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Regular Meeting – July 8, 2015

The regular meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Homer held on Wednesday, July 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

                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

                Linda Jones, Cortland County Legislator

                Larry Jones, resident

                Gordon Wheelock, Cortland County Legislator

     Amy Gernon, reporter, Cortland Standard

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

MINUTES

The minutes of the June 3rd regular meeting were approved as presented, on motion by Councilman Weddle, 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 & disbursements for June.
  2. The Code Enforcement Officers monthly report of all building permits issued in June.
  3. The Dog Control Officer’s monthly report of all activities for June.

ANNUAL REPORTS

Presented for audit by the Board was:

1.  The Tax Collector’s return of all unpaid 2015 Town & County taxes to the County Treasurer.

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 # 152 through #177 totaling $20,095.24 be approved for payment.

Highway bills were approved as audited on motion by Councilman Young, seconded by Councilman Weddle and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that Highway Fund vouchers #101 through #119 totaling $133,053.99 be approved for payment.

LANDMARK SOCIETY

Supervisor Forbes reported that Roger Williams, President of the Landmark Society, who had made a presentation at the June meeting, had passed away suddenly while on vacation.  The Town Board offered their condolences to his family.

TOWN HALL TESTING

Supervisor Forbes reported that Steve Major of Lakeland Environmental was unable to provide a quote for further testing of the Town Hall and had contacted another company from Syracuse to do so. Councilman Warren stated that the testing already done was sufficient and that any money to be spent on further testing instead be appropriated to clean up the balcony area and renovate the former Village office space.  Councilman Weddle stated that the building had already been tested three times and that he agreed that was enough testing. Forbes suggested that the Board once again consider a major renovation of the Town Hall office space. There was much discussion.

On motion by Councilman Warren, seconded by Councilman Young and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that no further testing of the Town Hall be conducted and that quotes be obtained for the cleaning of the  balcony area and minor renovation of the former Village office space.  

Supervisor Forbes asked Councilmen Warren to head up a committee to plan for the renovation of the office space to be used as a combined Assessor’s Office.

PROPOSED LOCAL LAW ON MANURE STORAGE FACILITIES

Attorney Snyder said that after an extended process the wording has been finalized on the local law to amend the Town Zoning Law to institute site plan review for any manure storage facilities over 100,000 cubic feet.  The Cortland County Planning Department reviewed the minor changes that had been made and stated that no further review was necessary.  

On motion by Councilman Warren, seconded by Councilman Weddle and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that whereas a Short Environmental Assessment Form has been prepared by the Attorney for the Town regarding the local law to amend the Town of Homer Zoning Law to require site plan approval for liquid manure storage facilities of a certain size, and whereas the Board has reviewed the potential impacts,  it is hereby determined that the proposed local law will have no significant adverse environmental impacts, and the Supervisor is authorized to sign the negative determination.

On motion by Councilman Warren, seconded by Councilman Young and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that Local Law #1 of 2015 amending the Town of Homer Zoning Law to require site plan approval for liquid manure storage facilities over 100,000 cubic feet is hereby adopted, and will become effective upon filing with the Secretary of State.

Supervisor Forbes commended the Town Planning Board, and in particular, Member Mike McMahon, for their input on this issue.  He also congratulated the local agricultural community for wanting to go the extra mile in working with their non-farm neighbors.   

NEW BUSINESS

                Replacement of flower urns – Supervisor Forbes reported that the flower urns that were purchased by the Village Beautification Committee and had flanked the entrance to the Town Hall for years have been relocated this year.  Carlette Wallace from Arnold’s Florists has generously donated plastic urns for use this year, filled with flowers and plants. Forbes said that former Town Board member Frances Armstrong and former Deputy Town Clerk Barbara Crandall have agreed to make a donation to the Town towards the purchase of two antique cast iron urns.

                On motion by Councilman Young, seconded by Councilman Weddle and carried unanimously: RESOLVED: that two antique cast iron urns be purchased for the front of the Town Hall building and that they be sandblasted and painted.

                Town Hall repairs – Town Clerk Jebbett will be getting a quote for the re-keying of the Town Hall building.  

Councilman Warren said that the painting of the Town Hall dome was postponed again due to rain, but that he expects the work to be done as soon as the weather permits.  

Supervisor Forbes reported that seats from the Homer High School auditorium are available, due to their renovations.  Board members could not see a use for the seats.

Burgett Drive water problems – There was much discussion about continuing water problems on a portion of Burgett Drive in the Village.  The Town Board members agreed that it was a matter for the individual property owners and not the Town.

Town consolidation – Supervisor Forbes reported that he had traveled to Albany on an invitation from the NYS Department of State to report on his efforts to consolidate the Towns of Homer and Scott a few years ago and why those efforts had failed.

COUNTY LEGISLATORS

County Legislator Gordon Wheelock gave a brief summary of activities at the County over the last month including the hiring of a new Budget/Finance Officer and the start of work to repair the Little York Dam.  He also said that an Environmental Committee consisting of local residents and business people has been formed to advise the Legislature on issues of recycling, composting and trash.

County Legislator Linda Jones reported that she had taken an extensive tour of the County Jail. She explained that although the County had added 70 beds to the jail, it still must board out prisoners to other counties at great cost to Cortland County.  She also described problems with lack of space and adequate storage for evidence gathered by the Sheriff’s Department. The County is considering building a new jail in a different location.

The Town Board members thanked both Legislators for their reports.

ATTORNEY FOR THE TOWN

                Attorney Snyder explained that with the reduction of the assessment of Pine Hill Trailer Park, the matter has been settled and that he expects that the assessment lawsuit will be dismissed. 

HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT

                Highway Superintendent John Phelps reported that he has been looking into the matter of repairing or replacing the Wall Street Bridge.  The Bridge was built in the late 1800’s and is showing signs of wear and tear that the State DOT says need to be addressed.

                Phelps said that they have re-surfaced Wolf Road and will be doing some shoulder work soon.  He is also planning to resurface McDonald Road and Brake Hill Road.  They plan to haul grindings from the State DOT’s re-surfacing of Route 90 which they then re-use, saving $40 per ton.  They will be chipsealing Haights Gulf Road and Dawson Road.

                Phelps said that he will soon be advertising for bids for an addition to the Town Highway Garage.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

On motion by Councilman Young, seconded by Councilman Warren and carried unanimously, it was resolved to enter into an executive session at 9:00 p.m. to discuss the employment history of a particular person.

On motion by Councilman Young, seconded by Councilman Weddle and carried unanimously, the executive session was adjourned at 9:25 p.m.

The meeting was adjourned at 9:30 p.m.

                                                                                                                                Anita W. Jebbett

                                                                                                                                Town Clerk