A $20,000 fee to the Helmuth Fire Dispatch has raised concerns to the North Collins Village Board, who want to know why the fee is so much.
Mayor Vincent George said he had written Town Supervisor Rosaline Seege about the matter a month ago, but has yet to receive an answer. The center is funded by the municipalities that use it, namely North Collins, Collins and the Cattauragus Reservation. The fees are further divided by the number of fire companies in each. North Collins functions as the lead agency in dispatch operations for payroll purposes.
There was concern that the town had overstepped its power in awarding raises to dispatchers and approving purchase of an expensive tape recording system for Helmuth. Trustee Brenda Bauer-Petrus, who serves as Helmuth Liaison for the village, believes those changes need to be approved by all the bodies supporting the center. She also raised another issue in an appointment by the town of a new director. Bauer-Petrus said that in the past it was the Helmuth Fire Chiefs Council who named the director.
She noted that the Chiefs Council would meet later in the week at the Langford New Oregon fire hall and George said he would attend with her. George said it was not out of the question that the village would seek cost estimates for dispatch to be handled elsewhere such as Springville, Angola or Hamburg.
The board approved holding a public hearing on a proposed budget for 2013-14 on April 2 at 7:15 p.m. Several large expenses could factor into the equation. Public Works Director Mike Perry informed the board he would like to trade in 1990 and 1994 trucks for one single new dump truck. He also stated that the village should consider trading in its back hoe towards a new model while it still has trade value. Other than age, Perry stated the replacements are mainly needed as he can no longer get parts for the older models.
Adding to the financial picture was correspondence received from the County Community Development Agency that the $100,000 grant the village was awarded last year to mitigate flooding issues in the village, has been put on hold.
According the the letter the agency is waiting for 2010 census data that can prove the areas of benefit fall into income guidelines according to federal formulas. George expressed surprise at the development since the $5 million loan to rehab the water system was based on the economics of the area. The village has already spent money on some remediation actions and George said the work will continue with or without the grant.
Code Enforcement Officer Phil Tremblay reported he had done a walk around an abandoned property on Main Street following complaints of skunks residing there. Tremblay found evidence of openings and gnawing on the structure. Village Attorney Richard Schaus stated that letters to the last two known addresses of the last known owner had been returned to him. However, residents reported the assumed owner as being seen regularly in the village. Tremblay will try to follow up on the lead.
Fire Chief Jim Miller reported that the fire company currently has 29 active fire fighters with 22 of them certified for interior firefighting. Additionally, the company has five certified trainers for the new state-mandated bailout system, and all interior firefighters have been trained in the procedure. He also requested the board consider allowing the fire company to offer a junior firefighter program. The designation would allow young people ages 16 and up to train with the fire company, provide limited on-scene report and be eligible to take state classes. The village would have to determine if it was willing to provide workmens compensation to junior firefighters.
George reported an estimate of an additional $3,810 to make the new labor department mandated safety features on the fire station doors operational. Miller was not aware of the issue and questioned why such adaptation was not part of the original bid. George turned the matter over to Perry for further investigation.
In other action the board:
Accepted the resignation of Marge Mackey from the Zoning Board of Appeals and appointed Henry Maciejewski to fill the vacancy.
Agreed to renew the Bond Anticipation Note of $140,000 for High Street reconstruction and waterline drainage.
Accepted the suggestion of Village Clerk Lynn Maciejewski to delay appraisal of village owned equipment in light of new major purchases being considered.
Approved the payment of bills totaling $559,477.93.