A Work Session of The Clarence Town Board was held on September 6, 2006 at Clarence Town Hall, One Town Place, Clarence, NY.
Supervisor Hallock called the meeting to order at 9:02 A.M. Members of the Town Board present were Council members Scott Bylewski, Joseph Weiss, Bernard Kolber and Patrick Casilio. Other Town Officials present were Town Attorney Steven Bengart, Highway Superintendent Ted Donner, Director of Administration and Finance Pam Smith, Town Engineer Joseph Latona and Town Assessor David Folger.
Swormville VFC has requesting a meeting with the Town Board after the preliminary budget hearings.
Town Engineer Latona informed the Board that someone rode a bike through the newly poured concrete at the Shamrock Lane entrance to the bike path and left footprints. This will have to be torn up and redone. It was also reported that someone broke a split-rail fence at Memorial Park.
Highway Superintendent Ted Donner
Highway Superintendent Ted Donner gave an update of the final phase of the 2002 Capital Project – the striping and the finishing of the Town Hall parking lot. Highway Department employees will seal the parking lot by hand. More handicap parking spaces will be added and moved to the front of the building to make it more accessible to town hall.
Councilman Casilio will obtain prices for the cost to seal and re-stripe the parking lot at the Senior Center. This will be included in their 2007 budget. The Highway Department will schedule it for their paving season next year. Councilman Casilio will check with Senior Building Inspector David Metzger regarding additional handicap parking spaces.
Councilman Weiss asked that if we have a mild winter and do not use much salt, does that money get allocated to other projects. Highway Superintendent Donner stated that even though we did not fight big snow storms this past winter, his crews still went out and de-iced. The overtime hours for salting are just about equal with years past. Plus the cost of paving has gone up (anything with an oil base). The cost for paving has gone from $27 per ton to $40+ per ton. Fuel for all highway trucks and town vehicles cost approximately $12,000 per month. Highway crews are using the minimal amount of trucks whenever possible to conserve.
Supervisor Hallock stated that the town received a grant from the DEC for the morbark grinder that was purchased in 2002. The town is to receive 50% reimbursement which we have been notified will be forthcoming. At the time former Highway Superintendent Ron Witnauer applied for this grant he also applied for two other pieces of equipment an excavator and a trommel screen.
Highway Superintendent Donner said that the Board has to make a decision as to whether we want to procure all the equipment that we laid out in our request when we filed the grant application. The morbark grinder was purchased for $373,848. After Supervisor Hallock signs the contract, DEC will send us the reimbursement materials and the Town will receive 50% of that money back. At this time of the grant application, we had listed two other pieces of equipment, the trommel screen and an excavator (these are General Fund expenses). A trommel screen would be used to refine the leaf mulch; the cost would be approximately $170,000. An excavator w/grapple and shear would cost approximately $160,000. (The shear would be used to chop up large tree stumps. The grapple would be used to load material more precisely with better control onto the grinder). Estimated yearly maintenance on the morbark grinder is $8,000. Teeth on the grinder have to be replaced regularly. Fuel costs between $6,000 - $7,000. The trommel screen would not be nearly as much maintenance as the morbark. Estimated yearly maintenance on the trommel screen is $5,000. Fuel costs approximately $5000.00 yearly. Brushes and screens have to be replaced occasionally.
In 2006 the highway department had 2,110 yards of leaf mulch and 1,640 yards of wood mulch. One of the requirements of the grant is we make the product available to the residents for free.
In the past, several people have commented that the Town does not market our wood/leaf mulch. Mr. Donner provided estimated rates that the Town of Amherst charges for their mulch and the cost of labor and maintenance that it would cost the Town of Clarence to market our product on a yearly basis. Cost for one year laborer/maintenance $51,621. or $25 per hour. Heavy Machine Operator $60,335. or $29.00 per hour. An employee would have to be hired to do this work, and you would need two employees on site. The Town Board has to decide if they want to go forward with the purchase of a trommel screen. Ted Donner felt that with the amount of product the town produces, we would not make any money selling our mulch.
Town Engineer Latona stated that there is a volume limitation for state permitting. We are just under the threshold number. If we exceed that number, we have to get a permit and follow all state regulations for leaching, run-off etc. We can not stockpile the mulch on site; we have to remove it on a regular basis.
Some towns use the trommel to process some type of topsoil product. Topsoil expenses for 2005: Highway was $5,900. Parks $2,100. Topsoil expenses for 2006: Highway $7,586.00, Parks $1,900.00.
Highway Superintendent Donner was of the opinion that the trommel screen would not be a worthwhile purchase at this time. With the amount of product that the town produces, the cost of the equipment and man power to use it, it would not benefit the town. This is a machine that would be used for a high level operation.
Councilman Bylewski asked if there was any way we could use more of the product that we have more cost effectively. Mr. Donner indicated that this is the first year the Parks Department has used the wood mulch, they have had problems with it in the past. The highway department does not have any use for the wood mulch. Leaf mulch itself is useless unless it is mixed with another product. Landscapers and topsoil companies purchase the leaf mulch and mix it with clay to come up with a decent product.
Supervisor Hallock will sign the contract between the State and the Town. However, the town would not be 100% obligated to purchase the trommel screen. If some other piece of equipment became available for recycling, we could purchase that. The other piece of equipment that Mr. Donner feels we should purchase is an excavator. Our current machine is approximately 20 years old, has many hours on it and is up for replacement within one year. We may only get 25% reimbursement because half of the use would be for recycling and half the use would be for use in the highway department. We would at least get partial reimbursement as opposed to just replacing it. It was the consensus of the Board to go forward with the purchase of the excavator.
Highway Superintendent Ted Donner has been contacted by Joe DeAnthony. Mr. DeAnthony runs the NYSDOT garage on Sheridan Drive. The state has purchased property in the City of Buffalo and has cut down several trees. They are asking permission to dump the trees at the towns recycling location on Sheridan Drive. The Town Board was in agreement with this.
Supervisor Hallock stated that Joe DeAnthony was instrumental with solving the Transit Road median problem.
Highway Superintendent Donner has highway crews working on the new bike path through Waterford development from Heise Road at Clarence Center to 300' past Curry Lane. Kevin Curry will only provide the blacktop. Mr. Donner has worked it out with Buffalo Crushed Stone to get 1400 tons of millings worth approximately $13,000. Curry Lane to the south has already been started. Erie County has already piped in the ditch on Heise Road from the bike path out. The County will also help with the markings on the bike path.
Town Engineer Latona stated that when the Waterford project went in, a culvert went in across the creek. It is Mr. Latona understands that the DEC has changed their position and they don't want the culvert crossing the creek which messes up traffic - meaning the roadway will not go through to Roll Road and no bike path will be built. The Town must be prepared to take a position, the concept plan and development plan has already been approved for this project. Waterford must come in for their next phase which includes this.
Mr. Latona stated that the Peanut Line has just been completed and we have put in the tenth of mile markers for emergency. Amherst Dispatch and all the fire companies involved have maps showing where you are on the bike path. Mr. Latona is suggesting coming up with some type of mile markers in Waterford also in the event of an emergency. The Town Board was in agreement with this along with marking the West Shore Line. Councilman Bylewski suggested Mr. Latona speak with Ray Braun from Amherst Fire Control.
Councilman Casilio asked about the status of Tonawanda Creek. Supervisor Hallock stated that she met with Congressman Reynolds yesterday and talked to him about several projects. She indicated that the number one project that she would like him to devote time to is to get after FEMA to get the approvals needed to move forward on this project. This has been going on for 2 ˝ years and every year the residents are told that the road will be fixed “this year." Highway Superintendent Donner stated that Tonawanda Creek should be rerouted; his crews could have that done in one month. Supervisor Hallock stated that her concern is if the County abandons all their roads, the Town will be left with the expense of reconstructing the road way.
Councilman Kolber advised Highway Superintendent Donner of a maple tree with poison ivy on Goodrich Road just north of Roll Road. Mr. Donner will notify the County.
Councilman Weiss feels that brush pickup should be limited. He questioned highway department crews driving around looking for plow damage. Mr. Donner stated that he still intends to send his crews out to look for plow damage. When he gets a call, he will send a crew out. They will then inspect the entire neighborhood so they are not going back and forth several times. Mr. Donner has his crews go through the neighborhoods that they plow, they know where the damage is and they know the difference between plow damage and damage caused by private plow contractors. Under Highway Law it is his responsibility to certify the roads and bridges in the town.
Councilman Casilio will meet with Ted Donner, John Burns and Joseph Latona tomorrow morning at the Building and Engineer Department to discuss street lights in the Harris Hill area.
At the August 23, 2006 Town Board meeting Lia Honda requested a public hearing to consider a Special Exception Use Permit to convert an existing retail space to an automotive sales operation at 4891 Transit Road. At the time, they had no specific plan of what their plans were for the building. A motion was made to set the public hearing however, they were also required to submit a site plan by the end of the month showing what they exactly planned on doing. To date, they have not submitted any plans for their proposed project.
Councilman Weiss will contact Rich McNamara from the Erie County Sno-Seekers to set up a meeting regarding a follow up to their letter.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Bylewski to enter into Executive Session at 10:20 A.M. pursuant to § 105 (1)F the employment history of a particular person, § 105 (1)D pending litigation regarding Coventry Green vs. Town of Clarence and § 105 (1)A matters which will imperil the public safety if disclosed. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried.
Motion by Supervisor Hallock, seconded by Councilman Kolber to adjourn the Executive Session at 10:45 A.M. Upon roll call - Ayes: All; Noes: None. Motion carried. No action taken.
It was discussed that the flower pots along Main Street in the Hollow will be watered by the Parks Department twice a week. Councilman Weiss will notify Parks Crew Chief John Burns of this.
Amherst Fire Dispatch has a job opening. Amherst Supervisor Satish Mohan is handling the hiring of this person. Councilman Casilio asked Supervisor Hallock to contact Supervisor Mohan either by letter or telephone and request that residents from the Town of Clarence have the opportunity to apply for this position as well. The Town of Clarence paid $200,000 in 2006 for dispatch service and the firemen from Clarence would appreciate the opportunity to apply.
A meeting with Buffalo Crushed Stone has been scheduled for October 5, 2006 at 2:30 P.M. Supervisor Hallock received a letter from a Harris Hill resident indicating that they could not attend the meeting because it was scheduled during the day. Others complained that they could not attend an evening meeting.
New plans have been brought in for the Roll Road Industrial Park; Supervisor Hallock asked that everyone take a look at them in the Planning/Zoning Office.
The Board of Elections sent letters to all Supervisors regarding the up coming elections, things are not settled. The Town Clerk's were upset with this as they handle elections. It was agreed that the Parks Department will deliver the machines on Monday and pick them up on Wednesday. Paul Allen will open and close the Clubhouse and Senior Center on election night. Town Attorney Bengart has reviewed the lease that the Board of Elections has requested the Town sign. Mr. Bengart has several issues regarding the lease and spoken to Town Clerk Nancy Metzger about it. We will not be entering into a lease this year, Mr. Bengart is of the opinion that the Board of Elections be licensed to use our buildings on a twice a year basis or for special elections.
Youth Director Dawn Kinney attended a Winterfest meeting; she is requesting liaisons attend whenever possible.
There will be an item on the September 13, 2006 Town Board agenda regarding renewal of a Temporary Conditional Permit for 5945 Goodrich Road. This item has been on the agenda in the past and the applicant did not show up regarding the sale of cars. Councilman Bylewski will follow up with the Planning/Zoning Department to see if any action has been taken on this Temporary Conditional Permit. The applicant has not complied with the conditions of his permit.
Councilman Casilio stated that there are several cars at different locations along Main Street being sold by the same person; he asked that the Planning/Zoning Department look into this also.
There are illegal sales of firewood going on throughout the Town. Deputy Town Attorney David Donohue e-mailed Supervisor Hallock indicating that the court staff does not involve the attorneys in adjournment decisions. However, Mr. Donohue will call them and ask that no adjournments be given; ultimately it is still up to the judge.
Supervisor Hallock received a $500 check from New Hope Presbyterian Church. The money will be used for a bike for use by security on the bike path.
Councilman Scott Bylewski
Councilman Bylewski will discuss the sale of a cell tower at the next Town Board meeting.
Councilman Bylewski received the cable franchise agreement.
Councilman Bylewski stated that there have been a total of ten Positive Declarations issued since 1988. (Loch Lea, Eastgate, Spaulding Lake, Wilson Greatbatch, Harris Hill Commons, Waterford-Heise Brookhaven Sewers, Master Plan 2015, Gables on the Green, Spaulding Green and Rubino Subdivision).
There is still a vacancy on the Planning Board and the Landscape Committee.
Councilman Joseph Weiss
Councilman Weiss will not be here for the September 27, 2006 Town Board meeting.
Councilman Weiss also noted that he will not be able to attend the meeting with Swormville VFD. He stated that fire department budgets keep increasing; salaries are not keeping up with valuations. In speaking with several firemen, 99% of calls have to do with health care. Councilman Weiss suggested negotiating with ambulance services which show up on the scene at the same time as the firemen answering a call. We are getting to a point where we have to take care of the needs as presented.
Parks Security has been asked to take down illegal signs posted on telephone poles. There are still several signs near the four corners in Clarence Center.
Councilman Weiss gave an update on the proposed skate park. The cost of the project is estimated at $50,000. Two sites being considered are next to the library near the ball diamonds and the other site is near the highway department next to the bike path. Councilman Weiss is hoping to raise $25,000 in donations and grants.
The Town received a letter from the County regarding sewer consolidation. Councilman Weiss suggested a letter be sent to the County indicating that James Callahan be appointed to the committee. Councilman Weiss was of the understanding that the Town initiates the process; once the process is completed the Town would be able to appoint a second person to the board.
At the August 23, 2006 Works Session, there was a discussion regarding Cimato Enterprises - wetland remediation. In speaking with the Planning/Zoning office it was suggested that the mitigation take place on the site the violation occurred (Sheridan Drive near Meadowbrook). Mr. Cimato is proposing mitigation take place on a future proposed development on Roll Road.
There was a discussion regarding the proposed Shadow Woods Subdivision. Councilman Bylewski stated that “if the numbers change, he would be willing to take another look at the plans."
Councilman Weiss discussed the clearing of land and the cutting down of trees near Ledgeview School. Because of a miscommunication between the Building and Zoning Department, the landowner cut down many mature trees with out the proper permits. Councilman Bylewski suggested the hiring of a full time Enforcement Officer. Councilman Kolber suggested the project be stopped and penalties be enforced.
Councilman Weiss stated that the Day in the Park Committee had their final meeting. Most groups made money. They are looking to the Town for more money for next year's event. Councilman Weiss stated that it is difficult getting enough volunteers and we may run into that problem with Winterfest.
Councilman Bernard Kolber
Councilman Kolber has observed several abandon and un-maintained buildings along Main Street. In speaking with the Planning/Zoning Department and the Building Department, there is nothing in town law to address this or that allows us to do anything unless it is a public hazard or safety issue. Councilman Kolber will work with Town Attorney Bengart on a law to enforce basic minimal upkeep of a building.
Councilman Kolber is meeting with the Historical Society tomorrow night and will get their comments regarding Williams Hall.
Councilman Patrick Casilio
Regarding the proposed demolition of Williams Hall, Councilman Casilio suggested the fire company consider getting rid of the second floor, fill in the basement, install a concrete floor and use it for storage. Councilman Casilio questioned that if they do obtain a demolition permit, how long is the permit good for.
Town Attorney Steven Bengart
Regarding Acadia vs. Town of Clarence, Attorney David Silverberg has been hired and is working on the case.
Councilman Bylewski has one attorney – client issue to discuss with Town Attorney Bengart.
There being no further business, the Work Session adjourned at 11:45 A.M.
Darcy A. Snyder