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Regular Meeting – April 8, 2015

The regular meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Homer held on Wednesday, April 8, 2015, in the board room of the Town Hall Building was called to order by Supervisor Frederick J. Forbes, Sr., at 7:30 p.m.

PRESENT

                Frederick J. Forbes, Sr., Supervisor

                Barry E. Warren, Councilman

                Dan A. Weddle, Councilman

                Brian D. Young, Councilman

                Patrick M. Snyder, Attorney for the Town

                John R. Phelps, Highway Superintendent

                Anita W. Jebbett, Town Clerk

ABSENT

                Kevin M. Williams, Councilman

OTHERS PRESENT

                Randy Deal, Assessor for Homer, Virgil & City of Cortland

                Matt Mareane, Sales Representative, Finger Lakes Technologies Group, Inc.

                Tyrone Heppard, reporter, Cortland Standard

                Donald Ferris, reporter, The Homer News

                Eric Mulvihill, reporter, WXHC

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

MINUTES

                The minutes of the March 4th regular meeting were approved as presented, on motion by Councilman Warren, seconded by Councilman Young and carried unanimously.

MONTHLY REPORTS

                Presented for audit by the Board were:

  1. The Town Clerk’s monthly report of all receipts and disbursements for March.
  2. The Supervisor’s report of all revenues and expenditures for February & March.
  3. The Code Enforcement Officer’s report of all building permits issued for March.
  4. The Dog Control Officer’s report of all activities for the month of March.

BILLS TO BE PAID

                General bills were approved as audited on motion by Councilman Young, seconded by

Councilman Weddle and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that General Fund vouchers #58 through #94 totaling $30,462.42 be approved for payment.

                Highway bills were approved as audited on motion by Councilman Warren, seconded by Councilman Young and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that Highway Fund vouchers #41 through #64 totaling $23,142.47 be approved for payment.

NEW BUSINESS

                Proposal for new phone/internet system – Matt Mareane, a sales representative of the Finger Lakes Technologies Group, Inc. of Victor, New York, gave a presentation on his company and the phone & internet systems that they have been installing locally for businesses, universities, local governments and non-profits.  He offered the Town several options for high-speed internet through Finger Lakes’ regional fiber network and a hosted phone system for the Town Hall building.  Since they are just starting to expand into the Homer area, the installation could take two to four months to complete.  The end result would be a much faster internet and vastly upgraded phone system for the Town. 

Mareane had been contacted by Town Assessor Randy Deal who is looking for better internet service and an additional phone line in order to better utilize the County and State RPS programs and better serve the Towns of Virgil and Homer and City of Cortland.

                Supervisor Forbes suggested that the Town Board members review the information that Mareane had presented and read over an email from absent Board member Kevin Williams before making a decision.  Forbes also suggested some modifications to the proposal that had been submitted.  Mareane said that Finger Lakes Technologies is on the State contract for such work, therefore the Town would not need to go out for bids for the upgrades. He also stated that he would provide Attorney Snyder with the NYS OGS (Office of General Services) contract number.   Forbes thanked him for his presentation and said that they would be making a decision in the near future.

                2015 CHIPS funding – Supervisor Forbes reported that the NYS CHIPS funding for the year would remain about the same as in 2014 at $150,358.15, and there would be additional money for recovery from the extreme winter weather of $22,022.18.

                Meeting with Village Board – There was discussion about the joint meeting of the Town and

Village Boards regarding the possibility of the Village moving their offices back to the Homer Town Hall.  Supervisor Forbes said that he was in process of obtaining a report on the asbestos removal and testing during the last Town Hall renovation in response to their concerns, and that Councilman Williams had asked Carrie Swift, an industrial hygienist from O’Brien & Gere, to provide an estimate for additional testing of the Town Hall in response to other concerns expressed by the Mayor. 

Councilman Warren reported on his meeting with Ms. Swift and reviewed the proposed scope of services that they are offering.  The fee for the proposed testing would be $5,300.

 The Board also discussed the possibility of renovating the office space  prior to the Village (or another party) moving back and the issue of whether to charge the Village rent.  No action was taken.  Supervisor Forbes suggested that the matter be discussed again at the May meeting when Councilman Williams is able to be present.

Manure storage pits –  On motion by Supervisor Forbes, seconded by Councilman Warren and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that a public hearing on proposed Local Law #1 of 2015 regarding site plan review for manure storage pits will be held at 7:00 p.m. on Wednesday, May 6th, just prior to the regularly scheduled Board meeting.

Forbes said that Amanda Barber of Cortland County Soil & Water plans to attend the April 22nd Planning Board meeting to discuss the manure storage issue.

Community development block grants – Councilman Young reminded the Board that they had previously agreed to look into the possibility of applying for a community development block grant to help residents repair their homes.  Supervisor Forbes agreed to contact Thoma Development Consultants regarding the grants.

ATTORNEY FOR THE TOWN

                Attorney Snyder asked the Town Board to vote on the resolution regarding the proposed Lincoln Monument project again because it is subject to a permissive referendum and must be published in the newspaper as a legal notice.

                On motion by Councilman Warren, seconded by Councilman Young and carried unanimously: 

RESOLVED:

                  Whereas, the Town Board of the Town of Homer appointed an Historic Advisory Committee to advise it concerning the creation of the monument to honor former residents who were associated with Abraham Lincoln, and

                      Whereas, the Committee has developed a proposed Lincoln Monument Project which will involve the creation of bronze art to be placed at the entranceway and inside the Town Hall building; and

       Whereas, the project will be funded by potential grants and donations from the community; and

                      Whereas, the project will not have any adverse environmental impacts as described under the State Environmental Quality Review Act;

                       Now, therefore, be it resolved, that the Town Board finds that the Lincoln Monument Project shall be approved, subject to a permissive referendum, as required by NYS Town Law Section 220.

                Attorney Snyder also suggested that the agreements between Homer and the Town of Virgil and City of Cortland for assessor services be approved at the May meeting.

HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT

                Highway Superintendent John Phelps reported that they have been sweeping the sand off the roads especially in the higher density neighborhoods.  He has left two trucks ready for snow plowing, but has torn down the others in preparation for spring work.

                There was discussion about replacing the storage building, a poorly-constructed addition to the Town Garage that has been used over the years for cold storage.  Phelps suggested that the current building be torn down, something the Highway Department can do itself, and that the Town go out for bids to replace it.  He said that if it is expanded by an additional bay, all the Town’s equipment can be stored under cover.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

On motion by Supervisor Forbes, seconded by Councilman Warren and carried unanimously, the Board entered into an executive session at 9:40 p.m. to discuss medical and employment issues concerning particular employees.

On motion by Supervisor Forbes, seconded by Councilman Weddle, the executive session was adjourned at 10:15 p.m.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:30 p.m.

                                                                                                                                Anita W. Jebbett

                                                                                                                                Town Clerk