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Regular Meeting – October 2, 2013

The regular meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Homer held on Wednesday, October 2, 2013, in the board room of the Town Hall building was called to order by Supervisor Frederick J. Forbes at 8:25 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

            John R. Phelps, Highway Superintendent

            Anita W. Jebbett, Town Clerk

OTHERS PRESENT

            Christopher Sammond, member, Zoning Advisory Committee

             Gordon Wheelock, Cortland County Legislator

PLEDGE OF ALLEGIANCE

MINUTES

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

COMPREHENSIVE PLAN REVISION

            Attorney Snyder reviewed an environmental assessment form which had been prepared to address potential environmental impacts that could result from amending the 2002 Comprehensive Plan. All board members were in agreement that the proposed revisions to the Plan would have beneficial impacts only.

            On motion by Councilman Young, seconded by Councilman Weddle and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that the revised Comprehensive Plan will not have any significant adverse environmental impacts and that a negative declaration be made under SEQRA.

            On motion by Councilman Warren, seconded by Councilman Williams and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that the Town Board hereby adopts the revisions to the Town Comprehensive Plan as proposed by the Zoning Advisory Committee, with the addition of additional wording to include “quantity” of water.

            Supervisor Forbes praised Christopher Sammond for his service on the Zoning Advisory Committee and the manner in which he handled himself during many contentious sessions. 

MONTHLY REPORTS

            Presented for audit by the Board were:

  1. The Supervisor’s report of all cash receipts & disbursements for August.
  2. The Town Clerk’s report of all receipts & disbursements for September.
  3. The Code Enforcement Officer’s report of all permits issued for September. 

BILLS TO BE PAID

            General bills were approved as audited on motion by Councilman Young, seconded by Weddle and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that General vouchers #195 through #225 totaling $15,548.77 be approved for payment.

            Highway bills were approved as audited on motion by Councilman Warren, seconded by Councilman Williams and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED:  that Highway vouchers #134 through #160 totaling $26,567.17 be approved for payment.

JUSTICE COURT GRANT

            On motion by Councilman Williams, seconded by Supervisor Forbes and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED:    that the Homer Town Board hereby approves the 2013 grant application prepared by Town Justice Gary Shiffer for assistance from the State of New York Justice Court Assistance Program (JCAP), with the understanding that the funding is being sought to enhance the Homer Justice Court’s ability to provide suitable and sufficient service to our community through proper court facilities, automated equipment and necessary supplies for operation.

NEW BUSINESS

            CHIPS funds received – Supervisor Forbes reported that the Town has received $150,406 in State highway aid for 2013.

            State tax cap – Forbes reported that the State tax cap rate for 2014 taxes is 1.66%. He participated in a webinar about the tax cap where he learned that out of 57 counties filing with the State only 6 got the tax cap filing right.  

            Dog Control Officer – Supervisor Forbes explained that Dog Control Officer Paul Burhans is now a resident of the Brewster House due to health issues.  The board agreed to cover Mr. Burhans health insurance through the end of the year.  

            On motion by Supervisor Forbes, seconded by Councilman Williams and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that Lindsay Andersen is hereby appointed as the Dog Control Officer for the Town of Homer.

            Forbes said that she had agreed to keep track of her mileage and submit a voucher to the Town.

            School district project vote – Homer School Superintendent Nancy Ruscio will be attending the December 4th meeting to explain the District’s proposed capital project.  A vote on the project will be held on Thursday, December 12th.

            Budget workshop scheduled – Supervisor Forbes scheduled a budget workshop for Wednesday, October 23rd, at 7:00 p.m.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

            On motion by Supervisor Forbes, seconded by Councilman Warren and carried unanimously, it was resolved to enter into an executive session at 9:05 p.m. to discuss contract negotiations pertaining to the lease of real property. The property at issue would be a portion of the town hall.

            On motion by Supervisor Forbes, seconded by Councilman Young and carried unanimously, the executive session was adjourned at 9:20 p.m.

TENTATIVE BUDGET

            On motion by Supervisor Forbes, seconded by Councilman Young and carried unanimously:  RESOLVED: that the tentative budget as proposed is hereby adopted as the preliminary budget of the Town for 2014, with the tax rate to be $1.29 for Village residents and $1.71 for Town residents (which includes $.42 fire district tax). This represents only a one-cent increase over the 2013 tax rate.

HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT

            Highway Superintendent John Phelps reported on his department’s activities over the past month.  He said that the Creal Road paving project is now complete, the parking lot behind the Town Hall has been re-surfaced, and four additional miles of Town highways have been chip-sealed.  Although they have been getting all the equipment ready for the winter season, there have been problems with the salt delivery due to issues with the State Office of General Services.

ATTORNEY FOR THE TOWN

            Attorney Snyder explained that it may take TCI Renewables, which has proposed the wind energy project, up to a year to complete the required Final Environmental Impact Statement or FEIS.  TCI is attributing part of the delay to the time it is taking the towns to revise their zoning laws.

            It was decided to table any consideration of proposed changes to the zoning law proposed by the Zoning Advisory Committee on hydro-fracking until after the November board meeting.

COUNTY LEGISLATOR

            County Legislator Gordon Wheelock reported on matters addressed by the County Legislature over the past month.  He explained that the County’s “ash for trash” proposal with Onondaga County is progressing slowly.  The County’s plan to sell off land adjacent to the Lime Hollow Nature Center at auction has been pulled.

The meeting was adjourned at 10:05 p.m.

                                                                                                Anita W. Jebbett

                                                                                                Town Clerk