This Regular Meeting of the Brant Town Board was held on Tuesday, April 11, 2017 at the Brant Town Hall, located at 1272 Brant North Collins Rd, Brant, New York at 7:00 PM.
Leonard Pero Supervisor
Chad Kaczmarek Councilman
Michael Muffoletto Councilman
Mark DeCarlo Councilman
Barbara J. Daniel Town Clerk, Recording Secretary
William J Trask, Sr. Town Attorney
Donald Clark Councilman
ALSO PRESENT / SIGNED IN WERE:
Brian Rott resident
Debra Ritz resident
Janice Ross Planning Board/BOAR member/Hwy. Secretary
Lynda Ostrowski Secretary to the Boards
Joe Ostrowski Planning Board Chairman
Donna Marien resident
Janet Bowman Assessor’s clerk
Allen Nolan Building Superintendant
The meeting opened at 7:00 PM with the pledge of allegiance.
Supervisor Pero advised that the Board would enter executive session at the end of the meeting for personnel reasons.
Councilman Kaczmarek asked the Town Clerk if she is quoting those who speak during privilege of the floor verbatim. The clerk responded that at the advice of Counsel, she is keeping comments to a summary of the concerns expressed, and that anyone wanting more detail may obtain a copy of the recording. Councilman Muffoletto then added that a compressed version of the recording will be placed online with the minutes to allow people to listen to the recording.
MINUTE APPROVAL MARCH 21, 2017 REGULAR TOWN BOARD MEETING: Councilman Muffoletto motioned to accept the minutes the March 21st Regular Town Board meeting. Councilman Kaczmarek seconded the motion. Councilman DeCarlo abstained. 3 ayes, 0 nays, 1 abstain. MOTION CARRIED.
BUDGET MODIFICATION: No Budget modification was presented.
TOWN CLERK’S/TAX COLLECTOR’S FEBRUARY 2017 FINANCIAL REPORT: Supervisor Pero motioned to accept the Town Clerk’s February 2017 Regular Financial Report, seconded by Councilman Kaczmarek. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
COURT CLERK’S FEBRUARY 2017 FINANCIAL REPORTS FOR JUSTICES BORNGRABER & GIER, REGULAR AND BAIL ACCOUNTS: Councilman Kaczmarek motioned to approve both the bail and regular financial reports of Justices Borngraber and Gier, seconded by Supervisor Pero. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER’S REPORT: Code Officer Gary Brecker was not present. His March report will be presented at the May meeting.
DOG CONTROL OFFICER’S MARCH 2017 REPORT: Dog Control Officer presented her report to the Board. The DCO noted that she is preparing her ad for the upcoming dog census to be conducted this summer. She also noted the impound and kennel fees collected since 2009 amount to $2,797.40. Councilman Muffoletto motioned to approve March 2017 Dog Control Officer’s reports, seconded by Councilman DeCarlo. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
POLICE REPORT MARCH 2017: The March 2017 police report was read by Councilman DeCarlo. Supervisor Pero motioned to approve the report as read and was seconded by Councilman Muffoletto. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
TOWN CLERK MONTHLY ACTIVITY REPORT FOR MARCH 2017: The Town Clerk’s monthly activity report for March was read by Clerk Daniel. Councilman Clark then motioned to approve the Town Clerk’s report as presented, and was seconded by Councilman Kaczmarek. 3 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
Items presented with Town Clerk’s report:
HIRING OF MARK TRASK, DEPUTY TOWN CLERK: Supervisor Pero motioned to hire Mark Trask as Deputy Town Clerk at a rate of $12.00 per hour to start. He will work Monday, Tuesday and Saturdays for a total of 16 hours per week. Councilman DeCarlo seconded the motion. A roll call vote was taken: Supervisor Pero-aye, Councilman DeCarlo-aye, Councilman Kaczmarek-aye, Councilman Muffoletto.
4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
TOWN CLERK’S DEPUTY ALSO SUPERVISOR’S SECRETARY: Attorney Trask then noted that a formal approval of the Board was required to acknowledge the employment of Angela Joy in the Supervisor’s office. Supervisor Pero expressed concern about the budgeted amount for the Secretary position. Councilman Kaczmarek wanted to be sure Angela was covered if the Supervisor’s budget came up short. It was noted that if necessary, money will be taken from another area of the budget to cover the cost. Councilman Kaczmarek then motioned to approve the hiring of Angela Joy as secretary to the Supervisor to work Monday, Tuesday and Wednesdays 10 am to 2 pm at a rate of $12.00 per hour. Councilman DeCarlo seconded the motion. A roll call vote was taken: Councilman Kaczmarek-aye, Councilman DeCarlo-aye, Councilman Muffoletto-aye, Supervisor Pero-aye. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
E-Z PASS IN TOWN CLERK’S OFFICE: The Town Clerk’s report had requested the Board allow the Town Clerk’s office to sell E-Z Passes as a convenience to residents. Councilman Kaczmarek noted that it was unnecessary since the Town of Evans DMV sells them. No action was taken.
PLANNING BOARD REPORT: Board secretary Lynda Ostrowski presented the April 4th, 2017 Planning Board report. She noted that changes suggested by Attorney Trask for the Solar Law were incorporated into Draft #3 of the proposed local law. Attorney Trask then advised the Board that he made other changes to Draft # 3. He asked the Board to review the new changes and advise him of their decision on the change. Supervisor Pero then set the Public Hearing for proposed Solar Energy local law #2 of 2017 for Tuesday May 9th at 8:00 PM. He was seconded by Councilman Muffoletto. Secretary Ostrowski then advised the Town Board that the Planning Board had reviewed the new Tiny House legislation and have decided to recommend no changes be made to the current Town Code as it relates to minimum square footage of residential housing. Supervisor Pero then motioned to approve the report as read, and was seconded by Councilman Kaczmarek. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
ZONING BOARD REPORT: No meeting held.
RECREATION DIRECTOR’S REPORT: No report presented.
PARKS COMMISSIONER’S REPORT: It was noted that the floor of the gym flooded. Repars will be made to the drainage tile which appears to have collapsed.
TOWN HISTORIAN REPORT: Town Historian report for March 22nd meeting was presented by Patty Friend. Supervisor Pero motioned to accept the report as read, and was seconded by Councilman Muffoletto. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
The next historical meeting will be April 19.
Supervisor Pero advised that he may be able to get a grant to erect a historical building. He wanted to let the Board know before he puts forth the effort, in case they were not in approval. None of the Board members objected.
FIRE DEPARTMENT REPORTS: No reports presented.
SENIOR’S REPORT: The Senior’s report for their April 6th meeting was presented by Secretary Lynda Ostrowski. Supervisor Pero motioned to accept the report as read, and was seconded by Councilman Kaczmarek. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
TIME WARNER/CHARTER/SPECTRUM COMMUNICATIONS: Supervisor Pero advised that he spoke with Mark Meierhoffer regarding the rumored expansion of cable coverage across the State. He was advised that the expansion project was meant more for areas like Wyoming County where coverage is very limited.
JUSTICE AUDIT: Supervisor Pero advised the Board that the Justice Audit required approval. Supervisor Pero motioned to approve the audit as presented by Joseph Ostrowski. He was seconded by Councilman Muffoletto. A roll call vote was taken: Supervisor Pero-aye, Councilman Muffoletto-aye, Councilman Kaczmarek-aye, Councilman DeCarlo-aye. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
RATIFY CONTRACT WITH BESTWAY DISPOSAL: Attorney Trask advised that the price increase being imposed by Bestway Disposal is not permitted in the contract. Supervisor Pero then explained his position on the increase stating that the price charged by Bestway are the lowest in the Erie County. Discussion on the number of stops in the Town. Trask described a “stop” as a single family unit, commercial or industrial establishments. A two family unit equal two stops, three family equals 3 stops, 4 equals 4 stops, and 5 is not eligible for municipal pick up. Supervisor Pero asked the Board to consider the cost of $119.88 per home per year, or $9.99 per home per month and realize the low cost. Supervisor Pero motioned to go forward and approve the ratification of the contract to allow the increase which will temporarily assist Bestway during the period when they are being charged an increase in the cost to dispose of recycling. He added the increase will be temporary until the cost of single stream recycling drops again, and the ratification will go back to May of 2016. Councilman Muffoletto seconded the motion. A roll call vote was taken: Supervisor Pero-aye, Councilman Muffoletto-aye, Councilman Kaczmarek-aye, Councilman DeCarlo-aye. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
TIRE/ELECTRONIC DROP OFF: Supervisor Pero mentioned the upcoming tire/electronic drop off which will be held on Saturday April 29th from 9 am to 12 pm. The program will run from April to October, and will be held on the last Saturday of each month.
BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD: Supervisor Pero explained changes in the Blue Cross/Blue Shield coverage for the Town’s regular active employees who have insurance, which is currently the HMO 110+ plan. The affected employees would have to choose the options available to them no later than May 15th. No action was required by the Board. The Town would only be affected if it raised the cap.
REPORTS OF COMMITTEES:
Brantfest committee will hold their next meeting on April 12th.
TOWN BOARD REPORTS:
Councilman Kaczmarek: Reiterated the flooded Recreation gym floor and the work to be done
to the drain tile.
Councilman Clark: Absent
Councilman DeCarlo: Nothing to report
Councilman Muffoletto: Updated concert information. Four out of six bands have now been
confirmed. Councilman Kaczmarek and Muffoletto met with Mary Hosler regarding the
EMS/Police Dispatch services. He will present a full report next month.
MILITELLO LAWN REPAIR: Received a call from Pat Militello regarding the lawn damage caused
by the plows. Councilman Muffoletto stated that the lawn is higher than the road and its hard
for it not to happen. The Board discussed sending Allen Nolan to repair the damage.
Councilman Kaczmarek then motioned to allow Building Superintendent Allen Nolan to repair
the damage to the lawn as soon as the weather permits. Councilman Muffoletto seconded the
motion. A roll call vote was taken: Councilman Kaczmarek-aye, Councilman Muffoletto-aye,
Councilman DeCarlo-aye, Supervisor Pero-aye. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
HIGHWAY LEAN TO DAMAGE TO BE REPAIRED: Supervisor Pero stated there was damage done to the lean to area where the gas pumps are. Someone backed into the structure and it needs to be repaired.
Supervisor Pero motioned to approve Allen Nolan to conduct repairs to the lean to. Seconded
by Councilman DeCarlo. A roll call vote was taken: Supervisor Pero-aye, Councilman DeCarlo-
aye, Councilman Kaczmarek-aye, Councilman Muffoletto-aye. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION
SUPERVISOR ADDRESSED HIS DECISION TO NOT SEEK A FOURTH TERM:
“I would like to thank all of the Town Residents for giving me the opportunity to serve them for the past 16 years. I have been humbly honored for this opportunity as the Town Supervisor for 12 years where I have given 1000% of my heart because of my compassion and commitment to this great community in which I was born and raised.
Many have come before me, in fact 36 supervisor since the Town’s birth in 1839. I am the 37th and during my 3 terms as supervisor, I served with 13 different council board members. Again my commitment to helping our Town become a better place to live made me seek so much outside help from the County, State and other Town Supervisors and this has been quite an experience and made me realize how important it is to work with so many others.
At times my compassion had turned to anger and I am very deeply sorry if I have offended some people with my crude language and bold demeanor because I just wanted what was best for our community and it just boiled over.
To my adversaries, I want to thank you for showing me your compassion also. Debbie, (Ritz) you have shown me that you also truly care for this town and I do respect you for your words of wisdom and your constant dedication for your ideals and the commitment of attending every meeting. Also, I thank you for your service to the Town as Judge. There are so many I need to thank and I will at the proper time.
After my 16 years of a roller coaster ride which has been very enjoyable. I’m serving on 17 county and state boards and chairman of 5 of them. Being accused of so many lies, and it has cost me thousands of dollars out of my pocket. But it is what it is as a Supervisor. It’s taken a great toll on my health.
With the advice of my cardiologist, my family and daughter, and the shock of the recent death of past councilman John Arrigo, I have considered not to seek a 4th term as your supervisor. This decision was solely made so that I can live more in the next 4 years, in which I believe the pressure of this position will kill me. I want to enjoy my newly 1st born granddaughter Avia Mora West before I move on with all the others before me such as Herman Ciminesi and Billy Fricano who did die in office.
Again I say that my blood bleeds Brant red and my heart will always Love ALL and I mean ALL of the Town residents. God bless the Town of Brant. I will miss you, but I will always love you!
Lenny Midnight signing off!”
PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR: Resident Donna Marien of Brant Farnham Rd distributed a written list of items of concern she felt were not adequately addressed in the February minutes. The list was read by Councilman Kaczmarek and included:
Supervisor Pero noted that as for not requiring a monthly report from the Highway Superintendent was his fault since he had simply followed the policy of his predecessor’s. He admitted that the Board should look into requiring a monthly report. He admitted it was an oversight, and will add the
Ms. Marien stated she wanted her list of concerns in the minutes. She added that it is critical that every department be accountable. Supervisor Pero stated that her concerns regarding this liability of the Highway Superintendent could be considered an opinion.
Patty Friend, Town Historian requested the Board to allow the Angola Library to place 5 small signs along the roadway in front of the Town Hall for approximately one month this summer. Supervisor Pero noted that the NYS DOT right-of-way is 28 feet from the center of the road, and therefore they have the right to remove signs placed within that right of way, and the Town will have no say. However, they may place them provided they understand this. It was then suggested that the signs be placed in front of the Town Park, since they can be placed further into the property which is owned by the Town.
William Trask, as resident of Milestrip Rd spoke to Supervisor Pero acknowledging his statement as the end of an era that should be noted. Supervisor Pero responded by reiterating some of his comments made during his statement.
Councilman Kaczmarek then commended the Supervisor for the work he has done to put the Town on the map. He thanked him for supporting the youth of the Town, among other things.
SALES TAX: The Sales Tax payment is 33.87% above the 2016 corresponding payment and up 19.36% above 2016 YTD
ELECTRONIC DROP OFF SPONSORED BY COUNTY: Erie County will host an electronic’s drop off event on June 10th at the Eastern Hills Mall, July 15th in Hamburg, August 12th in Cheektowaga, August 20th in Tonawanda.
ISO RATING: Supervisor Pero noted a letter he received notifying the town of a drop in the Fire Department’s ISO rating. He advised that the drop could affect home owner insurance rates. The rating is based on the equipment, location of fire department, etc.
RESOLUTION CALLING FOR EARLIER DEADLINEFOR TOWN AND COUNTY TAXES, IN EXCHANGE FOR LOWER PENALTIES: Supervisor Pero received a letter and copy of an adopted resolution regarding the request to change the due date for Town and County taxes, in an effort to reduce the penalties charged to late payers.
Discussion regarding the earlier deadline and the burden it would create for those on fixed incomes. Attorney Trask stated it would be better if they kept the March 15 deadline, but equaled the penalty amount to 4.5% which is what Town’s of the first class are charged after the first deadline. The Brant Town Board acknowledged the resolution, but chose not to act on it.
MORTGAGE TAX PAYMENT COMING IN MAY: Letter from Erie County Clerk advising the Town that the Mortgage tax and real estate transactions for the period October 1, 2016 to March 31, 2017. Brant’s share will be $10,195.97.
TAX CHARGEBACKS: Tax cancellation refunds and chargeback’s authorized from 2016 are in the amount of $327.20 and should be included in the list of expenditures for next year.
EQUALIZATION RATE: Letter from Verizon regarding tentative ceiling on assessments for Verizon is set at 87%. Inside the Village the assessment is $10,195.97 and outside the village the assessment is $192,440 based on 87% equalization rate.
Supervisor Pero read the following Abstract 4 of 2017:
Abstract 4 of 2017
*Prepaid and unpaid as of 4/11/17 Total Claims $39,366.48
Gen Fund Town wide Vouchers Totaling: $19,920.09
Gen Fund – Part Town Voucher Totaling: $7,652.55
Highway T.W. Vouchers Totaling: $7,075.36
Highway P.T. Vouchers, Totaling: $1,982.45
Fire Protection: Vouchers: Totaling: 0
Street Lighting: Voucher Totaling: $2,736.03
CD Capital Projects: Vouchers none, Totaling: $0
Lotus Bay Sewer Dist. 1: Vouchers: $0
Brant Farnham Sewer Dist: Vouchers: none, Totaling: $0
Brant Water Dist 1: Voucher: none – Totaling $0
Special Grant Fund: unpd: None, Totaling: $0
PAYROLL (2 payrolls):
General Town Wide Payroll 3/5/17 to 4/1/17 – Totaling $41,353.10
General Part Town Payroll 3/5/17 to 4/1/17 Totaling: $665.28
Highway Payroll TW 3/5/17 to 4/1/17 Totaling: $8,541.53
Highway Payroll PT 3/5/17 to 4/1/17 Totaling: $0
Councilman DeCarlo motioned to approve Abstract 4 of 2017, seconded by Councilman Muffoletto. A roll call vote was taken: Councilman DeCarlo-aye, Councilman Muffoletto-aye, Councilman Kaczmarek-aye, Supervisor Pero-aye. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
Councilman Kaczmarek then motioned to approve the prepayment of the following 2 vouchers that arrived after Abstract 4 was closed. Those vouchers will be paid with the Abstract 5, and are as follows:
Marketing Graphics (Big File folders for court) $873.08
International Interpreting Svcs for Court (300.00)
Councilman DeCarlo seconded the motion. A roll call vote was taken: Councilman Kaczmarek-aye, Councilman DeCarlo-aye, Councilman Kaczmarek-aye, Supervisor Pero-aye. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
NEXT TOWN BOARD MTG MAY 9, 2017 AT 7:00 PM (7:30 pm June thru Sept).
At 8:40 PM, it was announced that the Board would go into executive session for personnel reasons. But prior to entering executive session, the Board held a moment of silence in memory of the recently deceased Linda Muscato, John Arrigo and Dan Williams.
At 8:41 pm, Councilman Kaczmarek motioned to enter executive session for personnel reasons, and advised that no action will be taken when they exit the session. Councilman Muffoletto seconded the motion. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
At 9:00 PM, Councilman Kaczmarek motioned to close the executive session and adjourn the meeting. He was seconded by Supervisor Pero. 4 ayes, 0 nays. MOTION CARRIED.
Respectfully submitted by,
Brant Town Clerk