A Work Session of the Clarence Town Board was held on May 4, 2005 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’ Ian McPherson, Scott Bylewski, Joseph Weiss and Bernie Kolber. Other Town Officials present were Director of Community Development James Callahan, Town Attorney Steven Bengart, Deputy Supervisor Anne Case, and Director of Administration and Finance Pam Smith.
Supervisor Kathleen Hallock
Town Officials have received invitations to the grand opening of Wal-mart on May 11 @ 7:00A.M. Supervisor Hallock has been informed that the Town will be receiving $1,500. Clarence Schools have received $2,000. for work on the Nature Center.
Dawn Trippi is working in the Town Council office on Tuesday mornings. Supervisor Hallock reminded everyone that we have the Laser Fiche minutes tracking program on computers in the Town Clerk’s Office, Paralegal’s Office and the Zoning Office. If you need to research any of the minutes, this can be done instantly, it also takes the place of indexing.
There was a discussion regarding batting cages. Last year the Town of Clarence Baseball Association applied to the Town Board requesting approval to build a facility on town property to house batting cages. Town Attorney Bengart has concerns as to whether the baseball association was going to be donating their services to construct the building or does the construction of this building need to be bid out. Councilman McPherson said that was a possibility however we did not entertain the thought of the town doing any of the work. Town Attorney Bengart stated that there were also issues as to the baseball association constructing this building on town property. Town Attorney Bengart will research this further.
Supervisor Hallock has received a request from Clarence Girls Softball League to place a Coca Cola concession trailer and pop machine at the softball fields behind the Main Street Park during softball season. The pop machine would be located just inside the Brownschidle Pavilion. The town will not be responsible for damage or theft of the machine and Clarence Girls Softball will take responsibility for re-stocking the machine as needed. The trailer will open on May 14 and will be removed on August 16, 2005 along with the pop machine. Additionally, Coke is willing to supply another machine to be placed inside the indoor practice facility on Goodrich Road.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman McPherson to grant permission to Clarence Girls Softball League to place a Coke concession trailer and coke machine to assist in fund raising for the girls softball league at the Main Street Park facility. The trailer will be placed on May 14 and removed on August 16, 2005 along with the pop machine. This is subject to Town Attorney approval and receipt of the proper insurance certificates. On the question, Councilman Kolber stated that they did not have coke machines last year this is new as of this year. Further Councilman Kolber asked if this is going to preclude the town having vending service in town parks. It could get out of hand if other organizations want pop machines. Councilman Bylewski stressed that this is being acted upon today because of time constraints. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Supervisor Hallock has received inquires about the sidewalks in Harris Hill area. The sidewalks in question are in the right-of-way and the homeowners are responsible for repair. Supervisor Hallock will speak to grant writer Lucy Curley to see if there are any grants available.
YMCA – John Murray, Lisa Meneau and Jill Barden
CEO John Murray stated that the YMCA market area is essentially all of Erie County and within the next sixty days they will acquire the Niagara Falls YMCA. The YMCA is committed to significantly expand a fiscally sound, service delivery organization, which delivers high quality, market driven services to a growing constituency.
The YMCA is self-supporting. They are very interested in the Town of Clarence and question whether there is an opportunity to deliver services here. The nearest location is on Main Street in Snyder. There is an office location in the Town of Lancaster however, they utilize schools, churches etc. they have a $1,000,000. budget without a physical location. Mr. Murray stated that they have not studied any locations in the Town of Clarence. They would start by seeing if there is sufficient population base to support the development and operation of a YMCA family facility, see what the community needs/wants are, identify providers of services similar to current or future YMCA programs and membership service. Their focus is to provide opportunities for families; there are no televisions or video games. Beginning in March of this year, the YMCA will offer “Growing Up Fit,” a weight control program for children and their families.
A YMCA campus facility would need a footprint of a minimum of 15 – 20 acres. The former gypsum site was discussed. Councilman McPherson said it is a very viable site, the mines are shut down and full of water.
Municipal participation varies from town to town. The Town of West Seneca is in the talking stages of contracting with the YMCA to run their Senior Center. Mr. Murray stated that he would like to further work with the town to find out our growth patterns and what direction the town is going. Supervisor Hallock stated that there is a strong interest in having the YMCA come to Clarence.
Supervisor Hallock received a certified letter from a resident on Lapp Road concerned about the pond at 7175 Kenfield Road. Town Attorney Bengart stated that the resident on Kenfield Road has met all requirements.
The Clubhouse Renovation Committee found some original lights that were once used in the Clubhouse. Dave and Greg Brace have reproduced the lights. The cost to the town will be for wiring. The committee is working on a fundraising program.
Councilman Ian McPherson
Councilman McPherson had no report.
Councilman Scott Bylewski
Councilman Bylewski has two items to discuss in Executive Session.
The local fire companies have been in discussion with Erie County regarding fire fighter training. There are many uncertainties as to what is going on as far as what courses may or may not be available and whether or not the fire tower in Amherst will be available for training etc. no firm answers have been given to date. There has been some discussion regarding either purchasing or leasing a tower and hiring private contractors for training to provide certification. There are various discussions going on as to who could provide the training and if the training is done independently will the fire fighters be eligible for state certification.
Councilman Bylewski announced receipt of the semi-annual check from Adelphia Cable for franchise fees.
Supervisor Hallock received a complaint from a resident on Wenner Road regarding the Edu Kids day care facility on Sheridan Drive in particular, the smoke stacks and fencing around the entire facility, not just the playground area. According to the Planning Board, The facility has met all requirements.
Councilman Joseph Weiss
Motion by Councilman Weiss, seconded by Councilman McPherson to award the sanitary sewer construction project for Hillcrest Drive and to serve the Sister’s of St. Joseph to Accadia Site Contracting, Inc., the lowest responsive responsible bidder in the amount of $398,812.00. On the question, this will be announced at the Town Board meeting on May 11, 2005. Further on the question, Councilman McPherson announced that the budgeted amount was $400,000. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Councilman Bernie Kolber
Councilman Kolber had no report.
Thomas Drescher & Luke Malecki
Tom Drescher and Luke Malecki gave a demonstration regarding a long-term financial plan for the Town of Clarence.
Many of the issues that Erie County is encountering today were known about three years ago. Medicaid is not a new issue; it has been going up 15% a year for the last eight years. Pension costs and health care costs have been compounding at a rate of between 12 – 15% per year for the last six years. Compounded over six years is a 100% increase.
A long-term financial plan takes into consideration all factors (wages, health care, pension costs, social security retirement costs etc.), which help determine the tax rate. The program is typically a detailed spreadsheet detailing three years of expenditures projected out for the next five years. Expenditures are projected based on trends and discussions with the Board and department heads. Wage rates affect benefits, social security, retirement these factors are all taken into consideration over the next five years.
This program tells you the impact of the decisions you are making today two – five years down the road so that you are making intelligent decisions for the Town not only for today but for the long term. A long-term financial plan program is an important tool when making decisions about Bonds or contract negotiations and any time you have to do a budget.
The cost to develop the initial program for the town would be approximately $20,000. - $24,000. The cost to update the program would run approximately $2,000 per year.
Supervisor Hallock stated that she and Pam Smith have devised a spreadsheet for Capital Improvements and annual budget planning but nothing as extensive as what is being presented today.
Mr. Drescher stated that a long-term financial plan is a tool than can help the Board make sound budget decisions and understand what direction the town is going.
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 employment history of a particular person and the appointment of a particular person. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
There being no further business, the Work Session adjourned at 10:40 A.M.
Darcy A. Snyder
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Kolber to adjourn the Executive Session at 11:00 A.M. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried. No action taken.