Town of Ontario – January 14, 2013
The meeting was called to order at 7:00 p.m. by Supervisor Bob Kelsch with all Board members present. The first order of business was Public Comment with Town Justices Paul Sucher and Reginald Higgins were present to discuss the employees’ raises. Judge Sucher questioned what prompted the discrepancies in which the raises which ranged from 2% – 4%. The Supervisor responded that the bargaining agreement dictated what the percentage would be in some instances. In the past, the same raise was given to all employees, but since their duties are different, the Board wanted to act on this. Previously, the County Board of Supervisors increased wages by the same percentage except for members of the Unions but wanted to implement wages according to responsibilities. A private firm studied the performances and then leveled wages according to these items. The Town could piggyback on the County’s findings. Justice Sucher questioned the criteria used to determine the raises and wanted to know what the judges could do to help their employee and stated that there was never a discussion on this subject with any Board member in 2012. There were no changes made at this time.
– The Town Clerk received information from the Wayne Central Board of Education regarding the discussion during the joint Boards’ meeting about residents whose ages are 55+ receiving a special tax structure. The school determined that it will not take the lead for this proposition.
– The Supervisor reported that the Town has to be in compliance with ADA guidelines to be eligible for CDBG grants and to abide by New York State’s Fair Housing Act. Ontario has policies pertaining to the ADA but CDBG has said that the policies are not sufficient.
– Water Superintendent Rodney Peets advised the Board that there has been some problems with some of the 3700 water/sewer bills, which were separated in error. Some of the figures were transposed or did not belong to the homeowner to whom they were sent. 100 of the bills were corrected before they were mailed.
– Highway Superintendent Jerry Santangelo submitted his December Report. The employees made several plow and sander runs during the month, put up Christmas decorations on Ridge Road, put up snow plow markers, straightened all Town road signs, and performed routine service and maintenance on the highway vehicles.
– Animal Control – Supervisor Kelsch reported that a resident called him to say they had a skunk on their property. The person called the County and was told that the program had been cut. The Supervisor will look into it, stating that rabies control is a Public Health Department issue; the Animal Control Officer is responsible for dogs only. In the year 2012, DCO Mark Plyter responded to 416 nuisance calls, with 347 visits made to assess the complaints.
– Parks & Recreation – Director Bill Riddell reported that as of January 7, 2013, the Community Center had 2023 individuals as registered members; the Silver Sneakers members numbered 259, and Silver ‘n Fit had 36 participants. The Greenway Park has been mentioned as the possible site of a disk golf course; the department has engaged a club within Wayne Central High School to explore this possibility with the Town. The 18-acre Tobin-donated land plot would be an ideal tie-in with the Greenway Trail, providing the Town with an additional accessible trail. The construction will start in November; if weather cooperates, the department plans on getting the trail grader and a base layer of stone installed this winter.
– Economic Development – Director William Riddell shared the information that there is the possibility of a new firm finding a location on an undetermined site in Ontario. This business takes food waste as well as manufactured waste and produces a byproduct of livestock feed, ethanol, compost, etc. There is no smell associated with this process.
– Town Clerk – The Town Clerk’s 2012 annual report showed total receipts of $325,218.10, and total disbursements of $321,493.10.
– New Business – A motion was approved to waive all building permit fees associated with the Union Hill Fire Department’s renovation of their facility located on Ridge Road in Union Hill. The Board also approved to surplus an HP Office Jet K5400 printer in the Town Clerk’s office; the printer is broken.
In addition, approval was given to purchase one HP Compaq 6300 for $642.38, and one Office software license for $318.21, not to exceed a total of $961.00. This was a budgeted expense and will be purchased with encumbered funds from 2012.
– The Board adjourned to a work session at 7:45 to review “A New Way Forward for Ontario”. During the 2013 budget process it became evident that Ontario will be faced with some difficult choices. Traditional wisdom would suggest that there are 2 options: reduce services and/or raise taxes. The Board thinks there is a better way and business should be done in a new way. Proposed is a process that will gather information, categorize input, propose alternatives, collect data specific to alternatives, evaluate opportunities, and provide implementation guidance. It was noted that no idea will be viewed as being too crazy; everything has value, and nothing is discarded until the end of the process.
The Board reconvened into regular session at 8:00 and adjourned into Executive Session at 8:01 for the purpose of discussing negotiations. No further business was conducted after the session. The next business meeting of the Town Board will be on 1/28/13 at 7:00, with a workshop on 1/21/13 at 7:00.
Submitted by Monica Deyo