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Collins holds first meeting of the year

COLLINS — At the Jan. 13 meeting of the Collins Town Board, which had been postponed because of weather, Highway Superintendent Dennis Jensen reported that, during last year’s entire winter, Collins received a total of 87 inches of snow. To keep the roads passable, snow plows made 48 trips.

This year, from Nov. 11-Jan. 13, Collins has already nearly doubled that amount of snow. The town has had 145 inches of snow and the plows have made 65 excursions, to keep Collins clear.

Since this was the first meeting of the year, the board reviewed and passed 61 resolutions for 2014. These consisted of policies for the coming year, dealing with salaries and duties of various departments and persons.

Annual salaries were set, as follows: The town supervisor will receive an annual salary of $18,000, with an additional $1,500, for overseeing the water department. The four elected town council persons will each receive $6,000 annually; the town attorney will make $11,480; the town clerk will make $39,119; The elected town justices will receive $14,500 each and the town highway superintendent will receive $52,285, with an additional $2,000, to oversee the transfer station and the parks department. The water maintenance worker will be paid $21.54 per hour until August, when he will get a step increase to $22.12 per hour.

Appointments by department heads were made, with Mary Clark again being named the deputy town supervisor. Liaisons of town councilpersons to 19 activities were set.

The new member of the council, Janet Vogtli, was assigned as a liaison to rural transit; parks and recreation and committees on codes, buildings and grounds and safety.

Citizen John Gibbs addressed the board, saying that he thought it inappropriate for the town board to get involved in the questions involving the village of Gowanda and the Gowanda School District board of education, regarding the New York State Department of Transportation grant and safe routes to school.

Town Clerk Becky Jo Summers reported that transactions in her office for December came to $4,350, of which the town’s portion was $4,191.

Building Inspector and Code Enforcement Officer Gene Degman reported that, in the year 2013, there were 67 building permits issued, of which only two were for homes. The total value was $751,180. Town fees collected for these permits came to $5,124.

Discussions regarding the replacement of the recently deceased town justice Norman Peters decided that a special election should be held in November, for someone to complete his term. If a town justice were to be appointed now, it would be April before he or she could attend the required training and assume the duties. The board agreed to discuss it further, at the next meeting.

Board members also agreed not to get involved in the dispute on the Safe Routes to School Program in Gowanda. As Supervisor David Tessmer noted, the board was not involved in the affair, in any of the earlier stages, and he saw no reason to get involved, at this time.

In other matters, the board:

– Authorized the supervisor and town clerk to sign the Highway Shared Services agreement.

– Approved the spending of highway funds in 2014 for various projects.

– Accepted the supervisor’s report for November 2013.

– Designated Magna Care’s Health Republic as the town’s health insurance provider.

The meeting was adjourned in memory of the Honorable Norman Peters.

The next meeting of the Collins Town Council will be on Jan. 21, at 7 p.m. in the Collins Town Hall.

The town hall will be closed on Jan. 20, for Martin Luther King Day. The next trash pick-up day will be on Jan. 25.


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