A Work Session of the Clarence Town Board was held on February 1, 2006 at Clarence Town Hall, One Town Place, Clarence, NY.
Supervisor Kathleen Hallock called the meeting to order at 9:00 A.M. Members of the Town Board present were Council member’s Scott Bylewski, Joseph Weiss, Bernie Kolber, and Pat Casilio. Other town officials present were Deputy Supervisor Anne Case, Town Attorney Steven Bengart, Paralegal Cindy Rosel, Director of Community Development James Callahan, Assistant Director of Community Development James Hartz, Highway Superintendent Ted Donner, Town Engineer Joseph Latona, Assistant Town Engineer Tim Lavocat, Engineering Aide Marty Root, Director of Administration and Finance Pam Smith, Planning Board members Patricia Powers, Wendy Silvati, Phil Sgamma, Tim Pazda, Gerald Drinkard, and Municipal Review Committee member Matt Balling.
Joseph Latona - Sewer Update
Town Engineer Latona stated that the intent of today’s meeting is to address the available sewer capacity situation specifically the capacity of the Peanut Line and then when the Peanut Line crosses Transit Road and goes into Amherst. Again specifically what the available capacity is and how that affects our contracted capacity with the Heise Brookhaven Corporation as well as how it is servicing Sewer District #9.
Sewage from the Town of Clarence goes to the Town of Amherst in one of two ways. The first way is to the north that is basically Dodge Road. The Dodge Road sewer handles all of Erie County Sewer District #5 which includes Eastern Hills Mall, all of Meadow Lakes, all the commercial on Transit Road and crosses at Dodge Road. The other place that the sewage goes to the Town of Amherst is called the Peanut Line which goes out to Clarence Hollow. All of this sewage flows to Amherst by gravity; there are no pump stations along the way. The Town of Clarence drops approximately 70 feet from east to west to achieve the gravity flow. There is a 24” line running in the Peanut Line right of way, it crosses Transit Road with a 30” sewer line and then goes into an 18” sewer line in the Town of Amherst. We have a capacity issue with the capacity of a 24” and a 30” line going into an 18” line.
The following information is required by NYS Environmental Conservation as part of the “ten state standard” for sewer design, it is a theoretical design. We assume that there is 70 gallons per person/per day water use, to that we add 30 gallons per day/per person of infiltration (infiltration is ground water) which comes to 100 gallons per person/per day sewage generated. We then apply 3.5 persons per house x 100 gallons per person per day for 350 gallons per day per house average. In addition to that for sizing sewers we assume there is a peak flow and a peak factor of 3x’s the daily average so that the peak flow per house is theoretically 1050 gallons per dwelling unit/per day. That peak factor is a conservative number but it is utilized for sizing sewers.
Mr. Latona presented a hand-out that showed the existing 24” on the Peanut Line. That 24” goes to a 30” and then into the 18” sewer line which is in the Town of Amherst. Currently, Clarence Hollow 0.31 million gallons per day, other 0.20 of a million gallons per day, Heise Brookhaven Sewage Corporation 0.54 million gallons per day, the Peanut Line is 0.35 million gallons per day and Erie County Sewer District #5 0.20 million gallons per day. Heise Brookhaven received 1000 taps (if you use the 1050 gallons per dwelling unit per day) that comes out to 1 million gallons per day. If you add up the aforementioned figures, it comes up to approximately 1 million gallons per day. All of this flow goes into the 18” line. The Town of Clarence has been allotted 1.6 million gallons per day plus approximately 700,000 gallons per day from Clarence Center Sewer District #2. When the chart was put together approximately 10 years ago, the 10” pipe was an independent pipe. It has now been abandon, it goes into the 24” line and then into the 18” line.
If you take the theoretical available capacity of the 18” sewer in the Town of Clarence, the 18” has an inherent capacity due to diameter and slope of 2.8 million gallons per day. Of that 0.5 mgd is allocated to the Town of Amherst for their sewage on their side of Transit Road. 1.6 million gallons a day is for Heise Brookhaven, Peanut Line Sewage Corporation and Clarence Sewer District #9. That leaves an available capacity of 700,000 gallons per day of Clarence SD #2. Theoretically the capacity of the 18” line is taken by the allocated flows. In addition to that, there are currently 1746.16 Equivalent Dwelling Units (EDU = equivalent homes tied into the 18” line – the 18” line gets the flow from Clarence Sewer Districts 2, 6 & 9, Erie County SD #5 and Waterford). If we use the peak flow theoretical of 1050 gallons per dwelling unit per day, we should expect a peak flow theoretically of 1.83 mgd. In an attempt to verify what we have there, we have a flow meter on the Clarence side of Transit Road which is on the 24” line. That then crosses through the 30” and goes into the 18” line. A daily flow chart was presented showing data which are the hourly and daily readings from both flow meters. In the hand-out Mr. Latona designated what the peak flow we received for both the 18” and 24” lines. Basically what we end up with is 600,000 gallons a day actual peak flow in the Town of Clarence, when it crosses Transit Road it is approximately 700,000 gallons per day on the Amherst side which indicates about 100,000 gallons a day of sewage is coming from the Town of Amherst.
If we take actual flows and evaluate what type of capacity we have on an actual basis we have the following: 2.8 mgd capacity available in the 18” line, 0.5 mgd to the Town of Amherst, 2.3 mgd to the Town of Clarence. If we take out 0.6mgd of actual peak flow that is measured, that leaves us with 1.7mgd actual capacity in the 18” line. If we allow 1.0mgd for Heise-Brookhaven Sewage Works Corporation that leaves us 0.7mgd. If we take 0.3mgd for Clarence Sewer District #9, that leaves 0.4mgd unspoken for actual capacity. The theoretical peak was 1.83mgd vs. actual measured peak of 0.60mgd; the actual peak flow is approximately 1/3 of the theoretical. The reason for this is because it was extremely conservative by the DEC. Historically, toilets used to have a flush of approximately 5 gallons; they now have a one-gallon per flush which is about 20% of what it used to be. We now have water saver fixtures, there is improvement in technology of pipe joints, construction technology, and in addition to that the peak factor assumes that everyone flushes at the same time. If everyone in Clarence Hollow flushed their toilets at the same time that everyone in Clarence Sewer District #9 did, by the time the sewage from Sewer District #9 got to Clarence Center, Clarence Center’s sewage would be in Amherst. They are not cumulative peaks. For design purposes, the DEC from a public health perspective requires a conservative approach. We now have actual capacity and we will begin discussions with the DEC as to what the Town of Clarence can do with that capacity.
Included in the handout was a schematic which shows the Peanut Line right-of-way with the 24” line crossing and going into Amherst. To the north of that is a parallel sewer which is called the 24” parallel sewer. That is currently the result of a study that was conducted by Erie County to install a parallel sewer on the Amherst side of Transit Road and to take flows from Erie County Sewer District #5. All of Erie County Sewage #5 goes to Dodge Road. Dodge Road is currently experiencing wet weather problems. This parallel sewer is an attempt to relieve some of those wet weather problems. That parallel sewer will not take any flow from the Town of Clarence or the Peanut Line. The next schematic shows a connection of about 20’ long which will tie the Peanut Line into the parallel sewer which would then open up the Town of Clarence with a great deal of sewage capacity. The Town of Clarence has historically taken a position against that until a full environmental is evaluated.
Councilman Kolber asked if the proposed 24” is a relief for Sewer District #5. Town Engineer Latona stated that at this time, it is. Mr. Latona further stated that a 24” line was always proposed as a parallel to the 18” when the 18” line reached capacity; by contract we have that with the Town of Amherst. It is not a coincidence that ECSD #5 said lets use the 24” as the relief sewer because in the future the Town of Clarence could use that as our sewer under the contract.
Councilman Kolber stated that at the present time ECSD#5 is able to be handled in the 24” line. Mr. Latona stated that the over-flow can but not all of the flow. Under wet weather conditions, ECDS #5 flows comes up and they will let it spill into the 24” line. Councilman Kolber attended a ECSD#5 meeting last year and was informed that they are spending millions of dollars to upgrade the ECSD#5 lines with water infiltration in the lines. Councilman Kolber further questioned that this would negate the need for the 24” parallel sewer. Mr. Latona stated that this is possible however; he has not seen the results of their effectiveness yet. The Town of Amherst is also doing some remedial work to eliminate extraneous waters from the sewer system. Mr. Latona’s office along with the Health Department and the State is monitoring this.
Infiltration is additional waters into a sanitary sewer due to groundwater intrusion. Inflow is additional waters in a sanitary sewer due to storm-water runoff. Both are undesirable in the sewer system because we pay to treat extraneous waters. If it is in the system, we pay to treat storm water and we pay to treat ground water. In addition to that, if those waters are in the system they utilize capacity that could be utilized for sewage. The difficulty is you can not tell the difference by looking in the sewers. We need to implement a strategic monitoring program for quadrants or areas of the sewer system. In addition to that a recording rain gauge was installed at the town highway department. A schematic was included in the handout showing the Clarence Center area and schematic of the sewer system which shows the location of the monitoring. There are eight monitoring locations. We monitor continuously during dry weather and during wet weather recording rain falls etc. A map was presented showing Site A (Peanut Line); it is the last monitoring point on the Peanut Line before we got to Transit Road. There was some storm water in that line that they believe is from Clarence Center. The pipe diameter is 24” we never exceeded 4” of flow. In summary, there is an increase of flow due to high ground water conditions. In site 1, site 6, site 7 and site 8 all fall within the acceptable range of ground water in the sewers. Site 2 and site 3 have excessive flow in the sewer. Due to rain fall we have excess rain water getting into the storm system. Mr. Latona has come up with a program of recommendations to seek out the sources of infiltration and inflow. It is a five year program and it is designed to find the intrusion and then to eliminate the intrusion from the storm system so that we can gain pipe capacity and that we don’t pay to treat storm water. Sewer liaison Councilman Weiss will be involved with this and bring any information back to the Town Board for further discussion and implementation.
We have approximately 75,000 lineal feet of sewer in Clarence Center (CSD#2) and Mr. Latona intends to isolate some additional monitoring in that sewer system. This is a three year program with an estimated total cost of $70,000. Smoke testing is a simple cost effective way of locating in-flow sources and structural problems (infiltration sources) within the sewer system. Video inspection (5 year program) to examine the structural condition and locations of direct connections. This work phase is generally conducted after smoke testing results have been evaluated. Estimated charges not to exceed $70,000 are for the entire lineal footage of sewer, which may or may not be necessary. This estimate does not include prior sewer cleaning.
A detailed manhole inventory and field inspection will be carried out to identify manholes that are in a low lying position and acting as drains during storm water runoff and snow melt. The inside of the manhole chambers will be visually inspected to look for evidence of groundwater leakage.
Mr. Latona will work with the Town Attorney to add a clause to our Sewer Ordinance indicating that when a property is transferred, a sewer inspection will be done on that particular property. The inspection will include sump pump, floor drain and roof leader connections. If connected to the sanitary sewer system, these sources can contribute a significant amount of storm and groundwater inflow to the system. Estimated charges not to exceed $30 per house.
Councilman Casilio asked if we can isolate a district to find out how much fresh water is coming in from the county. Mr. Latona stated that he has water records.
Councilman Weiss said that one of the reasons also why the capacity is greater in Clarence than the theoretical is because it is a “bedroom community” and so many people leave the area each day and use the facilities in surrounding areas so therefore the flow is reduced. The ground water that is coming in more than likely is coming in from one or two large sources such as a broken pipe, the entire system is not having problems.
Town Engineer Latona said that initially it was planned that the sewer district and the sewers in Clarence Hollow would be phased. There was going to be a Phase I then a Phase II both would add up to 500,000 gallons per day. When the Town received less grant money, the district boundaries were reconfigured. A diagram was presented showing the initial 0.31mgd in the 18” pipe and the 0.24mgd is to go into the proposed 24” line. Based on the actual data collected, there is 0.4mgd available in the line, so this should be taken into consideration for the rest of Clarence Hollow.
Mr. Latona stated that the “actual” vs. “theoretical” is very confusing. It will be interesting to monitor the actual capacity. The 0.4mgd is actual capacity, when a new unit is added on we have to apply a theoretical capacity utilized by the new unit. (Ex. If one house is added we have to use 1050 gallons per dwelling unit/per day for that house). In reality, it will not be 1050 so one house will be taken out of the available but in fact it is not one house. However, we have continuous monitoring equipment at Transit Road. We can monitor it monthly, Mr. Latona’s office keeps track of issued building permits connected which is how he came up with some of the figures, he knows what is connected, those are actual flows. Mr. Latona can apply a theoretical factor to them and compare the two.
Councilman Kolber stated that the Town Board/Planning Board is looking at multiple projects each with their own very large theoretical aspects of hundreds of residential dwelling units. Theoretically, there is no capacity however we do know there is some actual capacity available. How do we avoid going forward with these projects when we know we don’t have the same capacity of each project. Town Engineer Latona stated that this is a significant planning issue. We know we have 0.4mgd unspoken for actual capacity. If a project comes in with 100 units we know that is about 100,000 gallons per day theoretically, what it actually comes out to, we have to wait and see. We have to be conservative, we have to come up with a conservative way to allocate and once there is a full build-out, it does not exceed or cause a pollution problem.
Councilman Kolber said that the proposed plans that are before the Town Board/ Planning Board today would probably utilize most of the 0.4mgd. Mr. Latona did not feel this was correct, he stated that we need to know how much of what is before the Planning Board falls into the 1000 lots or 1,000,000 gallons per day. In addition to that, there is some of the flow that is going into the Dodge Road (ECSD#5) sewer that does not go into the Peanut Line also SD #9 – 211 letters were sent out to residents telling them to hookup that is 211,000gpd. The monitoring is critical and the planning is significantly critical. Councilman Kolber further stated that the Town has to look at what is the best utilization of the 0.4 unspoken actual capacity and what do we do when it reaches capacity. Mr. Latona further stated that the town has been built out on a theoretical basis for quite awhile. Mr. Latona used 1.0mgd to Heise-Brookhaven Sewage Works Corporation which is 1000 lots; they have already put in 60 units.
Councilman Weiss commented that with the 0.4mgd actual capacity, we have two issues to consider one being who can legally hook up to the sewer and we are also looking at the Clarence Middle School utilizing 107 units. These determinations have to be made before we go forward.
Councilman Casilio asked if the Middle School would officially use 100,000 gallons per day. Town Engineer Latona said that we have a formula in our Sewer Use Ordinance that allows 15 gallons per person per day. Mr. Latona has spoken to School Superintendent Thomas Coseo and received the current school population and staff and the projected population and staff. The projected number comes out to approximately 109 equivalent houses.
Gary Wright stated that we should not max out our sewer capacity, we should keep some in reserve in case there is a spike or we get an excessive amount of sewage. Town Engineer Latona stated that running full is one thing, surcharging is another. If it surcharges, does it overflow? There was a surcharge in Clarence Center and it never went into a water way or a basement so far.
Councilman Weiss stated that the abatement program over the next 2-5 years will reduce water coming in and therefore increase our capacity. Mr. Latona said that this will not only increase our capacity but who ever wants to utilize that capacity could share in the cost of removal.
Councilman Bylewski suggested that along with the monthly updates of sewer permits issued, Mr. Latona correlate that with the actual capacity that we have. Mr. Latona stated that he keeps track of that with current permits and then he keeps a running total that he measures against the 1000 lots as well as Clarence Hollow.
Planning Board representative Gerald Drinkard asked what will happen with the sewage when all of the Heise Brookhaven units (1000 taps) are hooked up and the manholes fill up. Town Engineer Latona stated that the sewage flow from Waterford goes into Sewer District #6; it is down stream of Clarence Center so it should not impact it. There are approximately 90 units in Clarence Hollow that are connected and are operating.
Sister’s of St. Joseph sewage treatment plant has been decommissioned and taken out of service; their sewage now goes into Clarence Hollow SD #9. We have a contract with Erie County who is running the Sister’s of St. Joseph sewage plant. Erie County paid the Town of Clarence to come into our system. The Brother’s of Mercy, Spaulding, Rock Oaks, and Research Park all have a sewage treatment plants. Historically, no one wants to own a sewage treatment plant. There is a plan to consolidate Research Park, Clarence High School and Spaulding and put it into the trunk sewer. The town has conceptually agreed to do that depending on availability of capacity.
Mrs. Wright asked if Amherst has endless capacity to accept Clarence sewage. Mr. Latona stated that we have a contract with Amherst that states they will take the sewage that is shown on the charts. They have a capacity at their plant of 36 million gallons per day. The Town of Clarence pays per gallon of what we give Amherst and it is based on a formula that we are currently negotiating that has to do with all of their treatment costs.
Councilman Weiss stated that we have a theoretical and an actual flow. Councilman Weiss asked if we were impacted in any way by the numbers mandated by the Erie County or are we on our own to determine what our levels are. We have theoretical and we have actual can we do what we will or are we going to be impacted by some mandating authority that we have to be within some kind of restraints on the theoretical. Mr. Latona stated that he feels that we will be involved with outside agencies such as the Health Department and the DEC as to how we allocate the 400,000 gallons per day. Our approach needs to be conservative.
Planning Board member Phil Sgamma stated that as more and more people hook up if they don’t use the theoretical, the capacity would then grow. That would be empirical data over the next 10 – 20 years. Mr. Latona said that was correct. Today’s presentation was delayed several months because Mr. Latona wanted to have the flow meter on the Town of Clarence side calibrated and accurate. We are now getting data downloaded monthly so that we have actual accurate numbers to compare to the theoretical.
Councilman Kolber asked if we would be getting data from Erie County SD #5. Mr. Latona stated that we would not. This is a planning issue and he suggested that we have conclusive information from Erie County SD #5 and conclusive information from the Town of Amherst that there is downstream capacity available both in SD #5 and in Amherst for a particular project and it is not out of line to request that from the applicant. Councilman Kolber stated that at the last Work Session he asked Mr. Latona where the sewer lines were located and what is their capacity to date and at that time Mr. Latona indicated that these lines were at capacity. Town Engineer Latona stated that theoretically that is correct. The Town of Amherst is doing flow monitoring and Amherst is requiring that any developers that want to develop need to come in and start finding where the excess water is and take it out to allow capacity for their development.
We are getting as much information as we can from Erie County regarding Sewer District #5. Town Engineer Latona said that he and Councilman Weiss met with the state, the Town of Amherst and Erie County SD #5. Sewer District #5 was completed by Erie County and paid for by Erie County SD #5 to date, there is no project sponsor or applicant that has stepped up to do the parallel sewer therefore, there is no project at this point. It will take between $1.2 – $1.3 million dollars to install a parallel sewer. We are getting as much information from ECSD #5 as we can. Director of Community Development James Callahan wrote a letter to the DEC, we put out a notice that says if the parallel sewer goes in; the Town of Clarence needs to be involved in it.
Councilman Weiss stated that when he and Town Engineer Latona met with Mr. Doleski from NYS DEC Mr. Doleski said he was concerned about the “political will” of the people of Clarence to bring the parallel sewer across. Right now we are in the midst of data collection as Mr. Latona has indicated and the decision has not been made whether or not to bring the parallel sewer across.
Councilman Kolber asked if the line going down Transit Road is able to handle Sewer District #5. Town Engineer Latona stated that the line can handle SD#5 as long as it doesn’t rain to hard. We don’t monitor this, it is not our sewer to monitor but Erie County does monitor it. With the over-flow into the trunk sewer, it is not out of line for Clarence to take a position and say if the 24” line goes in, we don’t want storm water in it. We want to use the entire line for the Town of Clarence in the future. The relief sewer is for the over-flow.
Councilman Kolber questioned how the proposed projects such as Fox Trace East and the Harris Hill Commons project and other proposed projects that will go into the sewer line along Transit Road if the lines are already full. Mr. Latona stated that the lines are full only under wet weather conditions, under normal gravity flows they are fine the state, the County and the Town of Amherst is monitoring this. What we need from a planning perspective is something that says how many applicants - there is down stream capacity.
Again Councilman Kolber stated that we should be looking at what is the best utilization of that available capacity for the benefit of the town, not for the benefit of any individuals. Councilman Kolber further stated that there may be existing residential areas that need mitigation or will need mitigation that should be taken care of first before introducing any new projects. Town Engineer Latona said we need to voice that to the agency having jurisdiction over the sewer namely SD#5 and the Town of Amherst, we can not control their sewers we do however have control over the planning issue.
Planning Board Vice-Chairperson Wendy Silvati stated that the Planning Board has been asking more questions as projects come through. A project has come forward for the corner of Clarence Center Road and Thompson Road for a proposed subdivision right across the street from where the Town approved an open development area. The open development was told by the Town of Amherst that there was no sewer capacity and therefore they had to install septic systems. Now we have an applicant right across the street who presented a letter from the Town of Amherst indicating sewer capacity for a much larger project. Ms. Silvati questioned how this can be possible when the applicant for the open development right across the street was told there was no capacity, the applicant for the proposed subdivision reply to that was that they were fixing something it was costing them a certain amount of money but they were making some type of remedy or repair for the Town of Amherst on the Amherst side that and they are getting in exchange, sewer capacity for their development. This just clarifies what Mr. Latona is saying, we do not have control, we are trying to do responsible planning on the Clarence side while they are doing planning on the Amherst side that could negate what we think is going on.
Councilman Bylewski stated that in order to get to some of the planning items that we wish to do such as the Adequate Public Facilities Law, it has been identified that we need to get these numbers and we are in the process of getting them and that is one of the reasons why it is taking so long to do some of these planning issues such as the Adequate Public Facilities Law. It’s been the forthcoming nature of the answers from Erie County SD #5 and from the Town of Amherst, we now have also actual numbers from the town sewer districts based on the work Mr. Latona has performed and the numbers that were generated this past December.
Councilman Kolber asked that when Mr. Latona says we own the capacity in the 18” line, what is our control of that capacity, is that capacity pledged to the Town so anyone can come into it or does the Town have a say in how that is calculated. Town Engineer Latona stated that in the past when we have had theoretical control (commitment on the 18” line) the position was there isn’t available capacity on a theoretical basis. Now we have empirical information which says there is capacity. The question then comes up as to how do we control that capacity in a public environment, it is a public sewer. If someone were to come in with a project with 400 units, that will take up 400,000 gallons. That would fill up the 18” and we would have to monitor it because the 400 units are not going to really be 400,000 gallons we would have to see what the actual flow is.
Planning Board member Gerald Drinkard questioned what the town was going to do about the areas that remain an issue such as the remainder of Clarence Hollow where there is some potential pollution going on and the Harris Hill area. Town Engineer Latona stated that again, this is a planning issue; the most important job in the Town of Clarence is planning. What is going to happen when the 18” line gets full, that is why the 24” was proposed to parallel it in the future. However, the contract with Amherst says that when the 18” line is at capacity the 24” will be installed parallel to the 18” for which Amherst will not pay. It is very clear that right now, no one is “stepping up to the plate” as we talk about the parallel sewer - this is a planning issue.
Councilman Kolber referred back to Wendy Silvati’s comment regarding the proposed project at Shimerville Road and Clarence Center Road one applicant is told there is capacity and the other applicant across the street is told there is no capacity. Town Engineer Latona stated that the proposed project at Shimerville and Clarence Center Roads is in Clarence SD#6 they would be an out-of-district customer to SD#5 and will be going into to SD #5 sewer we have no control over that sewer. The Town is in control of Clarence SD#6 but we have no sewers there. The sewer in the street in Clarence Center is a district #5 sewer so they would have to be out-of-district to that sewer. The sewage goes into the sewer in Clarence Center which is a ECSD#5 sewer, it proceeds to the west of Transit Road goes up north on Transit Road to Dodge Road and then goes into Amherst. The letter the applicants received says there is capacity in Amherst associated with that was a letter from ECSD#5 that says there is capacity in SD#5.
Councilman Kolber stated that we have letters denying capacity in ECSD#5 line. Mr. Latona stated that it is like a lottery, he can not keep up with it. One day there is capacity and the next day there is no capacity.
Erie County Health Department representative John Finster stated that he is part of this problem when we are talking about everybody documenting their downstream capacity. For example, if there is a project in SD#6, the Town of Clarence has to document we have capacity in our sewers. If that then flows into ECSD#5, they have to document that they have the capacity in SD#5 to transport that sewage and so on into Amherst. Before he approves a project, Mr. Finster requires documentation on that down-stream capacity. But that project will not be approved by the Erie County Health Department as the agent for DEC for sewers unless that down stream capacity is documented and we (we being the DEC and EC Health Department looking over Mr. Finster shoulder because he is their agent under contract) agree with the methodology that was used to do the documentation. Mr. Finster further said that they are very conservative about the figures they use. They have allowed specific improvements to be made down stream that frees up capacity to be credited to a project up stream in another jurisdiction. This has been controlled by giving the approval for both projects simultaneously. This may not be fair, but it is the only way they can do it.
Councilman Weiss stated that “it would appear then that the developers have the control” because if we have the 0.4 million gallons actual capacity and if anyone can tie into that, the developers will tie into it and fill that line and then as Mr. Latona stated the text of the contract reads that once the pipe is filled a parallel line will be brought across if there is a sponsor. This is a very small cost for a developer to bring the line across. The developers are calling the shots, they use up the 0.4 million gallons of capacity, they pay for the pipe and open up the entire town.
Mr. Finster stated that right now without specific code or regulations on the Town’s part to control it, he would look at it on the basis of first come first served. Councilman Weiss said that first come, first serve means that a developer with deep pockets can control the entire line. A developer can spend the $1.5 million to install the sewer line and then make a profit on selling lots to the north and south in Clarence. Town Engineer Latona stated that depending on the path, Councilman Weiss was correct however, depending on the proposal that comes with it; the Town has some discretion on it.
Mr. Finster stated that once he receives a signed application by the Town of Clarence for sewers to be built in Clarence, a subdivision has gone through the towns planning process so from Mr. Finster’s perspective, the Town has had its chance to okay or deny that project.
Mr. Finster commented on the Health Department’s perspective on the problems in Clarence. There have been two major problems over the years, one being Clarence Hollow and the problem with the contamination in Ransom Creek, that is being addressed in a phased process and the capacity is available at least for the first phase. There is still a second phase that must be addressed. The second worst problem in the County is the Harris Hill area. The number of failed septic systems in Harris Hills is probably a very high percentage of the systems that are there. The saving grace from the public point of view is that Harris Hill goes down into the ground and no one in drinking the ground water any more. At Ransom Creek in the Hollow, it exhibited itself by going into Ransom Creek and becoming a serious problem. Town Engineer Latona stated that associated with that problem is the significant lack of money to complete that project. While we can define the problem, there is no way to solve it.
Mr. Finster commented that he didn’t disagree with Mr. Latona but that was in fact one of the reasons he tried to work with the people who have failed systems to put systems in place that will work but not cost them a fortune. The Health Department is allowing these property owners to do a fix to their septic systems that will hopefully last until the capacity and the ability to build the sewers financially and physically catch up. Planning Board vice-chairman Wendy Silvati asked how the Health Department was allowing these property owners to fix their septic systems. Mr. Finster stated that in most cases, it is redoing a sand-filter system where they make sure the sand filter treats the sewage so that what is going down into the ground is harmless. The problem is that sand filter systems are good for between 10 – 15 years and then they start to fail.
Wendy Silvati stated that this just points to the fact that we have to start paying attention to the Harris Hill area. If we are allowing people to put in sand filter systems that are temporary fixes, that is only making the problem go away for a little while.
Wendy Silvati referred back to her previous question relative to when the applicant comes in and shows the Planning Board that he has a letter from the Town of Amherst saying that he has capacity for his project. In the instance that she brought up, the project is SD #6 which flows to SD#5 which flows to Amherst and Amherst is saying its okay. She questioned whether the Planning Board should be looking at it and deciding whether it is okay or not. If the project is in SD #6 and SD #6 is one of the areas that only has so much capacity that we have determined is available should the Planning Board be making a decision on their end.
Town Engineer Latona stated that there is not allocated capacity in SD #6 it is on a project basis. When he created the pipe chart SD #6 did not exist, there were specific projects and at the time the pipe chart was created, we only had SD#2. Wendy Silvati stated that she was referring to the 400,000 million gallons that is available on the 18” line. Mr. Latona stated that was on a project basis, not a district basis. The project has “X” amount of gallons that will come from it, that project stands on its merits for flow. There is nothing allocated in any of the charts from SD#6, so that flow from that project would be taken out of the 18” line.
Wendy Silvati stated that if we know that the 18” line according to Mr. Latona’s formula has 400,000 gallons of capacity available, if the applicant has a letter from Amherst that says there is available capacity, don’t we have to look at the 400,000 million gallons. Mr. Latona stated that the sewage is not going into the 18” line, it is going into Clarence SD#5 sewers and it is going to Dodge Road. Wendy stated that in looking at the Sewer District map, the aforementioned property (Clarence Center and Shimerville Road project) is shown to be located in Sewer District #6. Mr. Latona stated that was correct but there are no SD#6 sewers there. When this particular development wants to tie into ECSD#5, the Town Board has the discretion of granting that permission. Councilman Kolber stated that this Town Board has not been told that until now. Mr. Latona stated that he did not think of it until this issue came up.
Assistant Engineer Tim Lavocat stated that out-of-sewer agreements have to be approved by the Town Board.
Mr. Latona stated that some of SD#6 goes to the Peanut Line and some of SD#6 has no sewers. The part of SD#6 that goes to the Peanut Line is near Beech Meadow Subdivision, there are sewers there. It gets confusing because some of SD#2 sewers serve SD#6 and then it goes back into SD#5 and then back into SD#2. You really need to know the actual location and what sewers in the street that the sewage is going.
Wendy Silvati stated that the reason she is bringing all this up is because the Planning Board has to recommend approval of these projects and the Engineering Department is waiting for the approval to come in and as long as the Town Board approves the project it is fine. Shouldn’t the Planning Board be looking a little closer at these projects instead of going by what a letter from the Town of Amherst that says the applicant has capacity. Mr. Latona stated that is why he requests a copy of the letter.
Gerald Drinkard stated that we have talked loosely about an Adequate Public Facilities Law. The APFL has many components that are going to be absolutely required. Adequate Public Facilities over a 2 – 5 year horizon and the one law we have had some discussion about is five years. What is being discussed today is sewage capacity and are we doing a good job, Mr. Drinkard thinks not. When we talk about capacity, we talk about capacity in the whole network. In a five year period, how much is the town going to grow, how much capacity are we going to need, how much of the 400,000 gallons are going to be used up by what is already in the works and what remediation should we be putting in place.
Town Engineer Latona stated that we have passed out-of-district agreements for multi clients that have come in to the Town Board. In order to become an out-of-district customer, you need Town Board approval and it has been done.
Councilman Kolber questioned who maintains the SD#5 that goes into Amherst. Mr. Latona stated that Amherst maintains the sewer from Transit Road to the west. The County maintains it from Transit and Dodge Road, down Transit and everything in SD#5. The County also maintains SD#2, district 7, district 9 and district #6 for the Town of Clarence by contract.
Mr. Finster stated that under state health law, he has responsibility for anything that is in a subdivision as defined by state law. Based on contracts with the DEC, they do the plan review on any public sewer extensions. Under Mr. Finster’s jurisdiction, he does not get into an industrial park or the sewers inside an industrial park. The only time he would get involved with an industrial park would be where there was a public sewer being built up to the point where the industrial park sewers join it. There are many cases where he would never review capacity on for example an industrial park because it goes into an existing sewer. He also does not review capacity on developments four lots or under or more than four lots where the lots are all over five acres. Everything Mr. Finster does has to be based on the authority he has.
Town Engineer Latona stated that whoever owns the sewer has the jurisdiction or the ability to write the access letter.
Town Engineer Latona stated that there is a documented problem in the Harris Hill area to mitigate that problem we need to put collector sewers in The Gardens very similar to what was planned in Clarence Hollow. The cost per unit in Clarence Hollow was established at approximately $500. per unit. If we did that in Harris Hill, with all the rock it would be 3x’s the amount. There is no money available to put sewers in Harris Hill or anywhere else for that matter. We don’t have enough money to put all the sewers in Clarence Hollow that we would like to. There is a problem in Harris Hill and it is being mitigated by keeping the systems limping along until there is some funding available. The state controller sets a limit on how much you can charge a benefited party, without state aid, it is impossible.
Mr. Finster stated that he has correspondence documenting problems in Clarence Hollow that date back to 1940’s. The first phase of the problem is just being addressed now, it takes a long time because the funds are not available and when they become available, you have to be ready to move. You have got to have done your planning and you have to know what you want and what you need to take care of that problem.
Gary Wright stated that who should the town allow to use up the 400,000 gallons of available capacity and once it is used up, what does the Town do then. Town Engineer Latona stated that this is a planning issue.
Town Attorney Bengart stated that we have to start focusing on the Peanut Line and start gathering information from SD#5. We have to take the empirical information as well as the theoretical information and do a study that will determine where the Town stands for planning purposes to leave some capacity so we don’t hit the top without any plan in place to deal with beyond the top. The Town Board needs to look at putting together some type of study that the Planning Department, the Engineers numbers and the Town Attorney’s office work on to come up with a number that is going to be a rational basis that we can withstand anyone that comes in for instance a developer comes in with a project and says you have to put his project forward.
Councilman Bylewski stated that we need the Planning Department, the Engineering Department and the Town Attorney’s office to come up with that number per unit that we will use gallons per day per unit. So that way we can use that as a starting point and then try to determine what are beneficial projects vs. projects that we don’t want to go forward based on that. Councilman Bylewski said that he agrees that we do need to move ahead on the Harris Hill area. We are moving forward, we just need to get the public education and awareness out there that we are looking at a plan however, how do we fund it.
Town Engineer Latona stated that the pollution levels in Clarence Hollow were 10,000x’s the amount allowable and we couldn’t get enough money from the state to clean it up.
Councilman Kolber stated that the town has very little say. There are projects that come before the Planning Board that indicate to the Board that there project can go forward because there is enough capacity. The Town Board has very little ability to plan what is the best use of the available sewer capacity. Councilman Kolber does not want to be in a situation where a project is given approval and then we find out we are over the capacity.
Councilman Bylewski stated that is why we have to come up with a number to at least go forward to say that we have X number of units dedicated for the sewer line, at least those projects being reviewed at this time and anything going forward will have to wait to see what happens with those initial projects. Town Engineer Latona stated that if we apply the units that are coming in on a theoretical basis to that sewer, theoretically there is no room in that sewer – now we are mixing theoretical and actual numbers. Town Attorney Bengart said that is why we need to do a study.
Town Engineer Latona stated that we have this study that he has just completed, we have the study by Erie County that says the parallel sewer goes in there, and that sewer has capacity. The real issue is what is the planning going to be to utilize those and what information is missing in order to make more intelligent decisions.
Town Attorney Bengart stated that you have to have somewhere between the actual and the number in between theoretical that you are going to live with and that is how you are going to allow your Town Board, Planning Board and MRC to make decisions.
Councilman Weiss said that the study will not be an exact study and you have to error on the conservative side. He would like to see the town take care of its pollution problems before more development. Mr. Latona said there is a very fine line between taking care of the problem and having the money to do it. There is a problem in Harris Hill and we need to take care of it and we have 400,000 gallons capacity but where do we get the money for the sewers in Clarence Hollow not to mention where do we put them in the Hollow.
In 1992, Town Engineer Latona had a study done by a consultant because he knew we would be doing Clarence Hollow. He had the consultant do a sewer study to establish the actual flow per person and the actual peak rates per person and they came out considerably less. Mr. Latona went to the state with those numbers and asked if he could use lower numbers in the Hollow because he could get more flow. The state agreed with our numbers but said we could not use them.
Mr. Finster stated that Mr. Latona is referring to the ten state standards. All of the states and providences of Ontario that boarder the Great Lakes, those standards are referred to in State Health Law and State Environmental Law. Unless health law and environmental law were to be modified by the State Legislature, we are stuck. Mr. Finster can not go beyond what he is told by law to use until the DEC decides there is something better or maybe ten states standards decides there is something better. The state does have the ability to go outside of the ten states standard if they wanted to on empirical information.
Mr. Latona stated that we know for a fact that the actual flow is less than the theoretical, so now when we want to deduct from that, do we deduct actual or do we deduct theoretical. The state will tell us to deduct theoretical because it is conservative. All these units that are in the subdivisions will have the 1050 gallons per dwelling unit applied but we won’t actually see 1050 gallons.
Assistant Director of Community Development James Hartz asked what is the Towns responsibility for allocating the available capacity to existing sewer district customers or sewer district property owners. In Clarence SD#2 there are approximately 4 or 5 different large property owners that will be presenting subdivision proposals in the future, what is the Towns responsibility because they are in a sewer district to give them priority for that capacity.
Town Engineer Latona stated that right now we have areas that are sewered. He would assume that in the areas that are sewered, the adjacent area needs to be reserved for that. In SD#2 we will be doing some rehabilitation work with taking out extraneous waters however, SD#9 is locked in. If someone wanted to put a development in SD#9 they could not do it.
Director of Community Development James Callahan stated that we have discussed planning issues today but one of the confusing portions of the planning issue is establishing boundaries within these districts and they are always changing. Now someone comes in with a letter from outside the district that says they have capacity, what about the vacant lands in that district, shouldn’t that be prioritized for them? In theory, that was the plan that was done in the past.
Town Engineer Latona stated that was a good issue, but on a legal basis how can you tell someone you can’t develop your property because I am saving it for someone who has no intent of ever developing it. Mr. Callahan said that is the district, which is the planning process.
Councilman Kolber stated that is his whole point, we are giving capacity to out-of-district customers that are using up the capacity that is reserved for the district.
Mr. Latona stated that we have to get this clarified legally because we are going to be denying out-of-district status to a project for somebody else sewers. We have defined a potential problem; we now have empirical data upon which to stand and to begin additional work. We need to pay attention to this on a monthly basis.
Supervisor Hallock stated that we have identified many concerns and raised a lot of questions with today’s meeting.
Councilman Bylewski commented that in theory, the excess capacity will be taken up by the second phase of Clarence Hollow. If the state accepts the empirical numbers that leaves the 400,000 gallons per day. The second phase of Clarence Hollow will consume 310,000 gallons per day; the 310,000 gallons will eat up most of the excess capacity.
Mr. Latona stated that the second phase of Clarence Hollow was to go into a different sewer; it was to go into the new 24” parallel sewer. The state has to accept the empirical before the school can hook up.
Theoretically, there is no capacity we are waiting for the state to approve the empirical before there will be capacity allowed. The school has already submitted their design documents to the state indicating connection to the sewer.
Mr. Latona further stated that theoretically, the 18” line is already committed to the 1000 taps and Clarence Hollow. If Heise-Brookhaven Corporation gives Clarence Middle School 100 units, it comes out of the 1000 taps. The sewer permit would be issued with conditions.
Councilman Bylewski said that it should be noted that Clarence Middle School property is located east of Goodrich Road so that would be part of the 500 taps.
It was suggested that a letter will be sent to the school indicating the Heise-Brookhaven contract does not include the schools hookup.
Supervisor Kathleen Hallock
Supervisor Hallock again announced that Coby Inc. is moving into the Empire Zone in the city, they do not have to go through the ECIDA. The Town has to pass a Shift Resolution indicating that we know that this property is shifting to the Empire Zone.
An article in the Buffalo News indicated that five firms in Cheektowaga, three from Amherst and one from Clarence have been lured to the Empire Zone. Cheektowaga Supervisor Dennis Gabryszak has suggested a joint letter to the NYS Office of Economic Development stating if these companies leave for the Empire Zone, we want some type of trade off possibly each Town create their own Empire Zone.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Kolber to set a Public Hearing for February 22, 2006 @ 7:50 P.M. pursuant to NYS General Municipal Law Article 18-B Section 959(a) (iii) to solicit comments regarding the relocation of Cobey, Inc. located at 9505 Main Street in the Town of Clarence, New York into the Economic Development Zone in Buffalo, New York. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Casilio, seconded by Councilman Kolber to adopt the following resolution: Be it Resolved, that the Clarence Town Board authorizes the Supervisor to sign the yearly Inter-municipal Agreement between the Town of Clarence and the Town of Newstead for 2006 relative to the shared use of the Erie County Van. On the question, Supervisor Hallock said this is the Going Places Van that the County provides us with for use by our senior citizens. We have an agreement with Newstead for them to use it 40% of the time and Clarence for 60% of the time. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Library Director Roseanne Butler-Smith has requested that the Town donate $5,000 for books. The books would be in the library system for anyone to use but would be returned to the Clarence Library. The library has not had any Capital Money in over a year and their books previously were purchased out of the Capital Money. Supervisor Hallock further stated that Roseanne would use the $5,000 for books that were selected by our library and not use the money for overhead.
Krista Shrader from Clarence High School has submitted a letter to the Clarence Town Board requesting use of the large pavilion for their Senior Class picnic. Traditionally, the senior class would share the large pavilion with Clarence Rotary Club the same weekend as Lobsterfest. Parks Crew Chief John Burns has concerns with this because there are deliveries being made all day long for the Lobsterfest. Delivery trucks are coming in and out constantly and there are students all over the park, he has fears of someone getting hurt. Last year we gave the Senior Class use of both pavilions at Town Place Park with over-flow parking at the Town Hall, Clarence Church of Christ and the Library which they did not have to use. It was agreed that the Clarence Senior Class will have the use of Town Place Park again this year for their class picnic.
Supervisor Hallock announced that she and Pam Smith sat through a demonstration of the five year budget plan, it works quite well. A demonstration will be set up for the entire Board sometime in May.
Councilman Scott Bylewski
Adelphia has been doing some line work upgrading hardware so eventually we will have internet service. It is a free service if you have digital cable, you will have access to the internet.
Councilman Bylewski has received a report from Planning and Zoning regarding violations for the past year.
Councilman Bylewski will announce openings on the Planning Board, Zoning Board of Appeals and the Municipal Review Committee.
Councilman Bylewski recalled several Master Plan comments that were made last year that were never adopted, he will check with the Planning Department to see if it was done.
Councilman Bylewski will make appointments to the Youth Advisory Council at the next Town Board meeting, applications have been circulated.
Councilman Joseph Weiss
Councilman Weiss was contacted by a resident regarding sewer hook up. It cost him $2,700. to hook up to sewer. Town Engineer Latona stated that the $2,700 is to hookup to the sewer. The $500 is for debt service and operation and maintenance which will be paid yearly on his tax bill.
Mr. Latona said that NY State redesigned the sewer on that side of the road to service first floors of all adjacent houses except the aforementioned individual who is further back than anyone else and lower can get into it by gravity.
At the request of Councilman Weiss, Parks Crew Chief John Burns submitted a list of cost saving ideas for the Parks Department. Councilman Weiss will discuss them at the next Town Board meeting.
Councilman Weiss met with the Day in the Park Committee. A letter is being sent out to the Clarence Chamber of Commerce and Buffalo Chamber of Commerce.
Councilman Weiss is working on getting some dog sleds for Winterfest.
Councilman Weiss commented on a letter received from White & Smith, LLC regarding the Adequate Public Facilities Law. Councilman Weiss suggested that the Planning Department contact White & Smith on a weekly basis to bring this law to fruition.
Councilman Bernie Kolber
Councilman Kolber has been researching GPS locating systems for town vehicles.
Councilman Kolber suggested sending a blanket letter to NYSEG, Erie County Water Authority and National Fuel Gas indicating the direction the Town is headed and ask them what constraints they have that would effect our projects and planning. At a meeting Councilman Kolber attended last year, it was noted that we are pushing the limit as to the water line coming down Greiner Road and National Fuel is reaching their limit to provide for the town. Before this all becomes a problem the Board should be sure these utilities can handle the demand of any upcoming projects.
Councilman Bylewski will send a memo to White & Smith LLC requesting a time table be developed so the Town Board has some idea where we stand.
Councilman Pat Casilio
Councilman Casilio met with the Recycling Committee. There are some concerns regarding recycling bins. It has been estimated that 1200x’s per year a residence changes hands. So someone will have to go to any new residence and supply them with new bins or replace damaged bins. There are grants available for the bins, while the bins may be paid for, the Town will have to pay for administering and monitoring. Councilman Kolber stated that the contractor would be responsible for delivering the bins initially and we will keep a small supply on hand.
The Solid Waste Committee asked if their name could be changed to Solid Waste-Recycling Committee.
Councilman Casilio suggested budgeting a set amount of money to advertise the advantages of going with a solid waste district.
It was suggested not to have a limit on the number of bags/cans that can be put out to the curb. If there is an 8 bag or 4 can limit and someone puts out more garbage it will all average out because someone else might only have one or two bags/cans.
Yard waste will not be included with the bid; it can not go into the land fills. The Highway Department picks up brush.
Small commercial buildings will not be included in the bid. They will however be charge the $5 annual fee as will property owners who go south for the winter.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Bylewski to enter into Executive Session pursuant to § 105 (1) D of the Open Meetings Law to discuss pending litigation regarding the Gary Wright pond and the escarpment property, § 105 (1) F the employment history of an individual, employment history of a corporation and the discipline of a particular person. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
There being no further business, the Work Session meeting was adjourned at 12:05 P.M.
Darcy A. Snyder
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Weiss to adjourn the Executive Session at 1:00 P.M. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried. No action taken.