TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY
MONDAY 12/13/2021 7:00 PM
ROBERT YATES, SUPERVISOR PRESENT
DICK SENA, COUNCIL PRESENT
LOUISE ORTMAN, COUNCIL PRESENT
STEVE SENSKE, COUNCIL PRESENT
MIKE PFEIL, COUNCIL PRESENT
OTHERS PRESENT: Brad Lawson, Zoning C.E.O.; Howard Peacock, Justice; Pierre Chagnon, Legislator; Helen Emick; Dan Thomas; Jonathan Henck; Robin Miller, Bookkeeper; Anne Golley, Assessor; Dale Robbins, Attorney; Nancy Thomas, Town Clerk
RESULTS OF ELECTIONS 2021:
BRUCE M. PFEIL, COUNCIL (4 YEAR TERM) 1/1/2022-12/31/2025
BRUCE M. PFEIL, COUNCIL (VACANCY) 1/1/2022-12/31/2023
RICHARD SENA, COUNCIL (4 YEAR TERM) 1/1/2022-12/31/2025
- PLEDGE AND MOMENT OF SILENCE
Mr. Yates said he needed to make a correction to the 11/8/21 minutes. He said Mrs. Thomas may have thought he had spoken during the vote on Motion #178 of 2021 regarding the NYS Retirement Record of Activities of Mrs. Thomas. He said what he was probably looking to do was abstain with Mrs. Ortman. He said the minutes indicated it was (4) Yes and (1) Abstain. He said he had meant to say Abstain but had not spoken. He asked that the minutes be corrected to indicate that he Abstained.
MRS. ORTMAN MOTIONED TO ADOPT THE MINUTES OF THE 11/8/21 AND 11/17/21 BOARD MEETINGS WITH A CORRECTION TO THE 11/8/21 MINUTES AS FOLLOWS:
ADDITION TO THE 11/8/21 MINUTES MOTION # 178 OF 2021:
MR. SENA SAID WE HAVE ALREADY HAD OUR MOTION AND SECOND. MR. YATES STATED ALL IN FAVOR, ALL RESPONSES HEARD WERE AYE AND MRS. ORTMAN DECLARED SHE WANTED TO ABSTAIN BECAUSE SHE DIDN’T KNOW. MR. YATES STATED IT HAS THE VOTE FROM THE BOARD, WE HAVE ONE (1) ABSTAIN. HE ASKED IF THERE WAS ANY FURTHER DISCUSSION AND STATED SO MOVED.
MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (3): SENA, SENSKE, PFEIL; NO RESPONSE (1): YATES; ABSTAIN (1): ORTMAN. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, ORTMAN, SENSKE, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- Christmas Lighting Contest for Town of North Harmony
12/13/2021 (Pg. 2)
Mr. Yates said 1st Prize will be $50 from the Town of North Harmony; 2nd Prize will be a Pizza from Ashville General Store and 3rd Prize will be donated by Hogan’s Hut. He said judging will be on 12/22/21 and if anyone is interested in entering they should contact the Clerk.
- SWEARING IN OF NEWLY ,RE-ELECTED AND APPOINTED COUNCIL
Mr. Pfeil received his oath from the Town Clerk for his term of office 1/1/2022-12/31/2025.
Mr. Yates asked for a motion to appoint Steve Senske to the council vacancy created.
This vacancy was to complete the term of Mac McNeill left by Mr. Pheil as indicated in Results of Elections above when he took the oath for the 4-year term. The person appointed will be required to run to complete the McNeill vacancy (term end 12/31/23) in the next general election.
- MOTION # 193 OF 2021
MR. PFEIL MOTIONED TO APPOINT MR. SENSKE TO THE VACANT COUNCIL POSITION ON THE TOWN BOARD EFFECTIVE 1/1/22-12/31/22. MRS. ORTMAN SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, ORTMAN, SENSKE, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
Mr. Senske received his oath of office from the Town Clerk for his term of office 1/1/22-12/31/22.
Mr. Sena received his oath of office from the Town Clerk for his term of office 1/1/22-12/31/25.
- PUBLIC COMMENT:
- DAN THOMAS, HISTORIAN
Mr. Thomas said his Grandmother had started the first scrapbooks for North Harmony in 1969. He said his personal service is $1,200 and expenditures are about $300 for newspaper and various subscriptions. He said our scrapbooks used to be kept at the old town building but several years ago the town had agreed with the Harmony Historical Society (HHS) to store our records. He said that is where he can be found most Tuesday mornings working with Pam Brown who is an excellent historian. He said he and Earl Ferry had been working in the tool shed to catalog tools and cleaning and organizing the attic area. He provided an old Chautauqua Central Year Book that shows advertisements for all the area businesses that existed in the 1950’s in Stedman, Stow and Ashville. He said currently he is trying to organize many boxes of loose historical records that were left by various people in the backroom of the old building. He said Mrs. Brown is very helpful in purging and advising what records would have already been archived by Michelle Henry the County Historian. He said through the efforts of the Brown’s there is a major expansion proposed and they are about half way through the capital fund project. Due to that they are not accepting any more materials at this time that will have to be moved several times during the construction. He said the Town’s continued support is greatly appreciated. He said some of the organizations he follows or is involved in are the Chautauqua Historical Society, Bemus Pt. Stow Ferry, Lawson Center, etc. He said recently he has added the Chautauqua Central School Alumni Association (CCSAA) which was a school district covering part of North Harmony as it relates to the Chautauqua County Sports Hall of Fame. He noted Cal Cedarquist a CCS coach is President and is being honored as an inductee. He also noted that Dick Barton as a race car driver and an Ashville native is also an inductee there. He said he is available to the board anytime they want to discuss our town’s history.
Mr. Yates said he would be interested in having local historic photos, etc. enlarged and displayed on easels above the soffit in the building entrance area.
Mr. Thomas said the first photos to look at would be those originally displayed on the walls at the old building. He said there are a lot of photos that would be appropriate for this and Mrs. Brown would be a good person to talk to about enlarging them as she had many done for historical displays.
12/13/2021 (Pg. 3)
The following correspondence has been received by the Supervisor and is available for review:
1. State of NY Public Service Commission 11/18/21 – Order Approving Renewal of Spectrum/Charter Cable Franchise Issued and Effective 12/1/21 (15 years or 12/1/2036)
2. Chautauqua Lake Partnership (CLP) – Letter and questionnaire for lakefront property owners
Mr. Yates said he would be happy to provide copies of the questionnaire to anyone who wished to complete it. He said the CLP is stepping up to the plate with lots of science on the lake.
3. Chautauqua Co. Finance – Mortgage Tax received $41,611.15
4. Assessor – Property Transfers 10/2021: A/V $1,019,900.00; S/P $1,684,500.00 (+$664,600.00)
Mr. Robbins asked Mrs. Golley what effect these large increases in sale prices will have on the equalization rate.
Mrs. Golley said it would probably go down again although she hasn’t received it from the state.
5. Association of Towns (AOT) Newly Elected Officials School – Virtual Training 1/6-7/22
AOT – Annual Meeting and Training 2/20-23/22 Marriott Marquis NY, NY
Mrs. Thomas said there is a packet from the AOT that is available for the board members regarding Newly Elected Officials Education opportunities as well as information on the upcoming annual AOT meeting in February 2022 in New York City.
6. Chautauqua Co. Executive – Draft County-wide Shared Services Property Tax Savings Plan
Mr. Yates said there is a property tax savings plan through Shared Services. He said the information it is available to review and lists towns that have joined for 2022 as well as some of the projects that have been done for savings. He said North Harmony has not entered into the Shared Services Agreement with the County as of yet. He asked Mr. Peacock if he would be available to discuss the subject with John Brown, Harmony Supervisor at 10:30 tomorrow morning.
7. Racine-Johnson Aquatic Ecologists – Late Summer 2021 Status of Chautauqua Lake’s Aquatic
Macrophyte Community and Associated Invertebrates
Mr. Yates said the results of that study are on the table for anyone to review. He said the information is very interesting. A copy is available on the CLA website.
- OLD BUSINESS:
- BIDS FOR OPERATION OF TRANSFER STATION – One bid received from Beichner Waste
2023 $4,800/month (optional)
2024 $5,000/month (optional)
Mr. Yates said we had only received one bid from Beichner. He said last year we were at $4,300.00 per month. He said he understands there are some concerns and issues with our service and asked the board
12/13/2021 (Pg. 4)
for their opinion. He suggested that Mrs. Ortman and Mr. Sena contact Beichner and discuss the contract with them.
Mrs. Ortman said she would call.
Mrs. Thomas said she would email a copy of the 2021 contract to Mrs. Ortman and Mr. Sena.
There was further general discussion of the bid request and the contract, and it was decided not to take any action until Beichner has been approached.
- NEW BUSINESS:
- SET DATE FOR YEAR END 2021 BOARD MEETING – Monday 12/20/21 6:30 PM
Mr. Yates said prior to the board meeting there would be a work session pertaining to the employee handbook as it relates to Highway M.E.O.’s vacation.
Mr. Sena said usually this meeting is after Christmas.
- Authorize Supervisor to make partial payment to Clark Patterson Lee (CPL) in the amount of $20,000 for Feasibility Study as Map, Plan and Report for NYS-DOS Local Government Efficiency (LGE) Grant – South Chautauqua Lake Water District
Mr. Yates said that grant required that the funds be spent and then the town would be reimbursed. He said the town had requested $50,000 and had been awarded a $45,000 grant.
- MOTION #194 OF 2021
MR. SENA MOTIONED TO AUTHORIZE THE SUPERVISOR TO MAKE PARTIAL PAYMENT IN THE AMOUNT OF $20,000 FROM LGE GRANT FUNDING TO CPL FOR THE WATER FEASIBILITY STUDY FOR THE SOUTH CHAUTAUQUA LAKE WATER DISTRICT. FURTHER, THE SUPERVISOR IS AUTHORIZED TO EXECUTE ANY RELATED DOCUMENTATION. MR. PFEIL SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, ORTMAN, SENSKE, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- Responses to TONH Ashville Bay questionnaire regarding interest in Water – 56 questionnaires sent – Responses: (17) YES; (5) NO; (1) N/A
- NYS CONSOLIDATED FUNDING APPLICATION (CFA) GRANT FOR COMPREHENSIVE PLAN
Mr. Yates said we have an opportunity until 12/31/21 to seek grant funding from NYS to assist with updating the towns Comprehensive Plan. He said Mrs. Ortman had agreed to pursue that but is having issues getting access to the application as the CFA website has crashed.
Mrs. Ortman said she had also made a phone request for an application but they do not accept anything but online applications.
- MOTION # 195 OF 2021
MR. SENSKE MOTIONED TO AUTHORIZE THE SUPERVISOR TO EXECUTE ALL DOCUMENTS TO SEEK GRANT FUNDING FROM NEW YORK STATE CFA IN THE AMOUNT OF $25,000 TO UPDATE THE TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY COMPREHENSIVE PLA N. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, ORTMAN, SENSKE, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
12/13/2021 (Pg. 5)
- Executive Session if Necessary
PIERRE CHAGNON, LEGISLATOR
Mr. Chagnon said the following occurred at the November Legislature meeting:
- We allocated capital money to retrofit all the lighting in all County buildings to LED, with an anticipated payback of three years.
- We distributed mortgage taxes for the period April 1 to September 30, 2021. The grand total for the entire County increased 21% from the same period last year.
- The Town of North Harmony received an increase of 26.2% from the same period last year
- We established the equalization rates for 2022
- The Town of North Harmony equalization rate for 2022 is 86.5%
- We approved and appropriated funding to two projects in the approved plan for the American Rescue Plan Act. Funding was allocated to implement upgrades to County trails and implement HVAC/indoor air quality improvements for County owned buildings.
- We adopted a motion urging continuation of the longstanding practice of combining the New York State Southern Tier counties in a single congressional district
ANNE GOLLEY, ASSESSOR
Mrs. Golley gave the following report:
TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY
ASSESSOR’S REPORT December 2021
In December, the office has been receiving back the renewals of the 2022 Aged exemptions, disability exemptions, and Agricultural exemptions. Along with existing property owners switching over from the Basic STAR exemption to an Enhanced STAR exemption.
The 2022 assessment roll has been sent to the County office for calculation of tax rates for Town and County tax bills. Chautauqua County Real Property Tax Service has informed us that the printing of the tax bills are on schedule and collectors should receive them timely to begin collection in January 2022.
We are still reviewing building permits and doing fieldwork for the 2022 Assessment Roll.
Thank you for your continued support of the Assessor’s Office. Have a wonderful Christmas!
HOWARD PEACOCK, JUSTICE
COURT REPORT FOR THE MONTH OF OCTOBER AND NOVEMBER 2021
December 13, 2021, Board Meeting
For the month of October:
$33,591.00 in fines, fees, and surcharges was collected by the Court and was given to the Town of North Harmony CFO for the court cases reported to the NYS Comptroller for October 2021. We opened 198 new cases and closed 206 cases.
For the month of November:
$30,235.00 in fines, fees, and surcharges was collected by the Court and was given to the Town of North Harmony CFO for the court cases reported to the NYS Comptroller for November 2021. We opened 187 new cases and closed 202 cases.
Katie A Zimmer, Court Clerk
December 10, 2021
12/13/2021 (Pg. 6)
Mr. Peacock said Lori Holder has been helping Mrs. Zimmer part time in the court and that seems to be working out very well and they are getting caught up.
BENJAMIN KARLSON, DEPUTY HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT
Mr. Karlson said that last month an employee had been injured and reported that he is back to work 100% with clearance from the doctor.
He invited the board to take a look at the new truck just purchased. Mr. Karlson said he had received a $200 refund from Emerling because they had not been able to register the truck.
- MOTION # 196 OF 2021
MR. SENA MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE BID OF EMERLING CHRYSLER DODGE FOR A 2022 RAM 2500 PICK UP AS OUTLINED IN THE BID SPECIFICATIONS AND THE CONTRACT AS FOLLOWS:
2022 TRUCK PRICE $48,230.00
TRADE IN VALUE $28,000.00
TOTAL AMOUNT DUE $20,230.00
Mr. Karlson said he had received a $200 refund from Emerling because they had not been able to register the truck. He said that $200 combined with the $2,000 used to hold the vehicle indicates the actual balance paid to Emerling on delivery $18,427.50.
MRS. ORTMAN SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, ORTMAN, SENSKE, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
Mr. Karlson invited the board to take a look at the new truck just purchased. He said with winter coming there needed to be a decision on whether or not Donelson Road would be plowed. He said currently there are “Seasonal” signs posted and that needs to be revaluated. There was discussion that by town law the board decides what type and where signs are placed in the town.
Mr. Yates said there were no records in the minutes of authorization to place those signs on Donelson found by the town clerk. He said the main reason to plow Donelson again, is that the Fire Department has requested it because they use it as a turn loop to get to the hydrants on Eiden Road. He said the Carlson’s who have a cabin there also would like it kept open at least through hunting season.
Mr. Karlson asked that this be made a motion by the board.
- MOTION # 197 OF 2021
MR. SENSKE MOTIONED TO REMOVE “SEASONAL” SIGNS FROM DONELSON ROAD.
Mr. Sena asked why we needed a motion to remove them and they should just be taken down.
Mr. Robbins said the motion would confirm the action.
MR. PFEIL SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, ORTMAN, SENSKE, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
Mr. Karlson said he is concerned about the west bound corner of Ramsey and Morley Roads. He said when you are coming off Morley onto Ramsey it is completely and a safety problem.
Mr. Yates said there have been numerous wrecks there.
Mr. Karlson said he would like the board to give the authority to put signage there.
Mr. Robbins suggested that the County Highway Safety Council be requested to perform a safety study there. He also said the town should requisition from the NYS-DOT records of all accidents that have
12/13/2021 (Pg. 7)
occurred there. He said this might provide some good information on what type signs to use and their placement.
There was general consensus of the board that this is a very dangerous intersection.
- MOTION # 198 OF 2021
MR. SENA MOTIONED TO AUTHORIZE THE DEPUTY HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT TO CONTACT THE COUNTY HIGHWAY SAFETY COUNCIL TO REQUEST A SAFETY STUDY AT WESTBOUND INTERSECTION OF RAMSEY AND MORLEY ROADS. FURTHER, THE NYS-DOT WILL BE CONTACTED TO REQUISITION RECORDS OF ALL ACCIDENTS OCCURING AT THAT LOCATION. MRS. ORTMAN SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, ORTMAN, SENSKE, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
Mr. Karlson said they had recently purchased a computer for the mechanic and the M.E.O.’s at the shop. He said they need to purchase software (WORD, EXCEL). He said DFT requires approval from the board before they will install this.
Mr. Pfeil said he had discussed with Mr. Karlson the benefit of having a program that tracks maintenance records and allows him to set up a 5-year equipment plan. He said EXCEL can be a very useful tool as well as Power Point for giving presentations.
Mr. Robbins suggested that the Highway Superintendents Association might be already using a program that might be something that would work for the town.
Mr. Pfeil said Office Suite is not that expensive and it would certainly be a good idea to have that also.
- MOTION # 199 OF 2021
MR. PFEIL MOTIONED TO AUTHORIZE THE HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT TO PURCHASE THE NECESSARY SOFTWARE FOR THE HIGHWAY COMPUTER. MRS. ORTMAN SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, ORTMAN, SENSKE, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
Mr. Karlson said even though the town does provide funds for highway employee clothing allowance an anonymous donor has funded the purchase of clothing for the highway M.E.O.’s with the town emblem on them. He thanked the donor.
BRAD LAWSON, ZONING C.E.O. (Copy of report in Minute Book)
Mr. Lawson reviewed his report for those present. He said the review of the towns Comprehensive Plan will be a good thing because there are people asking to do things that would fit, but our zoning doesn’t allow it. He said his year-end report will include a comparison but these are the numbers for 2021: 13 new homes at $5,197,486; 7 additions at $548,000; 7 alterations at $832,000; 13 residential garages at $595,000. He said 7 of the homes were lakefront and the others were in the back forty.
NANCY THOMAS, TOWN CLERK (Copy of report in Minute Book)
Mrs. Thomas said the Clerk’s office has been preparing to receive and send out 2022 tax bills. She said collection will begin on 1/6/22 and end on 4/1/22. She said her office has also been preparing Cemetery and vital records to be placed on laser fiche through a grant with Southern Tier West. Mrs. Thomas noted that she, Mrs. Gibbs and Mr. Thomas have all completed their required annual Sexual Harassment Training and said she would provide the certificates for filing.
12/13/2021 (Pg. 8)
ROBERT YATES, SUPERVISOR (Copy of report in Minute Book)
Mr. Yates said we have received notification from the Comptroller that we will receive Per Capita Aid (AIM) in the amount of $11,821. Mr. Yates reviewed his report for those present.
- MOTION # 200 OF 2021
MR. SENA MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE TOWN CLERK AND THE SUPERVISOR’S REPORT FOR NOVEMBER 2021 AS PRESENTED. MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, ORTMAN, SENSKE, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- MOTION # 201 OF 2021
MR. SENA MOTIONED TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT OF THE FOLLOWING VOUCHERS AS REVIEWED AND AUDITED EARLIER:
GENERAL FUND $29,747.15
HIGHWAY FUND $35,689.22
CAPITAL FUND $ 364.00
MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, ORTMAN, SENSKE, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- MOTION # 202 OF 2021
ON A MOTION MADE BY MR. SENA, SECONDED BY MRS. ORTMAN AND NONE BEING OPPOSED THE MEETING WAS ADJOURNED AT 8:17 PM.