April 18, 2011

A regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees was held on Monday, April 18, 2011, in the Village Hall. Mayor Westcott opened the meeting at 7:00 p.m. Also present were Deputy Mayor Conley, Trustee McAvoy, Coordinator Dodge, Police Chief Swick, Clerk-Treasurer Schweigert, and Daniel E. Seaman, attorney. , Trustee Blumrick and Trustee Hinkson, we absent. Trustee McAvoy led the Pledge of Allegiance. There were several Village residents and representatives from the Middleport Fire Co. in attendance, as well. A motion was made by Trustee McAvoy, and seconded by Deputy Mayor Conley, to approve the minutes of the March 21 regular and April 4, 2011, reorganization meeting. Carried. A motion was made by Deputy Mayor Conley, and seconded by Trustee McAvoy, to authorize payment of bills submitted on Abstract No. 11-1011 in the amount of: General: $60,534.46; Water: $21,705.82; Sewer: $15299.44; Total: $97,539.72. Carried. A motion was made by Trustee McAvoy, and seconded by Deputy Mayor Conley, to authorize the following budget transfers: TO FROM AMOUNT A9060.8 A1990.4 $5,453.47 A1640.4 A1420.4 1,100.20 A3120.13 A1990.4 5,678.20 G8120.4 G1990.4 1,344.58 G9060.8 G1990.4 2,863.03 TOTAL: $16,439.48. Carried. A motion was made by Deputy Mayor Conley, and seconded by Trustee McAvoy, to approve payrolls No. 22 and 23 for weeks ending April 2 and April 16, 2011. Carried. The Treasurer’s report was submitted and accepted for the month of March 2011. The Public Works report was submitted and accepted for the month of March 2011. The Village and Town Police reports were submitted and accepted for the month of March 2011, with Chief Swick reading the highlights. The fire report was submitted and accepted for the month of March 2011. A listing of the current officers was included with the report. Correspondence was read: Mayor Westcott received an invitation to the Niagara Small Business Day conference to be held on May 13. See him if interested in attending. Mayor Westcott received an invitation to the Elk’s 125th Anniversary celebration. See him if you are interested in attending. Received notice of an event sponsored by the Niagara County Arts & Cultural Heritage, to be held on May 9. Received a notice from the Basket Factory that they will be renewing their liquor license. Received a request from Scout Leader Glenn Vincent of Troop 855 from Lewiston requesting overnight camping at the Scout House from May 20 to 21. Approved. Deputy Mayor Conley asked about the status of stump grinding. Coordinator Dodge said that he has a list of at least 38 stumps that need grinding, and the DPW is getting to them when time permits. Each stump takes approximately a day to do. If a resident needs a stump removed immediately, call Mr. Dodge and advise. The DPW borrows the county’s large stump grinder when needed, but it isn’t always accessible. Trustee McAvoy asked if the problem on North Hartland Street has been resolved. Mr. Arlington is addressing it and the DEC and Health Department have been called. Mayor Westcott asked for the status of trimming the bushes at 72 S. Main Street. Mr. Dodge said they are scheduled to be trimmed. The ones on Main Street and Mechanic Street were taken care of by the owner. The ones are Alfred Street still need to be done. Mayor Westcott advised the Board that the lawsuit filed against FMC by the residents on S. Vernon and S. Main Street has been dismissed by the Court. This has no effect on the remediation process or ongoing saga with FMC. It gives FMC closure on this issue, but it is not a Village problem. Mr. Dodge updated the Board on the handicap parking issue in front of HSBC. He contacted the ADA to see if a time limit may be imposed. They don’t have any regulations regarding this for on-street parking. They only oversee parking lots. It is an issue for the state and local laws. He will do what the Board requests. The first spot after the fire hydrant will be designated handicap parking. Mr. Seaman advised the Board will have to pass a resolution authorizing the installation of the handicap parking spot. Trustee McAvoy was concerned that this might set a precedent and then someone will ask for a spot in front of the Credit Union. Mr. Dodge said that American Tactile made a stencil of the handicap parking symbol for the street at no cost for us. The following resolution was offered by Deputy Mayor Conley, who moved its adoption, and seconded by Trustee McAvoy, WHEREAS, it has been determined that a handicap parking space would benefit the residents of the Village and the patrons of the bank located at 47-49 Main Street, and WHEREAS, it has been determined that this limited parking would be beneficial during working hours, now therefore be it RESOLVED that a handicap parking space will be installed in front of 47-49 Main Street, at the parking spot immediately after the fire hydrant located there, and be it also RESOLVED that the hours of limited parking will be 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Monday through Friday only. The vote on the preceding resolution was as follows: Ayes: Deputy Mayor Conley, Trustee McAvoy, and Mayor Westcott; Nays: none; Abstentions: none; Absent: Trustee Blumrick and Trustee Hinkson. The resolution was duly adopted. Mr. Dodge gave an update on the Fire Company’s parking lot. New bids for paving materials will be available by the end of the month. When he has received them, he will calculate the price of the work to be done on the parking lot and give the information to Mayor Westcott and Mr. Seaman. Deputy Mayor Conley asked if the area that was remediated will be addressed. Mr. McAvoy said only to that area. Mr. Dodge will calculate prices including and not including the remediated areas and striping. Mr. Dodge contacted the NYSDOT regarding the use of CHIPs money for Vernon/South Vernon Streets. The person he needed to talk to was out. He will try again. Mr. Dodge received quotes from two places for the equipment that was discussed at the March budget meeting. He received quotes for the following equipment: 2 chain saws, chop saw, and power tools, and attachments for a small powerhead, a pull pruner, power sweeper, and line trimmer. The quote from Middleport Tractor for these amounts was $3,365.57. The quote from Creekside was $3,366.20. The quote from Middleport Tractor was the lowest. A motion was made by Trustee McAvoy, and seconded by Deputy Mayor Conley, to purchase the above listed equipment at a cost of $3,365.57 from Middleport Tractor. Carried. Chief Swick advised the Board that he would like to hire Police Officer P/T applicant Benjamin J. McDonald to replace Brandon Annable. He passed around Mr. McDonald’s application for review by the Board. Four candidates were interviewed for the vacancy; three from Erie County and one from Genesee County. Mr. McDonald has taken the pre-employment academy and needs Phase II. That will start in June or July. Mr. McDonald has served in the US Air Force in Iraq and is still in the reserves. He currently works security at the casino in Niagara Falls. His references include one from the Director of the Niagara County Police Academy, who spoke highly of Mr. McDonald. Chief Swick would like to have Mr. McDonald begin on April 25 at an hourly rate of $13 per hour. Discussed that Officer Lance Clark is paid $12 per hour, which will increase to $13.50 per hour. Decided that Mr. McDonald would be paid $12 per hour to start, and the Board will discuss possibly raising it to $13 per hour at the June or July meeting. Chief Swick advised the Board that the surplus trucks that were sold by sealed bid have been picked up by the new owner. Mayor Westcott asked if the sidewalk repair program could be pushed on our website or in the newsletter. Discussed the issue. Specs are given out to anyone who participates in the program, and pre- and post-approval must be given by Mr. Dodge prior to reimbursement. Clerk Schweigert said the program has been included in a few newsletters, but because of the economy, people don’t have the money for things like repairing sidewalks. Deputy Mayor Conley reminded everyone that the community wide garage sale will be held on May 7 from 9 am to 4 pm. Chief Swick advised everyone about the upcoming fundraiser for village resident Joe Loughrey to be held on May 14 at the Fire Hall. John Keirn, 36 Mill Street, asked that new children at play signs be installed on Mill Street. A sign was installed in 2004, but he would like one installed with the picture of children on it. People speed in and out of the village on Mill Street. Mr. Dodge will see if we have any signs in stock. Mr. Keirn asked if anyone knew when the tree in front of his house would be removed by National Grid, who marked it a few years ago for removal. Mr. Dodge said he spoke with an NG rep last week, who advised crews will be in the village soon for tree removal. Michael Miano, 97 S. Main Street, addressed the Board regarding four things. The Village’s 2010 annual newsletter advises that it is the responsibility of property owners to clean the sidewalks. The village needs a sidewalk law requiring that property owners shovel the sidewalk in front of their property. He asked that the Board discuss the possibility of enacting a snow shoveling code and also suggested that the Village hire kids to clean the sidewalks. Mayor Westcott advised the Board would look into it, but a code like this opens the Village up to liability. If there is no code, there is no need to enforce it. If there is a code that is not enforced, the Village is liable for injuries. The postmaster can enforce shoveling sidewalks, because mail does not have to be delivered if the mailbox is inaccessible. Mr. Miano said it is a safety issue for residents. Mayor Westcott advised that taxes would have to be increased to a crushing level if this was enacted. It would have to be enforced and the cost of liability could be huge. The Board will look into it. Mr. Miano addressed the issue of the “No. 1 in New York” sign on North Main Street. He feels it is misleading as the information is several years old. Mayor Westcott advised that the signage was installed under the former mayor. Trustee McAvoy asked if Mr. Miano would rather have bad news published on a sign. Mr. Miano brought a book entitled Niagara Historical Trail to the Board’s attention. He feels there are inaccuracies in the book that the Board should have addressed. Mayor Westcott advised him to take the issue up with the author and the publisher. The village is not involved with the production of the book. Mr. Miano wants the condition of the property at 57 Main Street addressed. Mayor Westcott advised that the code enforcement officer will be instructed to review the matter. Mr. Miano asked what action will be taken. Mayor Westcott advised that the answer to that would not be known until the code enforcement officer has reviewed the matter. Fire Chief Sam DeChellis introduced himself to the Board of Trustees. Returned to the issue of hiring a new police officer. A motion was made by Trustee McAvoy, and seconded by Deputy Mayor Conley, to hire Benjamin McDonald effective April 25, 2011, at a rate of $12 per hour. Carried. A motion was made by Deputy Mayor Conley, and seconded by Trustee McAvoy, to move into executive session for the purpose of discussions regarding matters leading to the appointment, employment, promotion, demotion, discipline, suspension, dismissal or removal of a particular person or corporation and for consultation with attorney. Carried. Executive session opened at 7:45 p.m. A motion was made by Deputy Mayor Conley, and seconded by Trustee McAvoy, to return to general session. Carried. Mayor Westcott reconvened general session at 8:18 p.m. There being no other business, a motion was made by Deputy Mayor Conley, and seconded by Trustee McAvoy, to adjourn. Carried. Meeting adjourned at 8:18 p.m. Respectfully submitted, Rebecca A. Schweigert Clerk-Treasurer
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