TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY
TOWN BOARD MEETING
MONDAY, 09/09/2019 7:00PM
ROBERT YATES, SUPERVISOR PRESENT
DICK SENA, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
DUNCAN MCNEILL, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
LOUISE ORTMAN, COUNCILWOMAN ABSENT
STEVE SENSKE, COUNCILMAN PRESENT
OTHERS PRESENT: Judy Handkammer; Clayton & Helen Emick; Louis Rieg; Lynn Smith; Charlie & Wendy Klinginsmith; Dave Stapleton, Attorney; Dan Strickland, Hwy. Sup’t.; Howard Peacock, Justice; Brad Lawson, Zoning C.E.O.; Robin Miller, Bookkeeper; Pierre Chagnon, Legislator; Nancy Thomas, Town Clerk
- MINUTES 8/12/2019:
- MOTION # 100 OF 2019
- SENA MOTIONED TO ADOPT THE MINUTES OF THE 8/12/2019 BOARD MEETING AS PRESENTED BY THE TOWN CLERK. MR. MCNEILL SECONDED. YES (4): SENA, MCNEILL, SENSKE, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- Sexual Harassment Training must be completed by 10/9/2019
Yates asked Mrs. Thomas if the board members needed to take the training.
Mrs. Thomas said yes, because they receive a paycheck from the town.
Mr. Strickland said he had taken care of the training for the Highway Department M.E.O.’s.
- Chautauqua County Household Hazardous Waste Day – Sat. 9/21/19 at Falconer DPF
- Cummins Engine (JEP) – Recycle Day Sat. 9/14/19, 9 AM-12:30 PM
- Harmony Historical Society – Fall Harvest Festival Sat.&Sun. 9/21-22/19
Mrs. Thomas said there will be a display on North Harmony at the event in honor of its Centennial Year 1919-2019 and encouraged anyone interested to attend. She said the society has a face book page with all the information.
- New Building Update
Yates said 70 yards of concrete was placed in the foundation for the new building and will be
setting up tonight. He said the next step will be the block foundation wall. He said the parking lot area has been graded and compacted for construction to begin. He said the gas line located there had to be moved and re-routed but should not cost too much.
- PUBLIC COMMENT:
- LOUIS RIEG – SUNRISE COVE RESIDENT (SPEED LIMIT ON RT. 394)
Mr. Rieg expressed concern about the 55-mph speed limit on Rt. 394. He noted that Busti lowered the speed to 35 mph from Goose Creek into Lakewood. He said previously NYS had reduced the limit for the summer season to 45 mph in North Harmony, but said that is not done anymore and he feels there may be a safety issue.
Mr. Yates said he remembers the issue from previous years and he recalls that NYS actually felt it was safer to keep the speed at 55 mph year round. He said it would be a hard battle to reverse that and although it may not seem like it, it keeps the flow of Rt. 394 going smoother. Mr. Yates said certainly a request could be made to NYS for a study and he would make the call.
Mr. Sena agreed with Mr. Yates and said in traffic studies it was noted that higher speed limits lowered the rate of distracted driving (i.e. texting, etc.). He said the Chautauqua County Traffic Board are unanimous in supporting the 55-mph limit. He said the addition of a yellow “suggested speed” 45 mph sign placed at the curve at BOCES like the one on the curve between Carpenter Pringle and Victoria might slow down some of the traffic.
- DAVID GROTH – WATSON RD. – LETTER RE STOP SIGN AT HOGAN’S HUT – Ball Creek and Stow Ferry Rd.
Yates said Mr. Groth’s letter stated that the intersection needs to be better marked where the STOP sign is (i.e. addition of legal stop sign; painted white line to separate the roadway from the parking lot). Mr. Yates read the remainder of the letter for those present. The letter noted that patrons of Hogan’s Hut many times do not even attempt to stop at Stow Ferry Road sign when leaving the premises.
- CLAYTON EMICK – LAKELAND AVE.
Emick asked when he would get sewer on Lakeland Ave.
Mr. Yates said they were hoping to break ground on the sewer project in the fall of 2020, but most likely it would be 2021.
Mr. Emick also asked about water and asked when the town would put out a newsletter. He said residents kept asking him about a newsletter. It was discussed that water would be some time out (at least 5 years).
Mr. Yates apologized and said he had not gotten to it yet as things have been very busy. He told Mr. Emick to let any residents know they could call him anytime and he would be happy to discuss it.
Mr. Emick also asked about the audit of bookkeepers books.
Mr. Yates said 3 of the board members have audited those books and that is what is required by law.
There was further discussion of having all the board send a letter to the Comptroller requesting an audit. The last audit was in 2004.
Mr. Yates said he intends that there be a line item in the 2020 budget for funding for an outside audit. Mr. Emick said the town should get the state to do it at no cost.
Mrs. Miller said she has continually asked the comptroller’s office and has been told the town is not at risk.
- HELEN EMICK – LAKELAND AVE. – RE STOW FERRY
Emick said many people have expressed interest in donating to help the ferry but want to be
assured where the funding is going. She said they have not been able to ascertain any of the financials on the project and what is happening. She asked who the contact person for this is and if she should just go to the Post Journal.
Mrs. Thomas said they have a Facebook page and Mr. Sena said he has been unable to find anything out about it. Paul Stage’s name was mentioned, and he does not return calls. Mrs. Thomas said she knows someone who is on that board and she would make contact.
Mr. Yates said he would try to contact Mr. Stage.
- JUDY HANDKAMMER – CATCH BASIN LONGVIEW/CHAUTAUQUA AVE.
Handkammer gave background on the issue of drainage and the catch basin on the corner of Longview and Chautauqua. She said some years back an engineer did a feasibility study to put a system in and they were told that the water brought down to the catch basin would be diverted to two pipes, one on either side of the ROW. She said when it was installed only one side was done next to her home. She said it has been leaking since it was put in and she has developed health problems and her Dr. told her to come to the town. She said Mrs. Carlson had told her that only one side was done because there was not enough funding due to the engineer’s fees. She said this has been going on for at least 7 years and she was told that NYS had also diverted water from Butts Rd. to this catch basin. She said 2 years ago the town was doing a revision on the catch basin and her neighbor on the other side of the ROW said the town would be laying pipe alongside his property to divert water. She said now water is bubbling up in her driveway and there is salt in it and this is affecting her blood pressure. She said she intends to have her well water tested but understands that the County doesn’t test for everything.
There was further general discussion of the issue and Mr. Sena said maybe she should have an independent company test the water.
Mr. Strickland said the pipe laid on the neighbor’s side is the completion of the two pipes indicated by the engineer study. He said the highway has gone above and beyond on this issue and he will maintain what is there, but will not go further because at the location of her property there is a lot of hydraulic water pressure coming down from the bank and when it rains heavily nothing can handle all the volume.
Mr. Yates said we needed to move on with the meeting but would discuss it further with Mr. Strickland and suggested Mrs. Handkammer go forward with getting her water tested and contact him with the results. He said he would get her the names of some companies that do the testing.
- CORRESPONDENCE: The following correspondence has been received by the Supervisor and is available for review:
- Unified Court System’s Chief Architect, (Ed Rodman) is overseeing court project to insure all is up to compliance
Mr. Yates said Mr. Rodman will review things with Herrington to ensure compliance with the Unified Court System.
Mr. Sena said maybe having Mr. Rodman review the project will increase chances of further JCAP grant funding.
- David Groth, letter of appreciation over action taken on Eel Weed problem
- Hoax – Press Release- Cuomo- 8/20/19
Mr. Yates said a letter bearing the insignia of the Sheriff and using Jason Beichner’s return address was sent to many town courts warning Governor Cuomo about visiting Western NY. He said Sheriff Quatrone has sent an email response that this is a hoax and they are trying to determine the perpetrator.
4. Temporary Easement from Caster Well Drilling, Thanks Dan.
- Retired Public Employees Assoc., Inc. – Retirement Seminar, Wed. 10/23/19 4-8:00 PM 445 Columbia Ave. Depew, NY (NYSLRS representative will be present)
6. Charter/Spectrum – Quarterly Franchise fee 3% payment $2,196.27
7. Lake Management Meeting held last week
Mr. Yates said a meeting had been held with other Supervisor’s including Arden Johnson, Ellery who contacted Glen Sullivan with Solitude. He said the discussion included the possibility of hiring Solitude to be Chautauqua Lake Manager/Consultant. He said he spoke to Mr. Johnson today and he felt there might be a conflict with Solitude doing the work and profiting from their consulting findings. He said basically the towns are looking for a way to avoid the same situation (i.e. permitting process, liability, etc.) that occurred this year by having someone do the work for all the towns. He said there will be another meeting to discuss this further in a week.
8. James Kelly – letter re Marriage Licensing in NYS
Mrs. Thomas said the letter appears to be some type of legal notice sent to all town clerks in NYS to “cease and desist the issuance of any and all marriage licenses and to repeal all unconstitutional NYS marriage license statutes”. She said she would file this under “interesting letters”.
- OLD BUSINESS:
- Water/Sewer Service Agreement for review, Dave Stapleton?
Mr. Yates said this is related to the pump situation with Sunrise Cove and the BPU. He said the previous contract between the town and the BPU needs to be addressed as it relates to financing for pump repairs/replacement (i.e. BOCES and Sunrise Cove Association split the pump cost or the town develop a special district/sewer rents tax line item to cover this).
Mr. Stapleton said they are discussing with BOCES legal counsel and Dan Spitzer, Superintendent, who was involved with the initial creation of the districts and improvements. He said Mr. Spitzer is talking to Mr. O’Conner, BOCES Facilities Manager in Fredonia. He said all the documentation was provided to him from 2005 and BOCES and Sunrise Cove will have to decide to either pay the costs up front or there will be a tax line item for the beneficiaries of the district. He said in order to do this the town will have to have a Public Hearing and Resolution stating that under GML 452 Rents, the sewer rents will be imposed on the tax bill. He said Mrs. Miller has been discussing this with the county. He said the question will be how much to impose on the 2020 and future tax bills for these rents and future repairs until the County takes over the lines. There was discussion of whether the water lines that the town owns at Sunrise Cove need to be discussed too.
- MOTION # 101 OF 2019
MCNEILL MOTIONED TO HOLD A PUBLIC HEARING ON TUESDAY, 10/15/19, AT 6:45 ON A RESOLUTION TO IMPOSE A SEWER RENT TAX LINE ITEM FOR THE REPAIRS/MAINTENANCE OF SUNRISE COVE / BOCES WATER/SEWER DISTRICT BENEFICIERIES ON THE 2020 TAX BILL. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (4): SENA, MCNEILL, SENSKE, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- Audit Bookkeepers books (see Clayton Emick – Public Comment)
Mr. Yates said 3 of the board members have audited those books and that is what is required by law.
- NEW BUSINESS:
- Town properties that can be sold – Mitchell Property
Mr. Yates said that the asbestos abatement survey had been completed by Rauh and he had also provided some prices for demolition at roughly $20,000.00.
Mr. Sena asked about landfill credits for the construction/demolition material.
Mrs. Thomas said the town should have enough credits to cover that cost. She said Mr. Strickland had indicated at a previous meeting that the highway, with help from the County could do the demolition.
Mr. Strickland said the county had done the Raynor house for the town. He said you need a Trac machine and the county has one.
- Work schedule for 2020 budget – Meeting Tuesday, 9/17/19 at 6:00 PM
It was discussed that the Tentative Budget must be presented to the Town Clerk by 9/30/19.
Mr. Yates said the board needs to meet to discuss employee requests and once that is done the rest of the process should go smoothly.
Subsequent to the board meeting, a meeting was scheduled for Tuesday, 9/17/19 at 6:00 PM.
- Board resolution for Special District :
Sunrise Cove/Boces – Sewer/water Maintenance Fund
(See Old Business #1.)
- Assessor Appointment: 6 year term Expires 9/30/2019
Mr. Yates said he would call the Assessor, Kevin Okerlund and invite him to a meeting with the board to discuss whether to reappoint him. He said we had met his new Appraiser, Steve Sorg recently.
Mr. Sena said the board has never met Mr. Okerlund but he does do reports and there have been no problems. He said maybe we can invite him on the same night we set the budget work session.
Mrs. Thomas said the appointment is for 6 years and it is difficult to break that contract.
It was agreed that the board would like to talk to him prior to appointing.
- PIERRE CHAGNON – LEGISLATOR
Mr. Chagnon said the following occurred at the August Legislature meeting:
- We presented a commendation to John Swabik, the Clymer/Sherman/Panama track & field athlete who was the state champion in the pentathlon and the national champion in the decathlon.
- We adopted a resolution to accept funds from NYSDOT for the rehabilitation of a hangar at the Chautauqua County Jamestown Airport. The Department of Public Facilities met our challenge to provide the vast majority of the required local share without dipping into the reserve for capital.
- We unanimously adopted a resolution to adopt the SEQR findings for 6 projects recommended for 2% Occupancy Tax funding in 2020, after the stormwater management project in the Town of Ellicott was removed because it was already under construction and nearing completion. This now frees up funding for the next three highest ranking projects.
- We unanimously adopted a local law amending the Chautauqua County Charter permitting the County Legislature to appoint an interim County Executive if a vacancy occurs in the office.
- We authorized the 2020 levy of participant’s share of the Chautauqua County self-insurance plan for workers’ compensation.
- Ellery 1% reduction from 2019
- North Harmony 8% increase from 2019
- Bemus Point 1% increase from 2019
- We unanimously passed two motions, declaring September 20, 2019 as National POW/MIA Recognition Day and proclaiming September 2019 as Childhood Cancer Awareness Month in Chautauqua County.
HOWARD PEACOCK, JUSTICE
COURT REPORT FOR MONTH OF AUGUST 2019
September 9, 2019 Board Meeting
$32,917.00 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 2019. We opened 289 new cases and closed 212 cases.
Mr. Peacock said he has been working on the JCAP grant application and it is just about finished.
He said he is waiting for the second estimate on the Judges bench and deciding on what type of copier to purchase for the chambers. He said at this time he is concentrating on equipment that is needed (i.e. chairs, desks, shredder, conference tables, metal detector, etc.). He said the grant awards are based on the estimates given on the application and that is what he is focusing on now.
BRAD LAWSON, ZONING C.E.O. (Copy of Report in Minute Book)
Mr. Lawson reviewed his report for those present.
DAN STRICKLAND, HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT
Mr. Strickland said he has worked with Soil & Water; NYS-DEC; and Core of Engineers on the Cheney Creek dredging project. He said there may be an issue with a protected mussel species. He said that dredging the mouth of the creek may not get done this year. He said Mr. Spann is working with the Core on taking care of this and may be developing a 2% Bed Tax stone project around Cheney Point. He said that the town would have to apply for the grant, but the project would really help to preserve the shoreline. He said he had spoken to Midland Asphalt about black topping and they probably will not get to the town till toward the end of the month or early October to finish Carpenter-Pringle Rd. He asked the board to made Benny Karlson, who was hired seasonal part-time to mow a temporary full time M.E.O. starting 10/1/19. He said he would like to have Mr. Karlson available to plow this winter as he does not know what the situation with Mr. O’Brien is currently. He said everything hinges on Mr. Karlson passing his road test. He said Mr. Karlson is doing a pretty good job and is well liked by the other M.E.O.’s.
Mr. Yates noted that M.E.O. O’Brien’s position must be held open until 5/24/19.
Mrs. Miller said she had to inform the County when Mr. Karlson’s seasonal position ended.
After further discussion it was decided to wait on any action regarding this.
NANCY THOMAS, TOWN CLERK (Copy of Report in Minute Book)
Mrs. Thomas thanked Mr. Strickland for agreeing to help clear brush and trees from North Harmony Cemetery land so that our surveyor can lay out lots on the portion that is vacant.
- MOTION # 102 OF 2019
SENA MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE TOWN CLERKS MONTHLY REPORT AS SUBMITTED. MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (4): SENA, MCNEILL, SENSKE, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
ROBERT YATES, SUPERVISOR (Copy of Report in Minute Book)
Mr. Yates reviewed his August report for those present.
GF Checking Bal.: $ 63,614.14
GF Savings Bal.: $541,375.81
Cemetery Fund Bal.: $ 42,492.81
Capital Savings $860,350.45
Capital Checking $ 10,717.10
Special District $ 20,723.07
Health Mgmt. $ 9,042.60
There was discussion that the reason for bonding the full amount on the building as opposed to taking out increment BANS was that the cost of legal fees for bond counsel would be $4,000 – $6,000 each time.
Mr. Yates noted that the interest rate on the BAN this year is at 2.65%. He said he is hoping to have the building project complete by the end of January 2020.
Mr. Stapleton said we could not get a revolving line of credit for the project from the bank. It had to be a lump sum. He said bond counsel fees are roughly a minimum of $8,000 every time you do a closing. He said the concept is to use all the $1,000,000 DASNY Grant funding and not touch the BAN funds until necessary. He said it is all based on timing of payouts from DASNY and expenditures for services on the project.
- Builders Risk Insurance for Town/Court Building Project
Yates said our Insurance Agent, Randy Graham gave us a quote of around $3,000 for builder’s risk insurance on the project. Mr. Graham said this is based on the length of time of the project and the town may realize a refund on that amount based on project completion.
Mr. Sena asked why that was needed if the contractors are bonded.
There was discussion that this had been discussed previously that if the contractor had completed his work on the project and due to some act the project was demolished, the bonding company would not pay for the work to be done again.
Mr. Stapleton said the builders risk insurance also covers the theft of equipment/materials on site. The performance bond covers if the contractor does not perform their work.
Mr. Senske said all this had been approved at a previous meeting.
Mrs. Emick asked if the BAN funds are in an interest-bearing account.
Mr. Stapleton said no because you will have to deal with governmental reporting on arbitrage, etc.
- MOTION # 103 OF 2019
SENA MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE SUPERVISORS MONTHLY REPORT AS SUBMITTED. MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (4): SENA, MCNEILL, SENSKE, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- MOTION # 104 OF 2019
MCNEILL MOTIONED TO PAY THE FOLLOWING VOUCHERS AS PREVIOUSLY AUDITED:
GENERAL FUND VOUCHERS IN THE AMOUNT OF: $13,901.84
HIGHWAY FUND VOUCHERS IN THE AMOUNT OF: $16,033.42
MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (4): SENA, MCNEILL, SENSKE, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- MOTION # 105 OF 2019
ON A MOTION MADE BY MR. SENA, SECONDED BY MR. SENSKE AND NONE BEING OPPOSED THE MEETING WAS ADJOURNED AT 8:30 PM.