A Work Session of the Clarence Town Board was held on February 16, 2006 at Clarence Town Hall, One Town Place, Clarence, NY.
Supervisor Kathleen Hallock called the meeting to order at 9:30 A.M. Members of the Town Board present were Council member’s Joseph Weiss, Bernie Kolber and Pat Casilio. Councilman Bylewski was absent. Other Town Officials present were Town Engineer Joseph Latona and Recycle Committee Chairman Don Adams and Nathan Neil.
Councilman Casilio thanked everyone for attending today’s meeting. Don Adams and Nathan Neil will give details of the contract so we can better understand the low bidder and the low bidder options and come to a conclusion on what is best for the Town of Clarence before the informational meeting scheduled for Monday, March 20, 2006.
Don Adams stated that we received four bids, Allied Waste, NEI, Modern Disposal and Waste Management. There were four different bid categories. One was for eight cans; one was for four cans, unlimited number of cans or bags. The alternate bid was per unit without any separate charges for disposal or for recyclables. NEI was low bidder on all bid items. The alternate bid per unit basis of $157.44 per unit per year by NEI is the bid they are recommending – that comes out to $13.12 /per month. It is a single charge; there is no tonnage and no variables. There is unlimited number of cans weekly but refuse has to be generated within the residence where the refuse is put out and they can not include any hazardous waste. White goods and bulky items will be picked up weekly.
This is a five year contract. The only yearly increases are the consumer price index up to a maximum of 4%. If the Consumer Price Index is 6%, we are capped at 4%. There is no sales tax or fuel surcharge or large increases allowed, it is limited to the CPI up to 4%.
This is an annual charge on the tax bill. Collection will begin January 1, 2007 and the charge will show up on the February 2007 Town and County tax bill.
For those property owners that have a contract in place with their current disposal company it is suggested that they contact their carrier and find out how the carrier wants to handle it. We can not adjust the tax bill. The maximum they will be charged is a 3 month buy out. It will be up to the homeowner to pay it. Town Attorney Bengart was going to look into the legality of disposal companies billing in advance. There had been some discussion relative to the town buying out those contracts it was also suggested that any carrier imposing a contract will not have their license renewed with the town. Town Attorney Bengart will investigate our options.
This is a town wide district; there is no mechanism for anyone to opt out. Residence that go south for six months are included in the district. As part of the contract, the Town has the ability to add or remove people but that is based on those not fitting our categories. The contract is designed for example if there is a multi family housing unit that wants to be serviced, if NEI is willing to pick up the refuse and the Town is willing to extend the service to them they will be added.
Councilman Casilio stated that this is about recycling first, saving money second. If someone is taking their garbage to work, they are not recycling. We are trying to get everyone town wide to recycle to save land-fill space. Town Engineer Latona said that state law requires recycling.
Councilman Casilio will give a presentation at the Senior Center to correct any misinformation and to answer any questions they may have. Councilman Kolber said that from a senior’s standpoint, the biggest advantage to this is that they know exactly what they are going to pay; they are locked in and capped at no more than 4% increase per year.
Don Adams stated that there are several other advantages to going with one refuse collector. Presently, three companies collect within the town leading to as many as three collection days on each street. With a refuse district, garbage truck traffic will be reduced to one day per week in each neighborhood. Garbage trucks cause considerable wear and tear on the streets and storm receivers. Animals/rodents will be less attracted to areas if garbage is curbside for only one day per week. With a garbage district, everyone will have collection pickup this will eliminate people dropping their garbage in empty fields or along side the road. Fewer garbage trucks mean less pollution emissions, less noise and a better neighborhood environment. Cost of garbage/recycling collection will be included on your tax bill once per year and therefore eliminating another bill to pay.
Supervisor Hallock stated that the highway department has to schedule their paving work around three different days of garbage pickup.
As part of the contract, a flyer will be sent to all customers listing a number at NEI to call for any complaints or problems with pickup.
The fee per parcel for manufactured home parks, apartment building complexes or town house/condominium developments currently serviced through town-house/homeowners associations, commercial businesses, industrial facilities or educational institutions will keep their present arrangements and pay a flat fee of $5 per year on their tax bill for receiving the other benefits of a district and this can be used for other town wide clean-up activities. Everyone in the town wide district will be assessed a charge, those residents that are not serviced will be assessed a lesser charge of $5. As part of the budget process, the town can set that fee each year.
The extra fee will help fund brush cleanup and the purchase of equipment for mulching. It was decided that on top of the $157.44 fee and additional fee of $2.56 will be added for costs involved with items that are not covered under the contract such as tire/battery disposal etc. for a total of $160. for all parcels being served. For parcels not being serviced, they will be assessed a flat fee of $2.54 for those services not covered under the contract.
Each property owner (whoever is listed on the deed) will be allowed to cast one vote regardless of how many properties they own. If there is an estate, the executor could vote for the estate. Any partnerships are allowed one vote; proof of partnership will be required. Any one with life use can vote - this can be verified on the tax rolls. Corporations would have to bring a resolution authorizing one named representative of the corporation to cast a single vote. Any person or entity owning more than one parcel is entitled to a single vote.
If you own a home and you are also the principal in two corporations and the corporations own property, the corporation gets one vote even if the corporation owns two parcels, they only get one vote. If a corporation owns more than one parcel, they get one vote. If you own two corporations, each corporation is a legal entity and would be allowed separate votes. If a person owns numerous properties, they only get one vote.
Town Clerk Nancy Metzger suggested having affidavits and paper ballots available for people to fill out for those residents whose names do not appear on the tax rolls, or any questionable voters. Voters must show identification. Voting requirements stated that you must be a property owner as of March 28, 2006. The county is several months behind so we will not have up to date information, those property owners will have to vote affidavit unless they bring a copy of their deed.
Don Adams will run the informational meeting on March 20th; there will be a power point presentation and handouts. There will be a question and answer period however; the time will be limited so everyone gets an opportunity to speak.
The Town Board will adopt a resolution designating the election inspectors for this special election at the March 22nd Town Board meeting.
The Assessor’s office will generate an alphabetical report of property owners. If a person’s name does not show up on the assessors listing, that person would vote affidavit and the vote will be verified after the election.
The Recycling Committee will put together an informational post card to be mailed out indicating the voting requirements and who is eligible to vote. The yearly fee for refuse pickup is $160. that will include one white good or bulky item. The contractor will handle the distribution of recycling bins; the town will not be responsible for them other then notifying the contractor of any new homeowners.
The contract does not include totes. However, in the future if the town decides we want to go in that direction, it can be negotiated.
Some residents do not realize they are being billed quarterly or semi-annually. They may think they are paying for six months when in fact they are only paying for three months service.
Motion by Councilman Casilio, seconded by Councilman Kolber to establish a unit rate of $160 for one, two and three unit residences within the town and a rate of $2.56 for all other parcels. On the question the unit rate of $160 includes the $2.56. This will begin the 2007 calendar year subject to the passage of the referendum. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Bylewski. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Kolber, seconded by Councilman Casilio to authorize the mailing of an informational post card to all parcels in the town regarding the refuse referendum and formation of a refuse district. On the question, Supervisor Hallock stated the mailing must be limited to factual information. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes; None. Absent: Councilman Bylewski. Motion carried.
The Zoning Board of Appeals has asked Town Clerk Nancy Metzger to order each member a new code book however the cost is $1100. for ten more books. Supervisor Hallock stated that they have a $500 budget and some of the money can be taken out of there.
Supervisor Kathleen Hallock
Part of the Parks & Recreation Master Plan as recommended by Wendel Duchscherer is that we have consistent signage on the bike paths. Part of our bid for the DOT bike path grant was for signage at intersections. The Conservation Committee has come up with a sign design using Shimerville Road as an example. Town Engineer Latona stated that this is not part of the bid that is going out tomorrow, what is part of the bid is a “You are here” signs at every intersection. The signs will indicated what intersection you are at and the mileage to the next intersection. At every tenth of a mile will be a mile marker so if someone has an injury, first aid personnel will know where to locate the person and what fire company should be dispatched. Councilman Casilio questioned whether this would be too much signage. Town Engineer Latona suggested putting the signage on both sides at each intersection. As an ADA requirement, there will also be handicap strips on the pavement so the blind can tell they are entering an intersection. The Conservation Committee has a bike path improvement and maintenance budget line of $3,000 to pay for the intersection signs.
Town Engineer Latona stated there was a separate item for emergency telephones. It was the recommendation of the fire companies to have emergency telephones installed on the bike paths however the cost can be prohibitive. Town Engineer Latona will speak to Town Attorney Bengart regarding the installation of emergency telephones and who is responsible should they malfunction or if they are vandalized. The first time this was bid, the bids for emergency phones came in at $44,000.
Councilman Kolber sent an e-mail asking for an over-time report from the Parks Department. Councilman Weiss suggested creating a Department of Public Works. John Burns has the keys to the Youth Center; his department should not be doing any maintenance other than keeping the driveway plowed for emergency personnel in case of fire. Supervisor Hallock said at some point, the Board will have to decide what to do with the Youth Center Building.
Supervisor Hallock and Town Attorney Steve Bengart are going to a Farm Bureau Legal seminar on Tuesday, March 21 in Rochester. There is also a Farmland Protection Program workshop in Batavia on March 23 if anyone is interested.
In 2003 the town signed a local law that we are a Right to Farm community. Councilman Bylewski would like the signs entering the Town of Clarence identifying this. This would come out of the Conservation Advisory Committee budget.
Councilman Weiss suggested consolidating some of the signs instead of littering the entrances to the Town of Clarence with all kind of signs.
The farmland protection bureau would like a letter from the Supervisor going out to the Senator’s or Assemblymen in support of the program. Farmland Protection works with the Department of Agriculture and Markets for obtaining grants.
A water purification system has been installed and tested by the Erie County Department of Health at the Nature Center.
Councilman Joseph Weiss
Motion by Councilman Weiss, seconded by Councilman Kolber upon recommendation of Highway Superintendent Ted Donner a 1993 John Deere high lift #DWG544D542318 be declared surplus. On the question, Highway Superintendent Donner ordered a new machine and it came in earlier than expected. This high lift is being used as a trade in. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Bylewski. Motion carried.
There is a vacancy on the Conservation Board; Councilman Weiss submitted the name of an applicant to Peter Wolfe.
Councilman Bylewski distributed correspondence from George Grasser. Mr. Grasser would like to see senior citizens and young people without children who can pay taxes support the school system. Councilman Weiss stated that young families move to Clarence because of the schools. Mr. Grasser feels that Clarence is heading into a “deep hole” ten to twenty years from now when there are fewer people to buy the big houses. Councilman Weiss stated that there are big houses on Delaware Avenue, Rumsey Road, Depew Road, Lebrun, Brantwood and Ruskin that were built many years ago and are owned and occupied by wealthy people. Mr. Grasser has to take into account the reality of the area. Supervisor Hallock stated that some of our older developments such as Pine Breeze are appreciating nicely. Supervisor Hallock agrees with Mr. Grasser in that we need more affordable housing for seniors. The patio homes may be convenient and lower maintenance for seniors but they are expensive.
The Town received a letter from Erie County Department of Environment & Planning Division of Sewerage Management request for Qualifications Merger of Wastewater Service Feasibility studies. In response to their letter, Councilman Weiss feels that we should bring up the fact that the Town is not being represented by the Town. Councilman Weiss and Director of Community Development James Callahan attended the Sewer District #5 meeting we are being represented by former Supervisor Daniel Herberger and former Councilman Ian McPherson. They passed a resolution indicating that sewer capacity for projects presented to the Town of Clarence was going to be determined by Amherst even before the Clarence Town Board could vote on the project. Jim Callahan brought up the fact that there should be other criteria as discussed by the Clarence Town Board that should also be included not only capacity in the sewers but other parameters that we have to determine in order for a project to go through. Councilman Weiss felt that this Town Board should appoint their own representatives to Sewer District #5; he is suggesting James Callahan and Michael Patterson. Councilman Weiss has suggested that before we go forward with the merger of a wastewater feasibility study, a letter will be sent to Erie County Department of Environment & Planning requesting our own representatives to Sewer District #5. We should have representatives who will make decisions based on the good of the town and the needs of the town. Councilman Casilio agreed stating that he would not vote for a feasibility study without our own appointed representatives, we should not have other people telling us what is good for this town.
Councilman Bernie Kolber
Councilman Kolber spoke to the Town Assessor regarding downsizing his town vehicle with a Ford Taurus. Mr. Folger indicated that while he doesn’t haul things around in his vehicle, he has to drive people from the state around. Supervisor Hallock has offered the use of her vehicle if Mr. Folger could not accommodate state officials in his vehicle.
Councilman Weiss spoke to Highway Superintendent Ted Donner and he indicated that if the replacement vehicles are ordered before March 22 we will receive 2006 models. If we order the replacement vehicles after March 22 we will receive 2007 models at the same price as the 2006. The town can save $5,000 buying two Ford Focus rather than the Ford Taurus. For resale value, Councilman Casilio suggested waiting until we can get the 2007 models.
Councilman Pat Casilio
Without getting into specifics about sewers and name of locations, Councilman Casilio stated that if the Town gives 109 taps away to someone for a commercial type building such as the school, that is 109 houses that will never get built in this town. Even if you do a sewer line expansion or size increase that will still mean 109 houses that never get built. A new line could handle 4000 houses but it would still mean 109 less. Councilman Kolber said that while he felt it is a good idea for the school to tie into the sewer line he does not want that held against us where the town is then “held hostage” and be required to install the parallel sewer.
There is a board opening at the Senior Center. It has been well received that the membership would like to have the opportunity to vote for 1 – 5 new directors.
There are two openings on the Traffic Safety Board. Krista Swann is resigning.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Casilio to enter into Executive Session pursuant to § 105 (1) F appointment of a particular person. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Bylewski. Motion carried.
There being no further business, the Work Session adjourned at 11:45 A.M.
Darcy A. Snyder
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Kolber to adjourn the Executive Session at 11:45 A.M. Upon roll call – Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Bylewski. No action taken.
After the Executive Session, members present discussed preparation of committee minutes. Councilman Casilio asked if part time personnel could be present to take minutes. Supervisor Hallock mentioned using the new tape recorders. A comment was made that it is time consuming to create minutes from recordings.
There being no further business, the Work Session meeting adjourned at 11:50 A.M.