A Work Session of the Clarence Town Board was held on June 7, 2006 at Clarence Town Hall, One Town Place, Clarence, NY.
Supervisor Hallock called the meeting to order at 9:05 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, Director of Community Development James Callahan, Town Engineer Joseph Latona, Assistant Engineer Tim Lavocat, Director of Administration and Finance Pam Smith and Paralegal Cindi Rosel.
Erie County Dept. of Environment & Planning Division of Sewerage Management
A slide presentation was given showing projected rates for service should the Town of Clarence decided to merge with the County. The numbers presented are conservative as the County does not want to overstate what they may be able to provide. In general, over 60% of the Town of Clarence rate payers will see some type of a reduction. However 40% rate payers will see an increase in their rates. One of the factors that affect those increases is assessed value. Assessed values in some districts are higher than others. The projected numbers shown today do not include capital costs or future capital costs, it is strictly for service. If there is debt built into our rate payers, that was also taken into consideration because that is existing debt and part of what they pay now so that was included in the formula.
Thomas Whetham stated today's presentation will summarize several different items specific to potential merger services with EC SD#5 and the existing Town of Clarence sewer districts. There have been several successful mergers between the County and the Town of Lancaster, the Village of Blasdell, Brant/Farnham, Village of East Aurora, Town of Aurora and the Village of Hamburg. These communities have transferred their assets to the County and they have merged or created districts to include these communities. Currently the County is working with the Town of Hamburg, two extensions of EC SD#3, and another extension in the Town of Lancaster.
The reason for merger service include a cost savings for the community and their residents, regulator drivers, (three of the communities that have merged were under consent order with NYS DEC and did not have the resources both on the personnel side and the financial side to be able to address the consent orders) and succession planning (many communities provide this service with their public works or engineering departments and their work force is decreasing in part due to trying to be financially and fiscally solid as possible. The other factor is retirement; these communities can not find good qualified replacements). These are typically the three reasons why a community would consider merging with the County.
The County is going to undertake a study to have one service provider in the Northern Erie County Region which includes Amherst, Clarence, and Williamsville. The County is also completing a study to look at a merger with Cheektowaga, Sloan, and West Seneca. There are ongoing discussions with the Village of Lancaster, Town of Lancaster, Village of Depew and the Town of Hamburg. They will also complete a study with the Buffalo Sewer Authority to look at having them take over the Lackawanna service area into their treatment facility.
Erie County Sewer District #5 provides service to the Town of Clarence rate payers, they also provide service to a small number of residents on the west side of Transit Road in the Town of Amherst. Other reasons the Town of Clarence might want to consider a merger with EC SD#5 is because they are good neighbors, EC SD#5 is on the east side of Transit Road and Clarence sewer districts are just east of that district. The Sanitary Sewer Operations and Maintenance Service are currently being provided to the Town of Clarence by Erie County service crews by contract. So they are already in our community and are familiar with our infrastructure. They do feel that they can offer some economic savings to the town. If the Town has any future capital projects that need to be undertaken, the County would be able to take on those projects and spread those costs over a larger base then the Town would be able to. Because the County is already providing a service to the Town, there would be no change in the level of service. The County is in the position to address any evolving and tightening of regulations, they will not be addressed in just EC SD#5; they have to be addressed across the entire infrastructure they own, operate and maintain.
Erie County Sewer Districts are formed as special districts under County Law Article 5A and are separate from the County General Fund. They are independently funded budgets and they are independent sources of revenue. The users and benefited properties pay sewer charges, the Districts are managed by Erie County Division of Sewerage Management which is a division within the Department of Environment and Planning. The assets are owned by the County but each of the districts is administered by a separate Board of Managers.
Erie County Sewerage Management manages the special districts; there are currently six County Districts. There is a Board of Managers for each of those districts. There is also the Erie County Southtowns Sewerage Treatment Agency. Erie County Sewerage Management is separately funded; revenues are separate from the General Fund. Funds must remain separate, there has to be an accounting reconciliation at the end of each year. There can be no commingling of funds between special districts and the general fund. They do rely on County support services those being the County Controller who borrows on their behalf, budget, procurement, legal, clerk and some other services they receive as well.
They abide by the Union Collective Bargaining Agreements for their work force; there is a Blue Collar and White Collar Union. There is also a workforce class called Managerial Confidential which is not covered by any Collective Bargaining Agreements.
Clarence Town Sewer Districts include SD#2, #6, #7 and SD#9. Councilman Casilio asked what would become of these districts if the Town merged with EC SD#5. Mr. Whetham stated that they would be an extension to EC SD #5. The Town districts would not dissolve, they do not have to be dissolved they can still exist on paper but EC SD#5 extension would over lap those districts. It is easier for them to exist on paper with their district numbers.
EC SD#8 is the Town of Aurora and the Village of East Aurora and that should be created January 1, 2007. It is currently being reviewed by State Audit and Control.
Most of the residents in the Town of Clarence with sewer service are in EC SD #5. There are approximately 3,600 units. The County owns, operates and maintains the infrastructure within Sewer District #5. In Town Sewer Districts #2, #6, #7 and #9 the Town owns the infrastructure however, the County currently operates and maintains the infrastructure by contract. There are approximately 1,250 units served. Town Engineer Latona stated that there are 350 units in SD#9.
There is a service agreement between the Town and County districts. The agreement is that the local district can connect, convey and treat sewage into the County interceptor sewers. The County then conveys the sewage to the Town of Amherst where it is treated at the Amherst Water Pollution Control Facility. There is also an agreement to allow the County District to utilize local Clarence Sewer Districts so there is actually a contract where the County pays the Town of Clarence for that service. The annual cost to the Town is approximately $165,000. (the amount the County charges the Town for conveyance to the Town of Amherst). Treatment for EC SD#5 is done by the Town of Amherst at their treatment facility on Tonawanda Creek Road.
Approximately 250,000 residents county wide are served by the six county sewer districts. There are six treatment plants, 80 pumping stations and approximately 800 miles of sewer. Within Erie County south towns, there is another 100,000 residents that service is provided to, two treatment plants in that location, 20 pumping stations and approximately 100 miles of sewer. There is a fairly large service base and infrastructure that Erie County covers.
The Town of Clarence could continue on where the Town will continue to own and contract with the EC SD#5 for operation and maintenance. The other option being presented today is for EC SD#5 to extend to include the Clarence sewer districts that would include ownership transfer from Clarence to the County and that would be for Town of Clarence Sewer Districts #2, #6, #7 and #9. Option one - Status Quo Option, the Town would retain ownership of the assets. Technically the Town would retain operations and maintenance responsibility and continue to contract with Erie County or the Town could seek another means to provide operation and maintenance service by starting our own sewer division. The Town would retain any Capital Project responsibilities. If there are infrastructure needs within the town districts, it would still be the Towns responsibility to take care of those. The Town would retain any liability and regulatory responsibilities. The Town would also continue to tax the residents directly as we do now.
Option two, the County would extend and include the Town districts, the County would continue to provide Operation and Maintenance services during the district extension process, there is an on-going contract for that. Erie County would acquire the Town's assets after the districts extension; they would then take on the liability. They would continue to provide operation and maintenance service after the extension and transfer takes place. Any capital work that would be required in the future would become the County's responsibility.
Mr. Eszak stated that they would take over the Town's districts “as is" and they would assume the debt service on existing debt.
Mr. Whetham stated that they believe that the town residents would save substantially over time, 61% would see an immediate savings. The level of service could possibly increase in the future. The Town's liability would decrease; the County would take on the infrastructure liability. The County would take on the regulatory responsibilities and raise the levy directly from the rate payer; the Town would no longer be responsible for billing residents for sewer service. Infrastructure/capital liability would become EC SD#5 liability.
Councilman Weiss stated that he recently attended a meeting with neighboring town leaders and there is a concern about continuing with 100% assessments he asked that if the Town did away with 100% assessments how would that affect the sewer charge. Mr. Whetham stated that the sewer bill would go down and the reason being is that the Town of Clarence assessments in comparison to the entities within SD #5 are higher. Countywide the Town of Clarence assessments are much higher than other communities in WNY. The rate payer's bill would go down because the cost would be shifted into EC SD#5 and if there is a merger with other county districts it would be shifted to other locations within the county. If assessed values were a key component in the formula, Clarence residents would pay more because they have higher assessed values than other locations in the County. If the county has multiple communities being serviced by one district they use equalization.
Erie County SD#3, (Holland) merger took place in 1980. The County will supply the Town with references from other town mergers.
Drew Eszak stated that in the future, if they do mergers amongst the County districts, there is the possibility that residents of Clarence could be paying for upgrades in other Towns but that capital improvement will be spread out over 350,000 rate payers. Further, other towns could also help pay for upgrades and repairs in the Town of Clarence. Right now the rate for SD#5 is the same for everyone in SD#5. If they ever merge the county districts it would be the same formula across the board.
Councilman Casilio asked if the County would ever merge with the City of Buffalo. Drew Eszak stated that the City would be a separate district with separate rates. Their system combines the sanitary sewage and storm water. The only way the County would take over the City of Buffalo sewer division would be if the City of Buffalo redid their infrastructure and made all the capital improvements. Tom Whetham stated that he has received recent information which would make a merger with the City of Buffalo more unlikely. The Buffalo Sewer Authority is going to be jointly enforced by the EPA and NYSDEC to complete a $500,000,000. project over the next 15 – 20 years to bring their system in line, they will be under orders to do it. Currently they are projecting that the rates will double.
Councilman Weiss asked what would happen if the town received a consent order for the Harris Hill area or if another town receives a consent order. Drew Eszak stated that the Harris Hill area is currently not in a town sewer district, it is not in any sewer district. The town could ask the County to create a district to include the Harris Hill area when they extend SD#5. This would provide the necessary means to pay for any future capital improvements in the Harris Hill area. The downsize to that is that those residents will be charged assessed value, it is a benefit assessment.
Approximately 62% of Clarence residents would see a savings based on the analysis that the County ran. They reviewed 2006 numbers and looked at the Town's current rate structure and compared it to their rate structure. They also looked at the footage, assessment and flat charge. Currently there is an $85. flat charge per unit, $.60 per foot footage charge. If the Town of Clarence does not include the Harris Hill area now, if and when the time comes that they have to complete a capital project, they will have to go it alone, but if they join in, every resident in EC SD #5 will pay for the capital improvement.
Supervisor Hallock asked if commercial properties in SD#5 were charged a water usage charge. Commercial/Industrial properties that consume more than 91,000 gallons of water a year pay a user charge based on water consumption. Residents do no pay for water usage.
There are no county districts with combined storm water and sewer districts. The only entity that they handle storm water is in the City of Lackawanna but they are separate facilities - storm sewers and sanitary sewers and the County provides service to both.
Tom Whetham stated that he will provide the Town with a copy of an agreement from the Town of Hamburg that will show how the asset transfer agreement works, they are very consistent from community to community however, the formula will be different. SD #3 formula is different than SD #5 formula; the level of service is the same.
Deputy Supervisor Anne Case questioned whey the County uses assessed value as opposed to water usage. Drew Eszak stated that a family of six would use more water and pays more than a family of two however, they are both using the same infrastructure that has the base cost associated with it – the sewer has to be maintained in front of your house whether you have six occupants or two.
Councilman Bylewski questioned if the towns sewer districts merge with EC SD#5 would there be an impact of that merger upon the agreement EC SD#5 has with the Town of Amherst treatment facility. Both Tom Whetham and Drew Eszak stated that there was. As EC SD#5 expands and takes on more responsibilities will that impact fees going to the Amherst treatment facility. Tom Whetham stated that it would affect fees but not necessarily the rate and that is something they would have to negotiate with the Town of Amherst. The County would essentially step into the Town of Clarence position and negotiate a deal with the Town of Amherst to include the Town of Clarence sewer districts.
Drew Eszak stated that the long term goal is to put the villages and towns out of the sewer business. There is a problem with how some towns and villages maintain their sewers.
Councilman Bylewski questioned if the Town of Clarence wanted to merge with EC SD#5 and the Town of Amherst did not, could a merger still take place. Drew Eszak stated that the merger could take place the only difference would be that the Town of Clarence would not deal with the Town of Amherst any more, EC #5 would deal directly with them.
The Town of Aurora had an area that was not added as a Town district and was very similar to the Harris Hill area with failing septic systems. The County came out and gave a presentation to the residents within the area of failing septic and put the issues to them, told them what the ramifications would be, explained that they would not be charged until they received the service and explained the pros and the cons. The Town of Aurora sent out a mailer asking the residents to vote yes or no and in this case, the residents voted it down. So when the County crafted the extensions, they excluded that area.
If the Town of Clarence decided to merge with EC SD #5 it would be subject to a permissive referendum. Vacant parcels will be charged for sewer service as will anyone that is within the proposed district. They will pay a benefit assessment (assessed value and footage). You would only pay for footage if there is infrastructure in front of your property, if there is no infrastructure you would only pay assessed value then when you tie in you would also pay a flat charge. Tom Whetham stated that the Town retains approval authority over your sewer extensions not the County; it is the Town's responsibility. Town Engineer Latona asked if it was the Town's responsibility or the Board of Manager. Tom Whetham stated that is was the Town's responsibility. Drew Eszak stated that those are extensions of the sewer district EC SD#5 or out of district customer agreements becomes a function of the Board of Managers. Sewer extensions within EC SD#5 would need Town approval, the Town would have to approve the project. The County will not move on a sewer extension until they get Town approval. When the Town approves a development within SD#5, it is up to the developer to put in the infrastructure and then they turn that over to the County for operation and maintenance but that is only if the Town approves the project.
Councilman Weiss stated that for out-of-district customers the Town does not have the voting power on the Board of Managers. Drew Eszak stated that starting next year, they will allow developers to build and pay for the infrastructure but they will also have to maintain sewers for all out-of-district customers. The County will not maintain any sewers out of district and they will not take them over.
Councilman Weiss asked who becomes responsible if a developer puts in sewers out-of-district and the developer then goes out of business. Drew Eszak stated that it would be the responsibility of the residents to maintain the sewer, the County is not going to take on the operation and maintenance of any out of district customers. Town Engineer Latona stated that it would have to be done under a Sewerage Works Corporation and then if they go out of business it becomes the towns' responsibility. Drew Eszak stated that the County has 130 square miles of property with sewers why would they take on any more; they want to use up what they already have in place.
Councilman Bylewski stated that theoretically if a development is presented to the Town and for what ever reason it gets approved, it is an out of district customer agreement but the County will not provide operations and maintenance, that will be up to the developer. Drew Eszak stated that the Town has to realize that if they approve that development and it is outside the district, ultimately it could fall back on the Town to operate and maintain. Town Engineer Latona stated the by law in NYS you can only privately own and operate under a Sewage Works Corporation. The approvals are pivotal to the projects. The DEC has approval of the Sewage Works Corporation, the reason for this is to insure that operation and maintenance takes place.
Upon a merger, the County will not approve sewer service unless the Town is in favor of the proposed project. The County will bring out-of-district customer agreements to the Town for approval. If a project is consistent with the Master Plan and it is in the district, the Town would approve it. Drew Eszak stated that in the future, the County is going to use up excess capacity before they add any additional capacity. The capacity would go towards existing developments vs. vacant land.
Councilman Bylewski said that the Town currently has two projects that are pursuing out-of-district status; they are at the Planning level. In a years time if they don't have final approval from the Town and the Legislature approves this policy would that development then be an out-of-district customer and would the developer be responsible for operation and maintenance. Drew Eszak stated that was correct, the Legislature will consider the proposed policy for adoption in October and it will take effect January 1, 2007. There will be no “grandfathering" in any projects that are presently in the planning stages.
Drew Eszak stated that when the proposed policy was first introduced to the developers, they were totally against it until they heard that there are 130 square miles of vacant property with existing infrastructure. While it may cost the developers more for the land, the County will incentivise any way they can to push development into existing infrastructure areas such as helping out with expanding the road, laterals or other incentives.
In order for a merger to take place, the Town would review the proposal and if they agreed to extend EC SD#5 a resolution would be passed that would request formal consideration of the extension by the County. The Town Board would authorize the Supervisor to execute an asset transfer agreement. That Resolution gets forwarded to SD#5 Board of Managers and the County Legislature. A public informational meeting is scheduled to inform the public of the Towns intent however, it is not required. The County will give a public presentation and answer any questions. The County Legislation would begin the process of district formation and negotiate an asset transfer agreement. The district formation process itself includes preparing a map, plan and report which must be approved by EC SD#5; it is then submitted to the Legislature at which time the Legislature has to call for a Public Hearing. The Public Hearing is held downtown, notices are mailed to the residents that will be impacted. All comments from the Public Hearing are noted. At that point if the Legislature wants to move forward with the action, they pass a resolution extending SD#5. NYS Audit and Control would receive a copy of the action. Once the Legislature passes the approving resolution, it is then open for forty-five days and is subject to permissive referendum (100 signatures or 5% whichever is less).
There is Town law that talks about a town selling or leasing their infrastructure to another entity, which is subject to mandatory referendum. A transfer at no cost may not be subject to the mandatory referendum requirement per Town Law. This would have to be discussed with the Town Attorney. Town Engineer Latona stated that the reason why there was no referendum when Erie County Water Authority took over our water facility is because ECWA did not take over the entire system, the Town of Clarence still owns the water tank on Goodrich Road.
Councilman Casilio asked if the transfer would be permanent. Tom Whetham stated what they have done in other communities in the asset transfer agreement they have a buy back clause where the Town could buy the system back. However, if the County commits significant capital money into the sewer system and if the Town wants to take it back, they take on the capital debt that goes with it. That is why it is called a buy back.
If the extension is formed, the Town has debt service particularly in town district #2. The Town would continue to have the obligation for the debt service but what has been worked out in other communities is that the County will raise the revenue from the entire rate base, the Town then bills the County and the County pays the Town for the debt service. The Town will not bill its residents for the debt service, the County will. Any debt service will be spread over SD#5. The debt schedule will be put in the agreement.
Benefits of the merger would include maintaining the level of service residents are accustomed to, decrease the cost of service and provide rate stability, the Town will no longer have to address the regulatory requirements, sewer charges are deductible on tax returns, unified rates for all customers, improved environment particularly if the Harris Hill area could be brought in, increased value of sewer assets and reduce town liability.
Councilman Weiss asked when the Town of Clarence could appoint their own members to SD#5 Board of Managers. Tom Whetham stated that the understanding was when the Town agrees to an extension then they could choose their appointments. Drew Eszak stated that the County Legislature has to send a letter to the County Executive stating he has no objections. Tom Whetham stated that if the Town passes the aforementioned resolution, they will make it happen. The resolution is twofold, it requests that the County consider extending EC SD#5 and it also authorizes the Supervisor to negotiate and execute a transfer agreement subject to approval by the Town Attorney and the Town Board. It is also subject to a permissive referendum.
Councilman Kolber stated that the Harris Hill area keeps coming up and he feels that it is important to include them with this merger. Supervisor Hallock stated that the Harris Hill area is a high priority.
Tom Whetham stated that there is no infrastructure in the Harris Hill area so not only does the Town need to get the infrastructure to that location but you must build it within Harris Hill and it is a costly undertaking. If Harris Hill is made part of SD#5 it would become SD#5 responsibility, if it is excluded from SD#5 then it is Harris Hill's responsibility exclusively. If the Harris Hill area is included in SD#5, they will be charged an assessed value charge and it may be several years before they get sewer hookup.
Councilman Casilio asked if the Town should be engineering the actual construction drawings. Tom Whetham stated that they have the ability to do this type of work in-house and they can estimate how much it will cost to provide the service to the Town. Town Engineer Latona stated that there is a threshold with the State Comptroller, if you exceed that threshold you will not be able to proceed.
Councilman Bylewski asked that if the Town did the merger and the Harris Hill area was included how long it will take EC SD#5 to extend sewers to Harris Hill. Tom Whetham stated that logistically it will not take very long; realistically it will take at least ten years until the money will be available.
Conservation Committee Report – Peter Wolf and Joel Radder
Peter Wolfe stated that he and Joel Radder feel that a section of the lake at the Main Street Park is being destroyed by the geese. The shoreline is eroding and disappearing from the ducks and geese going in and out of the pond. Several trees are also being destroyed. Peter Wolfe noted that wherever there are rocks along the pond, the geese and ducks do no go near them. The problem can be solved by placing large rocks in the eroded areas. It has been noted that areas around the pond where there are rocks, the area is intact.
Joel Radder stated that he is a self-appointed custodian of the lake. He visits the pond two or three times a week and cleans up any trash around the pond, this year he cleaned out the overflows of debris and rock.
Councilman Bylewski asked if the pond was protected by the DEC, if so permits may be required.
Joel Radder is suggesting lining the north side of the pond with stone.
Conservation Committee member Linda Costanzo suggested the Town take a look at the Town of Amherst composting facility. She feels we are basically giving our compost product away. Last year we bid it out and it was sold for between $1 - $2 a cubic yard last year.
Supervisor Hallock stated that our Morbark grinder was purchased with DEC grant money therefore we can not charge our residents for the mulch.
Peter Wolf stated that in speaking with the Town of Amherst, they expect to make between $250,000 - $400,000. this year alone. They received grant money and bond money to purchase their equipment, their bond money is nearly paid back. Supervisor Hallock hesitates to create a new level of government.
Peter Wolf stated that the Town of Clarence can not match the Town of Amherst. They charge to dump grass clippings and brush. Anyone can buy their product. Their premium mulch is sold for $13. a yard loaded on your truck. Payment is done on site with check only, no cash allowed.
The Conservation Committee feels that the Town of Clarence has a good product that we are just giving away. They suggested having the leaf compost available to residents for a fee. It could be piled at the highway barns and loaded on to trailers or trucks by a highway department employee.
Supervisor Hallock suggested we put it out to bid with a minimum bid price.
The Town Board suggested Peter Wolf meet with Highway Superintendent Ted Donner to see if this is doable.
Councilman Bylewski stated that the Concert Association would like to have a temporary sign located outside the Town Park entrance to announce upcoming concerts. The sign would be up for approximately six weeks. Supervisor Hallock said that Parks Policy is that groups having events in the Park are allowed to put a sign up one week before the event. Councilman Bylewski will discuss this with Parks Crew Chief John Burns.
Supervisor Kathleen Hallock
The Clarence IDA is sponsoring an Economic Development presentation on Monday, June 12th at 7:00 P.M. in the town hall auditorium. The seminar is to advise businesses on how they can take advantage of some IDA initiatives. Businesses have been notified and an ad will be in today's paper. The IDA has paid for everything associated with this seminar.
Supervisor Hallock will attend an Erie County Road Patrols meeting in Elma on June 12th @ 6:30 P.M. Supervisor Hallock met with several town supervisors and they have indicated that they do not ever want to contract with the County for Sheriff's Patrol because they are not dealing with Sheriff Tim Howard, they are dealing with the County Executive. The Town of Amherst has unofficially contacted the Town of Clarence offering police service along with the Town of Lancaster. Councilman Casilio has also contacted the Commander of State Troopers to make him aware of what is going on.
Supervisor Hallock reminded everyone about the July 5th and July 12th work sessions.
The Town Board received a letter on Monday from Jeff Palumbo regarding the Rubino subdivision. Mr. Palumbo has provided the SEQRA information however it was not determined if it was related to Rubino's proposed development. Councilman Bylewski stated that the Town Board has made their determination and there are still some unanswered questions regarding the overall SEQRA process and the extension of out of district SD#5 into SD#6 that have not been addressed. Director of Community Development James Callahan stated that this has been forwarded to the TEQR Committee, the action being the utilization of excess capacity in SD #5 or SD#6 and the ramifications of that. The letter will be forwarded to the Town Attorney for review.
Supervisor Hallock has one item for Executive Session.
Councilman Scott Bylewski
Councilman Bylewski stated that in the past the Town did a resolution regarding the Williamsville Toll Barriers. Karen Jurek pulled the prior resolution and it looks similar to the resolution circulated several weeks ago. Councilman Bylewski would like to add language to the resolution passed before. He has heard from some residents that they would like as minimal of an impact on the town as possible and he would like to add some language to that resolution indicating this so that we can forward it to the thruway authority.
A draft of the Landscape Law has become available. There is an issue regarding the specimen tree length. Supervisor Hallock said she has a problem with requiring a permit to remove a tree. James Callahan said that would be impossible to police, you would make law breakers out of many town residents. Councilman Bylewski stated that there was talk from a resident regarding policing of the specimen trees and questioned whether the language regarding specimen trees be removed from the proposed local law and is a permit required to plant a specimen tree (specimen trees are 18" diameter at breast height). Councilman Bylewski questioned whether the specimen tree language should be eliminated from the proposed local law then we would be dealing more with the commercial and residential developments as they go in dealing with street trees and park trees. Councilman Kolber suggested exempting existing residential developments. Councilman Bylewski said he would not exempt the street trees and park trees from existing developments. James Callahan stated that the way the law reads they will not get into issuing permits other then if it is a new lot and the applicant is removing more than ten trees out of the frontage. Supervisor Hallock stated that we have to be fully aware of what we are putting into law and what impact it would have on the residents.
Master Plan public comments from 2005 and 2006 will be accepted and be incorporated into the Master Plan.
The Planning Board is requesting a joint meeting with the Town Board, they are recommending any Monday evening except the first Monday of the month at 7:00 P.M. September 11th was the agreed upon date.
At the May 24, 2006 Town Board meeting with Erie County Division of Sewerage Management, it was suggested that the Town pass a Local Law indicating the Town will give priority to solving pollution problems as opposed to providing capacity for new growth. Town Attorney Bengart will review.
Councilman Bylewski has one item of Executive Session regarding employment history of corporations.
Councilman Joseph Weiss
Councilman Weiss questioned whether Clarence Middle School has received any communication from Heise Brookhaven Sewage Corporation regarding their ability to tap into the sewer. Councilman Kolber spoke to Tom Coseo two weeks ago and he has not heard anything back from Heise Brookhaven aside from the letter that was sent to the Town and to them – there has been no response or further contact. Tom Coseo has spoken directly to Kevin Curry as to whether the school could tie in and he did not get a response. The school is proceeding along with the assumption that they will be able to tie into the sewer. They do have a contingency plan in place for reworking their existing septic field and enlarging their on-site treatment facility if need be. It will be 18 months until the school gets to that point.
Town Attorney Bengart has also not heard back from Heise Brookhaven as to the allocation of sewer taps.
Councilman Weiss received a letter from Town Engineer Latona regarding a storm sewer that was broken.
Councilman Kolber spoke to Samina Raja regarding the building cap. She indicated that you can have a defensible position as long as it is justified. Councilman Kolber would like to see Professor Raja build this case for the Town. Councilman Kolber will schedule a Work Session meeting for June 14th with Professor Raja.
Councilman Weiss and Youth Director Dawn Kinney will look at skate parks in Orchard Park and the Town of Hamburg.
Councilman Weiss will be out of the country June 19.
Chip Trapper sent a memo regarding an application received from an out of town resident requesting summer employment. The applicant's sister was hired last year because she was the only qualified applicant. However this year we have enough qualified town residents to fill all positions.
Councilman Weiss recently attended a meeting with neighboring town leaders and there is growing concern about continuing with 100% assessments that we are setting the populous up to get hit with higher taxes. Councilman Bylewski stated that if you don't assess at 100%, then there is an equalization rate that comes into play and the equalization rate in theory is suppose to do the same thing as the 100% valuation. The reason why the state is pushing for 100% valuation has to do with the corruption that occurred down state, there was a municipality or county that did not do a reassessment for seven years.
There was a discussion regarding the correspondence received from Tyson Smith. Councilman Weiss questioned whether anyone has contacted the schools as they are a vital part of this report. It was noted that all the neighboring schools other than Lancaster have been contacted. Councilman Bylewski stated that the schools are very interested in working with the Town. Councilman Kolber felt that the e-mail from Tyson Smith does not address anything and that this project has been going on for two years.
Councilman Bernie Kolber
A joint School Board/Town Board meeting will be scheduled for August 21, 2006 @ 5:30 P.M.
Councilman Kolber will contact Samina Raja to set up a meeting date with the Town Board.
Councilman Patrick Casilio
Councilman Casilio toured the Amherst Senior Center facility and found it was very accommodating and informative.
Councilman Casilio will meet with the Clergy Association on June 8th; he will speak about growth in Clarence.
Councilman Casilio attending the Planning Board Work Session, there was discussion regarding 200' existing road frontage for subdivisions and out of district sewer customers. Councilman Casilio brought up the subject of a noise ordinance and large trucks traveling in residential areas. Jim Callahan stated that those issues are addressed in the Zoning Law however the problem is enforcement.
Councilman Casilio is helping Parks Security develop a Policy Manual.
Regarding public utilities, one resident was against the installation of street lights on Lapp and Martin Road so they will not be installed. The Spaulding Lake residents said yes to the installation of a light however the developers installed the original lights and then the Town took them over. So if they want additional lights, they should pay for them and the town will maintain it. There have been some problems in the Harris Hill area with older light poles being replaced with aluminum poles. In 2003 there are minutes indicating that NYSEG was to go street by street replacing the street lights in the Harris Hill area. Willow Brook Road residents have gas lights and would like to replace them because they cost too much money. A meeting is being scheduled to discuss this.
Councilman Casilio will make an appointment to the Recycling Committee at the next regular Town Board meeting.
Councilman Casilio is working with Don Adams to see if municipal waste haulers in the Town of Clarence would consider picking up trash on one day in certain areas instead of spreading it out over two or three days. Some haulers pick up all in one day. Councilman Casilio stated that the Town issues licenses to the haulers and we can control the dollar amount we charge them, he feels that the Recycling Committee should be meeting with the licensed haulers on an annual basis to review the past year.
Karen Jurek is working on scheduling a meeting with Senator Mary Lou Rath, Supervisor Hallock and Councilman Casilio regarding sidewalks.
Councilman Casilio has requested a report from Pam Smith detailing what the Town pays out in professional services.
Councilman Casilio voiced his concern over the fact that the Town did not have a representative present at the meeting regarding Avian Flu. Both Town Disaster Coordinators could not attend the meeting.
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 corporation, employment history of an individual and §105(1) H sale of real property. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
There being no further business, the Work Session adjourned at 12:10 P.M.
Darcy A. Snyder
Motion by Councilman Bylewski, seconded by Supervisor Hallock to adjourn the Executive Session at 12:40 P.M. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried. No action taken.