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Regular Meeting – March 5, 2014

The regular meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Homer held on Wednesday, March 5, 2014, in the board room of the Town Hall was called to order by Supervisor Frederick J. Forbes at 6:30 p.m.

PRESENT

             Frederick J. Forbes, Supervisor

             Barry E. Warren, Councilman

             Dan A. Weddle, Councilman

             Kevin M. Williams, Councilman

            Brian D. Young, Councilman

             Patrick M. Snyder, Attorney for the Town

            Anita W. Jebbett, Town Clerk

OTHERS PRESENT

             Victoria Monty, Attorney for the Wind Energy Committee

            Victor Siegle, Wind Energy Committee

             Gordon Wheelock, Cortland County legislator

            Tyrone Heppard, reporter, Cortland Standard

            Mary Alice Bellardini, former Village of Homer mayor

            Donald Ferris, reporter, The Homer News (arriving at 7:00 p.m.)

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

MINUTES

            The minutes of the February 5, 2014, regular meeting were approved as presented, on motion by Councilman Williams, seconded by Councilman Young and carried unanimously.

MONTHLY REPORTS

            Presented for audit by the Board were:

  1. The Town Clerk’s report of all receipts and disbursements for February.
  2. The Supervisor’s report of cash receipts and disbursements for December.        3.  The Code Enforcement Officer’s report of all building permits issued in  February and all open permits.

            4.  The Dog Control Officer’s report of all activities in 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 vouchers #34 through #53 totaling $20,553.84 be approved for payment.

            Highway bills were approved as audited on motion by Councilman Warren, seconded by Councilman Weddle and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that Highway vouchers #19 through #33 totaling $23,664.10 be approved for payment.

WIND ENERGY FACILITIES LAW

            On motion by Councilman Young, seconded by Councilman Weddle and carried, Councilmen Weddle, Williams, and Young and Supervisor Forbes voting in the affirmative and Councilman Warren abstaining:  RESOLVED: that whereas the Town Board has  carefully reviewed the full environmental assessment form prepared concerning the proposed Wind Energy Facilities Local Law and taken a close look at  any potential environmental impacts,  the Board hereby determines that the proposed law will have no adverse environmental impacts and therefore adopts a negative declaration under SEQRA.

            On motion by Councilman Weddle, seconded by Councilman Young and carried, Councilmen Weddle, Young and Williams voting in the affirmative, Supervisor Forbes voting against, and Councilman Warren abstaining:  RESOLVED:  that Local Law #1 of 2014 Wind Energy Facilities hereby be adopted and submitted to the Secretary of State for filing.

            On motion by Councilman Young, seconded by Councilman Weddle and carried, Supervisor Forbes and Councilmen Weddle, Williams, and Young voting in the affirmative, and Councilman Warren abstaining:  RESOLVED:  that the Town of Homer hereby establishes a fee schedule with respect to Local Law #1 of 2014 Wind Energy Facilities as attached.

            Supervisor Forbes thanked Attorney Victoria Monty, Councilman Weddle, and Victor Siegle for all their work on the Wind Energy Facilities Law.  Although he personally disagreed with the size of the setbacks, Forbes said that it was refreshing to work with people like Mr. Siegle who can disagree agreeably.  Siegle said that he appreciated how the Town Board handled itself during this process and that he was satisfied with the final result which will prove to be useful over time.

REGULAR BUSINESS

            Budget transfers – On motion by Supervisor Forbes, seconded by Councilman Warren and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that the Town Board hereby approves the proposed budget transfers for the 2013 Town budget as attached.

            Regional meeting – On motion by Councilman Young, seconded by Councilman Weddle and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED:  that the Town Clerk is authorized to attend a regional meeting of the New York State Town Clerk’s Association to be held in Auburn on Monday, March 24th.

            Planning/Zoning training – On motion by Supervisor Forbes, seconded by

Councilman Young and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that members of the Town Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals are authorized to attend a training session to be given by the New York Department of State at the County Office Building on Monday, March 24th.

            Town Hall building – There was discussion about having the air quality in the

Town Hall re-tested.  Tests were conducted by both the New York State Department of Health and Microbac Laboratories in the fall of 2010.  Because of on-going concerns and prior to renting out space to either the Village or another entity, Supervisor Forbes suggested it be tested again.

            On motion by Councilman Young, seconded by Councilman Warren and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED:  that the Town Board contact the NYS Public Employee Safety & Health Bureau which is authorized to enforce OSHA regulations for public sector employees to conduct air quality testing in the Town Hall at their earliest convenience.

            Mary Alice Bellardini, former Village mayor, suggested that the public be made aware of the possibilities of renovating the office space in the Town Hall to make it work for both Town and Village offices.  Town Board members said that they were open to ideas to better utilize the existing space and to negotiating a fair rent.  The Board was also open to Mrs. Bellardini’s offer to have Randy Crawford of Crawford & Stearns, Architects, make suggestions about how the space could be renovated.                     It was noted that there is currently an emphasis by the State to have local governments cooperate more closely to provide services in a more cost-effective and efficient manner.

ATTORNEY FOR THE TOWN

            Attorney Patrick Snyder stated that he had reviewed a revised version of New Hope View Farm’s application to the NYS DEC for spreading waste on 25 acres of land off Route 90.  Snyder advised that the Town has no jurisdiction in this matter.

            Attorney Snyder said that he had recently attended a meeting of Cortland County Town and Village officials during which they had an informative and worthwhile discussion of the “ash for trash” landfill proposal.          

NEW BUSINESS

            Town Agricultural Committee – Councilman Young said that the Town’s appointed Agricultural Committee will be meeting on Tuesday, March 11th, at the Trinity Valley dairy on Route 13.  Besides Young, Committee members are Lawrence Jones, Bill Anderson, and Branden Brown.  They will be discussing what if anything the Town could do to try to promote small agricultural businesses.  They will plan to meet at least once a year.

            Town personnel policy – A discussion of Town policy as it relates to retiring employees was tabled until the April board meeting.

            Court audit – Supervisor Forbes said that due to the change in the office of Town Justice a more formal audit of the 2013 Court books would be done by Cahill, Knobel & Associates in April.

The meeting was adjourned at 7:30 p.m.

                                                                                                Anita W. Jebbett

                                                                                                Town Clerk