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Town Board Meeting Minutes 10.12.21

TOWN BOARD Meeting Notes

Marion Municipal Building

Tuesday October 12, 2021

 

A Town Board meeting of the Town of Marion, Wayne County, NY was held on Tuesday October 12, 2021 at the Marion Municipal Room.

Supervisor Bender called the meeting to order at 6:30 pm with a roll call done by Heidi Levan, Clerk of the Board.

PRESENT:                     Joan Fisher, Councilwoman                                                                         LaVerne Bliek, Councilman                                                                        Ronald Lonneville, Councilman                                                                    Deborah Smith, Councilwoman                                           Jolene Bender, Supervisor

Absent:                        None

IN PERSON ATTENDANCE:  Duane Smeatin, Code Enforcement Officer; Jeff Cragg, Chief Wastewater Plant Operator; Kathy Cauwels, Principal Account Clerk; Fred Walker, Chairman of the Planning Board; Jason Monroe, Director of Operations for the Wayne County Water and Sewer Authority; Julie Herman; Keith Mrzywka; Carolyn Grasso, Wayne County Times; John Lonneville; Jennifer Williams; Jeff Nichols; Josiah Nichols; Mike Lane.

Supervisor Bender asked everyone to stand and give the Pledge of Allegiance.  Supervisor Bender called for a roll call by the Clerk of the Board.

Supervisor Bender stating the following: “At the last Town Board meeting on September 27, the Marion Town Board members were given a Tentative budget.  This budget is the first draft of the 2022 budget.  This is what department heads came up with and after careful review were put into the tentative budget.    This budget is available for anyone too review, however this is the tentative budget.  The Town Board has not had an opportunity before this evening to discuss it.  The budget will be reviewed, and changes made by the Town Board.  We ask that residents do not make comments at this time regarding the budget.  You will have an opportunity to discuss the budget during the public hearing for the budget.  I appreciate your cooperation and understanding”.

Supervisor Bender stated 2 people have signed up to speak.

Citizens Comments:

  1. John Lonneville spoke first stating he had nothing to say given the opening statement given by Supervisor Bender.
  2. Theresa Keyser spoke next and read the following and asked that it be included into the Board meeting minutes, “I believe these public meetings need to be made available virtually. There’s still a virus out there killing people.  This isn’t over.  First grade just got over a ten-day quarantine.  Our medically fragile neighbors shouldn’t have to put themselves in danger to stay informed in their towns development.  The minute notes are not a replacement.  There’s been a level of coercion, nepotism, browbeating, purposeful intimidation, and misogyny that have led to verbal abuse and general mistreatment of not only government employees, but some residents as well.  The solution is a check and balance system.  One that allows Marion residents to hear with their own ears.  One that allows residents to protect their health as needed.  One that holds officers accountable to their constituents for their actions, words and tone.  One that could spark interest in personal involvement and future leaders.  I implore you to support our town by providing better access to us as residents.”  Keyser also provided a handout regarding live streaming using YouTube.

Town Business

Supervisor Bender introduced Jason Monroe from the Wayne County Water and Sewer Authority.  Mr. Monroe is the Director of Operations at the Wayne County Water & Sewer Authority.  Mr. Monroe discussed the new regional wastewater treatment facility being built in Palmyra, NY.  This project will be a regional solution to wastewater operations.  All current town employees of the wastewater treatment facility in Marion will not lose their jobs, their job will be transferred to the Wayne County Water & Sewer Authority when it opens.  Mr. Monroe also discussed the leasing of the Marion WWTP to WCWSA once the new plant is running.  The lease needs to be signed tonight in order to use a current NYS DEC Environmental study.  The lease agreement has been drafted by the Marion Town Attorney, Art Williams.

Councilwoman Fisher spoke regarding the Marion Town Park.  Councilwoman Fisher is waiting on 2 more estimates for new cameras at the Town Park.  The current system is older and needs to be updated.  Councilman Lonneville asked who would monitor a new camera system?  Supervisor Bender offered to monitor the system if need be.  Jeff Cragg suggested that a monitor be placed at the town hall for staff members to keep an eye on things.

Councilwoman Fisher recently asked a question on social media looking for suggestions on how federal funds should be used for park improvements.  Councilwoman Fisher stated the following suggestions were made:

  1. Update the playground equipment to include accessible equipment.
  2. Lighting around the park driving/walking path
  3. Benches on the soccer fields
  4. Softball dugouts
  5. Fenced in dog park
  6. Handball court
  7. BMX/skate park
  8. Ice skating rink during the winter
  9. Water/Spray park
  10. Rockwall/Climbing Wall

Councilwoman Fisher stated that she sees a lot of people using the playground equipment.  She would like to see this equipment upgraded.  Councilwoman Fisher has been working with a group of volunteers whom she considers to be experts on playground equipment due to the fact they have younger children and frequent many local parks.  Councilwoman Fisher will work with these individuals to get their suggestions.  Supervisor Bender suggested forming a committee to discuss town park improvements.  Councilwoman Fisher asked the other Town Board members how much money they would like to see invested in the upgrading of the playground equipment.  Should it be $20,000 or closer to $100,000.000?    Councilwoman Fisher would also like to see lighting installed around the park.  This would be great for walkers and help to deter vandalism.  A question was raised as to if it should be solar lighting or standard lighting?  Councilman Lonneville suggested that estimates be done for both types of lighting. Resident John Lonneville suggested that if new lighting poles are installed that cameras should be installed on every other pole.

Councilman Lonneville asked how new equipment and different items added to the town park would increase our insurance.  Councilman Bliek suggested that a phone call be made to the insurance company before any decisions are made.

Supervisor Bender asked Councilman Lonneville to discuss the Genesee Valley Rural Revitalization Grant.  Unfortunately, The Town of Marion did not receive the grant.  Councilman Lonneville stated, they will reapply for the second round of grants.  Councilman Lonneville also feels that the repairs to the outside of the buildings need to be completed with or without a grant.  Duane Smeatin is currently in the process of getting estimates for the work that needs to be done.

Supervisor Bender stated she had received a phone call from the Marion Boy scouts requesting an overnight campout at the Town Park.  Supervisor Bender gave them permission to do so.  A question was raised as to if a new camping permit was needed.  Duane Smeatin stated it was not because it was for 1 night only.

Councilwoman Smith spoke next and stated the air conditioner at the library needs replacement.  Jeff Cragg spoke up and stated that John Cornell just repaired the air conditioner and stated it should be fine for a few more years.  Mr. Cornell will provide a quote to the library for replacement if needed.  Councilman Lonneville asked if a new reserve fund should be set up for big equipment repairs such as a new air conditioner or furnace needed to be replaced.  Kathy Cauwels will look into a reserve fund for the library and report back to the Town Board in the near future.

Councilwoman Smith stated the toilet at the library needs to be repaired.  Library Director Tracy Whitney is looking into this.

Councilman Lonneville wanted to take a moment and speak about Dutchland Foods.  Councilman Lonneville stopped in to Dutchland and spoke to Mrs. Zimmerman.  Dutchland Foods had a great day during the fall festival this year.  Dutchland had many new customers and saw and increase in sales.

Councilman Lonneville spoke next about the newsletter that the Marion Town Board had put together for publication in the spring of 2021.  Unfortunately, the printer never completed the work.  Councilman Lonneville asked if Supervisor Bender could start writing articles up for the Times of Wayne County newspaper.  Councilman Lonneville sees other town supervisor columns and would like to see Marion represented.

Councilman Lonneville next asked if a letter had been sent to Seneca Foods thanking them for support of Marion.  Supervisor Bender indicated it had been sent.  Councilman Lonneville stated that Art Wolcott, founder of Seneca Foods, has recently passed away.  Councilman Lonneville stated he hopes Seneca Food headquarters will stay in Marion.

Reports:

  1. Town Clerk September 2021
  2. a. Money Market September 2021
  3. Operating Statement        October 2021
  4. Trial Balance September 2021
  5. Marion Fire District September 2021
  6. Assessor    September 2021                                                                    7. Code Officer September 2021
  7. Library September 2021
  8. Dog Control September 2021
  9. a. Bonafede September 2021
  10. Bender September 2021
  11. Sheriff September 2021

Committee Reports:

Supervisor Bender:  Town Clerk, Zoning & Planning.

Supervisor Bender asked Town Clerk, Heidi Levan to give a report on the Town Clerk’s office.  Ms. Levan reported the office has been very busy collecting school taxes and selling DEC hunting licenses.

Supervisor Bender next asked Fred Walker to speak regarding the Marion Planning Board.  Mr. Walker stated the Mander subdivision was just approved and is moving forward.  Mr. Walker and Greg Bell met with Adrienne Compton, the new Planning and zoning board secretary and are looking forward to working with her.  Mr. Walker also stated a new resident is looking to join the planning board and that resolution will be presented at tonight’s meeting.  Councilman Lonneville asked why no zoning board meetings have been scheduled since Angela Patterson resigned?  Supervisor Bender stated she had spoke to Zoning Board chair, Craig Bell and no meeting were necessary.  Councilman Lonneville stated that zoning laws need to be updated and the Zoning Board should be meeting regularly to accomplish this task.

Councilman Bliek: Deputy Supervisor, Highway, Drainage, Water, Sewer

Councilman Bliek asked Jason Monroe from the WCWSA to give an update on the new Water storage tower project.  Mr. Monroe stated the water tower is now complete and currently filling with water.  There is approximately 29 feet of water in it currently.  The new Regional Wastewater treatment plant is still running on schedule.  The design plans are currently being reviewed by the DEC.

Councilman Bliek next stated that Highway Superintendent, Tim Boerman is currently on vacation in Hawaii however the highway department staff have been busy mowing road sides and the town park.

Councilman Bliek next stated that the Drainage Committee met and the project on Goosen Road is currently being reviewed by NYS DEC.  Councilman Lonneville provided a list of current drainage projects to each town board member.  Councilman Lonneville also stated that Drainage committee member Ralph Morgan stated the meeting held in September was the most productive meeting he’s ever attended.

Councilwoman Fisher: Parks, Recreation, Assessor

Councilwoman Fisher spoke regarding the Marion recreation basketball program.  Councilwoman Fisher has been working with Walworth recreation program to see if it’s possible for Marion recreation to join their program.

Councilwoman Smith:  Public Safety, Judicial, Library, Cemetery

Councilwoman Smith stated Mark Plyter (Dog control officer) logged 46 hours of work in the month of September for a variety of dog cases.

Councilwoman Smith stated that the Marion Library received a grant to install a Storybook walk at the Marion Town Park.  Library circulation has increased, wi-fi check outs have increased.  The library is once again charging for late fees.

Councilwoman Smith next spoke regarding the Marion Court.  The court heard 26 cases in September and Terri Ryan has recently completed an appeal case that started before the COVID-19 pandemic began in 2020.

Councilwoman Smith asked Julie Herman to speak about the Marion Cemetery Association.  The Marion Cemetery Association just submitted their last bill to New York State for the grant they received to repair older tombstones.  The project was a great success They are currently looking into more grant opportunities.  Ms. Herman also stated the Cemetery Association has been removing some older trees and the public should thank Chuck DeRidder and Jim Miller for their hard work and dedication to this project.

Councilman Lonneville:  Historian

Councilman Lonneville stated that work at the museum (Jennie’s House) is continuing.  Duane Smeatin stated a new estimate has come in from Marshall Exteriors to complete the siding project on the museum.

Councilman Lonneville also stated that a donation of $500 was received from Dr. Barry Thorne given to the Marion Historic Association.

Resolutions:

  1. Approve September 13th and 27th, Town Board Meeting Minutes
  2. Receive and File all Correspondence/Reports for October 12th, 2021
  3. Authorize Appointment of Mike Lane to the Planning Board for a 3 Year Term
  4. Authorize Colacino Industries to Upgrade Pump Stations – Sunset Drive and East Williamson Road
  5. Authorize Adoption of a Social Media Policy Effective Immediately
  6. Authorize Public Hearing 2022 Budget
  7. Payment of Claims

 Resolution #10012021 Approve September 13th and 27th Town Board Meeting Minutes

On a motion by Councilwoman Fisher and seconded by Councilwoman Smith

ADOPTED:  Ayes:  5 Smith, Lonneville, Bender, Fisher, Bliek

Nays:  0

The following resolution was adopted

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Marion Town Board approves the September 13th and 27th, Town Board meeting minutes.

Resolution #100221 Receive and File all Correspondence/Reports for October 12th, 2021

On a motion by Councilwoman Smith and seconded by Councilman Lonneville

ADOPTED:  Ayes:  5 Smith, Lonneville, Bender, Fisher, Bliek

Nays:  0

The following resolution was adopted

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Marion Town Board directs the Clerk of the Board to receive and file all correspondence and reports for October 12th 2021.

Resolution #100321 Authorize Appointment of Mike Lane to the Planning Board for a 3 Year Term

On a motion by Councilwoman Fisher and seconded by Councilwoman Smith

ADOPTED         Ayes 5

Nays 0

Long Roll:

Councilwoman Fisher – Aye

Councilman Bliek – Aye

Councilman Lonneville – Aye

Councilwoman Smith – Aye

Supervisor Bender – Aye

The following resolution was adopted

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Marion Town Board authorizes the appointment of Mike Lane as a Planning Board Member for a 3 year term to expire on 12/31/2025;

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town Board directs the Clerk of the Board to give a copy of this resolution to Mike Lane and the Principal Account Clerk.

Resolution #100421 Authorize Colacino Industries to Upgrade Sewer Pump Stations – Sunset Drive and East Williamson Road

On a motion by Councilman Lonneville and seconded by Councilman Bliek

ADOPTED         Ayes 5

Nays 0

Long Roll:

Councilwoman Fisher – Aye

Councilman Bliek – Aye

Councilman Lonneville – Aye

Councilwoman Smith – Aye

Supervisor Bender – Aye

The following resolution was adopted

WHEREAS, the Town of Marion realizes that the electric panels at the sewer pump stations on Sunset Drive and East Williamson Road need to be upgraded;

WHEREAS, Jeffrey Cragg, Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator, obtained estimates from Colacino Industries;

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Marion Town Board authorizes appropriation from ARPA Federal Stimulus Funds to upgrade the Electrical Panels at the sewer pump stations at Sunset Drive and East Williamson Road at a cost not to exceed:

Sunset Drive                            $49,877.84

East Williamson Road            $52,340.66

$102,218.50

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Marion Town Board directs the Clerk of the Board to give a copy of this resolution to Jeffrey Cragg, and the Principal Account Clerk.

 Resolution #100521 Authorize Adoption of a Social Media Policy Effective Immediately

On a motion by Councilwoman Smith and seconded by Councilman Bliek

ADOPTED         Ayes 5

Nays 0

Long Roll:

Councilwoman Fisher – Aye

Councilman Bliek – Aye

Councilman Lonneville – Aye

Councilwoman Smith – Aye

Supervisor Bender – Aye

The following resolution was adopted

WHEREAS, the Town of Marion does not currently have a Social Media Policy;

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Marion Town Board hereby adopts the Social Media Policy effective immediately;

AND BE IT RESOLVED, that the Marion Town Board directs the Clerk of the Board to give a copy of this resolution to all employees of the Town of Marion.

Resolution #100621 Authorize Public Hearing 2022 Budget

On a motion by Councilman Bliek and seconded by Councilwoman Smith

ADOPTED         Ayes 5

Nays 0

Long Roll:

Councilwoman Fisher – Aye

Councilman Bliek – Aye

Councilman Lonneville – Aye

Councilwoman Smith – Aye

Supervisor Bender – Aye

The following resolution was adopted

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Marion Town Board directs the Clerk of the Board to advertise the following in the legal newspaper for the Town of Marion:

NOTICE IS GIVEN that the Town Board of the Town of Marion will meet and review said budget and hold a Public Hearing on October 25, 2021 @ 6:30 PM at the Marion Municipal Room, 3825 N. Main Street, Marion, New York, at which time and place any persons may be heard in favor or against any items;

AND BE IT RESOLVED, that the Marion Town Board directs the Clerk of the Board to give a copy of this resolution to all Department Heads.

Resolution #100721 Payment of Claims

On a motion by Councilman Lonneville and seconded by Councilman Bliek

ADOPTED:  Ayes:  5 Smith, Lonneville, Bender, Fisher, Bliek

Nays:  0

The following resolution was adopted

WHEREAS, the Marion Town Board has received and audited the following claims: now

BE IT RESOLVED, that the Supervisor is hereby authorized to pay said claims upon receipt of the signed abstracts of audited claims from the Town Clerk.

Abstract                     

General                                               24,712.24

Highway                                             143,073.23

Library                                                    1,774.94

Water                                                            0.00

Sewer                                                     6,317.19

Street Lighting                                        2,187.63

Drainage                                                 4,410.80

Federal Stimulus Money                             0.00

Trust & Agency                                       3,135.20

Total                                                   185,611.23 

 Resolution #100821 Authorize Adoption of Resolution Subject to Permissive Referendum to Lease Real Property and to Execute Easements for the Western Regional Wastewater Treatment Project

On a motion by Councilman Lonneville and seconded by Councilwoman Smith

ADOPTED         Ayes 5

Nays 0

Long Roll:

Councilwoman Fisher – Aye

Councilman Bliek – Aye

Councilman Lonneville – Aye

Councilwoman Smith – Aye

Supervisor Bender – Aye

The following resolution was adopted                                                                

NOTICE OF ADOPTION OF RESOLUTION

SUBJECT TO PERMISSIVE REFERENDUM

TO LEASE REAL PROPERTY AND TO EXECUTE EASEMENTS FOR THE WESTERN REGIONAL

WASTEWATER TREATMENT PROJECT

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that at a duly noticed and convened meeting on October 12, 2021,

the Town Board of the Town of Marion duly adopted, subject to a permissive referendum, a

resolution, an abstract of which is as follows:

Authorizing the Town of Marion to lease to the Wayne County Water and Sewer Authority

certain real property comprising 2.237 acres situated in the Town of Marion, County of Wayne,

and State of New York, located at No. 4243 Smith Road and being part of Tax Account No.

66114-00-138263, together with the buildings and improvements thereon and certain

appurtenant easements and easement rights.

WHEREAS, the Wayne County Water and Sewer Authority has requested the Town of Marion to

lease certain real property to the Wayne County Water and Sewer Authority and to convey to

the Authority certain easements and easement rights as it pertains to the development of the

Western Regional Wastewater Treatment Project; and

WHEREAS, the Town of Marion is a party to the Western Regional Wastewater Treatment

Project and believes the lease of its property and the granting of certain easements

appurtenant to this project is in the best interest of the Town of Marion.

NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLOVED, that the Town Board of the Town of Marion, in regular

session duly convened, does hereby authorize and direct the Supervisor of said Town and the

Town Councilpersons to execute and deliver to the Wayne County Water and Sewer Authority

the lease agreement for the Town of Marion pump station site and the various appurtenant

easements necessary to facilitate the project, subject to permissive referendum as permitted

by law.

2022 Budget Discussions:

Councilman Lonneville started the budget discussions with the following statement:

“Before we start the budget review I would like to make a few comments. 1.  As one Town Board member I would like to thank all of the Town employees for the work they do for the betterment of Marion.  2.  We should also remember what Human Resource representative Chris Kalinksi said about Marion being a small town and that all employees should step up and perform additional tasks beyond their job description.  3.  We should also remember that Marion has many senior citizens in fixed incomes and get minimal increases or none at all.  There are many residents working in private sector who do not receive annual increases.”

Town Clerk, Heidi Levan had a copy of the budget and displayed it on the 55 inch monitor on the wall for the audience to view as the budget was being reviewed by the Town Board.

Councilwoman Smith asked if salaries of elected officials and/or other staff should be discussed during an executive session.  Supervisor Bender stated that elected officials’ salaries should be discussed in open session especially when naming specific employees.

The Town Board looked at the 2022 proposed budget line by line.  Out of a 28-page budget, they only looked at 6 pages.

Town Clerk, Heidi Levan spoke when the budget for the Town Clerk’s office was discussed.  Ms. Levan read the following statement:

“I would like to take a moment and address the Town Board regarding the Town Clerk proposition of the 2022 Tentative budget. I had a resident call me last week to express their opinion regarding my request for a 16% increase in pay.  This person told me that I should be ashamed of myself for requesting such a large increase.  I disagree. I would like to take a moment to share some information. The Town Clerk’s Office (not just Marion but all Town Clerk Office’s) are the hub of the town.  The office provides residents with information, retains legal documents, sells a variety of licenses, and permits.  We also direct residents to the correct department when needed.   The Marion Town Clerk’s office is one of four locations in Wayne County where anyone can pay their water bill.  Many residents from neighboring towns come to us to pay their water bill.  This is important for Marion.  By providing this service, it brings people to Marion and in turn those individuals might support local businesses and purchase items from the Town Clerk’s office such as DEC licenses or EZ passes. Any purchase of DEC license or EZ pass provides revenue for the town. This also holds true for school tax collection.  The Clerk’s office collects taxes for the Marion School District.  The School District pays the Town of this service.  Funding given to myself, deputy Town Clerk and the Town of Marion but again – this brings people into the Town of Marion and in turn, those individuals may support local businesses who might not come into town otherwise. The Marion Town Clerk’s office was open during the COVID-19 pandemic.  For a few months, we were open by appointment only after that time we opened up and asked residents to wear a mask when coming in.  The Marion Town Clerk’s office was one of only a very few who were open.   The Town Clerk’s position is an elected position – not civil service.  However, I do have to follow state laws and procedures (show books). I also provide computer, website, and social media support along with producing the Marion Community calendar each month for the Town of Marion.  This is not part of the Town Clerk elected position. How does my pay compare to other departments within the Town of Marion, this is a question for the Town Board to look into. I do have an example that I would like to share with you, The Marion School District recently hired a new staff member in June of 2021 for a secretary (Clerk) position that also provides FB and website support to the school district.  This new staff member was hired at $50,000 a year. In my opinion, this justifies why I feel a raise, more than the 2.5 % cost of living was acceptable to request.  The town budget is the decision of the Town Board to make.  Thank you for taking the time to listen to my request.”

Councilman Fisher stated that she didn’t feel raises should be given based on performance when performance reviews have not been conducted during the 2021 year.  Councilwoman Fisher suggested that performance reviews take place for the following years budget.

The Town Board decided to meet again Monday, October 18, 2021 at 6:30pm to discuss the budget.  The Town Board asked the Clerk of the Board to advertise this new meeting.

With no further business, on a motion by Councilwoman Smith and seconded by Councilman Bliek, Supervisor Bender closed the meeting at 9:24pm.

Next meetings are scheduled for:

Meeting/Workshop:             Monday, October 18, 2021 @ 6:30pm

Meeting/Workshop:           Monday, October 25, 2021 @ 6:30pm

_____________________________________________

Heidi M. Levan, Clerk of the Board

 

 

 

Marion Town Board