By Jann Wiswall
Special Mtg. Set for Year-End Budget Adjustments, Code of Ethics Review
Evans Agency Account Executive Randy Glenn presented the Village of Ellicottville’s board with a proposal for municipal insurance coverage for the 2017-2018 fiscal year, which begins June 1. Three companies provided quotes for the Village policy. One was eliminated immediately for expense reasons.Glenn recommended that the Village choose NYMIR over its current insurer, Trident. NYMIR, he explained, is a member-owned company that specializes in municipalities. It holds policies for some 800 towns and villages in New York.
The policy will provide blanket building and contents coverage, general liability insurance, inland marine coverage for equipment (owned and leased), public officials’ liability insurance, crime coverage, business automobile insurance and umbrella coverage. The NYMIR policy, unlike Trident, also provides coverage for earthquake and flood damage and for cyber/data liability, and offered double the coverage for aggregate umbrella and public officials liability.
The NYMIR quote totaled $25,766.75, which was $1,260 more than the Trident quote. The board agreed that the value of the expanded coverage was worth the expense and approved the NYMIR quote.
During the regular board meeting, Mayor John Burrell reported that a water leak discovered and repaired by Fitzpatrick & Weller has reduced village water production by 30 percent. He also reported that the village will receive a 25 percent upfront discount on state insurance fund renewal, along with a dividend of $9,644.
Burrell said he took part in a webinar on “Inter-fund Loans” and will attend a Cattaraugus County Municipal Officials Association meeting on May 11. He and several other Village officials will attend the
Southern Tier West Local Government Conference at Houghton College on May 10. And, he will attend a county-wide Shared Services Initiative meeting on May 4.
Burrell recently met with a county representative to discuss Ellicottville’s eligibility to receive a portion of $600,000 in newly approved county grants to improve area baseball fields. He felt confident that the Village will qualify for funding.
Village Planner Gary Palumbo briefed the board on upcoming Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) and Village Planning Board (VPB) actions. The most complicated project from a procedural perspective, he explained, is the application to renovate 23 Washington Street. The project requires actions from the ZBA, the VPB and the Village Board, as well as from the NYS Department of Transportation and the NY State Historic Preservation Office. Those approvals must come in a very particular order determined, in part, by which entity is designated as the lead agency to conduct the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR). Palumbo recommended and the board approved a resolution designating the VPB as the lead agency.
Palumbo is currently preparing a summary of comments/issues for the VPB to address before acting on the SEQR and other issues raised during a public hearing on the project; nine sets of written comments were received and 12 persons spoke at the public hearing.
Palumbo said that, because a lawyer representing a business opposed to the project is closely watching the process, he needed some advice from the board. At that point, the board went into executive session with Palumbo and the village attorney. When the regular meeting resumed, the board approved a resolution to obtain outside legal counsel on a short-term basis to assist the VPB with the issue and to authorize the Mayor to sign a contract with the new attorney.
Village Engineer Nick Dobmeier reported that he is working with Stillhouse Brewery’s engineer on its wastewater discharge permit application. Dobmeier has asked for additional information about the design of a required storage tank and a detailed brewing schedule to determine its impact on the Village wastewater treatment plant (WWTP).
The board also authorized Dobmeier’s engineering firm, Nussbaumer & Clarke, to conduct a hydraulic study on the WWTP’s SAGR System.
As reported last month, the Village board must develop and adopt a Code of Ethics Law that holds municipal employees, including board members, to defined ethical standards.
Board member Spencer Murray announced that he had drafted a code of ethics document based on the Town of Ellicottville’s existing law for the board’s review. The draft, he said, is essentially the same as the town’s law except for Article VII on the subject of recusal, which Murray drafted himself.
The board, which thanked Murray for taking the initiative to draft the document, will review the language and discuss any recommended changes at a special meeting scheduled for May 30 at 6 p.m. at the Town Center. The board also will make final year-end budget modifications during that meeting.
A public hearing on the Code of Ethics law was scheduled for the June 12 regular board meeting at the Village/Town Hall at 6 p.m.