A Work Session of the Clarence Town Board was held September 1, 2004 at Clarence Town Hall, One Town Place, Clarence, NY.
Supervisor Kathleen Hallock called the meting to order at 9:00 A.M. Members of the Town Board present were Council Member’s Ian McPherson, Scott Bylewski, Joseph Weiss and Bernard Kolber. Other Town Officials present were Town Attorney Steven Bengart, Town Assessor David Folger and Director of Community Development James Callahan.
Review Park Pavilion fees and applications
The Parks Department and Town Clerk’s office have come up with several recommendations for use of the Town Clubhouse and Park Pavilion/Shelters. Other surrounding town’s charge for use of their pavilions/shelters. The Parks Department budget is $1,000,067.
Councilman Kolber stated that implementing user fees for pavilions will cut down on double bookings and hopefully deter non-residents from using them. Many times non-residents will get a family member or friend who is a Clarence resident to book a pavilion for them. The fees will off-set some of the costs involved with cleanup and double bookings.
There was discussion regarding both a user fee and deposit. Supervisor Hallock stated that if a deposit is required, people will be less inclined to double book dates. Parks Crew Chief John Burns stated that a required deposit will ensure that the pavilions will be left cleaner.
Councilman Kolber stated that we are in the process of rewriting the rules and regulations to make the applicant aware of their responsibilities for using the pavilions/shelters.
It was suggested that service organizations may use the Clubhouse free of charge for their monthly meetings. Anything above and beyond a monthly meeting such as banquets, dinners, fund raisers, will be charged a flat fee. The use of dishes would be an additional flat fee.
Town Attorney Bengart suggested charging an annual fee to organizations that use the Clubhouse on a monthly basis.
Councilman Kolber suggested allowing service organizations use of the Clubhouse free of charge as long as they are not serving food that would entail extra clean up.
Town Clerk Nancy Metzger stated that we want to stream line the application process so there is no “wiggle room.”
Councilman Bylewski asked for a break down of what it costs the town to operate each facility (Legion Hall, Clubhouse and Pavilions). Supervisor Hallock stated that the cost to operate the Clubhouse last year was $107,000. The Legion Hall was $19,600. Parks Crew Chief John Burns stated that the Legion Hall gets used every day and is cleaned every day. A $50 user fee is charged and $150. deposit. Once the key is returned and the building inspected, the deposit is returned to the applicant. The deposit check is not cashed, the Town Clerk’s office holds it until after the event and as long as there is no damage to the building, the deposit check is returned to the applicant. Service Organizations use the Legion Hall free of charge for their monthly meetings.
It was suggested that a $100 flat fee be charged for use of the Clubhouse and $50 each additional day for dinners, banquets, fundraisers etc. Councilman Bylewski suggested using the same fee schedule for the Clubhouse as we do for the Legion Hall – a user fee and deposit.
It was the consensus of the Town Board to leave Legion Hall user fees as is. Service Organizations will be allowed usage of the Clubhouse free of charge for their monthly meetings.
Councilman McPherson suggested determining the fees based on past history of the organization using the facility.
Supervisor Hallock suggested one flat fee for use of dishes whether you have 10 people or 100 people.
Councilman Bylewski suggested reviewing the application regulations and usage annually.
Councilman McPherson suggested not charging a user fee but charge a clean up fee.
Councilman Weiss stated that the town buildings are costly to operate and maintain.
It was suggested that if the clubhouse was being used for a banquet facility and a dinner is being served, the organization should be charged a fee.
Town Attorney Bengart stated that from a legal point of view, you should set a base rate and then charge extra for anything above and beyond that.
Parks Crew Chief John Burns will take a look at all the scheduled large events and see what costs were involved in hosting them at the clubhouse.
Town Clerk Nancy Metzger stated that her and Parks Crew Chief John Burns are recommending that the clubhouse be made available for service organizations to use free of charge for meetings and only charge for special events. They would like to simplify the process as much as possible.
There was discussion regarding user fees for use of all park pavilions. Councilman McPherson felt the fee should be tied to a clean up charge.
It was suggested that we charge a basic flat fee and then an additional fee for any extra clean up for special events.
Town Clerk Nancy Metzger stated that the fee will help off-set some of the clean up costs and make it as simple as possible. If the fee is not paid, the pavilion will not be unlocked. A reservation will not be confirmed unless the applicant has filled out an application and submitted their fee.
Supervisor Hallock asked that everyone review the information that was discussed today and we will revisit this at a later date.
Councilman Scott Bylewski
Motion by Councilman Bylewski, seconded by Supervisor Hallock to adopt the following resolution regarding Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder:
Whereas, Attention Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder (also know as AD/HD or ADD), is a chronic neurobiological disorder, affecting both children and adults, that can significantly interfere with an individual’s ability to regulate activity level, inhibit behavior, and attend to tasks in developmentally appropriate ways; and
Whereas, AD/HD can cause devastating consequences, including failure in school and the workplace, antisocial behavior, encounters with the justice system, interpersonal difficulties, and substance abuse; and
Whereas, AD/HD, affects as many as 2,000,000 young school age children as well an estimated 8,000,000 adults and scientific studies clearly indicate that AD/HD runs in families; and
Whereas, there is a need to educate health care professionals, employers and educators about the disorder and a need for well-trained mental health professionals capable of performing proper diagnosis; and
Whereas, various studies reveal that through proper and comprehensive diagnosis and treatment, the systems of AD/HD can be substantially decreased and quality of life for the individual can be improved; and
Whereas, Federal, State and Local governments have a responsibility to raise public awareness, consider ways to improve access to and the quality of mental health services dedicated to the purpose of improving the quality of life for children and adults with AD/HD; and
Now Therefore Be It Resolved, that the Clarence Town Board recognizes AD/HD as a major health concern throughout the country as well as in the Clarence community and encourages the public to find out more about AD/HD and its supporting mental health services and to seek the appropriate treatment and support if and when necessary; and
Be It Further Resolved, the Clarence Town Board supports the resolution of the United States Senate and hereby proclaims that September 7, 2004 be known as “National Attention Deficit Disorder Awareness Day” in the Town of Clarence. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
GAR Associates, Inc.Walter Allen and Cindy Baire/Assessor Dave Folger
Walter Allen stated that six years ago the Town of Clarence entered into a six year program with the State of New York to maintain annual assessments. As the town has grown, the need for appraisal systems technology to generate anywhere from eight to over ten thousand appraisals a year has also grown. Many things that GAR does are tied to just the evaluation of real estate, both with assisting Dave Folger with the modeling and having people in the field doing sales verification. GAR has to mimic the market process, much of their work is labor intense in terms of physically going out into the field and visiting the properties that sell and creating computer models with the version four system the state has. They run statistical programs before they go out into the field to find out where the market is moving and where the “hot spots” are. GAR does approximately 200,000 properties a year. They feel privileged to work for Clarence, it is the most active – the market is changing more here than any other community they are working on. Mr. Allen stated that they have run more statistical programs and have identified more neighborhoods that are changing at paces of anywhere from five – fifteen percent a year for homes. GAR also participates in the building permit process, assisting Dave Folger’s staff in that regard. Town Assessor Dave Folger stated that he hires GAR for thirty days at a time to help out with the sketching.
Cindy Baire stated that because the market is so active, part of their business is fee appraisals for banks and financial institutions etc. To have this extra element (NYS certified public appraisers) working with Dave and his staff they can offer recommendations and insight on the market and what is going on.
GAR Associates does not do any new construction. All new construction is done in house. Dave Folger does some of the commercial property and GAR does some.
Cindy Baire stated that their original price was $75,000 they reduced that to $40,000 and there will be no carrying cost starting in January but if the town could not fund the $40,000 there would be a carrying charge.
Supervisor Hallock stated that she thought the Town was covered for all of 2005 and now we are asked to come up with $40,000. It is an unbudgeted cost. Two years ago the Town paid $25,000 and then $75,000 last year. Dave Folger stated that the $75,000 was based on 3,500 parcels. They will be looking at 8,000 parcels next year.
Cindy Baire stated that if the market was flat, the cost would be a lot less but you can not predict the market. Supervisor Hallock stated that in two years the market may be flat so these costs may not be realistic. The contract is firm for a maximum number of field reviews per year, if it is more than that, there could be an extra charge. The last two years it cost the Town $75,000. each. The work has to start now to get the rolls closed in the spring.
GAR reduced the price between now and the end of the year from $75,000 to $40,000. and there will be no carrying costs starting in January. If the Town can not fund the $40,000. there would be carrying costs. The market drives how many parcels you have to reappraise.
Councilman Weiss stated that does not mean every parcel has to be looked at every year; it means they have to be physically looked at within six years.
Councilman Kolber asked whether this could be done in-house rather then contracting out. Town Assessor Folger stated that was not possible, especially if he were to look at 8000-9000 parcels. It will take at least two people in the field full time.
Supervisor Hallock stated that Town Attorney Bengart will review the contract.
Supervisor Kathleen Hallock
Supervisor Hallock received word from Town of Amherst Supervisor Susan Grelick that the Town of Amherst is going to proceed with legal action regarding unpaid sewer bills.
Motion By: Kathleen E. Hallock, Supervisor, seconded by Councilman Ian McPherson
to adopt the following resolution regarding loss of court fee revenue.
Whereas, the recently approved state budget includes language that will adversely affect the return of significant court fee revenue to towns and villages; and
Whereas, the loss of this revenue will give towns and villages no choice but to increase real property taxes; and
Whereas, this action by the state will not generate significant revenue for the state but will cause serious financial damage to towns and villages that are attempting to hold down local property taxes;
Now Therefore Be It Resolved, that we call upon State Legislative leaders, Senator Joseph L. Bruno and Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, as well as Governor George Pataki, to work together with a sense of urgency to restore these monies back to towns, villages and other affected local governments; and
Be It Further Resolved, that we ask our individual State Senators and Assemblyman to remind the state legislative leaders of the dire tax consequences to municipalities if the state legislative leaders and the Governor do not eliminate the language contained in the state budget that will have such an adverse effect on towns, villages and other local governments; and
Finally, Be It Further Resolved that the Clarence Town Clerk be directed to forward copies of this resolution to Governor George Pataki, Senate Majority Leader Joseph L. Bruno, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assembly Majority Leader Paul Tokasz, State Senator Dale Volker and other elected state officials from Western New York.
On the question, Councilman Weiss asked if there is a town fee that could be imposed. Supervisor Hallock stated that there is and she has another resolution that the Town of Alden is proposing to add a $10.00 surcharge. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Chris Trapp is the attorney/prosecutor in Alden he has faxed over a sample resolution indicating that the Village of Alden will impose a $10 surcharge for violations committed between September 1, 2004 thru September 1, 2005. Supervisor Hallock stated that in the past the Town would share with the state fines from speeding tickets and keep the fines related to violations that originated as speeding tickets but were reduced to parking violations. Town Attorney Bengart will review.
Supervisor Hallock talked to Parks Crew Chief John Burns yesterday. He and Jim Schlabach are meeting with NYSEG about power for new lights at Meadowlakes.
Supervisor Hallock has asked Councilman Weiss to get together with Neighborhood Watch Groups relative to the recent vandalism. Supervisor Hallock has been in contact with Captain Mark Koss and Chief Donovan about a meeting and they are both in favor of it.
Several organizations in town are interested in historic status, registry etc. Supervisor Hallock has asked Hank Brodowski. to spearhead this and set up a meeting with local officials.
There was a discussion regarding a set back on Sesh Road that the Zoning Board of Appeals granted. The applicant feels that they can settle this without going to litigation.
The neighbor is requesting that trees be planted to replace the buffer that was destroyed.
There have been several organizations that have done some commendable things for the Town notably the Clarence Sunrise Rotary and the Clarence Lions Club. Supervisor Hallock has been in contact with Deputy Highway Superintendent Ted Donner regarding the plaques on the bike path and what has worked out well for them. Ted Donner suggested using corian plaques; they seem to weather the best. Plaques for the benches run $30 and plaques inlaid in rock run twice that amount. Supervisor Hallock would like to have plaques made up for both organizations for their generosity in providing playground equipment for the Parker playground and handicap paths in Meadowlakes Park. The Town Board was in agreement with this. Supervisor Hallock will take the money out of her account under Expense and Travel.
Supervisor Hallock announced that the Town has received a Farm Land Protection Grant. Director James Callahan stated that the Town has acquired $150,000. grant to purchase development rights on the Greg Spoth farm. Out of a total score of 57, the Town scored 54 points which means that the federal government is giving the Town $150,000. toward that acquisition. There are certain things that must be done, first off is to respond that we are willing to accept those monies to pursue the agreement. The next step is to start negotiations with Greg Spoth.
Supervisor Hallock has one item to discuss in Executive Session.
Councilman Ian McPherson
Councilman McPherson has several items to discuss in Executive Session.
Councilman McPherson has spoken to Senator Mary Lou Rath relative to the check for sewers; she is waiting for the voucher.
Councilman Joseph Weiss
Councilman Weiss gave an update on the vandalism at Meadowlakes Park. The Sheriff’s Department is willing to do an analysis of all the town parks and buildings regarding lighting, alarms etc.
Councilman Weiss met with the president of the Youth Board Association and discussed our Youth Board. The approximate cost for a full time youth director would run between $35,000 - $42,000. Ruth Schultz is working on the criteria for that title. The best way to go is to have a youth director that would interact with the schools, churches and different organizations.
Councilman Bernie Kolber
Councilman Kolber asked if the Soccer Center on Kraus and Clarence Center Road will encompass Memorial Park and will the name be changed to Memorial Park. Supervisor Hallock suggested combining the parks using the name Memorial Park.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman McPherson to enter into Executive Session pursuant to § 105 (1)E collective negotiations pursuant to Article 14 of the Civil Service Law, § 104 (1)F the appointment of a corporation and 105 (1)D pending litigation relative to Forbes and Gable on the Green. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Bylewski. Motion carried.
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 11:30 A.M.
Darcy A. Snyder
Deputy Town Clerk
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Kolber to adjourn the Executive Session at 11:50 A.M. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Absent: Councilman Bylewski. No action taken.