Lemon Discusses County Home At Poland Meeting
KENNEDY – Plans for the future continued to be a big part of the agenda of the town of Poland Board meeting recently. Town of Poland Supervisor Kelly Snow reported that she had signed the paperwork for the title search and deed to transfer the former Temple property to the Kennedy Free Library for their new building.
Library board president Tim Mead still needed to sign it, and then it could be sent to Town Attorney Paul Webb so it can be officially recorded in Mayville. In other legal business, Highway Superintendent Larry Mee said he had prepared a letter to send to Dry Brook Road residents, and he would have it faxed to Webb for his approval before it is sent to the residents.
Under old business, Dennis Stornes, town assessor, informed the board that the plans for the new library building have been submitted to the state for approval. They are hoping this will not take too long.
Councilwoman Kathy Stanton reported on the accessibility committee. It was decided to wait to begin any construction until the library was able to move into their new building. Committee members learned that the issue was much more complex than first thought. If the library had to close for any length of time it could risk losing some of its funding. The library is currently hoping to be able to relocate to their new building in May, but nothing is definite yet. Stanton noted that this could mean delaying the accessibility project into late 2014 or early 2015. A silver lining to this delay is that it gives the town more time to make their plans as to the final layout of offices in the town hall. She also told the Town Board that a survey done for a previous building proposal found that there is asbestos in the caulking around windows in the town hall, which will need abatement.
At the recent Accessibility Committee meeting, they received a proposal for sampling to see if there is also asbestos in any of the wiring in the building. Cost for this proposal is $4,050. She said she will ask the architect if this sampling could be done right away, or if it had to wait until later when a more definite start time for construction was available. Councilman Norm Gustafson said he felt that when the board voted for the project, they were trying to hold costs down, and now new costs seem to keep coming up. No estimate had been given for what the cost would be for abatement if asbestos were found in the wires.
Under new business, Snow reported that the HSA accounts have been funded. She has notified the retirees, and Mee notified his department workers. Snow also noted that the 2013 AUD report has been submitted to the state. M&T Bank received a copy, and told Snow that Poland was the first town to turn in their report this year. The year-end budget transfers were discussed as well. This is an accounting system which balances the books at the end of the year. Stanton thanked Snow for sharing the details, so board members could understand the details of the various town accounts.
Town Clerk Bonita Wallace informed the board that she had hired Darla Rissell to train as deputy town clerk. Training will begin in earnest when tax collection winds down. Wallace noted that tax collection had been proceeding very well so far. Stornes said he had his new computer for his office. It is one that the court did not need, and has Windows 7 on it. This saved the town about $500. He did have to buy a monitor.
Mee talked about his department’s work. He noted that many people have been discussing the problem of salt supply for roads this winter. So far, Mee said he had not had any trouble with his salt supply. He still has room for ordering under his maximum amount for the year at the current price. He did not feel they would need all of it this season, but would need some to start out the next season in the fall. He noted that this year his department plans to go off the county’s bids for fuel and oil. He will have that information for the next board meeting.
Zoning Officer George Gustafson told the board that there had been some minor issues concerning chickens, but that he thought they had been resolved. He also said he had attended a seminar about chickens and heard information about current regulations in other communities, as well as from young people involved in raising chickens for 4-H projects. All have offered to speak to the zoning and planning boards about the matter if they would like to hear more information.
Code Officer Alan Gustafson commented on an issue with buildings on Falconer-Frewsburg Road. Permits were granted for particular usage, but now the buildings are being used for other purposes. The owner has been notified and the matter discussed with him. A variance would be needed for the buildings to be able to continue to be used in the current manners.
Also, changes would need to be made to the structures themselves in order for them to meet building code requirements for the new purposes. Gustafson stated that if the owner does not take any steps to address these issues, further action might be required.
Snow said she had received a note from Justice Judith Shields. As of the date of the town board meeting, Shields had not heard anything about the grant applied for to reimburse the town for the cost of the new telephone system. She still feels the grant will be approved. Snow then read a thank-you note from retired Town Clerk Barb Czerniak for all the support during her years of service.
In his monthly report, Dog Control Officer Brian King stated that he had set the date for the rabies clinic. It will be Saturday, April 12, from 1-3 p.m. Dr. Mary Fales will be the veterinarian.
County Legislator Ron Lemon noted that he expected a vote on the sale of the county home at the next legislature meeting. Lemon stated that the representatives from Vestra Care were brought in to meet with the legislators to answer any questions they might have. He said he was “very impressed with what they want to do.” Lemon told the board that the few people that have called him have been people who did not want to see it sold. He suggested that if anyone was in favor of selling it, they should also call their legislator, and any others they thought might be on the fence.
The offer of $16 million is about half a million less than the previous offer, which was voted down in the previous legislative term. This company has two other nursing homes in the state, and legislature members who toured those facilities were impressed. One of the first things Vestra Care would invest in at the home would be a new computer system. The current ones are very out-of-date. Lemon said their plan is to eventually hire more people, and to add more programs. Everyone currently working there will be offered the opportunity to stay if they meet current criteria for staffing.
Councilwoman Stanton asked if the consultant about developing comprehensive plans for communities had met with the planning board. Due to the storms he was unable to come as scheduled in January, so it is currently set for him to be at the planning board meeting on Tuesday, March 4.
The next regular town of Poland Board meeting will be held on Tuesday, March 11, at 7 p.m., in the town hall. Snow will be available at 5:30 p.m. to meet with residents about their concerns. The public is encouraged to attend.