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Regular Meeting – February 4, 2015

The regular meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Homer held on Wednesday, February 4, 2015, in the board room of the Town Hall building was called to order by Supervisor Frederick J. Forbes, Sr., at 6:30 p.m.

PRESENT

                Frederick J. Forbes, Supervisor

                Barry E. Warren, 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

ABSENT

                Dan A. Weddle, Councilman

OTHERS PRESENT

                Linda Jones, Cortland County Legislator

                Larry Jones, resident

                Donald Ferris, reporter, The Homer News

                Tyrone Heppard, reporter, Cortland Standard

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

MINUTES

                The minutes of the January 7th, 2015, organizational meeting were approved as presented, on motion by Councilman Warren, 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 January.
  2. The Code Enforcement Officer’s monthly report of all building permits issued for January.

BILLS TO BE PAID

                General bills were approved as audited on motion by Councilman Young, seconded by Councilman Williams and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that General Fund vouchers #6 through #30 totaling $31,903.03 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 #2 through #21 totaling $61,880.41 be approved for payment.

NEW BUSINESS

                Fireworks permit waiver – On motion by Supervisor Forbes, seconded by Councilman Warren and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that the Town of Homer hereby waives the $50 permit fee for a Town fireworks permit issued for the Homer Winterfest fireworks display to be held on February 6th.

                Village recreation contract – On motion by Supervisor Forbes, seconded by Councilman Young and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that Supervisor Forbes is authorized to sign the contract with the Village for the Town’s support of the Village’s recreation programs for the year 2015-2016 in the amount of $32,122.62.

                Court audit – Supervisor Forbes reported that he has still not yet received the 2013 audit report of the Town Court being done by Colin Cahill.The audit is being conducted at the joint request of former Town Justice Gary Shiffer and current Town Justice William Foley.

                State tax cap – Forbes reported that the State tax cap filings for both the Town and the Fire District have been completed.

                Postage meter refill – On motion by Councilman Williams, seconded by Councilman Young and carried unanimously, the Town Clerk was authorized to add $950 to the Town postage meter.

                Proposed amendment to Town Zoning Law – Attorney Snyder presented a proposed amendment to the Zoning Law which would require site plan review by the Town Planning Board of any proposal to construct a manure storage area (pit) which exceeds 500,000 gallons.  There was much discussion of the amendment.  Snyder stated that the amendment would apply both inside and outside of a State-approved Agricultural District.  The proposed amendment will be reviewed and discussed again at the March 4th meeting.  It is being sent out to the Planning Board for their comments prior to that meeting.

                Town Assessor – On motion by Councilman Warren, seconded by Supervisor Forbes and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED:  that the Town create a temporary part-time position of Data Collector for the Assessor’s Office to be approximately 12 hours a week for 2 to 3 weeks at $15 per hour.

                Supervisor Forbes thanked Councilman Williams for all his hard work on the committee to hire a new assessor for the Towns of Homer, Virgil and Taylor and the City of Cortland, which included Dale Taylor (Virgil), Steve Breneman (Taylor) and John Bennett (City of Cortland).  They have interviewed many candidates and have worked well together.

                New Legislator – Supervisor Forbes offered new County Legislator Linda Jones a spot on the Town’s agenda to report on the activities of the County Legislature any time she may wish to do so.

HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT

                Highway Superintendent John Phelps reported that his department has had several breakdowns this winter resulting in some costly repairs.  He had accepted the low quote of $10,740 from MDI of Auburn for a new plow and sander for the new 2015 Chevrolet 3500 diesel truck. 

 Phelps said that he would be getting an estimate on the cost of repairing the Wall Street Bridge which has been flagged by the State DOT.  The Pine Street Bridge has been closed now for several years after being red-flagged by the State, and the Water Street Bridge has been made into a foot bridge only.  Phelps explained that although located in the Village the three 19th century bridges are the responsibility of the Town.

Superintendent Phelps said that he will no longer be having the gasoline tank filled at the

Highway Garage but will instead be using a gas card.  The majority of Town vehicles now use diesel fuel.

ATTORNEY FOR THE TOWN

                  Attorney Snyder said that he has exchanged numerous emails with the Freedom of Information

Act/Privacy Act Officer for the Natural Resources Conservation Service of the US Department of Agriculture and it may result in the Town obtaining information on the New Hope View manure pit that they had previously been denied.

                The environmental assessment review for the proposed Lincoln monument project will be ready for the March meeting.

                Snyder reported that the assessment grievance brought by the former owner of the Donald L. Barber Funeral Home is at a standstill.  It was the consensus of the Board to have Pomeroy Associates wrap up their appraisal of the property if the cost is reasonable. 

EXECUTIVE SESSION

                On motion by Supervisor Forbes, seconded by Councilman Young and carried unanimously, the Board entered into an executive session at 7:15 a.m. to discuss a health-related issue concerning a particular employee.

                On motion by Councilman Young, seconded by Councilman Warren and carried unanimously, the executive session was adjourned at 8:15 p.m.

A special meeting of the Town Board is scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Tuesday, February 10th, for the purpose of appointing a new assessor for the Town.

The meeting was adjourned at 8:20 p.m.

                                                                                                                                Anita W. Jebbett

                                                                                                                                Town Clerk