Sherman Wilkens Honored
Board Considers New Liability Insurance Carrier
Story and Photo by John Thomas
While the work on the HVAC system at Town and Village Hall continues, Monday’s Village Trustee’s meeting was moved to Town Center. The Board took time out from its meeting to honor long-time Trustee Sherman Wilkens for his many years of service. Mr. Wilkens retired from the board in March after Spencer Murry was elected to his seat. Mayor John Burrell presented Wilkens with a plaque recognizing his many years of service on the board. As the meeting got underway, the Mayor announced the good news that the water leak by Fitzpatrick & Weller had been fixed. The repair has resulted in a 30% reduction of water needing to be pumped from the wells. It was mentioned the leak could have been going for 20+ years. The Village has received an insurance fund dividend check for $9,644.21, and a 20% discount on renewal. The Fillmore Creek Townhouses has given the Village a check for $15,000 instead of putting in a sidewalk. The Village will receive a CHIPS funding check for $29,014.27. That amount is $3,014.27 over the budgeted amount.
Mayor Burrell introduced Randy Glen from the Evens Agency to discuss liability insurance for the Village. Mr. Glen pointed out that cyber liability is a new aspect of the insurance business. He pointed out it is especially relevant after the computer breach at Holiday Valley. He had obtained several quotes from insurance carriers, one of which included a cyber liability policy. He was recommending the quote from the Nymar Insurance Company. Although it was not the lowest bid, Glen was advocating the Nymar policy because the company has experience in municipality insurance and includes a breach of data (both computer and physical files) policy. None of the other proposals covered cyber liability. The coverage includes $50,000 covering computer hacks, including ransomware. Glen said the village is more likely to fall victim to a computer hack than a building burning down. In addition, Nymar would come to the village and preform and inventory of all village assets including the waste water treatment plant. The policy would include $1,000,000 in earthquake and flood coverage, up to $2,000,000 in public official’s coverage, and $6,000,000 in general liability. The policy would cost about $3,000 more than the previous policy and will require an adjustment to the budget. A motion was passed to accept the bid from Nymar.
The Mayor and several other Village officials will be attending the Local Government Conference at Houghton College on May 10. The Mayor mentioned a county program for refurbishing two of the Village’s baseball fields. If the grant is obtained, the county will hire the construction company to improve the fields, the infield, and the grandstands. The improvements would allow tournaments to be held at the fields. Burrell reminded the board it was Nannen who owned the bat blank factory where Tim and Bonnie’s is now. The blanks were sold to the Louisville Slugger Company who turned them into bats. Burrell said he would talk to Louisville Slugger about naming rights to the field. The Mayor and Town Supervisor Matt McAndrew participated in the annual Arbor Day ceremony at the Arboretum and presented a proclamation honoring the day.
Jack Rogan’s official term as Fire Chief expired as of December 31, 2105, but he has remained serving in that capacity. While it was not a problem, he couldn’t legally sign documents. A motion was made to reinstate him, which passed.
Village Planner’s Report
Village Planner Gary Palumbo gave an account of his activities. Much of his time has been taken up with the change of use and addition for 23 Washington St. Mr. Palumbo was asking the board if they want to be the lead agency for the coordinated SEQR review for the project. Because the remodel calls for extending the deck over the sidewalk on Washington, the state DOT must be involved in the coordinated SEQR. The board passed a motion naming the Planning Board as the lead agency for the SEQR. Palumbo said because there is legal opposition to the 23 Washington project he has been getting a lot of questions from citizens and officials. He said he has been very careful with his answers. With that, the Board went into executive session to discuss the matter. Village Attorney Kathleen Moriarty sat in on the session. When the board meeting resumed, a motion was made to hire an attorney on a short-term basis to deal with planning and zoning issues. No explanation was given. The DPW report was accepted as submitted.
Nick Dobmeier said the close-out documentation had been submitted to Municipal Solutions for final approval, making the project virtually complete. Mr. Dobmeier said the CUPPS program on the Toughbook laptop is ready for a trial run. It contains all the data for the Village’s water supply system. When ready it will be able to print out work orders and maintenance records. Mayor Burrell said he would like the CUPPS system to be able to monitor the sewer system as well. He asked Dobmeier if it would need a second Toughbook to accomplish that. The Engineer said he wasn’t sure but would check. He also said he would work on syncing the water CUPPS system on the Village’s desktop computers.
Stillhouse Brewpub submitted a completed permit application at the end of March. Dobmeier said he would like to see a brewing schedule for the pub. He said water treatment plants like a steady flow of affluent, but if the pub suddenly releases lots of brewing waste, it could cause problems. Kelly Fredrickson suggested reviewing the fee schedule for permits at some future date. There was general agreement; it was time to reconsider the charges. The sewer report was accepted.
Code of Ethics
Spencer Murry submitted a proposed Code of Ethics for the Village to adopt. He said it was based on the document approved by the Town. In it, he had changed one section regarding board members recusing themselves from some decisions. Most of the board wanted time to review the changed paragraph, and there will have to be a public hearing on the document. Mr. Murry felt it would cause an undue delay in adopting the codes. Mayor Burrell suggested that since he was going to call for a special budget meeting at the end of the month, the board could review the codes at that time. They could then set the public hearing for the regular June meeting and still give the necessary ten-day notice. The special meeting was set for Tuesday, May 30 at 6pm at Town Center. A motion was passed to facilitate Tom Abriatis’ retirement. The meeting was adjourned.