Read meeting details from July public meeting
By Andrew Harris, photo by councilman Fion McCrea
The town board in Alfred NY will hold its monthly “hybrid” public meeting this Thursday, residents may attend in person at the Town Building on Shaw Road, or via Zoom link below. The agenda for the meeting includes standard orders of business like receiving department reports and paying the bills. Supervisor Dan Acton notes on the agenda that he will be discussing sidewalks and the Crown Castle.
Because past is prologue, much of the outstanding issues facing the town board are detailed in the extensive meeting minutes from last month, included below.
Here is the Zoom link for the Thursday August 11th, Alfred Town Board Meeting.
Meeting ID: 870 1705 1473
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July 14th Alfred Town Board meeting minutes:
The Regular Monthly Meeting was opened at 7:05 pm by Supervisor Dan Acton with the pledge to the flag.
All Board members were present in person. Also present Rebecca Hamm, representing Alfred Ambulance, Ben and Aidan Link, Bill Dailey, Ben and Lenni Palmer and Jim Ninos. Also present were Highway Superintendent Bob Halsey and Town Clerk Jan Burdick. Via Zoom was Fred Sinclair, Christel Rodd, and K. Klingensmith.
Guests: Rebecca Hamm of Alfred Ambulance was present to inform the Board of a new NYS Law that allows volunteer ambulances to bill the patient. In order to do this, they would have to separate the ambulance from the A.E. Hook and Ladder Fire Department. With the new law if a call requires ALS, EMS (who provides ALS) would bill Alfred Ambulance instead of the patient being transported. This would amount to about $500 – $1500 per call due to about ¼ of calls are ALS. Mrs. Hamm requested the Town send a letter to the Governor requesting a change and added that Alfred Ambulance will remain a non-billing agency. Feels it is critical to their mission to not charge.
Jerry Snyder: Questioned if there was a summary of the Solar Public Hearing was available. Fion MacCrea stated that it wasn’t a public hearing but an open house conducted by Northland Power. Mr. Snyder thought it was a public hearing and was told no, open house by Northland. Mr. Snyder thought there would be an opportunity for the public to ask questions and that didn’t happen. Kenn Burdick stated that due to the fact that this is 94-c filing, it will be done per state regulations. Dan Acton added they still have to follow the Town’s Solar Law. Bill Dailey added that public comment will be part of the permitting process.
Ben Palmer: Requested the status of the sidewalk between Rt. 244 and Dollar General. Supervisor Acton stated that the DOT wants to widen the bridge between Stearns’s and the Karate Studio. In process of redesigning it and to see if there is enough money to cover the changes. Mr. Palmer expressed his concern with liability if someone falls inf front of his property. They aren’t there in the winter to clear the sidewalk. Mr. Palmer would like something in writing stating he will not be held liable if someone gets hurt. Mr. Acton explained that the Town will have an agreement with the Village for snow removal on the sidewalk. Concerned was expressed if the Village could maintain it and Mr. Acton responded that the Town will have it cleared one way of another. Mr. Palmer stated he was concerned with liability, if someone gets hurt they are going to sue everyone. Kenn Burdick stated that Municipal Law stated that if it is a public sidewalk, landowners can’t be held liable unless the Town has a requirement that the landowner is responsible for keeping the sidewalk cleared, Town doesn’t have that. Mr. Palmer asked Mr. Ninos if anyone has ever sued the Village and Mr. Ninos stated no. Kenn Burdick added that if this project goes forward, residents would want a hold harmless clause and Mr. Palmer added that he will have his attorney draw something up. Mr. Acton stated he is not opposed to that but feels General Municipal Law covers that. Jim Ninos questioned if it is DOT’s responsible since it is in their right of way. Matthew Snyder stated that once the project is done, it is handed over to the Town. Fion MacCrea stated that the Town had gotten an interpretation from the Association of Towns and maybe that information could be given to Mr. Palmer. Mr. Palmer stated that he has a petition from many of the people on Rt. 244 that do not want this project. Supervisor Acton stated that of the 16 properties along that area that he spoke with, 9 were in favor. Mr. Palmer added that he things people that told Mr. Acton they were in favor of it have now changed their mind. Jason Rodd stated that has Village resident he has a concern with the Village taking over the sidewalk plowing, they can’t take care of the Village sidewalks and has photos to show it. If passing liability onto village residents, taxpayers shouldn’t have to pay for an expense in the Town.
Approval of Minutes: The minutes of June 9, 2022 Public hearing and regular meeting were approved with a motion by Matthew Snyder, seconded by Kenn Burdick and carried 5-0.
Police Report – Kenn Burdick stated that he thought Chief of Police Griffiths was going to come to discuss services they are providing to the Town. Currently only responding to emergencies and concern is how long it takes the State Police to respond. Ben Link stated that the Village Police do respond to some emergencies. Jim Ninos added that this has been brought up to the Mayor. Supervisor Acton stated that the Police monthly report does show traffic stops in the Town. Also added that need to define the problem and decide how to solve it. Wendy Dailey stated that there are ATV’s going up East Valley. Bob Halsey responded that he has called the chief a couple of times and gotten nowhere. Concern is they are not insured or licensed to drive on Town roads. Bill Dailey asked if when the solar projects start up are they going to require local security or will they be providing their own? Supervisor Acton responded that they will probably provide their own and have everything enclosed and locked up. The Police Contract will be reviewed.
Code Enforcement: Model Local Law amending the previous law needs to be adopted by December. 2 Board members and the Code Enforcement Office will review it.
General Abstract #7-2022 Vouchers #67-77 in the amount of $6216.56 in the General A Fund; Voucher #7 in the amount of $3394.75 in the B Fund, #7 in the SF Fund in the amount of $3581.58 approved with a motion by Wendy Dailey, seconded by Kenn Burdick and carried 5-0.
Highway Abstract #7 -2022 Vouchers #82-86 in the DA Highway Fund in the amount of $4402.13 and Vouchers #19–25 in the DB Fund in the amount of $26514.35 approved with a motion by Fion MacCrea, seconded by Matthew Snyder and carried 5-0.
Correspondence – Planning and Zoning School through Southern Tier West.
ARP Funds – second part will be released the end of June.
Highway Report: The written Highway report was reviewed and is on file. The County helped with the sluice on Hanneman Road and East Valley Bridge. CHIPS project will be Snyder Drive, Maple Crest Drive, Davis Road and 1 mile of East Valley. A motion was made by Dan Acton, seconded by Matthew Snyder and carried 5-0 to accept the CHIPS projects as presented. Fion MacCrea asked if there were any plans for the extra money provided by the state for Potholes. Mr. Halsey stated with the increase of oil, would like to wait and see how much he is going to spend on regular CHIPS projects. Mr. Ninos stated on behalf of the Village he would like to thank Mr. Halsey for his help in the Village.
Supervisor’s Report: A local law is required to allow Town Board members to attend meetings per ZOOM as reported by Association of Towns.
Meeting with Northland Power to review a Host Community Agreement – some suggestions for the use of the money included the following:
- Charging Stations -Fion MacCrea reported that they are owned and operated by a company run by NYSERDA. Priority is distance from an interstate. 4 DC fast charging stations are fully funded by the state. Jim Ninos added that they have to be in a long-term parking area to charge when they are installed.
- Matthew suggested donation to the Community Chest.
- Dan Acton stated they usually give $5000 up front but can go up to $10,000.
- Kenn Burdick would like to see non-profits encouraged to apply on Northland’s website.
Tim Fox – new regional manager for New Enterprises. Purchasing 50 acres from David Ormsby and will be submitting a Special Use Permit for extension of the gravel permit.
2023 Budget – meeting with BBS to start the process on August 23, 2022.
Teamsters Contract expires in December – will meet on August 9th.
Community Choice Aggregation Administration (NYS Program). Tow would pass a local las that says everyone in the Town is part of this and would get 10% off their electric bill – only applies to the Delaware River Solar Project.
Committee Reports – Planning Board. Bill Dailey reported that they are working on the Telecommunications Law. Currently researching laws that are from communities that are similar to Alfred. Identified a law from Garden City, Utah. In process of tailoring it to work for the Town. Will be some decisions for the Board to make. Current Zoning Law doe not have anything in it for wireless towers. When students are here cold have up to 30000 devices being used. May be a way to regulate without penalizing anyone. Preparing a questionnaire for all Board members requesting feedback.
Resolution Establishing a Standard Workday for NYS Retirement. Motion to accept by Dan Acton, seconded by Wendy Dailey and carried 5-0.
Motion by Supervisor Dan Acton to go to Executive Session to discuss proposed, pending or current litigation at 8:40 pm, seconded by Kenn Burdick and carried 5-0. Executive Session ended at 9:30 with a motion by Dan Acton, seconded by Matthew Snyder and carried 5-0.
A motion to adjourn at 9:32 pm was made by Fion MacCrea, seconded by Kenn Burdick and carried 5-0.
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