WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES   TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
1250 Union Road Minutes #2002-2
West Seneca, NY 14224 January 28, 2002
Supervisor Paul T. Clark called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M. with 30 seconds of silent prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.

ROLL CALL: Present -

Paul T. Clark   Supervisor
Christopher F. Osmanski   Councilman
Vincent J. Graber Jr.   Councilman
Timothy M. Wroblewski   Councilman
Craig J. Hicks   Councilman

Absent -   None

Supervisor Clark read the Fire Prevention Code instructing the public where to exit in case of a fire or an emergency.

2-A  MINUTES TO BE APPROVED

  • Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to approve Minutes #2002-1 of January 14, 2002.
    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    2-B    LEGAL NOTICES

    1.   Proofs of publication and posting of legal notice: "OF THE ADOPTED AMENDMENT TO THE PROPERTY MAINTENANCE ORDINANCE OF THE TOWN OF WEST SENECA WITH THE ADDITION OF 92-4(c) CONCERNING MAINTENANCE OF SIDEWALKS" in the Town of West Seneca, received and filed.

    2-C    COMMUNICATIONS

    1.   Supervisor Clark re March of Dimes WalkMania 2002

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Wroblewski, to approve the request for March of Dimes WalkMania 2002 to be held on Saturday, April 27, 2002 beginning at 9:00 A.M. and ending at 2:00 P.M., noting that the route to be followed has a start and finish point at West Seneca East Middle School.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    2.   Town Engineer re Aurora Avenue Reconstruction, change order #3 and final acceptance

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to approve change order #3 for Collana Construction Inc., P.O. Box 1808, Williamsville, NY 14231 for a net deduct of $20,588.10 and accept the Aurora Avenue Reconstruction Project, Job No. A-0003, at a final contract amount of $939,873.88.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    3.   Town Engineer re Greenmeadow Drive Sanitary Sewer Project, change order #1 and final acceptance

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to approve change order #1 for New Hope Pipe Liners, Inc., 625 Mt. Hope Road, Wharton, NJ 07885 for a net deduct of $5793.27 and accept the Greenmeadow Drive Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Project, Job No. S-0004 at a final contract amount of $262,136.73.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried
    WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
    1250 Union Road Minutes #2002-2
    West Seneca, NY 14224 January 28, 2002
    Page two . . .

    2-C    COMMUNICATIONS

    4.   Town Engineer re Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Project, change order #1 and final acceptance

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to approve change order #1 for United Survey, Inc., 25145 Broadway, Cleveland, Ohio 44146 for a net addition of $749 and accept the 2001 Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Project, Job No. S-0112 at a final contract amount of $329,909.00.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    5.   Town Engineer re Purchase requiring Town Board approval

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to authorize payment of $2340 to Burgh Schoenenberger for a flowmeter system.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    6.   Highway Supt. re Purchases requiring Town Board approval

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Wroblewski, to authorize payment of $1652.35 to Forks Lumber Co., Inc. for wood for the outdoor rink at the Seneca Street soccer complex and $2229 to Schaub Equipment Rental Inc. for a snowblower.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    7.   Town Clerk re Purchase requiring Town Board approval

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to authorize payment of $2548 to West Seneca Printing, Inc. for printing the 2002 Town of West Seneca historical calendar.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    8.   Youth Director re Bid date for lease of new van for YES program

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Wroblewski, to set a new bid date of February 8, 2002 at 10:00 A.M. for receipt of bids on the lease of a new van for the Y.E.S. program, noting that no bids were received for the original bid date on January 18, 2002.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    9.   Youth Director re Salary adjustment for Daniel Frontera

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Wroblewski, to approve a retroactive salary adjustment for Daniel Frontera at $45,000 per annum from July 1, 2001 until December 31, 2001 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    10.   Youth Director re Attendance at NASCC training

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to authorize AmeriCorps Supervisors Eric Muhammed and Bryan Lawrence, Program Administrator Dan Frontera, and Executive Director Mark Lazzara to attend the NASCC mandatory training session in Washington D.C., February 10 - 13, 2002 at a cost not to exceed $4700.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried
    WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
    1250 Union Road Minutes #2002-2
    West Seneca, NY 14224 January 28, 2002
    Page three . . .

    2-C    COMMUNICATIONS

    11.   Youth Director re Purchase requiring Town Board approval

    Received and filed.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    2-D    REPORTS

  • William P. Czuprynski, Plumbing Inspector's report for November & December 2001 and year end 2001 received and filed.

    PROBLEMS OF THE PUBLIC

    SNOW REMOVAL ON SIDEWALKS

    William Mayback, 53 Treehaven Road, commented on the sidewalk snow removal issue and stated that a large number of senior citizens lived in West Seneca, along with single mothers and middle-aged women who lived alone. Others had heart conditions or serious health related problems and could not shovel snow. Some were away from home for extended periods of time due to work or vacation. Mr. Mayback questioned how these groups of people would be handled with regard to the snow removal ordinance that was recently adopted.

    Councilman Osmanski stated that snow removal was similar to property maintenance like mowing the lawn and painting the house. These were all responsibilities that were part of owning a piece of property. Some people were not capable of mowing their lawn either, but it was their responsibility to see that it was done. Snow removal on sidewalks was always the responsibility of the property owner; the recent amendment only clarified the responsibility.

    Mr. Mayback did not believe it was as easy for the groups of people mentioned to find someone to plow their sidewalks as it was for them to find someone to mow their lawn in the summer. Mr. Mayback lived on a corner lot and had a lot of sidewalk abutting his property. He did not know of anyone he could contract that would be willing to remove the snow for periods of time. Mr. Mayback questioned what a property owner was supposed to do if they could not find anyone to do the work for them.

    Town Attorney Tim Greenan stated that a committee had evaluated a number of solutions to the problem of snow removal on sidewalks, but it was decided that if the town were to assume the responsibility, it would at an extraordinary cost. With some reluctance, the town passed the amendment to the ordinance but requested that the church and community groups who requested it work toward putting together programs to assist people who could not clear the sidewalks on their own or who could not afford to hire someone. The town also pledged to use existing programs, such as the AmeriCorps program, to assist the residents.

    Mr. Mayback thought that the town had taken the easy way out of this problem. He was concerned that a lawsuit would occur if someone had a heart attack from shoveling snow and claimed that they were only shoveling because the law said they had to.

    Councilman Hicks stated that a lawsuit could also happen if a child were to get hit by a car while walking in the street when the sidewalk is blocked with snow.

    Mr. Mayback understood but did not believe it was a fair solution to place the burden back on the taxpayers and make them fully responsible. He stated that he did not own the sidewalk or the land between the sidewalk and the street.

    Councilman Graber stated that sidewalks were installed at the expense of the property owners on the street, and therefore, maintenance was the responsibility of the property owner.

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    West Seneca, NY 14224 January 28, 2002
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    PROBLEMS OF THE PUBLIC

    SNOW REMOVAL ON SIDEWALKS    (continued)

    Councilman Osmanski understood that some property owners would not be able to clear the sidewalks of snow. But if the town were to take on the responsibility the financial burden would be passed on to the property owners, and it would cost the town more to do the work than it would cost the property owners. Councilman Osmanski stated that there was a lot of publicity on this issue and the Building Inspector's office was working to inform people of the ordinance. If they came across someone who was unable to get the work done, they would refer the individual to Rev. Anderson of Voice West Seneca to see if he could help them out through the Community of Churches.

    Councilman Graber noted that the West Seneca AmeriCorps had also helped many senior citizens clear their driveways and sidewalks after the last storm.

    Mr. Mayback thought that there were a lot of people in town who were not happy with the ordinance and were not aware of the options that were available to get the work done.

    Mr. Greenan stated that the cost for a property owner to hire someone to shovel their sidewalk would be less than what they would have to pay in taxes if the town assumed the responsibility. He suggested hiring a neighborhood kid or taking advantage of the Rent-A-Kid program in town. Mr. Greenan realized that problems would arise, but the town would contact those property owners and give them an opportunity to correct the problem. If they were unable to correct the problem, they might be given assistance or referred to someplace that could give them assistance. The committee would continue to monitor the situation and were open to any suggestions as to how to handle it differently.

    Mr. Mayback suggested that the town offer property owners the service of removing snow from their sidewalks with the charge applied to their tax bill. He thought that some people would be willing to have this work done by the town and relieve them of the responsibility.

    Supervisor Clark stated that the committee could review this suggestion, but his initial thought was that it would be very difficult to determine the manpower required and hire people to do the job. The service could also vary depending on the weather and it would be difficult to administer 17,000 parcels of property and have an annual vote on whether or not they wanted the service. Supervisor Clark thought that it would increase the cost of government when the present trend was to bring down the cost of and simplify government.

    Councilman Graber suggested that Voice West Seneca take the lead on this issue and act as a coordinator for individuals who needed outside help.

    PRESENTATION OF COMMUNICATIONS BY BOARD MEMBERS AND DEPARTMENT HEADS

    SUPPORT FOR REDUCTION OF ERIE COUNTY LEGISLATURE

    Motion by Councilman Graber, seconded by Councilman Osmanski, to support the proposal to reduce the Erie County Legislature by two (2) seats, from seventeen (17) to fifteen (15) seats.

    On the question, Councilman Graber stated that Erie County was on a steady decline since the early 1970's, and therefore, it required a smaller legislature. Taxpayers were demanding that elected officials reduce the cost of government and this would be a major first step towards right-sizing county government. Councilman Graber thought this was long overdue and that the county legislature could even possibly be reduced to nine(9) members and still run effectively.

    Supervisor Clark agreed and noted that if the population were to increase in the future it would be easy to increase representation if necessary.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried
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    West Seneca, NY 14224 January 28, 2002
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    PRESENTATION OF COMMUNICATIONS BY BOARD MEMBERS AND DEPARTMENT HEADS

    RECORDS MANAGEMENT GRANT APPLICATION

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Wroblewski, to adopt the following resolution regarding the 2002-2003 records management grant application:

    WHEREAS, the Town of West Seneca desires to obtain grant funds available under the Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund for the purpose of documenting, imaging and storing accident report files, complaint memos and police investigation files from the present day forward for the West Seneca Police Department; now, therefore, be it

    RESOLVED, that Supervisor Paul T. Clark is hereby authorized to execute the necessary documents to apply for funding in the amount of $35,348 to the New York State Education Department, State Archives, with the Town of West Seneca to match grant funds with $82,390 in cash and in-kind goods and services.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    STATUS OF USED CAR DEALER ON CLINTON STREET

    Councilman Osmanski questioned the status of the situation at the used car dealer on Clinton Street.

    Town Attorney Tim Greenan advised that he had recently received a letter from the attorney for the car dealer. The next court date was not until later this month and the attorney requested the ability to talk to the Town Board at a Work Session.

    Councilman Osmanski questioned if there was anything the town could do in the meantime to have the owner remove the cars from the area that was made into the used car lot.

    Mr. Greenan suggested that Building Inspector Bill Czuprynski take some digital pictures of the car lot that he could supply to the court. An affidavit could also be prepared that could be part of the relief requested.

    STATUS OF DRAINAGE SITUATION AT TONY ROME'S

    Councilman Osmanski questioned the status of the drainage situation at Tony Rome's.

    Building Inspector Bill Czuprynski advised that they had received a permit and were waiting for the weather to clear so the work could be done.

    COPIER LEASE AGREEMENT

    Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Wroblewski, to authorize the Supervisor to execute a lease agreement with Duplicating Consultants Inc. for an AR200 copier in the Justice Court at a cost of $126.33 per month for 45 months.

    Ayes:  (4)    Councilman Wroblewski , Councilman Osmanski, Councilman Graber, Supervisor Clark
    Noes: None
    Abstentions:  (1)    Councilman Hicks
    Motion Carried

    Councilman Hicks abstained from voting on this motion because Duplicating Consultants was his employer. However, he noted that they had been doing business with the Town of West Seneca for many years prior to him becoming a Councilman.

    WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
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    West Seneca, NY 14224 January 28, 2002
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    PRESENTATION OF COMMUNICATIONS BY BOARD MEMBERS AND DEPARTMENT HEADS

    WHITE COLLAR LABOR CONTRACT APPROVED

    Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Osmanski, to approve as negotiated the labor agreement between the White Collar Unit and the Town of West Seneca effective January 1, 2002 through December 31, 2005.

    On the question, Supervisor Clark thought that the contract negotiated with the White Collar Unit was one of the better contracts that had been negotiated lately. Major strides were made in trying to protect the residents from the outrageously escalating cost of health insurance. The Town of West Seneca spent approximately $1.4 million in health insurance to provide employees with this benefit, most of which was all union negotiated. Under the new contract, effective January 1, 2002 new employees would be required to pay 15 percent of the premium cost for HMO coverage. This would save the town approximately $360 to $400 annually for each new employee. Also effective January 1, 2002, any employee hired after January 1, 1994 that selected Traditional Blue Cross & Blue Shield coverage would pay the full difference in cost between the town's HMO coverage and Traditional Blue Cross & Blue Shield coverage. This would save the town approximately $3500 annually for employees who chose Traditional Blue Cross & Blue Shield coverage. Effective January 1, 2005, new employees would be required to pay 20 percent of the premium cost of HMO coverage. Wage increases were negotiated as follows: 2002 - 3 percent; 2003 - 3.25 percent; 2004 - 3.25 percent; 2005 - 3.4 percent. Supervisor Clark also noted that the town had always celebrated Lincoln's Birthday and Washington's Birthday as two separate holidays, but effective in 2003 these two holidays would be combined into President's Day and Martin Luther King Day would be added as a holiday in January.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    ADJOURNMENT

    Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Osmanski, to adjourn the meeting at 8:30 P.M.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    PATRICIA C. WISNIEWSKI, RMC/CMC
    TOWN CLERK