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Regular Meeting – April 3, 2019

The regular meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Homer held on Wednesday, April 3, 2019, in the Town Hall Senior Center was called to order by Supervisor Frederick J. Forbes, Sr. at 6:30 p.m.

PRESENT

                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

OTHERS PRESENT

                Kelly Preston, Cortland County Legislator

                Patrick Clune, Trustee, Village of Homer

                Charles Sudbrink, Cortland County Highway Superintendent

                Trisha Jesset, Deputy County Highway Superintendent

                Shenandoah Briere, reporter, Cortland Standard

                Donald Ferris, reporter, The Homer News

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

MINUTES

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

MONTHLY REPORTS

Presented for audit by the Board were:

  1. The Supervisor’s reports of all receipts & disbursements for February and March.
  2. The Town Clerk’s report of all receipts & disbursements for March.
  3. The Code Enforcement Officer’s report of all building permits issued in March.
  4. The Tax Collector’s summary of all taxes received as of the end of March.

ANNUAL REPORTS

Presented for audit by the Board was:

  1.  The Annual Financial Report Update Document for the fiscal year 2018, filed with the Office of the NYS Comptroller on March 19th.

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 #62 through #89 totaling $56,026.96 are approved for payment.

Highway bills were approved as audited on motion by Councilman Park, seconded by Councilman Jones and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that Highway Fund vouchers #50 through #66 totaling $20,934.70 are approved for payment.

NEW BUSINESS

County Highway Department outreach – Highway Superintendent Charles Sudbrink and Deputy Superintendent Trisha Jesset were present to a report on the County’s highway projects affecting the Town of Homer.  Within the Town they plan to repair and surface Kinney Gulf Road from Bond Road to Route 90, complete work on Parks Road, and surface Shippey Road and East Homer-Baltimore Road.  Sudbrink said that due to the lack of funding for the Extreme Winter Recovery grants in the new State budget, they are rethinking work on other roads such as East River Road.

                Jesset said that although in the past the County had a three-year rotation on its maintenance of County roads, they plan to evaluate each road individually.  Some rural roads with little traffic may not need to be re-surfaced for five years, for example.

                Sudbrink and Jesset also reported on some positive steps they are taking to improve things at both the County Landfill and the Recycling Center.  Instead of mining shale for cover at the Landfill, they are hoping to get DEC approval to use glass, which as a recyclable has negative value.

                The Town Board thanked them for their presentation and their forward thinking on highway and landfill matters.

                Annual Fireman’s Installation Dinner – Councilman Jones agreed to represent the Town at the April 19th dinner to be held at the Homer Elks Club.

                Office renovation project change orders – Supervisor Forbes said that he feels that the architect overlooked some of the electrical/phone/technology improvements for the project which has resulted in several change orders.  Many of these changes involve the renovation of the two front offices which was an alternate of the original project.

                On motion by Supervisor Forbes, seconded by Councilman Park and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that change order #8 for Beard Electric to provide new electrical service and outlets to the two front offices for $2,225, and an additional spare conduit for future use for $315, is approved.

                On motion by Councilman Williams, seconded by Councilman Warren and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that change order #9 for Beard Electric to provide new tele/data drops for the two front offices and 3 additional phone lines for $4,375 is approved.

                In regard to change order #11 Forbes explained that although the bid specifications had called for a 5-ton air conditioning unit, once Mark Baranello (HVAC contractor) got involved with the project he decided that two units, one 3-ton and one 4-ton would be more efficient, and agreed to cover the difference in cost.    Park said that he had agreed to the two units when Forbes was out of town, not realizing that additional electrical costs would be involved.

On motion by Supervisor Forbes, seconded by Councilman Warren and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that change order #11 for Beard Electric to provide additional wiring for the installation of a second air handler/condenser unit for $1,585 is approved.

On motion by Supervisor Forbes, seconded by Councilman Park and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that change order #10 for Beard Electric to furnish and install new lighting fixtures in the Mayor’s and Village Clerk’s offices for $945 is approved.

On motion by Supervisor Forbes, seconded by Councilman Williams and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that change order #7 for Beard Electric to furnish and install new lighting fixtures in the Supervisor’s and Code Enforcement Officer’s offices for $550 is approved.

Cold War Veterans’ exemption change – There was discussion about the County’s decision to do away with the ten year limit on the Cold War Veterans’ exemption.  Supervisor Forbes reminded Board members that the Town had voted in the past to follow the County’s lead on any tax exemptions.  Attorney Snyder said that he will check to see if the Town Board needs to take any steps to remove the ten year limit previously mandated by the State for this particular exemption.

ATTORNEY FOR THE TOWN

Attorney Snyder said that the Cortland County Industrial Development Agency (IDA) has asked to administer any PILOT programs for commercial solar farms in Cortland County.  Attorney Snyder said that he, along with Supervisor Forbes and Councilman Park, will be attending a meeting on this subject to be held in the IDA conference room at 3:00 p.m. on Monday, April 22nd.

PINE STREET BRIDGE REPAIR PROJECT

Supervisor Forbes said that bids for the repair of the Pine Street Bridge were received and opened at 3:30 p.m. on Tuesday, April 2nd.  The three bids received were then reviewed by the Town’s engineer, Matt Schooley of Barton & Loguidice, who has recommended that the Town award the bid to the lowest bidder, Economy Paving of Cortland, for their base bid of $89,889.89.

There was discussion about the addendum to the bid which involves access to the river in order to lay stone along the wing walls of the bridge.  That work has not received the approval of the NYS DEC.

On motion by Councilman Park, seconded by Councilman Williams and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that Contract No. 1 – Pine Street Over West Branch Tioughnioga River – is awarded to Economy Paving Co. Inc., Cortland, for their base bid of $89,889.89, and if Addendum Item #1 is approved by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, their bid of $9,709.70 is awarded for a total of $99,599.59.

Supervisor Forbes thanked Councilman Park for all the time he spent on this proposal.  Park will be contacting Engineer Schooley to find out about the next step.  Highway Superintendent Phelps said that he has been keeping the NYS DOT up to date on the proposed repair of the red-flagged bridge.

HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT

Phelps said that he has been utilizing both a rented sweeper and the Town’s sweeper to clean up roadsides, both before and after the most recent snowstorm.  He recycles the sweepings to use for future snowstorms.  He has met with representatives of both Verizon and Spectrum who have various projects throughout the Town.  Phelps also attended Advocacy Day in Albany in early March along with many other Highway Superintendents from across the State.  All but one of the Highway Department employees have completed the required Spring Safety Training, and that employee will be attending the class next week.

There was discussion about the County’s proposed changes to the snowplowing agreement.  Attorney Snyder has met with the County to streamline the proposed contract which had originally been written as if for private contractors, not other municipalities.  Supervisor Forbes suggested that to improve the proposal the County should pay automatically and in three equal installments.  Superintendent Phelps said that he is happy to continue to provide snow and ice control on the County-owned roads of East Homer-Baltimore Road and Health Camp Road.

COUNTY LEGISLATOR

County Legislator Kelly Preston gave an update on the repairs to the County Jail after a build-up of ice caused the roof to leak, and on the County’s discussions about moving the backup 911 center.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

On motion by Councilman Park, seconded by Councilman Warren and carried unanimously, the Board entered into executive session at 8:00 p.m. in order to discuss the contractual agreement with and financial history of the Cortland County Self-Insurance Fund.  No actions were taken.  The executive session was adjourned at 8:30 p.m. on motion by Councilman Warren, seconded by Councilman Park.

Councilman Williams reported on a meeting he had attended as the Town’s representative to the Greater Tompkins County Municipal Health Consortium. 

The meeting was adjourned at 8:35 p.m.

                                                                                                                                Anita W. Jebbett

                                                                                                                                Town Clerk