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January 18, 2018 (41)
A joint meeting of the Village Board and Town Board was held January 18, 2018 at 6:00 PM in the Town Hall, 600 Palmer Avenue.
Supervisor Lucia called the meeting to order & led the Pledge of Allegiance.
Trustee Denno, Trustee Halliday, Trustee Kelly, and Mayor Morreale were
present. Trustee Enekes was
excused. Councilman Butler, Councilman
Byrnes, Councilman Collura, Councilman Halliday, and Supervisor Lucia were
Supervisor Lucia introduced Tammy & Brian Martineau to the Village Board as the new Town representatives of the Emergency Response Management Committee. The Village Board welcomed the Martineaus to the Emergency team.
Atty Hafner & Atty Buettner summarized the 2018 Fire Protection contract negotiations. The Town of Corinth received the proposed contract in April of 2017, as it had been presented to the Town Board in March of 2017, for $424,427. The Town Board offered a counter-proposal in January of 2018 of $374,427 with a stipulation that future contracts be split 50/50 between Town and Village. The Village Board rejected that offer and offered to reduce the contract to $409,427 taking into account $15,000 received as revenue from the sale of surplus fire equipment, and rejected the 50/50 future split as an unenforceable binding of future boards. The Town Board rejected that offer, stating they did not have enough money to pay more than $374,427.
The Boards discussed the contract and budgetary concerns facing each Board. Clerk-Treas Colson was asked to clarify numerous items in the fire budget as well as the Village’s budgeting process. Chief Kelley distributed a detailed listing of Fire Department equipment which also explained what equipment currently maintained by the Village would not be necessary to replace if the Village Department were not also protecting the Town of Corinth.
Supervisor Lucia expressed his approval for the cooperation exhibited by both Atty Hafner & Atty Buettner. The supervisor also expressed his respect for the Volunteer Firemen and their service and stated the cut to the contract was necessary due to a $300,000 shortfall in revenues discovered in October/November which also resulted in eliminating two EMS shifts as part of widespread budget cuts.
Councilman Collura stated he did not feel the current rate was fair and would like the contract rate to be 50/50.
Trustee Kelly asked the Town to focus on the 2018 contract and the future contract rates could be dealt with as we begin the 2018/2019 budget. Trustee Kelly asked the number of homes in the Village vs. the Town. Supervisor Lucia replied that there are 987 parcels in the Village and 2403 parcels in the Town.
Mayor Morreale stated the Fire Department would continue to respond to emergencies in the Town, but asked the Town to review their budget and come to a resolution on the contract issue. Mayor Morreale stated the Village was familiar with the difficulties of budget restraints, the Fire Department has been asked to cut $25,000 from their budget for the 2017/2018 budget, but the Village budget had been in effect expecting the full revenue from the contract since June 1. Mayor Morreale also detailed several local communities with contract splits of 68/31 – 87/13 with the Towns paying the larger portion of the fire contract. Mayor Morreale reiterated Chief Kelley’s point that responding to Town emergencies was more expensive than Village emergencies due to equipment such as large tankers, brush trucks and ATVs. Mayor Morreale requested the Town Board review their budget and present another proposal.
Trustee Halliday pointed out the Village presented the contract in March/April, passed their budget in late April and received no response until January.
Councilman Byrnes stated the Town had no intention on reneging on the full amount of the contract, but devastating assessment adjustments decreased the Town’s revenue which forced numerous cuts in all departments. He also expressed his gratitude for the Firemen’s time, sacrifices and training. Councilman Byrnes also referred to the 2010 contract which was a much different amount than the 2018 contract.
Councilman Butler expressed a desire to honor the “handshake” agreement between the Village and Town regarding the full contract price of $424,427 presented in March and asked that the Town revisit the budget.
Trustee Denno referred to Chief Kelley’s documents showing there is more equipment needed in the Town than the Village. Trustee Denno also stated more than assessments are what determines contract price and some equipment would not need to be replaced if the Town wasn’t covered by the Village. Trustee Denno urged the Town to compromise on the contract to ease concerns of the residents and school district.
Councilman Halliday stated the Town and Village should be viewed as one community with the same level of service.
The Town Board agreed to review their budget and have the Town Attorney send a new proposal to the Village. Mayor Morreale thanked the Town Board for hosting the meeting.
Councilman Halliday asked the Village Board if Don Rhodes, of Laberge Group, could give a special presentation to the Town Board regarding water districts and metering. Mayor Morreale agreed.
PUBLIC COMMENTS, QUESTIONS & CONCERNS
Chuck Pasquarell, Overlook Dr, requested the committees work together on the upcoming 2019 contract proposal.
Celia Lockhart, Board of Education, asked if the Elementary School will still be protected in the Town since there is no contract. The Village Board and Fire Chief assured her the entire Town will be protected.
made by Trustee Halliday, seconded by Trustee Denno, adjourned the meeting on
behalf of the Village Board, 7:15 PM.