Palmyra Village Board – Monday, July 10, 2012
Mayor or Village of Seneca Falls speaks on Dissolution
Mayor Daly called a Village of Palmyra meeting of the board to order at 7:00 PM. Meeting minutes from the June 18th meeting were approved, as presented. The board also approved Abstract #2 in the amount of $102,810.10, and additional vouchers in the amount of $1,210.00. Mayor Daly also noted the article in the Times of Wayne County about Sheriff Virts’s report that Wayne County Sheriff’s Office is the 4th Sheriff’s Office in the whole of New York State to receive an accredited status. Mayor Daly expressed her congratulations on behalf of the village, and publicly thanked Sheriff Virts for all his hard work.
A presentation regarding Village Dissolution was given by Ms. Diana Smith, former Mayor of the Village of Seneca Falls, regarding the process of the dissolution of the former Village of Seneca Falls. The residents of the village voted to dissolve the village effective December 31, 2012, with 1,198 votes in favor of dissolution and 1,112 opposed, with five blank ballots. This decision resulted in the largest New York State Village to ever approve dissolution. The Village of Seneca Falls Board began investigating the possibility of dissolution in 2006, and conducted 3 studies regarding the continuity of village services, debt, and assets. It was estimated that the average village taxpayer would realize a savings of approximately $950.00 annually, and the eventual savings for a resident was 60% annually, however the water and sewer bills for residents did realize an increase. Ms. Smith explained the process the village board went through, as well as the impact negotiations, specifically speaking to the village employee benefits, retirement, and vacation, distribution of village equipment to the town. It was also noted that grant monies from the state were also awarded as an incentive for the dissolution. Trustee Husk commented “It is a shame that your community looked only at dollars and cents, and didn’t honor the sense of community.” It was further commented that the Town of Seneca Falls residents were ultimately displeased for not having a say as to whether or not the village should be dissolved and have now realized an increase in their tax rates. Ms. Smith noted that she believes the Seneca Falls Town Board “deserves my silence, they deserve a chance.” She further explained that she is glad to share her experience and knowledge of the dissolution process with other municipalities, so that they may benefit from her experiences.
Mr. John Goodyear, a resident on State Route 21 who has been an advocate against increased truck traffic approached the board with his concern over a proposed landfill on State Route 88 in the Town of Arcadia. Mr. Goodyear reported that it is estimated an additional 100 trucks would access the proposed landfill daily. As a result, he requested town and village officials write letters to both the Town of Arcadia officials as well as newspapers write letters in opposition of this proposed landfill prior to the Town of Arcadia’s public referendum. Trustee Bradstreet added that the requested that the letters draw attention to “how detrimental the increased truck traffic will be to Palmyra’s infrastructure”. Mr. Goodyear commented that “This is something that people don’t envision. Big, noisy, smelly, thundering big-rigs- one after the other- rolling past your house at all hours. Landfills, and the trucks that service them, to a large extent they are unsightly and smelly. Every time I see them they are a reminder of downstate politics.” Trustee Bradstreet thanked Mr. Goodyear for being so “dogged” in his commitment to this issue.
Under correspondence Mayor Daly reported having received a support letter from Senator Nozzolio for the village’s grant application. Another letter from Senator Oaks was received, sending the senator’s well wishes for Independence Day celebrations. She also reported on an article regarding executive sessions held by New York State, to share more specific information as to what the intent for meeting in executive session is, while still honoring privacy for individuals.
During Trustee reports, Trustee Husk requested that Mayor Daly include in the next Mayor’s column that residents in the village need to exercise great caution with private, open-pit fires due to the extremely dry conditions due to having received only .7 inches of rain. Mr. Husk also requested approval to appoint Mr. Kyle Kingslow to the fire department, pending all physicals and training, which was approved by the board. He also requested approval for the mayor to sign the 2 year fire contract with Manchester Fire Department which includes a 2% increase annually. He projected the payment to the village in 2013 will be $8,092.70, and in 2014 the payment will be $8,254.55. This request was also approved.
Trustee Bradstreet reported that the first Sunday in the Park concert was held on Sunday, July 8th, and commented that the concert by “Inside Out’ was great. He noted the next concert will be held on Sunday, July 22nd, and performing will be “Todd East”. Mr. Bradstreet also commented on a complaint received regarding garbage at residences in the village, and after investigating it has been determined that the properties are in the foreclosure process, and steps will be taken to contact the owner. Lastly, he shared the fact that he has received several compliments on the tidy comfort station.
Trustee Piccola reported that he received notification from Blue Cross/Blue Sheild that there is a potential rate increase for 2013health insurance policies. He also noted that the Safe Routes to School project is in its final stages, and lastly that the final cost of the drainage project was approximately $6,000.00.
Mayor Daly reported that Mr. Ron Marquisee and his film crew began the filming of Impossible Choice in the Village Hall Board Room on July 1st and 2nd, filming scenes for the movie. Once complete, the cast and crew moved on to the Zion Episcopal Church for continued filming. She also addressed an e-mail from a resident regarding firewood in the cemetery, and also a request to be removed as a village resident. The board discerned that both requests would not be possible. Lastly, the mayor reported that Mr. Jeremy Unterborn will be working on his Eagle Scout Project, and has received approval from the Department of Transportation to refurbish all historical signs in the Town and Village of Palmyra.
Approved business included the approval of a resolution to submit a CFA grant application for a boat launch and parking lot for phase #2 of a canal nature trail, and the approval of Mr. Anthony A. Girasole Sr. as the new appraiser for the water line assessment. Additionally the village board awarded a bid for single audit services to Ray Wager, in the amount of $10,500.00- provided it is a full, comprehensive audit. Additionally, the board approved a secondary audit would be awarded to Green and Seifter, should the first audit quote not include all that the village requires.
Mr. Murray of the Palmyra Historical Preservation Committee approached the board with the itinerary of the annual Pirate Festival, and requested an ambulance presence on August 11th. Trustee husk agreed to contact the ambulance service and have the emergency services in place.
In other business, the board discussed crossing guards during the annual Hill Cumorah Pageant, and the board agreed that the village will not employ any crossing guards for the pageant. The board also approved the payment of rental equipment on behalf of the fire department in the amount of $421.21.
No further business came before the board and the public meeting was adjourned at 9:31 PM. The next regular meeting of the Village Board will be held on Monday, August 6th, at 7:00 PM in the Palmyra Village Hall.
By Becky Block