Town of Macedon Nov. 14, 2013

Supervisor Hammond called to order a regular meeting of the board at 7:30 PM in the Macedon Town Hall. Reported correspondence was received notifying the town that the BOCES electric contract, is going to be re-bid.
Mr. Zachary Tessier, of Boy Scout Troop #166 presented his Eagle Scout Project proposal to the board. After having met with the Macedon Trails Committee members, Mr. Tessier determined that signage along the Macedon Canal Trail is in need of replacement. He explained that he will seek donations for needed materials, and will contribute his own volunteerism to complete the project, asking for no help from the town. Councilman Kenyon remarked that he had provided an “Excellent presentation; it is helpful and informative.” Councilman Maul added that he regularly walks his dogs along the trails, and explained that he is “very glad to see them finally getting some much needed attention”.
At 7:35 a public hearing regarding the proposed 2014 budget was re-opened by the board. Councilman Maul presented an overview of the budget, highlighting how the budget is derived. It was determined that the town-wide budget is up 1.8%, or six cents per assessed $1,000.00 from 2013, and the village rate is up 1.7%, or 5 cents per assessed $1,000.00 from 2013. The Fire Protection Districts were spotlighted and thoroughly explained, what with the formation of the new South Macedon Fire and Rescue. It was explained that Fire District “SF1” is territory north of the canal, excluding the village, which will be served by the Macedon Center and South Macedon Fire and Rescue Companies, and is up 15% for 2014 over the 2013 budget. Fire District “SF2” covers territory south of the canal, excluding the village, and will be served by South Macedon Fire & Rescue, Macedon Center, and Farmington Fire Companies, and is up 88% in 2014 over the 2013 budget.
Councilman Maul further explained that the new fire company has been formed in order “maximize fire protection inside the town. Any call will cause a dual tone to any agency within the town.” He acknowledged that while the 88% rise in fire protection costs is significant, the payoff is also significant. He explained that on a $150,000.00 home in the town, the 88% increase will result in approximately a $55.00 increase annually. It was also noted that the current ISO rating is a 5, the goal is to improve to a level 4, which will also benefit homeowners with a positive effect to their homeowner’s insurance. Councilman Kenyon added that the Macedon Town Police and Macedon Town Ambulance will also be working together along with fire protection to offer an unprecedented level of coverage, while the south district also gains equity annually, as the South Macedon Fire and Rescue will own their own equipment and have its own fire hall. He described the move as the “Right thing to do, and the right way to go.” A resident questioned the board, asking if there had been prior problems, resulting in the need for a change. The board explained that the issue was financial. It was explained that the town taxpayer’s paid 70% of the village fire department’s budget, however the village owned the equipment and the fire hall is leased, not owned. A second resident questioned asked who will own the South Macedon Fire and Rescue Equipment, and it was clarified that it will be owned by the fire district, not the town. The hearing was closed at 8:13 PM.
During the Round Table portion of the meeting, Councilwoman Pagano reported that the Macedon Fire Department will be hosting a pancake breakfast from 8:00 AM- noon on Sunday, November 17th , and that the Torch Light Parade will be held on Friday, December 6th.
Councilman Maul introduced the topic of possibly adding the option of credit card payments at the town hall, and the board will look further into the possibility.
Councilman Kenyon commended Ms. Kim Leonard, the town’s accountant, for all her hard work and dedication to the town for a myriad of responsibilities and duties she performs for the town such as budget, accounting, payroll, and health insurance for town employees, to name a few.
Town Attorney, Mr. Anthony Villani, introduced the subject of the sewer litigation between the town and village. The board agreed to discuss certain portions of the situation publicly, that will not affect the lawsuit as the town is anxious to have its side of the story be better understood. Supervisor Hammond stated that he has grown tired of people pointing fingers, accusing the town of not getting along with the village. He pointed out that it’s not about getting along, as much as it is about being fiscally responsible with the taxpayer’s money.
With that, Mr. Villani explained that after the last bond payment was made in December of 2012, the village attorney stated that the town no longer owns half of the sewer plant. Due to the fact that the original contract from 1989 read that the town and village jointly owned the plant, and the town had paid $2.6 million towards the plant, the town board felt they had no choice but to defend the town taxpayer’s investment. Since then, in an effort to negotiate with the village, the town has offered to waive its ownership of the sewer plant in exchange for 2/3 of plant capacity, and governance through a committee comprised equally of 2 village officials and 2 town officials.
However, on the cusp of a pre-trial date on Monday, November 18th, the village replied to the town’s proposal, stating that while the village will accept the ownership of the sewer plant, they reject any approval rights of the town, and will instead only accept recommendations. Additionally the village added that any new subdivisions in the town will need village approval to connect to the sewer. Responses of the town board were shared, and all had one common thread: the town board feels it is imperative to protect the $2.6 million investment of town taxpayers, and Councilman McEwen pointed out that town residents who do not even have sewer service still paid for the sewer plant. Councilman Kenyon remarked that the town is most concerned over “Good fiscal management. We are diligent how we spend our money, and we must be sure others are accountable for how they spend out money, as well.” Councilman Maul summed up the conversation by stating “You have to have a willing partner to negotiate, and we haven’t found one.”
Public comments were offered from a resident who came forward to defend the town. He stated, “I don’t blame you, [the town board] I blame the residents of this town for not trying to find out what is really going on. I thank you and am glad you shared this information, it has been really helpful.” A second resident also spoke up in defense of the town, explaining that it is “frustrating that we have to pay a bill for the sewer plant, when many town residents aren’t even using the service. But the residents of this town must agree with what you’re doing, or they would be here in large numbers if they didn’t.”
The board then approved the following business items and resolutions:
– Approval of Philip Steiger Post #494 American Legion Games of Chance; Bell Jar Tickets to be sold from January 1, 2014- December 31, 2014
– Referral of a Tim Hortons Special Use Permit to construct and operate a restaurant in the General Commercial District
– Approval to schedule a Special Use Permit Public Hearing on Thursday, December 12th at 7:50 PM
– Approval to hire Mr. Dave MacFall as as a PT Police Officer at a rate of $16.50 per hour
– Authorization for Dick Roets to purchase on behalf of the Highway Department a 2014 Ford F 250 pick-up truck off of state contract
– Authorization for Dick Roets to purchase highway equipment in an amount not to exceed $148,920.00
– Authorization for Supervisor Hammond to sign the County Snow & Ice Contract for 2014, subject to attorney approval
– Approval for Boy Scout Zachary Tessier to engage in his Eagle Scout Project in conjunction with the Macedon Trails Committee.
– Public Hearing set for Thursday, December 12, 2014 at 7:35 PM regarding Cold War Veterans Real Property Exemption Determination
– Adoption of the 2014 Budget
– Payment of Claims/Abstract # Expenditures in the amount of $4,
No other business came before the board and the public meeting was adjourned at 8:13 PM for the board to then meet in Executive Session regarding litigation issues. The next Macedon Town Board meeting will be held on Thursday, December 12, 2013 at 7:30 PM in the Macedon Town Hall.
By Becky Block

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