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Springville Hires New Police Officer

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By Derek M. Otto

The regular meeting of the Village of Springville was held Monday, Aug. at 65 Franklin Street.  Code Enforcement Officer Mike Kaleta was absent.  The meeting started off with Liz Melock asking the board to approve Adam Tillinghast as the part-time caretaker, or light maintenance worker, to replace Lester Dunn.  The board approved the hire with the job starting Aug. 15.

Trustee Moriarty asked if the job was in budget.Melock replied that the job was in budget, but due to more maintenance work involved the job pay was increased and the hours reduced.

The board was asked to approve the application for Springville-Griffith Institute’s annual homecoming parade.  With the approval, Mayor Krebs noted that SGI will also file the event permits as well.   

Melock brought up a tax challenge for the property at 27 Franklin Street. She asked the board to approve village attorney Paul Weiss as the village representative to the court hearing on the article 7 tax challenge.  The village uses town assessment for tax appraisals.  With the board’s approval,  she told the board that she has begun working on the RFP CFA grant to start advertising vacant commercial properties in the village.   She also advised the board that the village Certificate of Need or CON, relating to emergency services, was expiring in January.  That led to a discussion on the village’s requirement for the document.  With the Springville Fire Department already having a CON and Mercy EMS data, it was decided that the village will need to look into renewing.

Superintendent of Public Works Ken Kostnowiak reported that a large tree in Fiddler’s Green Park needs to be removed and will be replaced with two new trees. He asked the board to approve a proposed bid for a passive filter or dehydrator and oil reconditioning systems for a large 34-5 transformer at the North Street substation.  The older transformer is having issues with its age and moisture; the equipment will extend the life of the transformer and another transformer.  The systems range from $38,000.  The transformer is 37 years old and the village bought it used then.  Kostowniak noted that the system could extend life 40 years for the transformers.  A new transformer would cost upwards of $147,000.  The board approved the advertising for bids.

Kostnowiak asked the board to approve Melock as the voting delegate to Municipal Electric Utility Association of New York State.  The organization is the lobbying organization that helps set prices for municipal electric companies.  Mayor Krebs noted that he would also be going to MEUA.

Kostnowiak asked the board to change two job titles in the highway department to correlate the job descriptions with Civil Service.  The board approved the change and appointed two motor equipment operators.  The employees will stay the same, just change job titles.

Kostnowiak also reported on the approved bid for a 2018 Chevrolet pick-up truck from Cappelino’s Chevrolet in Boston, NY came in at $18,569, much lower than expected. With the savings from the truck and the revenue created by the sale of a dump truck, the Electric Department was able to purchase a new John Deere Gator.  Kostnowiak noted that he spends $1,000 every year renting a Gator for the electric division and this purchase was money well spent.

He asked for some change orders in the completion of the project at 65 Franklin Street. $9,600 was granted for work on the foundation of the stairway at 65 Franklin. With the change orders approved, the project is about 99 percent complete.

Kostnowiak said that the locksmith will be putting the time locks on the restrooms this week, nearly completing Heritage Park.

Lastly, Kostnowiak asked for the approval of Fairview Contracting for the water main work on Church and Franklin Streets.  The eight-inch mains will be replaced at a cost of $251,754.92.  The total cost for the project is $282,000; CGB granting will pay $141,000 of the project cost.

Officer in Charge of the Springville Police Department, Nick Budney, reported that in July, Springville PD responded to 161 calls, performed 1,962 patrol hours in 43 shifts and four court shifts.  This resulted in 95 tickets and two penal arrests. The Erie County Sheriff’s Department responded to 550  calls in July.

Budney noted that for the first time, Springville received a NYS traffic safety grant of $2,200. He said he will use this money toward Buckle-Up NY in the fall.

He asked the board to approve the hire of Sean Gallagher as Springville Police Officer.  Gallagher is a 20-year veteran of the Hamburg Police Department and will work part-time in Springville. Budney presented Gallagher his badge during the meeting.

David Klenk, chief of the Springville Fire Department (SFD), reported that they responded to 42 calls; eight were false alarms. He announced that the Hurst tools were received and that training would be held for SFD and companies in our mutual aid area.  The “jaws of life” and other equipment is used both by Springville and mutual aid companies, especially during the day when mutual aid companies respond to local calls.  Klenk reported on the purchasing of new equipment and suits for the fall.  He noted that SFD was active in supporting community events over the last two months. In addition to calls, the fire company was on call for the Fourth Celebration to the Children’s League Walk and Run.

Alan Chamberlain reported that the control center had 162 calls in July.

The board approved a public hearing on Sept. 11, 2017, for the Small Animal Law in the village.

Klenk pointed out in old business that Fire Fighter Phil Drozd had approached the board about waiving the permit fee for the Fire Trucks and Food Truck event at Fireman’s Park.  The event was tabled in July.  Terry Skelton made a motion to accept the waiver so that a discussion could be had.  Mayor Krebs stated, “I do not think we should waive the special event fee. It’s not in the best interest of the village. When you have the Dairy Fest, Fiddle Fest, Pageant of Bands and other not-for-profits paying, where does it stop if we waive one fee.”  The fees cover inspection cost accrued by the village for the events.

Skelton commented, ”My first experience on the board was with this fee.  I am in agreement that we should not waive it.”

Moriarty said, “I am all for consistency.”

Nils Wikman stated, ”Every not-for profit has ammunition to why they should have the fee waived.  In the end, it will cost the village more by waiving the fee.”

Krebs noted that it was unfair to events like the Fiddle Fest, which was held the same day. “They paid the fee, paid for the electric and other costs of the event. It’s not fair to them to waive your fee when the event was on the same day.”

In the end, the fee was not waived.

Krebs made the announcement of his appointees to the planning board.  The vacancies of Dave Guadagna and Christie Greene made it impossible for there to be a quorum.  He appointed Marc Gentner to replace Guadagna’s term ending in 2019 and Jeremy Raynor to replace Christie Greene’s term ending 2020.

He asked the board to acknowledge that NYS Court Clerk Association Fall Conference will be Sept. 25 and 26.  The court will be closed on that Tuesday.

In trustee comments, the board members noted that the village looks the best that it has ever or at least in a very long time. Krebs noted that he was grateful that everything came together by the time of the unofficial deadline of July 29, 2017.  The Fiddle Fest was planned long in advance of these projects (Franklin Streetscape and Heritage Park); it was good to see them get done in time.

The next regular meeting will be held Sept.11, 2017, 7 p.m. at 65 Franklin Street, Springville.

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