March 4, 2019
A regular meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Busti was held on Monday, March 4, 2019 at 6:45 p.m., at the Town of Busti, Town Administration Building, 125 Chautauqua Avenue, Lakewood, New York with the following members present:
Supervisor Jesse M. Robbins
Councilman Jim Andrews
Councilman Rudy Mueller
Councilman Todd Hanson
Councilman Kenneth Lawton
Supervisor Robbins called the meeting to order with the salute to the flag and a moment of silence was observed.
Present at the meeting were: Highway Superintendent Melvin Peterson, LBPD Chief John Bentley, Code Enforcement Officer Jeff Swanson, Attorney Joel Seachrist, Busti Fire Department Chief Matt Stafford, Ray Ayers, Charlie Stafford, Douglas Conroe – Chautauqua Lake Association, Executive Director, Bruce Erickson and Post Journal Reporter – Eric Zavinski.
Bruce Erickson, Chautauqua Lake Association, noted the association is at risk of losing state funding, while the demand for services continues to increase. The CLA is requesting the town board give them the same consideration for funding as they give other lake groups. Supervisor Robbins stated the 2019 Town Budget included one line for lake maintenance in the amount of $20,000 and the board has not decided as to how those funds will be disbursed. Mr. Erickson requested the town board consider funding the CLA $20,000. Douglas Conroe, CLA Executive Director, stated this is the time of year the association makes decisions for summer services. Therefore, it would be helpful to know what funding the association would be receiving from the town. Councilman Lawton stated he appreciates the work of the CLA and its contribution to lake maintenance, however, he feels there is a lack of financial transparency. Mr. Erickson noted there will be a full presentation on the finances of the CLA on Thursday, March 7th at 10 a.m. The association Board of Directors are all volunteers and its 990 is on file with the state. Councilman Mueller noted the association has historically received between $6,000 and $10,000 from the town. He is concerned for public safety with the amount of wood and debris that is in the lake.
Clerk Darlene Nygren reported her office mailed 767 late notices for 2019 County Town Tax Collection and collected $5,753,892.67 to date. She met with Randall Perry, Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Alliance Project Manager, and set up “designated portal responsibilities” through Grants Gateway. A copy of the designated people and their roles were given to each board member. NYMIR is holding a Discrimination & Harassment Complaint/Investigation Process “Train the Trainer” seminar on April 8th in West Seneca. Clerk Nygren and Highway Superintendent Peterson plan to attend the training to assist with conducting the annual employee training. The New York Town Clerk’s Association Conference is scheduled for May 5 -8 in Syracuse.
Councilman Hanson moved the following resolution which was duly made by Councilman Andrews:
RESOLVED, authorize Town Clerk Darlene Nygren to attend New York State Town Clerk’s Association Annual Meeting, May 5-8, 2019 in Syracuse.
Upon roll call vote, all aye, carried.
Chief John Bentley reported the department has handled 1,690 incidents ytd and 729 since his last report to the town board. Chief Bentley requested permission for the LBPD to use the brush dump in the fall for training at dark, Highway Superintendent Peterson thought that should be fine.
Highway Superintendent Melvin Peterson reported the department assisted the Village of Lakewood DPW with a dredging project east of Lowe Park. Twelve loads of sediment were hauled out from a 4-foot pipe. Councilman Mueller thanked the department for assisting with the project, stating there are more areas around the lake that need similar work done.
Code Enforcement Officer Jeff Swanson noted the Solar Panels have been installed at both the Administration and Highway buildings, and the electrical inspections were completed. CEO Swanson will be attending annual training March 11th – 13th. CEO Swanson reported there are still several building projects being done without permits.
Busti Fire Department Chief Matt Stafford reported the department has had 60 incidents ytd, which includes 23 Motor Vehicle Accidents, 5 Fires, and 2 Service Calls for the month of February. The department assists with mutual aid to the City of Jamestown as well as other area departments, which keeps them busy. Charlie Stafford thanked Highway Superintendent Peterson for their assistance with the flag at the Gazebo.
Supervisor Robbins noted the Project Team for the Busti-Lakewood Roadside Swale Stabilization Grant is as follows: Councilman Jim Andrews, Chairman; Highway Superintendent Melvin Peterson; Councilman Ken Lawton; Village of Lakewood DPW Supervisor Tom Pilling; and Paul Gustafson – Town of Busti resident. The Project Team will be working with Chautauqua Lake and Watershed Management Alliance Project Manager, Randall Perry.
Supervisor Robbins noted the consensus of the Town Board was to establish a committee to review and make recommendations to the board regarding the employee incentives. The committee will consist of two councilmen: Councilman Jim Andrews, Chair, and Councilman Lawton; and two highway department employees and one office employee. Councilman Hanson suggested the employees be the most recently hired. Clerk Nygren suggested Deputy Town Clerk Huffman be on the committee, as a part-time employee.
Supervisor Robbins noted he continues to receive complaints from residents regarding unauthorized use of the Transfer Station, he would like to hire a person to monitor the vehicles using the facility on a temporary basis. Highway Superintendent Peterson stated he has spoken to the Transfer Station Attendant regarding the complaints and has been assured that only vehicles with Transfer Stickers are being allowed to use the facility. Discussion followed.
Supervisor Robbins moved the following resolution, which was duly moved by Councilman Hanson:
RESOLVED, Mary Beth Moss be appointed as Transfer Station Monitor for a maximum of 20 hours at a rate of $12 per hour. Payment would be made via voucher.
Upon roll call vote, all aye, carried.
Supervisor Robbins reported in a meeting with the Town of Ellery on February 12, 2019, representatives from the Town of Ellicott, Town of Busti, Town of North Harmony, Village of Celeron, Village of Lakewood, and Village of Bemus Point supported the Town of Ellery continuing to serve as Lead Agency pursuant to SEQRA for the purpose of permitting for herbicide treatments adjacent to the municipalities present in 2019.
Supervisor Robbins moved he be authorized to sign a letter stating the Town of Busti does concur with the Town of Ellery continuing to serve as Lead Agency pursuant to SEQRA for the purpose of the town permitting of herbicide treatments adjacent to the Town of Busti in 2019. Motion seconded by Councilman Lawton.
All aye, carried.
Supervisor Robbins noted Town Clerk Nygren has received the following 2018 Annual Financial Report Update Documents: JA-Recreation and Fire District of Ashville; the reports can be reviewed at the Town Clerk’s office.
Supervisor Robbins moved the following resolution which was duly seconded by Councilman Hanson:
RESOLVED, that Supervisor Robbins be authorized and directed to pay the presented General Fund, Highway Fund, and the Joint Recreation Fund for Abstract No. 3 from warrant #56 to and including warrant #125 in the amount of $116,447.84.
Upon roll call vote, all aye, carried.
Supervisor Robbins moved to accept the February 4, 2019 Regular Town Board minutes, motion was duly moved.
All in favor, carried.
Councilman Mueller reported he has been collecting information on account A1620 – “Buildings” for both the Village of Lakewood and the Town of Busti. The information includes the actual costs of the years 2015, 2016, 2017; estimated cost of 2018, and what was budgeted in 2019. Each councilman received a sheet with the account information, which included six goals of Lakewood government moving into Busti Town Hall at 125 Chautauqua Avenue by the end of 2019; and seven points the town and village would need to agree upon. Councilman Mueller estimates the town would have a savings of $10,000 to $15,000 and the village of $20,000 to $30,000.
Councilman Hanson thanked Councilman Mueller for putting the information together; he noted the town had submitted a letter to the village regarding sharing office space and received a letter stating the Village of Lakewood was not interested. Councilman Hanson believes the first step in moving forward on Councilman Mueller’s suggestion should be a resolution from the Village of Lakewood Trustees stating they are interested in moving forward with the village renting office space from the town. Councilman Hanson continued stating that he believes it such a move should include all departments.
Councilman Mueller noted there has been a change in the village trustee board since the last communication regarding the matter. He, also, stated with a new City of Jamestown Mayor and new County Sheriff there may be a possibility of a regional police force. He reminded the board the information sheet he prepared was just a draft.
Councilman Hanson reported on the completion of the Solar Liberty’s solar panel installation on both the Administration and Highway buildings; documentation and an invoice have been submitted to NYSERDA for reimbursement through the Clean Energy grant. Councilman Hanson reported LED bulbs have been installed in the Town Clerk’s, Supervisor’s, and Code Enforcement offices. The court office and courtroom lights will be changed to LED this spring.
Councilman Hanson inquired to the status of the concession stand and restrooms at Loomis Park; and the tennis courts at Lawson Park. Highway Superintendent Peterson stated the water tap has been installed, the backflow preventer is at the highway garage and will be installed along with the plumbing when the weather breaks. The sewer will be a two-day project and completed when the weather allows. Councilman Hanson and Highway Superintendent Peterson will meet to discuss the tennis courts.
Code Enforcement Officer Swanson noted the outside steps leading to the holding center area are not usable until further notice. The railing had to be removed for the solar meter to be installed, the steps will need to be moved to the other side of the platform before the entrance is accessible.
There was discussion regarding the procedure of selling items being stored in the rear area of 125 Chautauqua Avenue and not being used. Attorney Joel Seachrist directed the board to create a list of the items no longer being used and declare them surplus at a future meeting. Once the items have been declared as surplus, they can be advertised for sale.
Supervisor Robbins moved to adjourn the meeting at 8:09 p.m. which was duly moved by Councilman Andrews.
All in favor, carried.
Darlene H. Nygren, Town Clerk