Reviews Insurance Coverage for Town Center
By Jann Wiswall
Several community members had business with the Town of Ellicottville’s board on Wednesday, April 20.
Betsy Peyser and Teresa Wagner attended the meeting to brief the board on their plans to hold fundraising events throughout the summer and into the fall to raise funds to capture, spay/neuter and provide basic veterinary care to the growing population of stray cats that have been making their homes throughout Ellicottville. They estimate the cost per cat will be $65.
Wagner and Peyser explained that efforts in the past have not gotten off the ground because there are no organizations in the region that are able to provide the necessary services in Ellicottville. Through their recent efforts, however, they have enlisted the help of a veterinarian who will volunteer 6-8 nights to provide care, with the help of other volunteers.
Peyser noted that the group is looking to borrow humane animal traps (e.g. Havahart) to use throughout the project. They will be returned, she said.
In addition, the group is planning a large fundraiser at the Town Center on August 5.
The board thanked Peyser and Wagner for their efforts on the town and village’s behalf, agreeing with Peyser’s assessment that the strays have become a “black eye” for Ellicottville.
Priscilla Snyder and Mary Kuhn asked the board to allow their American Cancer Society Relay for Life team to hold a “Boot Drive” on April 31.
Snyder explained that the Village board had turned down their request to hold the fundraiser between Jefferson and Monroe Streets on Washington Street.
The town board suggested doing the fundraiser on Rt. 219 at the intersection with Rt. 242 (near Tim Horton’s) and approved the request. Police Officer in Charge Don Auge agreed to provide traffic management. Board member Steve Crowley said Holiday Valley would loan the group traffic cones. Snyder assured the board that Relay organizers will provide safety vests for team members.
Town Supervisor Matt McAndrew introduced the town’s insurance agent Randy Glenn, representing the Evans Insurance Agency, who briefed the board on some changes he recommended to the town’s policy.
Glenn explained that events where alcohol is served are higher risk for the town. As a result, he said that all commercial groups and organizations holding events at the Town Center, as well as all catering companies providing alcohol, should be required to provide certificates of liability coverage. Individuals and groups holding private events should be asked to sign “release of liability” waivers. If possible, they should also be asked to show certificates of liability coverage.
Glenn said that, as a matter of policy, the town should consider requiring waivers for all other events at other public venues where alcohol may be served.
The board and the town attorney agreed to review the recommended changes to the policy and prepare any necessary paperwork in time for the May board meeting.
The board approved a bid for lawn mowing services and considered two estimates for a new HVAC system at the town/village hall.
The two HVAC bids were for two completely different systems – one a furnace based system, the other a heat pump system with ceiling diffusers. Town Engineer Mark Alianello said he has not yet done a thorough analysis on the two approaches or their energy efficiency. He said he will consider the options and come back to the board with suggestions. Once the board decides on an approach, Alianello will develop specifications and the project can go out for bid.
Department Head Reports
Police Officer in Charge Don Auge reported that the department’s computers do not have enough data storage to handle video from the new body cameras. He said he is looking into external hard drive costs. It was also suggested that he look into cloud storage costs.
Mark Alianello, acting highway superintendent, reported that a summer intern has been hired to work on an inventory of all highways in the town through the Cornell Asset Management Program (CAMP) summer intern project. The intern and a member of the highway department staff will attend training in May and begin the project in June.
Alianello also reported that the NY Consolidated Local Streets and Highway Improvement Plan (CHIPS) funding to the town will be about $2,000 more than anticipated in the budget ($102,000 total). Plus, he said there’s a new “Pave New York” program announced that will provide $23,000 in funds for Ellicottville road paving projects.
As town engineer, Alianello reported that a pump at water booster station #1 is damaged and must be replaced. The estimated cost for the pump plus construction and system improvements will come to about $100,000. He said there are funds in the capital project budget that can be used for the project and he will ask the board to consider it in more detail at next month’s meeting. The project also must be approved by the County Health Department.
Finally, Alianello, as a member of the Ellicottville-Great Valley Trail Committee, said the committee is planning to apply for a $1.8 million TIGER grant. He asked the board to again support the project by committing to fund 20% of the project. The grant requires local backing.
Trail Committee President Ken Hinman, who also serves on the town board, said that the committee intends to raise the $360,000 town share so that taxpayers will not foot that bill.
New & Old Business
The board discussed some issues at the Town Center and Arboretum, including moving the dumpster to a new location, issues with a requested new driveway that would lead to the back patio, and arboretum ditch cleaning.
Town Clerk Robyn George reported that the state retirement system required an accounting of Town Supervisor Matt McAndrew’s “standard work day” as supervisor. After careful recordkeeping since he took office in January, McAndrew is working 14 six-hour days per month. His retirement will be based on that figure.
George also reported that, at the board’s request, she is researching a records storage software system that would allow the town to make scanned, searchable, indexed copies of paper documents and store them on disk. Alianello mentioned that he knows of another company she should consider.
McAndrew said that he had met with the family of former Highway Superintendent Dave Golley about holding a dedication of the Town Highway Barn to Golley. In addition to installing a sign, the group thought about planting a tree on the grounds. Currently, however, there is no green space or landscaping. McAndrew suggested that once the area is cleaned up along those lines, the town could hold an open house for the dedication and to introduce the public to the new town highway superintendent, who will be appointed next week during a special board meeting on Weds, April 27 at 3:30 p.m.
An inter-municipal water agreement between the town and village of Ellicottville that formally ended in January was extended by the town board during an executive session. The agreement will be retroactive to January 10 and will end on May 31, 2017.
The next regular meeting of the town board is scheduled for Weds, May 18 at 6 p.m. in the town/village hall.