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New Hires Are Top Priority for Town

By Jann Wiswall

The Town of Ellicottville’s board met Wednesday, Dec. 16 with a full agenda and several key staff positions to fill.

Board member Steve Crowley reported that the interview committee to find a replacement for retiring Town Planner Carol Horowitz met this week and will interview two of three companies that submitted proposals to perform the work. The committee is expecting one additional proposal for consideration.

At last month’s board meeting, the board announced that it was reorganizing the highway department and had created a new position of “Working Supervisor.” The position was offered to acting highway superintendent Loyd Hovey. At the same meeting, the board offered the job of highway superintendent to Mark Alianello.

Since then, Hovey declined the job offer. The board is now advertising the working supervisor position and already has received applications. A special board meeting is scheduled for December 29 to review resumes and schedule interviews.

In the meantime, Alianello has asked the board to clarify how much of a time commitment the highway superintendent position will be, since he will retain his position as town engineer as well. Although he has not accepted the job yet, he said he’s “moving in that direction.”

In other important business, members of the town’s highway department staff were on hand to hear final discussion about their new Teamsters union contract. Burrell explained that some of the items that were negotiated between the town and the union did not make it into the last version of the contract submitted by the union. The new contract reviewed during the board meeting included those changes and clarifying language. The board authorized Burrell to sign the contract.

Burrell asked the board to approve a 2016 budget modification. The change did not impact the bottom line of the budget approved by the board last month, but due to an accounting error made several years ago and not discovered until recently, Burrell explained that $50K needed to be moved from one budget line to another. The board approved the modification.

Two issues regarding the Town Center were on the agenda.

Two office-space tenants need to renew their leases. The board suggested proposing a 3% increase on their rent. This would be their first increase in several years.

The Rotary Club of Ellicottville has proposed that town formally agree to allow the club to retain the name, “Rotary Club Auditorium,” for an extended number of years. The auditorium was named for the club in gratitude for its generous and significant contributions to the auditorium’s renovations, which totaled some $15K over three years.

The board agreed to review a proposed contract submitted by the club.

The board also authorized Burrell to replace the lights in the Town Center auditorium with dimmable lights.

Burrell reported that a resident asked for a street light to be installed at the intersection of Horn Hill Road and Rt. 242. Hovey said a street light would present a hazard to his snowplow drivers and oncoming traffic when plows are present.

Wearing his town engineer hat, Alianello said he had determined that about 2.7 of the town’s roads are not listed in the state’s inventory, which impacts state CHIPS contributions to the town. He asked the board to approve a resolution he drafted that asks the state to add these roads to its maps. The board approved the resolution.

Alianello also reported that he is still trying to find the right person to talk to about removing or changing a strobe light on an FAA tower near Jackman Hill Road that is bothering people miles away.

The board will hold its annual reorganizational meeting on Monday, Jan. 4 at 4 p.m., during which Matt McAndrew will take over as Town Supervisor. The board’s first regular meeting of the year will be held at 6 p.m. on Wednesday, Jan. 20 at the town/village hall.

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