West Seneca Town Board Minutes 04/24/2006
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 led by Boy Scout Troop #483.
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 Jean Nowotka and Rev. Msgr. Richard C. Crumlish.
Supervisor Clark announced that due to a publication problem the public hearing concerning adoption of a sex offender buffer zone law would not be held at this meeting and would be rescheduled for a later date.
7-A MINUTES TO BE APPROVED
1. Council Member Bove re Support for removal of toll barriers
Motion by Councilman Bove, seconded by Councilman Osmanski, to adopt the attached resolution requesting the Governor and the Commissioners of the NYS Thruway Authority to remove the toll barriers at Williamsville, Depew, Lackawanna, Blasdell/Hamburg, Ogden/Buffalo City Line, Black Rock, and both the north and south Grand Island bridges.
On the question, Councilman Bove stated that last May she had proposed a resolution opposing the increase in tolls on the NYS Thruway and more recently another resolution in favor of removing the toll at South Ogden. A number of leaders in the community have now taken a stand and were working to have the tollbooths removed, including Attorney General Eliot Spitzer who stated in a press conference that he would work to remove the tollbooths if elected. Councilman Bove stated that she travels in the Buffalo and Rochester area for work and used to travel in the Syracuse area, and nowhere but Buffalo did she have to pay a toll.
*APPENDICES*2. Town Attorney re Establishment of electric lighting district in Rolling Ridge subdivision
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to schedule a public hearing for May 15, 2006 at 7:30 P.M. to consider a petition for creation of a lighting district in Rolling Ridge subdivision.
3. Town Engineer re Bid award for Barnett & Elwood Drive Reconstruction Project
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to award the bid for the Barnett & Elwood Drive Reconstruction Project, Job No. B-0603, to Visone Construction, Inc., 79 Sheldon Avenue, Depew, NY 14043, at their low contract amount of $466,771.00 and authorize the Supervisor to sign the contract documents.
Supervisor Clark abstained from voting on this item because Visone Construction was a client of an accounting firm that he had a financial interest in.
4. Town Engineer re Purchase requiring Town Board approval
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to authorize payment of $1758 to Waste Stream Technology, Inc. for quarterly sampling reports.
5. Highway Supt. re Status change for seasonal Sanitation Alternates to part-time
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to change the status of the following part-time Sanitation Alternates to part-time seasonal effective May 1 – October 21, 2006:
and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
6. Highway Supt. re Purchases requiring Town Board approval
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to authorize payment of the following vouchers for the Highway Department:
Osinski Plumbing (hot water tank at Highway Department) $6906.98
7. Chief Gehen re Attendance at Canadian American Law Enforcement Organization conference
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to authorize Lt. John Urbanski and Lt. John Cunningham to attend the Canadian American Law Enforcement Organization (C.A.L.E.O.) Annual International Information Sharing Conference, June 21 – 23, 2006 at the Brock Plaza Hotel, 5685 Falls Avenue, Niagara Falls, Ontario, Canada, at a cost not to exceed $450.
8. Chief Gehen re Attendance at NYS Alternative Education Association conference
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to authorize Officer Ken Morano to attend the New York State Alternative Education Association (NYSAEA) Conference in Binghamton, New York, May 7 – 8, 2006 at a cost not to exceed $254.
9. Chief Gehen re Attendance of Lt. Boehringer at FBI National Academy
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Bove, to authorize Lt. Michael Boehringer to attend the 226th session of the F.B.I. National Academy, July 9 – September 15, 2006 at a cost not to exceed $2249.82 which includes two (2) round trip air fares, noting that meals and lodging are paid in full by the federal government.
On the question, Supervisor Clark commented that the Town of West Seneca Police Department had an exceptionally large number of graduates of the F.B.I. National Academy. He questioned if the number that qualified and were invited to attend was disproportionate compared to many agencies.
Chief Gehen noted that nationally less than 1 percent of all police officers in the country had this training. The West Seneca Police Department had close to 9 percent trained.
10. Chief Gehen re Division of Criminal Justice Services grant
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to authorize the Supervisor to execute the Division of Criminal Justice Services (DCJS) grant #LG005058603, noting that the Town of West Seneca will receive $33,000 in financial assistance toward the replacement of the police/fire radio console system.
On the question, Supervisor Clark thanked Senator William Stachowski for his assistance in obtaining this grant and Chief Gehen for working to modernize the department with state-of-the-art equipment.
11. Chief Gehen re Purchase of police/fire dispatch workstations
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to authorize the purchase of three (3) dispatch workstations from Wright-Line Technical Environmental Solutions, LLC, 160 Gold Star Blvd., Worcester, MA 01606 at the NYS Contract price of $22,225.87, plus installation with funding for this purchase as follows: $5360.77 from grant assistance; $7077.29 from the 2002 equipment bond; and $9787.81 from the 2006 dispatch equipment line item.
12. Town Clerk re Southgate Plaza amusement license
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Bove, to grant an amusement license to Southgate Plaza Inc. for their Spring Carnival to be held May 26 – 29, 2006.
13. Receiver of Taxes re Rate increase for Laurine Fischione
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to grant a rate increase to $7.40 per hour for part-time Clerk Laurine Fischione effective December 1, 2005 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel, noting that Laurine completed 1400 hours of service required for this increase.
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
HIRING PRACTICES OF TOWN BOARD
Dale Clarke, 379 Indian Church Road, referred to the hiring practices of the Town Board and a West Seneca Bee editorial from 1999 commenting that the board members should define a policy and hire off the top of a seniority list. Town government should be an example of fairness and justice and he wanted to see the hiring practices changed. Mr. Clarke was not happy with the patronage jobs in town and thought that town jobs should be open to all residents of West Seneca.
Supervisor Clark responded that in previous years Mr. Clarke had promoted certain candidates for positions with the town, but not everyone hired may have been to his liking. Supervisor Clark stated that the Town Board hired individuals based on general performance and recommendations.
RODENT PROBLEM IN WINCHESTER AREA
Dale Clarke, 379 Indian Church Road, stated that he had previously reported to the town some houses in the Winchester area that were in poor condition. In one instance, the owner received four summons, but nothing was done. A Winchester resident affected by the condition of the house tried to contact Supervisor Clark and was told by his office that the rat problem would be her problem. Mr. Clarke questioned why the rats would be the resident’s problem when the town was negligent in letting the house deteriorate that far.
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
RODENT PROBLEM IN WINCHESTER AREA (continued)
Supervisor Clark stated that he speaks with everyone that calls him, but he had no message from anyone with this type of problem. He asked Mr. Clarke for the resident’s name and phone number so he could contact her.
ABANDONED CARS NEAR CLINTON AND HARLEM
John Golombek, 64 Tim Tam Terrace, questioned if there was a junkyard permit for property near the corner of Clinton Street and Harlem Road. He referred to a number of abandoned cars behind a collision shop and was concerned that fluids from the vehicles might be leaking into the nearby creek.
Supervisor Clark directed Deputy Town Attorney Paul Notaro to have the Building & Plumbing Department investigate this property.
NEIGHBOR PROBLEMS AT CLINTON STREET BAR
Ruck Marino, 4713 Clinton Street, lives next to the Nickel Creek Café and stated that with the nice weather last week there was loud music and drinking in the parking lot of the bar, loud motorcycles, speeding, and people urinating in the neighbors’ yards. He asked that the Police Department do what they can to monitor this situation in the late hours.
Supervisor Clark asked that Chief Gehen increase the monitoring of this situation and asked Deputy Town Attorney Paul Notaro to have the Building & Plumbing Department enforce the code with regard to any noise or activities that should not be taking place at this location.
SOCCER COMPLEX ISSUES
Gary Martin, 16 Willow Drive, questioned if the town had taken over the soccer complex and if they intended to make it profitable or just meet expenses.
Councilman Hicks responded that the town was taking over the soccer complex and would be taking care of it like the other town parks. By realigning Buildings & Grounds Department employees, they were able to assign workers to the soccer complex without having to hire any additional full-time employees.
Councilman Osmanski stated that there was a fee charged for each child that signed up for soccer and this was paid to the town. They hoped that the fees would come close to paying for maintenance of the soccer complex. The fees would be adjusted and increased at the end of each season, if necessary.
Joan Russo, Parkside Drive, stated that the residents were told that things would be different at the soccer complex, but with the start of the season last weekend it was the same old thing. Two people were urinating on the berm in the back yards of the Parkside Drive residents. Mrs. Russo stated that she appreciated the board members coming over on the weekend and addressing the situation, but she did not want to have to continually call the police for things at the soccer complex.
Councilman Hicks stated that there were some problems they had to work out at the soccer complex. The game that was being played along the berm was not scheduled and Recreation Director Robert Walsh, Councilman Bove, and Councilman Hicks were not aware of it. There was a schedule of upcoming games that they had given approval for.
Mrs. Russo had attended one of the soccer association’s meetings and had heard that they would be getting a percentage of anything that went on at the soccer complex.
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
SOCCER COMPLEX ISSUES (continued)
Councilman Hicks stated that groups using the soccer complex would pay fees directly to the Town of West Seneca. No fees would be paid to the soccer association and they would not receive any portion of the fees paid to the town.
Councilman Bove understood the disappointment of the neighbors on the weekend, but stated that she and Councilman Hicks and Robert Walsh responded to the complaint and handled the situation. The residents had their support and they were working on the problems. Councilman Bove thought they were on the right path and commented that they want to do this the right way.
Councilman Osmanski encouraged Mrs. Russo to call the police if there are people urinating in public, because it would travel by word of mouth that this was not acceptable behavior and would not be tolerated.
Councilman Bove further stated that Mr. Walsh noticed that the parents were standing on the sidelines closest to the bathrooms and the players were on the far side. He suggested reversing the parents and players so that the players were closer to the bathrooms.
Councilman Hicks noted that Randy Pawlak of the West Seneca Soccer Association was sending out memos to all the teams and Mr. Walsh was also sending a memo to all the organizations interested in renting the facility to inform them.
STATUS OF MASTER PLAN
Amy Carpenter, 406 Woodward Crescent, questioned the status of the Master Plan.
Councilman Osmanski stated that all the information submitted was given to the Town Board members. Unfortunately, Dave Lawrence, who was Executive Director of the West Seneca Development Corporation and very involved in the Master Plan, left his position and moved out of the area. There was no real progress in the last month, but Councilman Osmanski hoped to talk with Supervisor Clark and the consultant, Drew Reilly, and put together a plan to submit to the board within the next month so they can move ahead with it.
Chuck Zernitsch, 543 Union Road, stated that there were some very good suggestions in the Master Plan that could be implemented without adopting the entire plan. For example, there was a suggestion that the town take action to protect the properties west of the NYS Thruway near the city line. It was suggested that the town allow development of those properties without increases in property taxes for 20 to 25 years to encourage investment and development in that area.
Councilman Osmanski stated that there would be some legalities involved in this, but agreed that they could implement some of the suggestions prior to adopting the Master Plan.
Clark Fulkerson, 29 Maplewood Drive, commented that the proposed Master Plan was a very good plan and appropriate for West Seneca. He hoped that something would begin to happen with it soon.
CONDITIONS IN POLICE DEPARTMENT
Mike Roll, 98 Southgate Drive, stated that he recently took part in the West Seneca Citizens Police Academy and found it to be a very enlightening experience. The one disturbing factor was the deplorable condition of police headquarters as a whole, which Mr. Roll thought the Town Board should address in the near future.
PRESENTATION OF COMMUNICATIONS BY BOARD MEMBERS AND DEPARTMENT HEADS
LEASE OF VEHICLE FOR AMERICORPS
Motion by Councilman Hicks, seconded by Councilman Graber, to authorize a 48-month lease of a 2006 Ford E-350 Super Duty truck from Bison Truck Center at a cost of $6139.09 annually with a non-appropriation clause allowing for termination of the lease based on availability of funding, noting that the lease will be paid for with grant funds and the vehicle will be used to assist with the Gulf Coast recovery efforts.
On the question, Councilman Hicks stated that on March 27, 2006 the Town Board approved a lease for a truck from Jim Ball, but Jim Ball was not able to get a truck and could not commit to the lease.
Councilman Graber noted that this lease was 100 percent paid for by grant funds.
APPOINTMENT OF TIMOTHY HEALY AS LABORER IN SANITATION DEPARTMENT
Motion by Councilman Hicks, seconded by Councilman Graber, to appoint Timothy Healy as Laborer in the Sanitation Department at an annual salary of $31,691.89 effective April 25, 2006 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
APPOINTMENT OF SCOTT FUNK AS LABORER IN SANITATION DEPARTMENT
Motion by Councilman Hicks, seconded by Councilman Graber, to terminate Scott Funk as part-time Laborer and appoint Scott Funk as Laborer in the Sanitation Department at an annual salary of $31,691.89 effective April 25, 2006 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
TITLE CHANGE FOR JOHN BRODERICK TO MOTOR EQUIPMENT OPERATOR
Motion by Councilman Graber, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to terminate John Broderick as Laborer and appoint John Broderick as Motor Equipment Operator, Step 5, at a rate of $21.42 per hour effective April 24, 2006 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
APPOINTMENT OF DANIEL MCPARLANE AS PART-TIME SEASONAL LABORER
Motion by Councilman Graber, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to appoint Daniel McParlane as part-time seasonal Laborer in the Buildings & Grounds Department at a rate of $7.25 per hour effective April 25 – September 25, 2006 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
FIBER OPTICS AT TOWN HALL
Councilman Graber announced that the Town Board had met with Verizon prior to this meeting and West Seneca will be the third municipality in Western New York with fiber to the premises.
PRESENTATION OF COMMUNICATIONS BY BOARD MEMBERS AND DEPARTMENT HEADS
PUBLIC HEARING ON SEX OFFENDER BUFFER ZONE LAW
Motion by Councilman Bove, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to schedule a public hearing for May 15, 2006 at 7:30 P.M. to consider adoption of a sex offender buffer zone law barring registered sex offenders from living too close to schools, parks, playgrounds, athletic centers, daycare centers or any place where children congregate.
On the question, Councilman Bove invited the public to attend the hearing on May 15, 2006 and give their input on making restrictions on residency for Level 2 and 3 sex offenders.
Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Osmanski, to adjourn the meeting at 8:30 P.M.
PATRICIA C. DEPASQUALE, RMC/CMC