Minutes

August 19, 2013

Body:
A regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees was held on Monday, August 19, 2013, 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, Building Inspector Belson, and Daniel E. Seaman, attorney. Deputy Mayor Conley led the Pledge of Allegiance. A representative from the Middleport Fire Co. was in attendance, as well. A motion was made by Trustee Hinkson, and seconded by Trustee McAvoy, to approve the minutes of the July 15, 2013, meeting. Carried with all present voting aye. A motion was made by Trustee Blumrick, and seconded by Trustee Hinkson, to authorize payment of bills submitted on Abstract No. 03-13/14 in the amount of: General: $70,161.41; Water: $2,094.70; Sewer: $5,493.95; for a Total of $77,750.06. Carried with all present voting aye. A motion was made by Trustee McAvoy, and seconded by Deputy Mayor Conley, to authorize the following budget transfers: $$2,768.11 from A1990.4 (contingency) to A1910.4 (general insurance) and $1,500 from A1990.4 (contingency) to A3620.4 (public safety). Total amount of transfers is $4,268.11. Carried with all present voting aye. A motion was made by Trustee Blumrick, and seconded by Trustee Hinkson, to approve Payrolls No. 4, 5, and 6 for periods ending July 20, August 3, and August 17, 2013. Carried with all present voting aye. The Treasurer’s report was submitted and accepted for the month of July 2013. The Public Works report was submitted and accepted for the month of July 2013. The Village and Town Police reports were submitted and accepted for the month of July 2013, with Chief Swick reading the highlights. The fire report was submitted and accepted for the months of June and July 2013. The Code Enforcement report was submitted and accepted for the month of July 2013. Trustee Bateman asked for clarification on some of the codes. Mr. Belson explained that when it reads “complaint,” the Village is on record as the complainant. The 2013 swim program report was submitted and accepted. The 2013 recreation program report was submitted and accepted. The report included a thank you note signed by the children who attended the program. Water and Sewer billings for the quarter ending August 1, 2013 was as follows: Water: $50,863.00; Sewer: $50,112.45; for a total of $100,975.45. This is down about $6,000 from a year ago, probably because it has been a cooler, rainier summer. Correspondence was read: Received a notice from the Niagara County Youth Bureau that starting in January 1, 2014, municipalities will have to apply competitively for funding rather than having it allocated as in the past. Deputy Mayor Conley offered to assist in preparing the paperwork, if needed. Received a notice from the Middleport Fire Company that they intend to renew their liquor license. Received an email from Niagara County Emergency Management Office regarding a training session for ICS 100 at their facilities. Clerk Schweigert will register anyone who needs to take this class. Received a notice from ACEC New York about a training session to be held on October 3, 2013, regarding doing business with NYS Environmental Facilities Corporation (EFC). The cost is $125. The upgrades and repairs needed at the WWTP will more than likely require us to borrow funds through EFC. Clerk Schweigert was authorized to attend this session. Received a notice from MVP that we are entitled to a refund due to their participation in the Market Stabilization Pool. This refund will appear as a credit on our bill. Received a letter of resignation from Village Coordinator Daniel Dodge, with a last work day of September 2, 2013. The Board accepted the resignation with regret. Deputy Mayor Conley advised Mr. Dodge that he has received several positive comments on the paving that has been done recently. Trustee Blumrick asked about the Village’s sidewalk policy. Discussion ensued regarding the Village’s current code. A committee consisting of Trustee Blumrick, Trustee McAvoy, and Mr. Seaman will review updating the Village’s sidewalk code. Clerk Schweigert advised the Board she participated in a webinar given by the NYS Office of State Comptroller regarding shared services. There was interesting information given. Mr. Belson reported that testing is continuing at the Norco and Schoolcraft properties for the brownfield project. Mr. Dodge advised the Board that the DPW has stopped mowing abandoned property as the County will no longer reimburse us for the costs if they are included in relevied tax bills. For health issues the DPW will continue mowing the Norco and Schoolcraft properties and the property along the railroad tracks. Mr. Seaman informed the Board that 14 State Street was removed from the County tax sale. The Board must pass a resolution holding the County harmless of any environmental issues so that we may enter into an agreement to take title to that property. The following resolution was offered by Deputy Mayor Conley, and seconded by Trustee Hinkson: WHEREAS, negotiations have taken place with the County of Niagara for transfer of the property known as 14 State Street, Tax Map No. 86.13-1-14, and WHEREAS, the County of Niagara has taken title to said premises through an In Rem Tax Foreclosure Proceeding, and WHEREAS, the County of Niagara requires, as consideration for transfer of title to the Village of Middleport, that the Village hold the County harmless from any and all liability arising from environmental concerns from the property, NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED the Village of Middleport is hereby authorized take title of 14 State Street, Tax Map No. 86.13-1-14 from the County of Niagara, and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Mayor of the Village of Middleport be authorized to enter into a “Transfer and Hold Harmless Agreement,” such form approved by the Village Attorney, holding the County harmless from any and all liability arising from environmental concerns associated with said premises, and defending any action brought against the County regarding said environmental concerns. The vote on the preceding resolution was as follows: Ayes: Deputy Mayor Conley, Trustee Blumrick, Trustee Hinkson, Trustee McAvoy, and Mayor Westcott; Nays: none; Absent: none; Abstentions: none. The resolution passed unanimously. As part of the ongoing updating of the Village’s personnel policies, the Board reviewed the Violence in the Workplace Policy and the Sexual Harassment Policy as submitted by Mr. Seaman. These policies are mandated by New York State and will become a part of the handbook that is also being updated. The following resolution was offered by Trustee McAvoy, and seconded by Trustee Blumrick, WHEREAS, the Village Board has evaluated the possible risks of Workplace Violence, including any recent incidents of Workplace Violence (none), policies procedures and practices of the Village, and the physical work environment (including the setting of work places, hours of work for Village employees, instances where money is exchanged with the public, instances where employees work alone or in small numbers, public access, and any areas of previous security problems, and WHEREAS, the Village Board desires to promote a workplace free of violence and with minimal risk of violence for all of its employees, not therefore be it RESOLVED, that the attached document entitled “VILLAGE OF MIDDLEPORT WORK PLACE VIOLENCE PREVENTION POLICY”, be adopted, and be it further RESOLVED, that the Village Clerk maintain said Policy as a part of the Village records, that copies of said policy be posted in the places where notices are normally posted, and that copies of said policy be made available to all Village employees and to the general public upon request at no cost. The vote on the preceding resolution was as follows: Ayes: Deputy Mayor Conley, Trustee Blumrick, Trustee Hinkson, Trustee McAvoy, and Mayor Westcott; Nays: none; Absent: none; Abstentions: none. The resolution passed unanimously. The following resolution was offered by Deputy Mayor Conley, and seconded by Trustee Blumrick, WHEREAS, the Village Board endeavors to foster a work environment free of sexual harassment and harassment of every kind, now therefore be it RESOLVED, that the attached document entitled “VILLAGE OF MIDDLEPORT SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICY”, be adopted, and be it further RESOLVED, that the Village Clerk maintain said Policy as a part of the Village records, that copies of said policy be posted in the places where notices are normally posted, and that copies of said policy be made available to all Village employees and to the general public upon request at no cost. The vote on the preceding resolution was as follows: Ayes: Deputy Mayor Conley, Trustee Blumrick, Trustee Hinkson, Trustee McAvoy, and Mayor Westcott; Nays: none; Absent: none; Abstentions: none. The resolution passed unanimously. Mr. Dodge updated the Board on the research regarding necessary upgrades at the WWTP. A new boiler/heat exchange will cost approximately $141,000. This price does not include removing the old one or installing a new one. The grit chamber that needs to be replaced will cost about $32,575. Discussed the timeframe for these upgrades. We will need time to produce an RFP and put this out to bid. Discussed producing the specs for the upgrades and if an engineer needs to create them. As there have been many changes to what is available since the original installation nearly 40 years, having an engineer draw up the plans and specs makes sense, rather than just replacing based on old specs. A motion was made by Trustee Blumrick, and seconded by Trustee Hinkson, authorizing May Westcott to contact the engineer for review of what is needed at the WWTP for upgrades. Carried with all present voting aye. Mayor Westcott advised the Board that he met with the new RH School Superintendent on August 1. Dr. Klatt indicated that it is not his plans to join the RH School District and the Barker School District. Discussed the need to still send the letter protesting these plans, which was authorized at the June 17, 2013, meeting. Board decided that they should be on record opposing any such move, so letters will be sent to State, County, Town, Village, and School representatives. The one-year term as a marriage officer expires this month for Clerk Schweigert. A motion was made by Trustee McAvoy, and seconded by Deputy Mayor Conley, to appoint Rebecca Schweigert as marriage officer for a one-year term. Carried with all present voting aye. Chief Swick advised the Board that the state has given his department a live scan fingerprint machine. After a year the Village will have to pay maintenance and license fees to maintain it. The state is requiring that all fingerprints be done electronically. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees will be Monday, September 16, 2013, at 7:00 p.m. A motion was made by Trustee Blumrick, and seconded by Trustee McAvoy, to move into Executive Session for the purpose of consultations with attorney. Carried with all present voting aye. Executive Session opened at 8:07 p.m. A motion was made by Deputy Mayor Conley, and seconded by Trustee Hinkson, to return to general session. Carried with all present voting aye. Mayor Westcott reconvened general session at 8:30 p.m. Discussed day to day operations of the Public Works Department without a department head. Former DPW Superintendent Jim Mahar has offered his services to the village while the search is on for a new Coordinator. A motion was made by Deputy Mayor Conley, and seconded by Trustee Blumrick, to authorize Mayor Westcott to enter into a contract with James Mahar as a consultant regarding running the Public Works Department at a maximum cost of $5,000. Carried with all present voting aye. Discussed the possibility of hiring a laborer or seasonal help to get through the search for a department head, as the department will be down one man for the duration of the search. This will only be done if it is deemed necessary. There being no other business, a motion was made by Deputy Mayor Conley, and seconded by Trustee Hinkson, to adjourn. Carried, with all present voting aye. Meeting adjourned at 8:40 p.m. Respectfully submitted, Rebecca A. Schweigert Clerk-Treasurer
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