Town of Ontario – September 24, 2012
The regular business meeting of the Ontario Town Board was called to order at 7:00 by Supervisor Bob Kelsch with all Board members present except Councilman Frank Robusto.
– Public Comments – Resident Jim Switzer informed the Board that he supports the 2% tax cap and would like the Board to conduct a public hearing if they intend to override the cap. It was brought to the attention of the Board that the creek by the Tops Plaza needs attention: there are trees growing in it. A question arose as to when was the last time that a Town employee has walked the creeks to check on their status. These concerns will be addressed at the upcoming watershed meeting. The Drainage Council will have input into the situation. Councilwoman Lori Eaton-Smith would like to see a long-term replacement schedule so all drainage issues may be addresses financially.
– Correspondence was received from Town Justices Sucher and Higgins relative to the compensation for the judges.
– New Business – The 2013 budget discussion was held with representatives present from the various departments. The OVES’s tentative budget is $20,000, which is down from the current appropriation of $50,000. The Union Hill Fire & Ambulance would like an increase from the current $85,000 to $110,000, and the Northeast Quadrant ALS is asking for $8,000. The Ontario Fire Department & Protection District’s 2012 budget is $475,655, but it has not been reviewed by their commissioners. Mercy Flight is requesting $1,000, having received nothing in 2012. The entire Emergency Services budget will probably be at the same total as this past year. OVES now has coverage 6 days/week plus holidays; they are now at 98% first call out response time. There is a 4-minute response time during the day, with a 10-minute response at night. Councilman Jason Ruffell would like more information on the activities. Councilwoman Eaton-Smith questioned how the payments for services are coming in, and was informed that there is an average lag time of 4 months. As of August, OVES is $10,000 in the hole.
– Parks & Recreation – Director William Riddell presented the budget for his department. Changes include: increases in Personal Services, equipment (replacement of the 2001 truck), software support, flyers/mailers, field maintenance, garbage removal, funds for bench fences, pavilion roof replacement, and the Pre-School Agreement Program. The projected cost of Parks & Recreation is $510,000, with revenues of $402,000 generated from the programs offered.
– Business Improvement District – The BID receives $1494/year from the tax levy. New Christmas lights and decorations will be purchased for $400, advertising will cost $194, and IRS applications will cost $400 as well.
– Information Forum – The Town has picked up an additional cemetery for maintenance on Slocum Road near the meat market. Currently the cemetery is maintained by request. In January the Town will be purchasing a new mower; the cemeteries are now mowed every 10 days, when possible. The closing event at Heritage Square is scheduled for Saturday, September 29th, from 10:00a.m. till 4:00p.m. This will include a craft an bake sale, food, entertainment, etc. The annual Chamber of Commerce Awards Dinner was held last week.
– Drainage Issues – Highway Superintendent Jerry Santangelo showed the Board a DVD of the culvert pipes under Brick Church Road and Ontario Center/Slocum Roads. These will need to be replaced as soon as possible, as they are rotting out and in danger of collapsing. The Army Corps of Engineers prefers relining the 70 – 80 feet length of the pipes, which could be jacked up to re-line them. The cost for this project would be $146,887.
– Preliminary Budget – The 2013 budget is slated to total $2,436,395 which will be generated by taxes, equaling a $3.04/$1000 tax rate. This compares to the 2012 budget which is $2,388,622. The Preliminary budget does not include employees’ raises; the total is .05% over the 2% tax cap, or an excess of $91,135.
– Upcoming meetings – On October 1st there will be an extra workshop to accomodate discussions on the 2013 budget. The Public Hearing on the 2013 Budget is tentatively set for October 22nd. The next regular business meeting will be on October 8th at 7:00 p.m. The Board adjourned to executive session at 9:47 to discuss pending litigation. They reconvened at 10:12 and adjourned at 10:13 p.m.
Submitted by Monica Deyo