04/04/07


A Work Session of the Clarence Town Board was held on April 4, 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, Bernard Kolber and Patrick Casilio. Councilman Weiss was absent. Other Town Officials present were Director of Community Development James Callahan, Director of Administration and Finance Pam Smith, Highway Superintendent Ted Donner, Town Engineer Joseph Latona. Senior building Inspector David Metzger.

Capital Markets Associates - Mike Neumeister

Mike Neumeister presented a 5 year (2008 - 2012) Capital Improvement Program outlining current borrowings for ongoing projects, estimated borrowings for proposed projects and projected debt for current and proposed projects as of April 4, 2007.

The current (ongoing) Capital Improvement Projects are programs that we have borrowed for currently, projects that have been previously adopted by the Town Board in a Bond Resolution. This year we are looking to the probability of issuing bonds and notes because there is a very good bond market and we would like to take advantage of the lower interest rates for long term financing. We do not want to issue bonds for certain projects that are fluid - meaning we are not sure yet what is it going to finally cost the town or they could be grant dependant and we are not sure we want to commit to a long term financing project that we may not have to finance for the full period of time.

The current Capital Improvement Projects are broken down by funds, because the costs are associated to a fund (General Fund, Highway Fund, Sewer Districts, and Consolidated Water District). The General Fund bears the bulk of the miscellaneous projects at this point.

Land Acquisition - Green Space
Bonds were authorized in 2002. The total amount up to $12,500,000 to finance the acquisition of certain properties for green space. We had borrowed up to $1.5 million dollars anticipating the need to purchase three properties. Last year part of the money was repaid because we did not use it for the purchase. We are planning to do it at this point following this meeting. Rather than keeping the money on a temporary basis to wait until the project is ready to close before we borrow the money, we can do this easily in the note market. We currently have $1,056,000. outstanding now, the plan is to repay $600,000 of the funds that were first borrowed for the Spoth property because we are not ready to close on that property just yet. When the grant is determined and we are ready to close then we will go back to the banks to borrow down for that project. In the meantime, we are planning to finance $426,000 which represents the remaining portion of the acquisition of the Ribbeck property this year.

Arboretum Improvement Project
The arboretum project has been grant dependant. The project started out costing $250,000; we have received $70,000 in grants. We have $160,000 in outstanding notes that will be refinanced over the next five years in our Bond issue. The infrastructure is essentially completed for the arboretum.

Main Town Park Sewer Improvement Project
There is $40,000 remaining on that. The project is not yet completed. Director of Administration and Finance Pam Smith stated that we borrowed on this several years ago in 2004. Town Engineer Latona stated that we had to wait until we got the pumps from Town Hall to use at the Main Town Park. Mike Neumeister stated that the issue is the status of the project, it is not complete and it still ongoing. We will finance it for the remaining couple of years that are outstanding on this because we started borrowing in 2004.

Bike Path/Improvement to Rails to Trails Program
The project started out costing $500,000. This project had to be financed up front; we get federal aid after the money has been spent. The reimbursements are beginning to come in. We will keep this in notes because ultimately it will be paid off with grant funds.

Acquisition and installation of Generators/Highway Department
Final cost was $106,000 down from original cost of $123,000. A $20,000 payment was made, another $5,000 payment will be made this year and finance the balance of that over three years.

Town Park Clubhouse Rehabilitation Program
All the work that has been done to rehab the Clubhouse is $550,000. We just borrowed on that for the first time last summer. Next year we will begin making payments on that.

Sewer District - Sewer District 9 improvement
This is a $6,000,000. project. We borrowed $2.260 million dollars in 2002; we paid $65,000. back in 2004 and 2005. After receiving grant reimbursement, we paid back $1.1million in 2006. We have received proposals for additional work on Ransom Road, Bodine Road and Sawmill Road in 2007. Looking at the cash balances, we are going to borrow and additional $600,000. this year to finance these projects in anticipation of receiving the federal reimbursements. $1.4 million for the sewer project will be kept in notes; most of it comes backing federal grants.

Proposed borrowing for Capital Improvement Projects as of April 4, 2007:

Land Acquisition - for General Town Purposes
The town has approved and is ready to purchase three properties costing $1,420,000. (Weber, Janora and Passmore properties).

Eastern Hills Corridor Project
Requires study and cost update. The Town must finance first and get reimbursed later. The first phase will be approximately $900,000. The local share will be approximately $45,000.

Town Buildings:
Sprinkler System - Clubhouse $165,000
Sprinkler System - Gerber Library $40,000/Historical Museum $30,000. The Town is seeking grant funding for both of these projects.
Library Parking Lot Extension - $50,000 (deferred until July 2009)
Sidewalks - Clarence Center and Harris Hill area. The total project cost is $30,000. Based on new information, the Town Board will authorize an additional $15,000. to cover any additional costs on Nottingham Terrace.

Senior Center - Generator
The generator will cost $85,000 for use at the emergency shelter (Senior Center) in the event of an emergency.

Excavator (for compost site)
This equipment will be purchased with bonds that were previously authorized for highway equipment but it will be used for General Fund purpose. The bond resolution does not restrict purchases to be paid for with highway funds.

Memorial Park (2 little league fields)
Currently looking for donated services (clearing, trucking fill and grading) to begin the design in 2008 and construct the fields in 2009. The estimated cost is $250,000. Following that, the construction of restrooms at a cost of approximately $40,000.

Master Planning Funds
Estimated cost of $100,000 to pay for planning, feasibility studies and consultant reports.

Parks Equipment
There is a four year plan to purchase equipment for the Parks Department. We will authorize $245,000 this year however just finance $145,000 and save the other $100,000 because this is going to be a phased purchase.

Highway Equipment
There is a plan to purchase highway equipment over the next five years. The first two years of equipment (3 - 1.5 ton dump trucks, mini excavator, 3-ton roller/mower, dump w/ plow and salter, tandem axle dump, 2 crew cabs) can be purchased from the existing resolution passed in 2002 - 2003, there are funds remaining.

Miles Road - bridge replacement
The interim fix is good for three years; no additional money is needed now. The design work will be done in 2008, construction in 2009. The cost is uncertain at this time however once the design work is done Highway Superintendent Donner will have a better cost estimate. The Miles Road bridge is a town bridge however, the State inspects it. The majority of the work will be done by town highway crews.

Bond Counsel will prepare Bond Resolutions to authorize borrowing of new capital projects in addition to what has already been authorized as follows: land acquisition for general town purposes, Eastern Hill Corridor, sprinkler systems, sidewalk construction, emergency generator at Senior Center, Master Plan funding and various parks equipment purchases for next 4 years which total approximately $2,945,000. Prior year authorized borrowing BANs $3,425,000. Existing Bond Resolution for compost excavator $63,000 and existing Bond Resolution for various highway equipment $579,000. We are looking to adopt new Bond Resolutions for a total borrowing this year of $6,587,000.

Highway Superintendent Ted Donner met with the Morlando Committee. When the weather breaks, highway crews will begin cleanup of the Nottingham Terrace area.

Senior Building Inspector David Metzger

The first building code came out in NY State in the 1950's and our local law which was developed in the 1970's was wrapped around the first building code which is still in effect. NYS came out with a new code in 1984, there should have been a new local law adopted very similar to this in 1984 but was never done. In 2003 NY State adopted the International Building Code which is uniform throughout the entire country and is a much better system. At that time, it was assumed that everyone had the International Building Code in place and as the state got involved with municipalities in question; they saw that it was not in place so they developed their own sample of what should be in place which is where we are today. The local law that should have been in place is very similar to the draft the Mr. Metzger handed out. Dave Metzger spoke to the codes division in Albany and they do not review local laws regarding building code administration.

67.04 Designation of Enforcing Officer of the Uniform Code the Code
B.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall be appointed by the Town Board. The Code Enforcement Officers shall possess background experience related to building construction and/or fire prevention and shall, within the time prescribed by law, obtain such basic training, in-service training, advanced in-service training and other training as the State of NY shall require for Code Enforcement personnel, and the Code Enforcement Officers shall obtain certification from the State Fire Administrator pursuant to the Executive Law and the regulations promulgated there under. Enforcement officers have been doing this since day one; they are required to have 24 hours in-service training every year minimum.

67.05 Powers and Duties of the Code Enforcement Officer
F.
They shall issue a certificate of occupancy, temporary certificate of occupancy or certificate of compliance, and operating permit in accordance with the provisions of The Uniform Code, which such certificate shall certify that the permitted work conforms to the requirements of The Uniform Code and other applicable laws, ordinances and rules of the Town. The Town of Clarence has been issuing Certificates of Occupancy and temporary certificates for the last five - six years without the local law to authorize it because it works. They have also developed a negotiable and non-negotiable list for contactors. The negotiable list is for non-building code items. The temporary certificate has an expiration date which can be extended.

67.07 Building Permits
Building permits shall be required for any work which must conform to The Uniform Code. The list of exceptions that do not require a permit came from the State.

67.08 Application for Permits
A. Applications for a building permit shall be made to the Building Department on forms provided by the Department and shall contain information as required by the department. Specific required items may vary with each project.

67.11 Performance of work
A.
A building permit shall be effective to authorize the commencing of work for a period of one (1) year after the date of its issuance. For good cause, the Building Department may renew permits after (1) year for 50% of the original permit cost if certificate of completion or certificate of occupancy is not issued. Failure to renew the permit, subsequent to the one (1) year expiration date shall cause the project to be considered abandoned. All improvements, construction, and disturbance of the premises shall be restored to its original condition.

67.12 Permit revocation
The Code Enforcement Officer may revoke a building permit, issue stop work orders etc.

67.13 Inspections Liability
C.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall be entitled to conduct annual periodic Fire Safety Inspections and Property Maintenance Inspections of areas of public assembly, and periodic Fire Safety Inspections of multiple family residences, and all non-residential occupancies at intervals not to exceed 3 years. These are new duties that the building department has been negligent on and should have been adopted in 1984.

E. This code shall not be construed to hold the Town of Clarence or any officers or employees of the Town of Clarence responsible for any damage to persons or property by reason of the inspection or re-inspection authorized herein or failure to inspect or re-inspect or the permit issued as herein provided or by reason of the approval or disapproval of any equipment.

67.14 Stop Work Orders
Gives authority to issue. The Code Enforcement Officer is authorized to issue Stop Work Orders pursuant to this section.

67.15 Certificate of Occupancy or Certificate of Completion
Clearly states what a “change in use" is for a building. A change in use shall include any change from nonresidential to residential use, any change which increases the number of dwelling units in a building or structure, and changes from agriculture or residential use to a non-agricultural or a non-residential use.

67.17 Temporary Certificate of Occupancy
Code Enforcement now has the legal liability to issue Temporary Certificates of Occupancy and has the authority to revoke.

67.19 Actions upon violations
E.
In case the owner, lessor, occupant, operator, maintainer, agent or any of them shall fail, neglect or refuse to eliminate, remove or abate the violation within the time specified in the violation order, the Code Enforcement Officer shall take the appropriate legal action of the Town of Clarence - appearance tickets.

67.20 Penalties for offenses
B.
Failure to comply with any provision of The Uniform Code, this article, rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this Article or a stop work order or violation order duly issued by the Code Enforcement Officer shall be deemed a misdemeanor, and the violator shall be liable for a fine of not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) or imprisonment not to exceed one (1) year, or both, and each day such violation shall continue to exist shall constitute a separate violation.

C. An action or proceeding in the name of the Town of Clarence may be commenced in any court of competent jurisdiction to compel compliance with or restrain by injunction the violation of any provision of The Uniform Code, this Article, rule or regulation adopted pursuant to the Article or a violation order or to vacate the occupancy or building in the case of imminent danger to life or property. Such remedies shall be in addition to penalties otherwise prescribed by law. The Code Enforcement Office is authorized to issue an appearance ticket in connection with any violation of The Uniform Code or the Article and all local laws and ordinances of the Town of Clarence.

D. Injunction Relief and E. Remedies Not Exclusive were added per the advice of Town Attorney Bengart.

67.21 Operating Permits
This is a totally new area.

  • Use of pyrotechnic devices in assembly occupancies
  • Building containing one or more areas of public assembly; with a posted occupant load of 100 persons or more;
  • Buildings whose use or occupancy classification may pose a substantial potential hazard to public safety, as determined by the Town Board;
  • Outdoor special events involving or classified as an area of public assembly.
    (Haunted House at SYMS, Club Infinity outdoor event, Party in the Barn etc.)

F. Revocation or suspension of Operating Permits. If the Code Enforcement Officer determines that any activity or building for which an Operating Permit is issued does not comply with any applicable provision of the Uniform Code, such Operating Permit shall be revoked or suspended and the activity covered by the Operating Permit shall cease.

67.23 Program Review and Reporting
A. The Senior CEO shall submit a monthly written report to the Town Board of Building Department activities including, but not limited to, inspections, violation and administrative activities relative to enforcement of the Uniform Code.

B. The Senior CEO shall submit to the Department of State, on a form prescribed by the Department of State, tabulating department activities in connection with administration and enforcement of the Uniform Code.

Dave Metzger stated that his department is issuing generator permits ($50) which he will need approval for. Anyone that is installing a permanent generator will be required to obtain a permit.

Fire Safety Inspection Program
Senior Code Enforcement Office David Metzger conducted a survey of 14 towns in WNY regarding their fire safety inspection fees. Town Engineer Latona stated that between the billings and the inspections this is an “administrative nightmare". Code Enforcement can not collect fees in the field and they can not collect money at the Building Department office. Applicants have to come to the Town Clerk's office to pay. We are not dealing with the tenant; we are dealing with the property owner. You can not cite the tenant; you have to cite the property owner who could live out of town. The enforcement itself is a large undertaking.

Senior Code Enforcement Officer David Metzger suggested that as the program progresses, in 2 - 3 years we could propose a fee after the “initial hit" of the violations. Thru the years, the number of violations will be reduced.

Councilman Bylewski stated that the inspections have to be done and we have to recoup the costs. As this evolves, in two years, the public will have been made aware that the inspections will no longer be free.

Councilman Bylewski stated that at the Association of Towns meeting several Board members attended a presentation which talked about a convention to be held in Rochester that will deal with the issue of whether the International Building Code should be amended so that all new-build single family residential homes should be sprinklered. Dave Metzger stated that the final hearing will be held on May 21st.

Assistant Attorney David Donohue suggested voting on the fire inspection fee to take effect in the future. Town Engineer Latona stated that when the Town Board approves the law, then you will set the fee schedule to be implemented in the future.

The Work Session adjourned at 11:30 A.M. The Town Board met with Assistant Town Attorney David Donohue regarding attorney-client privileged information. Councilman Casilio left the room.

The Work Session resumed at 11:35 A.M.

Supervisor Kathleen Hallock

Supervisor Hallock stated that we will go forward with the Court Action Plan. The judges have decided to go ahead with a window and the ability to receive money under the window in the foyer. Karen Jurek obtained a quote of $710 and has contacted NYS regarding a grant. Supervisor Hallock will hold off authorizing the purchase until we see if a grant is available. The judges do not want the doors closed; they want to just go forward with the window until we have a security evaluation.

Supervisor Hallock received a check from FEMA for $821,000. for 75% of the debris cleanup from the October storm.

At the March 28th Work Session there was a discussion regarding the request from TCBA Booster Club director Tom Burgasser to place a small coca cola concession trailer at Memorial Park. Deputy Town Clerk Darcy Snyder looked up the minutes and in 2004 the Town Board approved the request by Clarence Softball based on several conditions (agreement from Coke bottling company, proof of liability insurance, insurance certificate naming the Town of Clarence as additional insured, town board approval of the trailer, the trailer is to be securely stored and staffed by TCBA members or other responsible adult, approval was granted from May 15 - August 15, and the town will not be responsible in any way for the portable snack bar). A copy of these conditions was forwarded to TCBA member Tom Burgasser and Town Attorney Bengart for review. All profits will benefit the TCBA.

The Recreation Advisory Committee met yesterday. There was a discussion regarding Sunset Park. Some of the residents in the Harris Hill neighborhood have complained about the playground equipment. Parks Crew Chief John Burns has replaced some equipment. Sunrise Rotary installed new equipment at Parker. Councilman Casilio stated that Clarence Rotary is being sued because someone fell off a piece of playground equipment at the Main Street Park - they are getting out of the playground equipment business.

Councilman Scott Bylewski

Councilman Bylewski stated that he received the revised draft of the Adequate Public Facilities Law/Educational Facilities. After review, the public hearing will be scheduled in May. There have been some changes based on the meeting with the school district.

There was an issue regarding Tonawanda Creek Road that the County was appealing FEMA declination to allow for the mitigation, basically rebuilding of the road and using the techniques that they were proposing. FEMA allegedly lost the paperwork on the appeal. The appeal was submitted in January and had to be resubmitted this past March. Councilman Bylewski contacted Senator Schumer office.

Councilman Casilio spoke to Congressman Reynolds office and was informed that the County took two years to get the paper work in. It has not been held up by FEMA. Councilman Bylewski stated that the County submitted the appeal in January because they were turned down and FEMA lost the paperwork. Councilman Bylewski stated that someone from the federal government should be overseeing this. Councilman Casilio stated that Congressman Reynolds is going to push very hard to get this done.

Town Engineer Latona stated that the County would like to restore Wolcott Road which has become a main thoroughfare because of the Tonawanda Creek situation. Town Engineer Latona has concerns because Wolcott Road is in the flood plain. The County wants to raise the level of the road. The road acts as a dam and to raise it is not a wise decision. Town Engineer Latona has denied the County permission to work on Wolcott Road; he is working with them on a technical basis as to where they are going to put paving and how high the paving will go.

Councilman Bylewski stated that he still has not received updated information for the final design report on the intersection of Shimerville and Greiner Road which should include the three years worth of traffic/accident data for the intersection. Supposedly the accident rate has declined however it is still above the State rate for the average intersection. Once the report becomes available, the Town will hold at least one public informational meeting if not more.

Councilman Bylewski has one item to discuss in Executive Session.

Councilman Bernard Kolber

Councilman Kolber had a break-down of monies paid to Amherst Alarm for 2006. Purchases over $10,000 must go out to bid.

Councilman Patrick Casilio

Councilman Weiss and Mary Powell have been meeting and reviewing the applications for the Economic Development Officer position.

Highway Superintendent Ted Donner will begin work on the parking lot in Clarence Hollow this spring.

Clarence Senior Center is requesting a bocce ball court.

Councilman Casilio reminded Highway Superintendent Ted Donner about sealing the parking lot at the Senior Center.

Councilman Casilio is seeking prices for sealing vs. topping the bike path. He suggested doing a section a year and not do all 11 miles at once.

Councilman Casilio stated that the purchase of a generator for the Senior Center and designating the Center at a disaster shelter will allow for more people to volunteer at the shelter and take the burden off the fire companies in times of disaster.

Labor Management will meet next week. Several meeting dates had been cancelled last month for one reason or another.

There is a new policy regarding illegal sign postings in town. Parks Security removes the signs but notes the address location of the sign. A summons will be issued to the violators.

The Town is working on sewer taps for Clarence Middle School. School representatives have contacted Councilman Casilio about contacting the developer. The school district is giving a $25,000 donation to the developer to give to charity. Councilman Casilio will see if the school district would be willing to donate that money for video cameras for the bike path.

Parks employee James Schlabach has recommended putting stickers on town owned street lights with a telephone number of a contact person if there is a problem with the lights.

Councilman Casilio spoke to Parks Crew Chief John Burns about seasonal employees painting the lower section of town owned street light poles. Jim Schlabach indicated that many of the street lights are in dire need of maintenance at the base of the poles where they are rusting. In the future, the town should specify fiberglass poles placed in concrete.

The Morlando Committee is obtaining two prices for street lights for the Harris Hill area. Supervisor Hallock stated that there was an interest in street lights in Clarence Center. It was brought up at the IDA meeting and they would like specifics.

Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Bylewski to enter into Executive Session pursuant to § 105(1) F of the Open Meetings Law to discuss the appointment of a particular person(s). Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Weiss. Motion carried.

There being no further business, the Work Session adjourned at 11:45 A.M.

Darcy A. Snyder
Deputy Town Clerk

Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Bylewski to adjourn the Executive Session at 11:48 A.M. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Weiss. Motion carried.