Town Of Whitestown

February 20, 2003: Town Board Voucher Meeting

THURSDAY, FEBRUARY 20, 2003, 7:00 PM


Matthew J. Shannon, Supervisor
Charles R. Gibbs, II, Councilman
William Copperwheat, Councilman
Brian Brooks, Councilman
Daniel Sullivan, Councilman

William Schmitt, Attorney
Joanne Zegarelli, Town Clerk
Nancy Hartman, Personnel/Finance Director
Karl Schrantz, Town Engineer/MWH
David Neary, Codes Officer
Donald Wolanin, Police Chief
Jack DelMonte, Foreman Bldgs./Grounds

The Supervisor opened the meeting at 7:00 PM, roll call of board members, and moment of silence, Pledge Allegiance to the Flag.

Upon the motion of Councilman Brooks, seconded by Councilman Copperwheat, it is
RESOLVED, that the Town Board accept the minutes from February 5, 2003.
All voted aye.
Motion carried.

Sal Granato is absent this meeting, therefore, Councilman Gibbs addressed the Board on his behalf. The highway department requests to go out for bid for a 10-wheel dump truck with a box.
Upon the motion of Councilman Gibbs, seconded by Councilman Copperwheat, it is
RESOLVED, that the Town Board agreed to bid a 10 wheel dump truck with a box for the highway department.
All voted aye.
Motion carried.

Presented to the Board were pictures from the highway department regarding equipment that has been refurbished.

Chief Wolanin addressed the Board. He stated that the defensive driving course is scheduled for March 10, 2003.

Chief Wolanin requested permission to apply for a Corridor Grant.
Upon the motion of Councilman Brooks, seconded by Councilman Sullivan, it is
RESOLVED, that the Town Board approved the application of a Corridor Grant to the Whitestown Police Department.
All voted aye.
Motion carried.

Chief Wolanin further stated that the Spectrum Justice System Grant should be approved within the next two to three weeks. He is applying for two traffic grants and is awaiting approval for a block grant for a police vehicle. Chief Wolanin has three quotes for a new copier and would like Board approval to purchase.
Upon the motion of Councilman Sullivan, seconded by Councilman Brooks, it is
RESOLVED, that the Town Board approved to purchase a new copier for the Police Department from Upstate Office, the amount not to exceed $1,028.00.
All voted aye.
Motion carried.

Police Commission
Councilman Brooks stated that the Whitestown Police would be assisting in traffic control at the America’s Heart Run and Walk this weekend. Councilman Sullivan gave credit to Chief Wolanin for applying for the grants.

Codes Enforcement Officer David Neary addressed the Board. He stated that Bonide Chemical has applied for a 45,000 square foot addition. This will be brought before the Planning Board first. He also spoke of a burned out structure, and stated the paperwork is near complete.

Buildings & Grounds
Jack DelMonte gave a report to the Board dated February 20, 2003 reflecting the activities of his department. Councilman Sullivan discussed a list of suggestions given to the Board to generate funds in the Recreations Department.

Karl Schrantz addressed the Board. He spoke of the new storm water regulations and the impact it will have on the Town. Also regarding this, a notice of intent will need to be sent to comply with procedure. Regarding Water District 25; he stated that numbers were sent to Water Board regarding hydraulic considerations that need to be resolved.
Water District 1 Contract 5 is moving along. Water District 1 Contract 4 has contractual issues with Syracuse Constructors for executive session.

Upon the motion of Councilman Sullivan, seconded by Councilman Gibbs, it is
RESOLVED, that the Town Board agree to send a Notice of Intent to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation regarding Storm Water Regulations.
All voted aye.
Motion carried.

Town Clerk Joanne Zegarelli addressed the Board. She stated that business in the Clerk’s office has been usual. She stated that she has updated The Department of Environmental Conservation Electronic Licensing System (DECALS) in her office. The new menu looks to be better and more helpful for selling licenses and troubleshooting.

Personnel and Finance
Nancy Hartman addressed the Board. She stated that there have been problems with MVP insurance. Subscribers have been having problems getting prescriptions. The insurance company is working to correct the mistake. A meeting with AMTEK has been scheduled for March 12, 2003, at 7:00 to be held at the Community Center to review a benefit study for Town employees. Mrs. Hartman discussed some information she learned at the Association of Towns meeting she attended.

The Supervisor asked for a motion to hire an insurance consultant to bid municipal insurance.
Upon the motion of Councilman Copperwheat, seconded by Councilman Brooks, it is
RESOLVED, that the Town Board approved for the Supervisor to sign a contract with Tim McMullen to bid municipal insurance.
All voted aye.
Motion carried.

Public Comment
Mike Parker, 7 Indian Mound Drive, Whitesboro addressed the Board. He gave praise Sal Granato for snow removal and also to Councilman Sullivan and Supervisor Shannon for the Skate Park. He questioned the percentage of the budget paid to Town wages. He suggested a wage study. Mr. Parker also stated that he was surprised that the Town Clerk did not have to keep hours, and he further questioned liability on the Clerk’s behalf. The Town Attorney will be addressing that. He suggested a committee for a time study, stating that perhaps part-time people should receive full-time pay and/or full-time people receive part-time pay. He did a comparative to other Towns with their hours. He stated that he was told the issuance of a death certificate would constitute a Town Clerk to leave the office. The registrar makes $1,500.00 a year, yet it was never taken out of the Clerk’s pay. He stated that he did not know everything about this position, however, felt it the wage should compare to that of a councilman’s wage. Mr. Parker made suggestions on how to use the $20,000.00 savings from the Clerk’s wage, i.e. Police Department, or $10,000.00 one place and $10,000.00 another. He was not sure about the budget process.

Mike Parker comments continued. He felt that with 20% of the budget being paid towards payroll, the Town Board should take a significant look at his suggestions. Mr. Parker finally stated that he would be happy to serve on this committee.

Supervisor Shannon thanked Mr. Parker for his comments.

Councilman Sullivan addressed Mr. Parker and his comments. He stating that elected officials are not obligated to keep hours. He felt that the Highway Department and the Clerks office have always tried to serve the public. The subject of office hours have come up in the past.

Councilman Copperwheat stated he had been in favor of a salary/job description study for a long time and the Town had just completed that study. He feels more can be done. Councilman Brooks stated that there are things that the Clerk does that the Board is not aware of and the Board does not keep the time of any elected official. He stated that it makes no sense to him why Town Clerks, Highway Superintendents and Receiver of Taxes are elected positions. He further stated that it could interfere with good government.

Mr. Parker stated that after reading up on his information, this could be changed to a non-elected position. Town Clerk Joanne Zegarelli addressed Mr. Parker stating that the Registrar position is not part of the duties of a Town Clerk. She further stated that at times when people have been unable come to the office during regular business hours, she has come back to the office. Also, she has taken paperwork to Town residents at their homes for those unable to make it to the office. She further stated that she does not report these extra duties to the Board.

Steve Barry, Kurts Kourt, Whitesboro, NY, addressed the Board. He gave pictures to the Board showing his property. He thanked the Highway Department for their fine work keeping the roads clear, and he was happy with how they kept the snow at the corners cut back. He complained about how the snow was moved with pay loaders. Tire pressure damaged his lawn. He stated that two to three foot snow banks were moved and dirt, salt and rock were piled up to eight feet high. Mr. Barry referred to the snow banks as huge ice sculptures while referencing the pictures. He asked the Board to come up with a less aggressive and destructive method of moving the snow. Mr. Barry stated that after lengthy discussions with the councilmen and the highway superintendent, the same type of snow removal happened again. This problem is also on other lawns in his development. An opinion form was taken door to door by Mr. Barry rating the snow removal, and he presented this to the Board. He asked the Board to consider not having the snow removed in this fashion again, and asked the Board what they plan to do with the damaged lawns after the snow melts.

Supervisor Shannon stated that safety was the prime concern, and to cut back the snow banks in preparation for the next storm. He stated that he has heard many positive comments on snow removal. However, snow banks in Mr. Barry’s neighborhood seemed to be considerably high. He apologized for the damage to his lawn and stated that the highway superintendent would repair any damages.

Steve Barry comments continued.

Councilman Brooks stated that he did contact Sal Granato with his concerns. He stated that with other projects in the Town the Board has always tried not to devalue or interfere with their property in any way. He stated that in the past, the Town has had to go back for repairs after construction projects. He is confident that the Board and the Highway Superintendent will make it right when the snow melts. Councilman Gibbs stated he hopes the frozen ground would hold up to the tire tracks. He stated that the Highway Superintendent did not intend to do damage. He further stated that the shape of the snow, when moved, could not be controlled. This was done because of safety and preparing for future storms. He further stated that any damages and clean up will be done by the Town at no charge to residents. Councilman Sullivan stated that for the record the sheets that were presented, nine out of twelve were signed unfavorable. He too thought the way this was done, was a bit extreme. Because of the amount of snow we have had this year this has been a priority. He hopes this would not happen again.

Mr. Barry stated that his lawn is not frozen. There is mud and water on his lawn and damage. Supervisor Shannon asked if he could forward the pictures onto Sal, and Mr. Barry had no objections. Mr. Barry reiterated to the Board the need to change this process.

New Business
Discussion was had regarding two resolutions. The first is maintenance of lighting and the second is agreement for maintenance, repair and energizing of highway lighting regarding the Judd Road connector Project. This was tabled for the next meeting so that the Board can review.

The topic of Amber Crossings will be discussed in executive session. Town Attorney Bill Schmitt gave a description of the prepared resolution regarding the reduction of the total assessment of property at 160-164 Whitesboro Street, Yorkville, owned by Mark C. Hoage.

Motioned by Councilman Copperwheat
Seconded by Councilman Sullivan

WHEREAS, Mark C. Hoage is the owner of a certain parcel of land located at 160-164 Whitesboro Street, Yorkville, New York, and described for the tax year 2002 on the Oneida County tax maps as Parcel No. 305.015-1-15, which property was originally assessed for such tax year at $68,000.00; and

WHEREAS, said owner has commenced a proceeding in the Supreme Court for Oneida County, pursuant to Article 7 of the Real property Tax Laws of the Sate of New York, to reduce the total assessment of the property for the tax year 2002 (Index No. 2002-001683) to $40,000.00; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Whitestown has appeared by William P. Schmitt, Esq., Town Attorney in defense of said petition on behalf of the Town; and

WHEREAS, the assessor has once again personally inspected the building and reviewed any and all documentation maintained by the Town and/or Village concerning improvements made to the property and is of the opinion that expense of litigating this matter far exceeds the modest reduction proposed by the petitioner, and further, by settling, the Town avoids the attendant uncertainty associated with litigation; and

WHEREAS, William P. Schmitt, as Town Attorney has appeared before the Board and presented information concerning the proposed settlement and recommended for acceptance of the petitioners’ settlement offer; and

WHEREAS, in an effort to avoid the time and expense associated with further and protracted litigation concerning this matter, the Assessor and Town Attorney have recommended a reduction in the assessment on the petitioners’ property from $68,000.00 to $58,000.00; and

WHEREAS, it appears to be in the best interest of the Town of Whitestown to seek Court approval pursuant to Section 68 of the Town Law of the State of New York, Oneida County, to reduce the Total assessment on the petitioner’s parcel from $68,000.00 to $58,000.00 for the tax year 2002;

RESOLVED, that the Town Supervisor and/or Town Attorney be and he is hereby authorized to petition the Supreme Court, State of New York, Oneida County, for approval of said Court to reduce the total assessment on Parcel No. 305.015-1-15 from $68,000.00 to $58,000.00, and upon receipt of said Court approval, to authorize the Town Assessor to reduce said assessment to said sum for the tax year 2002, and be it further

RESOLVED, that the Town Supervisor and/or the Town Attorney be authorized to execute a stipulation of discontinuance and/or such other documentation to effectuate the intent of this resolution, and the settlement of the petitioners’ claim.
Upon the question of the adoption of the foregoing resolution, all voted aye. Motion carried.

Discussion by the Town Attorney was had regarding Fiber Instrument Sales at the Airport. He will provide the Board with a report regarding this agreement and prepare a resolution for the next Board meeting.

Upon the motion of Councilman Copperwheat, seconded by Councilman Sullivan, it is
RESOLVED, that the Town Board hereby re-appoints Walter Jawniak to the Board of Assessment Review.
All voted aye.
Motion Carried.

The Central Garage requests permission to purchase one transmission jack. The supervisor stated that three quotes were received and recommended taking the lowest from Fleet Pride.

Upon the motion of Councilman Copperwheat, seconded by Councilman Sullivan, it is
RESOLVED, that the Town Board approved the purchase of one transmission jack from Fleet Pride for Central Garage.
All voted aye.
Motion carried.

Upon the motion of Councilman Brooks, seconded by Councilman Sullivan, it is
RESOLVED, that the Town Board approved Councilman Brooks to send a letter to Utica Roadrunners regarding their request to utilize portions of Town roadways for the May 18, 2003 road race.
All voted aye.
Motion carried.

Upon the motion of Councilman Sullivan, seconded by Councilman Gibbs, it is
RESOLVED, that the Town Board enter into executive session at 8:09PM for the purpose of discussing the acquisition of real property that if discussed publicly may affect the value.
All voted aye.
Motion carried.

Upon the motion of Councilman Gibbs, seconded by Councilman Sullivan, it is
RESOLVED, that the Town Board ended executive session at 8:45PM.
All voted aye.
Motion carried.

The purpose of the meeting was for the Town Board to review and approve vouchers for payment.
Upon the motion of Councilman Gibbs, seconded by Councilman Copperwheat, it is
RESOLVED, that the Town Board hereby authorized the payment of;
General Fund Bills (A) No. 101 through No. 250
General Fund Bills (B) No. 13 through No. 37
Special Districts No. 2
Sewer Consolidation District No. 5 through No. 8
Landfill Closure Phase 2 No. 209
Water District # 1 Extension No. 88 through 91
Highway DA & DB No. 41 through No. 89
said abstract having been duly audited by the said Town Board thus authorizing the Supervisor to write checks for the payment of the same.
All voted aye.
Motion carried.

There being no further business to come before the Town Board upon the motion of Councilman Brooks, seconded by Councilman Gibbs, the meeting was adjourned at 8:46PM.
All voted aye.
Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Joanne Zegarelli
Town Clerk