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Regular Meeting – August 7, 2019

The regular meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Homer held on Wednesday, August 7, 2019, in the board room of the Town Hall 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

                Anita W. Jebbett, Town Clerk

OTHERS PRESENT

                Charlene Burlingame, resident

                Naomi Burlingame, student & resident

                Jeremy Boylan, Director of Marketing, Bailey Place Insurance

                Patrick Clune, Trustee, Village of Homer

                Linda Jones, Cortland County Legislator

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

MINUTES

The minutes of the July 9th regular meeting and July 23rd special meeting were approved as presented, on motion by Councilman Park, seconded by Councilman Williams and carried unanimously.

MONTHLY REPORTS

Presented for audit by the Board were:

  1. The Town Clerk’s monthly report of all receipts & disbursements for July.
  2. The Supervisor’s report of all receipts & disbursements for June & July.
  3. The Code Enforcement Officer’s report of all building permits issued for July.
  4. The Dog Control Officer’s report of all activities for July.

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 #173 through #201 totaling $51,897.68 are approved for payment.

Highway bills were approved as audited on motion by Councilman Jones, seconded by Councilman Williams and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that Highway Fund vouchers #135 through #154 totaling $142,521.97 are approved for payment.

Supervisor Forbes explained that the Town’s diesel fuel tank had leaked within the dike.  It has been vacuumed out and the tank replaced. Those costs were included in this month’s invoices.

NEW BUSINESS

                Assessment lawsuit – Attorney Snyder explained that Speedway, LLC, has brought an assessment case against the Town of Homer claiming that the assessments are too high on their six parcels in the Town.  Speedway recently purchased a number of gas station/convenience stores and have lawsuits in many municipalities regarding their assessments.  According to Assessor Brian Fitts, Speedway did not provide the required supporting evidence to support their claim after being requested to do so by the Board of Assessment Review.  Snyder does plan to attend on the court date of September 13th if necessary, and he is optimistic that the lawsuit will be dismissed if the company failed to provide the requested supporting information.

                Dry hydrant installation – Supervisor Forbes reported that the Homer Fire Department has received a grant to install a “dry” hydrant at East River Crossing.  The Homer Fire District has agreed to pay the balance of the cost of the hydrant and pipe.  Work on the hydrant, to be done by the Town Highway Department, will need to be completed before October 1st, or after May 15th, 2020.

                Fire District – Supervisor Forbes said that the Village has informed him that they expect to ask the Town to increase the amount of the fire tax levy from $.43/thousand to $1.00/thousand, after reviewing their expenses.  He said that there has been discussion about the formation of a separate Fire District to operate the fire department, independent of the Village of Homer.  A meeting on the subject will be held on Tuesday, September 10th at 6:00 p.m. at the Town Hall.

OLD BUSINESS

                Town Hall Office Renovation Project – Supervisor Forbes said that new blinds will be installed on Tuesday, August 13th.  He said that instead of having them fix ruts in the lawn made during the construction project, he has asked Kline Construction to paint the window frames of three windows on the stage level, and that he will have the lawn damage repaired. 

Councilman Warren will be contacting a contractor about an apparent leak in the dome of the Town Hall.  He will also check into having the back stairwell doors close automatically if the fire alarms go off, and having a plumber provide hot water for the Senior Center bathrooms.

There was some discussion about the Assessor Office’s discomfort with the length of the windows on the stage side of the office space.  On motion by Councilman Warren, seconded by Councilman Park and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that the Assessor’s Office is authorized to purchase horizontal files to be placed along the stage opening wall, and which are intended to replace files currently located in the new storage room.  It was agreed that this was a better solution than using the old stage curtain.

The Town Board was pleased with the display of items along the edge of the stage placed there by Historian Martin Sweeney, some of which had been found in the former movie projection booth in the balcony.  Duplicate items have been donated to the CNY Living History Center.

The front sidewalk repair project will begin in the near future.

Liability Insurance – Jeremy Boylan of Bailey Place Insurance presented the quote for the Town’s liability insurance from Selective Insurance which runs from mid-August 2019 through mid-August 2020.  He explained “OCP” coverage which is State-mandated coverage holding the State harmless for the Town’s work within the State right-of-way.

On motion by Councilman Williams, seconded by Councilman Warren and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that the Town Board accepts the liability insurance package, including Public Officials, Crime and OCP coverage, offered by Selective Insurance through Bailey Place for the amount of $30,969.56.

Supervisor Forbes said that what with all new electrical wiring and heating units as part of the major office renovation project, the risk of fire should be decreased.

 Councilman Williams said that he is currently reviewing the application for cyber security risk coverage, the cost of which would be between $700 and $1,000, according to Boylan.  The Board agreed to discuss it further at the September meeting.

Pine Street Bridge – Councilman Park reported that the Pine Street Bridge reconstruction is complete, except for the additionally bid item of stone riprap to prevent erosion of the bridge abutments.  Park said that the NYSDEC permit necessary for the work has now been issued and that the contractor, Economy Paving, is to let the Town know when they are ready to proceed.  The work must be completed by October 1st.

Little York noise complaint – Councilman Williams reported on a noise complaint that he had received in the recent past from residents of Little York.  Farm trucks had been applying their “Jake brake” when driving on Route 281 and Little York Crossing Road, continually creating a very loud noise. In the past Williams had spoken with some of those involved and the situation had improved.  Now the residents say it is re-occurring and that they have been unsuccessful in contacting the farm-owners involved.

Supervisor Forbes offered to contact the contractor of the trucks as well as the farm-owner on behalf of the Town.  Board members agreed that speaking with those involved would be a first step before contacting any law enforcement.

ATTORNEY FOR THE TOWN

Attorney Snyder reported on the status of a subdivision application from Robert & Nancy Chase that has caused some confusion over the past several months.  It appears that the Chases have finally agreed to subdivide their land in a way that can now be considered by the Town Planning Board.

Snyder reminded the Board about the need to provide all Town employees with sexual harassment training by mid-October to be in compliance with the State.  Supervisor Forbes said that it would be done in conjunction with the Village of Homer and their insurance provider.  In addition, a new sexual harassment prevention policy will be presented next month. The policy will be based on the model policy that has been created by the State.

CORTLAND COUNTY LEGISLATOR

Legislator Linda Jones gave an update on the activities of the County Legislature over the past month.

While several candidates were strongly considered, the County has still not found the right person to hire as a County Administrator.  They are starting work on the 2020 County budget and Legislator Jones said that she will be bringing the new County Budget & Finance Director, Andrea Herzog, to the next meeting to introduce her to the Town Board.

The Town Board thanked the Burlingame’s for their interest in attending the meeting.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:55 p.m.

                                                                                                                                Anita W. Jebbett

                                                                                                                                Town Clerk