Minutes

May 19, 2011

Body:
A regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees was held on Monday, May 19, 2011, in the Village Hall. Mayor Westcott opened the meeting at 7:00 p.m. Also present were Deputy Mayor Conley, Trustee Blumrick, Trustee Hinkson, Trustee McAvoy, Coordinator Dodge, Police Chief Swick, Clerk-Treasurer Schweigert, and Daniel E. Seaman, attorney. Trustee Hinkson led the Pledge of Allegiance. There were several Village residents in attendance, as well. A motion was made by Deputy Mayor Conley, and seconded by Trustee McAvoy, to approve the minutes of the April 18, 2011, meeting. Carried. A motion was made by Trustee McAvoy, and seconded by Trustee Hinkson, to authorize payment of bills submitted on Abstract 12-10/11. General: $52,023.97; Water: $3,084.79; Sewer: $15,299.44; Total: $70,408.20. Carried. A motion was made by Trustee McAvoy, and seconded by Deputy Mayor Conley, to authorize the following transfers: TO FROM AMOUNT F8340.4 F1990.4 $4,747.75 G9055.8 G1990.4 36.74 Total: $4,784.50 Carried. A motion was made by Deputy Mayor Conley, and seconded by Trustee Blumrick, to authorize a transfer of $20,000 from the General Fund to the Sewer Fund. Carried. The Treasurer’s report was submitted and accepted for the month of April 2011. The Public Works report was submitted and accepted for the month of April 2011. The Village and Town Police reports were submitted and accepted for the month of April 2011, with Chief Swick reading the highlights. Zoning and Code Enforcement report for the month of April 2011. The fire report was submitted and accepted for the month of April 2011. At this time Mayor Westcott opened the floor for public comment. Eagle Scout candidate Hans Johnson presented his plan for his Eagle Scout project to the Board. He would like to update the landscaping around the Scout House. He would like to remove and replace some of the bushes and plant some perennials. Discussed the plan. A motion was made by Trustee McAvoy, and seconded by Deputy Mayor Conley, to approve the Eagle Scout plan to update the landscaping around the Scout House. The project must be done in coordination with and approval by Mr. Dodge as to what gets planted and where. Carried. Michael Miano, 97 South Main Street, had several concerns for the Board. Mr. Miano does not like Mr. Arlington’s assessment of the action needed at 57 Main Street. Mr. Miano feels that the building needs to be destroyed, not painted. Mr. Miano feels that the relationship between the Village and FMC is too close. He feels that it is hard to distinguish what is Middleport and what is FMC. FMC’s website gets used as the official website, not the Village’s website. Mr. Miano presented his opinions regarding FMC, the proposed permanent CAMU, and the ongoing arsenic investigation. Mayor Westcott advised Mr. Miano the time and place for these issues is the public hearing to be held on June 14 and the comment period following the hearing. Mr. Miano feels that the Middleport Police Department has too many vehicles, they don’t get used long enough, and they are too large. Mayor Westcott advised that the vehicles are replaced every three years, which makes them virtually maintenance free. Each vehicle accumulates over 100,000 miles in less than two years. The Village has contracts with the towns, and additional vehicles allow the Police Department to fulfill the terms of these contracts. Mr. Miano feels that legal expenses should be addressed. He feels that Mr. Seaman should be replaced, due to the DWI allegations against him. Mayor Westcott advised that in this country, people are innocent until proven guilty. After Mr. Miano was advised that the Board will listen to his comments but they do not have to answer questions, Mr. Miano opined that without answers there is no representation. Mr. McAvoy advised that the questions were answered at last month’s meeting, and they will not be reiterated. Ron Matusak, 9 Orchard Street, said that he and Mary Loughrey wanted to thank Tom Arlington for his actions that resolved an issue on Mr. Bitterman’s property. There will be no refuse collection on Wednesday, June 1, due to the Memorial Day holiday. Regular pickup will be on Thursday, June 2, 2011. Paper will be notified. Water and Sewer Billing for the quarter ending May 1, 2011 were: Water: $ 56,096.36; Sewer: $ 55,168.21; for a total of $111,264.57. Amount of unpaid water/sewer bills as of April 30, 2011, added onto 2011 - 2012 tax roll: $50,264.02. Amount of mowing charges for abandoned properties added to 2011-2012 tax roll: $1,205.68. Total added to tax warrant: $51,469.70. As too many residents are now relying on having their water bills relevied due to the economy, we will do stronger enforcement to reduce the number of unpaid bills in the future. Tax warrant to be signed by Mayor Westcott in the amount of $571,492.22. Discussed hiring Zachary Blackburn as Seasonal Help Labor for summer 2011. He was an excellent worker last year. Start day will be June 1 and end date will be September 2, 2011. Wage will be $7.50 per hour. Motion was made by Trustee McAvoy, and seconded by Trustee Blumrick, to hire Zachary Blackburn as Season Help Labor at a rate of $7.50 per hour commencing June 1 and ending September 2, 2011, pending Civil Service approval. Carried. Correspondence was read: Received an email from Niagara USA Chamber regarding a presentation to be given on May 18, 2011, on New York State Governor Andrew M. Cuomo's Legislative Agenda, including property tax cap & ethics reform. The presentation will be given by Kenneth Adams, President & CEO of the Empire State Development. If no Board member is available to attend, Clerk Schweigert will. Received a notice from the Niagara County Youth Board that we will be getting funding for our swim program after all. The amount will be $341. Received a public notice from the NYS Public Service Commission regarding National Grid’s certificate of environmental compatibility and public need pursuant to Article VII for the reconstruction of transmission line 111 from Lockport to Mortimer, New York. Received notice from the Niagara County Treasurer’s office regarding the sales tax distribution due to the change in the federal census numbers for Middleport. Received a notice from Darrell’s Place that he will be renewing his liquor license. Mayor Westcott distributed some CMS information that he received today. A copy of this information will also be on file at FMC’s office on Main Street and at the library. He also outlined the procedure for questions at the public hearing to be held on June 14, 2011. Trustee McAvoy gave a report on the NYCOM training session that Mayor Westcott, Trustee Blumrick, and he attended. They all felt they learned a lot about their elected positions and also felt it was very worthwhile to attend. Trustee McAvoy provided his information to Clerk Schweigert to be copied and distributed to the Trustees who were unable to attend the training. Discussed the contract with the Middleport Fire Company regarding the parking lot. Mr. Dodge has provided cost estimates for paving part of the parking lot to Mayor Westcott and Mr. Seaman for inclusion in the contract. Clerk Schweigert advised she attended training for financial officers and thought it was valuable. Most other municipalities are in the same financial straits as Middleport. Deputy Mayor Conley updated the Board on the baseball program. It has been too wet for many games. Clerk Schweigert advised that the contract has not been returned. Deputy Mayor Conley said the board will be meeting this week, and the contract will be addressed at the meeting. Trustee Blumrick asked about 8 State Street, as the siding is falling in. He was advised that the matter will be brought to Tom Arlington’s attention. Trustee McAvoy asked if there is any grant money available for the owner to use for repairs. Mr. Dodge advised that the owner was in on the Main Street grant program, but withdrew from it. Trustee Blumrick asked about the truck traffic issue on Vernon Street, as mentioned at the last meeting. Should the village consider banning truck traffic on Vernon Street as it has caused deterioration of the street. Clerk Schweigert advised the traffic was from when FMC was remediating Park Avenue in 2007. There is very little truck traffic on this street now. School buses are the major large vehicles using the street now and they would be exempt from a ban. Chief Swick advised that most of the large truck traffic on Vernon is now from misleading GPS directions when a truck is looking for FMC’s address at Niagara Street. Mr. Dodge asked that the DPW be put on summer hours. Discussion ensued as to hours to be considered. Trustee McAvoy asked if the idea of staggered half days had been considered. It had not, but is worth exploring. Trustee Hinkson asked why there is a need for summer hours. Mr. Dodge explained that when large jobs are being done, it is helpful when the DPW doesn’t have to stop. The additional hour in the morning helps ease exposure to sunshine and extreme heat when doing roofing and things like that. Summer hours are just for the DPW. The hours don’t change at the Wastewater Pollution Control Facility. Trustee McAvoy asked if the union has any issue with the change. Mr. Dodge advised that the contract reads that hours may be changed with two-week’s notice. Clerk Schweigert will issue a memo in Mr. Dodge’s name advising of the summer hours. July Fourth holiday week will be changed back to 8-hour days. A motion was made by Trustee McAvoy, and seconded by Trustee Blumrick, to authorize a work week for the DPW of four 9-hour days (6:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.), and one 4-hour day (8 a.m. to 12 noon), commencing June 5 and ending September 2, 2011. The week of the July 4th holiday will be five 8-hour days. Staggered 4-hour days will be at Mr. Dodge’s discretion. Carried. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held on Monday, June 20, 2011, at 7:00 p.m. A motion was made by Trustee McAvoy, and seconded by Deputy Mayor Conley, to enter into executive session for the purpose of consultation with the Village’s attorney. Carried. Mayor Westcott opened executive session at 7:58 p.m. A motion was made by Trustee McAvoy, and seconded by Trustee Hinkson, 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 Hinkson, to adjourn. Carried. Meeting adjourned at 8:18 p.m. Respectfully submitted, Rebecca A. Schweigert Clerk-Treasurer
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