Downey Announces District 16 Legislator Run
During the first privilege of the floor at the Poland Board meeting, Clarence Robbins expressed thanks for all the hard work the town of Poland Highway Department put in this winter to keep the town roads safe for travel. Tami Downey then addressed the board. She noted she had been coming to town of Poland Board meetings since January, and that she was now officially a Republican candidate for the Chautauqua County Legislature in the new District 16, which includes the town of Poland.
Downey handed out copies of a letter to the town of Poland Board outlining her positions and giving a brief biography. She stated that both her phone number and her email address were listed on the letter, and she welcomed anyone to contact her.
Cindy Parsons then addressed the board, representing her mother Beatrice Cobb. Cobb currently has concrete steps down into her property, which are in the town right-of-way. They are crumbling due to the road salt, and she would like to have them repaired. Highway Superintendent Larry Mee said Town Attorney Paul Webb would have to be consulted. He had never had to do anything like that before.
Parsons stated Cobb had told her that the town had put them in. Mee said he would contact Webb and then let her know what he says.
In an unrelated issue, Parsons asked if private residents could put decorative flower containers around the village, if there would be any legal problems, and if the town could store them during the winter. Mee said you would probably have to get permission from the property owner. Board members felt that private citizens could do such a beautification project as long as they had permission of the property owner. Parsons asked if the town would be able to store them. Mee stated that heavy equipment would be required to move large planters, but that storage space could probably be arranged.
The board then went into executive session regarding a judicial matter. This session was not overly long. Following that, it was noted that Local Law 1 for 2013, the tax cap override which was passed during the April board meeting, was filed on April 26.
Mee said there had been no major problems with the Town Hall building. No water or moisture damage has been noticed in the records storage vault. They still have not gotten the bucket truck up to repair damage along the eaves of the building. Dennis Stornes told the board the Kennedy Free Library was still waiting to hear about their offer to purchase a local site for a new library.
Supervisor Kelly Snow read the recap from Dog Control Officer Brian King about the May 4 rabies clinic. He said approximately 160 dogs and cats and one ferret were vaccinated. He wouldn’t know a final total until the Chautauqua County Health Department got back to him. He would update the board when he receives the information.
Councilwoman Kathy Stanton reported on the Accessibility Committee. She handed out a list of architects and engineers in the area. Code Officer Alan Gustafson told the committee that a project of the size they were considering would need an architect to obtain a permit. He is going to check the list of architects and engineers to see if they are accredited for handicap accessibility. She also handed board members a draft of a request for proposals. This would be sent to those architects and engineers who have also been certified for accessibility. It was hoped to have something to show the board at the next meeting. From that point, a projection of costs for project plans would be possible, enabling the board to have an idea of what to budget in the 2014 budget. The next meeting of the Accessibility Committee will be June 26.
Councilman Terry Walker introduced Doug Brandow to the board. He informed them that he was willing to serve on the Planning Board Town Board members thanked him, and Snow asked him to leave all his contact information with Town Clerk Barb Czerniak. She informed the board that Barry Leyman has agreed to be a mentor to the Planning Board to help the new members get settled in their responsibilities.
Board members again discussed a new phone system for the town hall. Two companies had submitted proposals. One of the biggest needs is for privacy for the court, and this would be addressed with a new system. Town Justice Judith Shields would be able to apply for a grant to cover the cost of a new system, but it would have to be purchased first, and then reimbursed. Stanton said she agreed with the need, but felt money set aside for building improvements should not be used for a phone system. She further stated that the contingency money should not be used, either, since any grant reimbursement would be several months away.
“I guess I would feel, I could be more supportive, if the reserve dollars were used,” Stanton said.
Snow said she felt using the reserve funds was a viable option as well. Interest rates are not that high now, so the town would not be losing that much. When grant monies are received, they could be put back into the reserve fund. Board members agreed that taking the money from the reserve fund, knowing that it would be replaced in the future, made good sense. The lower of the two quotes also included one year of maintenance, which, if any service isn’t used, can be rolled over into the second year. Board members voted to accept the lower bid for the Avaya system of $9,552.81.
Assessor Dennis Stornes reported that the tentative roll has been completed. Grievance Day will be held on Tuesday, from 6-10 p.m. in the Town Hall.
Mee said all town snow equipment has been cleaned, painted and stored for the summer. Sweeping of the roads has been done. Twelve trees were cut with Great Lakes Tree Service. Roads that are going to be oiled this year have been ditched and shouldered. Weeds have been sprayed around street signs and guard rails.
The week of June 10 is planned for the start of oiling in conjunctions with the town of Carroll. The new flail mower is in and mounted, so mowing will be able to start. Mee said he has talked to the CHIPS representative, and it is permissible to pay off the BAN on the new truck with part of the CHIPS money. It would still leave $42,000 in the CHIPS money for oiling.
He asked the board for permission to purchase a new truck off another county’s bid for a truck to replace the small truck, a 2001 F550, which has been used to plow in the hamlet. The new truck and separate box and equipment would total $148,125.
He asked the board for permission to pay off the current BAN and then purchase the new truck and equipment, taking out a three-year BAN and planning to pay it off sooner. Board members were reassured that the roads were in good condition, so it would be a good idea to take the opportunity to replace the small truck. Board members approved the request. Mee also noted the loader was still able to be traded up for a new one, at a cost of $10 per hour of use. The council members felt this was a very good way to keep equipment current with minimal costs, and approved.
Snow made a motion to officially appoint Corey Swanson, Doug Brandow and Brian Carlson to the Planning Board. Town Board members approved the motion.
Supervisor Snow informed the board that a response has been received from New York state concerning the request for a lower speed limit on Route 394 in the Waterboro area. The state said that after an extensive traffic study, which was explained in the letter, they felt a reduced speed was not necessary, and denied the request. Snow said she would draft a letter and attach a copy of that correspondence and send it to the residents who had sought the speed reduction.
The next regular meeting of the town of Poland Board will be held on Tuesday, June 11, at 7 p.m. in the town hall. Supervisor Snow will be available at 5:30 p.m. to meet with residents about their concerns. Everyone is welcome to attend these public meetings.