Minutes

March 17, 2014

Body:
A regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees was held on Monday, March 17, 2014, 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 Bobbitt, Police Chief Swick, Clerk-Treasurer Schweigert, Building Inspector Belson, and Brian Seaman, attorney. Deputy Mayor Conley led the Pledge of Allegiance. There were a few people in attendance, as well. A motion was made by Trustee McAvoy, and seconded by Trustee Hinkson, to approve the minutes of the February 18, 2014, meeting. Carried, with all present voting aye. A motion was made by Deputy Mayor Conley, and seconded by Trustee Blumrick, to approve payment of claims on Abstract No. 10-13/14 as follows General: $31,522.36; Water: $1,774.61; Sewer: $11,111.61; for a total of $44,408.58. Carried, with all present voting aye. A motion was made by Trustee Blumrick, and seconded by Trustee McAvoy, to approve payrolls No. 20 and 21 for weeks ending March 21and March 15, 2014. Carried, with all present voting aye. The Public Works report was submitted and accepted for February 2014. Deputy Mayor Conley asked if the Village has enough salt. Coordinator Bobbitt said that salt is not an issue; we have enough for the rest of the year. The Village and Town Police reports were submitted and accepted for February 2014. The Code Enforcement report was submitted and accepted for February 2014, with Mr. Belson giving the highlights of the report. He also updated the Board on 8 N. Main Street. It is inhabitable. It will be posted as such after final tenant moves out. If the sign is removed or damage, Chief Swick will be notified. The current owner is trying to sell that property and 40 Main Street, as she is experiencing financial difficulties. If the bank forecloses, it may not be sellable since it needs too much work. Realtor is working on getting power of attorney in order to facilitate a short sale. If the bank abandons it, and it becomes full of mold, the Village may have to order its demolition. Deputy Mayor Conley asked if the DPW could board it up. Coordinator Belson said yes, and it wouldn’t be expensive. This is a slow legal process if it has to be demolished. Trustee Hinkson asked if there are any restrictions on satellite dish placement. Mr. Belson said there is nothing in the Village’s code, but if they are located in the front yard, perhaps it could be an accessory issue. Mr. Belson also advised the Board that an insurance representative contacted him regarding the burned building at 145 Telegraph Road. Discussed the damage level at this structure. Correspondence was read: Received notice from the Niagara County legislature of two resolutions they passed. One is asking the US Army Corps of Engineers to quickly address the LOOW storage site, and the other is to go on record opposing the use of tax dollars to provide college education to inmates in state prisons. Received the annual report from the Roy Hart Youth Baseball/Softball Inc., included statistics of how many village residents take advantage of the program. Also received their request for funding. Received the annual inspection results of the water supply system from the Niagara County Health Department. Received a letter of resignation from Police Officer Part-time Daryl Quinn, effective February 24, 2014. A motion was made by Deputy Mayor Conley, and seconded by Trustee McAvoy, to accept Officer Quinn’s resignation with regret. Carried, with all present voting aye. Trustee Blumrick advised he’d been contacted by several residents regarding the recycle totes. Mayor Westcott advised that issue will be discussed at today’s meeting. Mayor Westcott informed the Board that the County’s Hazard Mitigation Plan adopted in 2009 is up for renewal. He and Coordinator Bobbitt attended informational sessions regarding the Village’s properties in Royalton and Hartland. Worksheets are being prepared to give the County information as requested. Clerk Schweigert advised that she contacted the Assessor’s clerk in Royalton to obtain the needed information from then. She also contacted the Assessor in Hartland for the same information. Mr. Bobbitt advised the Board that a concern is the generator at the sewer treatment plant. Trustee McAvoy said that treatment of the sewage is all gravity; would only be necessary for the recirculation pumps, and they don’t have to be on a generator. They get circulated without power. A generator may be needed to bring sludge into the digester and to keep the boiler running. After discussion, it appears we may only need to purchase an additional portable generator. Clerk Schweigert presented the Board with color chips that were sent by Rehrig for the recycle totes. Her preferences are grey and green. If the totes are ordered by the end of March we should have them by the end of May. Color chips were passed around for Board to look at and decide on color scheme. Royalton’s totes are black and red, and Hartland’s totes are blue. Middleport should have totes that are distinctly different than those colors. Discussed the baseball contract. The president of the league advised that the terms of last year’s contract are acceptable. Attorney Seaman has drawn up a contract per that. A motion was made by Deputy Mayor Conley, and seconded by Trustee Hinkson, authorizing Mayor Westcott to enter into a contract with the Royalton Hartland Youth Baseball Softball League in the amount of $2,500 for financial support of said league. Carried, with all present voting aye. Mayor Westcott advised the Board that the Corrective Action Plan has been developed as required in response to the Comptroller’s audit last year. Mayor Westcott read the items that were suggested by the OSC and our response to said items. A resolution was offered by Trustee McAvoy, who moved its passing, and seconded by Trustee Hinkson, to approve the Corrective Action Plan BE IT RESOLVED that the Corrective Action Plan for the Office of the State Comptroller Audit 2013-M-313 (Water and Sewer Rent Audit) be approved and be submitted to the Office of the State Comptroller by Mayor Westcott. The vote on the above resolution was as follows: Ayes: all present; Nays: none; Abstentions: none; Absent: none. The resolution was unanimously passed. Chief Swick advised the Board that the contract with the Town of Hartland expires at the end of May. He drew up terms that he is comfortable with for renewal, and the Supervisor of the Town of Hartland is aware of the terms Middleport will be asking for in the new contract. A motion was made by Deputy Mayor Conley, and seconded by Trustee Blumrick, to authorize Brian Seaman to update the police contract with the Town of Hartland to include a 4percent raise each year for the life of the contract. Carried, with all present voting aye. Contract to be ready for the April 21, 2014, meeting. Coordinator Bobbitt advised the Board that he was approached by Hoppy Oliver to see if anything could be done by the Village and the Town of Royalton to get the NYSDOT to widen the intersection of S. Main St. and Telegraph Rd. heading east. Discussed the issue. Right hand turns have increased at that intersection due to a business that has opened south of there. Mr. Belson has also been contacted about a possible business opening on that corner as well. Mayor Westcott and Clerk Schweigert will draft a letter requesting this matter be looked at by the NYSDOT. Coordinator Bobbitt advised the Board that he was contacted by the owner of 8 Vernon Street about some possible help from the Village regarding some water issues he will be addressing. He wants to tear down the north end of the building and install ADA compliant restrooms. Discussed the issue and what the Village could do to help. Mr. Seaman cautioned the Board that they can only assist with issues that are publicly owned not privately owned. Coordinator Bobbitt will contact the owner and get clarification of exactly what he help he is seeking. At this time the 2014-2015 tentative budget was set. Deputy Mayor Conley extended his thanks to Mayor Westcott and Clerk Schweigert for their efforts in drafting the budget. Mayor Westcott congratulated all involved in the creation of the budget as they worked hard and did a fantastic job producing this budget. There will be an increase in productivity in the DPW with new equipment. Mayor Westcott pointed out the following: The overall budget is $13,082.84 less than the 2013-14 budget, due to cuts in the water and sewer funds. We have not raised water and sewer rates in 8 years, so if these expenditures are deemed necessary in the future, we may have to consider raising the rates. Expenditures are up slightly in the General Fund, but we were able to find a way to cut the tax LEVY by $6,000. The full-value tax rate will drop from $10 per thousand to $9.47 per thousand, a 53 cent drop. This means that as the Town of Hartland’s equalization rate remains at 100 percent, Village property owners whose property is in the town of Hartland will see their tax rate drop by 53 cents per thousand. The Town of Royalton’s equalization rate dropped to 92 percent, so Village property owners whose property is in the town of Royalton will see their tax rate drop by 2 cents per thousand. The Board decided to trim the levy to avoid a tax increase for Town of Royalton property owners. The new assessments being set by the towns will not impact the village tax rate until the 2015-16 budget year, as the village lags a year behind in assessment values. This is because the village uses the current assessment as of May of each year, but the towns set the assessments in July of each year. A motion was made by Trustee Hinkson, and seconded by Deputy Mayor Conley, to approve the tentative 2014-2015 budget of $1,706,634.81, with the tax rate as follows: full value tax rate will be set at $9.47 per thousand, with Hartland at $9.47/thousand and Royalton at $10.29/thousand. Carried, with all present voting aye. A motion was made by Trustee McAvoy, and seconded by Trustee Blumrick, to set the budget hearing for 7:00 p.m. on Monday, April 7, 2014. Carried, with all present voting aye. Returned to the issue of the color of the recycle totes. A motion was made by Trustee Hinkson, and seconded by Deputy Mayor Conley, to purchase recycle totes with a green body and grey lid. Carried, with all present voting aye. The next meeting of the Board of Trustees will be the annual reorganization meeting on Monday, April 7, 2014, at 7:00 p.m. The next meeting of the Northwestern Frontier Association of Village Officials will be held on Wednesday, April 16, 2014. The next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees will be held on Monday, April 21, 2014. There being no further business, a motion was made by Deputy Mayor Conley, and seconded by Trustee McAvoy, to adjourn. Carried, with all present voting aye. Meeting adjourned at 8:00 p.m. Respectfully submitted, Rebecca A. Schweigert Clerk-Treasurer
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