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Walworth Town Meeting, Nov. 1, 2018

by WayneTimes.com
November 2, 2018

 

Library Presentation and Budget Discussion

 The meeting was called to order at 7:03PM by Supervisor Jacobs, followed by the Pledge of Allegiance and Roll Call. All board members were present, as was Highway Superintendent Tim Vendel. Councilman Ambroz was present via Skype.

The scheduled presentation for the evening was by Library Director Anne Brown. (The presentation for Casey Mastro with the New York Power Authority is to be rescheduled at a TBD date and time.) Director Brown began as the Walworth Seeley Public Library Director on October 15. She explained the different libraries she has worked in and in what capacities prior to coming to Walworth, and discussed how the Walworth library currently fulfills its mission statement. Director Brown noted she believes the library is, as the mission statement outlines, a place to “connect, create, and discover,” and how the wide variety of children and adult programs, over 30,000 items available to patrons, the free WIFI and computer usage, and readers’ advisory and reference questions support that. Director Brown discussed how less than 40% of Walworth residents have library cards, and how the library would like to add teen-focused programs (via a teen library board, partnerships with middle and high schools, and more) to increase teen usage. She also noted how the library will continue to be a presence at community events and increase participation through methods such as a “book bike” that will bring library services outside the library building. Director Brown also discussed the need for more space at the library, explaining that increased physical space would allow for potentially a children’s room, teen area, larger circulation desk, workspaces, tables and seating for patrons, and a reference desk; the library hopes to look at a potential expansion in the coming year. Supervisor Jacobs asked the library board to stand for recognition at the end of the presentation, and Councilman Phillips commended Director Brown for wanting to increase residents’ participation beyond 40% (which is higher than many towns currently see).

 Under Elected Official Reports:

- Highway Superintendent Vendel touched on wintertime parking and not parking on the streets, effective November 1. Councilman Phillips asked about gutters, and Superintendent Vendel agreed that cleaning catch basins if possible is helpful. Supervisor Jacobs asked about concerns from residents regarding 441; Superintendent Vendel said it is a gas line issue, and it is not clear yet what RGE is doing, but that it appears RGE is adding high pressure mains and expanding services, and that everyone should have received letters regarding this. Questions should be directed to RGE directly.

- Councilman Ambroz noted negotiations are still in progress. Supervisor Jacobs seconded the negotiations, and noted she spoke with Dr. Mathis Calvin with the Wayne Central School District regarding possibilities for the Freewill building. If interested in the possibilities, she recommended residents attend the school board meetings. Some discussion with audience members ensued regarding access to the Freewill property.

- Councilman Pembroke touched on the sewer plant, and noted how generators are now up to date for the winter.

 Under Other Business:

 - authorized the Town Supervisor to sign the 2019 healthcare documents for employees was passed. It was noted by Supervisor Jacobs here that the employee open enrollment session would be November 15 at 9:00AM, followed by the retirees open enrollment session at 10:00AM.

- authorized the Town Comptroller to transfer from fund balance to cover the levy of charges for the town of Walworth from Wayne County Board of Supervisors in the amount of $5,335.81 was passed.

- authorized the Town Comptroller to prepay the levy of charges for the town of Walworth from Wayne County Board of Supervisors in the amount of $5,335.81 was passed.

- authorized the Town Comptroller to transfer from fund balance to A1620.42 for an amount not to exceed $7,000.00 to cover expenses was passed. Councilman Phillips noted residents may like clarification on this; Supervisor Jacobs explained this is for winterization and repair of HVAC and doors.

- authorized quote from Van Hook Service (HVAC) for replacement of one circulating pump and motor in the boiler room

- authorized quote from Genesee Glass and Mirror to winterize and repair three sets of lobby doors at the Town Hall

- authorized a study request for proposal (RFP) for the wastewater treatment plant was passed. Councilman Phillips thanked Bobby Burns for thinking outside of the box with costs to residents.

 Supervisor Jacobs noted she will send a Letter of Appreciation and Gratitude to Jack Leasure, current Advisory Board Representative from Walworth.

- noted the Town Supervisor appointment of EMS Advisory Board Representative Mr. Cody Szatkowski for a two-year term beginning January 1, 2019 – December 31, 2020  - accepted and file two letters from the Macedon Food Pantry dated October 24, 2018 was carried.

-  accepted and file a letter from Martin Aman, Executive Director of the Wayne County Water and Sewer Authority nothing changes to 2019 rates 

- accepted and file a letter from Patricia Famiglietti, Animal Health Inspector, for the Dog Control Officer Inspection Report 

Just prior to the Public Hearing opening, Councilman Pembroke noted that perhaps the library and historical society should get together to discuss expanding their spaces and possibly combining their funds to do so as needed.

At 7:45PM, the Public Hearing for the Town of Walworth 2019 Preliminary Budget was opened. Supervisor Jacobs read the guidelines for the hearing and participation.  Tony Sclamo spoke first, asking if the board could identify 2-3 of the larger items causing the budget to increase. Supervisor Jacobs began pulling this information for him while other audience members spoke. Debbie Williams asked why the proposed budget was not on the website; Supervisor Jacobs explained the town does not currently have the capability to do that, but will look into it. Judy Markowski asked if we exceeded the state cap, and what the increase would look like on a $100,000 home; it was explained that it would increase from $4.17 per thousand to $4.31 per thousand. Councilman Phillips noted that this is good information to be able to pass to residents. Supervisor Jacobs, in response to Tony Sclamo’s question, explained one of the items is a truck for the highway department. Superintendent Vendel clarified that this would be replacing a 17-year-old truck that is currently nickel and diming the town, and has become a matter of safety, as well as the difficulty in obtaining parts. Councilman Ruth also mentioned money for drainage. Another audience member asked if this would affect the STAR refund, which it will not. Supervisor Jacobs noted she is also hoping to include a capital fund in the coming budgets for costs such as the equipment. There was then a discussion regarding the generator for the highway department, which is from the 1960s and is no longer working. The cost to replace the generator is in the ballpark of $50,000, and Superintendent Vendel thanked Supervisor Jacobs for securing a grant to cover the costs of this. Supervisor Jacobs noted they worked on this together. The hearing closed at 8:02PM.

 Following the hearing, there was a motion to accept and file the preliminary budget with the State Comptroller for exceeding the tax cap, resulting in a short recess.  The board authorized the modification of the 2019 preliminary budget as submitted to reflect the purchase of a mower for the parks department from A7110.21R in the amount of $13,056.00. and showed the transfer of funds from reserves plus $1,000 for the revenue of sale at auction.

 At 8:20PM, the meeting resumed. and the town adoped the 2019 Town of Walworth Budget. Councilman Ruth noted the board worked hard to hold the line on the budget and that it is the best that they could do. 

Prior to adjournment, Councilman Pembroke asked about seeing if the internet service could be upgraded to be able to post the budget on the website for residents; Supervisor Jacobs suggested perhaps a link to the budget Supervisor Jacobs agreed to look into this right away.  The meeting adjourned at 8:24PM to an executive session for the board to discuss medical and financial personnel issues and negotiations.

By Emily Kunz

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