WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES   TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
1250 Union Road Minutes #2003-06
West Seneca, NY 14224 March 24, 2003

Supervisor Paul T. Clark called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M. with 30 seconds of silent prayer in memory of Lance Corporal Eric J. Orlowski, USMC, who was killed while serving in Operation Iraqi Freedom, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance led by Councilman Vincent J. Graber Jr.

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.

The meeting was dedicated to the memory of Robert A. "Gus" Downey, Robert A. Jacobs and Lance Corporal Eric J. Orlowski, USMC.

6-A   MINUTES TO BE APPROVED

  • Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to approve Minutes #2003-5 of March 10, 2003.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

  • Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to approve minutes from the March 18, 2003 bid opening for arts & crafts supplies.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    6-B    LEGAL NOTICES

    1.   Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, that proofs of publication and posting of legal notice: "OF A PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER A REQUEST FOR A REZONING FOR PROPERTY LOCATED AT 3950 SENECA STREET, BEING PART OF LOT NO. 29, CHANGING ITS CLASSIFICATION FROM R-60A TO C-1, FOR A BEAUTY SALON" in the Town of West Seneca, be received and filed.             (Francis J. Owczarczak)

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Osmanski, to open the public hearing.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    Town Attorney Tim Greenan read the recommendation of the Planning Board: "At its February 19, 2003 meeting, the Planning Board recommended approval of the request for a rezoning for property located at 3950 Seneca Street, being part of Lot No. 29, changing its classification from R-60A to C-1, for a beauty salon with the following stipulations: 1) a receiver be installed in the rear parking lot and all water be directed to the storm sewer on Seneca Street so no water from the newly paved area would flow to the north, east or west; 2) a limit of six chairs in the beauty salon; 3) parking for 18 cars be provided; 4) a six-foot stockade fence be constructed along the rear (north) property line, along the east property line as far south as the rear wall of the building, and along the west property line as far south as the front of the building; 5) no lighting be directed outside the bounds of the property, specifically towards the subdivision in the rear, and if necessary, the lighting be put on a pole at the rear of the property and face Seneca Street."

    Gene Owczarczak, 11 Pine Tree Lane, stated that he was one of the owners of the property located at 3950 Seneca Street and he was in agreement with the stipulations outlined by the Planning Board. His tenant would be operating the beauty salon and she felt that 18 parking spaces were sufficient.

     

    WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
    1250 Union Road Minutes #2003-06
    West Seneca, NY 14224 March 24, 2003
    Page two . . .

    6-B    LEGAL NOTICES

    1.    (continued)

    Supervisor Clark thought that lighting would be an important issue due to the residential area at the rear of the property. He asked that Mr. Owczarczak and his tenant be sensitive to this and work with the town if the lighting was a problem for the residents.

    Town Attorney Tim Greenan noted that the most recent plan on file indicated parking for 13 vehicles. He questioned if a revised site plan had been submitted.

    Mr. Owczarczak responded that the final drawings would allow for 18 parking spaces.

    Councilman Osmanski suggested that Mr. Owczarczak try to have as much parking in the rear lot as possible, rather than having parking in the front yard. They were trying to create a town center and make this section of Seneca Street more pedestrian friendly, so they did not want to have parking in the front yards of the businesses. Parking in the front yards was less appealing and they wanted to have more green space to dress it up.

    Supervisor Clark questioned the landscape plans for the property and specifically what foliage would be used.

    Mr. Owczarczak responded that the final drawings would include landscaping and also a sign for the front yard. The existing shrubs across the front would remain and they would try to leave as many of the trees as possible. Additional trees and shrubs would be planted if necessary.

    Councilman Osmanski was not comfortable voting on this rezoning without an accurate plot plan. He suggested approving the rezoning with a later requirement that a small committee review and approve the plot plan with regard to the parking and landscaping.

    Councilman Wroblewski stated that the property had some existing shrubbery and was residential in nature. He felt that if it remained as is it would fit into the scope of the master plan.

    Mr. Greenan stated that the board members could have Mr. Owczarczak resubmit his plans at a later meeting or have him agree to be subject to site plan approval by a designated committee.

    Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Osmanski, to close the public hearing.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Wroblewski, to approve the request for a rezoning for property located at 3950 Seneca Street, being part of Lot No. 29, changing its classification from R-60A to C-1, for a beauty salon, with the following stipulations: 1) a receiver be installed in the rear parking lot and all water be directed to the storm sewer on Seneca Street so no water from the newly paved area would flow to the north, east or west; 2) a limit of six chairs in the beauty salon; 3) parking for 18 cars be provided; 4) a six-foot stockade fence be constructed along the rear (north) property line, along the east property line as far south as the rear wall of the building, and along the west property line as far south as the front of the building; 5) no lighting be directed outside the bounds of the property, specifically towards the subdivision in the rear, and if necessary, the lighting be put on a pole at the rear of the property and face Seneca Street; 6) final site plan to be reviewed and approved by Planning Board member Jim Rathmann and Councilman Osmanski.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    *APPENDICES*

     

    WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
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    West Seneca, NY 14224 March 24, 2003
    Page three . . .

    6-C   COMMUNICATIONS

    1.   Supervisor Clark re Supplemental pay for full-time employees during call to active duty and continuation of full medical benefits

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, unanimous second, to adopt the following resolution concerning supplemental pay for full-time employees during their call to active duty and continuation of full medical benefits:

    WHEREAS, the Town of West Seneca wishes to express its full support for all members of the United States military and their families, and in particular, those employees of the Town of West Seneca who have answered the call to serve our country;

    BE IT RESOLVED, that following the completion of the town's obligation under 242 of the NYS Military Law, the town will extend the base salary benefits minus military pay for the town's full-time employees during their call up to active duty for the Unites States government and continue payment of the town's share of the premium cost of medical benefits until they conclude their tour of duty to our country during this war against terrorism.

    On the question, Supervisor Clark stated that although economic times were tight and the enormous economic cost of the country's obligations and efforts were at the federal level and to some degree at the state level, this was something that the town could contribute to. They would try to get by with stretching manpower and a little overtime, but the costs were already budgeted and should not present any major strain to the budget. He thought that this was the least they could do to show their support for those called to active duty.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    2.   Supervisor Clark re Appointment of White Collar Laborer, Group 5, Step 1

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Wroblewski, to appoint Thomas Amoia as White Collar Laborer, Group 5, Step 1, at an annual salary of $34,288.63, effective March 25, 2003 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    3.   Town Engineer re Bid date for Plant 6 Pump Replacement Project, Job No. P-0302

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to set a bid date of April 21, 2003 at 10:00 A.M. for receipt of bids on the Plant 6 Pump Replacement Project, Job No. P-0302.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    4.   Highway Supt. re Purchase requiring Town Board approval

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to authorize payment of $2095 to Siemens Building Technologies for building repairs in the Highway Department.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    5.   Highway Supt. re Termination of Part-Time Laborer in Buildings & Grounds

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to terminate Daniel Biniaszewski as part-time laborer in the Buildings & Grounds Department effective March 24, 2003 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

     

    WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
    1250 Union Road Minutes #2003-06
    West Seneca, NY 14224 March 24, 2003
    Page four . . .

    6-C   COMMUNICATIONS

    6.   Highway Supt. re Title change for Francis DeMarzio to Sewer Maintenance Motor Equipment Operator

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to terminate Francis DeMarzio as Heavy Equipment Operator in the Highway Department and appoint Francis DeMarzio as Sewer Maintenance Worker, Group 2, Step 5, at a rate of $19.36 per hour, effective March 17, 2003 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    7.   Chief Gehen re Payment to Syncronet Industries, Inc. for labor costs

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Wroblewski, to authorize payment of $4560 to Syncronet Industries, Inc., 2430 North America Drive, West Seneca, for labor costs associated with computer software upgrades to Microsoft Windows XP Pro and Windows XP Pro media kit for in house computers within the Police Department, noting that 75 percent of this purchase ($3420) will be covered by the 2002 COPS MORE grant #2002CMX055 and the remaining 25 percent ($1140) will be covered by the 2002 police equipment bond 05.5200.8197.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    8.   Chief Gehen re Military leave of absence for Officer Timothy Pratt

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to grant a military leave of absence to Police Officer Timothy Pratt effective March 24, 2003 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel, noting that Officer Pratt's Coast Guard unit was ordered to active duty for a period of twelve consecutive months.

    On the question, Supervisor Clark stated that the National Committee for Employer's Support of the Guard and Reserve recognized the Town of West Seneca and the Town Board as a patriotic employer and presented certificates to Chief Gehen and Supervisor Clark, on behalf of the Town Board, for contributing to national security and protecting liberty and freedom by supporting employee participation in America's National Guard and Reserve Force.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    9.   Chief Gehen re Retirement of Detective Robert Fiscus

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to accept the retirement of Detective Robert Fiscus and terminate him effective March 29, 2003 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel, noting that Detective Fiscus served the West Seneca community for the past 30 years.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    10.   Chief Gehen re Attendance of Detective Bloom and Officers Morano and Bebak at Designer Drugs and Rave Clubs seminar

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Wroblewski, to authorize Detective Dennis Bloom and Police Officers Ken Morano and Robert Bebak to attend the Designer Drugs and Rave Clubs seminar on April 7, 2003 in Rochester, New York, at no cost to the town other than tolls and meal reimbursements.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

     

    WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
    1250 Union Road Minutes #2003-06
    West Seneca, NY 14224 March 24, 2003
    Page five . . .

    6-C   COMMUNICATIONS

    11.   Chief Gehen re Attendance of Juvenile Lieutenant Thomas Hanover at MAGLOCEN conference

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Wroblewski, to authorize Juvenile Lieutenant Thomas Hanover to attend the annual MAGLOCEN Conference in Atlantic City, New Jersey, April 14 - 18, 2003 at a cost not to exceed $300.00, noting that tolls, parking and hotel expenses are reimbursed by the MAGLOCEN organization.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    12.   Chief Gehen re Purchase requiring Town Board approval

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Wroblewski, to authorize payment of $4100.94 to Alliant Techsystems Inc. for ammunition.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    13.   Town Clerk re Purchase requiring Town Board approval

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to authorize payment of $1858 to Niagara Business Solutions, Inc. for the annual maintenance fee on the Clerk's Accounting System.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    14.   Recreation Director re Bid award for arts & crafts supplies

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Wroblewski, to award the bid for arts & crafts supplies to S & S Worldwide at their bid price of $5499.03.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    15.   Recreation Director re Appointments to Youth on Youth Soccer program

    Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to appoint the following individuals to work part-time in the Youth on Youth Soccer program effective April 1 - September 13, 2003:


    Recreation Attendant, Step 1 @ $5.45 per hour

    Joseph AmicoRichard Delecki
    Scott Dubel Emily Iannello
    James LombardoAlison Sullivan
    Melissa WitekLauren Wisniewski

    and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.

    Ayes: All Noes: None Motion Carried

    6-D    REPORTS

  • Patricia C. Wisniewski, Town Clerk's report for February 2003 received and filed.

  • William P. Czuprynski, Plumbing Inspector's report for January & February 2003 received and filed.

  • Ruth E. Breidenstein, Receiver of Taxes' report for year-end 2002 received and filed.

     

    WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
    1250 Union Road Minutes #2003-06
    West Seneca, NY 14224 March 24, 2003
    Page six . . .

    PROBLEMS OF THE PUBLIC

    FLOODING ON PARKSIDE DRIVE AND WILLOWDALE DRIVE

    Diane Roncone, 74 Parkside Drive, referred to the flooding last week and thanked the volunteer fireman who stayed with the residents of Parkside Drive until 4:30 A.M. when the water finally receded. When she bought her house in June 1987, Mrs. Roncone contacted the town and asked if there were any flooding or water problems on Parkside Drive. She was told that there were never any problems, but after only a few months in her new home, Mrs. Roncone found out that the house had previously been sold in February 1987. When the new owners were moving in they experienced flooding problems, so they backed out of the deal. She also found out that the subdivision should not have been built because it was in a flood plain. Mrs. Roncone noted that whenever it rained she was unable to do laundry because the sewers backed up. She felt that the Town Board did not care about their problem and held them responsible for the recent flood that she believed was caused by the soccer field berm that was installed. She suggested that berms be built to direct the floodwaters into the soccer field where they used to go. Mrs. Roncone noted that the town did not furnish sand bags until four hours after the flooding started and took them away after the water receded. She questioned why a supply of sand bags were not distributed to the residents each year to help start protecting their property and why they could not keep the sand bags. Mrs. Roncone and her husband had to take several days off work without pay to clean up after the last two floods. Their lawns and driveways were ruined and flood insurance would not cover it. Their cellar walls were cracking further and further, but flood insurance would not cover that either. Mrs. Roncone felt that their property values had dropped drastically due to the flooding and asked that the board members do something to bring immediate results to the problem.

    Deborah Domogala, 87 Parkside Drive, presented a picture of her home after the recent flood and noted that it was 766 days since the previous flood. She questioned when the problem would be resolved.

    Mary Reusch, 39 Parkside Drive, asked that the Town Board make building the ice retention structure a top priority. This would be one step in the process of reducing the threat of flooding in the Parkside Drive neighborhood. Although Mrs. Reusch's house was not flooded this time, she and her husband helped their neighbors with sandbags and were able to observe the creek, where it flooded, and what was happening in the soccer field. The creek flooded its banks at the foot of Parkside Drive and along the Lang property, almost the same place where it flooded two years ago. Mrs. Reusch suggested that the berm be raised and extended all the way down Willowdale Drive, and the creek bank along the soccer complex lowered to make the soccer complex the lowest point. This would ensure that the ice and water would flood into the soccer complex as it does in Cazenovia Park in South Buffalo. Mrs. Reusch further requested that the culverts behind their homes be enlarged, more of them installed, and cleaned on a regular basis. She noted that their property values continued on a downward trend after each flood and steps had to be taken to remedy the situation. The residents did not want to hear that it was their problem that they bought in a flood plain. The homes were built according to Town of West Seneca building codes and regulations. Mrs. Reusch commented that the sewer conditions on Parkside Drive needed to be evaluated also, as many of the residents were unable to use their washers when it rained because the sewers backed up. She suggested that a flood protection fund be established to assist the residents in flood proofing their homes, and asked the Town Board to contact FEMA regarding this. Mrs. Reusch stated that communication regarding arrival of the sandbags was inadequate and calls to 9-1-1 were not immediately answered or forwarded to the persons who had the authority to approve distribution of the bags. Mrs. Reusch thanked the volunteer fire fighters, AmeriCorps, town officials, the neighbors, sewer maintenance workers, and the Highway Department for their assistance during the flood.

    Sharon Farr, 75 Parkside Drive, thanked all the neighbors who offered their assistance and support during and after the flood, Michael Kerl, the volunteer fire fighters, the Highway Department, and the members of the Town Board who were at the flood. Mrs. Farr commented on how frightened her children were when the floodwaters entered their home and strangers carried them to a safer place. Upon returning home, they were then faced with the devastation caused by the water. Mrs. Farr noted that her children experienced the fear, upheaval and loss twice in the last three years. Although they were told that the cause of the flooding was an act of God, it did not take an act of God to set the stage, and she did not believe it would take an act of God to fix it. Mrs. Farr asked that the Town Board move as quickly as possible to remedy the situation.

     

    WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
    1250 Union Road Minutes #2003-06
    West Seneca, NY 14224 March 24, 2003
    Page seven . . .

    PROBLEMS OF THE PUBLIC

    FLOODING ON PARKSIDE DRIVE AND WILLOWDALE DRIVE    (continued)

    Joe Roncone, 74 Parkside Drive, stated that he moved here 15 years ago and never had water in his home until the soccer field was put in. He commented on the decreased value of their homes because of the floods and suggested that the Town of West Seneca buy all their homes if they could not find a way to help the residents with this problem. Mr. Roncone was concerned that someone would eventually be killed in a flood and thought that installation of a berm along the creek from the soccer field to the plaza with an opening at the soccer field by Gossel Island would help solve their problem. The water would then flow into the soccer field instead of the residents' homes. Mr. Roncone noted that Cazenovia Park in South Buffalo and other towns had places for the creek water to go and questioned why West Seneca had not taken steps to provide for that.

    Jim Bove, 11 Willowdale Drive, stated that the residents had heard for at least 15 years that the ice retention structure would be built in two years, and if it had been in place the recent flood would probably not have occurred. Mr. Bove commented on the great job the AmeriCorps and town employees did in cleaning up after the flood. He asked that the board members do something now to get the ice retention structure built before the next flood season arrived.

    Diane Roncone, 74 Parkside Drive, did not believe that any of the board members cared what the residents were saying because if they did the problem would have been resolved a long time ago.

    Mary Penders, 63 Parkside Drive, stated that the residents had been fighting for over two years to have the ice retention structure installed, but their problem was not made a priority by the board members so nothing was accomplished. She was pleased that a firm was finally chosen to do the survey and easement work, but she questioned why it took so long. Mrs. Penders had read in the February 27th West Seneca Bee that there was a draft agreement between the state and the Army Corps of Engineers, but Town Attorney Tim Greenan was not sure when it would be signed. Prior to this, the residents had been told that everything was signed and the project would be proceeding. The residents were also previously told that the project would be completed in 2003, and now she understood that it would not be completed until April 2004. This put them in jeopardy of facing another flooding season. Mrs. Penders noted that Parkside Drive was sloped and the houses at the middle of the street were at the lowest point. She suggested that the street be reconstructed so that it was pitched toward the creek. Mrs. Penders stated that she had spoken to Mike Kerl before the flood occurred and he informed her that they were prepared and had a plan, but she questioned why the residents did not receive the sandbags sooner so they could protect their homes.

    Supervisor Clark took the residents' statements that the board members did not care as a personal insult. He felt that the board had done what they could do to solve the flooding problem. Supervisor Clark referred to Mr. Roncone's comment about someone being killed in a flood and noted that his mother's cousin was killed in a flooding incident on Willowdale Drive in the late 1960's. He stated that the subdivision was built in the 1960's and early 1970's and the present board members were not in office at that time and not involved in the approval process. Although they still had a responsibility to help the residents get through this, they were not a part of creating the problem. Supervisor Clark stated that this was the coldest winter in the last 25 years and ice in local creeks and streams was thicker than normal, some at two feet and over. The afternoon of the flood, the town mobilized a large portable pump to supplement the pump at the end of Parkside Drive. The flooding was a result of a major ice flow from Leydecker Road that jammed near Gossel Island. The floodwater overtopped the new berm by two to three inches and flowed down the street and behind homes.

    Councilman Graber did not think it was fair for the residents to state that the board members did not care about the residents or their problem. He commented that the board members had initiated some specific improvements after the previous flood and had directed Town Engineer George Montz to hire experts to evaluate the situation and come up with a way to minimize the potential impact of any flooding.




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