By Derek M. Otto
The regular meeting of the Village of Springville was held Oct. 16, 2017 at 7p.m. All trustees and department heads were present.
The meeting opened with public comments and the presentation of Laura Landers from Freed Maxick, CPAs. Landers reviewed the village’s audit of the fiscal year ending May 31, 2017. In her report, she described to the board the contents of the audit. She mentioned that the village may soon be required to address cybersecurity in the near future. Other clients of Freed Maxick are looking into training and ways to prevent and address security issues. This would include risk assessment.
Liz Melock, village administrator, asked if that would include insurance. Landers replied, “Yes.” Melock furthered the discussion by saying that the village had already purchased cyber insurance and the village was protected against financial losses if attacked.
Continuing the report, Landers summarized the audit. She stated that the general fund had a balance of $2.2 million, with $1.9 million not assigned. The general fund also had a surplus of $357,000; capital fund had a balance of $237, 000 and unassigned had a balance of $10,000. The village had a general fund debt balance of $110,000, which will be paid off during fiscal year 2017-2018.
She then summarized the Enterprise Funds, those that act like businesses, the Water, Sewer and Electric Department balances. The Village of Springville Water Department had a balance of $236,000 with a net change of $147, 000 with an asset/liability ration of 1.8. The Village of Springville Sewer Department was overdrawn $54,000, with a net change of -$106,000 with the asset/liability ratio of 1.2. The Village of Springville Electric Department had a balance of $344,000 and an asset/liability ratio of 1.5. Landers was concerned about the asset ratio of both the sewer and electric departments. She believes that it would be time to ask the Public Service Commission for a rate increase for the Village of Springville Electric Department. The last rate increase came seven years ago with the belief that the rates would be needed to increase in two years. Landers explained to the board that she and Melock would be working on a proposal to the Public Service Commission. Ken Kostnowiak asked if the ratio for the Electric Department included reimbursements from New York State for storm assistance. Landers said that was part of the business operations and would not be included in the ratio. In conclusion, Landers was pleased to report on the health financial state of the village’s general fund and water balances, yet was concerned about the sewer and electric balances. The full financial report is posted online at www.villageofspringvilleny.com.
The board thanked Landers for her report.
Melock asked the board to approve the annual Halloween curfews for village children on Oct. 31, 2017. The curfew is set for the business district and village parks for 7 p.m. and the remainder of the village is 9 p.m. The Springville Police Department and Erie County Sheriff’s Department will enforce the curfew.
Though the warm weather has made us forget what winter can bring Springville, Melock asked the board to approve the parking restrictions for the village beginning Nov. 1, 2017 to April 1, 2018. No cars can be parked on village streets between the hours of 2 a.m. to 7 a.m., and no parking on the streets overnight. There are designated spots in the municipal parking lot where parking is permitted. No car shall be parked in one spot for 24 hours.
Melock also announced a public hearing for Wednesday, Oct. 25, 2017 at 7 p.m., 65 Franklin Street for CDBG granting and Local Law 110. CDBG grants would include well work, waterlines on Central Avenue and Rural Transit funding. Local Law 110 deals with licensing and permits. Melock reminded residents the last day to pay village taxes is Tuesday Oct. 31, 2017.
Superintendent of Public Works Ken Kostnowiak reported on the previous night’s storm. Winds took limbs on wires down on Vaughn Street, and a utility pole on the corner of Myrtle Avenue and Main Street was taken down, leaving the southeast quadrant of the village without power once again. (Storms in early September also caused major damage in that area of the village.) Village crews worked hard to restore power efficiently. Nils Wikman asked if that the Code Red system could be used to alert residents of the damage and outages. The village will be looking into using the system to alert village residents.
Kostnowiak told the board that water main flushing would happen in the coming week. The board, at Kostnowiak’s request, surplussed and approved the sale or recycling of several transformers.
Springville Police Officer-in-Charge Nick Budney told the board that the “Shop with a Cop” program has been set for Dec. 9, 2017. The program pairs cops and disadvantaged youth to shop for necessities and then a toy at Wal-Mart. The goal is to help about 30 local youth. Currently, Springville PD has raised nearly $3,000 and hopes to raise $3,500. Donations can be made at the village office at 5 West Main Street.
Budney also reported that he has been working with Christy Komenda, art teacher at Springville High School, and her students on designing a logo for the village. Eventually, the students will help create graphics for the village police cars.
David Klenk, Chief of the Springville Fire Department, reported that the department responded to 42 calls so far this month with 70 calls in September. He noted that trucks have been inspected with minor repairs. Equipment training and inspections will continue in the next weeks with hose testing on Oct. 23 and 24 and that another vehicle has been obtained for the new Hurst Equipment (Jaws of Life) training with other mutual aid companies. DOT vest and wands have been received for police and he is working on obtaining new interior and exterior gear for newly-trained firefighters. The equipment costs $1,000 for exterior and $3,000 for interior gear.
Klenk informed the board he received a denial in the AFG grant for the upcoming year. He noted the Springville FD participation in Fire Prevention Awareness Week and that trucks and firefighters visited Springville Elementary, the Children’s League, St. Al’s and daycares.
Klenk said the new fire hall at 65 Franklin will be dedicated Nov. 11, 2017 at 10:30 a.m.
Wikman asked Klenk his opinions on the continued use of the village’s fire siren. Klenk responded that there are mixed feelings on the old technology. The sirens were used prior to pagers. Some feel that the new technologies are known to fail and that the old technology still has worth.
Mike Kaleta, Code Enforcement Officer, told the board that the village has finally been registered with the Department of Financial Services (DFS) Zombie Property Database. Currently there are eight properties fitting that description and criteria. Kaleta said that there are many more. The registration allows him to add properties and in cases where banks have neglected properties. The village and DFS can sue banks for neglected properties. Fines can range as high as $1,000 a day. He then asked the board for a public hearing on the zoning of 109 North Buffalo Street. At current, the property has several zonings including B1 and R6. He is asking the board to rezone the property to RM. The public hearing is set for Nov. 20, 2017 at 7 p.m.
Alan Chamberlain reported that there were 236 calls to the Control Center and that there was a misprint in the information; there was confusion about September’s number of 176. He will look into if Mercy EMS calls were added to the control center calls.
In new business, the board approved a resolution acknowledging Nov. 16, 2017 as National Rural Health Day.
In closing, Rob Moriarty thanked the DPW for the response in Sunday’s storm.
The next regular meeting of the Village of Springville Board of Trustees is Monday Nov. 6, 2017, 7 p.m. at 65 Franklin Street.