October 28, 2014
“To discuss negotiations”
1. Benefits administration
Michael Grinnell of CPI HR, a benefits consulting firm, made a presentation to the board about its software and technical support program that can assist the town handle its reporting and record keeping requirements under the Affordable Care Act. For example, beginning 2015, the town will have to keep track of the hours worked by all employees to determine if they worked an “average 30 hours a week” and would therefore be eligible for benefits. The town will also be required to provide employees with documentation that they are covered by the town’s benefits plan. Failure to comply with some of the reporting requirements will subject the town to fines.
The consultant also advised the board that it should be working with NYSHIP, the insurance program the town uses along with many other municipalities, to make sure that by 2018, the premiums for single and family coverage do not exceed the maximum allowed under the ACA. If they do, the town will be liable for a penalty.
It was made clear that the town did not have to hire anyone to set up this tracking system and could, if it wanted to, do the work itself.
Comptroller Caporale said she would have some follow up discussions with the company and report back to the board. Although the cost of the service was not discussed, Ms. Caporale said that an average cost would be around $16,000.
2. 3211 Lakeshore Drive wetlands permit
The applicant was not present and there was no discussion.
3. Water Pollution Control Plant & UV Bid
Acting Town Engineer Sharon Robinson explained that the microfilter system installed at the treatment plant 6-87 years ago is at the end of its anticipated useful life and will have to be replaced at a cost of between $800,000-$900,000, for parts and labor. The DEP will pay the entire cost and, if the bill is submitted in a timely fashion, the DEP will pay for the microfilter directly and the town will not have to lay out the money. Although the microfilter is a sole source item, to comply with purchasing requirements, the town will seek bids for the work. When Councilman Murphy asked if town employees could install the filters, Ed Mahoney, assistant superintendent at the treatment plant, explained that the task was very technical and could not be done by town employees.
On a second issue, the town received five bids for UV lights for the treatment plant, ranging from $17,000-$50,000. After checking with a variety of sources and getting positive reviews of the less expensive brands, Mr. Mahoney recommended awarding the bid to the lowest bidder at the November 18th meeting.
4. Sparkle Lake Dam
Acting Town Engineer Sharon Robinson explained that the structural division of the DEC wanted changes made in the location of the lake outflow on the engineering plan to make improvements to the dam. (DEC has designaed dam as “high hazard” and is requiring certain structural modifications.) Because the new outflow location is in a state designated wetland, the wetland’s division of DEC is requiring additional mitigation work at an additional cost of $12,000. Having no choice, the board approved an amendment to the contract with Mazar, the engineering firm handling the project.
5. Small Business Association/Parking
(See Town Board, 6/10/2014.) Bob Giordano of the Small Business Association advised the board that Highway Superintendent Paganelli had replaced the missing signs along Front Street and had also stripped the area in front of Absolute Flooring in order to give better definition to the available parking spaces. It was pointed out that few people use the parking lot in the rear, and that some of the stores do not have rear entrances.
Mr. Giordano also asked about installing 2 hour parking signs and stripping the lot adjacent to the highway garage. He added that Mr. Paganelli has asked his department’s employees to park in the commuter lot next to town hall instead of by the highway garage in order to leave spaces available for customers of local businesses.
Mr. Giordano also asked if the town attorney could work with Mr. Tegeder to clarify the status of the vacant lot abutting Yorktown Glass that could accommodate 5-6 parking spaces if the parcel was cleaned up and maintained. Supervisor Grace appeared opposed to the use of this parcel for parking but did not indicate a reason.
5. Hallocks Mill Road traffic
A resident asked the board to do something about speeding on Hallocks Mill Rd, and suggested a stop sign at Hallocks Mill and Laurel Court. Councilman Murphy said he would look at the situation with police officer Eidelman. Supervisor Grace said enforcement [of the speed limit was no possible.
6. Water Department issues
IBM meter pit. The department is working with the New Castle Water Department to replace two meter pits at IBM which gets its water from New Castle. At IBM’s request, the work is being done on Saturdays. While IBM paid the cost for the first pit, it was asking the town for financial assistnace for the second pit. (Total cost of the replacement was possibly $12,000; it was not clear if this also included overtime labor.)
In a related discussion, it was disclosed that the house at 824 Pinesbridge Rd, although in the town’s Kitchawan Water District, has been taping off the IBM connection and not paying a water bill. The town will modify the connection so that the water is supplied by the Kitchawan district and the homeowner appropriately billed.
Water billing. Mr. Rambo explained that the town pays the Joint Water Works (JWW) $239,000 to handle the town’s billing. Questions were raised, but not answered, as to exactly what it costs the JWW to handle the bills and whether other JWW administrative costs were being shifted to the water billing.. Supervisor Grace said there is no oversight of JWW. If the town took back water billing as an in-house function, Mr. Rambo said it would require an additional 1˝ positions. While the exact cost of the added positions and other costs was not discussed, the general sense was that it would be less expensive to do the billing in-house. Mr. Rmabo and the comptroller will confer on the issue.
Mr. Rambo explained that some customers recently received bills that were higher than previous ones because the bill covered five months instead of the usual four.
Mr. Rambo also reported on a customer who complained about an unusually large bill. Because the customer has one of the new meters that is continuously read into a computer, the department was able to identify exactly when usage increased, which turned out to be an automatic sprinkler system.
7. Sears sign permit
Building Inspector Winter presented the board with plans from Sears to change signs on its building at the JV Mall. (The Town Board is the approval authority for this sign permit.) The sign plans will be referred to ABACA. Although the board did not appear to like the proposed signs, the consensus was that if that’s what the company wants, they should have what they want.
8. Staples/Bj’s gas pumps
The board declared itself lead agency for SEQRA purposes. There was no discussion about the plan.
9. Board meeting on website
(See Town Board 10/14/2014). Councilman Patel again raised the question of why the videos of Town Board meetings have not been available on the town website since June. The system was working before that, he said, and he wanted to know what the problem was and how and when it was going to be fixed. He said he’s been getting calls from constituents about the problem. In response, Town Clerk Roker said that there’s no easy answer and that the Town Board will have to make a policy decision about the webcasting, alluding to the fact that the program should not be in the hands of volunteers. She said a meeting needed to be called that would involve all the people associated with the taping and webcasting. She said that the new company that will be handling the webcasting beginning sometime in November had not been able to get all the people on the same conference call.
Supervisor Grace asked Ms, Roker, “when you’ve figured it out, let me know.”
10. Selected miscellaneous resolutions
Legal representation:(See Town Board, October 14, 2014.) The board authorized the supervisor to sign a retainer agreement with McCarthy Fingar, LLP for representation at the Planning and Zoning Boards under the same terms and conditions set forth in the March 15, 2010 retainer agreement with Wormser Kiely.
Insurance broker: (See Town Board, October 14, 2014.) The board will engage Gallagher & Co. to be its insurance broker for one year as of January 1, 2015.
Tax certiorari settlement. Approved a settlement with the Rexall Pharmacy building at a cost to the town of about $1,283.
Environmental consultant: Extended Bruce Barber’s contract through the end of 2014.
The next Town Board meeting will be November 18th.