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Milo wants to drop county compensation plan

MILO—The Milo town board voted to drop out of the Yates County Workers Compensation program in May. That cost-cutting measure was revisited during a special meeting on Monday, June 20.
Scott Sprague, a representative of New York State Workers Compensation Alliance, spoke during the meeting. Sprague said he was not in the county to make enemies. He said, “I am just here to promote what we have available.” Sprague told the board the Alliance’s premiums are based on payroll and loss experience. He suggested a comparison of costs among three carriers who provide workers compensation insurance and the Yates County program.
Six Yates County representatives attended the meeting. Legislature  Chairman Taylor Fitch spoke about the county plan. He said the plan, begun in 1956, was shifted to 50 percent assessments and 50 percent experience in the 1980s. It is now part of the county tax rate. If a town leaves the county plan, it could cause an increase in cost for taxpayers in other Yates County municipalities. Milo represents approximately 28 percent of the county taxes paid. Town Supervisor John Socha asked if village taxes would go up if Milo withdrew from the program. Fitch said yes. Legislator Bob Multer said, “It is not as simple as looking at the premium.”
Fitch said he does not feel there is a compelling reason for the town to leave the county plan. Fitch named the potential of a tax cap and the lateness of the schedule as reasons to remain with the county. Yates County Insurance & Risk Manager Paul Casey spoke during the meeting. He said there is no commission connected to the county plan. That would be an expense associated with an outside insurance company.
Legislator Dan Banach spoke at the end of the meeting. He said, “As a village resident, I applaud you for trying to save money for the town taxpayers. You would have yourself exposed. One experience and Bingo. I do not think it is worth the exposure for the possible amount you might save.”
The regular board meeting took place one hour after the special meeting. Board member Jim Harris asked if the board wished to make a decision on the insurance. The board agreed to review the information provided by Sprague. They will make a decision in one week.
In other business: The board heard a presentation on Marcellus Shale.  John Halfman of the Finger Lakes Institute spoke about the potential in this area. Drilling for gas in the shale is a possibility in the Finger Lakes. Halfman said there are many gas leases in this area. He personally feels the region is too far north for drilling into Marcellus Shale. Halfman said the shale must be deep enough to yield gas.
Moving to the drilling process, Halfman said several million gallons of water and additives are required for each frack. Disposal pits are where the problems start.  These will have a huge impact on a small watershed, such as the watershed here. He said the town would probably have the most say with roads and water reserves.
• A public hearing on a Hydrofracking Moratorium was scheduled at 7 p.m. Monday, July 18.
• The board agreed to proceed with abandonment of Trenchard Road. The short road that runs off Route 14 near Himrod is no longer used.
•  The board authorized Socha to sign a Memo of Understanding regarding the Payment in Lieu of Taxes (PILOT) for Lake Street Plaza. Taxes and PILOT payments are unpaid. Socha said a new agreement needs to be signed. Milo’s involvement is small, according to Socha, about $2,000. Councilman Dale Hallings abstained.
The next meeting of the Milo town board will be at 7 p.m. on Monday, July 18. The meeting will be in the town office on Main Street in Penn Yan.

 

 

 





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