West Seneca Town Board Minutes 03/14/2005
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 -
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 Richard “Dick” Lawson, Judith Ann Pietz, Agnes C. Schmidt, Nora R. McKenna, G. William Coppola, Brenda J. Swift, Genevieve Lech, Donald J. Nesselbush and Walter Ambrose.
4-A MINUTES TO BE APPROVED
4-B LEGAL NOTICES
1. Proofs of publication and posting of legal notice: “OF THE ADOPTED CHANGE IN THE ZONING ORDINANCE FOR PROPERTY LOCATED AT 418 MEYER ROAD, BEING PART OF LOT NO. 77, CHANGING ITS CLASSIFICATION FROM M-2 TO M-2(S), FOR ANTIQUE AUTO RESTORATION” in the Town of West Seneca, received and filed. (Paul Hersee)
1. Town Attorney re 2005-2006 Community Development Block Grant project agreementvMotion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to authorize the Supervisor to execute the Community Development Block Grant Project Agreement between the County of Erie and the Town of West Seneca for the program year 2005-2006, noting that this agreement will administer the town’s CDBG award for the senior citizen renovation, senior citizen van, and Dorr Street Reconstruction Project.
2. Town Attorney re Community Development Block Grant housing activities
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to authorize the Supervisor to execute an agreement between the County of Erie and the Town of West Seneca regarding housing activities under the Community Development Block Grant for the year 2005, noting that this agreement provides the county’s administration of our block grant funds and the county reimbursing the town in an amount not to exceed $15,600 for the services of our Community Development Loan Officer.
3. Town Engineer re 2004 Sanitary Sewer Rehab. Project, final change order & acceptance
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to approve final change order #1 for United Survey, Inc., 25145 Broadway, Cleveland, OH 44146 for a net addition of $7053.95 and accept the 2004 Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Project, Job No. S-0405, at a final contract amount of $290,588.95.
4. Town Engineer re Bid date for Dorr Street Reconstruction Project
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to set a bid date of April 5, 2005 at 10:00 A.M. for receipt of bids on the Dorr Street Reconstruction Project, Job No. D-0406.
5. Town Engineer re NYSEG proposal for South Avenue
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to approve the NYSEG street lighting proposal for a total annual increase of $154.39 to the General Lighting District for adding one 150-watt luminaire on an existing pole on South Avenue.
6. Town Engineer re Purchases requiring Town Board approval
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to approve the following vouchers for the Engineering Department:
Nichols, Long & Moore Construction Corp. (restoration work) $3212.52
7. Highway Supt. re Military leave of absence for Darryl Seibert
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to approve a military leave of absence for Darryl Seibert effective March 11, 2005 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
8. Highway Supt. re Termination of part-time laborers in Highway Department
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to terminate the following part-time laborers in the Highway Department effective March 15, 2005:
and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
9. Highway Supt. re Purchases requiring Town Board approval
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to authorize payment of $3100 to Kaminski & Sons for an eight-foot blade assembly and $1925.54 to Fleet Maintenance, Inc. for truck repairs.
10. Chief Gehen re Attendance of Lt. Urbanski & Det. Andolina at Fire Arson Investigation course
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to authorize Lieutenant John Urbanski & Detective Robert Andolina to attend the NYS Academy of Fire Science/Fire Arson Investigation Course in Montour Falls, New York, March 13 – 25, 2005 at a cost not to exceed $1175.
11. Chief Gehen re Attendance of Det. Bloom & Officers Morano, Gibbons & Baker at DARE conference
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to authorize Detective Dennis Bloom and Officers Ken Morano, James Gibbons, and Edward Baker to attend the NYS DARE Officer conference in Binghamton, New York, April 24 – 27, 2005 at a cost not to exceed $1760.
12. Chief Gehen re Attendance of Capt. Denz at MAGLOCLEN conference
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to authorize Captain Daniel Denz to attend the annual MAGLOCLEN conference in Indianapolis, Indiana, March 21 – 25, 2005 at a cost not to exceed $400 for meals and registration fees, noting that transportation, tolls, parking and hotel expenses are reimbursed by the MAGLOCLEN organization.
13. Town Clerk re Polling places for 2005
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to approve the following list of polling places for the year 2005:
14. Comptroller re 2004 year end fund transfers
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to approve the attached list of 2004 year end fund transfers.
15. Comptroller re Purchase requiring Town Board approval
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to authorize payment of $6122 to KVS Information Systems for the annual software subscription.
16. Town Justices re Resignation of Barbara Mahoney as part-time Clerk
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to accept the resignation of Barbara Mahoney and terminate her as part-time Clerk in the Justice Court effective January 14, 2005 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
17. Code Enforcement Officer re Attendance at Building Officials Conference
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to authorize Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski, Asst. Code Enforcement Officer Robert Pinnavaia, and Fire Inspector John Gullo to attend the annual Finger Lakes Building Officials’ Conference, March 20 – 24, 2005 at a cost not to exceed $1700 with use of a town vehicle for transportation.
18. Senior Citizens Supervisor re Seasonal part-time status for C. Kennedy & termination of Lois Mann
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to change the status of part-time Food Service Helper Carol Kennedy to part-time seasonal effective March 14, 2005 through August 12, 2005; and further, terminate Lois Mann, as part-time Food Service Helper effective March 15, 2005 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
4-E DEPARTMENTAL PRESENTATIONS
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
GASLIGHTS VS. ELECTRIC LIGHTS
Frank Boncore, 205 Heather Hill Drive, commented on a recent article in the West Seneca Bee concerning lower lighting costs in the town with a change from gaslights to electric lights. Mr. Boncore stated that there were gaslights on his street that were not being maintained properly. Some did not work because the top was missing and some poles were knocked down and not replaced. Proper repairs were never made. Mr. Boncore referred to a petition he had been circulating on his street requesting that the gaslights be maintained. Most of the residents had signed the petition with only six refusing and six not at home. Mr. Boncore suggested that the existing lights be replaced with newer gas fixtures that would be more efficient than the current ones. He further noted that gaslights were made in the USA unlike Sylvania, Westinghouse and General Electric that were made in foreign countries. Mr. Boncore asked that the board members come up with some type of gas fixture to replace existing fixtures.
Councilman Graber responded that the only reason the Town Board embarked on this lighting project was because a number of West Seneca residents had asked that the gaslights be replaced. The town investigated their request and sent out three letters to each of the 799 property owners within the twelve gaslight districts asking what they wanted. Eighty-one percent of the property owners from Heather Hill Drive and Pamela Court located in District #2 responded to the letters and 66 percent or 31 of them wanted a feasibility study done, while 13 of the property owners did not want the study done. In District #8 where there were 80 properties, 75 percent responded and 62 percent or 32 property owners wanted the study to be done. The feasibility study was completed and Councilman Graber was in the process of putting together a package to be mailed to each of the 799 property owners. A legal approval form would be included in the packages for the property owners to sign if they wanted the gaslights removed and replaced with electric lights.
Councilman Hicks commented that he lived in a gas lighting district and the people in his neighborhood were tired of the darkness from too many lights not working and there was no safety for the children going to school. The electric lighting would replace the gaslights if the people choose and it would create a much safer environment.
Mr. Boncore questioned if each subdivision would be surveyed individually.
Councilman Graber advised that each lighting district would be surveyed and if the majority of property owners did not want electric lights, the gaslights would remain.
Councilman Bove questioned if the residents could change to another gas lighting system if they decided against the electric lights.
Councilman Graber responded that if the residents chose not to go with the electric lights, he would go out of his way to see what the alternatives were.
Tim Kubanet, 154 Theresa Court, stated that the gaslight outside his house and others in the neighborhood had been out most of the winter. He understood that the lights were 35 years old, that they no longer had parts for the lights, and that they cost a lot more than electric. Mr. Kubanet questioned how much an electric light cost per year as opposed to a gaslight.
Councilman Graber responded that an electric light cost $50 per year while a gaslight cost $275 per year.
Mr. Kubanet stated that he was in favor of changing the gaslights to electric lights because he was opposed to spending five times the cost of an electric light for a gaslight that did not even work. Mr. Kubanet questioned why they still had gaslights in West Seneca.
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
GASLIGHTS VS. ELECTRIC LIGHTS (continued)
Supervisor Clark stated that years ago some of the developers made the decision to go with the gaslights, but natural gas was a lot less at the time.
Mr. Kubanet questioned how much the residents could have saved over the years if they had electric lights instead of the gaslights.
Supervisor Clark responded that they would have to look at the pattern of electric rates versus natural gas rates, equipment costs, and maintenance, but the town did not have that information. They only recently began studying this issue and it became drastically obvious that electric lights were more economical.
Councilman Graber noted that the cost of gaslights went up 13 percent in 2004, but the cost of electric lights remained fairly constant over the years. In 2004, the 399 gaslights cost $113,000. If they were to replace these lights, they would only need 302 electric lights and it would cost $12,000. The savings would pay for the construction costs involved in installing the electric lights. The new lights would be 50 or 70-watt high pressure sodium giving off 3200 and 5500 lumens respectively. The gaslights gave off 400 – 500 lumens. Councilman Graber stated that all residents in the districts would make the ultimate decision on this issue. The government provided the details on how much they were spending, how much they would be spending, construction costs, etc. The decision on whether to switch rested solely in the laps of the residents and some districts might choose not to replace their gaslights.
REPAYMENT OF BOND FOR SOCCER COMPLEX
Joanne Viapiano, 51 Sunbriar Drive, referred to the bond issue for the Seneca Street Soccer Complex and questioned how much was paid back to the town since its inception.
Supervisor Clark responded that this information was available, but not immediately. He suggested that Ms. Viapiano leave her name and address with Town Attorney Tim Greenan and the financial information would be furnished to her. Supervisor Clark stated that there was approximately $2 million in bonded construction for the soccer park. A substantial part of that was for the soccer fields, but there were also general recreational improvements such as the walking path, basketball facilities, etc. The Soccer Association was, to the best ability, required to pay rent to the town to help offset the annual bonding cost, but they have had great difficulty meeting that obligation. The town hoped to receive full payments in the future. Supervisor Clark commented that the soccer park serviced nearly 2000 families and it was good family fun. He thought the soccer park was an asset to Western New York and helped to bring in economic development.
Ms. Viapiano questioned why the Soccer Association would be having trouble meeting their obligation when they collected fees for the Empire State Games and other activities held at the soccer park.
Supervisor Clark responded that there were maintenance and operating costs associated with the facility. The Soccer Association was also trying to keep their fees low and reasonable so that families would be able to have all their children play. Supervisor Clark noted that the Soccer Association was a non-profit organization and no one was making any profit from them or receiving any major salary. He further noted that besides the soccer program, the town also partially subsidized the swimming program, baseball program, basketball program, and senior recreation program.
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
TOWN WEBSITE COMPLIMENTED
Amy Carpenter, 406 Woodward Crescent, commended the town for a great job on its website and suggested that it be advertised on the marquee at the corner of Union Road and Main Street.
PRESENTATION OF COMMUNICATIONS BY BOARD MEMBERS AND DEPARTMENT HEADS
PAYMENT FOR AMMUNITION
Motion by Councilman Hicks, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to authorize payment of $3480.66 to Ammunition Accessories, Inc. for ammunition.
LANDSCAPING BUSINESS ON BERG ROAD
Councilman Osmanski questioned the status of the Berg Road issue involving a landscaping business.
Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski stated that he had sent a letter to the individual and received a response. The trailer would be moved from the property and he would not be doing business from there.
SUGGESTION FOR USE OF VISUAL EQUIPMENT AT MEETINGS
Councilman Bove referred to the earlier presentation by David Lawrence, Executive Director of the West Seneca Development Corporation, and the use of visual technology. She suggested that the Town Board use this technology in the future when discussing parcels of land.
Supervisor Clark responded that the equipment used by Mr. Lawrence belonged to the West Seneca Development Corporation. The town did not own this type of equipment, but they could research the possibility of purchasing something in the next budget.
SLEDDING HILL AT SUNSHINE PARK
Councilman Bove thanked Principal Engineer Assistant Gary Bommer, Highway Supt. Patrick Finnegan, and the town employees that assisted with the sledding hill at Sunshine Park. She had visited the sledding hill a number of times in the last few days and felt that it was a worthwhile project at no cost to the taxpayers.
COUNTY BUDGET CRISIS DISCUSSIONS
Supervisor Clark stated that he had been regularly meeting with a group of town supervisors and village and city mayors in Western New York regarding the county budget crisis. The purpose of their meetings was to try to determine the effects from both an operational and cost point of view. In the near future, they would be talking with county officials who would be better informed as to their own consequences and what effect it would have on certain necessary services and activities. Their primary objective was to maintain public safety and security and ensure that the taxpayers would not be further burdened locally by things that the county and other levels of government must do. Their goal was information seeking, communication, dissemination of information, determining action plans, and negotiating for vital services.
PRESENTATION OF COMMUNICATIONS BY BOARD MEMBERS AND DEPARTMENT HEADS
Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Osmanski, to adjourn the meeting at 9:00 P.M.
PATRICIA C. WISNIEWSKI, RMC/CMC