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Hector town board 09/08/09

Meeting:  The town of Hector monthly council meeting met Tuesday, Sept. 8, 2009 in the Town Hall, starting at 7 p.m.  The meeting lasted 2 hours and 44 minutes.
Attendance:  All Council members were present: Supervisor Ben Dickens; council members Mike Berger, Jeff Mangus, Marie Stevens, Alvin White and Cliff Yaw.  Jane Ike, town clerk, and Janine Bond, bookkeeper, also attended. Two superintendents presented reports at the meeting.  Approximately 8 members of the public attended through the public comment period.
Action: Approved prior meetings minutes, including special sessions in July.  Board approved various accounting journal entries and approved payment of audited bills.
• The council held an opened a public hearing on the question of whether or not to establish a part-time town constable position.  Presently the constable duties are handled by a special deputation of the County Sheriff’s office at union rates.  The rates greatly exceed the rate available to the Town if it were to hire its own Constable on a very part time basis to provide security for town court proceedings that can draw up to 50 people.  The need to maintain order was paramount to the council in its discussion.  The council unanimously approved Local Law # 1 for 2009, establishing the position of town constable.
• Appointed Beverly Jean Johnson as a special laborer for upkeep of the park for a limited term until the park closes for the season.
• Authorized Dickens to process refunds due to campers.
• Authorized the supervisor to send letters to season-long campers to either completely vacate their sites for the winter or pay winter storage fees and liability insurance.
• Apply for a NY State grant of $121,518 to replace the aged water main to the park.  Town matching funds would amount to approximately $40,506 almost entirely funded from park rental fees.
• Water District:  The council passed a resolution unanimously to hire former Water Superintendent, Tom Ruda, as the assistant water superintendent for the purpose of training his successor, Robert Stapleton, at the rate of $24 per hour not to exceed 20 hours in any week.
• Water District Capital Project:  passed unanimously a resolution to cover a current bill of $4,437.74 for services that exceed the original budget for the project.
• Software Support Contract:  passed unanimously a resolution to renew a payroll program contract through August of 2010.  
Discussion without action: The public comment period began with a plea for ancillary funding for the Hector Library by the director, Barbara Beckhorn.  The town used to provide some funding for the library, but discovered it was constrained by law from funding a library that is not chartered.  Beckhorn suggested the town look into re-commencing the funding through the Southern Tier Regional Library Association, which is a chartered organization. It was agreed that the library would submit to the town a letter of need for the 2010 budget deliberations.  
• Dickens confirmed in the public comment period that he had indeed sent off the letter to the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation requesting that the town of Hector be considered an “involved agency” with respect to the impact of natural gas drilling activity expected in the town in the coming years. All other gas drilling questions were deferred to the findings of the special task force created by the Schuyler County Council of Governments to study feasible municipal actions that need to be undertaken to minimize the negative impact industries would have on the social and economic environment of the county.
• This Labor Day weekend produced unexpectedly boisterous and disruptive behavior on the part of several season-long campers and their temporary guests at Smith Park.  The Council listened to the temporary park Manager, Bond, as she related the sad state of affairs among some of the tenants of the park during the season as well as the deterioration of the physical plant.  The Council determined that park revenues would possibly support a full-time manager position.  The hope is that the steady and firm presence of a manager to enforce the park’s rules for orderly conduct and respectful use of the camping sites would make the park more attractive to short term users and day visits by local residents.  
• Water District:  Welcomed new Superintendent Robert Stapleton on his first day of employment with the town.  Discussion on meter reading delays and moving the district’s storage shed from Smith Park to the new secure area around the water storage tank.
• The Schuyler County Soil and Water Conservation District manager Jerry Verrigni delivered a PowerPoint presentation on the economic impact of his agency on Schuyler County’s economic vitality.  Verrigni showed that for every dollar his agency receives from the county in support they return over $30 in grant and other funding for projects integral to the wellbeing of county residents.  State funding for the agency will be cut, so Verrigni is visiting the towns seeking funding to be matched by the county to make up for the lost state funding.  He asked Hector to consider contributing $8,600, based on its population.  Examples of activities conducted by the Soil and Water Conservation District are educational programs that have reached 1,860 residents annually; tree sale with 295 participants; drainage/erosion calls for 83 residents and many more consulting and educational programming events held each year.
Upcoming meeting:  The next regular meeting will be held on Tuesday October 13, 2009 at the Town Hall beginning at 7 p.m.  


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