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Regular Meeting – April 3, 2013

The regular meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Homer held on Wednesday, April 3, 2013, in the board room of the Town Hall building was called to order by Supervisor Frederick J. Forbes at 7:30 p.m.

PRESENT

             Frederick J. Forbes, Supervisor

             Barry E. Warren, Councilman

             Dan A. Weddle, Councilman

             Kevin M. Williams, Councilman

            Brian D. Young, Councilman

             Patrick M. Snyder, Attorney for the Town

            John R. Phelps, Highway Superintendent

            Anita W. Jebbett, Town Clerk

OTHERS PRESENT

            John Daniels, Code Enforcement Officer

             Michael Park, Cortland County Legislator

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

MINUTES

            The minutes of the March 6th, 2013, regular meeting were approved as presented, on motion by Councilman Weddle, seconded by Councilman Williams and carried unanimously. 

MONTHLY REPORTS

            Presented for audit by the Board: 

  1. The Supervisor’s report of all cash receipts & disbursements for February.
  2. The Town Clerk’s report of all receipts & disbursements for March.
  3. The Dog Control Officer’s report of all activities for February & March
  4. The Code Enforcement Officer’s report of permits issued for March.

BILLS TO BE PAID

            General bills were approved as audited on motion by Councilman Warren, seconded by Councilman Williams and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that General Fund vouchers #54 through #76 totaling $22,931.18 be approved for payment.

            Highway bills were approved as audited on motion by Councilman Weddle, seconded by Councilman Young and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that Highway Fund vouchers #37 through #53 totaling $133,871.14, including a 2007 Western Star plow truck purchased directly from the Town of Cazenovia for $110,000.00, be approved for payment.

NEW BUSINESS

             Little York Dam replacement – On motion by Councilman Young, seconded by Councilman Weddle and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that the Supervisor be authorized to sign a statement that the Town of Homer concurs with the County of Cortland acting as Lead Agency under SEQRA for the Little York Dam Replacement Project.

            Cold War veteran’s exemption – On motion by Councilman Warren, seconded by Councilman Young and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED:  that the Town of Homer hereby adopts the Cold War Veteran’s Exemption on the same scale as the County.

            Audit of Town books for 2012 – Councilman Williams presented a resolution following his meeting with Town Supervisor Forbes and Town Clerk Jebbett on March 15th, 2013, in the Supervisor’s Office:

            WHEREAS, the intent of the meeting was to provide oversight, review, and guidance for the Supervisor and Clerk and to continue to preserve the integrity and transparency of the Town of Homer books and accounts;

            WHEREAS, Councilman Williams discussed and reviewed at length the component documents of the Annual Financial Report with much of the discussion centered on the cash receipts journal and deposit journal.  After interviewing the Supervisor regarding the cash receipts procedure, Councilman Williams found the current procedures to be financially sound and transparent.  It was noted that only a couple times during the year the Supervisor receives cash from revenue generated from the Highway Superintendent’s Office, and corresponding paperwork can be confirmed in the cash receipts journal.  It was also noted that all reports and disbursements were made on a timely basis, that the checkbooks were reconciled on a timely basis, and that cooperation by the Town Clerk and the Town Supervisor was appropriate;

             WHEREAS, the following recommendations were discussed:

  1. Conduct a meeting for the Board members at the Town Garage so that members can review equipment inventory and get a general working knowledge of the assets in the system,
  2. Perform oversight checks and procedure reviews several times annually, review asset accounts, and create audit procedures and checks to insure system integrity for future clerks and supervisors,
  3. Utilize the narrative section in the Notes to the Financial Statements to note the new procedures and auditing being performed by the Town Board following an audit by the NYS Comptroller’s Office in 2012.

             RESOLVED:  that the Town Board hereby accepts and agrees to implement the recommendations as noted above, that all accounting records were found to be in order, and that the Annual Financial Report for 2012 has been accepted and filed, on motion by Councilman Williams, seconded by Councilman Young and carried unanimously.

            “Red Flags for Fraud” webinar – Councilman Young reported attending a recent webinar offered by the NYS Comptroller’s Office which outlined things to look for to prevent fraud by government employees.

HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT      

            Highway Superintendent Phelps reported on his department’s activities over the past month.  The street sweeper has been repaired and some of the snowplow trucks are being “torn down” to ready them for springtime highway maintenance, such as patching, repairing damage caused by the snowplows and trimming brush.  

            Phelps said that he expects to obtain grindings from the City of Cortland which is funding a major street renovation project this summer. 

             The Town will be getting an increase in the amount of CHIPS money it receives from the State from $117,000 to around $150,000.

            There was discussion about purchasing a new pickup truck. 

             On motion by Supervisor Forbes, seconded by Councilman Young and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that Highway Superintendent Phelps be authorized to advertise for bids on a new 2012 heavy-duty diesel pickup truck, and that the bids be reviewed by Council members Weddle and Young.

ATTORNEY FOR THE TOWN

            Attorney Snyder reported that the Draft Environmental Impact Statement on the proposed wind farm is now complete and will be subject to a public comment period which is scheduled to end on July 19th.  Hopefully this will allow time for the Towns involved – Cortlandville, Homer, Solon, & Truxton – to draft their own zoning law pertaining to wind turbines. 

             Supervisor Forbes said he would ask Larry Jones, who had represented the Town on a previous committee looking into the proposed wind farm, to review the document and make recommendations. 

EXECUTIVE SESSION

            On motion by Supervisor Forbes, seconded by Councilman Young and carried unanimously, it was resolved to enter into an executive session at 8:45 p.m. in order to discuss the matters relating to the employment history of a particular person.

            On motion by Supervisor Forbes, seconded by Councilman Young and carried unanimously, the executive session was adjourned at 9:20 p.m.

NEW BUSINESS, CONTINUED

            Homer Town Hall – Following discussion about recent articles in the local newspapers on the topic, it was the consensus of the Town Board that they would be open to having the Village move their offices back into the Town Hall.

            Supervisor Forbes noted the passing of long-time Assistant Dog Control Officer Joyce Burhans, wife of Dog Control Officer Paul Burhans.

            Forbes said that the public hearing on the prior written notice local law originally scheduled for April will instead be held at 7:15 p.m. on Wednesday, May 8th, just prior to the next Board meeting.  

COUNTY LEGISLATURE

            County Legislator and Chairman Mike Park spoke about recent County matters including the new radio system and its cost, the sales tax agreement and a proposed dental plan to cover more County residents.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:00 p.m.

                                                                                                Anita W. Jebbett

                                                                                                Town Clerk