West Seneca Town Board Meeting Minutes 12/21/2009
Supervisor Wallace C. Piotrowski 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 Piotrowski read the Fire Prevention Code instructing the public where to exit in case of a fire or an emergency.
21-A MINUTES TO BE APPROVED
1. Supervisor Piotrowski re Retirement of Thomas Bausch
Motion by Councilwoman Meegan, seconded by Councilman Graber, to accept the retirement of Thomas J. Bausch and terminate him as General Crew Chief/Deputy Highway Supt. effective January 5, 2010 and authorize the Supervisor to complete and sign the necessary forms for Erie County Personnel, noting that Mr. Bausch served the Town of West Seneca for 37 years.
On the question, Councilwoman Meegan stated that after the tragic death of former Highway Supt. Patrick Finnegan, Mr. Bausch stepped up to keep the Highway Department running and she commended him for being a team player and for his hard work throughout the years.
Councilwoman Bove also thanked Mr. Bausch for his service and leadership over the 37 years and especially at a time when the town needed him.
Highway Supt. Matthew English thanked Tom Bausch for his years of service and for his assistance as Deputy Highway Supt.
2. Town Attorney re Special use permit application for Meyer Road & Birchwood Avenue
Motion by Councilwoman Meegan, seconded by Supervisor Piotrowski, to adopt the attached resolution issuing a negative declaration with regard to SEQR for the proposed apartment complex on Meyer Road & Birchwood Avenue.
Motion by Supervisor Piotrowski, seconded by Councilwoman Meegan, to approve the request for a special permit for property located at Meyer Road & Birchwood Avenue, being part of Lot No. 206, changing its classification from C-1 to C-1(S), for a 144-unit apartment complex.
On the question, Town Attorney Shawn Martin noted that some issues regarding trees were brought up at the public hearing and he suggested that the Town Board add stipulations to the special permit.
The motion was withdrawn and would be addressed at the January 11, 2010 meeting.
3. Town Attorney re 2009 nutrition contract
Motion by Councilwoman Meegan, seconded by Supervisor Piotrowski, to authorize the Supervisor to execute the 2009 Nutrition III-C-1 contract with Erie County, noting that the amount of reimbursement from Erie County will be increased from $.22 to $.25 per cleanup after a meal.
4. Town Attorney re Payment for Senior Citizens Center renovations
Motion by Councilwoman Meegan, seconded by Supervisor Piotrowski, to authorize payment of $4707 to Stebman for renovations to the Senior Citizens Center.
5. Town Engineer re Graham Ave & Bruch Ave Reconstruction Project, final change order & acceptance
Motion by Councilwoman Meegan, seconded by Supervisor Piotrowski, to approve final change order #1 for Destro Brothers Concrete Co., Inc., 411 Ludington Street, Buffalo, NY 14206 for a net deduct of $23,154.45 and accept the Graham Avenue and Burch Avenue Reconstruction Project, Job No. G-0805, at a final contract amount of $771,725.25.
6. Highway Supt. re Purchases requiring Town Board approval
Motion by Councilwoman Meegan, seconded by Supervisor Piotrowski, to authorize payment of the following vouchers for the Highway Department:
Buffalo Light & Supply (street lights) $1768.85
7. Chief Gehen re Equipment purchase
Motion by Councilwoman Meegan, seconded by Supervisor Piotrowski, to authorize the purchase of fifty (50) MSA Millenium CBRN canisters from Dival Safety Equipment, Inc., 1721 Niagara Street, Buffalo, NY 14207 at a cost of $37.91 each, total cost of $1895.50 under NYS Contract #PC62204.
8. Chief Gehen re Attendance of Officer Burkley at DARE training
Motion by Councilwoman Meegan, seconded by Supervisor Piotrowski, to authorize Officer Jill Burkley to attend the DARE Officer training session, February 1 – 12, 2010 in Montour Falls, NY, at a cost not to exceed $505.
9. Chief Gehen re Budgetary transfer request
Motion by Councilwoman Meegan, seconded by Supervisor Piotrowski, to approve a budgetary transfer request of $1620 from Contingent Acct. #1.1990.0480 to Police Other Expenses Acct. #1.3120.0419 and $505 from State Retirement Acct. #1.9010.0801 to Police Retirement Acct. #1.9010.0825.
10. Asst. Code Enforcement Officer re Out of title pay
Motion by Councilwoman Meegan, seconded by Supervisor Piotrowski, to approve out-of-title pay to Assistant Code Enforcement Officer Robert Pinnavaia at the prevailing rate of the Code Enforcement Officer as set forth in the Town Budget, effective December 3, 2009 until further notice.
11. Asst. Code Enforcement Officer re Purchases requiring Town Board approval
Motion by Councilwoman Meegan, seconded by Supervisor Piotrowski, to authorize payment to Biel’s Information Technology Systems in the amount of $2914.68 & $2107.16 for microfilming.
12. Recreation Director re Budgetary transfer request
Motion by Councilwoman Meegan, seconded by Supervisor Piotrowski, to approve the following budgetary transfer requests for the Recreation Department:
13. Youth Director re Payment to WNY AmeriCorps for Matthew Melski’s salary for YES Program
Motion by Councilwoman Meegan, seconded by Councilwoman Bove, to authorize payment to WNY AmeriCorps for Matthew Melski’s term of service with Youth Engaged in Service (YES).
On the question,
Motion by Supervisor Piotrowski, seconded by Councilwoman Meegan, to table this item so it can be included with the negotiation terms on the agreement being drafted.
On the question, Councilman Clarke asked if this was for money owed to Matthew Melski.
Supervisor Piotrowski advised that Matthew Melski was a town employee in the Recreation Department, but he had been paid by AmeriCorps for the YES program and they were now seeking reimbursement for his salary.
Councilwoman Meegan questioned if the town had authorized Mr. Melski’s employment with the YES program.
Linda Kauderer of the Comptroller’s Office advised that Mr. Melski was not employed by the town in the YES program.
On the amended motion,
14. Library Board re Reappointment of Paul Notaro & Patricia Kaylor as Trustees
Motion by Councilwoman Meegan, seconded by Supervisor Piotrowski, to reappointment Paul Notaro as Library Board Trustee effective January 1, 2009 through December 31, 2013 and Patricia Kaylor as Library Board Trustee effective January 1, 2010 through December 31, 2014.
15. Councilman Clarke re Purchase of used laptops
Motion by Councilwoman Meegan, seconded by Councilman Clarke, to allow Councilman Graber and Councilwoman Bove to purchase their used laptops as per the market value price recommended by I-Evolve Technology Services.
16. Highway Supt. re 2009 budget amendment
Motion by Councilwoman Meegan, seconded by Supervisor Piotrowski, to amend the 2009 budget as follows: 1) increase Insurance Recovery line item #2.0002.2680 by $183,815 which represents First Niagara’s reimbursement check for the wood waste reduction grinder that burned; 2) increase Highway Equipment line item #2.5130.0200 by $183,815 to help defray the cost of the new wood waste reduction grinder.
17. Highway Supt. re Purchase requiring Town Board approval
Motion by Councilwoman Meegan, seconded by Supervisor Piotrowski, to authorize payment of $12,133.80 and $1988.34 to McQuay International for air conditioning units at Town Hall.
18. Town Attorney re Grant application for replacement of fuel farm at Buffalo Airfield
Motion by Councilwoman Meegan, seconded by Supervisor Piotrowski, to authorize the Supervisor to sign the attached resolution endorsing Aviation Consultants of WNY, Inc. to apply for a grant to replace the fuel farm at Buffalo Airfield, noting that adoption of this resolution in no way binds the Town of West Seneca to any approvals, permits or licenses that may be required by the applicant for future work projects related to Buffalo Airfield.
19. Town Attorney re Endorsement of Buffalo Airfield project
Motion by Councilwoman Meegan, seconded by Supervisor Piotrowski, to adopt the attached resolution endorsing Aviation Consultants of WNY, Inc. project to replace the fuel farm at Buffalo Airfield, noting that adoption of this resolution in no way binds the Town of West Seneca to any approvals, permits or licenses that may be required by the applicant for future work projects related to Buffalo Airfield.
On the question, Asst. Code Enforcement Officer Robert Pinnavaia questioned if approval of this motion relieved Buffalo Airfield from obtaining permits from the town.
Town Attorney Shawn Martin advised that in order to qualify for state and federal funding the town had to support the idea of the projects. Buffalo Airfield would not be adding anything; they would be replacing old and outdated equipment, hangars, taxiways, etc. with new and upgraded materials. This would not relieve them from obtaining any and all necessary permits or bind the town to authorize them to do the work. It only gave the town’s approval to go forward with the project and obtain the necessary permits so they can obtain the funding.
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
S. PIERCE STREET RESIDENTS RECEIVE BILL FROM CITY OF BUFFALO
Bob Kleer, stated that he lives in West Seneca but part of his property is located in the City of Buffalo and he and other neighbors recently received a bill from the city for cleaning up their vacant properties. Mr. Kleer noted that there is new property south of his lot and Buffalo work crews maintain it. He contacted a number of agencies about the bill and no one has returned his call. Mr. Kleer asked for the Town Board’s help with this issue.
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
S. PIERCE STREET RESIDENTS RECEIVE BILL FROM CITY OF BUFFALO (continued)
Councilman Clarke stated that he visited the property Mr. Kleer was referring to at the end of S. Pierce Street and the property is located in the City of Buffalo. The Town of West Seneca had nothing to do with this and could not tell the city to stop cutting the grass or billing the residents.
Supervisor Piotrowski directed Asst. Code Enforcement Officer Robert Pinnavaia to check on the dimensions and location of the property and determine if it was something the Town Board should address.
ASPHALT PLANT ON UNION ROAD
Brownie Michalczak, 211 Warren Avenue, presented pictures of the blacktop processing plant on Union Road and the pollution it was generating. He questioned the status of the town’s investigation and also noted that there was a petroleum fire at the site and the fire department was never called.
Town Attorney Shawn Martin stated that he requested appropriate title documents from Erie County and received some preliminary documents but not the actual deed or transfer. Part of the transfer was through bankruptcy court and he was dealing with them to obtain the documents. Mr. Martin could not determine at this point if they were operating illegally.
Mr. Michalczak stated that the asphalt plant was only supposed to be operating at four tons, but he had proof that it was operating at six tons. He understood they would be starting work on the NYS Thruway again in the spring and was concerned about the dust and dirt it will create in his neighborhood.
REQUEST TO PLOW SIDEWALK ON UNION ROAD
Amy Carpenter, 406 Woodward Crescent, requested that the sidewalk over Cazenovia Creek near Southgate Plaza be plowed when there is heavy snowfall.
Highway Supt. Matthew English stated that his department does plow the sidewalks.
Amy Carpenter, 406 Woodward Crescent, referred to an article in the West Seneca Bee concerning how the Town Board will proceed with the Master Plan and questioned Supervisor Piotrowski’s thoughts on this issue.
Supervisor Piotrowski stated that the Master Plan was a guide for the town, not a law, and a present or future Town Board might have a different interpretation of something in it. It was up to the Town Board whether they wanted to proceed with and expend money on any projects outlined or recommended in the guide.
Mrs. Carpenter commented that in many instances the Master Plan states the actual cost of a project and who may bear the cost. In some instances it may be the NYSDOT, but there is no cost for some of it such as having citizens get together and brainstorm ideas. Mrs. Carpenter understood there was $1 million for a streetscape in front of Town Hall and thought they should have some things in place so they know how they will execute the use of that money.
Supervisor Piotrowski responded that they will do this when there is money appropriated to the town. The town applied for ten grants last year and received three, so money was tight on the state and federal level, but when they receive it they will solicit residents’ input if it is designated that way.
ISSUES OF THE PUBLIC
MASTER PLAN (continued)
Mrs. Carpenter thought it was better to outline a proposed plan in full when applying for a grant so they can break it down and work on pieces toward an end goal.
Supervisor Piotrowski stated that many grants required specificity with regard to what will happen with the money, but there were several grants that did not.
RESIDENT THANKS COUNCILWOMAN BOVE
Virginia Grandoni, 878 Orchard Park Road, thanked Councilwoman Bove for her outstanding service to the Town of West Seneca. Mrs. Grandoni stated that she has been a constant advocate for the community and worked tirelessly to make West Seneca a better place to live and work. She commented that the voters chose Councilwoman Bove for her honesty, integrity, and hard work ethic and West Seneca will continue to be well represented as she transitions to the Erie County Legislature.
RESIDENT COMMENTS ON ETHICS IN TOWN BOARD’S RECENT ACTIONS
Frank Russo, Parkside Drive, referred to Councilman Graber’s motion at a recent Town Board meeting that changed the language in the Blue Collar contract concerning the number of employees in the Buildings & Grounds Department. This was a management decision with no negotiation with the union, and he considered it a slap in the face to the taxpayers, especially considering the recent amendments to the Code of Ethics. Mr. Russo referred to other actions of the Town Board when job titles were changed because the individuals in the positions did not pass the Civil Service test for that title. He commented that the Town Board’s actions were just the opposite of other towns that were cutting back by not filling positions, eliminating raises, and eliminating health insurance for elected and appointed officials. He was concerned about the upcoming contract negotiations and hoped the town would hire a good labor counsel to negotiate for the taxpayers. Mr. Russo also referred to Councilman Clarke’s comments in 2006 concerning the hiring practices in the Buildings & Grounds Department. This was prior to his position on the Town Board and at the time he was opposed to the board members hiring family and friends; however, in the two years he has been on the Town Board, Councilman Clarke had done nothing to change this.
Councilman Clarke stated that none of his family members were hired to work for the town.
Mr. Russo responded that he was not referring to family members, he was referring to friends.
Councilman Clarke stated that he voted for individuals he thought were best qualified for the positions.
Mr. Russo referred to the question of ethics when appointing people and stated that the jobs should also be posted.
PRESENTATION OF COMMUNICATIONS BY BOARD MEMBERS AND DEPARTMENT HEADS
PARTING COMMENTS AND HOLIDAY WISHES
Highway Supt. Matthew English thanked Councilwoman Bove and Councilman Graber for their help throughout the year.
Councilwoman Meegan wished Councilwoman Bove good luck in the Erie County Legislature and looked forward to working with her on some unfinished projects, wished Councilman Graber the best in the future and with his new granddaughter, and thanked the men and women in the military for their service, noting that they were in her thoughts and prayers especially during the Christmas season.
PRESENTATION OF COMMUNICATIONS BY BOARD MEMBERS AND DEPARTMENT HEADS
PARTING COMMENTS AND HOLIDAY WISHES (continued)
Councilman Clarke also offered best wishes to Councilwoman Bove and Councilman Graber and noted that they were taking with them a lot of knowledge that would be missed.
Councilwoman Bove stated that it was an honor and privilege to service the residents of the town as a council member. She thanked all the department heads that helped her along the way to better serve the community. Councilwoman Bove looked forward to continuing to serve the Town of West Seneca as an Erie County Legislator.
Councilman Graber commented on the importance of democracy and stated that although they are elected to represent the citizens, they cannot represent every individual on every issue. Councilman Graber thanked the department heads and fellow board members for working together and wished the new Town Board the best of luck as they move forward.
Town Board members and department heads wished everyone a very Merry Christmas and a Happy, Healthy New Year.
Motion by Supervisor Piotrowski, seconded by Councilwoman Bove, to adjourn the meeting at 8:25 P.M.
PATRICIA C. DEPASQUALE, RMC/CMC