By Jann Wiswall
Town of Mansfield Supervisor Bob Keis reported at the May 18 board meeting that he is working with the town and village of Ellicottville to prepare a plan for the state that demonstrates how the three municipalities will save 1 percent of each of their operating budgets by consolidating services.
Municipalities all over New York are being asked by the state to devise these “government efficiency plans.” Once submitted, the state will reimburse qualifying homeowners for a share of their municipality’s property taxes.
Qualified homeowners are those who meet the state’s STAR exemption requirements.
Last year, homeowners living in jurisdictions that stayed within the 2 percent tax cap received corresponding percentage refunds. This year, municipalities must stay within that tax cap and also show how they will save costs by consolidating services with other jurisdictions in order for homeowners to receive reimbursement.
Keis said that Mansfield’s agreement with the village and town of Ellicottville to provide sewer and water services at WestMont Ridge (which is in Mansfield) will qualify under the state’s criteria as an inter-municipal agreement. Keis said he has taken the lead on preparing the plan and is finalizing all necessary paperwork for appropriate signatures. The deadline for plan submission is June 1.
In Highway Department news, Keis reported that no bids were received by the Department in response to its request for contractors to lay tile flooring in the highway barn. The board approved a request to solicit estimates from contractors directly.
Highway Superintendent Brad Hurley reported that he had found a used 2007 Freightliner truck that will meet the needs of the department. The cost is $41,700. The board approved its purchase. The vehicle was located in Cleveland; no area vendors replied to Mansfield’s bid request.
Hurley asked the board to approve the low bid for a loader through John Deere’s annual rotation program. The program allows the town to trade in the vehicle each year, ensuring that it is always a new machine and under warranty. The cost to the town this year will be $12,242.95.
The department expects to begin grinding and chipping 1.5 miles of Watson Road in the next few weeks. Work on patching and repairing roads and completing projects throughout the town that were funded by the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) will begin soon after.
The next meeting of the Mansfield board will be held on Monday, June 15 at 7 p.m. in the town hall. All are welcome.