A Work Session of the Clarence Town Board was held on June 1, 2005 at Clarence Town Hall, One Town Place, Clarence, NY.
Supervisor Kathleen Hallock called the meeting to order at 9:05 A.M. Members of the Town Board present were Council Members’ Scott Bylewski and Bernie Kolber. Councilman McPherson and Councilman Weiss were not present. Other Town Officials present were Director of Community Development James Callahan, Asst. Director of Community Development James Hartz, Town Attorney Steven Bengart, Deputy Supervisor Anne Case, Town Engineer Joseph Latona, Civil Engineer Tim Lavocat, Senior Building Inspector Dave Metzger, Building Inspector Jeff Wilson, Plumbing Inspector John Binner and Deputy Highway Superintendent Greg Giblin.
Brad Guay – Army Corps of Engineers – soils
The Army Corps of Engineers did a one year field study with the Town of Amherst to diagnosis what may be causing foundation problems. There were 501 foundation repair permits issued however, the numbers in the affected areas are approximately 10x’s greater than what is reflected in the Towns data. The average age of homes affected ranged from 3 years to 47 years. The average repair cost ranged from $1,000 to $80,000. The Army Corps of Engineers predicts the future number of repair permits issued could reach 2000.
There were nearly 1,100 houses requesting repair permits or inquires. Approximately half the cases in Amherst were from damage caused by lateral pressure which is a force pushing on the sides of the basement wall causing the wall to bow or crack. Those homes are not settling. The other half of cases reported was from a combination of lateral pressure with differential settlement or differential settlement. Differential settlement means some portions of the home are settling at a different rate than another portion of the home.
Lateral pressure is caused by soil weight, frost, hydrostatic pressure and soil swelling. Expansive soils swell when wet and shrink when dry. Anything that causes non-uniform moisture change around a home is going to cause one part of the home to either heave or sink.
Town Engineer Joseph Latona stated that our building inspectors have been more sensitive to ground and soil conditions and locations of ground water in our area. In some instances, if a building inspector goes out on a dig and notices that the soil varies from what he thought it would be, he calls the designer to come out and verify it. The responsibility is put on the designer that he has certified that he has designed the foundation for that particular house for that particular soil.
NY State Residential Code does not provide in depth guidance regarding design construction, evaluation and repair of basement walls and foundations for these soil conditions.
It is being recommended that homeowners perform bi-annual foundation inspections and retain a licensed engineer when appropriate.
Supervisor Kathleen Hallock
Supervisor Hallock announced that Dawn Trippi would be available next week Tuesday in the Councilman’s office if anyone has any work for her to do.
Morning Work Sessions will not be scheduled for July and August unless needed. The next morning Work Session will be scheduled for the first Wednesday in September and October.
Town Engineer Joseph Latona will give a sewer update at the June 8, 2005 Town Board meeting. The Heise-Brookhaven Trunk Sewer is in place and has been accepted by NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. Sewers have been installed along Greiner Road, Hillcrest Dr., and Bank Street and along Main Street. The DEC has taken up some mitigation items with the Heise-Brookhaven Corporation. We have a connection fee to pay per the contract and then people in the Clarence Hollow area (Bank Street, Hillcrest Drive, Greiner Road and Main Street) can start to hook up to the sewer. Residents have 90 days from the time they receive notice from the Engineering Department to hook up.
Existing septic tanks must be decommissioned, they will have to be pumped out and filled with stone or broken up. There are regulations to comply with and a record will be kept on each one as to what was done.
There is a no-interest Community Development Grant available for those that qualify and cannot afford to hook up the sewer.
Town Engineer Latona stated that there are two issues regarding the bike path from Clarence Center Road through Waterford to Roll Road. There are two parts to the Waterford bike path. Waterford has given NYSEG an easement however, they own the right-of-way. Town Engineer Latona went after NYSEG for an easement for the second part of the bike path for a parking area. NYSEG has approved both easements however; there is some language in the contract that must be discussed with the Town Board. The Highway Department will begin working on the northern section of the bike path this year.
Town Attorney Bengart said that he has not seen a copy of the easement for the northern section of the proposed bike path. The language will be similar to that for the southern section of the bike path with the parking lot. There are several issues regarding the use of it, in order to grant the easement, NYSEG wants the ability to put up structures, run lines and have access, which would go through the bike path. Further, NYSEG uses 16T trucks and if they damage the bike path, they will not be responsible. The other issue in the agreement reads: the grantee (Town of Clarence) agrees to pay to the grantor (NYSEG) any tax money which would be reflective by an increase in assessed valuation of the property as a result of the use and improvement of same by the grantee. Town Assessor Dave Folger said the addition of a parking lot would not increase the value of the land. The Town would be responsible for paying any tax increase that NYSEG would incur. Town Engineer Latona said that if NYSEG is granting the Town of Clarence an easement, the parking lot does not belong to them.
The bike path will be located to the west of the tension wire. From Clarence Center Road to Curry Lane the path will be located to the west. When you get to Curry Lane the path will shift to the east side and then into Waterford. The owners of Waterford are supplying all the blacktop.
Town Engineer Latona said that the Board has requested that the gates on the bike paths be removed. The NYS Police have also requested the gates be eliminated to provide access for security personnel. If the gates were eliminated from this particular bid package, the savings would be between $16,000. - $17,000. there would be money left over to do other things. The real issue is security, if the gates are eliminated, in the wintertime snowmobiles will use the trails. We could accommodate NYSEG trucks by letting them have a key. As long as we provide access, NYSEG is in agreement with this. Town Attorney Bengart will go forward with the easement.
Supervisor Hallock stated that the NYS Police and Erie County Sheriff would prefer that the gates not be installed on the bike paths. Town Engineer Latona stated that there was some damage to the road through Memorial Park. The bridge on Ransom Road will have 10’gates 8’ high on each end so no snowmobiles can cross.
Councilman Scott Bylewski
The Town Board has received correspondence regarding drainage issues with Montgomery Park. Town Engineer Latona said that there were severe drainage problems in this area; there were numerous meetings with the Farmington Woods Homeowners Association. Montgomery Park put rear yard drainage throughout all of their lots and the pond level was lowered. Montgomery Park put in the drainage however, Farmington Woods Homeowners Association agreed to maintain it.
Code Enforcement is handling the complaint regarding a Village Mill residence.
Councilman Bylewski announced that Jon Powers has resigned from the Youth Center Board. The vacancy will be announced at the next Town Board meeting.
There was a discussion regarding Dove Medical and Swormville VFC regarding a $1,800 drainage issue.
Councilman Bernie Kolber
Councilman Kolber had issues regarding the Bevilacqua Medical Office complex project at 6475 Transit Road. The applicant clear cut a 45’ green belt buffer that was to be maintained and undisturbed. Director of Community Development James Callahan said that the applicant cleared several dead trees and left some younger mature trees. While that leaves a fairly significant clear cut, rather than come back at a later date when the project is built out and have to remove the dead trees he removed them now before the project is started. Mr. Bevilacqua did submit a letter stating that he would replace all trees removed. It was suggested that Mr. Bevilacqua present a landscape plan that is acceptable to the neighbors and the Landscape Committee and have the applicant commit to a time frame to get it done. The landscaping must be completed and approved before a certificate of occupancy is issued.
There was a discussion regarding Sandra Baker’s beauty salon at 6215 Goodrich Road. Approval was given subject to the right-of-way being restored to green space and the parking area paved and striped. The applicant promised to have this done as soon as the weather permitted however to date nothing has been done. Director of Community Development James Callahan will follow up.
Deputy Supervisor Anne Case attended the grand opening of Summit Federal Credit Union. In their opening remarks, they thanked the Town of Clarence, Planning/Zoning, Town Board, and the Building Department for such a positive experience and cooperation.
There being no further business, the Work Session adjourned at 11:30 A.M.
Darcy A. Snyder