January 14, 2002
Town Board Minutes
Southwest Community Center
Supervisor: Victoria M. Mullen
Town Board Members: Tim DeSacia, Margaret Mahaney,
Richard Pratt, Barbara Tierney
meeting of the Oswego Town Board was held on January 14, 2002 at the Southwest
Community Center. Supervisor Mullen opened with the Pledge of Allegiance
at 7:00 PM. Roll call was taken with the following members present:
Paid to the Supervisor General Fund $ 15,188.07
Paid to NYS DEC for sporting licenses 12,902.00
Paid to County Treasurer/dog licenses 1,021.42
Paid to Ag & Markets/dog licenses 339.00
Paid to NYS Health Dept./marriage licenses 472.50
Town Clerk's monthly report for December 2001: 1,458.50
Town Taxes collected to date: $296,275.45
Highway Superintendent's Report: Mr. Carter reported that the bridge construction for the Fruit Valley bridge will be started this spring according to the NYS transportation department. Traffic will be diverted for a number of months. The speed limit on Hillside Ave has been changed to 30 mph.
Supervisor's Report: On Jan 1st and Mr. Mullen, Mr. and Mrs. Hogan, and I went into town hall and spent 8 hours moving desks, safes, files etc. I feel that the town hall is now more user friendly. I gave up the large supervisors office (which during the day was wasted space.) giving Tax assessors needed space and the taxpayer needed privacy for conferences.
The town hall is overcrowded and outdated, but with a few moves we hope to elevate some of the overcrowded conditions. This past Saturday Mr. and Mrs. Cooper, Mr. Hogan and my husband and I again spent the day at town hall, this time concentrating on the town clerks office. Moving the code enforcement office out. Hopefully this will get us through the next few years. One major problem we face is storage space. All archives and records need to be kept in a fireproof area. In the town of Oswego these important records are put out on shelving units with no protection.
The town had a problem with calendar creep and payroll that had us out of compliance with the law. With Rick Hogan's help, this has been eliminated. Payroll is done differently now, and we no longer face the possibility of fines.
The town has been paying for more than one long distance carrier. This waste of money will be addressed. The town has also been paying "late charges" on Utilities, This is not acceptable, these are "pre-paid bills" I have taken steps to address this.
The town received notice on Jan 7th from New York State Dept of Taxation and finance, that our employees withholding had not been reported for the last quarter of 2000 and the first quarter of 2001 and that the town had been notified of this on 2 occasions. These deductions were not paid until the 3rd quarter of 2001, because of this the state has fined the town a total of $8200 in fines, and $359 in interest. We have not heard from the IRS yet but expect to face stiff fines from them also. Tonight the board needs to pass a resolution to move money from our unallocated surplus to cover these fines and interest. This is another waste of money that we hope will never be repeated.
I received a letter from the city water dept indicating that they have been requesting water consumption rates for Ontario Heights sewer since last year. Now we have been given 10 days to submit these figures or they will estimate and we will be charged according to their estimation. I was unable to locate this information in town hall and have asked OWCA to duplicate this information, and I have asked Mr. Tesoriero to bare with me. I do not know if we have a current sewer contract. The only documentation I can find is an unsigned contract from August 2000, with higher rates than the present request.
The town council had not been getting timely monthly financial reports. Without this important information the board can not make "informed decisions" The town's books were not in order. The town board resolved to hire a CPA to come in and go over the accounts and make the necessary changes to those accounts. It was very hard to budget this year with the accounts in such disarray. I have hired an experienced bookkeeper, and I am confident these conditions will be a thing of the past.
I have asked Councilor Pratt to take the lead on capital planning. This town has been living from year to year with no vision or plan for the future. Mr. Pratt has a good start on this and we hope to have it ready by May of 2002.
I have asked Councilor DeSacia to be the liaison between the cemetery superintendent and the Town board, to improve communications and efficiency.
The town has had many ongoing projects that are either completely stalled or are making very slow progress. I have gone over them and prioritized them. The teamster's contract with our highway department needs to be settled. The board will be will resume negotiations again starting tomorrow with the union officials tomorrow.
The town has been paying large amounts of money to cover delinquent ambulance bills. I can not find documentation of any recent attempts by the town to collect these unpaid ambulance bills. I will be sending out letters to the users, and looking into using a collection agency as the town has used in the past. I am also setting up a meeting with the college to see why the town is paying for students who have insurance. All full time college students must have insurance. In my mind there should be no reason for the town to be paying bills for students using the city ambulance.
The highway committee worked for months formulating a plan for getting started with a new highway garage. Our report was submitted to the board and the board approved going ahead with schematic drawings, they were completed in August but there has been no movement since. I have set up a meeting with the architect for Jan 23rd at 4:30 at town hall. All interested parties are invited. Our highway garage continues to deteriorate we need to make some progress
The town needs to set up meetings with the planning, zoning, code enforcement and the assessors. We need to discuss responsibilities and needs of each group. Better communication between departments, is essential to eliminating problems.
The town board has to make some decisions about what to do with the community center.
The Carson road project is still in litigation and hopefully can be resolved soon.
The town received notice from the DEC that Sleepy Hollow sewage plant needs to be upgraded or the sewer district will face large fines. We are addressing their concerns. There is a resolution on tonight's agenda to start the process.
Onondaga County Water Authority has used space in our town hall for years without paying rent. I am meeting with the chief executive officer of OWCA on Thursday to talk about getting some compensation for the town.
These are important issues for our Town. We cannot solve all of our problems overnight, but we are already making progress. I will do my best to keep you informed of our progress. If anyone would like to discuss any of these issues, I have office hours at town hall daily between 4 and 6pm. I would like to say a special thank you to all the people who have stepped forward to help me make the transition to supervisor. They truly value the good of the town even at the expense of their own free time.
Public Comment: Questions were raised regarding only one public comment section at the town meetings, the seniors want to buy 3 new tables with their own funds and the refrigerator is not working at Community Center, will a new one be purchased? The ZBA chair questioned the change in attorneys for ZBA; he felt the former attorney should be re-appointed.
Resolution 2002- 13 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Council approves the bills on abstract 1:
Resolution 2002- 15 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Council approves the appointment of the Law Office of Stephen C. Greene Sr. at Attorney to the Oswego Town Board, it is furthering resolved that this appointment shall run until December 31, 2002. Moved by Supervisor Mullen and seconded by Councilor Tierney. All ayes motion carried.
Resolution 2002- 16 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Council approves the appointment of Kevin Caraccioli as Attorney to the Zoning Board, it is furthering resolved that this appointment shall run until December 31, 2002. Discussion followed. 3 ayes, 2 nays. Mullen, Pratt, Tierney aye, Mahaney, DeSacia, nay.
Resolution 2002- 17 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Council approves the appointment of Stephen Greene Jr. as Attorney to the Planning Board, it is furthering resolved that this appointment shall run until December 31, 2002. Moved by Supervisor Mullen and seconded by Councilor DeSacia. All ayes motion carried.
Resolution 2002- 18 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Council directs the Supervisor to enter into a contract for copier maintenance with Craig R. Gilbert, for the year 2002. Moved by Councilor Tierney and seconded by Councilor Pratt. All ayes motion carried.
Resolution 2002- 19 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Council authorizes a budget modification in the amount of $8549.84 from the unallocated surplus to A1989.4 other general government support to pay fines and interest levied on the town by NYS Department of Taxation and Finance, for late payments of employee withholding taxes, for the last quarter of the year 2000 and the first quarter of 2001. Moved by Supervisor Mullen and seconded by Councilor Pratt. All ayes motion carried.
Resolution 2002- 20 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Council appoints Sheila Nelson as assistant Dog Control Officer for 2002. This appointment carries no salary. Moved by Councilor Tierney and seconded by Councilor DeSacia. All ayes motion carried.
Resolution 2002- 21 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Council approves the Senior citizen trip schedule found in attachment A.
March Beck's Grove $ 300.00
May Poconos $ 900.00
July Auburn Theatre $ 450.00
August Beck's Grove $ 300.00
December Crescent Beach $ 300.00
Total budgeted from Town $2400.00
Total expense requested from Seniors - 2250.00
Balance left $ 150.00
Moved by Supervisor Mullen and seconded by Councilor Mahaney. All ayes motion carried.
Resolution 2002- 22 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Council appoint Supervisor Mullen and Councilor Tierney to serve as delegate and alternate delegate to the 2002 annual meeting of the Association of Towns Meeting. Moved by Councilor Pratt and seconded by Councilor Mahaney. All ayes motion carried.
Resolution 2002- 23 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Council grants the Supervisor the authority to make the necessary budget modifications to close out the 2001 budget and submit it to the NYS Comptroller's office. Moved by Councilor Pratt and seconded by Councilor DeSacia. All ayes motion carried.
Resolution 2002- 24 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Council acknowledges the appointment of Mark Wilcox, as Deputy Highway Superintendent. Moved by Supervisor Mullen and seconded by Councilor Mahaney. All ayes motion carried.
Resolution 2002-25 Be it resolved that the Oswego Town Council authorizes the Supervisor to execute the documents necessary to enter into the consent order issued by the DEC for discussion and consideration. Moved by Councilor Pratt and seconded by Supervisor Mullen. All ayes motion carried. Attorney Greene spoke regarding this consent.
Resolution 2002-26 Motion by Councilor Tierney and seconded by Councilor DeSacia to move into executive session at 8:20 PM to discuss contract negotiations. All ayes motion carried.
Resolution 2002- 27 Motion by Councilor Tierney and seconded by Councilor DeSacia to resume the regular meeting at 8:21 PM.
Motion by Councilor Mahaney and seconded by Councilor Tierney to adjourn the regular meeting at 8:21 PM. All ayes motion carried.
Theresa A. Cooper, RMC
Oswego Town Clerk