Minutes

December 20, 2010

Body:
A regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees was held on Monday, December 20, 2010, in the Village Hall. Mayor Maedl opened the meeting at 7:00 p.m. Also present were Deputy Mayor Westcott, Trustee Conley, Trustee Bateman, Trustee Sarchia, Police Chief Swick, ClerkTreasurer Schweigert, and Attorney Mike Norris for Daniel E. Seaman. Coordinator Dodge was absent. Mr. Norris led the Pledge of Allegiance. A motion was made by Trustee Conley, and seconded by Trustee Sarchia, to approve the minutes of the November 15, 2010, meeting. Carried. A motion was made by Trustee Bateman, and seconded by Deputy Mayor Westcott, to authorize payment of bills submitted on abstract No. 7-1011: General: $29,622.88; Water: $1,835.12; Sewer: $10,052.66; Total: $41,510.66. Carried. A motion was made by Trustee Sarchia, and seconded by Trustee Conley, to approve payrolls no. 13 and 14, for weeks ending November 27 and December 11, 2010. Carried. The Treasurer’s report was submitted and accepted for November 2010. The Public Works report was submitted and accepted for November 2010. The Village and Town Police reports were submitted and accepted for November 2010, with Chief Swick reading the highlights. The fire report was submitted and accepted for November 2010. The Code Enforcement report was submitted and accepted for November 2010. The Board was please to learn that 14 State Street will be remediated by the County using grant funding. Village elections for 2011 were discussed. Clerk Schweigert advised the Board of the meeting she attended with the Niagara County Election Commissioners. Due to several issues with the new electronic voting machines, the Commissioners have recommended that the Villages revert to paper ballots for future elections. A motion was made by Deputy Mayor Westcott, and seconded by Trustee Conley, to hold the Village Election on Tuesday, March 15, 2011. The polling place will be the Village Hall, and polls will be open from 12 o’clock noon until 9:00 p.m. The following resolution was offered by Trustee Bateman, who moved is adoption, and seconded by Deputy Mayor Westcott, WHEREAS, the Village has used the lever machines for many years while conducting its Village elections; and WHEREAS, the lever machines are no longer being used; and WHEREAS, to use the new computer scan voting machines would be excessive in cost to set up and purchase the readable scan ballots, now therefore be it RESOLVED, that the Village Board of Trustees hereby authorizes the use of paper ballots for Village elections and directs the Village Clerk-Treasurer to design said ballot as prescribed by the Election and other applicable laws. The vote on the preceding resolution was as follows: Ayes: Trustee Conley, Trustee Bateman, Trustee Sarchia, Deputy Mayor Westcott, and Mayor Maedl; Nays: none; Absent: none; Abstention: none. The resolution was unanimously carried. A motion was made by Deputy Mayor Westcott, and seconded by Trustee Conley, to authorize Mayor Maedl to execute the 2011 Fire Contract with the Town of Hartland in the amount of $38,206. Carried. Correspondence was read: Thank you was received from the Clothes Closet for the action taken on their water bill. Received a letter of resignation from Daniel Wells from the Middleport Fire Company. Received notice that we have been granted Tree City USA status for the 15th year in a row. Deputy Mayor Westcott asked for an update on the contract between the Village and the Fire Company for the municipal parking lot. Attorney Seaman sent a letter requesting more information before moving forward with this. Village Coordinator Dodge will be asked to gather the information. Deputy Mayor Westcott will meet with Mr. Dodge if necessary to review what needs to be done to the parking lot. Clerk Schweigert advised the Board of the review by Moody’s. Deputy Mayor Westcott sat in on a phone interview conducted by Moody’s with Clerk Schweigert. Moody’s was satisfied with our answers to their questions, and our credit rating will not change. Deputy Mayor Westcott attended a meeting with Senator Maziarz earlier in the month. Senator Maziarz met with the leaders of Niagara County municipalities, asking for issues that he could return to Albany with to be addressed. Deputy Mayor Westcott requested that Sen. Maziarz look into the retirement fund issues: why does it have to be funded at 107 percent and when will there be relief from the premiums. Middleport’s premium has risen from less than $3,000 in 2002 to $67,000 this year and a proposed $92,000 for 2011. Sen. Maziarz did say the there will now be two people running the retirement fund, not just the Comptroller. The 2-percent property tax cap was also discussed. If the governor-elect is proposing this, he must make cuts elsewhere, such as Medicaid, to give municipalities relief. Another issue that was discussed was AES. They may be folding, in which case the $6,000,000 they pay in taxes will have to be made up by County taxpayers. Another issue that was discussed was volunteer fire department retention benefits. Municipalities that have provided this are being financially drained because of it. It isn’t working the way it was supposed to, as recruitment and retention to volunteer fire departments are still down. Trustee Bateman received a complaint from a Village resident regarding sidewalks on Telegraph Road not being shoveled. This person feels that if the Village had the sidewalks installed, the Village should maintain them. The Village does not have a sidewalk code as it would set the village up for liability if it wasn’t enforced. The next regular Board Meeting is Tuesday, January 18, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. (This is the third Tuesday due to the federal holiday, Martin Luther King Day, on Monday, January 17, 2011). There being no further business, a motion was made by Trustee Conley, and seconded by Trustee Bateman, to adjourn. Carried. Meeting adjourned at 8:10 p.m. Respectfully submitted, Rebecca A. Schweigert Clerk-Treasurer
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