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Preparations made, to begin construction on Lucy Bensley Center

CONCORD — The Concord Town Board held a work session, prior to its Feb. 14 meeting, to discuss bids received for upcoming work to the Lucy Bensley building.

Presenting the bids was Glenn Cooley, who reviewed all of the items for the board and then announced that the low bid was from Mazur Construction of Clarence Center, at $97,000.

The board discussed fund balances and spoke about borrowing money, before proceeding with this project. Concord Supervisor Gary Eppolito said that he believed the board should begin to think long-term, about the town’s buildings.

Board Member William Snyder asked if the town could begin charging rent to the organizations that utilize the Lucy Bensley Center, but Eppolito pointed out that Concord already funds most of the groups that use the building on a regular basis, such as the historical society, which does genealogy, in that facility.

It was also noted that, because the Lucy Bensley Center was gifted to the town, Concord must maintain the structure.

Later in the meeting, the board approved a resolution authorizing Eppolito to proceed with council, John Alessi of Hodgson Russ, in obtaining bond anticipation note funding not to exceed $70,000 for the purpose of the repairs to the Lucy Bensley Center.

The bid was awarded to Mazur Construction, for the entire contract amount of $97,000.

Eppolito advised those that utilize the center that they will need to vacate the property by May or June.

The superintendent was also authorized to enter into negotiation with E&M Engineers & Surveyors, for construction inspection services on that building, not to exceed $5,000. Snyder’s was the only opposing vote.

In other matters:
– Ned Young of the Safari Club approached the board about a $1,500 scholarship available to graduating seniors. Information about the application process is available on the club’s website, www.wnysafariclub.com, and at the Springville-Griffith Institute High School guidance office.

– Highway Superintendent Dennis Dains announced that his department will begin its budget meetings with the village, on March 14. He also noted that a new senior dispatcher, Rick Johnson, has been appointed to the control center.

– Eppolito and the other officials thanked Dains and the Springville Volunteer Fire Department for a “wonderful installation dinner.”

– Dains was approved to attend the 2013 Grassroots Advocacy Campaign for Local Roads and Bridges in Albany on March 5 and 6. He also has spring workshops with Cornell Local Roads coming up, on April 9 and 16.

– Village of Springville Superintendent of Public Works Karl Lux proposed that the village pay $861.79, to buy out the town of Concord’s portion of a joint ownership of the Gates 4-20 hose-crimping machine. The town has its own device of this kind. Money received from the village for this purpose will go into the tool account.

– The Erie County Highway Department will be putting the reconstruction project on Zoar Valley Road out to bid. The bids will be advertised until Feb. 21.

– Compensation time for highway employees was increased by 20 hours, from 60 to 80 hours, at Dains’ discretion.

– Eppolito announced that the town has inherited the stretch of South Cascade Drive between Burger King and Tim Hortons. He said that he is not aware of another location in Erie County which has a town-owned road in an incorporated village. “That is a very expensive piece of highway,” he said. “When that road needs repaved, we can’t just stone and chip that.”

He added that he has contacted Erie County Legislator John Mills, to see if the county will take over that section of the road, since the county already has possession of the road on both sides of that part. The board discussed the option of putting a highway tax on the owners along that portion of South Cascade and also spoke about creating a highway district for those businesses. All monies paid in would go into a dedicated fund. Town Attorney Deborah Barone will review the issue.

– Junkyard permits for 2013 were approved for Jordan’s Salvage, Southern Tier Auto Center, Arthur P. King Auto Parts and Ronald Miller.

– Mining permits were approved for the following: McEwan Trucking, Schreiber & Winkelman, McCarthy Gravel, Gernatt – Vaughn-Middle Road, Gernatt – Vaughn – Dewald – Middle Road, Gernatt – Snyder Road, Gernatt – Belscher Road, Cold Spring Construction – Sharp Street, Cold Spring Construction – Zoar Valley Road, Michael J. Hannon Landscaping & Excavation, Triple R Properties and Waterman Gravel.

It was noted that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has not yet approved the final reclamation of the Cold Spring Construction Wendel pit. The company must renew its permit with the town, as it has not yet been reclaimed and approved. Eppolito will send the renewal application to Cold Spring Construction.

– The service award program for firefighters, which was initiated 15 years ago with a five-year buyback, was discussed. Firefighters may earn 20 years of credit with a fire company and would earn $20 per month, toward their retirement, at age 62. The Mortons Corners Fire Company and the East Concord Fire Company have asked that, since some of their firefighters are approaching the 20-year milestone and are not close to 62 years old, the maximum year mark be set at 30 years, instead of 20. This would also increase the amount of money firefighters could collect at age 62.

While there would be no initial cost to the town, Concord would eventually need to fund those extra years. The Concord public would need to vote on this change. The board voted in favor of placing this proposition onto the fall election ballot.

– John Allan was reappointed to the Concord Industrial Development Agency, for the five-year term expiring in December 2017.

– All board members voted to ask for the New York Secure Ammunitions and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 to be repealed, due to what the board called its being “passed without due process.” Certified copies of this resolution were sent to New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and members of the New York State Senate and Assembly and the Erie County Legislature.

– A resolution voicing the town’s opposition to Cuomo’s proposal to restrict the use of sales tax exemption as an “incentive in economic development projects” was also approved. Copies were sent to Cuomo and every member of the Western New York delegation.

– A public hearing regarding Gold Star Parent Exemption, which gives eligible families the same property tax breaks as veterans, was scheduled for March 14 at 6:50 p.m. This exemption would apply to the parents of children who died in the line of duty, while serving in the United States armed forces, during a period of war.

The next Concord Town Board meeting will be held March 14 at 7 p.m.
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