TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY
TOWN BOARD MEETING
MONDAY SEPTEMBER 12, 2022, 7:00 PM
ROBERT YATES, SUPERVISOR PRESENT
RICHARD SENA, COUNCIL PRESENT
LOUISE ORTMAN, COUNCIL PRESENT
STEVE SENSKE, COUNCIL ABSENT
MIKE PFEIL, COUNCIL PRESENT
OTHERS PRESENT: Dale Robbins & Kelly Johnson, Attorney; Brad Lawson, Zoning CEO; Robin Miller, Bookkeeper; Howard Peacock, Justice; Ben Karlson, Deputy Highway Superintendent; Pierre Chagnon; Clayton & Helen Emick; Stephanie Gibbs, Deputy Town Clerk; Rudy Mueller
- PLEDGE & MOMENT OF SILENCE
- MINUTES: 8/8/2022
- MOTION # 125-2022
MR. PFEIL MOTIONED TO ADOPT THE MINUTES OF THE 8/8/2022 TOWN BOARD MEETING AS PRESENTED BY THE DEPUTY TOWN CLERK. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (4): ORTMAN, SENA, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY HAZARDOUS WASTE DROP OFF DAY – Saturday 9/17/2022 9AM-2PM at the Falconer DPF. FREE
- GRAND OPENING OF THE HISTORICAL SOCIETY – 9/17/2022
- PUBLIC COMMENT:
Mr. Emick asked how to get rid of the algae bloom on the shore.
Mr. Yates said an aeration system around your docks would help. He said the reason the bloom is there is because the oxygen levels in the water are depleted. He said that can happen with over spraying and killing to many weeds. He said there is a guy on the south end of the Bemus-Point Stow Ferry who had an aeration system around his dock all summer and he has no algae around his dock. He said what they have experienced was dead milfoil that had come to the surface after being sprayed and because of the wave action the dead milfoil rolled up into a ball and came to the surface. Mr. Yates said even when the weeds get sprayed, they should still be removed.
The following correspondence has been received by the Town of North Harmony and is available for review at the offices:
- ASSESSOR – JUNE PROPERTY TRANSFERS: A/V $558,000.00: S/P $1,188,900.00: (+630,900.00)
- SOUTHERN TIER WEST FALL TRAINING 2022 – Thursday 10/6/2022 4PM – 8PM & Thursday 11/17/2022 4PM – 8PM.
- NEW GUIDE TO RESOURCES IN CHAUTAUQUA COUNTY – located in the NEW information rack.
- CHARTER/SPECTRUM, Mark Meyerhofer – Notice of Program Changes 10/1; 10/3
- NYS DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC SERVICES – petition requesting approval for an overlay of a new area code in NYS currently covered by the 716-area code.
- OLD BUSINESS
- SPCA – awaiting new contract.
Mr. Yates said the SPCA mentioned taking over licensing and after discussion he did not feel it was a good idea. He said they concluded that if a dog were to come in over the weekend the owner will need to sign a waver to release that dog and they will need to come to the office the next business day to license the dog.
- CONSOLIDATION OF NORTH HARMONY/HARMONY COURTS
Mr. Yates read the resolution into the record
- RESOLUTION/MOTION # 126-2022
MRS. ORTMAN MOTIONED TO ADOPT THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF A SINGLE TOWN JUSTICE FOR THE TOWNS OF HARMONY AND NORTH HARMONY.
Resolution in Support of a Single Town Justice for the Towns of Harmony and North Harmony
WHEREAS, over the past several years the administrative and financial costs associated with maintaining a Justice Court has increased for each Town, and
WHEREAS, the Towns of Harmony and North Harmony have experienced and continue to experience increased difficulty with attracting and retaining qualified Justices, and
WHEREAS, the New York Legislature has enacted legislation authorizing Towns that form a contiguous geographic area within the same County to elect a single Justice to preside in the Town Courts or to establish a single Justice Court for the Towns, and
WHEREAS, the Towns of Harmony and North Harmony wish to conduct a study to determine whether by sharing resources the two Towns are able to streamline their Court systems to reduce the financial cost to each town while maintaining service for its residents and whether such sharing of services is in the best interest of each Town.
BE IT RESOLVED that the Town of Harmony and the Town of North Harmony hereby authorize a joint study to be undertaken to consolidate their respective Justice Courts and/or the election of a single Town Justice to preside in the Town Court of each Town. The study shall be conducted by a committee of two (2) members from each Town, each member to be appointed by the Supervisor of the respective Town.
MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (4): ORTMAN, SENA, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
Mr. Yates asked if both towns need to sign the resolution.
Mrs. Johnson said only one town needs to sign.
- NEW BUSINESS:
- MOTION TO ACCEPT NANCY THOMAS RESIGNATION – Effective Date August 26, 2022
Mr. Pfeil read Nancy Thomas letter of resignation for the record.
MR. SENA MOTIONED TO ACCEPT THE RESIGNATION/RETIREMENT OF NANCY THOMAS, TOWN CLERK EFFECTIVE 8/26/2022. MRS. ORTMAN SECONDED. YES (4): ORTMAN, SENA, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- NEW CEMETERY REGULATIONS PROPOSED
Mr. Yates read an article on proposed cemetery regulations. He said the proposed regulations will end up costing the town more money.
Mr. Sena said they want to require an engineer for every dig and a religious inspector.
Mr. Yates said we will see how this pans out; it has a long way to go.
- EMERGENCY SERVICES – Barton & Loguidice – Interview participation.
- REQUEST FOR A BUDGET MEETING – Tentative budget due end of September.
Work session will be held Wednesday, 9/21/2022 at 6:00 PM.
- BUTTS ROAD DITCH RESTORATION GRANT FUNDING BEING SOUGHT FROM ALLIANCE.
Mr. Yates said spoke to Dave Span and Mr. Span said he could do the job this fall. He said we have a deadline to use the grant so we can put a grant together to include herbicide, harvesting and near shore clean up. Mr. Yates said he thought we could use it to help with shoreline clean up. He said his idea is we can purchase the equipment and hire out to do the cleanup. He said the CLA does a great job, but they have a lot of area to cover. He said it is just a thought, but he would like to entertain a discussion at a different time. Mr. Yates said he is concerned with getting Butts Rd. done now.
- CLA – Rudy Mueller
Mr. Mueller said he is the president of the CLA. He said they do shoreline cleanup, spring clean up which he feels can be very dangerous for the residents to do, harvesting which usually takes them through the
season, and boat tours to educate the public. He said they are trying to extend a late season clean up. He said if the town would like to step in, they would appreciate it. Mr. Mueller said in North Harmony they took out 22 truck loads and 18 barge loads of harvesting materials taking around 200 ton out of North Harmony area. He said about a third of their funding comes from the government, more than a third comes from foundations and the remaining comes from the individuals. He said the board really appreciated what the Town of North Harmony has done for them in the past and he really hopes they will continue in the future. He said $10,000.00 that has been budgeted in the past would be awesome and if they want to do more that would be even better. Mr. Mueller said whatever money they bring in they spend.
Mr. Yates asked if they plan to still work through the fall.
Mr. Mueller said they are still in the lake, but they are trying to do late season. He said in the future they would like to do a late season clean up.
Mr. Yates said the town has $25,000.00 left in lake beautification fund. He asked Mr. Sena if they town still owed $3,500.00 to the CLP.
Mr. Sena said he didn’t think we did.
Mr. Yates asked if it was in the towns best interest for the town to give the CLP a check for $3500.00 as a donation.
Mr. Sena said certainly for some of the surveys they are still doing.
Mr. Yates said we will give money to the CLP for testing and to the CWC.
Mrs. Ortman asked how much we donated to the CWC last year.
Mr. Yates said he thought we donated $2,500.00. He asked if we wanted to donate $10,000.00 to the CLA.
Mrs. Ortman said she believes we should send them $15,000.00. She said they were out on the lake a lot this year.
- MOTION # 128-2022
MRS. ORTMAN MOTIONED TO DONATE $15,000.00 TO THE CLA.
Mr. Sena asked if the town donated $15,000.00 can the Town of North Harmony get fall clean up from the CLA. He said he would feel more comfortable giving them extra money if we were getting extra services.
Mr. Mueller said there is a board meeting on Wednesday. He said if they can’t do anything leave it at $10,000.00 or $12,000.00 and if they can give them services give them $15,000.00. Mr. Mueller said he can’t promise them anything now.
Mrs. Ortman said she wants to leave her motion to give $15,000.00 because she feels they deserve it. She said it would be great to get more service but the service they have already given is worth $15,000.00.
MR. YATES SECONDED. YES (2): ORTMAN, YATES. NO (1): SENA. OBSTAIN (1): PFEIL. THE MOTION WAS DENIED.
- MOTION # 129-2022
MRS. ORTMAN MOTIONED TO DONATE $15,000.00 TO THE CLA WITH A REQUEST FOR THEM TO ASSIST THE TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY WITH FALL SHORELINE CLEANUP IF THEY ARE ABLE TO. MR. YATES SECONDED. YES (2): ORTMAN, YATES. NO (1): SENA. OBSTAIN (1): PFEIL. THE MOTION WAS DENIED.
- MOTION # 130-2022
MR. SENA MOTIONED TO DONATE $10,000.00 TO THE CLA WITH DISCUSSION FOR EXTRA FUNDS IN THE FUTURE.
Mr. Ortman said when we meet for the budget, we can have another discussion.
Mr. Sena said he doesn’t know what the difference is if we give them $10,000.00 now and we can discuss giving them more later after Mr. Mueller has his meeting on Wednesday maybe he will have more insight.
Mr. Yates said he would rather see Mr. Mueller go away with $10,000.00 for the work they have already done. He said he doesn’t want to put this off and would like to come to some sort of agreement tonight.
MR. YATES SECONDED. YES (2): SENA, YATES. NO (1): OBSTAIN (1): PFEIL ORTMAN. THE MOTION WAS DENIED.
- MOTION # 131-2022
MR. SENA MOTIONED TO DONATE $12,500 TO THE CLA TOWARD SHORE CLEAN UP THIS YEAR. MRS. ORTMAN SECONDED. YES (3): ORTMAN, SENA, YATES. OBSTAIN (1): PFEIL. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
Mr. Mueller said he appreciates the donation of $12,500.00 and he will report that to the board. He asked if they could get back up to the town to do some late season shoreline cleanup is there more funding the town can offer.
Mr. Yates said yes.
- MOTION # 132-2022
MR. PFEIL MOTIONED TO DONATE $2,500.00 TO THE CWC AND $3,500.00 TO THE CLP. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (4): ORTMAN, SENA, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- SENIOR CITIZENS – Stephanie Gibbs is responsible for the keys and reservations.
- MOTION TO AUTHORIZE DESTRUCTION OF TOWN RECORDS AS OUTLINED IN APPENDIX C DATED 9/12/2022 AND IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT SCHEDULE 1 (LGS-1)
- MOTION # 133-2022
MR. SENA MOTIONED TO AUTHORIZE DESTRUCTION OF TOWN RECORDS AS OUTLINED IN APPENDIX C DATED 9/12/2022 AND IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT SCHEDULE 1(LGS-1). MRS. ORTMAN SECONDED. YES (4): SENA, PFEIL, YATES, ORTMAN. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED
Mr. Lawson said NYS has updated Part 1203 of Title 19 NYCRR which is the codes. He said it is a model law. Mr. Lawson said he will finish it up and send it to Mr. Robbins and Mrs. Johnson to review. Mr. Lawson said it must be done by the end of the year.
Mrs. Johnson said they need to have the final law complete before the town can set the public hearing because we need to give individuals an opportunity to come in and view it. She said if it is complete, we can set the public hearing at the October meeting for the November meeting.
PIERRE CHAGNON, LEGISLATOR
Mr. Chagnon read the following Legislator report into the record.
- We reappointed Jay Churchill to the Airport Commission.
- We held two public hearings and passed several resolutions required in the pursuit of Federal Infrastructure funds for rehabilitation projects in the Portland Pomfret Dunkirk Sewer District and the North County Industrial Water District.
- We accepted a $193,463 award from the NYS Division of Criminal Justice Services for the Gun Involved Violence Elimination Task Force to reduce gun violence, drug offenses, and other violent crimes.
- We authorized agreements with Frewsburg and Pine Valley Central Schools to provide school resource officer services.
- We authorized utilization of Opioid Settlement funds to bring motivational speaker Chris Herren to speak with students in the Bemus Point, Brocton, Chautauqua Lake, Dunkirk, Falconer, Fredonia, Frewsburg, Sherman and Southwestern School Districts on the topics of substance use disorder and wellness by sharing his story, which has helped renew the focus on prevention education and challenged audiences to rethink how we look at the disease of addiction.
- We approved a one-year extension to the labor contract with CSEA Unit 6300, including a wage increase of 3% and a $750 bonus.
HOWARD PEACOCK, JUSTICE
Mr. Peacock read the following court report into the record.
COURT REPORT FOR THE MONTH OF
$47,121.50 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 August 2022. We opened 270 new cases and closed 259 cases.
Katie A. Zimmer
Mr. Yates said the court requested to clean out the attorney room that was housing some of the historians’ supplies. He said those rooms were made to accommodate the attorneys so need to be used for that purpose. He said there was only one banker’s box and a couple of books for the history of the town and believes the historical records can go to the newly updated historical society.
BEN KARLSON, DEPUTY HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT
Mr. Karlson said he received a letter on 7/20/2022 regarding the highway CHIPS funds. He would like to amend the budget to the total amount we have received this year from New York State involved from the CHIPS program, PAVE NY, EWR, POP, and the roll over from last year totaling $326,446.64.
Mr. Robbins said they would amend the budget to increase the amount of revenue and expenditure.
Mr. Yates asked if he needs it now.
Mr. Karlson said he has about $94,000.00 left.
- MOTION # 134-2022
MRS. ORTMAN MOTIONED TO AMEND THE HIGHWAY BUDGET TO INCREASE THE AMOUNT OF REVENUE AND EXPENDITURE TO $326,446.64. MR. SENSKE SECONDED.
YES (4): ORTMAN, SENSKE, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
Mr. Karlson said he has an M.E.O. that has achieved the next tier of his bonus and he would like to retroactive back to August 6th which was his anniversary date for a $1/hr. raise and would like the board to make a resolution.
Mr. Senas said we should give the name for the record.
Mr. Karlson said it is Austin Davis.
- MOTION # 135-2022
MR. SENA MOTIONED TO AUTHORIZE M.E.O AUSTIN DAVIS A $1/HR RAISE RETROACTIVE 8/6/2022 ($20/HR; $30/HR OT). MR. PFEIL SECONDED. YES (4): ORTMAN, SENA, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
Mr. Karlson said as we are getting closer to fall, we are thinking of snow, but we also have some fall black top jobs, and we did prep some of the roads for blacktop next year and he is thankful for that. He said Baker Rd. is tore up and hopefully it has time to settle, and we can put black top over it closer to winter. Mr. Karlson said he is going to highway school 9/21/2022 and 9/22/2022 in Ellicottville. He said he did not request to stay overnight, but he does have a special request. Mr. Karlson said on 9/22/2022 his daughter has a swim meet in Olean that night. He said he would like the boards blessing to take the town truck from Ellicottville to Olean on 9/22/2022 for his daughter’s swim meet.
Mr. Yates said it is on the way and he does not see a problem with it. He asked if anyone on the board had a problem with Mr. Karlson taking the truck to Olean on the way back from Ellicottville for his daughter’s swim meet. There were no objections.
Mr. Karlson said there is a truck that will be build in November as mentioned last month and they are still on target for that to happen. He said the truck amount will be $284,972.00. He said as of now the truck will be built on 11/16/2022.
Mr. Yates said we planned for it so it will be ok.
Mr. Sena asked what is going to happen with the shoulders on Butts Rd. He said they are getting bad and feels they need to do something before winter.
Mr. Karlson said he knows they are bad, and they are doing something before winter. He said he talked to Robin and they have it budgeted to have about ten 10-wheeler loads of black top that will be put on the edges of Butts Rd. Mr. Karlson said he heard back from a resident on Eggleston Hill Rd.. He said that the town does not own Eggleston Hill Rd. and when the resident put the fiberoptic in the road he got homeowners permission to go to the center of the road and they don’t need the towns permission to do so. Mr. Karlson said the wires do need moved and the resident came up with a work order just north of $20,000.00 and he is waiting for corporate to see if they will accept his work order.
BRAD LAWSON, ZONING CEO (Copy of Report in Minute Book)
Mr. Lawson said a complaint he had in the town on a lighting issue will be resolved. He said he spoke with the homeowner. He said there has been a lot of talk about solar array, but he has not been contacted by anybody other than the first initial person.
Mr. Yates said he has reached out to Clark Patterson Lee, Gutterridge, Haskins and Davey and Chip. He said they are attorney firms and engineer firms. He said he got a number from the county of Dave McCoy pertaining to a consultant for planning. He said they all know we are looking for a planner to assist the planning commission for the town particularly through the interchange for I-86 and Route 394. Mr. Yates gave an update on the building and the sound issues in the court room.
ANNE GOLLEY, ASSESSOR
TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY
In September the office has been fielding phone calls and walk-ins regarding the school tax bills. Property owners always have questions every year about their taxes. Also, we have been providing apportionments to the school tax collector when property owners split their parcels.
Thank you for your continued support of the Assessor’s Office.
JOHN STOW, DCO
Mr. Yates read the following report into the record.
I had one call for dogs running around their neighbor’s farm. The perpetrators were identified back at their home, thought they would not “speak” to the issue. Their parents were warned of the dangers associated with visits to the farm and promise to prevent any further rendezvous at the neighbor’s farm.
John Stow, DCO
STEPHANIE GIBBS, DEPUTY TOWN CLERK (Copy of Report in Minute Book)
Mrs. Gibbs said she had nothing further to add to her written report.
ROB YATES, SUPERVISOR (Copy of Report in Minute Book)
Mr. Yates said PPP has been removing brine tanks. He said he saw three go out today. He asked Mr. Karlson if they were done.
Mr. Karlson said there were a total of five and their goal was to have all five out, but he did not check to see if they completed that.
Mr. Yates said he was meeting with DFT about the security at the highway building and would be getting a quote. He said he feels it is important to have a camera facing the fuel tanks and the transfer station. He said he would rather see trash dumped there it adds cost to the town.
- MOTION # 136-2022
MRS. ORTMAN MOTIONED TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT ON THE FOLLOWING VOUCHERS AS REVIEWED AND AUDITED EARLIER:
GENERAL FUND $23,576.76
HIGHWAY FUND $33,366.59
MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (4): ORTMAN, SENA, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- MOTION # 137-2022
YES (4): ORTMAN, SENA, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- MOTION # 138-2022
MRS. ORTMAN MOTIONED ADJOUN THE REGULAR BOARD MEETING AND ENTER INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION TO DISCUSS PERSONEL AT 8:25 PM. MR. PFEIL SECONDED. YES (4): ORTMAN, SENA, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- MOTION # 139-2022
MR. SENA MOTIONED TO ADJOURN EXECUTIVE SESSION AT 8:37 PM. MR. PFEIL SECONDED. YES (4): ORTMAN, SENA, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
MR. SENA MOTIONED TO ENTER BACK INTO THE REGULAR BOARD MEETING AT 8:38 PM. MR. PFEIL SECONDED. YES (4): ORTMAN, SENA, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- MOTION # 141-2022
MR. YATES MOTIONED TO INCREASE MRS. GIBBS HOURLY RATE BY $1/HR EFFECTIVE 9/12/2022 ($19/HR.) FOR FULLFILLING THE DUTIES AND RESPONSIBLITIES OF THE TOWN CLERK. MR. PFEIL SECONDED. YES (4): ORTMAN, SENA, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
Mr. Yates thanked Mrs. Gibbs and said he appreciates her taking care of everything he throws at here and he appreciates the way she takes care of the customers. He said she has been friendly, and kind and he has had people call and express that. He said it is well deserved.
- MOTION # 142-2022
ON A MOTION MADE BY MR. YATES, SECONDED BY MRS. ORTMAN, AND NONE BEING OPPOSED THE MEETING WAS ADJOURNED AT 8:45 PM.
Stephanie N. Gibbs
Deputy Town Clerk