By Derek M. Otto
The regular meeting of the Town of Concord Board was held on Thursday, April 13, 2017 at 7 p.m. The meeting opened with a public comment session. Mary Jane Meiss, local senior advocate, opened her statements by stating, “By working together we can get things done.”
She was alluding to the announcement that Route 240 and Springville Boston Road will be repaired this spring.
As she has mentioned in the past, she said that there really needs to be a full-time director at the Senior Center. She noted that there was a negative atmosphere developing at the senior lunches and that a director could help mediate situations like this.
Lia Oprea of Sardinia, spoke next. Oprea represents WECAP, an organization that is uniting against the proposed National Fuel, Northern Access Pipeline (NAPL). She and her organization are traveling to town board meetings to address concerns about the project.
In February, National Fuel was given eminent domain over the proposed pipeline. National Fuel will be taking landowners to court over access. In good news, she noted that the DEC denied water quality permits for the project. According to Oprea, there are no master plans in case of disaster and noted leaks in Franklinville.
In Oprea’s support, Jennifer Marmion of East Aurora spoke on a leak in Elma that caused the evacuation of residents and the potential danger that exposure to gas and odorant may have caused. The real point that Marmion was getting across was that there is no master plan in place; locally, only the City of Buffalo Fire Department has the equipment to monitor air quality. Small communities do not have the training needed in potential disasters caused by these pipelines.
The third person to speak from WECAP was Noreen Ersing, a former resident of Van Slyke Road in Sardinia, who addressed the concern that the eminent domain is also affecting the water supply of her former property. Though she no longer lives on Van Slyke Road, her grandchildren do.
At current, there is no plan for the Northern Access Pipeline in Concord. For more information about WECAP, go to their Facebook page.
Dennis Dains, Concord Highway Superintendent, started by reading the announcement from Legislator John Mills that nine miles of Springville Boston Road will be paved and Route 240, from Holland Glenwood Road to Foote Road, will be resurfaced.
Supervisor Eppolito commented, “it is not enough” in regards to the fact that the worst section of Route 240 is between Foote Road and Genesee Road. Dains asked the public if they have concerns, to call John Mills’ office.
Eppolito asked if there was any word on the county working on Belscher Road, to which Dains replied, “No.” He raised concerns about returning the road to county plowing and the conditions of the road damaged our equipment.
On a good note, Dains reported that with passage of the NYS budget, the town will receive in excess of $80,000 in road aid this year from CHIPS and other programs for the highway department. He reminded the board and town personnel in attendance that the town will have their annual OSHA training on April 26.
The board passed a resolution that the Town Hall will be closed on Wednesday April 26, 2017 to accommodate the training.
In the fire report, Dains thanked people for the turnout at the Chicken BBQ on April 9, and for the nice installation dinner at Morton’s Corners Fire Department. He reminded the board that the East Concord Fire Department will have their installation dinner on April 22.
In new business, the board awarded the Spring Trash pickup bid to Waste Management. Two bids came in to the town and were opened April 3, 2017. Waste Management’s bid came in slightly lower at $12,466.66. Darlene Schwiekert reminded residents that, as always, the pick up starts on the Monday after Mother’s Day. All trash needs to be within 5 feet of the pavement by 6 a.m. the first day. Roads are only serviced once. A full list of requirements is online at www.townofconcrdny.com.
All electronics must be recycled at the eShed next to the Town Hall.
The board moved to accept the mowing bid submitted by Pete Gabel at $5,300. The bids ranged from the high bid of $8,000 to a low bid of $400. The bid of $400 was disqualified as an irresponsible bid. “You couldn’t buy the gas for that much,” commented most on the board.
The next highest bid was $4,800 submitted by Larry Heim. The bid for mowing is considered an RFP bid and does not have to be awarded to the lowest bidder. Considering the mowing bid is primarily for the cemeteries, the board voted in favor of the past experiences they have had with Pete Gabel. Councilman Snyder voted no in awarding this bid.
The town is looking to purchase a new van for its seniors. The current van has 226,000 miles on it. They have contacted a variety of sources, including Rural Transit Service, about the best van to meet their needs. They are sending out specs to different sources on the best fit for the town services. The hope is they can get a better price than what state bids would offer.
Town Clerk Darlene Schwiekert asked the board to pass a resolution for the town clerk’s association. Currently, the County Real Tax sends out tax bills on Jan. 15 of a given year to “first class towns” or towns with over 10,000 parcels, with taxes overdue on Feb. 15 and a penalty rate of 1.5 percent on the tax. In “second class towns” or towns with less than 10,000 parcels, tax bills are sent on Feb. 15 of a given year and the taxes are overdue after March 15 with a penalty of 7.5 percent. The board passed the resolution. Though it wouldn’t affect 2018 taxes, the hope is that Erie County Real Property Tax will include the second class towns in the billing of Jan. 15 and have the same penalty.
The board thanked Schwiekert and Stephanie Bacon for all their hard work in the town office and resolved to claim May 7-13, 2017 as municipal clerks week.
On the matter of updating the Concord Codes on General Codes, a website that provides codes of every town, village and city in the United States, it was noted that the Town of Concord has not updated the code since 2008. The cost of updating will be from $1,500 to $1,800. The discussion was whether or not to produce hard copies of the codes as well.
George Donhauser of the Concord Planning Board commented that, “We still use the books.” Though the ebooks are nice with smartphones and watches, the codes are constantly with you.
Jim Krezmein noted, “The books were nice; you had your notes and tabs.” The discussion will continue. The town agreed to work with General Codes on Updating the Town of Concord Codes.
The board appointed Ken Zittle as Liaison to the Parks.
In library news, the board approved Sue Putney of Springville to the Hulbert Library Board. They tabled the appointment of another board member until the by-laws were reviewed. The other recommended person lives in Sardinia.
The next Town of Concord Board Meeting will be held on Thursday, May 11, 2017, at 86 Franklin Street in Springville at 7 p.m.