February 9, 2009
Town Board Minutes
Oswego Town Hall
Supervisor: Victoria M. Mullen
Town Board Members: Tim DeSacia, Greg Herrmann,
Margaret Mahaney, Daniel Shaver
Attorney to the Board: Stephen C. Greene, Sr.
of the Oswego Town Board was held on February 9, 2009 at town hall.
Supervisor Mullen opened the meeting at 7:00 PM with the Pledge of Allegiance; she asked that we remain standing for a moment of silence for Greta Murabito wife of Anthony Murabito who passed away in January. Roll call was taken with the following members present:
The Historical Society will meet this Saturday at 10 am at town hall everyone is welcomed.
As I began this year’s annual report, I reflected on the changes of the past 7 years. Much progress has been made, and our high level of service has been maintained because the Town Board addresses our problems with the taxpayer’s interest at the forefront. A rebuild of our town’s entire infrastructure and increase in personalized service to our citizens was accomplished without a tax rate increase.
When I took office, our town hall was not much more than a Quonset hut attached to the old highway garage. Between diesel fumes and the truck traffic, the health and safety of town hall employees and visitors needed improvement. Conditions in town hall were insufferable. Residents were afforded little, if any, privacy in discussing personal matters with the tax assessors, code enforcement, or our town clerk. Vital records were stored in a bathroom! Our new town hall has become the focal point of our community. It is not only an efficient, convenient, and pleasant place to do the peoples business, it is also a place where young and old in our town gather in the spirit of community.
Our Town Historical Society has grown, and now hosts wonderful events at our town hall. Congratulations to Rev. George DeMass as he takes the reigns from Mrs. Mahaney, who has been a fine president of the Historical Society. We look forward to the future programs designed to keep our town history alive while honoring our heritage.
In 2003, before the new town hall, we built a new highway garage on site with sand, salt and cold storage buildings, resulting in a safer and much more efficient highway complex. Though our Highway Department has downsized its full time employees through attrition, our Highway Superintendent, Mr. Wilcox, has been creative with the use of seasonal workers. The term “do more with less” is way over used, but it absolutely applies to the job Mr. Wilcox and his highway crew has done. In my opinion, the condition of the roads in the surrounding areas pales in comparison to our town.
We were able to purchase another new snowplow for the Highway Department in 2008. We have a cycle worked out for replacing old, worn out equipment in our Highway Department now. Road maintenance and snow removal is costly, but safety is our main concern.
Again, previous to our new town hall, we were able to work with the Oswego Town Fire District to install our Town Court in the firehouse expansion. This resulted in an efficient Justice Center, as opposed to the original system which dragged handcuffed suspects through the town hall for arraignment. This joint project has worked out very well and we are thankful to our Volunteer Fire Department.
Our books are closed and filed with the office of the State Comptroller. We had a good year and we were able to maintain our rainy day fund balance. We used increased sales tax revenue to keep our tax rates low, and have never used the reserve to balance our budgets. We underwent a town wide revaluation in 2008. It was not the intent of this Town Board to raise revenue with this reval; it was a necessary evil brought on because the state dropped our equalization rate. The Town Board lowered the tax rates in the town because of the increase in value. The county rate dropped as well as the Oswego City School district rate.
It has always been important to me that the town’s business is handled by qualified people. This year, both our Assessor/Cemetery Clerk, and Supervisor’s Bookkeeper Clerk took Civil Service tests for “Account Clerks”, and both scored very high. Both these positions are now permanent competitive civil service positions. The people of the town are well served by this action of the Town Board.
We were able to make improvements to our cemetery building. A new roof and an office were installed this fall. We are thankful to Senator Aubertine for the grant he was able to obtain for the Town of Oswego.
My clerk, Mrs. Botting, has updated information for the 2010 census. We are ready to be counted and I am sure we will see a large increase in our population. Increase in population would mean more revenue for the town, in state aid, and sales tax revenue.
There has been so much bad news about the economy lately, businesses closing, and people losing their jobs, revenues down. We need to be very mindful of our spending.
I read recently where the city of Oswego has lost so much sales tax revenue. It is very clear to me that shopping in the city has become a chore, and it is easier for many of the town residents to travel to Granby or Hannibal to shop. I am very interested in a grocery store in this town; however the city fathers do not understand that development in the town would also benefit the city taxpayers. I am hopeful that the new council members will see that building a wall around the city of Oswego is not productive. The town has shovel ready projects as soon as the city lifts their ban on accepting new sewage.
I have been meeting with the county on a few issues. The county has purchased new software for tax collection. It is their hope that the towns will become uniform in the future, using the same tax collection software. I see this as a benefit to our residents. I believe it would be a cost savings, and convenient to the taxpayer. In the future a resident could pay their taxes online, use their credit card, or even pay taxes on properties in other areas in the county if the towns decide to participate. Also I have been in meetings with Real Property. Many towns have gone to sole assessors or shared assessors. This is an idea that may benefit the residents of the town by increased state aid per parcel of property. However, this is all in the planning stages and we need much more information on this. Shared services is a buzzword that could actually fit here.
Tonight, after many long years and hard work by our Committee to revise our zoning, Mrs. Cooper, Ms. Judy Sabin-Watson and Mr. Greg Auleta, along with Donna Scanlon from Oswego County Planning will speak tonight. Wayne Newton our Code Enforcement Officer could not be here tonight. We are having our public hearing on the zoning law. No action by this board will be taken on this tonight.
Resolution 2009-14 Be it resolved the Oswego Town Board opens the public hearing at 7:08 PM to hear all interested parties for or against Proposed Local Law 1-2009, establishing the Zoning Law for the Town of Oswego.
Moved by Councilor Herrmann, second Councilor DeSacia all ayes motion carried.
Public Comment: The town clerk stated the legal notice for the public hearing was published in the Palladium Times and if anyone would like to speak then need to state their name for the record.
Greg Auleta spoke for the committee who worked on this local law. The following were his comments as to what the committee was asked to do. The goals were to bring the town zoning regulations into coordination/compliance with the Town and County’s Comprehensive Plans, have the town zoning regulations reflect the regulations of State agencies (coastal erosion/conservation/agriculture). Have the town zoning regulation reflect the needs and requirements of more complex and sophisticated land use and development and provide the citizens of the town a clearly articulated array of choices, limitations and processes to enable both the citizenry and the Town to consider all choices in a fair and equitable manner. The committee considered the regulations from 12 other similarly situated towns and villages, depending on the topic or area of concern; it also consulted regularly with the ZBA and Planning Attorneys and where appropriated, consulted with other County or State agencies. In conclusion after completing the first draft of the regulations, the committee submitted it to all the members of the Town Board, ZBA and Planning and the Counsel for each board. The committee received 171 suggestions, criticisms, concerns, and recommendations for change, additions, subtractions, or alterations. Over 70% of the items submitted resulted in the change suggested.
Speaking in favor of the new zoning law was Janet Dexter, town assessor and business owner in the town, County Legislator, Doug Malone, Donna Scanlon from Oswego County Planning brought a new revised colored map with the change to Fred Haynes Boulevard area which changed to Business.
Speaking against the local law was Planning Board Member, Fran Dellamano.
Resolution 2009-15 Be it resolved the Oswego Town Board closes the public hearing for Proposed Local Law 1-2009 at 8:25 PM.
Moved by Councilor Shaver, second Councilor Mahaney all ayes motion carried.
Resolution 2009-16 Be it resolved the Oswego Town Board approves the minutes from the January 12, 2009 Town Board Meeting.
Moved by Councilor Mahaney, second Councilor Shaver all ayes motion carried.
Resolution 2009-17 Be it resolved the Oswego Town Board approves the bills on Abstract 2 as follows:
Resolution 2009-18 Be it resolved the Oswego Town Board appoints Dr. Richard Tesoriero to the Planning Board for a term to expire in February 2015.
Moved by Supervisor Mullen, second Councilor Herrmann all ayes motion carried.
Resolution 2009-19 Be it resolved the Oswego Town Board re-appoints Tim Anderson to the Zoning Board for a term to expire in February 2014.
Moved by Councilor Shaver, second Councilor DeSacia all ayes motion carried.
Resolution 2009-20 Be it resolved the Oswego Town Board approves the Penn Power Systems service work needed on New Street 60KW Kato Light in Ontario Heights as follows: replacement of belts, hoses, coolant and battery; total price $793.53 as per quote #PPS011 which includes all parts labor, and travel to complete repairs and does not include shipping and diagnostics.
Moved by Councilor Shaver, second Councilor Herrmann all ayes motion carried.
Resolution 2009-21 Be it resolved the Oswego Town Board acknowledges the Oswego Town Historical Society meetings once a month on Wednesday or Thursday evenings. The first meeting will be February 14, 2009 at 10 am. Tentative programs are as follows:
April 15, Camp Hollis, May 24, Memorial Day Service at Rural Cemetery, June 13 Craft Show, July 14, Ice Cream Social/Band Concert, September 12, Cemetery Tour, October 10 TBA, November 7, Veterans Day Program, December 4, Christmas Covered Dish.
Moved by Councilor Mahaney, second Councilor DeSacia all ayes motion carried.
Resolution 2009-22 Be it resolved the Oswego Town Board approves a refund of $44.55 to Primo Vazques for a building permit error.
Moved by Councilor Herrmann, second Councilor DeSacia all ayes motion carried.
Resolution 2009-23 Be it resolved the Oswego Town Board approves hiring OCWA to install an additional fire hydrant along County Route 89 in the area located approximately 1200 feet west of Rudy’s for a cost of $4500.00 as agreed upon with the Oswego Town Fire Department.
Moved by Councilor Herrmann, second Councilor Shaver all ayes motion carried.
Theresa A. Cooper, CMC/RMC