This Regular Meeting of the Brant Town Board was held on Wednesday, November 9, 2016 at the Brant Town Hall, located at 1272 Brant North Collins Rd, Brant, New York at 7:00 PM.
Chad Kaczmarek Councilman, Acting Supervisor
Mark DeCarlo Councilman
Donald Clark Councilman
Michael Muffoletto Councilman
Barbara J. Daniel Town Clerk, Recording Secretary
ABSENT: Leonard Pero, Supervisor
William Trask, Sr., Town Attorney
ALSO PRESENT & LEGIBLY SIGNED IN WERE:
Janice Ross , Planning Board member & Highway clerk
Lynda Ostrowski , Secretary to the Boards
Joseph Ostrowski , Planning Board chairman
Don Hepkins (Police Chief)
Patty Friend (Historian)
Joseph DeCarlo, Assessor
Legislator #11, John Mills
Frank Broughton, ZBA Chairman
The meeting opened at 7:00 PM with the pledge of allegiance.
MINUTE APPROVAL OCTOBER 11 REGULAR TOWN BOARD MEETING: Councilman Clark motioned to accept the minutes the October 11th 2016 meeting. Councilman DeCarlo seconded the motion. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
BUDGET MODIFICATIONS: The Budget modification was not received from Town Accountant Richrd Gryksa. The accountant was present and went to get it from his office.
TOWN CLERK’S FINANCIAL REPORT: Councilman Clark motioned to accept the Town Clerk’s August 2016 Regular Financial Report, seconded by Councilman Kaczmarek. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
COURT CLERK’S SEPTEMBER 2016 FINANCIAL REPORTS FOR JUSTICES BORNGRABER & GIER, REGULAR AND BAIL ACCOUNTS: Councilman Clark made the motion to approve both the bail and regular financial reports of both justices. Councilman Muffoletto seconded the motion. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER’S REPORT TABLED: Code Officer Gary Brecker was not present. He will give his October report in December.
DOG CONTROL OFFICER’S OCTOBER 2016 REPORT: The October Dog Control Officer’s report will be presented at the December meeting.
POLICE REPORT OCTOBER 2016: The October 2016 police report was read by Chief Donald Hepkins. Councilman Clark motioned to approve the report as read and was seconded by Councilman Kaczmarek. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
TOWN CLERK MONTHLY ACTIVITY REPORT FOR OCTOBER 2016: The Town Clerk’s monthly activity report for October was read by Clerk Daniel. The Clerk brought addressed a proposal she received regarding the new website:
Councilman Muffoletto motioned to approve the hiring of RoseMead Services to create and maintain web pages on an as needed basis for all Town Departments. Councilman Clark seconded the motion. A roll call vote was taken: Councilman Muffoletto-aye, Councilman Clark-aye, Councilman Kaczmarek-aye, Councilman DeCarlo-aye. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
Councilman Clark then motioned to approve the Town Clerk’s report as presented, and was seconded by Councilman Muffoletto. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
PLANNING BOARD REPORT: Board secretary Lynda Ostrowski read the Planning Board report for the November Meeting. Councilman Clark asked if there was any activity from the Variance application for the store which was to be built next to Signals Gas Station. The reply was no. The applicant failed to follow through on the recommendations of the planning board. Councilman Kaczmarek motioned to accept the report as presented and was seconded by Councilman DeCarlo. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
ZONING BOARD REPORT: No Zoning Board meeting was held
RECREATION DIRECTOR’S REPORT: Nothing to report.
PARKS COMMISSIONER’S REPORT: Parks Commissioner Allen Nolan was not present. No report was given. Councilman Kaczmarek noted that the skate rink will be installed as soon as the ground freezes. A water line is going to be installed. Councilman Clark commended Councilman Kaczmarek for making the park so popular with three football games going at once during the recent playoffs.
TOWN HISTORIAN REPORT: The Town Historian report for October was presented by Town Historian Patty Friend. She noted a few donations such as a very old flag from Clark Borngraber which draped the coffin of Clark’s grandfather Morgan Clark. Morgan Clark was born in 1845. At the end of her report, Town Accountant Richard Gryksa suggested the Historian contact him to set up monthly bank reconciliations for the Town Board, since there is a bank account specifically for the Historical Department. Councilman Kaczmarek motioned to accept the report as read, and was seconded by Councilman Muffoletto. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
SENIOR’S REPORT: The Senior’s meeting report was presented by Secretary Lynda Ostrowski. It was noted that the Senior’s meeting date in December will be changed to December 5th. Councilman Clark motioned to accept the report as read, and was seconded by Councilman DeCarlo. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
FIRE DEPARTMENT REPORTS: Councilman Clark noted that a meeting was held between two of the Board members (Chad and Mark) and the Brant and Farnham fire chiefs. The meeting was productive.
AIRBnB: Planning Board chairman Joe Ostrowski explained the article received from the Boismenu’s regarding www.AirBnB.com. He stated that the legislation was new and the Town Attorney will need time to review it. He also noted that the article states single family homes are exempt. The discussion was tabled until the December meeting.
APPOINTMENT OF CLEANING PERSON: The Board received several applications for the position of custodian. Supervisor Pero had made a note to the Board to check with Building Superintendent Allen Nolan about the applications. The decision was tabled until December.
REQUEST TO ADD 4TH ITEM TO NEW BUSINESS: At earlier recommendation of the Town Attorney who was not present at this meeting, Councilman Kaczmarek requested the Board allow him to add a 4th item under New Business. The item pertained to the snow plow agreement with Erie County. Councilman DeCarlo motioned to allow the additional item, and was seconded by Councilman Muffoletto. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
SNOW PLOW CONTRACT WITH ERIE COUNTY: Acting Supervisor Kaczmarek advised that Attorney Trask received a new contract from Erie County that contains a few changed items. The changes will require review by the Town Attorney. Councilman Muffoletto motioned to approve the new agreement subject to review and approval of the agreement by the Town Attorney. Councilman DeCarlo seconded the motion. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
REPORTS OF COMMITTEES: No reports presented.
TOWN BOARD REPORTS:
COUNCILMAN CLARK: Reminded those present about the upcoming spaghetti dinner at the Brant Fire Hall this Sunday the 13th.
COUNCILMAN DECARLO: Nothing to report.
COUNCILMAN MUFFOLETTO: Working on Time Warner for the extra camera.
Chief Donald Hepkins announced that the Village of Farnham was hosting a Veteran’s service in the Village of Farnham at 11 Am on Friday the 11th.
BUDGET MODIFICATION: Councilman DeCarlo read the Budget modifications per the Town Accountant.
Leonard Pero, Supervisor, Town of Brant
Richard A. Gryksa MBA, Town Accountant
Recommended Budget Modification #7 as of Month End:
September 30, 2016
Please make a resolution at the regular Town Board meeting on Wednesday November 9th, 2016
to approve the following Budget Modifications to the 2016 Adopted Budget for the following Funds:
General Fund - Townwide (A)
Central Data Processing
Equip & Cap Out
Police (Officers & Guards)
Police-Radio Air Card
New Town Hall
Equip & Cap Out
New Town Hall
Other Sanitation-E-Waste/Tires etc.
Transfers to Capital Projects Funds
General Fund - Part Town (B)
Refuse & Garbage
Control of Hazardous Materials
Refuse & Garbage
Highway Townwide (DA)
Highway Part Town (DB)
It is anticipated that the deficit Fund Balance may be resolved by Year End pending receipt of the 4th quarter
Sales Tax revenue.
FOR YOUR INFORMATION
1. Per review with the Town Clerk, Noco Energy Vouchers V249, and V473 totaling $1,186.90 were charged to the
General Townwide Garage Acct A5132.4 and should have been charged to the Highway Townwide Account
2. Per review with the Supervisor, Vouchers V508 and V584 for the purchase of a HP1000EXL Hand Punch totaling
$2,963.00 were charged to the General Townwide Account A1680.4 Contractual Acct and were reclassified
to the A1680.2 Equipment Account.
3. Per review with the Supervisor, Medical expenses for the period April through September totaling $12,078.40 were
charged to the Highway Townwide Account DA9060.8 and should have been charged to the Highway Part Town
4. Per review with the Supervisor, Voucher 327 Totaling $4,100.22 was charged to the Highway Part Town Account
DB5110.4 and should have been charged to the General Townwide Fund Garage Account A5132.4.
The above expenditures were reclassified with a posting date of 9/30/16.
Councilman Clark motioned to approve the budget mod #7 for month ending September 30, 2016 as presented and was seconded by Councilman Muffoletto. A roll call vote was taken: Councilman Clark-aye, Councilman Muffoletto-aye, Councilman Kaczmarek-aye, Councilman DeCarlo-aye. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
SET PUBLIC HEARING DATE FOR FIRE CONTRACTS: Acting Supervisor Chad Kaczmarek asked for a motion to set December 13 at 8:00 pm to hold a public hearing for the Fire and Ambulance Contracts. Councilman DeCarlo made the motion, and was seconded by Councilman Muffoletto. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
PUBLIC HEARING – 2017 BUDGET PUBLIC HEARING - 8:00 PM
The Town Clerk read the Legal Notice:
TOWN OF BRANT
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON THE
PRELIMINARY BUDGET FOR THE YEAR 2017
Notice is hereby given that the
Preliminary Budget for the fiscal year beginning January 1, 2017 and the required Tax Exemption Impact Report will be in the Office of the Brant Town Clerk where it is available for inspection by any interested person during regular business hours. Those interested may request a copy via email by sending an inquiry to email@example.com.
PUBLIC HEARING for the Preliminary Budget will be held at the Brant Town Hall, 1272 Brant North Collins Rd, Brant, NY at 8:00 PM on WEDNESDAY THE 9th day of NOVEMBER 2016.
And at such hearing, any person may be heard in favor or against any item therein contained.
Further notice is given pursuant to Section 108 of the Town Law the proposed salaries of the following Town Offices are hereby specified as follows:
Councilman (4)x each $4,777.25
Town Clerk/Tax Collector $29,130.00
Superintendent of Highways $31,340.00
DATED: October 31, 2016
BY ORDER OF THE
BRANT TOWN BOARD
Barbara J Daniel
Brant Town Clerk
Councilman DeCarlo motioned to open the public hearing and was seconded by Councilman Clark. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
Discussion: Debra Ritz asked the Board if the issue discussed at the Preliminary Budget hearing regarding the Building Superintendant’s position has been resolved. Has it been determined what classification his position is? Will it be full-time? Part-time? Civil Service Competitive? Councilman Muffoletto replied that he spoke with the Town Attorney and this issue will be taken care of at the next meeting. He explained that once the position is approved through Civil Service, he can work under the Town Laws which will allow him to work 39-1/2 hours. Councilman Clark stated the position is a labor position and therefore will not require advertising or civil service testing. Councilman DeCarlo stated the money has been being paid from that line all along; therefore the budget will not be affected. He then added they will be opening it up as a full time position.
Ms. Ritz then asked about the dispatch issue, and questioned if it will affect the budget. Councilman Muffoletto responded that he met with Mary Hosler, and they were able to negotiate an increase to five-thousand for one year. This will give the Board time to research other options.
She noted the backhoe money was removed. Councilman Muffoletto stated there is no need for a backhoe.
She then suggested that all office staff should be paid comparably since no one works harder than anyone else. No one has a degree.
Councilman DeCarlo stated that the clerk’s that received the increase had more seniority and have been with the Town much longer. The goal is to increase wages for everyone over multiple years. Debra noted that the Board will now be paying their Court Clerks more than their elected Town Clerk. Councilman Kaczmarek responded “as of right now”. She added that the difference in pay is causing a controversy in this building. Debra acknowledged the overwhelming amount of paperwork the Court Clerk’s have and that they are probably overwhelmed, but she added that the Town Clerk puts in more hours, and has more responsibility.
At 8:15 PM, the Councilman Clark motioned to close the public hearing. Councilman DeCarlo seconded the motion. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
PUBLIC HEARING – LOCAL LAW #3 TAX CAP PUBLIC HEARING - 8:15 PM
The Town Clerk read the legal notice:
TOWN OF BRANT,
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING - 2% TAX CAP LAW
Pursuant to resolution of the Town Board of the Town of Brant, New York, notice is hereby given that a public hearing will be held by the Brant Town Board in the Brant Town Hall, 1272 Brant North Collins Road, Brant, New York on the 9th day of November, 2016 at 8:15 PM Local Time, for the purpose of considering Proposed Local Law No. 3-2016 which if approved would authorize the Town of Brant to exceed the tax levy limit established by General Municipal Law Section 3-C of the 2017 budget year.
Copies of the proposed local law are available in the office of the Town Clerk. All interested parties will be given the opportunity to be heard.
Dated October 31, 2016
By Order of the Brant Town Board
Barbara J Daniel
Brant Town Clerk
Councilman Clark motioned to open the public hearing, seconded by Councilman DeCarlo. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
Councilman Kaczmarek read Proposed Local Law #3:
Town of Brant, County of Erie
A local law to override the tax levy limit established in General Municipal Law §3-c
Section 1. Legislative intent
It is the intent of this local law to allow the Town of Brant to adopt a budget for the 2017 fiscal year that requires a real property tax levy in excess of the “tax levy limit” as defined by General Municipal Law §3-c.
Section 2. Authority
This local law is adopted pursuant to subdivision 5 of General Municipal Law §3-c, which expressly authorizes a local government’s governing body to override the property tax cap for the coming fiscal year by the adoption of a local law approved by a vote of sixty percent (60%) of said governing body.
Section 3. Tax Levy Limit Override
The Town Board of the Town of Brant, County of Erie, is hereby authorized to adopt a budget for the 2017 fiscal year that requires a real property tax levy in excess of the amount otherwise prescribed in General Municipal Law §3-c.
Section 4. Severability
If a court determines that any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, or part of this local law or the application thereof to any person, firm or corporation, or circumstance is invalid or unconstitutional, the court’s order or judgment shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the remainder of this local law, but shall be confined in its operation to the clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, or part of this local law or in its application to the person, individual, firm or corporation or circumstance, directly involved in the controversy in which such judgment or order shall be rendered.
Section 5. Effective date
This local law shall take effect immediately upon adoption by the Brant Town Board.
At 8:22 PM, Councilman Kaczmarek motioned to close the public hearing, seconded by Councilman DeCarlo. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
Councilman Clark motioned to decline the adoption of the Tax Cap Law, Local Law #3 of 2016, and was seconded by Councilman DeCarlo. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
RETURN TO THE ADOPTION OF THE 2017 BUDGET:
Prior to the reading of the budget, a letter from the Supervisor who was absent from this hearing was read at his request:
November 9, 2016
Dear residents of our wonderful Town of Brant,
Do to my health and Dr. Orders I regretfully am unable to attend tonight’s meeting.
I have instructed the Town Clerk to read this letter before the public hearing and to include this letter verbatim in the minutes.
I have been involved in Town government for 15 years and your Town Supervisor and Budget Director for the past 11 years. These 15 years of experience and the over 15 meetings a month that I spend with other supervisors and public officials has helped me be responsible as your Budget Director. Also with the help of Town Accountant Richard Gryksa, whom I have much respect for, because He has been the Town Accountant for over 30 years since the days of Supervisor William Fricano and has dedicated his time and supplied us with a budget program that was written by him to help guide this town forward. I believe that I have been very responsible and proud to say that I have never raised your tax rate for the past 10 years in a row and the town has been very successful all because of the practices I have learned and taken.
Richard Gryksa has reviewed every move I have taken over the years and together we have presented the 10 previous boards with a very competent and reasonable tentative budget that we adjusted slightly and then passed them without complications.
This year for the very first time, I handed the Town Board a tentative budget that would have been the same as previous years with no tax rate increase. But last Friday at the budget workshop it was very different. The board would not even listen to my explanations and treated me with total disrespect with regards to my advice to what I had to say.
In my tentative budget I gave all town workers & officials a 3% increase across the board, and made sure that there was money available for the highway department incase there would be unforeseeable damage to equipment.
Instead, the town board adopted a preliminary budget against my good judgment in which I voted no, shows payroll increases of 11.9 % in the Courts, 13.6% in the Assessors and 8.2 % Town Attorney and then talk of purchasing a new police car for the 3rd year in a row.
They also, ignored the Town Clerks request for her department. I find this budget totally irresponsible and a detriment to the financial health of the Town of Brant. This budget shows an increase in taxes and this is without negotiating a fire contract and purchasing a new car. With this said the increases proposed will place the town over the tax cap and bring about an absence of a rebate check.
This board has been the most disrespectful of any board that I have ever been involved with.
AGAIN I am totally against the Town Boards new budget for 2017 and I vote NO.
Leonard K. Pero ----- Supervisor Town of Brant
Councilman Kaczmarek responded by stating that because this letter will become part of the record, he would like their response to be on the record. He noted the following:
Councilman Muffoletto added that Supervisor Pero was complaining about increases, but increased his own by about 85%, which the Board took back.
Councilman Clark stated that in the tentative budget, he had given himself a $15,000.00 raise.
Councilman DeCarlo added that the conflict he had with the Board began when he couldn’t have the increase, and when he refused to hire a secretary which would help with checks and balances within his department.
Councilman Muffoletto stated the Board feels he should have a secretary in case something happens to him.
Councilman Clark stated that the secretary position is a Town secretary for that department which is a service to the Town. Money was budgeted for a secretary. He added that it would be a conflict of interest for him to be his own secretary and there is more to that job than submitting payroll.
Councilman DeCarlo was against the Supervisor paying himself for the work he does with no oversight, and he wants to pay himself from the secretary fund. He went on to say the only thing factual about the letter was the mention of the tremendous value that Mr. Gryksa has brought to the Town for the many years that he has been with us. He then asked Mr. Gryksa, who was in the audience, if he felt the budget which contained the Board’s changes was a responsible budget. Mr. Gryksa responded “I do. I have no problem with it”.
Councilman DeCarlo read the following changes that were made to the Preliminary budget:
Summary: Total General Fund Town Wide appropriations reduced $7,500.00
Next line changed was installment purchase debt:
Total line A9782 changed from $15,419 to $22,919
Therefore, the final figure for the General Fund Town wide A will be $1,114,560.00
The next change was the reduction in Property taxes from $449,533 to $445,820 (a decrease of $3,713)
Last change is an increase on line A599 from $50,000 to $53,713 bringing the budget to a 0% increase.
Upon completing his review of the changes, Councilman DeCarlo motioned to approve the changes made. Accountant Gryksa asked if the installment purchase was going to be a new car. Councilman Kaczmarek stated yes, they will auction another car. He added that car #7-2 is costing a lot for repairs, and it would be better to sell it and get a new one.
Resident Ron Kobel asked if there is money in the budget for a Town Secretary. The board responded yes. Kobel asked if the Board could hire a secretary. The Board members responded that they can hire a secretary but Supervisor Pero wouldn’t work with her.
Lynda Ostrowski mentioned that Angela Joy was being trained. Town Clerk Daniel responded that she is being trained to do the payroll. The Board objected to the arrangement stating they want a secretary to answer the phones, do the payroll, take care of recreation, etc. Councilman DeCarlo stated he is worried about a conflict that one person is working in two departments. Town Clerk Daniel responded that Angela is not doing to abstract. If she was, that would be a conflict as a separation of duties is required.
Councilman DeCarlo repeated the motion to approve the amendments to the 2017 budget. Councilman Muffoletto seconded the motion. A roll call vote was taken: Councilman DeCarlo-aye, Councilman Muffoletto-aye, Councilman Kaczmarek-aye, Councilman Clark-aye. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
Councilman Kaczmarek motioned to adopt the 2017 budget, and was seconded by the balance of Board members. A roll call vote was taken: Councilman Kaczmarek-aye, Councilman Clark-aye, Councilman Muffoletto-aye, Councilman DeCarlo-aye. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR: No one spoke
Councilman Kaczmarek stated there was no correspondence.
Councilman Kaczmarek read the following Abstract 11:
Abstract 11 of 2016
*Prepaid and unpaid as of 11/9/16 Total Claims $46,962.46
Gen Fund Town wide Vouchers Totaling: $34,805.05
Gen Fund – Part Town Voucher Totaling: $2,749.27
Highway T.W. Vouchers Totaling: $6,166.98
Highway P.T. Vouchers, Totaling: $719.42
Fire Protection: Vouchers: Totaling: (SF) $
Street Lighting: Voucher Totaling: $2,459.57
H Capital Projects: Vouchers none, Totaling: $0
Lotus Bay Sewer Dist. 1: Vouchers: $0
Brant Farnham Sewer Dist: Vouchers: none, Totaling: $0
SW Brant Water Dist 1: Voucher: none – Totaling $0
CD Special Grant Fund: unpd: None, Totaling: $62.17
PAYROLL (2 payrolls):
General Town Wide Payroll 10/01/16 TO 10/29/16 – Totaling $39,714.65
General Part Town Payroll 10/01/16 TO 10/29/16 Totaling: $645.90
Highway Payroll TW 10/01/16 TO 10/29/16 Totaling: $6,853.18
Highway Payroll PT 10/01/16 TO 10/29/16 Totaling: $0
Councilman Clark motioned to approve Abstract 11, seconded by Councilman DeCarlo. A roll call vote was taken: Councilman Clark-aye, Councilman DeCarlo-aye, Councilman Kaczmarek-aye, Councilman Muffoletto-aye. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
NEXT TOWN BOARD MTG DECEMBER 13, 2016 AT 7:00 PM (7:30 pm June thru Sept).
At 8:43 PM, Acting Supervisor Kaczmarek motioned in memory of Retha Munch who recently passed away. A moment of silence was observed. He was seconded by the Councilman Muffoletto. 4 ayes, 0 nays.
Respectfully submitted by,
Brant Town Clerk