A Work Session of the Clarence Town Board was held on May 24, 2006 at Clarence Town Hall, One Town Place, Clarence, NY.
Supervisor Hallock called the meeting to order at 9:15 A.M. Members of the Town Board present were Council member's Scott Bylewski, Joseph Weiss, Bernie Kolber and Patrick Casilio. Other Town Officials present were Deputy Supervisor Anne Case, Town Attorney Steven Bengart, Director of Community Development James Callahan, Assistant Director of Community Development James Hartz, Town Engineer Joseph Latona, Director of Administration and Finance Pam Smith and Paralegal Cindi Rosel.
Erie County Dept. of Environment & Planning Division of Sewerage Management
Drew Eszak stated that the purpose of today's meeting is to provide information and give a brief history of Erie County Sewer District's in particular SD#5. The Erie County Sewer District is managed by the Division of Sewerage Management.
Thomas Whetham gave a power point presentation.
Erie County SD#5 is one of six Erie County sewer districts, that number will increase to seven in 2007. They are currently forming a new district to include the Town of Aurora and the Village of East Aurora. The assets of the Erie County Sewer Districts are owned by the County of Erie, they are managed by the Division of Sewerage Management. A graph was displayed indicating the location of the six Erie County Sewer Districts, which extend north to include Amherst and Clarence as far south to EC Sewer District #2 Brant/Farnham.
Erie County Sewer Districts are formed as special districts under County Law Article 5A; it is actually a State Law. The districts themselves are separate from the County General Fund. They are independently funded budgets, they raise their revenue separately. The users and the benefited properties pay sewer charges. Those sewer charges appear on their annual County Tax bill. Any revenues that Erie County Division of Sewerage Management through the tax levy process, those revenues and the budget for the sewer district has to stay separate they can not be commingled with the General Fund. While Erie County bonds capital projects for the sewerage division, the sewerage division is responsible for the repayment those bonds. The only reason why they use Erie County is so there is only one transaction for Bond Counsel and one transaction for the sale but they are not commingled, they are separate.
The Sewer Districts are managed by EC Division of Sewerage Management, the assets are owned by the County. Each district is administered by a Board of Managers. There is one board in each sewer district. Right now there are six sewer districts so there are six Board of Managers (in 2007, there will be seven districts and seven Board of Managers). The size of each board varies, there is no set number as to what the size of each board has to be. Currently there are three board members in EC Sewer District #6 the City of Lackawanna service area and seven members in EC Sewer District #3. The Board members are appointed by the County Executive and the appointments are then confirmed by the EC Legislature. These are voluntary positions, there is no pay associated with the position, no perks, no cars. Some people confuse the EC Sewer District Boards with the EC Water Authority Board. Typically the Boards of Managers are made up of local elected officials and concerned citizens. They represent the area that receives the sewer service.
The Board of Managers is responsible for complying with the NYS Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permits; those are State and Federal requirements - the NYS DEC is the enforcement entity. They also are responsible for providing sanitary sewerage conveyance and treatment service to the public (what they call infrastructure stewardship") providing cost effective service, protecting and enhancing water quality and the environment. And protecting the public health, which goes along with all those responsibilities.
The logistical responsibilities of the Board of Managers include attendance at the board meetings, (there are typically 4 8 board meetings per year but it varies depending on the board). EC SD#5 meet approximately 4x's a year, there are two budget meetings yearly. There is a joint budget meeting with EC SD#1 and #4 and #5, they share the same service center. SD#1 is Cheektowaga/West Seneca; SD#4 is primarily Lancaster. There is a service center on Walden Avenue which is where services are provided to SD#5 from. Those districts collectively set a budget and make sure the costs are spread appropriately amongst all those districts. The Board of Managers is responsible for making the budget, making the revenue and expenditure projections and they make recommendations to the EC Legislature. The Erie County Legislature is responsible for adopting the budget. Ninety-nine times out of one hundred the recommendation made by the Board of Managers is adopted by the Legislature. The Board of Managers is also responsible for making contract recommendations to the Legislature. Those contracts could be construction contracts, consultant contracts etc. The Legislature is responsible for passing the resolution that would allow the County to enter into a contract. The Board of Managers is responsible for approving out-of-district customer agreements. The Board also has the power to set connection, inspection and equity fees (the last two items mentioned do not require Legislative approval; those are powers that the Board has).
Erie County Sewerage Management is responsible for managing the districts. In order to provide that service, personnel in the entire division include 225 employees, in-house engineering, design, construction, tax, accounting and environmental staff. The Southtowns District #3 staff is the largest operation with 70 employees. This is a 24/7 operation, if a resident has a problem with a backup in the middle of the night, they must respond and they also must make sure the treatment plants are operating properly.
The management staff includes Andrew Eszak Commissioner Division of Sewerage Management, Tom Whetham Deputy Commissioner Division of Sewerage Management, Glen Ansolm Jr.- Chief Wastewater Treatment Plant Supervisor who is responsible for all the field operations and Kevin Zynda Sewer District Manager responsible for EC SD#5.
There are approximately 1000 miles of sewer Erie County owns, operates and maintains. There are seven waste water treatment plants throughout the County, five over flow retention facilities and they operate 100 pumping stations. Value of their assets (replacement cost) is in excess of $1 billion dollars. The annual combined budget is approximately $35,000,000. The annual bond debt payment is approximately $7,000,000 and there is a fund balance of approximately $9,000,000. The typical residential property pays approximately $300 per year in the County districts. Each sewer district has its own separate budget, its own separate revenue source and their own independent rates which can create some issues. The rate formula itself typically includes a flat charge, an assessed value charge and also a footage charge this is how they raise their revenue.
Drew Eszak stated that there is a fund balance of $9,000,000 which is utilized for smaller capital projects. They do not believe in bumping up the fund balance to an unreasonable amount because in their estimation that would be over charging the rate payers. Some agencies have fund balances equal almost to 100% of their annual budget, Mr. Eszak does not feel this is the correct way to operate, he would rater retain 15 20% in the fund balance and operate from there. If they over-charge they would rather give refunds to the rate payers instead of stacking up the money and keep it in the fund balance.
A small capital improvement would be a $100,000 - $150,000 job, it is easier to do it out of the fund balance rather than go out to bond. If the County knows they have a project of $1 million dollars or more, they will typically go to the market but not always. In some instances in some of the districts with the Boards approval and the Legislatures approval they have created Capital Reserve Funds if they know there is going to be a big project in the future they will put money aside and when that project comes due, they will use the Capital Reserve Funds to pay for it. Mr. Whetham feels that there is a good blend between pay as you go and bonding. Being mutually exclusive to either one of those approaches to paying for capital projects is not the right way, there is a blend somewhere in the middle.
Town Attorney Bengart asked if Erie County was required to do their bonding or could the Department of Sewerage Works bond themselves. Mr. Whetham indicated that the Department of Sewerage Works can bond themselves however; they get a better rate from the County. Six month ago they went to the bond market and received a rate of 4 ½ % for twenty years. They are anticipating another upgrade from Moody's in June. Erie County is only at 17% of its capital indebtedness capacity and it's only at 24% of its taxing capacity so the County from a market perspective is flush. While they don't want to raise taxes, the bond market knows that if the County had to it could raise taxes. The difference between the County and the City of Buffalo is that the City of Buffalo could no longer borrow nor could they raise taxes.
Erie County Sewer District #5 was established on April 4, 1971. The district was formed in response to the construction of Eastern Hills Mall. EC SD #5 services the western portion of the Town of Clarence and a small portion of the Town of Amherst along Transit Road. The way County Law is written, to create a sewer district you have to have two municipalities involved that is why a small portion of the Town of Amherst is included.
EC Sewer District #5 provides collection and transmission services including operation and maintenance of the collection system. Treatment of the District's sewage occurs at the Town of Amherst Water Pollution Control Facility and that is by contractual agreement. Several Town Board members were involved with the contract renegotiations which were resolved last year and a new contract was signed at the end of 2005. The majority of the District's sewage is conveyed to Amherst via the Dodge Road interceptor. The Dodge Road interceptor was constructed by Erie County. The first 3000 feet that extend into Amherst is owned by Erie County as well. The County charges residents directly for sanitary sewer service. This charge is listed on their annual Town/County Tax bill.
Erie County SD#5 has been extended twice, once to include the Sister's of St. Joseph service area and also Clarence Research Park. Service is also provided to Clarence High School (flow goes into Clarence Research Park location). The total budget is SD#5 is $1.6 million dollars. Treatment costs make up approximately $700,000 of the $1.6 million dollars. Operation and Maintenance cost $0.65 million; debt cost is $0.25 million annually. The tax levy is $1.14 million dollars. The other revenues to make up the difference are user charges, fees and contracts with the Town of Clarence. Erie County receives flows from the Town of Clarence which in turn they receive a charge from the Town of Amherst so they back-charge Clarence for that share.
Councilman Casilio asked if management fees are included with the fees that go back and forth between the towns. Mr. Whetham said that they do not, it is based on flow.
The Division of Sewerage Management vision for providing service, they want to maintain rate sensibility, improve infrastructure conditions in the entire service area. A high priority right now is to eliminate and reduce any sanitary sewer overflows, improve water quality in the receiving waters and meet environmental regulations. A program is being implemented to educate the public about the value of the services they provide and the value of the infrastructure that provides that service. They would like to eliminate any unnecessary facilities where they can. They want to promote the adoption of one rate. As mentioned before, each district has its own rate and that can be very complicated. There are independent budgets and independent rates, someone in Sewer District #2 may pay a different rate as someone in Sewer District #5. Philosophically that may not be appropriate; one rate would be the right way to go. They want to provide capacity for development where infrastructure exists and only when it is consistent with the local communities desire. If the local community wants to develop and infrastructure exists in that location, Sewerage Management will support it. If the local community is not in favor of development, Sewerage Management will not support it and will not provide the service. The Town has the planning responsibility and Sewerage Management will support the Town in that endeavor. Further, the Division of Sewerage Management would like to proactively manage their utility, organize and empower their staff and communicate goals, communicating with their boards as best as they can, recruiting diversity to make their organization well rounded and eliminate any areas of weakness. They would also like to capitalize on information technology (SCADA, GIS, CMMS, SAP, GPS, E-Forms, E O&M) there is a wealth of it that would be helpful in utility management.
The Sewage Works Corporations - Public/Private Ventures: The Peanut Line Interceptor created to service the Clarence Town Districts and portions of ECSD#5. The Heise-Brookhaven Interceptor original construction in Town District #6 and has recently been extended to Clarence Hollow to provide service to Town District #9 and to eliminate the Sisters of St. Joseph wastewater treatment plant.
The Department of Sewerage Management has completed several recent mergers of service with other communities including the Town of Lancaster (they are also in the process of extending Erie County SD #4 to include two more Town of Lancaster Districts. The Town of Lancaster will no longer own any sanitary sewerage infrastructure). In 2004, the Department of Sewerage Management merged with the Village of Blasdell, they now own, operate and maintain their collection system and also their treatment plant. There are plans to eliminate the treatment plant. EC Sewer District #2 was merged with the Village of Brant/Farnham also in 2004. They are working to create a new district with the Village of East Aurora and Town of Aurora and provide service to them. In 2005 they merged ECSD#3 with the Village of Hamburg; the Village of Hamburg is no longer in the sanitary sewerage business. There are a number of reasons for these mergers the primary one being cost savings. There are regulatory drivers, in some cases several of these aforementioned communities were under consent order and they were recognizing that the commitment that they needed to make to capital improvements and to develop management and utility was beyond what they wanted to get into. The other issue that has come up is succession planning. Many of the local communities that provide sanitary sewer service have many people that are retiring and there is not a wealth of people to follow in behind them. They do not have the staff to provide the service so they reach out to the County and in most cases they are able to help.
Town Engineer Latona asked that by merging, is the County taking ownership of the sewerage system, Mr. Whetham stated that was correct. Further Mr. Latona questioned that when the County takes ownership, what control does the local community then have for additional systems, do they have a say in that. Mr. Eszak stated that the community will still make the decisions and the County will support their decision on any extensions. They will not extend districts at this point, it is not County policy. They have excess capacity and want to fill that capacity first. Town Engineer Latona stated that could have a direct impact on our planning process.
Under consideration are proposed wastewater mergers of service including the Town of Amherst Clarence Village of Williamsville. They are looking to have one service provider in this area, the Amherst, Clarence, Williamsville corridor. They are having an independent study done. They are looking for technical feasibility, financial feasibility and they also want to be able to address issues that have just recently been brought up in planning such as representation on what the new crafted Board of Managers would look like. A number of key issues have to be addressed and they are doing that with an independent evaluation. The Department of Sewerage Works has put out a RFQ (request for qualifications) and has decided on which firm they want to go with. The study will be done within the next three months and the results will be brought back to the Board. Primarily they are looking to see if they can provide cost savings by doing this. They feel that there are areas where a one service provider model" would serve this community very well at least financially. They have to be sure that all the local townships and local communities have enough control moving forward if this happens. Mr. Whetham feels he can meet those goals but will need the Town's input on that and will keep the Town advised.
The County is also talking with the Town of Cheektowaga and the Town of West Seneca about having a one service provider model in that corridor. Those communities receive treatment from the Buffalo Sewer Authority. It is a very complicated arrangement which they are trying to eliminate that complication and provide cost savings. The Department of Sewerage Works is having on going discussions with the Village of Lancaster and the Village of Depew. Both Villages own, operate and maintain their own infrastructure and are facing many of the same issues previously discussed. Both of these communities are under consent order by the NYS DEC. The Department of Sewerage Works is in the process of completing two extensions in EC SD#3 to include the Town of Hamburg service areas. They have begun discussions about taking on the remainder of their sewer districts next year. They are also having on-going discussions with the Town of Orchard Park to consider taking on some of their small town districts. They met with the Village of Orchard Park this past Monday and there is a possibility that they may be acquiring ownership of their assets as well. Erie County SD#6 which is Lackawanna, is looking into sending ECSD#6 flows to the Buffalo Sewer Authority and eliminate the Lackawanna Wastewater Treatment Plant. If they are able to eliminate the Treatment Plant, the feel they will be able to provide significant cost savings to the City of Lackawanna residents. The sanitary sewer overflows and failing septic systems are responsible for closing Woodlawn Beach. The Lackawanna treatment plant discharges into Smoke Creek which runs through the Bethlehem Steel Plant site.
Drew Eszak stated that Erie County is in the process of putting its first Master Plan together since1974. It is being done in conjunction with Niagara County. In compiling data, they have identified that there are 130 square miles of vacant property (green fields) with sewers and we keep developing and sprawling out. Less than 5% of it is in the City of Buffalo. The County policy is going to be to push back in." They will disincentives developers that go outside existing county districts with any construction. They will no longer pay for or maintain any extensions. If a developer wants to develop in the middle of Newstead, he will put the sewers in and Newstead will maintain them, the County will not take them over. In the developing areas where there are sewers, the County will help with laterals and road improvements if you develop in an existing district with sewer service. That is going to be the policy of the County moving forward. They can no longer afford to maintain and operate as they expand they are maintaining 130 square miles of sewer areas anyway, if they continue to expand it will cost too much money and tax rates will increase. They would like to stabilize rates and develop from within. At the rate of growth, they project 50 70 years of development before they use up the 130 square miles. As they expand their tax base and their rate base, they will gladly extend sewers further out. If the County continues at the rate they are going now and with the existing policy in the next 25 years, maintenance and upgrading the existing infrastructure will cost $911,000,000. The proposed County policy that is being discussed is estimated to cost $112,000,000. for upgrades and maintenance.
If the County took over the Towns sewers districts, they would not require the Town to make improvements before they took over, it would be the County's responsibility to make improvements.
The County is not considering merging with the Buffalo Sewer Authority. The City of Buffalo has substantial capital because they have a combined storm water and sanitary system. They have excess capacity in the plant but NYS DEC forces them to keep it in reserve in case of a wet weather event. They could treat more sewage but the DEC will not allow it. They will bypass as much as 35+ million gallons of raw sewage into the Niagara River. The County would like that problem addressed before they consider any merger with the City of Buffalo.
The County is proposing a plan that when a house is sold an inspection test will be required to be sure the laterals work. As houses turn over they can replace laterals so there is less infiltration, less overflows and less cost and maintenance. The cost will be passed on to the seller of the home as part of the sellers inspection. In the City of Buffalo and the Town of Tonawanda there are laterals that are non existent, the pipes have rotted away.
Town Attorney Bengart asked that if the County took over everything, even the City of Buffalo would they eliminate all the districts and become one district. Mr. Eszak stated that their goal is long term to have one board with representation from all communities and one sewer district.
Councilman Casilio stated that Clarence would then be responsible for fixing all of the City of Buffalo's problems. Mr. Eszak said it would not be the City just Erie County. When they are talking about merging, they are talking about the County only, not the BSA. If the County and the City of Buffalo did merge, there would be two different rates.
Councilman Weiss asked if there will eventually be County employees operating the Amherst Plant and would the Town have representation in the decision making process. Mr. Eszak stated that would be the goal but they do not know that for sure. Right now, the Town of Clarence has a contract with the Town of Amherst but they make the decisions.
Supervisor Hallock asked if the policy the County is discussing is tied to the Master Plan and has the Master Plan been adopted? Mr. Eszak stated that the Master Plan will go before the Legislature for adoption. That policy would then become law that the County will not extend districts (they will probably set a percentage for capacity before they start extending the districts). Parts of the districts still do not have sewers they will work within the districts. There is still capacity to build within districts but they will not extend out. The County is not saying you can not extend, they are saying that they will not pay for or maintain it. They will treat it but will not maintain it, which will be the policy.
Supervisor Hallock asked if the Town's will have an input in the Master Plan. Mr. Eszak stated that there are eight town representatives on the steering committee: the Association of Towns, the Association of Villages, Association of Erie County Governments, there are representatives from Amherst, Grand Island, and Colden. There are approximately forty representatives on the committee. The proposed Master Plan will go out for comment in July and will be brought back to the Legislature in September or October for adoption.
Tom Whetham stated that it takes two municipalities to form a sewer district an extension does not need two communities. Erie County SD #5 owns the Dodge Road interceptor approximately 3000 feet into the Town of Amherst, beyond that the Town of Amherst owns.
Councilman Kolber said that one of his biggest concerns is that he feels the Town of Clarence Town Board is left out of the loop. The Town of Clarence is finding out after the fact. There are instances where developers are doing work or making upgrades in the Town of Amherst in order to be able to tie into to the sewers for their development in the Town of Clarence. Tom Whetham will research this and get back to the Town Board. Mr. Eszak stated that it has been discussed and the Clarence Town Board will be included in the loop."
Councilman Casilio stated that in several instances with new sewer installation and sewer extensions there have been problems with inspections not being done properly and then problems with the installation comes back to the elected town officials i.e. the Roxbury Development, the sewers were not backfilled properly and the Heise-Brookhaven damns that were indicated on the drawings and the type of dams that were installed or not. Councilman Casilio asked how to address those issues in the future and who is accountable. Tom Whetham stated that part of the issue is that the Town of Clarence is dealing with three different entities, the Town, County and Town of Amherst so it would be difficult to say who is accountable. If you have one service provider, you know who is accountable.
Councilman Weiss stated that the devil is in the details" and if merging with the County will protect the Town of Clarence then he is all for it.
There is another meeting scheduled for June 7th. At that time, the Department of Sewerage Works will have some general numbers and the impact to individual homeowners should the Town decide to merge. Supervisor Hallock stated that at that time, she would also like to address the managers on the Board. She has had a discussion with Erie County Legislature Mike Ranzenhofer and he has no problem with the Town Board changing the managers. Mr. Eszak indicated that Mr. Ranzenhofer will have to convey that to the County Executive.
Councilman Casilio asked if the Town of Clarence joins the County system, can we guarantee jobs for Town of Clarence residents. Mr. Eszak stated that they can not guarantee any jobs for the residents of the Town of Clarence because that would be a violation of union agreements, State Personnel Law and County Personnel Law he will not guarantee they will hire Clarence residents. Residents will be allowed to take Civil Service exams like anyone else; the Department of Sewerage Works is governed by State and General Municipal Law. If there are any employees that are adversely affected by the merger, they would be hired by the Department of Sewerage Works because 15% of their work force will be eligible for retirement in the next 5 -7 years.
Supervisor Hallock stated that in two weeks (June 7, 2006) another meeting is scheduled and we will discuss rates and the make up of the Board of Managers. Mr. Eszak stated that the make up of the board has already been discussed and while it is not a done deal" an agreement has been reached on the makeup of the board. The June 7th meeting will be a discussion regarding numbers and the impact of tax rates on homeowners. How many rate payers will have lower rates and how many will have higher rates, pros and cons from a financial perspective.
Deputy Supervisor Anne Case asked if the Town of Clarence was represented on the steering committee for the County's Master Plan. Mr. Eszak stated that it is a County Master Plan and the Town of Clarence is represented by the Association of Towns and the Association of Erie County Governments.
Director of Community Development James Callahan stated that the Town of Clarence Town Board is going to be faced with a number of upcoming projects i.e. Harris Hill Commons, Woodland Hills, the Rubino development and sewer capacity for future industrial parks. We seem to be operating piece meal with out of district status vs. creation of district. There should be an ultimate goal. Mr. Callahan questioned whether that should be an expansion of EC SD#5 or SD#6 and further questioned how the Town should handle that to achieve the ultimate goal which would be to solve the existing pollution problem in the Harris Hill area and to provide sewer service for commercial/industrial growth so we have some balance in our long term planning. Currently we are operating piece meal and it is creating many problems. Mr. Eszak stated that if you have one service provider then you have the opportunity to address capacity issues easier than with three. Further, if the districts can be formulated so we can maximize the expansion and capacity issues to keep within the boundaries of the districts without putting in more infrastructure that is a benefit. The County does not want the expansion of their maintenance responsibilities because they are maxed now. The only way they could continue to expand their maintenance capacity would be to hire more people and that would be heading in the wrong direction.
Director of Community Development James Callahan stated that they are faced with approving new subdivisions when we have existing developments that are not sewered and known polluters. Mr. Eszak stated that we can not turn this around immediately but the plan for regional growth is to have a long term solution so we do not have existing subdivisions and commercial properties that are becoming polluters because we don't want them from outside the district.
Mr. Eszak stated that what happens a lot in this town is that developers install minimal sewer systems to handle the sewage. They know it will fail in 5 -10 years when it is know longer an extension problem or a capacity problem but a health problem and then it becomes the homeowner and the Town's problem.
Supervisor Hallock stated that if a project came before the Town Board tonight with a letter from the Town of Amherst saying they have capacity how does the Board know that EC SD#5 can handle it? Tom Whetham stated that EC SD#5 does not know if there is capacity unless they know specifically where the development will tie in and how much flow they want to send into it. The Town Board should see if the project is consistent with the Town's Master Plan and if it is in the best interest of the Town to move it forward. Mr. Whetham further suggested passing a Local Law indicating the Town will give priority to solving pollution problems as opposed to providing capacity for new growth. Councilman Weiss stated that the Town of Clarence Master Plan stipulates that we want to decrease pollution and take care of the areas that need sewers.
Tom Whetham stated that if a request comes in front of them he will bring it to the Clarence Town Board before they take any action meaning if a developer comes to them and asks for capacity for his development, they will make sure the developer has talked to the Town of Clarence first.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 10:30 A.M.
Darcy A. Snyder
Regular meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Clarence was held Wednesday, May 24, 2006 at the Clarence Town Hall, One Town Place, Clarence, New York.
Supervisor Kathleen Hallock called the meeting to order at 7:35 P.M. Pledge to the flag was led by Councilman Bernard Kolber, followed by a prayer given by Father Yetter of St. Mary's Catholic Church.
Members of the Town Board present were Councilmembers Scott Bylewski, Joseph Weiss, Bernard Kolber, and Supervisor Hallock. Absent was Councilman Patrick Casilio. Other Town officials present were Director of Community Development James Callahan, Town Attorney Steven Bengart, Town Engineer Joseph Latona, Deputy Supervisor Anne Case, Building Inspector David Metzger, Youth Director Dawn Kinney and Planning Board Chairperson Patricia Powers.
Motion by Councilman Bylewski, seconded by Councilman Weiss to accept the minutes of the previous meeting held May 3, 2006 as received. On the question, Councilman Bylewski had a correction on page 166, last paragraph "Next year, the County may not even what those machines " should be want. Upon roll call Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Patrick Casilio. Motion carried.
Supervisor Hallock tabled acceptance of the minutes of May 10, 2006 until the next meeting. Everyone has not had a chance to review them.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Bylewski to accept the resignation of Dennis Sharkey from the position of Security Officer PT. On the question, Supervisor Hallock said both Justices are fully aware of this action. Upon roll call Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Patrick Casilio. Motion carried.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Weiss to grant approval for a Block Party on Saturday July 1, 2006 at 9139 Via Cimato Drive. On the question, Supervisor Hallock said her office will notify all appropriate agencies. Upon roll call Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Patrick Casilio. Motion carried.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Kolber to award the base bid for construction of the Clarence Rails to Trails Project, NYSDOT PIN 5756.90, to Birch Grove Landscaping and Nursery, the lowest responsible bidder in the amount of $333,137 to be paid 80% from the CMAQ Grant and 20% participation by the Town of Clarence. On the question, Supervisor Hallock said the project includes paving from Bridlewood Drive to the Transit Road approach, completion of the path between Kraus and Strickler Roads and some amenities. Upon roll call Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Patrick Casilio. Motion carried.
Supervisor Hallock said she met with Erie County Legislator Mike Ranzenhofer last week to discuss ongoing issues. She asked him about Tonawanda Creek Road and he said it will not be let out to bid this spring because they are waiting for approval from the Army Corp of Engineers on submittals. He said it is his understanding that as a result of Hurricane Katrina, Federal jobs are held up, but they are still hopeful the job can be started this year
Councilman Bylewski said applications are still being accepted for the following committees: Cable TV, Historic Preservation and the Youth Advisory Council.
Motion by Councilman Bylewski, seconded by Councilman Kolber to adopt the following resolution:
Councilman Bylewski received the Building Department Single Family Dwelling Statistics for April 2006. There was 1 issued in a subdivision and 5 outside. Year-to-date is 25 in subdivisions and 15 out for a total of 40. Year-to-date April 2005 had 34 total and April 2004 was 54 total.
Motion by Councilman Bylewski, seconded by Councilman Weiss that upon recommendation by the Town Environmental Quality Review (TEQR) Committee, the Town Board issues a Negative Declaration on the proposed Master Plan 2015 Amendment to reduce the number of annual residential building permits issued. This Unlisted Action involves an amendment to the Master Plan 2015 to identify a reduced number of annual residential building permits. After thorough review of the proposed changes, including coordinated review among involved agencies, it is determined that the proposed action will not have a significant impact upon the environment. On the question, Councilman Bylewski said there was a sliding scale that we have discussed previously, but the number they were looking for encompassing all types of residential building permits for 2006 is 220. Upon roll call Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Patrick Casilio. Motion carried.
Councilman Bylewski commended the Planning Board under the leadership of Chairwoman Patricia Powers for completing the land use training. The Certificate of Completion has been received. It was put on by The Land Use Law Center and the New York Planning Federation. He believes it is a good thing for anyone on a land use committee to pursue.
Councilman Bylewski said we received the Master Plan 2015 comments for 2006 from the Planning Board. There is one area that needs to be addressed.
Motion by Councilman Bylewski, seconded by Councilman Kolber that upon recommendation from the Co-Recreation Directors Howard Johnt and Clifford Trapper, the following are appointed for the 2006 Summer Recreation Program: Specialists at $16.10/hour Erin Fulcher, Trevor White, James Ferguson and Greg Riggio; Attendants at $7.20/hour Paul Zoratti, Stephanie Lenhardt, Jessica Tufte, Allison Jochum, Nick Silvestrini, Kyle Overs and Colleen Hawkes; New Attendants at $7.20/hour Maria DePeters, Mary Georger, Sarah Hargrave, Angelyn Delgato, Olivia Roat, Caitlyn Foley and Lauren Roe. Lifeguards at $8.96/hour Lauren Creighton, Nicole Bzibiak, Tara Scneider, Averi Marciano, Drew Crawford, Jack Tangeman, Colleen Adams, Ben Morton, Brett VanGroenewoud, Jocelyn Hohman, Stacie Karl as Head Lifeguard at $9.55/hour, Chris Durr as Pool Director at a salary of $4,070 and Scott Beebe as Asst. Pool Director at a salary of $3,090. New Lifeguards at $8.96/hour Jillian Kreppel, Joelle Salvo, Leslie Tunmore, Jessica Devita, Robert Davidson and Emily Lynett. Upon roll call Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Patrick Casilio. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Bylewski, seconded by Councilman Weiss to accept, with regret, the resignation of Maryanne Rawdin from the Youth Advisory Council. Upon roll call Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Patrick Casilio. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Bylewski, seconded by Councilman Kolber to accept, with regret, the resignation of Monsignor Leising from the Youth Advisory Council. Upon roll call Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Patrick Casilio. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Weiss, seconded by Councilman Bylewski that upon recommendation of Highway Supt. Ted Donner, a Bid Date is set for June 13, 2006 at 10:00 A.M. for removal of Wood Chip Mulch from our Sheridan Drive site. The bid price will be per cubic yard loaded and hauled off site by the successful bidder. The volume totals 1,190 cubic yards. The bidder must supply all necessary insurance certificates and payment to the Town in full prior to removal. Bidder will be required to remove the material within 90 days. On the question, Councilman Weiss said this is done yearly by the Town. Upon roll call Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Patrick Casilio. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Weiss, seconded by Councilman Kolber to authorize the Supervisor to sign the 3rd annual Stormwater Phase II Report for submittal to the NYS DEC and a copy of said report will be on file in the Town Clerk's office. Upon roll call Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Patrick Casilio. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Weiss, seconded by Councilman Kolber to award the design contract for Sawmill Road, South Park Avenue, East Avenue and West Avenue sanitary sewers to Greenman-Pederson, Inc. in accordance with their proposal dated May 9, 2006 for preliminary design, final design, bidding and award, and general services during construction for a fee of $36,400 to be paid from Clarence Sewer District No. 9. On the question, Councilman Weiss said this has to do with sewers in the Hollow. Upon roll call Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Patrick Casilio. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Weiss, seconded by Councilman Kolber to award the design contract for Academy Street and Bodine Road sanitary sewers to Nussbaumer and Clarke, Inc. in accordance with their proposal dated May 2, 2006 for design and services during construction for a fee not to exceed $27,000 to be paid from Clarence Sewer District No. 9 . Upon roll call Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Patrick Casilio. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Weiss, seconded by Councilman Kolber to award the design contract for Ransom Road from Main Street south approximately 400 LF to Donald Gallo, Consulting Engineer, P.C. in accordance with their proposal dated May 8, 2006 for design, bidding and services during construction for a fee not to exceed $9,990 to be paid from Clarence Sewer District No. 9. Upon roll call Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Patrick Casilio. Motion carried.
Councilman Weiss said he and Youth Director Dawn Kinney attended a presentation in Webster, NY of their skating /BMX Park. They looked into the costs and liability associated with the facility. A young gentleman came to a meeting a month ago requesting that the Town look at putting in such a facility for the youth of Clarence. They get a lot of use out of their facility. We are checking into everything to see if it is something we can do here.
Councilman Weiss said the Town Board met with Erie County Sewer about their proposal to consolidate our sewers with the County. So far, it is under discussion.
Motion by Councilman Kolber, seconded by Councilman Bylewski to accept, with regret, the resignation of Eric Heuser as alternate to the Zoning Board of Appeals. Upon roll call Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Patrick Casilio. Motion carried.
Councilman Kolber said this creates an opening for the Alternate to the Zoning Board of Appeals with a term to expire 12/31/07. Applications will be accepted through June 24, 2006 to fill the position.
Motion by Councilman Kolber, seconded by Councilman Weiss to accept, with regret, the resignation of Ann Houseman from the Community Residences Committee. Upon roll call Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Patrick Casilio. Motion carried.
Councilman Kolber said applications will be accepted through June 24, 2006 to fill two positions on the Community Residences Committee with an annual term to expire 12/31/06. This committee only meets when there is a proposal before the Town for a community residence or group home.
Motion by Councilman Kolber, seconded by Councilman Weiss to grant approval for Out-of-District Customer status for Robert D. Roach, Jr. at 4547 Gentwood Drive, Williamsville to Erie County Sewer District No. 5. On the question, Councilman Kolber said this is to connect to a sewer line that is 60 ft. from his home to mitigate his failing septic system. Upon roll call Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Patrick Casilio. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Kolber, seconded by Councilman Weiss to grant Assessor David Folger permission to attend an assessment training class on "Analysis of Income and Expense Statements" to earn 6 hours of annual required training at a cost of $95 and use of a Town vehicle. Upon roll call Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Patrick Casilio. Motion carried.
Councilman Kolber said he will make an appointment to the Library Board at the next Town Board meeting.
Motion by Councilman Weiss, seconded by Councilman Kolber that upon recommendation of Parks Crew Chief John Burns, the following be hired in the Parks Department as Summer Help at the budgeted rate of pay: Benjamin Elkington and Matthew Laziekas effective May 30, 2006. On the question, Councilman Weiss said this is to replace two people who declined employment. Upon roll call Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Patrick Casilio. Motion carried.
Councilman Weiss announced that the Day in the Park Committee is meeting on Friday morning at 8:00 A.M. in the Clubhouse. Any groups still interested should attend. There are a few spots left if they want to make some money for their groups.
Dawn Kinney, Youth Director reported that since December 2005, they have provided various activities and events for over 250 youth. The Youth Volunteer Program has provided community service opportunities for approximately 70 youth. The Clarence Youth Department has been established. They initiated a school/community collaboration with the Clarence School District. A Youth Advisory Council was appointed including four youth members. Michele Orvis was hired as a part time program coordinator. A needs assessment process has begun with the University of Buffalo. A summer youth series will begin this summer along with the recreation programs.
Town Engineer Joseph Latona said they submitted the annual Stormwater II Report updating the activities conducted on all six items that have to be ready for 2008.
A Public Hearing was held to consider a Temporary Conditional Permit for outside dining at the Saffire Grill, 9780 Main Street. James Callahan the location is the north side of Main Street, east of Spaulding Drive consisting of approximately .7 acre zoned Commercial.
A Public Hearing was held to consider the request by Heritage Christian Services to establish a group home for four individuals at 10966 Keller Road.
Dr. Roger Czarnecki requests a 4-Lot Minor Subdivision off Willow Lake Drive with 2 lots along Thompson Road and 2 lots along Willow Lake Drive. James Callahan said the location is the east side of Thompson Road and the east side of Willow Lake Drive with the overall property consisting of 14 acres zoned Residential Single Family.
John Kavanagh requests a Minor Subdivision Approval to create an additional residential lot in the Agricultural Rural Residential Zone on Kenfield Road. James Callahan said the location is the east side of Kenfield Road, north of Lapp Road consisting of 17.5 acres. The applicant is seeking to split one parcel. There have been three previous splits over the last three years.
William Walker requests a Fill Permit at 7495 Transit Road. James Callahan said the property is located on the east side of Transit Road between Lapp and Wolcott Roads consisting of approximately 27.9 acres zoned Restricted Business along the frontage and Agricultural to the rear. The Town Engineer has forwarded conditions: 1. Identifying the proposed area for fill is within the flood density floodway of Black Creek, the maximum fill dimensions must not exceed 140 ft. in the north/south direction and 340 ft. in the east/west direction, and fill elevation must not exceed 586 ft. 2. Applicant to provide written verifications of origin and quantity of fill. If fill is from multiple locations, written verification from each location prior to hauling fill on site. Written verification must contain certification that the fill is free of hazardous material. 3. The Engineering Department is to be notified at least 48 hours prior to filling operation beginning. 4. Should a drainage issue arise as a result of the fill, the owner agrees to resolve the problem in accordance with Engineering Department recommendations. 5. No other work is approved on the site without approvals or permits from the Town of Clarence.
Arthur Fuerst requests a Public Hearing to consider a Special Exception Use Permit for a Drive-Thru Coffee Shop at 9450 Main Street. James Callahan said the location is the northwest corner of Main and Goodrich consisting of approximately 1.09 acres zoned Commercial. A Negative Declaration was issued May 10, 2006.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Bylewski that at the request of the applicant, Harris Hill Commons, their request for a determination on Sewer District Formation to service a proposed 88-lot Open Space Design Development be tabled until the next meeting. Upon roll call Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Patrick Casilio. Motion carried.
Bruce Bonhoff requests a Demolition Permit for a structure older than 50 years at 5955 Thompson Road. James Callahan said the property is located on the east side of Thompson Road, south of Clarence Center Road. This is considered a Type I Action under SEQRA and a coordinated review is required.
Domenic Piestrak requests Road Dedication of approximately 500 lineal feet of Meadowglen Drive in the previously approved Hidden Pond Phase 2, Part 3 Final Plat. James Callahan said this was an oversight in the Final Plat Approval granted February 23, 2005. The Final Plat has been filed and all roads dedicated to the Town. The Highway Department needs to have the road included for filing purposes for New York State.
Motion by Councilman Weiss, seconded by Councilman Bylewski to grant approval for the following: Clubhouse Applications - A. Clarence Hollow Association July 8, 2006; B. Clarence Little League Football July 29, 2006. Legion Hall Applications - A. Debbie Singer July 15, 2006; and B. Daniel Michnik Sept. 1, 2006. On the question, Councilman Bylewski said that various members of the Town Board are members of the Clarence Hollow Association, however, this is ministerial and they will be voting. Upon roll call Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Patrick Casilio. Motion carried.
Motion by Councilman Bylewski, seconded by that after proper audit and review by the Town Board, the bills of May 18, 2006 are approved for payment: General Fund $336,430.15; Highway Fund - $8,729.27; Water District - $165,220.93; Capital Fund - $16,637.80; and Trust & Agency 203 - $1,579.22 for a total amount of $528,597.37. Upon roll call Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Patrick Casilio. Motion carried.
"For the Good of the Town"
James Gresens, Attorney is representing Paul Marinaccio, who has a serious condition involving his property on Lapp Road. The property is being flooded because of the Town's actions in allowing a detention pond behind lots 3 & 4 on Hearthstone Drive to drain to the north onto his property. They have asked to have this placed on the agenda for a resolution. If they have to go the legal route, they will, but they want to make the Town aware that this condition was authorized and approved by the Town Engineer in 2000. There is a memo in the Town file that states once the drainage ditches on Kieffer's property are cleaned, there will be more water dumping into the adjoining properties to the north and to the west. The Town was to contact Mr. Marinaccio for an easement, but it was never obtained. He asked that this be placed on the next agenda so that interested people can comment.
Gary Wright said he believes that Tonawanda Creek Road should be repaired, but he does not think it should be paid by public funds. He believes it was caused by altering the water table which caused lower aquifer to wash out that section of roadway. He believes that until testing is done to prove that, that was not the case, no public funds should be used to repair it. It should be paid by the people who caused the damage.
There being no further business, Supervisor Hallock adjourned the meeting at 8:50 P.M. in memory of a good friend of hers, as well as a good friend of the Town of Clarence, David Brace. He has been a wonderful, generous and talented individual who will be sadly missed.
Nancy C. Metzger