The Annual Organizational Meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Homer held on Tuesday, January 8, 2019, in the Town Hall Senior Center was called to order by Supervisor Frederick J. Forbes, Sr., at 6:30 p.m.
Frederick J. Forbes, Sr., Supervisor
Larry R. Jones, Councilman
Michael R. Park, Councilman
Barry E. Warren, Councilman
Kevin M. Williams, Councilman
Patrick M. Snyder, Attorney for the Town
John R. Phelps, Highway Superintendent
Anita W. Jebbett, Town Clerk
Matthew Schooley, engineer, Barton & Loguidice, D.P.C.
Kelly Preston, County Legislator
Jason Kristoff, 722 State Route 90
Nick Graziano, reporter, Cortland Standard
Don Ferris, reporter, The Homer News
The minutes of the December 28th year-end meeting were approved as presented, on motion by Councilman Park, seconded by Councilman Williams and carried unanimously.
Presented for audit by the Board were:
- The Supervisor’s reports of cash receipts & disbursements for November and December.
- The Town Clerk’s report of cash receipts & disbursements for December.
- The Code Enforcement Officer’s report of all building permits & activities for December.
Presented for audit by the Board were:
- The Town Clerk’s report of all receipts & disbursements for the year 2018.
- The Town Clerk’s report of all Accessible Permits issued in 2018.
BILLS TO BE PAID
General bills were approved as audited on motion by Councilman Warren, seconded by Councilman Jones and carried unanimously: RESOLVED: that General Fund vouchers #306 through #317 totaling $4,112.38 for 2018, and vouchers #1 through #9 totaling $3,519.59 for 2019 are approved for payment.
Highway bills were approved as audited on motion by Councilman Park, seconded by Councilman Williams and carried unanimously: RESOLVED: that Highway Fund vouchers #239 through #243 totaling $2,254.00 for 2018, and vouchers #1 through #4 totaling $1,889.14 for 2019 are approved for payment.
Village bridges – Matthew Schooley, an engineer for Barton & Loguidice, reported on his review of both the Pine Street and Wall Street Bridges. His firm had submitted the Bridge NY application on behalf of the Town for the replacement of the Wall Street Bridge. Schooley said that the majority of State awards went to County projects involving high-traffic bridges. He said that he thinks that there will be one more round of Bridge NY grants, although there is some uncertainty about that. Schooley urged Board members to continue to look for other sources of revenue for the Wall Street Bridge replacement such as through their local State representatives.
There was much discussion about the current state of the Pine Street Bridge. Schooley said that the Town will need the longitudinal stringers and decking replaced in order to bring it to a 5-ton weight capacity. He estimated the cost of the project if bid at around $65,000 plus $5,000 to $10,000 for the engineering and inspections. Highway Superintendent Phelps said that his crew did not have either the skill-set or the time to do the necessary work on the bridge. Schooley said that doing the work he described should make the bridge last another 10 to 15 years. There was discussion about how to deal with the scouring under the bridge which may have to be addressed when the water level is lower.
Councilman Park said that he would like to see the NYS DOT involved in the process in order to be certain that the issues that have led to the Pine Street Bridge being red-flagged will be resolved. Schooley said that he would be in touch with the State and with the NYS Office of Parks, Recreation & Historic Preservation since the bridge is over 130 years old.
Schooley estimated that he would be able to prepare the plans for going out to bid within a month. As for the repair of the Pine Street Bridge effecting the Town’s chances of getting a grant for the Wall Street Bridge replacement, Schooley said that the Pine Street Bridge would still not have a legal load rating since it would be brought up to only a 5-ton limit.
On motion by Councilman Williams, seconded by Councilman Park and carried unanimously: RESOLVED: that the Town Board authorizes Barton & Loguidice to prepare the contract documents to go out to bid for the repair of the Pine Street Bridge to bring it to a 5-ton weight capacity at a cost not to exceed $10,000.
Park said that it is likely to be 3 to 5 years before the Wall Street Bridge can be replaced.
Local Law #1 of 2019 – Attorney Snyder explained that the Town has completed all the necessary steps prior to the adoption of the proposed local law, including a public hearing, a review by the County Planning Department, and the approval of the Environmental Assessment Form.
On motion by Councilman Warren, seconded by Councilman Williams and carried unanimously:
RESOLVED: that Local Law #1 of 2019 to amend the Town Zoning Law to allow for farm breweries and wineries and similar operations in certain zoning districts if a special permit is issued by the Town Planning Board is adopted.
Update on office renovations – There was much discussion about the office space now that the walls have been removed. While not part of the current renovation plan, Councilman Williams asked the Board members to consider raising the ceiling above the height of the tallest windows. Councilman Warren spoke against the change and Councilman Park asked if it would be more costly and slow down the project. Supervisor Forbes said that he would discuss the suggestion with the contractor and architect Randy Crawford.
Balcony renovations – There was much discussion about the next steps to be taken to make useable space of the former balcony. Forbes discussed the different options for insulating the space.
The Board agreed to put the balcony project on hold for the time being due to the demands of the office renovation project.
Carpet for Senior Center – Councilman Warren had received revised bids for replacing the carpet in the Senior Center with carpet tile, from National Floor, Binghamton, for $10,523.95 and from R.H. Osborne, Cortland, for $10,000.00.
On motion by Councilman Warren, seconded by Councilman Jones and carried unanimously: RESOLVED: that the bid of Osborne Carpets of Cortland for $10,000 for carpet tile for the Senior Center with the Senior Council to contribute towards the purchase.
Supervisor Forbes reminded County Legislator Preston about checking with the County Office for Aging about sharing in the cost of the carpet.
On motion by Supervisor Forbes, seconded by Councilman Warren and carried unanimously: RESOLVED: that the annual appointments and resolutions for 2019 are approved as follows:
Supervisor Forbes thanked Stuart Young who is resigning from the Town Planning Board after many years of dedicated service on behalf of the Town Board. Young’s son Zachary Young was appointed to take his place. Forbes also explained that as yet he has been unable to find someone to replace Hugh Riehlman on the Board of Assessment Review.
Ice sculpture for Winter Fest – It was the consensus of the Board that the Town should not purchase an ice sculpture for the January event.
Data poles for Assessor Office – Supervisor Forbes asked Councilman Williams to look into data poles or something equivalent to alleviate the problems with electrical cords in that office.
Postage meter refill – On motion by Councilman Williams, seconded by Councilman Jones and carried unanimously, the Town Clerk was authorized to add $1,200 to the Town’s postage meter.
Invitation from County Sheriff – Sheriff Mark Helms invited Town Board members for a tour of the current jail.
ATTORNEY FOR THE TOWN
Attorney Patrick Snyder reported that the Town’s Zoning and Planning Boards have not been too busy.
When another meeting is held, they will be discussing the zoning for chickens and wedding barns.
He suggested that the Board consider having the Town’s Zoning Law re-printed due to a number of changes since its first publication.
Legislator Kelly Preston reported on the activities of the County Legislature over the past month, including landfill and recycling issues, and a review of the County’s investment policy.
The Board thanked her for updating them on County issues.
Supervisor Forbes said that he will be away for the entire month of February.
The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.
Anita W. Jebbett