Town of Ontario – February 11, 2013
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 by Supervisor Bob Kelsch; all board members were present, as was Alan Knauf, Town Attorney. Mr. Knauf reported that Ontario is now classified as a First Class Town by the Department of State. The criteria for this classification are that the population must reach 10,000 people; Ontario now has a 10,126 residents. It was reported that the 10-year franchise agreement with Time Warner Cable has expired; there has been a dispute over the franchise fee for Ontario, which has seen a net gain of $10,000. The contract fees should be based on all receipts and not based on the number of tiers. Time Warner feels they have overpaid Ontario; the Town says it has been underpaid. The Town is all set now – it will receive the amount it has wanted. Also discussed was the Best Value awarding for bids. This allows the Town to accept bids for services based on the quality of the services, which might not necessarily be the lowest bid. This clause is in the best interest of the Town.
- Department Reports – Water Utilities Superintendent Rodney Peets reported revenues of $67,147.38. The Wastewater Treatment Plant has hauled sludge from the Town of Walworth and the Village of Wolcott, and has collected and sent out soil samples for the land spread annual report.
Highway Superintendent Jerry Santangelo reported that they have salted the parking lots for the WCSD as per contract, repaired mailboxes damaged during snow removal operations, patched potholes and repaired road shoulders, and picked up trees fallen during the high winds. Mr. Kelsch shared that several people have complimented the Highway Department on the well-maintained condition of Ontario’s roads.
Building Inspector Edward Collins submitted a report showing permit fees of $2145.00 for construction values of $281,794.80 in January.
Library Director Sandra Hylen offered 20 programs in January, with a total attendance of 274. She is responding to member requests for more programming; the short term approach is to repeat popular programs on a different day and to increase the kinds of book programs offered. The craft group will now meet once in the evening and a second time in the afternoon, allowing youth to participate in age-appropriate craft programs.
Mark Plyter, Animal Control Officer, reported 20 nuisance calls, 5 cruelty to animal calls, and 1 urgent wildlife response.
Economic Director William Riddell outlined several potential retail projects that have explored the possibility of locating in Ontario. Mr. Riddell also advised the Board that upcoming recreation events include a Valentine’s Day celebration on 2/14, a Coffee House (part of the Presenters Series) on 22/16, a Shooting Start Basketball Competition on 3/1, as well as the 16th Annual Easter Egg Hunt on that day.
- Watershed Management Advisory Council – The council met on 1/16/13 at 2:00 p.m.. Chairman Ed Collins stated that there are 217 easements to obtain before the Bear Creek Project can get started; these were sent out at the end of January. Frank Robusto stated that the Town Board has made a suggestion of the possibiity of having night time Watershed meetings. Mr. Collins said that would be a possibility if it is needed, as the Council is committed to working with the time constraints of the public.
- New Business – Patty Genesky was approved to attend the Local Government and School training to be held in Arcade, N.Y., from 4/23 – 25, 2013, as submitted by Paul Liess, Business Manager. This is a budgeted item and is not to exceed $400. A motion was passed to allow Town Clerk Debra DeMinck to attend the 2013 NYS Town Clerk’s Assoc. Annual Training Conference in Buffalo, N.Y. from 4/28 – 5/1, 2013; all necessary expenses are to be a Town charge. Town Assessor Chris Luteyn submitted a motion to approve Melissa Halstead, Clerk to the Assessor, to attend the RPS V4 training seminar in Batavia on March 7th & 8th, 2013; this is a budgeted item.
The Supervisor was authorized to sign the agreement with Advanced Occupational Services of Sodus as the Third Party Administrator for drug testing of certain classifications of employees. The increases for this year’s contract include an additional $3.00 for a drug test, $2.00 for an alcohol test, and $20.00 for the annual fee. This program is required by New York State.
Parks & Recreation Director Bill Riddell received permission to purchase a treadmill for the Fitness Room in the Community Center. This will be the 6th one installed; the cost is $5895.00 and will be provided by G&G Fitness. He is still looking for a scoreboard that will be suitable for the recreation program. By June the Town should receive the final grant payment of $250,000 and will be able to close out the project.
– Appointment – Approval was given to hire Michelle Coene as a part-time fitness center attendant for the Parks & Recreation Dept. at a rate of $8.25/hour with no benefits; the start date is 1/28/13.
– Information Forum – Supervisor Kelsch reported that the Governor’s new gun control law has not been met favorably by law enforcement personnel. The State Police were delegated to enforce the law, but they replied that they do not have enough troopers to accomplish the task. SCOPE and the State Sheriffs’ Association are also opposed to the law and it was noted that those in law enforcement were not consulted before the law was passed. The County Clerk said that gun permit traffic is up by 50% over last year.
NYS Assemblyman Michael Kearns has proposed that bank-owned abandoned property must register with the Town in order to monitor cleanup/maintenance of the parcel until it is sold. It is often very difficult to find out who is responsible for the property, and the Town might not have any idea what bank holds the mortgage.
Councilman Jason Ruffell is interested in receiving more information about the Safe Streets program, such as the one that Williamson has been researching. Beth Claypoole from the Cornell Cooperative Extension will be contacted for assistance, and hopefully a representative of the program will do a presentation to the Board in the future.
Business Manager Paul Liess discussed the credit card process as proposed. The Chase card will be used for all the “Pay Before Audit” bills, in particular the invoices from the utility companies. This would allow the bills to be paid in a timely fashion.
The Board adjourned into Executive Session at 7:45 to discuss legal matters, a grievance issue, and a real property acquisition. No business was conducted upon the close of the session. The next business meeting is on 2/25/13, with a workshop on 3/18/13; both begin at 7:00 p.m.
Submitted by Monica Deyo