. Mrs. Carlson asked Mr. Sena if the siding were to go back on the lighthouse, could it be ventilated enough so that it will not rot again. Mr. Sena said he believes pressure treated lumber and more ventilation would help prevent the rot.
PARK USE RULES Mrs. Thomas said she would contact some of the other towns/villages to see what type of rules for their park uses.
BUTTS PARK – Advertise for bids for pavilion repair Mrs. Carlson asked Mr. Sena if he could draw up some specifications for the repairs so that the town could advertise. Mr. Sena said yes, he would do that.
TOWN BOARD 9/11/17 (pg. 5)
TRANSFER STATION COMPACTOR Mr. Stow said he hadn’t done much on that since Mr. Strickland said it wouldn’t work. He said he had researched the concrete pad for the compactor and it would cost about $5,000.00. Mr. Strickland said he did not recall saying they wouldn’t work, but that they are not bullet proof and they have a lot of oil in them. It was noted that the situation is not getting any better at the transfer station and something needs to be done. Mr. Stow said the second truck that had to be dumped at Falconer would not have happened with a compactor. Mr. Sena said he had spoken with people who were at the station in the middle of the week disposing of their recyclables. Mr. Stow said there is also a liability question with uninhibited access to the station. He said we really need a fence. Mr. Strickland said you can’t plow snow with a fence as there is nowhere to pile it. Mr. Stow said something could be figured out. Mr. Sena said something needs to be done about the workers at the station. He said they are not helping the residents. Mr. Strickland said maybe it is time to get out of the garbage business altogether. Mrs. Carlson said that is the one thing that people say the town does really well on the Comprehensive Plan Survey and they appreciate it. She said if we are going to do a compactor and pad, it needs to be done fairly quickly before weather prevents work on a pad. It was discussed that our contract for the transfer station expires this year. Mr. Stow noted that the worst is over until next May and perhaps the board should have a work session to make some decisions about the situation. Mr. Strickland said the town should visit Busti’s station. He said that it is not impossible to plow snow with a fence; you would just have to figure out a type of fence that could be opened far enough for removal. Mrs. Carlson asked that quotes be obtained for a compactor and a fence (electric). Mr. Stow said he would do that.
MOTION # 100 OF 2017 MR. SENA MOTIONED TO TABLE FURTHER DISCUSSION ON TRANSFER STATION ISSUES FOR MORE INFORMATION ON COMPACTOR AND FENCING. MR. MCNEILL SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
NEWSLETTER Articles for the newsletter need to be in Mrs. Carlson’s hands by 9/12/17.
2% GRANT APPLIED FOR, FOR IN LAKE CLEANUP – In the amount of $5,000 for Senior Citizens Mrs. Carlson said she had applied for that grant funding but was having second thoughts. She said there was a problem with what types of weeds should be cleaned and what types should be left. She said if you throw a rake out there it does not discriminate between what is floating and what is attached. Mr. Chagnon said realistically that is true, but he does not believe it is an issue.
TOWN BOARD 9/11/17 (pg. 6)
APPOINT JOANN MIDDAUGH AS DEPUTY COURT CLERK EFF. 8/11/17 Mrs. Carlson said although the board had discussed Mrs. Middaugh’s salary at the last meeting, they had not formally appointed her to the position.
MOTION # 101 OF 2017 MR. SENA MOTIONED TO APPOINT JOANN MIDDAUGH AS DEPUTY COURT CLERK EFFECTIVE 8/11/2017. MR. MCNEILL SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
TONH SCRAPBOOKS TRANSFERRED TO HARMONY HISTORICAL Mrs. Carlson said the Town of North Harmony Scrapbooks have been transferred to the Harmony Historical Society.
CENTENNIAL COMMITTEE – Looking for volunteers, written materials, pictures, etc. Mrs. Carlson said the committee will be meeting on Tuesday, 9/26/17, at 7:00 PM.
FRANCHISE PAYMENTS (discussed previously)
CHIPS – AMEND BUDGET TO REFLECT $12,789.79 ROLLOVER FOR A TOTAL OF $210,220.40
MOTION # 102 OF 2017 MR. MCNEILL MOTIONED TO AMEND THE 2017 BUDGET TO REFLECT A ROLLOVER OF $12,789.79 FROM THE 2016 BUDGET INTO THE CHIPS ACCOUNT FOR A TOTAL OF $210,220.40. MR. STOW SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
SET DATE FOR BUDGET 2018 WORK SESSION Time to meet with employees on budget requests Mrs. Carlson asked that any employees wishing to meet with the board let her know so that appropriate blocks of time could be scheduled.
REQUEST TO PURCHASE TOWN ROW AT NEITS CREST Mrs. Carlson said the town has a request to purchase a town ROW at Neits Crest (Virginia Ave.). She said she did not think the town would be interested in selling a lakefront ROW, but felt it should be known.
MOTION # 103 OF 2017 MR. SENA MOTIONED TO AUTHORIZE THE SALE OF A TOWN ROW LOCATED ON VIRGINIA AVE. AT NEITS CREST TO INTERESTED PARTIES. MR. STOW SECONDED. A ROLL CALL VOTE WAS TAKEN: MCNEILL, NO; CARLSON; NO; STOW, NO; SENA, NO. THE MOTION WAS DENIED.
GESAMAN ROAD TURNAROUND REQUEST
TOWN BOARD 9/11/17 (pg. 7)
Mrs. Carlson said we have had a request on that. She said the town would do some research and get back to the interested party.
NEW COMPUTERS ORDERED FOR TOWN CLERK; COURT CLERK; DEPUTY TOWN CLERK (Hard drives to be removed from old computers and returned to town)
ANDY POST, M.E.O. – $1/HR RAISE DUE 10/13/17, BUT $1.05 WOULD BRING HIM UP TO SCALE WITH OTHER M.E.O.’S
MOTION # 104 OF 2017 MR. MCNEILL MOTIONED TO APPROVE A $1.05/HR RAISE FOR M.E.O. ANDREW POST EFFECTIVE 10/13/17 ($22.05/HR). MR. STOW SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
CHAUTAUQUA ALLIANCE Mrs. Carlson requested board authorization to represent the town as primary contact on the Alliance Committee with Mrs. Ortman as secondary contact.
MOTION # 105 OF 2017 MR. STOW MOTIONED TO AUTHORIZE MRS. CARLSON AS THE TOWN PRIMARY CONTACT AND MRS. ORTMAN AS SECONDARY CONTACT TO THE CHAUTAUQUA ALLIANCE COMMITTEE. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
PIERRE CHAGNON, LEGISLATOR Mr. Chagnon said the following occurred at the August, 2017 Legislature meeting:
We authorized the 2018 levy of participants’ share of the Chautauqua County self-insurance plan costs for Workers’ Compensation. I am pleased the improved management of the plan resulted in a reduction in total costs. o The Town of North Harmony will see a reduction of 10% in their levy due in part to improved loss experience. o The Town of Ellery will see a reduction of 6% in their levy due in part to improved loss experience. o The Village of Bemus Point will see a reduction of 1% in their levy. We authorized litigation against major drug manufacturers to recover current and future damages to the County from abuse of opioid pharmaceuticals. We are joining various entities, including Erie County, Niagara County, Nassau County, Suffolk County, Orange County, Broome County, and the State of Ohio which have pursued lawsuits against the manufacturers of pharmaceuticals containing opioids, alleging, in the words of the Buffalo Law Journal, that “pharmaceutical manufacturers misled doctors and patients into believing that opioid painkillers were not addictive” and that “the drug manufacturers aggressively marketed opioid pain relievers despite growing addiction rates, misrepresented the dangers of long-term opioid use to physicians and ignored that continued use of opioids diminishes the drugs’ intended result, requiring increases in dosage and ups the risk of addiction.”
TOWN BOARD 9/11/17 (pg. 8)
The Audit & Control Committee received a report on the risk assessment performed and internal audit plan prepared for us by a consultant. Even though the County Charter for many years has had the stipulation that “The County shall establish an internal audit function”, for many years this has not been done. Last year the Legislature adopted a local law amending the County Charter, giving the Audit & Control Committee oversight of the internal audit function, including, but not limited to, providing recommendations regarding the selection of the internal auditor(s) for the County, the review of significant findings and recommendations of the internal auditor(s), monitoring the County’s implementation of such recommendations, and the evaluation of the performance of the internal audit function. The risk assessment identified the highest residual risk rankings in the departments of Finance, County Clerk, Sheriff, and Social Services. The recommended risk-based internal audit plan covers all departments and establishes a three year audit cycle with the frequency of audit and level of effort tied to each department’s risk rating. The internal audit resource plan will now be included in the 2018 County Budget.
DAN STRICKLAND, HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT Mr. Strickland said the highway will probably have another CHIPS rollover from 2017. He said there is sealing he would like to do this year if time allows. He said trucking has been difficult this year. He said they will be putting shoulders and aprons on the black top they did and will be doing gravel on the dirt roads. He said the new truck is almost done and they should be picking it up in about two weeks. He said they will be blacktopping Veterans Park next week. Mr. Stow asked Mr. Strickland to relay the town’s congratulations to Mr. Eddy on his retirement. He said he had done an outstanding job for the town for many years. Mr. Strickland said he was an asset and will be missed.
HOWARD PEACOCK, JUSTICE Mr. Peacock said the numbers are down from last year. He read the following report for those present. There was brief discussion of the credit card system for the court which is out of operation. COURT REPORT FOR MONTH OF AUGUST 2017 September 11, 2017 Board Meeting $55,808.00 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 August, 2017. We opened 204 new cases and closed 347 cases. Of the $34,904.00 collected by the Court in July, 2017, the Town retained $10,978.00.
BRAD LAWSON, ZONING C.E.O. (Copy of report in minute book) Mr. Lawson said he had spoken to Mr. Stapleton on the Wroda issue and will be addressing the Weatherup’s in relation to their advertisement for parking 5th wheelers for vacation rentals at the location. (refer to Public Comment in these minutes). He said he will be in code school for the next few days. He said the court case at Longview has been heard by the judge and he has handed out some papers and they will see how it goes. He said he and the judge will continue to monitor. He said he had met with a realtor, developer and contractor on the Grandview property. He said their remarks were positive on developing it but he has not heard any further from them. It was discussed that any turnover of roads there would need to be addressed with Mr. Strickland. Mr. Stow asked about the pile of turnings at the Open Meadows pit. He said there should at least be a silt fence around it. It has been there for about 3 weeks. Mr. Lawson said he believes it belongs to the James and he will contact them about it.
TOWN BOARD 9/11/17 (pg. 9)
There was brief discussion of the work on the Anzalone property at the I-86 entrance. Mr. Lawson said he would stop by to check on the silt fencing. BRAD LAWSON, AFD COMMISSIONER Mr. Lawson said they have a new Chief, Randy Gleason, who replaces Mike Swanson on his resignation due to active duty National Guard assignment to the Ukraine. He said the Ashville Fire Department/District/Auxiliary will hold an Open House on Saturday, 10/14/17, at 2:00 PM at the Fire Hall. He said they will be honoring past District Chairman, Barb Hoyt and Sally Carlson for their contributions to the fire service and the town. He noted that he has sent a text to our contact at DFT as he is still unable to connect his phone to the server to receive his email. He said this issue has been going on for over 2 years and he is very frustrated. He said that access is very important to his job. Mrs. Carlson said she would contact DFT.
NANCY THOMAS, TOWN CLERK (Copy of report in minute book) Mrs. Thomas said she had nothing further to add to her written report.
MOTION # 106 OF 2017 MR. STOW MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE TOWN CLERKS REPORT AS PRESENTED. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
SALLY P. CARLSON, SUPERVISOR (Copy of report in Minute Book)
MOTION # 107 OF 2017 MR. STOW MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE SUPERVISORS REPORT AS SUBMITTED. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
MOTION # 108 OF 2017 MR. MCNEILL MOTIONED TO APPROVE THE GENERAL FUND VOUCHERS AS AUDITED AND REVIEWED EARLIER IN THE AMOUNT OF $52,775.52. MR. STOW SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
MOTION # 109 OF 2017 MRS. MCNEILL MOTIONED TO APPROVE THE HIGHWAY FUND VOUCHERS AS AUDITED AND REVIEWED EARLIER IN THE AMOUNT OF $109,534.00. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (4): STOW, SENA, MCNEILL, CARLSON. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
MOTION # 110 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.
Nancy Thomas Town Clerk