West Seneca Town Board Minutes 08/08/2005
Supervisor Paul T. Clark called the meeting to order at 7:30 P.M. with 30 seconds of silent prayer followed by the Pledge of Allegiance.
ROLL CALL: Present -
Absent - None
Supervisor Clark read the Fire Prevention Code instructing the public where to exit in case of a fire or an emergency.
The meeting was dedicated to the memory of Blanche M. Maina, Edward J. Steiner Jr., E. Florence Mitchell, and Diane M. “Queen” Smith.
11-A MINUTES TO BE APPROVED
11-B LEGAL NOTICES
1. Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Supervisor Clark, that proofs of publication and posting of legal notice: “OF A PUBLIC HEARING TO CONSIDER A REQUEST FOR A REZONING AND SPECIAL PERMIT FOR PROPERTY LOCATED AT 3850 SENECA STREET, BEING PART OF LOT NO. 143, CHANGING ITS CLASSIFICATION FROM R-65A TO C-1(S), FOR AN INSURANCE ADJUSTER’S OFFICE” in the Town of West Seneca, be received and filed. (Donald S. & Margaret E. Jablonski)
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Bove, to open the public hearing.
11-B LEGAL NOTICES
Town Attorney Tim Greenan read the recommendation of the Planning Board: “At its July 20, 2005 meeting, the Planning Board recommended approval of the request for a rezoning and special permit for property located at 3850 Seneca Street, being part of Lot No. 143, changing its classification from R-65A to C-2(S), for an insurance adjuster’s office, with the stipulation that a fence be installed along the north property line and along the east side of the property up to the rear of the house next door.”
Donald Jablonski, 125 Whitney Place, Cheektowaga, stated his proposal to convert the house at 3850 Seneca Street into a one-man insurance adjuster’s office. He intended to erect a sign in front of the house and agreed to construct a fence as requested by the Planning Board.
Councilman Osmanski questioned what type of fence the Planning Board had requested.
Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski responded that the fence would have to be solid to screen the property from the abutting residential neighborhood. The height could be five or six feet as stipulated by the Town Board.
No comments were received from the public.
Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Osmanski, to close the public hearing.
Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to approve a rezoning and special permit for property located at 3850 Seneca Street, being part of Lot No. 143, changing its classification from R-65A to C-1(S), for an insurance adjuster’s office, with the stipulation that a six foot solid fence be constructed along the north and east property lines up to the rear of the house next door.
1. Supervisor Clark re Resignation of Michael Casciano as W.S. Planning Board member
Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to accept the resignation of Michael A. Casciano and terminate him as a member of the West Seneca Planning Board effective August 17, 2005 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
2. Supervisor Clark re Purchase requiring Town Board approval
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Bove, to authorize payment of $1701.95 to the West Seneca Veterans Committee for expenses at the 2005 Memorial Day services.
3. Town Engineer re Bid date for 2005 Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Project
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to set a bid date of September 12, 2005 at 10:00 A.M. for receipt of bids on the 2005 Sanitary Sewer Rehabilitation Project, Job No. S-0505.
4. Town Engineer re Purchases requiring Town Board approval
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Bove, to authorize payment of $3200 to MVR Service, Inc. for front reel repairs to Truck #50 and $8263.45 to Anderson Equipment Company for pump repairs.
8. Highway Supt. re Title change for Dale Bielicki to Highway Working Crew Chief
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to terminate Dale Bielicki as Highway Laborer and appoint him as Highway Working Crew Chief, Group 6, Step 5, at a rate of $22.63 per hour effective August 8, 2005 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
6. Highway Supt. re Military leave of absence for Darryl Seibert
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to approve a military leave of absence for Darryl Seibert for August 12, 2005 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
7. Highway Supt. re Bid opening for vacuum street sweeper
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to set a bid date of September 1, 2005 at 10:00 A.M. for receipt of bids for a vacuum street sweeper.
8. Highway Supt. re Purchases requiring Town Board approval
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to authorize payment of the following vouchers for the Highway Department:
Valley Tire Co., Inc. (tires) $5301.81
9. Chief Gehen re Resignation of James Bausch as part-time Public Safety Dispatcher
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Graber, to accept the resignation of James T. Bausch and terminate him as part-time Public Safety Dispatcher effective July 8, 2005 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
10. Town Justices re Appointment of Joan Rosner as part-time Clerk & Maureen McCormick as Senior Clerk Typist, full-time
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Bove, to appoint Joan Rosner as part-time Clerk effective August 8, 2005 at a rate of $11.00 per hour and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
Motion by Councilman Osmanski, seconded by Councilman Hicks, to appoint Maureen McCormick as full-time Clerk to the Town Justices effective September 12, 2005 at an annual salary of $31,551.26 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel.
11-E DEPARTMENTAL PRESENTATIONS
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
PROBLEMS WITH BAR ON CLINTON STREET & BORDEN ROAD
Dale Kling, 4760 Clinton Street, referred to the bar at the corner of Clinton Street and Borden Road and the outdoor music that was disrupting the neighborhood. He noted that there were several owners of this bar in the past and none of them caused the disruption that the new owners had caused in the last two months. Mr. Kling understood that a letter was sent to the bar owners from the town on July 21st citing numerous violations, but on July 22nd they again had outdoor music. Mr. Kling contacted the West Seneca Police and was told that the owners had a permit and at 10:30 P.M. the music was still playing. Patrons of the bar had also parked in the parking lot of Kloc Blossom Chapels and the police responded to complaints and wrote tickets for illegal parking. Mr. Kling presented a petition to the Town Board signed by residents of the Clinton Street and Borden Road area asking that the Zoning Ordinance restricting outdoor music be enforced at the bar and that the parking be regulated.
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
PROBLEMS WITH BAR ON CLINTON STREET & BORDEN ROAD (continued)
Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski advised that the bar owners had stopped at his office and inquired about having outdoor music. Mr. Czuprynski informed them that outdoor music was not allowed and followed up with a letter. After the letter was sent, the bar owners had outdoor music anyway.
Paul Kloc, of Kloc Blossom Chapels, 4680 Clinton Street, stated that he had given the bar owners permission to use his parking lot on their grand opening weekend. That resulted in broken lights, vehicles driving over lawns, and people urinating on his property. The police had told Mr. Kloc that if he posted ‘no parking’ signs they would be able to ticket the vehicles, so he put the signs up. Mr. Kloc presented pictures taken by his neighbors of cars double parked along Clinton Street. This created a safety hazard with residents pulling out of their driveways. Mr. Kloc noted that this was once a quiet neighborhood, but the residents now had to deal with noise from motorcycles and foul language.
Mike Sulik, 4697 Clinton Street, stated that he never had problems in the past 18 years of living on Clinton Street until the new bar owners took over two months ago. The music was extremely loud on Friday’s and Saturday’s and it was affecting the neighbors’ quality of life. Mr. Sulik did not believe the neighbors should have to tolerate the foul language or people urinating on their property. The parking was also a problem and he was concerned that it would cause an accident.
Chief Gehen stated that Clinton Street was a state highway, so any signs to regulate parking would have to go through New York State. He would check the laws to see what might be applicable with regard to cars parked in the roadway. Chief Gehen urged the neighbors to contact his department if they had any further problems with loud or disruptive music.
Councilman Osmanski questioned what the bar owners were cited for.
Mr. Czuprynski advised that he had cited the bar owners for having music on the outside deck. The Zoning Board of Appeals granted a variance for the outside deck, but it was stipulated that there be no music.
Christopher Kloc, 4674 Clinton Street, stated that this issue had to do with quality of life and safety. He compared the bar to a beer tent and stated that there were people everywhere and cars parked all over the streets, some of them even overnight.
Diane Nowak, 4786 Clinton Street, stated that she lived at this location for 37 years and had never experienced anything like this in the neighborhood. Mrs. Nowak worked second shift and arrived home at 2:00 A.M. to find cars parked all over the street, garbage on her lawn, and people urinating. She further noted that the bar had rented portable toilets for outside because there were too many people for the inside restrooms to handle. Mrs. Nowak did not believe this was appropriate for the neighborhood.
A resident at 4713 Clinton Street, commented on the noise from the bar and stated that there were still speakers on the patio even if there was no band. The noise continued until 4:00 A.M. and there were beer bottles in the neighbors’ yards. Mr. Marino also noted that the bar owners had approached him and wanted to rent his lawn for parking for the bar.
Elizabeth Lagree, 4709 Clinton Street, questioned what recourse the residents had on this issue.
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
PROBLEMS WITH BAR ON CLINTON STREET & BORDEN ROAD (continued)
Town Attorney Tim Greenan responded that the parking along Clinton Street was causing much of the concern, but they could not put ‘No Parking’ signs up because it was a state highway. However, the West Seneca Police Department had the authority to enforce the NYS Vehicle & Traffic Law, which had parking provisions and Chief Gehen would be looking for any section pertaining to parking on state highways as it related to distances from driveways and intersections. The business was allowed to operate as a tavern, but there were restrictions as to what they could do on the patio as stipulated by the Zoning Board of Appeals. Mr. Greenan stated that he had received a call from the attorney for the bar owners and he indicated that they would be applying for a new variance and would be addressing the parking situation.
Supervisor Clark stated that the town could enforce the ordinance with regard to no outdoor music and the maximum number of people allowed in the establishment and the police could enforce parking regulations.
Frank Boncore, 250 Heather Hill Drive, suggested that the residents of Clinton Street refer the problem to the NYS Liquor Authority to see if there were any license requirements the bar owners had to abide by that could help the residents. Mr. Boncore further suggested that the police department patrol the area for motorists driving while intoxicated.
Chief Gehen stated that his department could go in and verify any complaints of disorderly premises or serving after hours, which were violations of the liquor license. These would then be referred to the NYS Liquor Authority along with a police report, and after a period of time they would take action against their liquor license. Chief Gehen stated that if his department pulled someone over for speeding, squealing tires, or running a red light, they would also be tested for driving while intoxicated.
Town Attorney Tim Greenan stated that the Police Department could not target one tavern in town because it would be a violation of the motorist’s civil rights and the bar owner’s civil rights.
Mr. Kling questioned how the bar owners could apply for a variance when it was stipulated that there be no outdoor entertainment. He further noted that he had heard the bar owners were interested in purchasing property on the other side of the creek on Borden Road for use as a parking lot or grove.
Mr. Greenan stated that if the owner wanted to do something beyond what was in the current variance they had the right to apply for a new variance. The property on Borden Road near the creek would require a rezoning to be used for a grove or parking lot.
PROPERTY MAINTENANCE BEHIND SKY HI DRIVE RESIDENCE
Helen Itzenplitz, 152 Sky Hi Drive, stated that she attended the April 18th Town Board meeting and spoke about the problem behind her house with overgrown grass and rodents. Several phone calls were also made, but there still had been no action taken to resolve the problem. This situation had been ongoing for three years and Mrs. Itzenplitz asked that the Town Board do something about it.
Deputy Town Attorney Paul Notaro stated that the property owner was recently deceased and he had been in contact with the attorney for the estate during the past month. They were trying to make arrangements to have the land brush hogged.
Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski stated that this was a very large parcel of land and it would be costly to have someone cut it, but it could be done and charged back to the property owner’s estate.
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
PROPERTY MAINTENANCE BEHIND SKY HI DRIVE RESIDENCE (continued)
Mrs. Itzenplitz suggested that only the area behind her house be cut since none of the other neighbors had complained. She further commented on the car parts and other debris that had been dumped on the property.
Mr. Greenan asked that Mr. Czuprynski meet him at the property tomorrow morning and they could look at the situation and review the ordinance to determine what could be done.
ILLEGAL PARKING IN PRIVATE LOT ON UNION ROAD & RACE STREET
Lorraine Goszewski, owner of the former Heritage Inn, stated that last Saturday night a neighbor contacted her and informed her that the planks that were in her parking lot next to the Burchfield Center were moved and there were 28 cars parked in the lot. Mrs. Goszewski contacted the police and they responded and had the cars moved, but she was not happy that someone had moved the planks and allowed cars to park there.
Chief Gehen stated that Mrs. Goszewski could post ‘No Parking’ signs on the property and the police would then be able to do the enforcement.
Ann King, 54 Camelot Drive, spoke on behalf of Mrs. Goszewski and questioned if the town could notify the AmeriCorps and Youth Bureau that it was illegal to park in Mrs. Goszewski’s lot on Race Street and Union Road.
Supervisor Clark thought that it was visitors and not staff that was using the parking lot, but stated that they could inform the AmeriCorps and Youth Bureau employees.
ISSUES WITH SENECA STREET SOCCER COMPLEX
Tracy Paradowski of the National Alliance for Autism Research stated that each year they held a walk-a-thon that attracted thousands of WNY families and raised much needed funds for autism research. As the Chairperson of this year’s committee, Mrs. Paradowski decided to change the venue for the walk and found that 99 percent of the team’s roster were from the southtowns. The West Seneca Soccer Complex was the perfect venue for their event and they were welcomed with open arms. The soccer complex had everything they were looking for and more and they planned to have the best event ever. Mrs. Paradowski thought that West Seneca residents should be proud to have the soccer complex, and she was thankful that they would be allowed to hold their event at the soccer complex for years to come.
Theresa Dormer of the NYS West Youth Soccer Association also spoke on behalf of the West Seneca Soccer Complex. Mrs. Dormer ran a soccer program for children with disabilities for the first time in this area. Rochester, Syracuse and Binghamton had been running this type of program for the last three years, but Buffalo did not have any program. The West Seneca Soccer Complex not only offered them the land to hold the program, they donated it to them. Mrs. Dormer stated that currently they had 45 – 50 children with disabilities attending the program and it was a pleasure to be able to use the soccer facility.
Frank Russo, Parkside Drive, referred to the walk-a-thon to be held at the soccer complex and stated that the problem was that no one knew about the event. According to the lease, the Town Board was supposed to approve all events held at the soccer complex, but they were unaware of the walk-a-thon or the arts & crafts show. Mr. Russo further noted that Supervisor Clark had stated that the soccer park was for recreation and youth activities, and he questioned what an arts & crafts show had to do with recreation and youth activities.
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
ISSUES WITH SENECA STREET SOCCER COMPLEX (continued)
Supervisor Clark responded that the soccer association had a very broad mission and it included working with other organizations in order to do fundraising and try to meet their financial obligation to the best of their ability.
Mr. Russo questioned if the town had received any payments on the bond for the months of June and July 2005.
Comptroller Charles Koller responded that no further payments had been made for 2005 to date.
Mr. Russo commented that the soccer association was breaking every part of the lease and the town was not doing anything about it. He asked that the Town Board meet with the Southgate Plaza Homeowners’ Association in a Work Session to discuss what they could do about the problem.
Councilman Osmanski stated that he had not done anything to schedule a meeting with the homeowners’ association because they were trying to meet with the soccer association and get up-to-date financial statements from them. Supervisor Clark and Mr. Koller met with them and set down a number of items they were looking to have addressed. Mr. Koller had received some items this date, but he had to go through and organize them. Councilman Osmanski did not want to meet with the homeowners’ association until after the financial items were in order because he wanted to be able to answer the residents’ questions.
Dale Clarke, 279 Indian Church Road, questioned what authority Buffalo/Niagara Sports and Dave Lawson had to negotiate projects at the soccer complex.
Councilman Osmanski responded that any capital improvements to the soccer complex would have to be approved by the Town Board. Buffalo/Niagara Sports and Dave Lawson had no authority to negotiate on behalf of the Town Board.
Karen Lucachick, 61 Greenmeadow Drive, commented that it was nice that people were able to use the soccer complex for free, but she questioned who was picking up the tab and if a payment on the bond was still expected on December 31st.
Supervisor Clark stated that the soccer association was working toward a payment this year.
Mrs. Lucachick thought that the town was entitled to receive money for use of the soccer complex. Fees were collected for the games being played there and each child that participated had to pay a fee. She questioned where that money was going. Mrs. Lucachick thought there was something wrong with the way the soccer complex was being managed and she questioned how long it would take to correct it.
Supervisor Clark responded that it cost $70,000 to $90,000 to maintain the soccer fields, including cutting the grass, paying utilities, janitorial services, etc. They needed to encourage events and revenue on behalf of the soccer association to help them meet their financial goals, and yet stay as sensitive as possible to neighborhood concerns. Supervisor Clark commented that the soccer complex was a great facility, thousands of people and families used it, and he was not going to apologize for it, but it could take a couple years to correct the problems they were having.
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
ISSUES WITH SENECA STREET SOCCER COMPLEX (continued)
Anthony Sansone, 15 Parkside Drive, stated that he was happy for the autistic group and that they had a place to hold their walk-a-thon. He commented that he was not opposed to the soccer complex and thought it was a great facility, but the neighbors were not happy with the financial situation. The soccer association was not generating enough money to meet their financial obligation and the solution to their problem fell back on the Parkside Drive residents because extra events were brought in to help make up the financial burden. Mr. Sansone noted that the soccer association was one-half million dollars behind in their payments and they were not going to catch up. He asked that the Town Board renegotiate the lease and reduce the annual payment to some figure that they would be able to make. The town could even cut the grass for them. Mr. Sansone further suggested that the clause stating that Town Board approval was needed for other events at the soccer complex be left in the renegotiated lease. Then if the autism group needed to use the soccer complex the Town Board could approve it and Mr. Sansone would not have any problem with it. He noted that it was not the autism group that the residents had a problem with; it was the Town of Cheektowaga, Town of Amherst, City of Buffalo, men’s leagues, and noise seven days a week.
Virginia Grandoni, 870 Orchard Park Road, questioned if the soccer association was a 501C-3 non-profit association and if they fell under the freedom of information laws.
Supervisor Clark responded that the soccer association was a non-profit organization, but they were not subject to freedom of information laws because they were not governmental.
Mrs. Grandoni stated that she enjoyed the soccer complex and thought it was a beautiful addition to the town, but she was concerned about the excess equipment being used for things such as picking up trash. Mrs. Grandoni did not believe that money should be spent on expensive equipment when the soccer association was behind on their payments to the town.
Mr. Greenan understood that the utility vehicle was donated to the soccer association by Club Car and the people who were riding around picking up trash were volunteers.
STATUS OF MASTER PLAN
David Monolopolus, 97 Lexington Green, questioned the status of the Master Plan.
Councilman Osmanski stated that the Master Plan Committee submitted a draft to the Town Board and it was in the hands of the Town Board to schedule a public hearing. He was prepared to do this, but not all the board members were comfortable enough with the draft to schedule a public hearing.
Evelyn Hicks, 276 Seneca Creek Road, thanked the Town Board for giving the citizens the opportunity to review the Master Plan and asked that the process restart and they begin moving forward to adopting the Master Plan.
SUGGESTION FOR NEW PUBLIC ADDRESS SYSTEM IN COURT ROOM
Evelyn Hicks, 276 Seneca Creek Road, suggested that the Town Board provide funds in the 2006 budget for a new public address system in the Court Room, noting that the current system was inadequate.
PRESENTATION OF COMMUNICATIONS BY BOARD MEMBERS AND DEPARTMENT HEADS
LEASE OF SPACE FOR GED CLASSROOM
Motion by Councilman Hicks, seconded by Supervisor Clark, to approve a six-month lease for space at the Southgate Plaza to be used for a GED classroom at a cost of $685.42 per month.
On the question, Councilman Hicks stated that Youth Director Mark Lazzara had to find other space for the GED classroom when they were removed from the Senior Citizens Center to accommodate their expansion.
SUPERVISOR CLARK TO ATTEND LEGISLATIVE & EDUCATIONAL CONFERENCE
Motion by Councilman Hicks, seconded by Councilman Graber, to authorize Supervisor Clark to attend the National Association of Towns and Township 2005 Legislative and Educational Conference to be held in Washington D.C., September 6 – 10, 2005 at a cost of $1366.
ASST. DOG CONTROL OFFICER TO ATTEND CHEMICAL & MOBILIZATION TRAINING
Motion by Councilman Graber, seconded by Councilman Osmanski, to authorize Asst. Dog Control Officer Alan Kerner to attend the Chemical and Mobilization training class in Williamsport, Pennsylvania, September 9 – 10, 2005 at a cost not to exceed $950.
PROPERTY MAINTENANCE ON OLD FRENCH ROAD
Councilman Osmanski thanked Code Enforcement Officer William Czuprynski for continuing to follow up on the property maintenance issue on Old French Road.
Motion by Supervisor Clark, seconded by Councilman Osmanski, to adjourn the meeting at 9:30 P.M.
PATRICIA C. DEPASQUALE, RMC/CMC