TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY
TOWN BOARD MEETING
MONDAY 3/11/2019, 7:00 PM
ROBERT YATES, SUPERVISOR PRESENT
DICK SENA, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
DUNCAN MCNEILL, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
LOUISE ORTMAN, COUNCILWOMAN PRESENT
STEVE SENSKE, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
OTHERS PRESENT: Dave Stapleton, Attorney; Louis Rieg, Planning Board; Robin Miller, Bookkeeper; Jim Wehrfritz, Craig Butler, CLP; Rene Yates; Dan Thomas, Historian; Howard Peacock, Justice; Dan Strickland, Highway Sup’t.; Clayton & Helen Emick; Brad Lawson, Zoning C.E.O.; Nancy Thomas, Town Clerk
- MINUTES: 2/11/2019
- MOTION # 29 OF 2019
- SENA MOTIONED TO ADOPT THE MINUTES OF THE 2/11/2019 BOARD MEETING AS PRESENTED BY THE TOWN CLERK. MR. MCNEILL SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, MCNEILL, SENSKE, ORTMAN, YATES. THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- PUBLIC COMMENT:
The following correspondence has been received by the Supervisor and is available for review:
- FOIL REQUEST – EMPIRE CENTER FOR PUBLIC POLICY – Sheriff’s Court Contract
Mrs. Thomas said she had responded to the request.
- ASSESSOR – TRANSFERS FOR JANUARY
- CORRESPONDENCE REGARDING CHAUTAUQUA LAKE HERBICIDE TREATMENT:
- Regis Thompson, II; John Jablonski CWC; CLA
Mr. Yates said these letters expressed concern about herbicide treatment and requested that the DEC slow down the process.
- LOCAL LEADERS CONFERENCE – Holiday Valley Resort, Ellicottville, NY 4/2-3/19
Mr. Yates said he plans to attend the conference and invited others that might be interested.
- CHARTER COMMUNICATIONS – Franchise fees totaling $17,706.81 received
- NYMIR – Reviewing policies with Randy Graham to include construction and new building
Mr. Yates said the town will need to update its coverage during the construction of the new building.He said he, Mr. Stapleton, and Mr. Harrington have been meeting and getting ready to close out the specifications for the bids that will be going out which include 4 separate bids for general construction; electrical; HVAC, etc. He said more will be known by the end of the month. He said in the process of circulating election petitions he has received a lot of feedback from the public that there is no need for a new building. He said the town has received a $1,000,000 grant for this project and we will be moving forward.
Mrs. Ortman said the board has been discussing the need for this building for over 15 years and she feels the town needs to do something in terms of educating the residents about the conditions that exist in the current structure that are not in compliance with the codes and the cost of renovation vs. building new. She said receiving the grant turned the tide when it came to building new as the cost to the town would be the same to renovate (estimate of $750,000) as it would to build new (estimate of $1,750,000) with $1,000,000 being provided in grant funding; or $750,000 to the taxpayer in either case. She said there would be the added benefits of more energy efficiency and better accessibility and safety in a new building.
Mr. Yates said the only thing Mr. Graham noted on the bids going out was the builder’s risk. He said basically that covers the value of the building and uninstalled property until the point at which the building receives its Certification of Occupancy. He said this will require an additional part to the policy. He gave an example: If the contractor gets ¾ of the project complete and for some reason the building comes down; contractor fault, weather, etc., this policy will cover the town for the cost of all the materials. He said the cost of this policy will probably be $4-6,000 on top of our current plan.
Mr. Sena said the contractors will be bonded.
Mr. Yates said that doesn’t mean anything if the contractor goes bankrupt.
Mr. Sena said that is what the bond is for.
Mr. Yates said he would prefer to take the advice of our attorney and insurance agent because he does not want the town to take the risk.
There was further general discussion and Mr. Sena said he would like to have another opinion on that coverage. He said in previous discussions with Mr. Harrington he had indicated that part of his responsibility was to make sure that the contractors have the proper insurance and are bonded.
Mr. Yates said further discussion could be held on this.
- NYS-DEC – TONH TRANSFER STATION – VALIDATED COPY OF 6 NYCRR PART 360 Registration for a Solid Waste Management Facility and Recycling Facility (5 tons per day or less) effective 2/15/19-2/15/24
Mrs. Thomas said basically this is our permit to operate our transfer station.
- CEMETERY CHARGES
Mrs. Thomas said she had spoken to the board members at the February meeting regarding the increase of grave lot prices to $1,200 for non-residents (resident cost is $600) in January 2018. She said the board asked for additional time to review this. She said at this time she would like to request that the board
entertain a motion to reduce the cost of a non-resident grave lot to $650 for former town residents and for persons with family members buried in any town operated cemetery.
Mr. Yates said the $1,200 rate would still be charged to persons purchasing lots from out of town or with no ties to the community. He said the high rate was developed several years ago to keep people from purchasing large tracts of graves at what might be considered bargain prices to out of towners.
Mr. Senske asked if this would be difficult for the Town Clerk to manage (i.e. determine relatives of deceased).
Mrs. Thomas said usually it is not difficult but if there are problems, it would be up to the purchaser to prove connection.
- MOTION # 30 OF 2019
MRS. ORTMAN MOTIONED TO ADOPT A GRAVE LOT SALE PRICE OF $650 FOR TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY OPERATED CEMETERIES FOR FORMER TOWN RESIDENTS AND FOR PERSONS WITH FAMILY MEMBERS BURIED IN ANY TOWN OPERATED CEMETERY. FURTHER, THE COST OF A GRAVE LOT FOR OUT OF TOWN PERSONS WITH NO COMMUNITY TIES WILL REMAIN AT $1,200. MR. MCNEILL SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, SENSKE, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- UPDATE ON NEW BUILDING – Working on final specifications in preparation for Bids
- AUTHORIZE SUPERVISOR TO:
- Sign affirmation naming the Town of Ellery as Lead Agent for SEQR in Herbicide Action 2019
- Make payment for permit applications to CLP
Mr. Yates said he had sent a great deal of information to the board members over the weekend regarding this and asked if there were any questions.
Mr. Senske said he wanted to clarify that our insurance agent had indicated that our insurance would not cover the herbicide treatment.
Mr. Yates said the town would probably have to pick up additional insurance for this. He said he spoke to Mr. Wehrfritz, CLP and he indicated that the town could piggy back on Solitude’s insurance.
Mr. Wehrfritz said their attorney had clarified that with Mr. Stapleton.
Mr. Stapleton said a copy of that policy was provided to the board and North Harmony was named as an additional insured on the town portion of the Solitude Herbicide Contract for 2018. North Harmony also purchased additional Pollution insurance (as did all other towns/villages). The same will apply for 2019.
Mr. Yates clarified that the town can step out of the process at any time prior to the actual application of herbicides.
Mr. Wehrfritz gave a brief outline of last years activities in the application of herbicides and discussed where we are in the process for 2019. He said the town had submitted 2 permit applications on 2/5/19 and the Amended Findings Statement is necessary to continue the process of permitting by the DEC. He said they cannot complete their work without that. He said last year the permit applications were filed for and then findings statements were submitted; this year the applications were filed for and amended findings statements based on technical memoranda submitted this year. He said the technical memoranda (approved 3/1/19) were issued by Ellery to the DEC to show that the 2018 SEIS was adequate in its coverage for the consideration for the permit applications for all the towns/villages this year. The permits requested this year are for 20% more area of treatment and 45% is for areas that overlap the exact areas that were applied for last year; another 50% is for areas immediately adjacent to the areas applied for last year. Mr. Wehrfritz noted that the earlier the application the less overlap with fish and other species spawning. He said this is all based on a $35,000 3,000+ acre weed survey the CLP had done in August 2018. He said he feels this year there will be more application area permitted than in 2018 by the DEC and treatment areas will depend on funding.
There was further general discussion of benefits of early application.
- MOTION # 31 OF 2019
- SENA MOTIONED TO AUTHORIZE THE SUPERVISOR TO EXECUTE THE AFFIRMATION NAMING THE TOWN OF ELLERY AS LEAD AGENT FOR THE SEQR FOR HERBICIDE ACTION IN 2019. MRS. ORTMAN SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, SENSKE, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- MOTION # 32 OF 2019
MRS. ORTMAN MOTIONED TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT TO THE CHAUTAUQUA LAKE PARTNERSHIP FOR THE HERBICIDE APPLICATION PERMITS FOR NORTH HARMONY IN THE AMOUNT OF $200.00. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, SENSKE, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- MOTION # 33 OF 2019
- SENA MOTIONED TO ADOPT THE SEQR AMENDED FINDINGS STATEMENT BASED ON REVIEW OF THE SEQR; SEIS; AND TECHNICAL MEMORANDUM REVIEWED. MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, SENSKE, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- MOTION/RESOLUTION # 34 OF 2019 – CERTIFYING SEQR REQUIREMENTS
TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY
The Town Board of the Town of North Harmony, New York, hereby resolves:
WHEREAS, the Town Board of the Town of Ellery (“Town Board”), serving as Lead Agency in the State Environmental Quality Review Act (“SEQRA”) process, issued a final supplemental impact statement (“SEIS”) for the application of herbicides to target areas of Chautauqua Lake on April 5, 2018; and
WHEREAS, the Ellery Town Board, serving as Lead Agency, issued SEQRA Findings regarding the application of herbicides to Chautauqua Lake on April 17, 2018; and
WHEREAS, herbicides were successfully applied to Chautauqua Lake on June 11, 2018 pursuant to permits issued by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“NYSDEC”); and
WHEREAS, the Towns of Busti, Ellery, Ellicott, and North Harmony and Villages of Celoron and Lakewood have proposed to undertake the application of herbicides to areas of Chautauqua Lake bordering their respective jurisdiction in 2019; and
WHEREAS, the 2019 proposed treatment areas are not identical to the 2018 proposed treatment areas; and
WHEREAS, the Ellery Town Board, serving as Lead Agency, executed a Full Environmental Assessment Form and issued a Technical Memorandum studying the 2019 proposed treatment area and concluding that a supplement environmental impact statement was not required; and
WHEREAS, the North Harmony Town Board has proposed to undertake the application of herbicides to areas of Chautauqua Lake bordering its jurisdiction and has applied for a permit from the NYSDEC to apply herbicides to areas of Chautauqua Lake bordering its jurisdiction; and
WHEREAS, as an Involved Agency in the SEQRA process, the North Harmony Town Board has the authority to issue SEQRA Findings that consider all relevant environmental impacts, facts, and conclusions disclosed in the SEIS and Technical Memorandum; that weigh and balance the relevant environmental impacts with social, economic, and other considerations; that provide a rationale for the Town Board’s decision; that certify that the requirements of SEQRA have been met; and that certify that, among the reasonable alternatives available, the application of herbicides to areas of Chautauqua Lake bordering the Town of North Harmony’s jurisdiction avoids or minimizes adverse environmental impacts to the maximum extent practicable; and
WHEREAS, the North Harmony Town Board has considered all relevant environmental impacts, facts, and conclusions disclosed in the SEIS and Technical Memorandum that are relevant to the application of herbicides to areas of Chautauqua Lake bordering the Town of North Harmony’s jurisdiction; has weighed and balanced the relevant environmental impacts with social, economic, and other considerations; and has found that the SEIS has provided a rationale upon which the Town Board may rely in making any final decisions on whether to undertake the application of herbicides to target areas of Chautauqua Lake; and
WHEREAS, the North Harmony Town Board reviewed the Amended Findings; and
WHEREAS, the North Harmony Town Board is reserving its decision on whether to undertake the application of herbicides to Chautauqua Lake until after its receipt and review of any and all relevant permits from the NYSDEC.
We now RESOLVE, therefore:
- To certify that the requirements of SEQRA have been met;
- To certify that, among the reasonable alternatives available, the proposed treatment plan and mitigations set forth in the SEIS regarding the application of herbicides to targeted areas of Chautauqua Lake avoids or minimizes adverse environmental impacts to the maximum extent practicable;
- To incorporate to this resolution by reference the attached Amended Findings;
- To accept and issue the said Amended Findings;
- To provide the Amended Findings to all Involved and Interested Agencies (as those terms are defined in 6 NYCRR § 617.2) and Interested Parties;
- After issuance and review of any permit(s) from the NYSDEC, to consider the SEIS, SEQRA Findings, and permit requirements to make a determination whether to approve a resolution to apply herbicides to Chautauqua Lake.
ADOPTED, this _11th_ day of March, 2019 at a meeting of the Town of North Harmony Town Board following a motion made by Richard Sena_ and seconded by _Louise Ortman_, and accrued with the following Roll-Call vote:
Robert Yates, Supervisor Yes
Louise Ortman, Councilwoman Yes
Duncan McNeill, Councilman Yes
Steve Senske, Councilman Yes
Richard Sena, Councilman Yes
- NEW BUSINESS:
- ADVERTISE FOR BIDS FOR MOWING OF TOWN PROPERTIES 2019-2020
- MOTION # 35 OF 2019
- SENA MOTIONED TO AUTHORIZE THE TOWN CLERK TO ADVERTISE FOR MOWING BIDS FOR CERTAIN TOWN PROPERTIES FOR 2019-2020. BIDS TO BE OPENED ON 4/5/19 AT 11:00 AM. MR. MCNEILL SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, SENSKE, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- DAN THOMAS – UPDATE ON TOWN CENTENNIAL
Mr. Thomas said he continues to work with committee members and the Harmony Historical Society (Pam Brown). He said Mrs. Brown has worked very hard on this; setting up displays and cabinets which will be the centerpiece at Harmony Historical. He said she has cleared out a cabinet so that we can set up a display that will be up all year long. Suggestions are welcome. He said they have located a Stedman Dulcimer and are in hopes of having it for display. He said volunteers are welcome to help Ms. Brown in her efforts to incorporate the Town of North Harmony records into the Historical Society. He said at the 4/16/19 Society meeting he and his brother Dave Thomas will be giving a presentation on the Chautauqua Traction Trolley System. He reminded everyone that the Centennial Picnic will be July 13, 2019, from 1-6 PM and he will need advice from Mr. Senske on food purchases/services. He said the town will be providing all the food except for desserts. He said the Stow family is still planning to barbeque the pig(s). Contracts have been signed for tent, outhouses and wash station. He said Mr. Sena is arranging for the band “Steel Rails” for entertainment. Mr. Ortman will be vital in the organization of the event. He said they have a rough draft of a book about the town that is considered a “work in progress” and will include family histories, etc. He said they are hopeful to have some professional boards make up by Falconer Printing for North Harmony. Mr. Thomas noted that the Town Board meeting held on 1/14/2019 was exactly 100 years to the day of the first board meeting held on 1/14/1919.
- TRANSFER STATION – ORDER NEW BANNER FROM MOLLY BROWN
Mr. Yates said the banner at the transfer station is very faded, frayed and needs to be replaced.
Mr. Strickland suggested that they replace the banner with a sign as he has had to put the banner back up many times. He said perhaps we should see what Tim Baron can do for us.
Mr. Sena said the employees at the station have spoken to him the last several weeks about illegal dumping. He said they have pulled names out of bags of trash dumped illegally.
Mrs. Thomas said if he would give her the names, she would send a letter to them. She said the town can fine them up to $250 for this.
- TOWN NEWSLETTER – All Articles must be in to Supervisor by 4/1/19
Mr. Yates said there is budget funding for this. He asked if anyone had articles; suggestions for it to please let him know. He said he wanted to include a section of phone numbers for emergency services as well as utilities contacts. He said he is in the process of updating our County Emergency Operations Plan which has not been done since 2015. He also spoke to the AFD about purchasing cots, blankets, pillows, etc., for use at the Station since they are our location in case of an emergency.
Mr. Sena suggested that information about the new building be included.
Mr. Yates agreed and said other items to be included would be sewer, water and the lake. He said he would like to have the website updated to include emergency contact numbers and put the newsletter on it.
- PPP FUTURE DEVELOPMENT, INC.-ATLAS – Invoice for natural gas usage submitted to Highway Dept. for 2018
Mr. Yates said the town had received an invoice from PPP for $4,000.00+ for gas at the highway for 2018. He said this was the first time the town had ever received such a bill. He said he spoke to Mr. Strickland and he said the meter at the highway has been non-operational for over a year. He said they met with the owner of PPP, Chad Bugman who agreed that since he had no way of knowing what to charge the town, he would waive the 2018 bill. He asked Mr. Strickland to have Mr. Bugman sign off on the invoice to that effect. The meter was replaced on 3/7/19 and our billing will begin as contracted when the highway goes over the 400,000 cubic feet allowed going forward from the installation of the new meter.
Mr. Strickland said they had also discussed the brine storage situation.
There was further discussion of who the town will contract with for natural gas for the new building and the fact that the AFD is in litigation with PPP over gas usage.
- ANNUAL UPDATE DOCUMENT (AUD) SUBMITTED TO COMPTROLLER 3/7/19
Mr. Yates said the document has been submitted but not yet accepted by the comptroller. He said a copy is available for review. He thanked Mrs. Miller for her work on that.
- SNOW TOTAL FOR 2018-19 –
PIERRE CHAGNON, LEGISLATOR (unable to attend meeting)
KEVIN OKERLUND, ASSESSOR
Mrs. Thomas said Mr. Okerlund’s report indicated the time exemptions is over, but up until Grievance Day the Assessor can accept applications for Enhanced STAR and Sr. Income for those who are late due to illness, death in family, etc. The Tentative Tax Roll will be complete by 5/1/19.
HOWARD PEACOCK, JUSTICE
Mr. Peacock read the following report for those present:
COURT REPORT FOR MONTH OF FEBRUARY 2019
March 11, 2019 Board Meeting
$39,315.00 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 February 2019. We opened 142 new cases and closed 279 cases.
DAN STRICKLAND, HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT
Mr. Strickland said they are still on shifts for the remainder of March. He said they will begin spring road cleanup as soon as the weather allows. He said he has a plan ready for road oiling this year.
BRAD LAWSON, ZONING C.E.O. (Copy of Report in Minute Book)
Mr. Lawson reviewed his written report for those present. He said he is very happy to be able to provide some answers for people inquiring about the sewer in relation to property divisions, lot sizes, etc. He said the trial involving the helicopter is scheduled for 3/26/19.
NANCY THOMAS, TOWN CLERK (Copy of Report in Minute Book)
Mrs. Thomas said of the original tax warrant of $3,525,892 we have collected $3,171,831.00 with a remaining balance unpaid of $354,060.00. She said second notices have been sent out and the last day to pay is 4/1/19.
- MOTION # 36 OF 2019
MRS. ORTMAN MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE TOWN CLERKS REPORT AS PRESENTED. MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, SENSKE, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
ROBERT YATES, SUPERVISOR (Copy of Report in Minute Book)
- MOTION # 37 OF 2019
- SENA MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE SUPERVISORS REPORT AS PRESENTED. MR. MCNEILL SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, SENSKE, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- MOTION # 38 OF 2019
- MCNEILL MOTIONED TO APPROVE THE GENERAL FUND VOUCHERS AS AUDITED AND REVIEWED EARLIER IN THE AMOUNT OF $44,433.33. MRS. ORTMAN SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, SENSKE, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- MOTION # 39 OF 2019
- MCNEILL MOTIONED TO APPROVE THE HIGHWAY FUND VOUCHERS AS AUDITED AND REVIEWED EARLIER IN THE AMOUNT OF $36,311.50. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, MCNEILL, ORTMAN, SENSKE, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- MOTION # 40 OF 2019
ON A MOTION MADE BY MR. SENA, SECONDED BY MR. SENSKE AND NONE BEING OPPOSED, THE MEETING WAS ADJOURNED AT 8:15 PM.
Nancy M. Thomas