YEAR END TOWN BOARD MEETING
WEDNESDAY, DECEMBER 28, 2022, 6:00 PM
ROBERT YATES, SUPERVISOR PRESENT
RICHARD SENA, COUNCIL PRESENT
LOUISE ORTMAN, COUNCIL PRESENT
STEVE SENSKE, COUNCIL PRESENT
MIKE PFEIL, COUNCIL PRESENT
OTHERS PRESENT: Brad Lawson, Zoning CEO; Robin Miller, Bookkeeper; Ben Karlson, Deputy Highway Superintendent; Stephanie Gibbs, Deputy Town Clerk; Pierre Chagnon, Legislator; Kelly Johnson, Attorney
- PUBLIC COMMENT:
The following correspondence has been received by the Town of North Harmony and is available for review at the offices:
ASSESSOR – OCTOBER PROPERTY TRANSFERS: A/V $205,000.00: S/P $405,000.00: (+$200,000.00)
Mr. Yates said we have not received mail for the town since December 22nd.
- OLD BUSINESS
Mr. Yates read the Agreement for the Ball Creek Stabilization Project Water Quality Improvement Project into the record. He said this Agreement is made as of January 1, 2022, by and between the Chautauqua Lake & Watershed Management Alliance, Inc. and Town of North Harmony.
- RESOLUTION # 176-2022
MR. PFEIL MOTIONED TO ADOPT THE FOLLOWING RESOLUTION IN AGREEMENT TO THE BALL CREEK STABILIZATION PROJECT WATER QUALITY IMPROVEMENT PROJECT.
Ball Creek Stabilization Project Water Quality Improvement Project
WHEREAS, Chautauqua Lake is an invaluable asset to Chautauqua County but has been designated an impaired water body and its health and usability are threatened, and
WHEREAS, Contractor, Alliance, and Chautauqua Watershed Conservancy have partnered for the Ball Creek Stabilization Project (“project”), to address erosion and stability issues along a problematic stretch of Ball Creek within the Town of North Harmony that will have a positive impact on the environmental health of Chautauqua Lake, and
WHEREAS, Contractor was awarded a Round 17 Water Quality Improvement Project (“WQIP”) Grant #C01706GG from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (“DEC”), and
WHEREAS, Contractor plans to retain the services of qualified professional service and construction firms to conduct the Project in accordance with the DEC grant requirements, and
WHEREAS, Alliance desires to use funds from the Alliance-Foundation Match Fund for a contribution toward the local match associated with the Project, and
WHEREAS, Alliance is authorized to enter into this Agreement pursuant to Board of Directors approval via electronic mail vote dated July 20, 2021,
NOW, THEREFORE, THE PARTIES AGREE AS FOLLOWS:
- Services. Contractors shall retain the services of qualified professional service and construction firm
to complete Project design and oversee construction and complete the stream stabilization project. Contractor and its subcontractors shall complete all work necessary to ensure that the Project complies with DEC grant requirements pursuant to the terms and conditions to be set forth in State Assistance Contract #C01706GG
- Payment. Alliance shall pay Contractor a maximum sum not to exceed Seven Thousand One Hundred
Thirty-Six and No/100 Dollars ($7,136.00). Payment shall be made upon execution of this agreement. If upon completion of the Project and acceptance by DEC, the total Project cost does not meet or exceed the projected total cost upon which the Alliance match commitment was based ($219,390.00), Contractor shall return the unused share of the Alliance match funding to the Alliance upon request. The confirmation of the final, total Project costs shall be provided to the Alliance in form and content approved by the Alliance Executive Director or duly authorized subordinate and accompanied by such fiscal records and documentation as may be reasonably requested by Alliance.
- Term. This Agreement shall commence as of January 1, 2022, shall terminate May 9, 2026, provided
either party can terminate this Agreement with or without cause upon thirty (30) day advance written notice to the other party, with accounts to be prorated, adjusted, and settled as of the date of such cancellation or termination. Alliance may immediately terminate this Agreement in writing in the event Contractor fails to comply with the provisions hereof.
MRS. ORTMAN SECONDED. A ROLL CALL VOTE WAS TAKEN BY MRS. GIBBS, DEPUTY TOWN CLERK OF THE FULL FIVE VOTING MEMBERS PRESENT:
Robert Yates, Supervisor Yes
Louis Ortman, Council Yes
Richard Sena, Council Yes
Steve Senske, Council Yes
Mike Pfeil, Council Yes
THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
HIGHWAY UTILITIES – ROAD PUSH COMPLETE AND FUNCTIONING
Mr. Yates said there are now 2 meters at the highway building. He said they are going to wait until the first of the year to submit their $4900.00 bill as requested. He said at this point we are still using PPP gas but we now have a back up supply. Mr. Yates said the positive thing about Chautauqua Utilities is if there is a gas outage Chautauqua Utilities has the capability to use National Fuel as a backup. He said we are going to give PPP the opportunity to come forth with a contract that is acceptable. Mr. Yates said Mr. Karlson knows how to switch services over if needed.
Mr. Sena asked if we still have an agreement with PPP for free gas based on the fact, they used some of the towns property.
Mr. Yates said no. He said we have never had anything in writing.
Mr. Sena asked if we have gotten free gas from PPP in the past.
Mr. Yates said we have in the past because their brine tanks we on our site but that was taken care of back in the 70s. He said we were getting free gas as long as we stored the tanks.
Mr. Sena asked if it was all settle over a handshake.
Mr. Karlson said there was never an agreement on paper.
Mr. Sena asked if Mr. Karlson was getting a bill from PPP.
Mr. Karlson said he has never seen a bill.
TOWN HISTORIAN – DAN THOMAS RESIGNATION – APPOINT PAM BROWN
- MOTION # 177-2022
MR. SENA MOTIONED TO ACCEPT DAN THOMAS RESIGNATION AS TOWN HISTORIAN EFFECTIVE 1/1/2023. MR. SENSKE SECONDED. YES (5): ORTMAN, SENA, PFEIL, YATES, SENSKE. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
Mr. Yates said Mrs. Brown gave him the run down of what she will do for the town as the Town Historian which consist of the following:
- Answer historical questions.
- Get history caught up.
- Keep public informed on history.
- History research for the town.
- Follow state guidelines of genealogy as a social history to support town personnel.
- She will do another booklet for the anniversary.
Mr. Yates said she will work for the town as the Town Historian for $1,500.00/yr. He said she belongs to the Western New York Historians at $25.00/yr. membership dues. He said she can help for Memorial Day and marker for the Patriots as she has done in the past.
MR. SENA MOTIONED TO APPOINT PAM BROWN AS TOWN HISTORIAN EFFECTIVE 1/1/2023 AT $1,500.00/YR. AS REQUESTED. MRS. ORTMAN SECONDED. YES (5): ORTMAN, SENA, PFEIL, YATES, SENSKE. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
Mrs. Gibbs said Mr. Senske must run for election again in the year 2023. She said according to the Board of Elections in 2021 there were 3 vacancies on the board but there were only 2 put on the ballets. She said Mr. Senske, Mr. Pfeil and Mr. Sena all ran in that election and Mr. Senske did not win. Mr. Pfeil chose to fill the longer term and Mr. Senske was appointed to the third vacant spot until the election which only had one year left on the 4-year term on the spot he was appointed to. Ms. Gibbs said when Mr. Senske runs in 2023 it will be for a full 4-year term.
- NEW BUSINESS:
FIRE DISTRICT NEWS – UTILIZE TOWN WEBSITE FOR FIRE DISTRICT.
Mrs. Miller said they have referendums and elections that would be nice and helpful to have on the town website.
Mr. Yates asked if we would give someone in the fire department access to the website.
Mrs. Miller asked if the secretary provided the information if Mrs. Gibbs can post it.
Mr. Yates said Mrs. Gibbs would be the administrator to the webpage.
Mr. Pfeil said he doesn’t see that to be a problem. He said we post a lot of different items on our website.
Mrs. Gibbs said she has posted for them in the past when they have asked.
Mr. Pfeil said the information needs to be ready to go on the website when Mrs. Gibbs gets it.
- MOTION # 179-2022
MR. SENSKE MOTIONED TO ALLOW THE ASHVILLE FIRE DISTRIST TO UTILIZE THE TOWN WEBSITE ADMINISTERED BY MRS. GIBBS TO POST INFORMATION REGUARDING THE FIRE DEPARTMENT. MR. PFEIL SECONDED. YES (5): ORTMAN, SENA, PFEIL, YATES, SENSKE. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
BUDGET REVENUE PAGE CORRECTION
Mrs. Miller said there was an alignment issue on the revenue page, so she removed a line item that was $0 and it corrected the alignment of the revenue page.
Mr. Pfeil asked how it effected the total.
Mrs. Miller said it did not affect the total and that it was just an issue with the alignment.
Mr. Yates said he would like to note for the record the year end transfer grants that are going to be open for the year 2023 will be accounted for in the capitol fund and transparency with dedicated accounts. He said the main one is for the CFA and the LGE water study. Mr. Yates said Clark Patterson Lee is supposed to have our hard copy of the study in the mail this week, but the mail has been shut down. He said the study will include a map and a plan for the whole Town of North Harmony along Route 394 and along the lake as well as a separate one for the hamlet of Asheville and Asheville Bay.
MRS. ORTMAN MOTIONED TO ENTER INTO THE RECORDS THE CORRECTED REVENUE PAGE. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (5): ORTMAN, SENA, PFEIL, YATES, SENSKE. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
DOG CONTROL OFFICER – STATE INSPECTION REPORT
- MOTION # 181-2022
MR. SENSKE MOTIONED TO APPROVE THE DOG CONTROL OFFICER STATE INSPECTION REPORT AS READ AND ATTACHED TO THESE MINUTES. MR. PFEIL SECONDED. YES (5): ORTMAN, SENA, PFEIL, YATES, SENSKE. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
NYS RETIREMENT WEBSITE
Mrs. Miller said NYS has shut their retirement website down from December 21st through January 6th.
PLANNING BOARD – SIX-MONTH MORATORIUM ON NEW CONSTRUCTION IN THE TC DISTRICTS TO INCLUDE 1,000 FT. ON EACH SIDE OF ROUTE 394 FROM BOCES TO THE TOWN LINE OF THE TOWN OF CHAUTAUQUA. (DISCUSSION)
Mr. Sena said there was a lot of discussion at the Planning Board meeting on the Comprehensive Plan and taking care of the interchange because of the water and sewer. He said there was a lot of talk about architectural guidelines, access roads so cars are not entering and exiting on Route 394 in a 55MPH zone, and discussion about the potential housing development. He said the biggest concern was the access on Route 394. Mr. Sena said a Planning Board member Gary Winger did some research on 2 other counties and came up with some guidelines to follow. He said Mr. Robbins was at the meeting and it was unanimous with the Planning Board members and Mr. Robbins that the town should have a moratorium because if they want to put 200 homes on the 62 acres, we have nothing to guide the project properly or safely. He said the Planning Board was also concerned about architectural guidelines mainly if a commercial business were to come into the town. He said we are going to pull out the old Comprehensive Plan studies and continue with that. He said with all the property being purchases along Route 394 they would like time to look at the Comprehensive Plan before they start applying for permits and start building.
Mr. Senske asked if a resident of the town wanted to build a new garage or build an addition on their home
would they be able to.
Mr. Sena said the moratorium would only be for new construction in the TC Districts.
Mrs. Johnson said if it is 1,000ft. and the TC districts you must follow both guidelines. She said it is just a temporary stop to look at the Comprehensive Plan to do what is best for all residents. Mrs. Johnson said the board only has the ability to extend the moratorium three times.
Mr. Senske said he just doesn’t want it to stop a resident from putting up a new garage or a new home.
Mr. Pfeil said it might have some unintended consequences.
Mr. Sena said that’s why the board wants to do it now because the moratorium would run through the winter before building season in June.
- MOTION # 182-2022
MR. SENA MOTIONED TO AUTHORIZE KELLY JOHNSON, ATTORNEY TO CREATE A LAW TO MOVE FORWARD WITH A SIX-MONTH MORATORIUM ON NEW CONSTRUCTION IN THE TC DISTRICTS TO INCLUDE 1,000 FT. ON EACH SIDE OF ROUTE 394 FROM BOCES TO THE TOWN LINE OF THE TOWN OF CHAUTAUQUA. MR. YATES SECONDED. YES (5): ORTMAN, SENA, PFEIL, YATES, SENSKE. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
Mr. Pfeil asked if we need to hold a work session sometime in the next year to look at Code Enforcement and the fees associated with construction or should the Planning Board look at that for the town.
Ms. Sena said the Town of North Harmony has the lowest fees compared to any other municipality. He said we might need to take a look at the fees. Mr. Sena said with Mr. Lawson’s increased load and in the future possibly having to hire another part time employee we may have to look at increasing some of our fees.
Mr. Sena said the Planning Board could look at those fees and make a recommendation. He said he suggests having a joint meeting because we have not had one in a long time and the Planning Board agreed we need to have one.
Mrs. Johnson said there are fines listed in the law which are compared to other towns. She said we can set the fines.
Mr. Senske said we did not set the inspection fees. He said we left them blank.
Mr. Pierre said every municipality is going through a major change with the new state guidelines. He said they have now hired CGR to do a study and they will be exploring the idea of consolidating and improving Zoning and Code Administration and Enforcement as well as looking into the counties housing court and possible improvements moving forward. He said he is on the committee that will be guiding this effort and they will hopefully be meeting this month.
MOTION TO AUTHORIZE DESTRUCTION OF TOWN RECORDS AS OUTLINED IN APPENDIX C DATED 12/28/2022 AND IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT SCHEDULE 1 (LGS-1)
- MOTION # 183-2022
MR. SENSKE MOTIONED TO AUTHORIZE DESTRUCTION OF TOWN RECORDS AS OUTLINED IN APPENDIX C DATED 12/28/2022 AND IN LOCAL GOVERNMENT SCHEDULE 1 (LGS-1). MRS. ORTMAN SECONDED. YES (5): ORTMAN, SENA, PFEIL, YATES, SENSKE. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
PIERRE CHAGNON, LEGISLATOR
Mr. Chagnon said he does not have a formal report because he gave one at the meeting at the beginning of the month. He said they were successful in getting funding for phase two of the sewer extension. Mr. Chagnon said they got a $6,000,000.00 grant and a $12,000,000.00 grant so we have more than enough funding for phase two. He said they have already hired the engineer, GHD to do the design and their contract was signed so they will be commencing work immediately.
BEN KARLSON, HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT
Mr. Karlson said they cleaned out Cheney Creek earlier in the fall and the rain we have had filled it in and they had to borrow an excavator from Westfield to clean it out.
BRAD LAWSON, ZONING CEO
Mr. Lawson said he gave the board a yearend report for year 2022. He said there were 85 permits, $47,000 and some change in fees, 14 new homes started, 10 residential permits, a couple garages, 2 pool permits, which is way down from previous years, 8 additions, 10 alterations, 5 tower alterations, and a couple violations. Mr. Lawson said the old Reverie Cheese Shop was bought by a couple that are entrepreneurs. He
said they have turned in preliminary plans and are planning a couple spaces to rent out and their portion will be a restaurant. He said there are no updates on the development on Route 394.
Mr. Yates said he had a meeting with a gentleman that represents the development corporation. He said until they come forward with a map of the development and steps we will just wait.
STEPHANIE GIBBS, DEPUTY TOWN CLERK
Mrs. Gibbs said she transferred the 2022 Tax Collection Penalties and Interest totaling $4,814.00 to the Supervisor.
ROB YATES, SUPERVISOR
- MOTION # 184-2022
MRS. ORTMAN MOTIONED TO AUTHORIZE PAYMENT ON THE FOLLOWING VOUCHERS AS REVIEWED AND AUDITED EARLIER:
GENERAL FUND $25,734.34
HIGHWAY FUND $16,593.41
MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (5): ORTMAN, SENA, PFEIL, YATES, SENSKE. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
- MOTION # 185-2022
MR. SENA MOTIONED TO ADJOURN THE MEETING AT 7:07 PM. MR. PFEIL SECONDED. YES (5): ORTMAN, SENA, PFEIL, YATES, SENSKE. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
Stephanie N. Gibbs
Deputy Town Clerk