By Caitlin Croft
The Village of Ellicottville has once again received no designation for fiscal stress from the state — meaning they are in good financial standing — members of the Village Board learned at the beginning of their April meeting.
Also in the financial aspect of the meeting, a dividend check was received from the Insurance Fund/Safety Group 497 in the amount of $19,405, which was $4,405 more than budgeted.
After approval of March meeting minutes and the special meeting of March 26, the board opened the public hearing on the 2018-19 budget to which there were no members of the public in attendance.
Village Mayor John Burrell said he met with Randy Glenn from the Evans Agency, where Glenn suggested extra requirements for the Village Special Events Permit. On Saturday, April 14 at 10 a.m. at the Town Center, there is the final meeting regarding the survey that was sent out to residents and administered online in regards to the Downtown Revitalization Initiative. The mayor noted so far, the No. 1 issue the public wants addressed from the survey is parking. On May 6 to 8, the New York Conference of Mayors is meeting and all trustees are encouraged to be in attendance.
During the engineering report, new town and village engineer Niles Pierson discussed his major goal for 2018, which is a GPS/survey of assets. The survey, which includes sewer system values, manholes, etc., will help maintain the system in the future, along with opening the village to receive grants it previously didn’t qualify for, he said.
Next, there was discussion on the Nussbaumer & Clarke Sludge Removal Alternative Proposal. Pierson said he felt the village should approve task number 6, which is to do more research into technology for the Sludge Removal and therefore potentially making the project much more cost effective. There was motion to grant N&C $8,500 for this task; a second and it was approved.
There was also discussion regarding the sidewalk project on Monroe Street. Tom Lowry has been through to look at what concrete work needs to be done and trees have been ordered. The mayor noted there are extra funds in the Sidewalk and Trees Fund for this project. Pierson then stated he is getting a feel for all projects and will then work on a priority schedule for them.
Code Enforcement Report
There was discussion regarding the Zombie House at 23 E. Washington St., as the village board learnedhe home should be foreclosed on soon but the bank cannot sell until it is up to code. Next the CEO discussed how there is no true means of prosecution after a citation has been issued. He has requested permission to gain approval from the District Attorney so that the CEO can be the prosecutor. There was a motion to approve this; a second and it was approved. Next, they discussed a new local law. This will affirm and amend local law 5. There was a motion to set the Public Hearing for the May 14 meeting; a second and it was set.
Chair Spencer Murray asked the village board allow the Shults Auto Group to place a car on the 10 Fridays of Stroll the Streets this summer for sponsorship for the events. There was a motion to allow; second and it was approved. Murray also noted that he will get a meeting organized for the Special Events Committee to discuss this year’s summer events. He also noted that he is working on bringing an Autism Awareness Concert to the Village Park and will have more details soon.
Patra Lowes has been working on a new agreement with Casella but the agreement ends May 31. It was decided that Mary Klahn would advertise for bids but add a clause that a two-year renewal is allowable if chosen. There was a motion to advertise bids; a second and it was approved.
Klahn has been making updates to the employee handbook and found that Call Out Time is two hours. She felt the board should change it to match the town at three hours. There was a motion; a second and it was changed. Next the memorial benches were discussed and there is interest for 6-7 more. Maintenance on these benches has always fallen to the village and the village attorney is working on an agreement for those wanting to purchase that would encompass maintenance. Klahn also noted that she would like to see more outside of the Business District and strategically placed going out towards the Nannen Arboretum and Village Park.
During the new business aspect of the budget, Lowes discussed an Earth Day initiative to clean up the village on Sunday, April 12 and continue all day. Lowes asked village residents to stay at their home and, as they walk the village, pick up any garage they see. He noted that with the winter snow melt, there has been a lot of exposed trash.
Next there was discussion regarding the BOCES system and how they can provide interns to the village. This is something that will be looked into further.
After the regular meeting was adjourned and the organizational meeting was opened, appointments were made with the only changes from last year being Niles Pierson as village engineer, Mike Painter on Zoning Board of Appeals and Sean Cornelius on Planning Board.
The only other notable change of the regular village board meetings to the third Tuesday of the month beginning in September. This came about due because items such as financial statements were not being received by the board in time to properly examine prior to the meeting.
IN OTHER BUSINESS:
– A public hearing was scheduled for 6 p.m. May 14 regarding the proposed Zoning Code Amendments;
– The board adopted the Dutchess County “Think Differently” resolution, which states businesses should better accommodate the needs of those with autism and other special needs;
– A special meeting was scheduled for 11 a.m. April 11 for budget approval.
The next meeting of the Village Board will be at 6 p.m. May 14 at the village hall.