Town Board Minutes

WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES                                       TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
1250 Union Road                                                             Minutes #2014-25
West Seneca, NY 14224                                                            December 29, 2014
 
Supervisor Sheila M. Meegan called the meeting to order at 7:00 P.M. with 30 seconds of silent prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag led by Highway Supt. Matthew English.
 
ROLL CALL:           Present    -    Sheila M. Meegan              Supervisor
                                                  Eugene P. Hart                  Councilman
                                                  William P. Hanley Jr.         Councilman
 
Supervisor Meegan 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 Peter Caleri, Sharon Doctor, Ronald Wilson, Johanna Huber, Frank Ciminelli and Alfred Runkel.
 
2 5-A MINUTES TO BE APPROVED
 
§ Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hanley, to approve Minutes #2014-24 of December 15, 2014.
 
     Ayes: All                                     Noes: None                                 Motion Carried
 
25-B LEGAL ITEMS
 
 1.     Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, that proofs of publication and posting of legal notice: “OF A PUBLIC HEARING TO HEAR ALL INTERESTED PARTIES AND CITIZENS FOR OR AGAINST THE ADOPTION OF LOCAL LAW 2014-15, MODIFICATION TO CHAPTER 65 – ELECTRICAL INSPECTIONS” in the Town of West Seneca, be received and filed.
 
          Ayes: All                                     Noes: None                                 Motion Carried
 
          Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to open the public hearing.
 
          Ayes: All                                     Noes: None                                 Motion Carried
 
          Attorney for the Town Charles Grieco stated adoption of the proposed amendment will allow the town to hire an electrical inspector directly rather than contracting out for these services.
 
          Councilman Hart questioned the estimated fees this will bring to the town, the cost of an electrical inspector and if this will become a full-time position.
 
Code Enforcement Officer John Gullo responded the town currently receives nothing in permit fees since this work is contracted out. He anticipated $49,000 in permit fees with an expense of $20,000 for an electrical inspector. Mr. Gullo stated he is not looking for a full-time position at this time and is waiting for results of the civil service exam to be released for the interview process to begin.
 
 
WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES                                       TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
1250 Union Road                                                             Minutes #2014-25
West Seneca, NY 14224                                                            December 29, 2014
                                                                                          Page two . . .
 
 
25-B LEGAL ITEMS
 
   1.    (continued)
 
          No comments were received from the public.
 
          Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to close the public hearing.
 
          Ayes: All                                     Noes: None                                 Motion Carried
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to adopt Local Law 2014-15, Modification to Chapter 65 – Electrical Inspections in the Town of West Seneca.
 
          Ayes: All                                     Noes: None                                 Motion Carried
                                                                                                    *APPENDICES*
 
EXECUTIVE SESSION
 
          Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to recess to Executive Session at 7:10 P.M. to discuss a legal matter with Attorney for the Town Charles Grieco and Attorney John Fenz.
 
Ayes: All                                     Noes: None                                 Motion Carried
 
The board members returned from Executive Session at 7:25 P.M.
 
          Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hanley, to authorize the Supervisor to execute on behalf of the Town of West Seneca the attached purchase and sale agreement for the former St. Bonaventure property with St. Bonaventure R.C. Church Society of West Seneca, New York and authorize issuance of a check in the amount of $5000 comprising the initial refundable deposit.
 
          On the question, Councilman Hart questioned the 90 day window to withdraw this offer.
 
          Attorney John Fenz advised there is a 90 day inspection period which will allow the town to conduct studies to see if the property is conducive with what the town wants to do. The contract can be cancelled within 90 days and the $5000 will be refunded, or if additional time is needed there is a provision to extend the 90 days.
 
          Ayes: All                                     Noes: None                                 Motion Carried
 
 
WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES                                       TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
1250 Union Road                                                             Minutes #2014-25
West Seneca, NY 14224                                                            December 29, 2014
                                                                                          Page three . . .
 
25-C TABLED ITEMS

 
 1.     Town Engineer re Appointment of J. Clifford as winter intern in the Engineering Department
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to remove this item from the table.
 
Ayes: All                 Noes: None             Motion Carried

 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hanley, to appoint Joseph P Clifford as part-time winter help in the Engineering Department at a rate of $11 per hour effective December 22, 2014 through January 9, 2015 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
 
          Ayes: All                                     Noes: None                                 Motion Carried
         
25-D COMMUNICATIONS

       
1.     Supervisor Meegan re Acquisition of Oxbow Park
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to adopt the following resolution concerning the oxbow property as it relates to the Parks & Recreation Master Plan:
 

Whereas, the Town of West Seneca seeks to expand its availability of active and passive recreational amenities with opportunities for interpretive nature to address a lack of adequate recreation amenities for all ages and abilities; and
 
Whereas, much of the Town’s existing recreational facilities suffer from overuse; and
 
Whereas, the Town of West Seneca Municipal Open Space and Greenway Master Plan has not been updated since 1999; and
 
Whereas, it has been determined by the Oxbow Park Grant Committee that the best solution to parks and recreation needs is through the acquisition of a rehabilitated open space parcel, contiguous to land already owned by the Town of West Seneca, for permanent preservation to remain in the public domain in perpetuity;
 
Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Town of West Seneca supports the expansion of its recreational portfolio through the acquisition of the Oxbow Park; and
 
Be It Further Resolved that in lieu of a Parks and Recreation Master Plan, this resolution serves to affirm that this project is consistent with the Town’s long term plans for parks and recreation amenities.
 
On the question, Councilman Hart understood the purpose of this resolution is to allow the town to apply for grants.
WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES                                       TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
1250 Union Road                                                             Minutes #2014-25
West Seneca, NY 14224                                                            December 29, 2014
                                                                                Page four . . .
 
25-D COMMUNICATIONS
 
   1.    (continued)
 
Supervisor Meegan confirmed that is the purpose of the resolution. She further stated that Bill Bauer of Edbauer Construction has provided renderings of the proposed project and they are available for viewing after the meeting.  Supervisor Meegan commented with the vision of Mr. Bauer and members of the West Seneca Environmental Commission this is an exciting opportunity for the town, county and state. 
 
          Ayes: All                                     Noes: None                                 Motion Carried

 
2.     Supervisor Meegan re Grant application for acquisition of Oxbow Park
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to adopt the following resolution for acquisition of the Oxbow Park with grant funding through the Niagara River Greenway Commission:
 

Whereas, the Town of West Seneca owns land adjacent to the oxbow property located at 2790 Clinton Street in the Town of West Seneca; and
 
Whereas, Serafini Construction, the legal owner of this parcel seeks to sell the property to Edbauer Construction, the current tenant of the property, for renovation of existing structures and conversion of the wetland property into a public park to be owned and maintained by the Town of West Seneca in perpetuity; and
 
Whereas, acquisition of this property will create active and passive recreational amenities as well as areas for nature interpretation and education while preserving natural wetlands; and
 
Whereas, Edbauer Construction by execution of the Memorandum of Understanding on December 12, 2014 shall render the following services related to development of the park before it is sold to the Town, including but not limited to design, property renovations including building, site work and canoe launch facilities and removal of onsite material and equipment not included in the project; and
 
Whereas, the Town of West Seneca will provide the project design oversight and park maintenance following the acquisition of the parcel in perpetuity;
 
Now, therefore, be it resolved that the Town of West Seneca supports the expansion of its recreational portfolio through the acquisition of the Oxbow Park using grant funding; and
 
Be It Further Resolved that Connie D. Miner & Co. Grants Consultants be authorized and directed to complete the necessary application, forms, and attachments to be submitted through the Niagara River Greenway Commission Funding Application for the purpose of securing this grant; and
WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES                                       TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
1250 Union Road                                                             Minutes #2014-25
West Seneca, NY 14224                                                            December 29, 2014
                                                                                Page five . . .
 
25-D COMMUNICATIONS
 
   2.    (continued)
 
Be It Further Resolved that Town of West Seneca Supervisor Sheila M. Meegan is hereby authorized and directed to sign an application for funds from the Niagara River Greenway Commission for acquisition of the Oxbow Park.
 
On the question, Supervisor Meegan thanked Mr. Bauer for his willingness to make this happen for the town.
 
Ayes: All                                     Noes: None                                 Motion Carried

 
3.     Supervisor Meegan re Resolution for emergency spending within the Highway fund
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to adopt the following resolution for a one time transfer within the Highway Fund for emergency spending:

 
WHEREAS, during the year ending December 31, 2014 the Town of West Seneca was significantly affected by several storms causing substantial emergency expenditures within the General Fund and Highway Fund; and
 
WHEREAS, the Highway Fund does not have available fund balance to support the emergency expenditures; and
 
WHEREAS, the Highway Fund and the Town’s General Fund share the same taxable base; and
 
WHEREAS, the Town’s General Fund has available fund balance; now, therefore, be it
 
RESOLVED, that the Town Board hereby amends the General Fund budget to provide a one-time transfer from its available fund balance to support emergency spending within the Highway Fund.
 
On the question, Supervisor Meegan stated the amount will be determined as of December 31, 2014 and money transferred to the Highway Fund cannot come back to the General Fund.
 
Councilman Hart commented the four major storm events this year impacted the Highway Fund and the amount of the transfer will be made public when the books are closed and adjusted.
 
Ayes: All                                     Noes: None                                 Motion Carried
 
 
 
WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES                                                     TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
1250 Union Road                                                                             Minutes #2014-25
West Seneca, NY 14224                                                                December 29, 2014
                                                                                                Page six . . .
 
25-D COMMUNICATIONS

 
4.     Supervisor Meegan re Creation of electrical inspector position
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to create the position of electrical inspector and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
 
Ayes: All                 Noes: None             Motion Carried
 
5.     Supervisor Meegan re Creation of housing inspector position
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hanley, to create the position of housing inspector and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
 
Ayes: All                 Noes: None             Motion Carried

 

6.     Highway Supt. re Termination of Tyler Burdzy as part-time seasonal laborer
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to terminate Tyler Burdzy as part-time seasonal sanitation laborer effective November 26, 2014 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
 
Ayes: All                Noes: None              Motion Carried

 

7.     Town Clerk re Status change for part-time Clerks M. Pomana & A. Kobler to seasonal
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hanley, to change the status of part-time clerks Margaret Pomana and Amy Kobler to part-time seasonal effective January 5 – February 27, 2015 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
 
Ayes: All                Noes: None              Motion Carried
 
8.     Code Enforcement Officer re Status change for Douglas Busse to part-time seasonal
 
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hanley, to extend part-time seasonal status on an emergency basis for laborer Douglas Busse effective January 1 – 31, 2015 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.

 
On the question, Councilman Hart questioned the number of buildings damaged as a result of the storm. Code Enforcement Officer John Gullo responded that 250 buildings were damaged and 40 of them sustained severe damages.
 
Ayes: All                                     Noes: None                                 Motion Carried
WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES                                       TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
1250 Union Road                                                             Minutes #2014-25
West Seneca, NY 14224                                                            December 29, 2014
                                                                                Page seven . . .
 
25-D COMMUNICATIONS

 
9.     Sr. Recreation Therapist of Senior Services re Status change for LeeAnn Piniewski to seasonal
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hanley, to change the status of part-time food service worker LeeAnn Piniewski to part-time seasonal effective December 1, 2014 – March 31, 2015 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
 
Ayes: All                Noes: None              Motion Carried
 
10.   Attorney for the Town re City of Rochester settlement
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hanley, that upon receipt of a full release, the Town is authorized to pay the City of Rochester, New York the sum of fifty thousand dollars ($50,000) in full resolution of the City’s claim asserted against the Town pursuant to General Municipal Law Section 72-c.

 
On the question, Councilman Hart noted this relates to the hiring of a police officer that was formerly an officer with the City of Rochester.
 
Attorney for the Town Charles Grieco stated there is a provision in General Municipal Law that the City of Rochester maintains applies to hiring of a police officer from another municipality. The issue was resolved for considerably less than the $90,000 they were seeking.
 
Ayes: All                                     Noes: None                                 Motion Carried                            

11.   Attorney for the Town re Duplicating Consultants, Inc. settlement
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hanley, to direct and authorize the Supervisor to execute on behalf of the Town the settlement agreement resolving the matter of Duplicating Consultants, Inc. and Leas-Co Leasing, Inc. v. Town of West Seneca (the “Action”); and further, that upon receipt of the release incorporated into said settlement agreement and upon removal of the copy machines from Town property by Duplicating Consultants, the Town is authorized to pay Duplicating Consultants the sum of twenty thousand ($20,000) in full resolution of the Action.

 
On the question, Attorney for the Town Charles Grieco stated the town was accused of breach of several contracts in 2010 and 2011. The lawsuit was dismissed and they filed again at a much higher amount. The cost of litigation would have been well above $20,000.
 
Ayes: All                                     Noes: None                                 Motion Carried
 
WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES                                       TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
1250 Union Road                                                             Minutes #2014-25
West Seneca, NY 14224                                                            December 29, 2014
                                                                                Page eight . . .
 
25-D COMMUNICATIONS

 
12.   Attorney for the Town re Intermunicipal cooperation agreement for loaning of school buses
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to authorize the Supervisor to execute on behalf of the Town of West Seneca the attached Intermunicipal Cooperation Agreement with the West Seneca School District regarding the loaning of school buses for the 2014-2015 school year and take other further and necessary steps to effectuate said contract.

 
On the question, Attorney for the Town Charles Grieco stated this will allow the town to use the school district buses with district drivers for winter and summer camp as a shared service with no cost to the town.
 
Ayes: All                                     Noes: None                                 Motion Carried

 
13.   Supervisor Meegan re Termination of Michael Paluch as Buildings & Grounds Department laborer
 
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to terminate Michael Paluch as Buildings & Grounds Department laborer effective December 31, 2014 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.

 
On the question, Councilman Hart noted that Mr. Paluch was injured on the job and can no longer continue in his position.  Supervisor Meegan stated Mr. Paluch worked many years for the town and she wished him well. 
 
Ayes: All                                     Noes: None                                 Motion Carried
 
 
25-E APPROVAL OF WARRANT
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to approve the vouchers submitted for audit, chargeable to the respective funds as follows:
 
General Fund - $172,741.33; Highway Fund - $34,904.72; Special Districts - $29,808.77; Capital Fund - $1,270,903.08 (voucher #’s 86870 - 87160); Trust & Agency Fund – $30,605.12 (voucher #’s 87207 - 87229)
 
          Ayes: All                                     Noes: None                                 Motion Carried
 
 
 
 
WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES                                       TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
1250 Union Road                                                             Minutes #2014-25
West Seneca, NY 14224                                                            December 29, 2014
                                                                                Page nine . . .
 
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
 
§ Supervisor Meegan announced a change in procedure for Issues of the Public. Public comments will be accepted during this portion of the meeting; however, questions should be written on cards provided and a written response will be given in five business days.
 
§ Dale Clarke disagreed with the new procedure for Issues of the Public and felt it was an attempt to keep the public from speaking. He also asked the board members to respond to the Ethics Committee recommendation on Zoning Board Chairman Timothy Elling.
 
§ Frank Russo commented on the following issues and expressed his opposition to:
ü Creating a full-time Recreation Director position
ü Expanding recreation programs and competing with continuing education programs
ü Purchasing St. Bonaventure building (referred to soccer complex that was eventually taken over by the town)
ü Seneca Place project and getting involved with the people that are part of that proposed development
                   
                              Supervisor Meegan commented on the responsibility of the board members to the children at the end of town near St. Bonaventure and the safety of their neighborhood. Councilman Hart also noted if the board members decide to proceed with the project it will not just be for children.
 
§ Linda Toy did not believe it was a waste of money to purchase the St. Bonaventure property and commented on the need to get the kids off the street and give them some place in the neighborhood to go.
 
PRESENTATION OF COMMUNICATIONS BY BOARD MEMBERS AND DEPARTMENT HEADS
 
          ETHICS COMMITTEE RECOMMENDATION
 
          Councilman Hanley stated the board members received the following response from the Ethics Committee on the Tim Elling situation: “By a majority of the Ethics Committee, there was no finding that any violation occurred by Mr. T.E. regarding the Ethics Code. To have a violation, there must be both solicitation and quid pro quo which was not found in this case. At the conclusion of our investigation, Mr. H. was not doing any business in town and if he was to in the future, Mr. T.E. agreed to recuse himself from any matters brought before him on the board. Additionally, it was learned that Mr. T.E. did not sign the Ethics Code until May and the issue occurred in January.” Councilman Hanley received this recommendation from Ethics Committee Chairman George Clifford and rather than names only initials were listed.
 
          Supervisor Meegan stated the Town Board has not yet made a determination on this matter.
WEST SENECA TOWN OFFICES                                       TOWN BOARD PROCEEDINGS
1250 Union Road                                                             Minutes #2014-25
West Seneca, NY 14224                                                            December 29, 2014
                                                                                Page ten . . .
 
PRESENTATION OF COMMUNICATIONS BY BOARD MEMBERS AND DEPARTMENT HEADS
 
          TOWN ATTORNEY POSITION
 
          Councilman Hart thanked Charles Grieco for his service to the town, noting this is his last meeting as Attorney for the Town as the board members have decided to hire a town resident as Town Attorney. Mr. Grieco will continue as outside counsel on issues such as the Seneca Place project, Comprehensive Plan and potentially rewriting some of the town’s zoning ordinances next year (depending on available budget funds).
 
          REVIEW OF 2014
 
          Supervisor Meegan commented that 2014 was an extraordinary year. There were blizzards and floods, but the town came through it with better appreciation for oneself and others. There are a lot of good people (i.e. the disaster relief group, Eric Bauer of EB Galaxy, Bill Bauer of Edbauer Construction, Bob Hill of Union Concrete) that helped out throughout these weather events. She commented on the Community Emergency Response Team (C.E.R.T.), CodeRed, volunteer fire service personnel, National Guard and Governor Cuomo who helped the town deal with the storms, noting there are many capable and willing individuals that take part in finding solutions and helping others. Supervisor Meegan further commented on the many accomplishments throughout the year and future projects in 2015.
 
EXECUTIVE SESSION
 
Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to recess to executive session at 8:00 P.M. to discuss four personnel matters with Chief Denz and Highway Supt. Matthew English.
 
Ayes: All                                     Noes: None                                 Motion Carried
 
The board members returned from Executive Session at 8:15 P.M.
 
ADJOURNMENT
          Motion by Supervisor Meegan, seconded by Councilman Hart, to adjourn the meeting at 8:15 P.M.
 
          Ayes: All                                    Noes: None                                 Motion Carried
 
 
 
_______________________________________
 JACQUELINE A FELSER, TOWN CLERK