An Organizational Meeting of the Village Board was called to order by Mayor Cramer at 7:00 in the Village Hall. Appointments were accepted as presented, and the Deputy Mayor was named as Mr. Dave Kelly. Commissions were also accepted as presented, with one nay vote from Trustee Sliney. Meeting dates for boards, curbside business of clerk duties for handicapped customers, banking, mileage, the procurement policy, state aid, school and conferences, and petty cash, were outlined for the upcoming year. Additionally the Messenger Post was named as the Official Newspaper of the Village. Trustee Sliney questioned Mayor Cramer, asking if the Mayor checked the distribution of the Canandaigua newspaper versus the Macedon based newspaper, and she replied she had not. She explained that she wished to patronize both local papers on an every other year basis, however Trustee Sliney stated that he feels the village would be doing its residents a disservice to choose a new paper that is distributed at a lesser rate than another. The motion was then approved, with two nay votes from Trustee Sliney and Trustee Lohse. It was then unanimously approved that unpaid water & sewer bills will be authorized to be re-levied to the village tax roll as of May 5th.
The regular meeting of the board was then called to order at 7:17 PM. Meeting minutes dated April 9, 2014 were approved, with three corrections. Additionally, the abstract dated April 9th in the amount of $125,424.93 was approved, as presented. However, before its acceptance, Trustee Lohse requested the attorney bills regarding an easement across a resident’s private property be removed from the abstract, as it was not an intention of the board to persue this particular easement, meanwhile costs were incurred as a result of this unapproved action. Trustee Sliney remarked that he does not understand how this topic got so far without the knowledge of the board, until the topic was brought before the board by the resident in question at a board meeting. Mr. Sliney then requested that the Mayor keep the board abreast in the future of matters such as these. Trustee Sliney then questioned a line item of $97.50 for ambulance driver t-shirts. Additionally the new village fee schedule was approved, as presented, effective immediately.
Mayor Cramer re-introduced the topic of a grant which had been awarded to the village. Previously the board voted against accepting the grant in question on March 26th during a regular board meeting. During the April 9th meeting the board reportedly asked Mayor Cramer to further research boat traffic through Lock #30. It was since then determined that Lock #30 had a total of 804 boats travel through it last season. Mayor Cramer then pressed that she would like to establish a boat launch first and then in the future build a comfort station, utilizing grant funding. Trustee Sliney calculated that, when provided with that number, it could be concluded that a daily average of approximately 7 boats will travel through the lock daily during the open canal season, which is not a number that is large enough to make such a considerable financial investment.
A resident protested that grant money should not be thrown away, as it is inconsiderate to give away the money, and will make the village potentially lose potential grant funding in the future. It was, however, noted that the grant requires a 50/50 match of funding, which will be paid for through village tax money and in-kind services. Trustee Sliney retorted that the consultants of the revitalization project were comparing the Village of Macedon to the Village of Pittsford and the Village of Fairport, which is an inequitable comparison based upon the size and population. He also reported that 3 out of 5 members of the board did not even receive detail of the grant application to give their approval of before the application was officially submitted.
With that said, the grant application was still submitted, thus without board consent. A second resident explained that he feels a comfort station and boat launch would increase visitors, however Trustee Sliney pointed out if Main Street is not offering attractions to attract visitors, even if a boat launch existed. “I would love to build all that was proposed, but as an accountant I know that the village cannot afford it. In fact Governor Cuomo has stated that he is cutting back on future grant funding. I have a fiduciary responsibility to the taxpayers and I am voting with my pocket book.” Trustee Lohse pointed out that after the funding for building takes place, the maintenance of a comfort station and boat launch would fall onto the shoulders of the Village of Macedon taxpayers, of which there are fewer in the Village of Macedon versus other larger villages. He explained that the money is better spent on funding the fire department and ambulance service, noting that majority of the village constituents are senior citizens whom would not benefit from a boat launch or comfort station. He further explained he needs to protect the residents from tax increases.
Trustee Kelly pointed out that Syracuse just denied a $3 million grant, that did not even require a 50/50 grant. “My problem is that with canal grants, they require a great deal of planning and studies before anything can even be done, which requires a great deal of money of which we are responsible for half of given a 50/50 grant. There is a cost for this, and I wonder how much of a tax increase residents are willing to pay for every year.”
One resident commented that there is momentum, however she is frustrated that no changes ever occur. A second resident asked for a show of hands of how many village residents were present at the meeting, fighting for the grant, it appeared there were fewer village residents than town residents present. Mayor Cramer then asked the three board members who voted against the grant funding were willing to rescind their original votes. Trustee Lohse, Trustee Sliney, and Trustee Kelly expressed they were not willing to change their minds, based upon the reasons they originally stated when they voted the grant funding down.
At 8:25, Trustee Lohse recommended that the board then move onto other business on the agenda, however Mayor Cramer and members of the public continued to discuss the issue. When pressed, Trustee Kelly further stated that he feels that money is being continually spent on planning, with no actual improvements being done. Trustee Sliney then made a motion, which was seconded by Trustee Sliney, to end the discussion as the matter has previously been voted down during the March 26, 2014 board meeting.
Under Department Head and Trustee Reports, Fire Chief, Mr. Tim Wilcox, thanked the community for their support of the season’s pancake breakfasts. He also noted that an administrative member is going through a change of status and participating in mandatory training to become a firefighter. The department also completed its OSHA Training, and had a donation from a resident for resuscitation equipment specially made for dogs and cats. Additionally the department will display trucks at a weekend event at Tractor Supply for educational purposes. A volunteer ambulance application from Mr. Lance Eckler was also reviewed and approved by the board.
DPW Superintendent, Mr. Dave LeMoyne reported that the Highway Department has been busy with plow damage repairs, plows have been removed from trucks, Christmas trees at Gravino Park have been removed and the park bathrooms are being repaired and prepared to be opened, tree trimming has been done with the cooperation of the Trails Committee, boat launch repairs have been made, a catch basin was raised, 2 burials were done, brush and leaf clean-up has begun, stone hauling has begun, and water and sewers were located for surveying. The Water Department’s quarterly reading was done, replacement of water lines have been done, a high water alarm call was responded to and inspected, and a low water pressure call was responded to. The Sewer Treatment plant has been being re-painted, a float was replaced, siding work was completed, a load of sludge was transported, and the generator project is moving along very well.
Village Code Enforcement Officer, Mr. Don Morrill, reported that he has issued 4 permits, and has been scheduling and performing fire inspections. A site visit was made for decking, inspections have been done, did two tours of the village, and met with the new business owner of “Patriotic Paul’s” which is slated to open on May 1, 2014. Additionally he noted a new home is being built on Stone Street now that its site plans are completed, and interest for another possible new business on Main Street has been expressed.
Village Engineer, Mr. Dan Cornwall, reported the generator project is going well, and paperwork is being completed for submission on the EPF Grant.
Trustee Sliney reported that the Wayne County Cablevision Coalition will be meeting next week. He also asked when the board would discuss a litigation agreement, as it will need to be moved upon quickly.
Under updates, Mayor Cramer shared that the tax cap rate this year for municipalities was declared as 1.48% for the year, and the village’s budget was below at 1.44%. She reported Village Deputy Clerk, Ms. Kathy Reilly, has been catching up BOA & LWRP Grant paperwork. She then noted the village is continuing to look for village volunteers and volunteer grant writers. She also shared that the village was invited to march in the Annual Memorial Day Parade.
Under new business, Mayor Cramer requested board approval to send the new Village Historian, Ms. Linda Braun, to the annual conference, at a cost of $45.00, which was approved by the board. The board also approved that the Sensus Handheld Water Meter Reader be declared as surplus.
No other business came before the board and the public meeting was adjourned at 9:52 PM to meet in Executive Session regarding a pending litigation issue.
The next regular meeting of the board will be held on Wednesday, May 14th, at 7:00 PM in the Macedon Village Hall. By Becky Block