A Work Session of the Clarence Town Board was held on March 7, 2007 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 members Scott Bylewski, Joseph Weiss, Bernard Kolber and Patrick Casilio. Other Town Officials present were Town Attorney Steven Bengart, Director of Community Development James Callahan, Town Engineer Joseph Latona and Youth Director Dawn Kinney.
Supervisor Kathleen Hallock
The appraiser is in town and will meet with Jim Burkard at the both sites today. Supervisor Hallock received a telephone call from a large auction house that expressed an interest in the Rohlfs clock. Greg Brace is putting together an estimate for construction of a case for the clock.
The Bi-centennial party will be celebrated on Sunday, March 11th from 10AM until 4PM. The book of the history of Clarence Center will be available along with other memorabilia including a Bi-centennial magnet that will sell for $5. The committee sponsored a tee-shirt design contest.
The assessment notices have been mailed out. Supervisor Hallock has been receiving complaint calls and visits from concerned residents.
A group call Re-Tree WNY was established November 2006 after the October storm. The group consists of approximately 40 WNY residents who saw the devastation done too many beautiful trees and are looking to donate trees to all WNY communities that were impacted by the storm. Home Depot has donated $50,000 towards the project. Councilman Weiss will forward the information to the Conservation Advisory Council and the Parks Department.
TEQR Chairman Matt Balling contacted Supervisor Hallock regarding an Access Management Plan for Main Street from Strickler Road to Thompson Road for funding next year. Supervisor Hallock is identified as the project sponsor.
An informational meeting for all Clarence and Clarence Hollow present and future business owners and interested residents will be held on Thursday, March 29th at 8AM at the Western NY Event Center 11163 Main Street. Clayt Ertel and Jack Willert will present the plans and ideas for the development of the Antique World property and how it can benefit all the businesses of Clarence. Input is invited by the community.
A Capital Improvement meeting was held on Friday. Mike Neumeister was given an update on the Thompson Road/Passmore purchase.
Supervisor Hallock receive preliminary drawings for the proposed Dash Market. A new façade is planned along with a drive-up window on the west side of the building.
Councilman Scott Bylewski
There are two departments that still have not submitted their Performance Measurements. Supervisor Hallock suggested looking ahead to department heads or their staff that may be retiring in the next five years. Councilman Bylewski stated that we are looking at five year budgeting and this would be an excellent component to add into the plan.
Several applications have been received for appointment to the Senior Center Board. The Senior Center Board is looking for an attorney to fill one of the positions.
Councilman Bylewski received the Amherst Central Fire Alarm report for January 2007.
Supervisor Hallock has talked to Joe Floss relative to setting a meeting date to discuss LOSAP. Mike Neumeister will be present at the April Work Session, it may be appropriate to schedule both for that meeting.
Planning Board Chairperson Pat Powers has submitted a letter to the Board relative to the number of people attending the NY Planning Federation Conference in Saratoga Springs. Councilman Bylewski suggested that Mrs. Powers check the budget.
Town Attorney Bengart is working on several Resolutions relative to the Youth Bureau, the Youth Board and also a Resolution relative to dissolving the Youth Advisory Council.
Councilman Bylewski has two items to discuss in Executive Session.
Councilman Joseph Weiss
Councilman Weiss spoke with Parks Crew Chief John Burns regarding the one-way road (Memorial Drive) at Memorial Park. John Burns and Highway Superintendent Ted Donner recommend that the signage remain as is. Councilman Casilio suggested two-way traffic up to the parking lot. Town Engineer Latona stated that the roadway design was based on the recommendation of Erie County Highway. Councilman Bylewski suggested installing a parking sign at the driveway of the parking lot, this may eliminate some confusion.
Councilman Weiss will post several signs throughout town advertising the fishing derby. He has donated the trophies for the event and will display them in the lobby at Town Hall.
Conservation Advisory Committee members Joel Radder and Peter Wolf made a presentation at the June 7, 2006 Work Session regarding the erosion at the lake at the Main Street Park. They suggested placing large rocks in the eroded areas. They are hoping to begin the project this year and are looking for donation of some large rocks.
Councilman Bernard Kolber
Councilman Kolber distributed information from the Assessors Office pertaining to tax exemptions for volunteer firemen. It is a refundable state personal income tax credit.
Councilman Kolber spoke to Parks Crew Chief John Burns relative to the January expense report.
Councilman Kolber spoke to Jeff Naab from Amherst Alarm regarding quotes for an alarm system at the Clubhouse. John Burns and Paul Allen gave Mr. Naab a tour of the Clubhouse. There are parts of the Clubhouse that are not heated and other parts that are not accessible for wiring. Councilman Kolber directed Mr. Naab to come up with a simplified security system to increase security through motion detectors and a key pad system. Supervisor Hallock stated that this will eventually have to go out to bid because we have accumulative expenditures with Amherst Alarm.
Councilman Kolber has one item to discuss in Executive Session regarding the appointment of an individual.
Councilman Kolber contacted Reed Petroleum regarding the access road at the proposed Dunkin Donuts project on Main Street.
Councilman Patrick Casilio
Councilman Casilio has contacted County Legislature Mike Ranzenhofer regarding repairs to Tonawanda Creek Road. Once again the project has been pushed back.
Councilman Casilio stated that he has received complaints regarding lights in the gas light district. Paralegal Cindy Rosel is working diligently on getting replacement parts. Councilman Casilio has advised the district customers of the weekly phone calls to National Fuel however, they did not want to wait and have taken it upon themselves to contact National Fuel direct. The Parks Department was asked to inventory the lights so we know what is damaged and what is not lit. If we can not obtain the replacement parts, Councilman Casilio may propose having the district pay for new lights. Councilman Casilio has stressed to the Morlando Committee that getting parts for these lights is difficult and has directed them toward the acorn type lights for the Harris Hill area so we do not have this problem in the future.
Councilman Casilio stated that he will continue to work with Senator Mary Lou Rath regarding sidewalks for parts of Main Street in Harris Hill. Town Engineer Latona has obtained pricing.
Councilman Casilio has received numerous requests regarding the speed limit on Strickler Road and a four-way stop at Strickler and Greiner Road. Highway Superintendent Ted Donner will do a traffic study in the spring.
Councilman Casilio will request the Chamber of Commerce assemble a pamphlet regarding the Economic Development Officer position.
Councilman Casilio addressed the land on Thompson Road near the Senior Center and the possibility of relocating the town football league to this site.
Councilman Casilio attended the Historic Preservation meeting. Councilman Bylewski stated that there are basically two districts that historic structures are located - Clarence Hollow and Clarence Center however; there was very little representation at the meeting from Clarence Hollow Association. One of Clarence Hollow Association biggest goals is to get the town to enact Historic Preservation legislation; we need input from residents that are both pro and con.
Councilman Casilio has one item to discuss in Executive Session regarding the proposed lease of real property.
John Thur - Update on proposed ice rink
John Thur stated that as President of Clarence Community Recreation Corporation his team has come to communicate four points to the Town Board. Several members of the corporation present included Carl Montante, John Thur - Clarence Mustangs Youth Hockey, Mark Baehre, Sherri Frost - Clarence Soccer Club, Paul Lovullo - Clarence Football, Vic Martucci - Clarence Baseball, Doug Rifenburg, and Tim Kulbacki - Clarence Mustangs Hockey. Several members of the team were missing but over the past year have created a strong team committed to this project. The project has evolved over time, what started out as an ice rink has over time escalated into the concept of a “community recreation center" in which recreation is one component. In meeting with other organizations (football, soccer, lacrosse, baseball, softball etc.) and reading the results of the Youth Needs Assessment Survey they came to the conclusion that this is a much bigger project than just an ice arena. They have expanded the concept to include one sheet of ice and a dry pad (field house) for a variety of different recreational pursuits.
The Clarence Community Recreation Corporation is proposing a public-private non-commercial venture. Non-commercial meaning they are not in it to make a profit. It will be run and operated on a professional basis. This facility will be serving primarily the interests of the town and its residents - especially its youth. The private-public venture will include five parties - the Town of Clarence, Clarence Community Recreation Corporation (a non-profit 501(c)(3) Corporation), numerous sports organizations representing the Town of Clarence, Clarence School District and local businesses.
The Clarence Community Recreation Corporation feels that this proposed community center is good for the Town of Clarence. There is wide spread support for the concept of an indoor recreation facility. Every member of the team is constantly asked when this facility will be built. There is a lot of evidence especially from the Youth Assessment Survey that there is wide spread support from Clarence residents for this type facility. This facility would enhance the sense of community in the Town of Clarence. Right now we have thousands of children leaving the town to play sports for other towns because of the lack of an ice rink or other type of indoor field house. As a result, we are missing out on an opportunity to strengthen the sense of community and to also strengthen the local businesses and merchants located in town. There is a lot of money being spent in or around indoor facilities in the neighboring towns. They would like to help the local economy by keeping the money in Clarence, help the local merchants and in turn would help the commercial tax base.
Clarence Community Recreation Corporation is not asking the Town to build the facility for them, rather to build it with them - to become a true partner in this project. They need the Towns support in a proactive and aggressive way to make this a true community facility. They would also like a “results oriented" Town Board member to work with their organization to make this project a reality. Their overall objective is to seek the Towns active participation and support in exploring the feasibility of an indoor community center and to help work with the school district, local businesses, sports organizations and anyone else who feels this facility would be an asset to the town.
Town Attorney Bengart asked what is meant by the “towns support" and “feasibility" is the corporation looking for financial support and for a study. Carl Montante stated that they are looking for the Towns support. They are still exploring all their financial options, there are a number of different options they are pursuing including foundations - political and otherwise and various potential major contributors however, the financial picture is still unclear. Mr. Bengart stated that the town has a grant writer and would confer with the Town Board about making her available. Mr. Montante stated that would be one of a number of things that hopefully the town could do for them. They come before the Town Board today with the hope that the Board would agree that there is a need and a desire for an indoor community center in the Town of Clarence. The Clarence Recreation Community Corporation plans to work with the Town to explore the feasibility and to be an active participant in this process of determining how this will happen.
Councilman Weiss stated that while he is not looking for hard numbers, he would be interested in the cost expectation and the contribution expectations from each one of the participants.
Councilman Casilio would like to know how the facility will pay for itself and what kind of income it will generate. He also inquired as to the development of a capital campaign to help finance the project.
John Thur stated that as of right now the proposed facility will include a sheet of ice and an indoor multi use facility to possibly include workout rooms, meeting rooms and office space. Based on the numbers the corporation has come up with, they estimated the cost of the facility to cost approximately six-million dollars. Mr. Thur stated that he has been researching this for the last five years. Most of the facilities that are being constructed in municipalities are private - public ventures. Because they are a 501(c)(3), donations are tax deductible. Spots complexes have been built in Webster and Ithaca New York. The Clarence Community Recreation Corporation would like to sit down with the Board and talk about what type of support they are willing to provide so that when they start the capital campaign and start asking for money, they can let people know that the town and the school district are behind this project.
The Clarence Community Recreation Corporation is going to try to build this facility with no financing. If there is no financing and no mortgage on it, it will be cash flow positive and break even. They are looking to make a little money for repairs etc. Ithaca and Webster created their indoor facility afterward; the rink is what costs so much because of the power it takes to keep it running. You need an indoor multi purpose facility and an ice rink, the indoor facility is what makes it work.
The Clarence Community Recreation Corporation is asking the Town to help explore the possibility of this facility. Councilman Casilio suggested that the corporation spell out what they expect from the Town.
Carl Montante stated that their perception is that they feel that the Town is saying lets take a wait and see attitude before they throw in their support. Mr. Montante said that it can not be that way; the Town has to be a partner with them as they explore the feasibility especially on the financial side. They have the components of the financial side in place however, they have to fill in the blanks and in order to do that they need the Town's affirmative support that they are a partner in this process.
Councilman Bylewski stated that in order to get to that stage, the Town has to see what blanks have to be filled in and see where the corporation is at now. He suggested the Clarence Community Recreation Corporation come up with a prospectus and a letter of request. John Thru said that they know there are a lot of issues going on right now, the needs survey, the football situation, the Youth Center. Is there something this project could do to help out the Town, such as a recreation office inside the facility, they are looking to partner with the Town and bring them on board to try to make this happen. The school district is being represented by Mike Silverstein who runs the soccer program and youth lacrosse program for the school district.
Financially speaking, Councilman Bylewski stated that it was good that they met with the school district. He is also looking at what type of realistic time table the corporation was looking at for both the fund raising and bringing the project in place. Further Councilman Bylewski asked if the corporation had a location in mind for this facility. The Town Board is in the preliminary stages of exploring the possibility of a community center and at this time we do not know how or if it could tie into the facility that is being proposed today.
John Thur stated that they have been working on the project for the last five years, 80% of that time was spent on trying to come up with a location based on the Towns Master Plan and where it would fit. Paul & Jim Stephens have come forward and offered to donate between six - seven acres of land between Wehrle Drive and Main Street, which is what has accelerated this and has brought this project to this next level of raising the capital to get the facility built.
The school district has not made any financial commitment. There has been a proposal before the school board to make high school hockey a sport which is sanctioned by the school. If that gets done, they will need a rink to practice so they are behind the project because they know there is going to be a need.
Councilman Casilio encouraged the Clarence Community Recreation Corporation to be very up front with the Town Board and further suggested they prepare financial prospectus and tell the Board exactly what they are looking for from the Town. When you have a donation of property and it is on a new road, make sure the road is compliant with Town codes and goes through the proper approvals. The road that they have now has too many issues; he suggested they meet with the Planning Board.
Councilman Bylewski stated that an environmental review would have to be done and given the multiple uses that would be projected for the overall acreage; there is a possible segmentation issue if you go forward with just the indoor facility (dry pad and the rink). Mark Baehre asked how the Board would feel if the corporation came to them with a reduced plan. He suggested installing the stub road to just beyond the rink. The rinks location would not impact the wet lands. The land is zoned restricted business. If the Town has a vision for the road, the corporation would like to know what that vision is. Town Attorney Bengart stated that the law requires the Town to do a full review of the entire parcel because there is potential for other projects on this parcel.
Mark Baehre tossed out the idea of the Town building the facility and the corporation maintaining it. They have the support among the organizations to keep the facility filled 24/7.
Councilman Casilio stated that he did not think the Town Board was willing to hire any new employees or take on the responsibility of running this facility.
Supervisor Hallock stated that she would like to find out more information on the Ithaca project that was built and is being run by the 501(c)(3) and also the Webster project. There are creative ways of doing things and we don't want to reinvent the wheel.
Councilman Bylewski stated that it is fair to say that the Town Board is interested in finding out more information. There is a need for recreation facilities of various types in the Town. We just need more information to see if this project fits in with what the Town wants to do and if so how can the Town Board help. The Town Board's idea of a community center may not necessarily mesh with the Clarence Community Recreation Corporation idea of a community center.
Mr. Montante stated that the Clarence Community Recreation Corporation is more than willing to sit down with the Board and talk about how we can meld the two uses together and create an even stronger project even if it has to be done in stages.
Councilman Bylewski asked how long it would take to prepare the prospectus and gather the requested information. Carl Montante indicated that the information could be available within 30 days. Mr. Montante suggested that a rough draft be drawn up and Town Board members advise them of any issues they should be focusing on.
Councilman Kolber stated that he felt there was no reason to not want to work with the Clarence Community Recreation Corporation; he felt that the facility would benefit the community. He did not feel that the community center Councilman Bylewski is exploring and the field house may not be the right avenue to combine the both together because once the town becomes involved, the cost to construct it and the cost to operate it becomes extremely expensive. He would like the proposed facility be separate from the community center the Town is exploring.
John Thur asked if the Town could make a donation to the 501(c)(3) without having to get involved with the building aspect. Town Attorney Bengart said that the Town could give a stipend not a donation. Supervisor Hallock stated that the stipend that the Town used to give to the different sports leagues is now used to pay the debt service. John Thur stated that hockey never received a stipend. Another thought was that the town rent space in the facility.
Supervisor Hallock asked the Clarence Community Recreation Corporation to work on their prospectus and submit it to the Town Board. The Board will then appoint a liaison.
Councilman Bylewski has several Resolutions regarding the establishment of the Youth Bureau and the Youth Board. He also has a Resolution dissolving the Youth Advisory Council.
Motion by Councilman Bylewski, seconded by Councilman Kolber to adopt the following resolution:
WHEREAS, on September 8, 2005 a letter of intent was forwarded to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services by Supervisor Kathleen Hallock expressing that the Town was desirous of establishing a Youth Bureau; and
WHEREAS, the required application was submitted to the State, approved and is officially effective as of March 8, 2007; and
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Clarence Town Board hereby formally establishes the Town of Clarence Youth Bureau in accordance with the Laws of the State of New York. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Bylewski, seconded by Councilman Kolber to adopt the following resolution:
WHEREAS, the Clarence Town Board established the Town of Clarence Youth Bureau on March 7, 2007 in accordance with the Laws of the State of New York; and
WHEREAS, 9 NYCRR 165.1.1 provides that each Youth Bureau shall have a Youth Board.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Clarence Town Board, in accordance with the Laws and Rules and Regulations of the State of New York, hereby establishes a Town of Clarence Youth Board which will serve in an advisory capacity to the Youth Bureau. On the question, Councilman Bylewski stated that this is an advisory body; it is not a binding body. Further on the question Supervisor Hallock asked what happens to the Youth Advisory Council members. Councilman Bylewski stated that the Youth Advisory Council is being dissolved. They will have to make appointments to the Youth Board which Youth Director Dawn Kinney is working on because the members are going from one year terms to multi terms and they have to be staggered. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Bylewski, seconded by Supervisor Hallock to adopt the following resolution:
RESOLVED, that the Clarence Town Board, hereby, dissolves the Youth Advisory Council established on February 8, 2006 to serve in the interim of the Town establishing a Youth Bureau. All duties and responsibilities of the Youth Advisory Council will transfer to and become the duties and responsibilities of the newly established Town of Clarence Youth Board. On the question, Councilman Bylewski stated that they are hoping to have this board officially established at the next Town Board meeting. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Kolber to enter into Executive Session pursuant to § 105 (1) F of the Open Meetings Law to discuss the employment history of an individual, § 105 (1) H the proposed lease of real property, § 105 (1) E Collective negotiations pursuant to Article 14 of the Civil Service Law, § 105 (1) D pending litigation. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
There being no further business, the Work Session adjourned at 10:35 A.M.
Darcy A. Snyder
Motion by Councilman Kolber, seconded by Councilman Weiss to appoint Dan Michnik Vice-Chairman of Zoning Board of Appeals. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Councilman Casilio left the meeting during discussion of § 105(1) H proposed lease of real property.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Weiss to adjourn the Executive Session at 12:07 P.M. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.