Town of Ontario – November 12, 2012
The meeting was called to order at 7:00p.m. by Supervisor Robert Kelsch with all Board members present. Mr. Kelsch began the meeting with a note of gratitude to all veterans, thanking them for a job well done. He then referenced a comment made in an editorial in the Times of Wayne County regarding a charitable event benefitting the Newark-Wayne Community Hospital. He wanted to assure the public that as a Supervisor, he did indeed make his donation to the Gala later in the week.
The agenda item regarding the request for a public hearing on the planned unit development scheduled for this time was withdrawn by Gerber Homes.
– Public Comment – Jim Switzer commented that the budget preparations should begin in 2013 for the 2014 budget. He also questioned as to what is the preferred method of submissions for comments from the public. Another resident wanted to know what is happening with the construction of the Tops’ gas station in that plaza; there has been no activity recently at the site. The response was that there has not been communication among the departments developing the site, and the contractor has pulled out temporarily until the issues are resolved.
The minutes of the meetings on 10/22/12 and 11/5/12 were approved. There was no correspondence reported by the Town Clerk. Town Attorney Alan Knauf stated that he is waiting for Time Warner’s response to schedule a discussion on their contract. Mr. Knauf also commented that he has found the title for the Town’s landfill property.
– Department and Agency Reports – Reports were submitted by the Supervisor, the Superintendent of Water Utilities, the Town Assessor, the Director of the Public Library, Town Justice Court, Dog Control Officer, and the IT quarterly report. There was no meeting/no report of the Watershed Management Advisory Council. The Building Inspector/Code Enforcement Officer submitted a report, to which Councilman Jason Ruffell commented that construction is running relatively flat this year. Highway Superintendent Jerry Santangelo submitted his report and Councilman Frank Robusto stated that he was asked by a resident about the supply of leftover salt, since the past winter was relatively mild. The Highway Superintendent explained that he normally orders 5000 tons of road salt, but this year used just a little over 3000 tons, so he ordered 4000 tons for the upcoming season. Complicating the process is the fact that the salt has to be ordered by July, but right now there is a very good supply.
– New Business – A motion was passed to adopt the 2013 Town of Ontario budget and authorize its transmission to the Clerk of the Wayne County Legislative Board on or before 11/20/12. This document was previously distributed electronically to all Board members and posted on the Town’s website as Version #4. The Board pointed out that $17,628.46 was reallocated into the budget which covers wage increases for various employees; only Town Board members will receive no increase. The other notable change was that the Highway Fund Balance was at $150,000, then reduced to $130,000, and is now set at $140,000. At the County level, the only figure that is of importance is the amount to be raised by taxes, which is $2,436,573; once submitted, this figure cannot be changed.
In addition, a motion was approved to accept the 2011 review of the Justice Court accounts audit for the fiscal year ending 12/31/11, presented by Raymond F. Wager, CPA, P.C., on April 23, 2012. (This audit document was previously distributed).
– Appointment – William Riddell, Director of Parks & Recreation, submitted a proposal asking the Board to approve the hiring of Patricia Niedermaier as a fitness center trainer for the Parks & Recreation at $9.50/hour without benefits. The motion was approved.
The Supervisor reported that a representative of Workforce Development was present at a County meeting to explain the Job Fair. Recipients of unemployment benefits attend the Fair and “get their tickets punched” to show that they are actively seeking work. As of this date, unemployment benefits are scheduled to end by 12/31. The representative stressed that there are many jobs available but people are not taking advantage of the openings. Mr. Kelsch also shared that the new Big Lots store on Route 104 has its soft opening on November 9th, with a grand opening scheduled for Friday, November 16th.
Councilman Robusto praised the 50+ volunteers who organized or worked at the Halloween Party at Casey Park. It was estimated that there were more than 500 people in attendance; Mr. Robusto gave them all a “hats off” for the program. Mr. Riddell said that the program runs at almost no cost to the Town, and estimated that at least 300 children participated.
Councilman Ruffell shared that the Business District is sponsoring a Meet & Greet event to celebrate the new party room opened at Cam’s Pizzeria on Ridge Road.
Jim Switzer reported on the status of the Food Pantry. The Pantry has been serving an average of 21 families weekly; in the past, there were that many families served monthly; obviously the need is great. Councilman Robusto stated that Alpco Recycling Center asks their customers if they would like to donate the change from their scrap sales to the local Food Pantry. Organizations have been generous as well. Mr. Switzer also shared that on Election Day he was assigned to sit outside the election headquarters in order to submit totals to the newspapers. One of the reporters questioned why Wayne County is one of the slowest departments in the state to report the voting numbers and was told it was due to a lack of funding, making it difficult to be timely in the reporting.
The Board adjourned at 8:00 p.m. into Executive Session to discuss Union negotiations. The next workshop meeting will be held at 7:00 p.m. on 12/17/12, with the next business meeting will be on 11/26/12 at 7:00 p.m.; both meetings are at the Town Hall.
Submitted by Monica Deyo