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East Otto looks to budget for new equipment

EAST OTTO — The East Otto town board met on Sept. 10 to discuss the summer youth program, budget and highway business, among other matters.

Elizabeth O’Neill gave the board an update on the town’s summer youth program. According to O’Neill, there was an average of 10 children each day, throughout the program. Participants were served lunch, did crafts and participated in outdoor recreation. O’Neill recommended that next year, the program be advertised sooner to increase participation. She added that she would also like to schedule some movie nights for the children in town. She will keep one of the extra keys to the town hall for that purpose, and plans to notify the clerk’s office when she schedules those events. She also asked that a large garbage can be purchased for the downstairs area. Town Clerk Ann Rugg said that she will purchase the can. The board thanked Elizabeth for administering the program.

A motion was made by Dave Forster and seconded by Mike Poch to authorize the Supervisor Jim Beach to pay all general and highway funds bills audited. The audit of the August 2013 prepaid utility bills was also accepted and Rugg paid the supervisor $515.55 for August fees and commissions.

Rugg reported on her research into purchasing Christmas decorations and updated the board on her new hours. She will be available by appointment Monday-Friday, from 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.; Monday, 5-7; Wednesday, from 5:30-7:30 and Saturday, from 10 a.m.-noon.

The first installment of County Highway Improvement Program funding should be received by the end of the month in the amount of about $85,000, according to the board.

In addition, the loader will be a year old in November. The board members discussed whether to exercise their option to pay the rate of $10 per work hour, which works out to approximately 239 hours, and $2,400 so far. The CHIPS Representative informed Highway Superintendent Tom Benz that CHIPS funds cannot be used for the purchase of a plow, only to purchase a whole package truck and plow.

The board came to a consensus that the purchase is necessary. The county-administered workman’s compensation cost is $34,151 this year and is projected to be $35,427, for next year. New York state retirement cost this year is $27,824. Next year is projected at $48,338 and 2015 is projected at $39,375. There is a $20,514 increase, over last year which will result in the budget being over the 2 percent cap, before the rest of the budget is started.

Benz said that he feels that the plow will cost about $6,000, but he will get exact figures for the next meeting. He also reported that he met with the Department of Environmental Conservation and the Maples Sportsmen’s Club at the old Gravel Pit on Thompson Road. The permit for that location has expired and the club reported that it wants the town to reclaim it, as per the permit provisions. Benz said that he will get an estimate as soon as possible.

Code Enforcement Officer Jeff Forster answered 19 phone calls, issued two permits, completed eight inspections and issued one violation. He gave the clerk $195 in permit fees.The second quarter sales tax was received, in the amount of $52,934.37.

The Sept. 24 meeting was canceled. The next meeting will take place on Oct. 8 at 8 p.m. at the East Otto Town Hall.


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