Town Board News - JULY - DECEMBER 2009

Previous Town Board News Pages

Town of Grand Island Website

Approved Town Board Meeting Minutes - Mon., December 21, 2009

   Click for
12/21/09 Town Board Meeting Minutes.

Employment Opportunity - Town of GI - 2010

   The Town of Grand Island is seeking a Full Time Conditional Permanent Senior Engineer Assistant. This engineering technician position involves assisting civil/sanitary engineers by compiling data, making surveys and inspections and preparing drawings. Click for
Engineer Assistant for complete information.

Town Board Meeting Agenda - Mon., January 4, 2010

   Click for
1/4/10 Town Board Meeting Agenda.

Town Inauguration Ceremony - Jan. 1, 2010

   The Town of Grand Island Inauguration Ceremony will be held at the Golden Age Center, 3278 Whitehaven Road at 12 noon January 1, 2010.

Approved Town Board Meeting Minutes - Mon., December 7, 2009

   Click for
12/7/09 Town Board Meeting Minutes.

Town Board Action
Last Town Meeting of 2009 Well Attended - December 2009

    By Joelle Logue

      Monday, December 21, 2009 . . .You would have thought the last Town Board meeting of the year had a hot issue on the agenda by the number of people in attendance. But it turned out that government students waited till the end of the course to get in the requirement of attending a Town Board meeting. And, of course, the wait was worth it because of the new, blue comfy seats in the newly renovated court room.
      The meeting, Monday, began on a high note with the recognition of Seth Peter Kline as an Eagle Scout. Accompanied by his father, Seth, who belongs to Scout Troop 630 sponsored by St. Stephen’s Church, personally put in 74 hours building a three-sided information kiosk at Beaver Island State Park as his Eagle Scout project.
      The Town Board set two public hearings for Monday, January 4 at 8 p.m. One will consider creating Lighting District #55 for Waterford Park Phase I and another will consider the placement of a stop sign at Laurie and Park lanes.
      Supervisor Peter McMahon was authorized to renew a 2010 contract with Network Services in the amount of $29,120 to avoid a lapse in coverage. The rate is the same as the current contract which expires Dec. 31. A 2010 contract with O’Connell and Associates for grant consulting was also authorized at a annual cost of $34,000 ($2000 more than last year).
      Approved were the following budget transfers needed in order to balance each fund for the year ending Dec. 31, 2009: General ($117,280), Highway ($21,100), Sewer ($1,600), Water ($1,400). All transfers were made within the same fund and no additional appropriations are necessary.
      A letter from the town in support of the establishment of a flying field for radio controlled aircraft in the Scenic Woods parcel of town-owned property was approved. It will be sent to Joe Macaluso of Long Road.
      Two special use renewals were approved - one for Robert Mesmer of 2548 Love Road for a private airport landing strip and the other was a tower permit for Upstate Cellular Network (Verizon) at 423 Ransom Road.
      It was announced that Eric Ackerman, Michael Dollendorf and Mark Gfroerer have been elected by the general membership of plumbers to represent Grand Island licensed plumbers on the Board of Plumbing Examiners for a two-year term beginning Jan. 1, 2010. The Town also appointed George Newman to the Electrical Examining Board.
      An electrical examination review fee of $60 was approved that covers the cost for the review during the regularly scheduled examination.
      The Town Board authorized the supervisor to sign the NYS Division for Youth State Aid reimbursement in the amount of $4,638 and approved the hiring of Lisa Kurpiewski for five weeks in the Recreation Dept. at $8.20 per hour and for no more than 19 hours per week.
      Sam Long’s Landscaping was awarded a $37,777 bid for the West River Road Drainage Improvement Program.
      As in the past. Councilwoman Mary Cooke returned a medical care bonus check to the Town in the amount of $3,730.13. It represents an incentive as a cost savings measure because it is less expensive to pay a bonus than to provide coverage (the lowest family insurance plan is $15,711.91 annually). Mary receives coverage under a non-Town sponsored plan. She stated that she urges others who utilize health care coverage from other sources to do the same.
      Sue Argy announced that this would be her last Town Board meeting and said she enjoyed working with fellow Town Board members. Supervisor McMahon, Council members Cooke and Crawford wished her well.
      Mary Cooke announced that residents were invited to attend the swearing in ceremony of new and re-elected Town Board members noon, January 1 at the Golden Age Center.

U.S. Census Bureau Hiring For 2010 Census

   The U.S. Census Bureau's Buffalo Local Census Office is currently testing at 43 locations throughout the Buffalo and Niagara Falls areas in anticipation of hiring for the 2010 decennial census.They are adding more testing locations every week and have 20 Recruiting Assistants on staff whoconduct the 30-minute, 28-question tests. Test sessions are offered seven days a week, during morning, afternoon and evening hours. Anyone interested in being scheduled to take the test should call 1-866-861-2010 to make an appointment.

Approved Town Board Meeting Minutes - Mon., November 16, 2009

   Click for
11/16/09 Town Board Meeting Minutes.

Town Board Meeting Agenda - Mon., December 7, 2009

   Click for
12/7/09 Town Board Meeting Agenda.

Town Board Action
Property Issues Take Up Most Of Town’s Agenda - November 2009

    By Joelle Logue

      Monday, November 16, 2009 . . .The Town Board, Monday, met at the Grand Island Memorial Library because courtroom renovations had not been completed. The meeting was brief and there was no problem adhering to the library’s 9 p.m. closing hour.
      A public hearing, at which no one spoke, addressed the creation of Lighting District No. 57 for Waterford Park Subdivision, Phase II. The board approved the district citing no adverse impacts on the environment. Expected annual cost to a typical property owner in the district is estimated to be $70.99.
      A public hearing was set for 8 p.m. Monday. Dec. 7 to air proposed sewer rents for 2010.
      Conditional approval of the preliminary plat for Country Club Cottages, Phase I was given. This action allows for the town engineer to execute Health Dept. applications for the extension of water and sewer infrastructure.
      A concept plan for a proposed PDD on R-2 zoned lands west of Golf Villas on Whitehaven Road was referred to the town attorney for review.
      A request to split a lot owned by Stephen Kaplan and Christopher Beyer was approved upon completion of appropriate paper work. The split would allocate 35 ft. each to their adjoining properties at 1865 and 1839 Stony Point Road.
      Five special use renewals were approved: the keeping of three agricultural animals by Michael and Judith Schneider at 1952 Harvey Road; the keeping of up to 10 agricultural animals by Cyrus Ardalan at 5345 East River Road; the keeping of one agricultural animal by John Ventry at 3440 Stony Point Road; the keeping of three agricultural animals by Joseph Higgins at 900 Ransom Road; and the keeping of three agricultural animals by Richard Benz at 828 East River Road.
      Winter hires were approved for the Recreation Dept. as follows: Jared Northrup at $7.60 per hour and three lifeguards (Ben Bakula, Elizabeth Stanko and Victoria Kostenbauder) at $7.50 per hour.
      A budget amendment to accommodate an incoming $1,504 from the NYS Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund (LFRMIF) was approved.
In other business, the Town Board:
• Accepted with regret the resignation of Annette Sapienza as Account Clerk/Mini-Computer Operator.
• Appointed Elaine Petit as an Account Clerk (Grade 3) effective Dec. 7 at a starting rate of $13.96 per hour.
• Authorized to advertise for bids to be opened Dec.16 on the proposed West River Road Drainage Program.
• Referred to the Town Board a letter from the Grand Island Chamber of Commerce supporting the Islandwide SEQR.
• Accepted into the public record two letters, one from Larry and Jayne Playfair and one by Edmund Colan, objecting to the rezoning of the Sheridan Transit Gun Club property from residential to commercial.
• Reminded residents about the used book sale at the library Nov. 20-21.
• Reminded residents about the Grand Island Community Chorus program at St. Stephens Church Dec. 6 at 7 p.m.

Approved Town Board Meeting Minutes - Mon., November 2, 2009

   Click for
11/2/09 Town Board Meeting Minutes.

Nov. 23rd Town Board Meeting To Be Held In Court Room - November 2009

     The Town Board Workshop scheduled for Monday, November 23rd at 7:00p.m. will be held in the Town Hall Court Room.

Town Workshop, Meeting To Be Held In Memorial Library - November 2009

    The Town Board of the Town of Grand Island has moved its regularly scheduled Town Board Workshop and Meeting on Monday, November 16th 2009 from the Town Hall Court Room to the Grand Island Memorial Library due to the Court Room Renovations. The Workshop starts at 6:30 p.m and the Regular Meeting starts at 8:00 p.m. For more information, contact the Supervisor Peter McMahon at 773-9600 ext. 616.

Town Hall Renovation Has Begun - November 2009

Jodi Robinson Photo - Click photos for larger view
   Thursday, November 5, 2009 . . .Town Hall Courtroom renovation began about 7 a.m. on Thursday, November 5th. The project includes replacement of the courtroom chairs which have served the community well for 41 years. In addition, there will be an asbestos abatement project which will take place this coming weekend. Floor tile and mastic containing asbestos will be removed. Town Hall will be closed for the weekend (Nov. 7-8) to facilitate the asbestos abatement part of the project. The following week, new tile, new chairs and some carpeting will be installed. The sound system will be upgraded and the Judges' bench will be replaced.
   There is no court on Wednesday, Nov. 11th because of the Veterans Day holiday. The regular Town Court, scheduled for November 18th has been cancelled. Court will resume its normal Wednesday schedule on November 25th.
   The project is scheduled to be completed some time during the week of November 16th. The regular Town Board meeting on November 16th may be moved to an alternate location.
   The last time renovation work in Town Hall took place was in 2000 when the office of Receiver of Taxes was combined with the office of the Town Clerk. At that time, the south end of the first floor was renovated to accommodate the newly combined Clerk’s office. The Town Board office and the Supervisor moved into the space formerly used by the Receiver of Taxes. This project also involved asbestos abatement in the area which was renovated.

Town Board Action
Town Salutes Eagle Scout - November 2009

    By Joelle Logue

      Monday, November 2, 2009 . . .The Town Board, Monday, honored Christopher William Ernst with a proclamation in recognition of his earning the Boy Scouts’ most prestigious rank, that of Eagle Scout. A member of Boy Scout Troop 630, sponsored by St. Stephen Church, Ernst completed a nature trail expansion and rehabilitation project on St. Timothy Church grounds as his Eagle Scout project. The project included the clearing of brush plus the widening and lengthening of the trail with wood trips. The organization and implementation of this effort took 110 man hours.

Town Board Action
Town Adopts 2010 Budget - November 2009

    By Joelle Logue

      Monday, November 2, 2009 . . .There will be no major tax increases for residents in Grand Island’s 2010 budget and no raises for town officials. Following a public hearing on the budget Monday, the Town Board adopted the preliminary budget but without the 3% pay raises for officials. The supervisor still earns $67,331.43, Councilpersons ($19,597), Town Clerk ($66,797), Highway Superintendent ($73,643.76) that will decrease upon his retirement and a new superintendent starts at a lower grade level, Town Justices (two at $43,838.64 each).
      Supervisor Peter McMahon asked for public comment on each part of the budget but the only comment came from James Dinsmore and that was a question on the Fire Protection District budget line of $1,090.743 - a 4.1% increase over last year with a tax rate of $1.51 per thousand of assessed valuation. McMahon explained that this was determined when the Town signed a three-year contract with the Fire Company in 2007.
      The General Fund is set at $6,544,120 with $2,66,988 to be raised by taxes for a tax rate of $3.053 per thousand of assessed valuation (a 1.1% increase over last year).
      Total appropriations for the Highway Fund are $2,770,497 with $2,251,497 to be raised by taxes for a tax rate of $3.325 per thousand of assessed valuation (a 4.3% increase over last year).
      Sewer District Fund Budget is $3,122,959 with $878,137 to be raised by taxes for a tax rate of $9.468 per thousand based on land value only. This is a 4.4% increase over last year.
      The savings for residents come from the Refuse & Garbage District budget. Total appropriation is $1,294,479 with $1,165,154 to be raised by taxes with a tax rate for single family dwelling at $166 ($30 or 15% decrease over last year).
      There was no raise in the Water District Fund. Total appropriation is set at $2,748,838 with the amount raised by taxation $699,272 for a tax rate of $5.784 per thousand on land value only (same as last year).
      Tax rates for the 49 Lighting Districts will vary by district. The budget is $196,104 with $168,299 to be raised by taxes.
      Approved was a total debt service amount of $1,839,299 and transfers from other funds, $1688,799.
      The Town Board set a public hearing for Monday, Nov. 17 to consider the establishment of Waterford Park Phase II Lighting District No. 57. Estimated costs for the lighting is $1,064.81 which would cost a single-family homeowner in the district $70.99.
      Supervisor McMahon was authorized to sign a professional services agreement with Stearns and Wheler for a Wastewater Facilities Plan Report at a cost of $273,800. The report will develop a capacity management operation and maintenance program to help eliminate sanitary sewer overflows.
      The supervisor was also authorized to sign an agreement with Wendel Duchscherer for the design of lighting system upgrades at the Grand Island Memorial Library at a cost of $8,000.
      The Recreation Department’s request to hire fourteen people for winter programs was approved subject of completion of the required paperwork.
New Hires - Dave Thompson and Dominque DeGregorio at $7.50 per hour
Returning – Chris McDonnell, Sheri Ackendorf, Kyle Moody, Jessica Oyer, Joel Klock at $7.50 per hour.
Life Guard Scott Rogers at $7.50 per hour
Special event personnel: Kolby Banker, Tim Boorady, Liam Dodd, Kelsey Mash, Simarjot Cheema and Reba Conway at $7.60 per hour.
In other business, the Town Board:
• Awarded a bid to L.D.C. Construction Co. in the amount of $6,875 for a pathway construction at a town park in Ransom Village.
• Granted a special use renewal request from National Fuel for its natural gas regulator/metering station on Stony Point Road.
• Heard School Board members Rich Little and Dave Goris urge the town to support the $47 million capital project proposed by the Grand Island School District that will cost taxpayers only $2,054, 811 and greatly improve and upgrade all five schools plus athletic fields (vote is Nov. 17 from 10 a.m.-9 p.m. in the high school gym).
• Adopted a resolution providing for the straight-line method of depreciating its assets to meet the requirements of the Government Accounting Standards Board (Building & improvements – 10 to 75 years, Equipment – 5-10 years, infrastructure – 15-100 years).
• Approved transfer of delinquent water and sewer accounts in the amount of $581,333.31 to the 2010 tax rolls.
• Announced that volunteers are need for a 5th Re-Tree planting 9 a.m. Saturday at Veterans Park concession stand.
• Announced that the next time the Town Board meets there will be new seating and flooring in the Town Courtroom.

Approved Town Board Meeting Minutes - Mon., October 19, 2009

   Click for
10/19/09 Town Board Meeting Minutes.

Unofficial 2009 Election Day Results
Town of Grand Island Council Winners, Cooke and Billica

   Election Day November 3, 2009 . . .Mary Cooke was re-elected to her fifth term as councilwoman. Unofficial election results as of Wed. a.m. gave Cooke 2,850; winner Raymond Billica, 2,679; James R. Sharpe, 1,861; and Norman Moorhouse, 968 .
   Mark J. Frentzel, running unopposed, was elected to another term as Town Justice - 4,019 .
   James B. Tomkins, running unopposed, was elected Highway Superintendent - 3,822.
   Kevin Hardwick was elected Erie County Legislature over incumbent Michele M. Iannello.
   Erie County Sheriff Timothy Howard was re-elected over his opponent, John Glascott.
   Mark Polancarz was elected Erie County Comptroller
   See WIVB-TV - Election Results.

Grand Island Memorial Library Polling Place
(left) Mrs. Lyn Laman - (right) Joyce Good, Geri Stalica and Martha Muller
Jodi Robinson Photos - Click for larger view.

    Polling Inspectors reported a lighter than usual voter turnout and that most people said they liked the old voting method better than the new computer method. Total votes cast for the Council race in 2005 was unofficially 11,307 and for 2009, 8,358.

New Voting Machines - Election Day - Tues., November 3, 2009


See also

Town Board Meeting Agenda - Mon., November 2, 2009

   Click for
11/2/09 Town Board Meeting Agenda.

Town Board Action
Public Hearing on Rod & Gun Club Rezoning Draws Crowd - October 2009

    By Joelle Logue

      Monday, October 19, 2009 . . .There was standing room only at Monday night’s Town Board meeting with reporters and town staff relegated to seats in the jury box. The hot topic was a public hearing on a rezoning request from the Sheridan Transit Rod and Gun Club at 551 Ransom Road to accommodate a renovation and expansion project. Currently zoned residential (R1-D), Marty Remmes, shoot chairman of the club, made a case for rezoning to commercial (CR). The not-for-profit club has been on Ransom Road since 1969 and has recently become a member of the American Trap Shooters of America (ATA) to accommodate more levels of competition. With the closing of the Buffalo Shooting Club and other regional clubs, Sheridan Transit is drawing more people who have a love for the sport. The demolition and rebuilding of the garage and creation of three more fields to run meets that are more expedient and can accommodate more shooters will only be permitted under commercial zoning and allow double and single clay throws. Remmes argued that the land has never been used for a residence and should be rezoned to reflect the appropriate purpose.
      Brian Usher, head of the AIM shooting program for youth, spoke in favor of the rezoning based on the fact that the club could foster a Junior Shooters program. AIM is the official youth program that teaches shooting for teams and individuals and provides a safe experience with firearms. He said competition is only part of the program, it also instills trust, self-esteem and good sportsmanship.
      Douglas Duncan, president of ATA, spoke to the fact that there are 1375 trap shooters in New York State alone but many clubs with ATA shoots have had to close due to encroachment of housing developments. There are only two trap clubs left, he said, and that is unfortunate because NYS is one of eight states that received a million targets award. He attested to the fact the sport teaches trust, honesty, and right from wrong.
      ATA Treasurer Sam Benetto said that ATA is a national organization that needs places to hold registered target competitions and that these events bring in money to the local economy hosting the targets.
      Those who spoke against the rezoning had no criticism of the club in its present state and all considered Sheridan Transit Rod and Gun Club to be a good neighbor. Their anxiety over the expansion centered around the fact that should the gun club be rezoned it opened the door for other commercial development if the gun club would close or be sold. David Ungaro referred to the rezoning as “a slippery slope” and asked if a special use permit could realize the gun club’s goals while protecting the integrity of the neighborhood. He added he would not want to see a roller coaster where the gun club is 20 years from now.
      Ed Colan who lives 600 feet away from the club said the rezoning would “turn a country store into a Walmart,” dropping property values, increasing the noise levels and traffic. Charles Pratt and Jayne Shaber added similar comments, all insisting the zoning should remain residential.
      The Town Board, after hearing all the comments, referred the rezoning request back to the Town Board and described the process involved in leading up to any decision about rezoning.

Town Board Action
Walgreen’s Okayed For Extra Space - October 2009

    By Joelle Logue

      Monday, October 19, 2009 . . .The Town Board, Monday, following a public hearing at which Attorney Sean Hopkins spoke, approved a special use permit to allow Walgreen’s Pharmacy to occupy a larger space than 10,000 square feet at 2320 Grand Island Blvd. Plans to increase space for commercial projects in the Town’s designated business districts is already in the works but has not been established as law yet thus the need for the special use permit in this instance.
      The 2010 preliminary Town Budget will be the topic of a public hearing scheduled for 8 p.m. Monday, November 2.
      A motion to add the Highway Superintendent and delete the Town Attorney from Grade 12 on the Town’s non-union salary schedule was approved. The superintendent change will be effective upon the next change in office while the attorney change is effective immediately.
      The supervisor was authorized to sign a Remittal of Disqualification form regarding a case now pending on an assessment review (Ronald Benderson 1995 Trust versus the Town of Grand Island/Assessor/Board of Assessment Review). In signing the form, the town is consenting to have Judge Curran assigned to the case even though the petitioner’s law firm is representing a large group of judges in a lawsuit against the State of New York relating to a salary issue in which Judge Curran is named.
      Supervisor Peter McMahon was also authorized to sign a professional Services Agreement between the Town and Stearns & Wheler regarding preliminary facilities design and construction for the Wastewater Treatment Plant. Involved is reviewing the plant hydraulics and the existing equipment capacities and conditions prior to finalizing design concepts introduced in a November 2008 study. Design documents will be prepared for a preliminary treatment building with enclosed facilities for screening equipment with operating capacities up to 8 MGD and a disposal system with truck access. Stearns & Wheler will oversee all phases including bidding, construction and monitoring day-to-day construction activities and schedules. Cost of the project is estimated at $259,700.
      In other business, the Board:
• Accepted a revised preliminary plat for Grand Vue Subdivision – Sections VI, VII, VIII.
• Approved an exception to subdivision regulations for East River Landings to divide two lots so both would have waterfront property.

Town Board Action
Library Saluted on 20th Anniversary - October 2009

    By Joelle Logue

      Monday, October 19, 2009 . . .Grand Island Memorial Librarian Lynn Konovitz and Library Trustees Agnes Becker and Barbara Birt were on hand to receive a proclamation declaring the week of October 19-26 “Library Fest: 20 Years at Bedell Road.” Twenty years ago the opening of the Library was hailed as a “significant addition to the cultural resources of Grand Island.” One of the most used libraries in the county system, the library has grown its circulation, collection and services in exemplary fashion and stands as a symbol of the dedication of the citizenry to the pursuit of knowledge and betterment of the community.
      A birthday party at the Library will be held at 2 p.m. Saturday (Oct. 24) and patrons are invited to a performance by Nan Hoffman. There will be lots of other activities and cake and popcorn will be served.

Approved Town Board Meeting Minutes - Mon., October 5, 2009

   Click for
10/5/09 Town Board Meeting Minutes.

Town Board Meeting Agenda - Mon., October 19, 2009

   Click for
10/19/09 Town Board Meeting Agenda.

Town Board Action
Town/Stickl Enter Into Joint Defense Agreement - October 2009

    By Joelle Logue

      Monday, October 5, 2009 . . .In response to an action filed in NYS Supreme Court by Gerald Wochadlo, Anita and Raymond DeGlopper and Elizabeth Stoklosa against the Town of Grand Island and John Stickl as president of Stickl Construction Company, Supervisor McMahon was authorized to sign a joint defense agreement between the Town and Stickl. The complainants allege that the Town improperly granted approval for Stickl’s Country Club Cottages clustered subdivision.
      Under the joint defense agreement, Stickl and the Town may assist each other in the preparation of each of the parties’ individual or joint defenses. They might share information including information protected by attorney-client privilege, the work-product doctrine and any other privileges that otherwise might apply. Each party will pay the respective bills for their outside counsel and the expenses associated with the litigation and each party will be jointly responsible for the day-to-day direction of this litigation.
      A resolution was adopted approving the Inter-municipal Agreement for Upstate New York Municipal Workers’ Compensation Program which McMahon contends saves the town $45,000 a year. The cooperative plan carries out Grand Island’s obligation under the NYS Workers’ Compensation Law including the order to undertake effective risk management techniques, the promotion of safety and the effective administration of claims. McMahon is designated as a member on the Board of Directors of the program with the town’s supervising accountant as alternate director and Deputy Highway Superintendent as facilitator.
      A public hearing has been set for 8 p.m. October 19 to air a special use permit for the approved Walgreen’s Pharmacy request to increase its size from the allowable 10,000 sq. ft. to 13,650 sq. ft. Councilwoman Cooke commented that the increased size is permitted in the established business sections but the new zoning has not been voted upon yet.
      Another public hearing for 8 p.m. October 19 will consider the rezoning of 551 Ransom Road from R1-D to CR to allow for Sheridan Transit Rod & Gun Club trap shooting.
      The renewal of a special use permit for a caretaker residence at KOA on Grand Island Blvd. was approved. So far the building has not be constructed.
      In order to accommodate the annual Fire Prevention Open House Friday, October 9, the Town authorized the closing of Baseline Road from 5 p.m. to 8 p.m.
      In other business, the board:
• Received the inventory report from the Highway Department (machinery, tools and equipment)
• Awarded the court room tile removal project to A.A.C. Contracting Inc. at a cost of $34,993.
• Received with regret the resignation of Bill Warren from the Parks & Recreation Board.
• Set the Town’s 2010 Budget Hearing for Nov. 5 (place to be announced).
• Announced that the VFW Chili Cook-off will be held Saturday, Oct. 10.
• Announced that the Crop Walk raised $4000, $1000 of which will stay on the Island to help feed those in need.

Community Block Grant Ideas Aired - October 2009

    By Joelle Logue

      Monday, October 5, 2009 . . .Although no one spoke during a public hearing on Community Block Grant considerations Monday, Supervisor Peter McMahon mentioned several projects that would be eligible for grant funds. The federal grant under Title I of the Housing and Community Act of 1974 provides for projects that benefit low-and moderate-income persons.
      One idea is to rehabilitate Ed Ball Park at Stony Point and Love roads. Another to create a pathway from Marion Klingel Town Common to Veterans Park along the Woods Trail Tributary and a third suggestion is to install more sidewalks at Kaegebein School. Councilman Gary Roesch recommended that a grant be submitted for economic development to address blighted buildings on the Island.
      Any projects that benefit senior citizens are also eligible and McMahon suggested that a new transportation van may be needed.

Approved Town Board Meeting Minutes - Mon., September 21, 2009

   Click for
9/21/09 Town Board Meeting Minutes.

Town Board Meeting Agenda - Mon., October 5, 2009

   Click for
10/5/09 Town Board Meeting Agenda.

Approved Town Board Meeting Minutes - Tues., September 8, 2009

   Click for
9/8/09 Town Board Meeting Minutes.

Town Board Meeting Agenda - Mon., September 21, 2009

   Click for
9/21/09 Town Board Meeting Agenda.

Approved Town Board Meeting Minutes - Mon., August 17, 2009

   Click for
8/17/09 Town Board Meeting Minutes.

Public Hearing Set For Bond Resolutions On Waste Water Projects - September 2009

    By Joelle Logue

      Tuesday, September 8, 2009 . . .Three public hearings will be held 8 p.m. Monday, September 21 to air comments on three major bond resolutions in regards to the Town’s Consolidated Sewer District. The first is a $2 million bond for a wastewater ragging Elimination Project. The second is a $225,000 bond for a wastewater pressure swing absorption system upgrade and the third is a $130,000 bond for acquisition of waste water equipment, machinery and apparatus.
       Local Law Intro #4 which would amend the Zoning Law to create a mining overlay district on property located at First Avenue at Sixth Street for the purposes of a recreational pond will be the subject of a fourth public hearing set for Sept. 21.
      A fifth public hearing on Sept. 21 will be held for the purpose of hearing comments on the final plat approval for one lot at East River Landings Phase II.
      A $225, 000 bond resolution was adopted for the planning of a future capital improvement project in response to a DEC consent order. This project would entail elimination of sanitary sewer overflows.
      Two public hearings took place Tuesday. The first resulted in adding an additional street light to the Majestic Woods Subdivision Phase Two Lighting District No. 53 at a cost of $372 to be levied on the properties in the subdivision. A second public hearing resulted in permitting the closing of Jen Court to all traffic except emergency vehicles Saturday, Sept. 12 from 3 p.m. to midnight for a block party (rain date, Sept. 19).
      The Town agreed to submit a parks grant application that would fund useable playground equipment at a cost of $101,157 plus an additional 25% for installation for Veterans Park. Peter McMahon was authorized to adopt a resolution pertaining to the grant and to execute the project agreement if the grant is approved. The resolution also reaffirms the Veterans Park Master Plan adopted in 1992 and its 2003 updates.
      Supervisor McMahon was also authorized to sign a letter of intent for Grand Island to participate in the WNY Stormwater Coalition’s application to NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation’s Round 10 Water Quality Improvement Project. If funded, the proposed project is to map the entire storm sewer conveyance system for all coalition participants.
      Assessor David Unmack provided the Town Board with the 2009 Final Assessment Roll revealing that the total assessed valuation increased last year by $9,025,455 to $795,151,763. The taxable valuation increased by $1,724,755 to $677,143,429.
      A Professional Services Agreement was authorized with Consulting, Sales & Contracting Services, Inc. to work on an “as-needed, as-required” basis for asbestos consulting and court room floor tile removal monitoring. Project costs are not to exceed $15,000.
      The Town Board suspended the rules so the supervisor could be authorized to sign leases with Erie County for rental of polling places for the upcoming primary and general elections. Town locations are Town Hall, the Grand Island Memorial Library, the Nike Base and the Highway Dept. Garage.
      During voice of the people, Dan Drexelius questioned the Town Board as to whether town employees were allowed to be on private property without permission and asked if there were rules of conduct for town employees. He was told, except for police, town employees would need permission to be on private property and that he could obtain a copy of the rules of conduct.
      Roger Nye, who has a lawsuit against the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Town, stated his case about feeling singled out with regard to winterizing techniques he uses at his home that he considers are safety measures for he and his wife. Apparently the Zoning Board disagrees and has found him to be in violation of code.
      In other business, the Board:
• Announced that the supervisor has appointed Jackie McGinty as his secretary effective September 1.
• Established the pay grade for the part-time zoning inspector to Grade 6, Sept A effective Sept. 9 and appointed Daniel Linenfelser and William Shaw as part-time zoning inspectors effective Sept. 9.
• Approved the hiring of Peter Pitts as a maintenance worker in the Recreation Dept. for 19 hours a week at $8.70 per hour.
• Authorized the advertising of bids for the removal of the court room tile floor that will be opened Wednesday, Sept. 30 at 10 a.m.
• Appointed Michael Steinagel to the Economic Development Advisory Board for the balance of a term ending Dec. 31, 2009.
• Awarded bituminous resurfacing of various town roads project to Robinson Paving, Inc. at a cost o $410,068.75.
• Announced that Erie County has established Nov. 1 to Nov. 30 as the annual 30-day period during which landowners may submit requests to turn predominantly viable agricultural land into an existing certified agricultural district.
• Announced that the VFW would hold a commemorative service Friday in observance of the destruction of the Twin Towers that took place Sept. 11, 2001.
• Announced that Kenmore Mercy Hospital would accept unwanted pharmaceuticals Saturday, Sept. 19 from 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Erie County To Accept Household Hazardous Waste - September 2009

    By Joelle Logue

      Tuesday, September 8, 2009 . . .Erie County is sponsoring a drop off day for household hazardous waste Saturday, Sept. 12 from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Honeywell, 20 Peabody St. in Buffalo. Items that can be brought to the site for free disposal include: pesticides, fertilizers, pool and household chemicals/cleaners, oil-based paints, spray cans, oil, gasoline, kerosene, antifreeze, paint thinner, stripper and solvents, batteries, mercury (thermometers , thermostats), propane tanks and cylinders.
      For more information, call 858-6800 or visit the Erie County website:

Town Board Meeting Agenda - Tues., September 8, 2009

   Click for
9/8/09 Town Board Meeting Agenda.

State Grants $1,000,000 For Dunlop Bldg. Renovation - September 2009

Dunlop Building at Long Road and the NYS Thruway. Photo taken Thurs. morning, Sept. 3rd
Jodi Robinson Photo - Click photos for larger view

   New York Governor David Patterson was in Niagara Falls on Thursday to announce a series of RestoreNY grants for the WNY area. Grand Island will be receiving $1,000,000 to fund a portion of a multi-million dollar project to rehabilitate the abandoned building on Long Road west of the New York State Thruway. The building was originally built for Occidental Chemical Company. It was later used by Dunlop Tire and has been vacant for more than a decade. The once proud building which housed up to 300 employees has become a vacant, dilapidated eyesore. The RestoreNY grant is a critical piece of a restoration project which will result in a building that the town can be proud of as a gateway to Grand Island and which will provide jobs that benefit the Island.
   This grant is the result of years and years of tireless effort by the Town’s Economic Development Advisory Board, Town Councilman Gary Roesch, The Buffalo office of Empire State Development and others.
   Island residents should begin to see changes on the site immediately. "We’ve already met with the building owner who has assured us that he will begin to cut the grass and maintain the exterior starting today," Supervisor Peter McMahon said.
   See Business First 2002.

Town Employee Appreciation Picnic - August 2009

(Right) from left, Jerry Peete, Jean Anstett and Justin Bridenbaker
Jodi Robinson Photos - Click photos for larger view

   Supervisor Peter McMahon started this summer tradition 11 years ago to show his appreciation to town employees. The other elected officials joined him and now the appreciation picnic is held every year in August. This year's picnic was held on Wednesday, August 19th in Marion Klingel Town Commons. Starting in 2002, town retirees were also invited, and everyone enjoys visiting long into the afternoon after a lunch of grilled hot dogs, homemade salads and baked goods.

Town Board Adopts SEQRA for Country Club Cottages - August 2009

    By Joelle Logue

      Monday, August 17, 2009 . . .After months and months of deliberation and many drafts of the State Environmental Quality Review Act being submitted regarding John Stickl’s Country Club Cottage Subdivision, the Town Board approved the Statement of Findings and Decision for the project Monday night. However, Gerald Wochadlo and Lois Shriver, along with other neighbors of the proposed development, continued their protest by citing environmental violations particularly in regard to the north-south stream on the property that they maintain is a tributary of the Niagara River.
      Shriver asserted that the close proximity of the two detention ponds to the banks of the Niagara Tributary would degrade a federally protected tributary. She asked if the Town was aware of the Environmental Protection Agency’s Antidegradation policy under the Clean Water Act. She added that if the Niagara Tributary is degraded during construction, as is indicated, the project sponsor would be breaking Federal and NYS Antidegradation Laws. The information distributed to Town Board members included maps in support of her argument.
      Town Board members each commented on their decision to approve the project citing legal rights of property owners as the main point. Mary Cooke said the neighbors' research and involvement made it a better project – two detention ponds instead of three, and the clustering of the 67 lots thereby leaving 46% of open space rather than the required 25%.
      Gary Roesch said it had been a long, drawn out issue and that all the documents were read very thoroughly. Dick Crawford re-stated the fact that it had been a long process, all done with careful evaluation, and he assured residents that the Town would be watching the development in regard to compliance issues.
      Sue Argy, who announced she would not be running for a second term, expressed her difficulty with weighing all options but admitted though voices were heard, the legalities of the issue won out.
      Next to Southpointe, Supervisor Peter McMahon couldn’t remember a more problematic project, but he assured residents that all the facts were looked at and though it was a difficult decision there just wasn’t a valid reason to deny the project.

Business district drive-thru windows permitted as special use - August 2009

    By Joelle Logue

      Monday, August 17, 2009 . . .The Town Board, Monday, following a public hearing at which no one spoke, adopted Local Law #6 of 2009 that revises the zoning code to add drive through businesses as specially permitted uses in the TC-MU District. As a result of this action there were two public hearings on drive-thru windows for two businesses. Approved were special use permits for drive through windows at Walgreen’s Pharmacy, 2320 Grand Island Blvd. and one for the proposed Key Bank out parcel at Tops Plaza.
      Three other public hearings were held Monday – one to amend a special use for agricultural animals, another for a block party and a third for a stop sign. Approved was an amended special use to allow Florence Prawel of Fix Road to keep up to four horses at 993 Whitehaven Road. Also approved was the closing of Park Place, with the exception of emergency vehicles, from houses #106 to #132 for a block party Saturday, Aug. 29 (raindate Aug. 30), from 1:30-8 p.m. Local Law #5 was adopted to allow for the installation of a stop sign at Waterford and Stony Point roads.
      Two public hearings have been set for Tuesday, Sept. 8 at 8 p.m. to consider the establishment of a 7th light in lighting district 53 for Majestic Woods Subdivision Phase Two (six lights were approved Monday) and for the closing of Jen Court for a block party on Sept. 12 from 3 p.m. to midnight.
      The Town Board gave final plat approval for Golf Course Villas, Phase 3 but delayed preliminary plat approval for Grand Park Vue Subdivision Section VI due to a number of reasons. Questioned is the creation of a detention pond in the south portion of the project adjacent to an existing wetland and creating a second isolated wetland on another portion of the property. By keeping the wetlands together there would be better access to the storm water system. Other concerns were that the outfall of the storm water facility is not identified, a detention pond is located against existing property owners’ property, rear yard drainage should be re-configured and a location of a manhole should be moved.
      Revised site plan requirements were waived for 1837 Love Road in response to a request to convert the former gas station into a convenience store with gas pumps. There is adequate parking and no significant changes to the site.
      The Town approved a proposal from National Grid to install street lights on existing poles at the intersections of Whitehaven Road and First, Second, Third, Fourth and Sixth streets. Proposed is the installation of a 150-watt high-pressure sodium lamp and standard luminaire with a six-foot mast arm on the existing pole at each of the five intersections.
      Referred to the Town Board for further review and study was a request from the Court to enhance building security at the Town Hall on nights when court is in session by creating two part-time court officer positions. Officers would be responsible for the magnetometer (people screening device) at the lower level entrance.
      Three budget transfers were approved for $1,140 for crossing guard uniforms, donations of $550 to town playgrounds and Veterans Park, and $19,757 for Justice Court equipment.
      In other business, the Board:
• Appointed Dave Duscherer to the Planning Board to fill a vacancy that expires Dec. 31, 2010.
• Awarded the water treatment plant filter painting project to PCI International, Inc. at a cost of $49,000.
• Agreed to advertise for bids on the 2009 bituminous resurfacing of various town roads with bids due Sept. 2 at 10 a.m.
• Accepted with regret the resignation of Liz Zilbauer as secretary to the supervisor effective Aug. 31.

Four proclamations presented Monday night - August 2009

Rev. Russell R. Burr, Pastor of the New Apostolic Church, Russell Burr {son of Rev. Burr}, Rick Sander, Margie Sander, Martha Burr and Charlotte Burr

Shown with town board members are Lt. Col. (Ret) Kelly Carrigg, Retired - Joseph J. Stefaniak (82nd Airborne) and Joseph Synakowski (82nd Airborne)

Shelia A. Ferrentino accepted proclamation for the Lions Club

Mary Stewart Photos - Click photos for larger view

    By Joelle Logue
      Monday, August 17, 2009 . . .In a night filled with lots of public comment, six public hearings and the rendering of a difficult decision regarding development, it was the four proclamations that lightened the evening. Perhaps the most joyful was a song of thanks to the community delivered by Minister Russ Burr, Russell Burr, Rick Sander, Margie Sander and Martha and Charlotte Burr after receiving a proclamation citing the 20th anniversary of the construction of their New Apostolic Church at Bedell and Stony Point roads. Their presentation was met with resounding applause. Rev. Burr said there is no community nicer than this and the church has enjoyed 20 years of peaceful coexistence with the town.
      A proclamation declaring August 16 National Airborne Day was received by Lt. Col. (Ret) Kelly M. Carrigg, Joseph Stefaniak and Joseph Synakowski of the Veterans of Foreign Wars Post. Grand Island is the final resting place of Medal of Honor recipient Pfc. Charles N. DeGlopper, cited for his heroism while serving as a member of Company “C” in La Fiere, France where he died in action by drawing attention away from his battalion. Carigg was one of the speakers present at the unveiling of the DeGlopper monument in France.
      August 17 as the Day of Caring for United Way recipients was proclaimed and 10 School District employees were cited for their plan to participate at the Golden Age Center by serving lunch and providing an afternoon of entertainment such as bingo, trivia contests and other games.
      Another proclamation, accepted by Lions Club member Shelia Ferrentino, declared August 21 and 22 Lions Club White Cane Days. Money raised from this fundraiser is earmarked for programs and services in the community and internationally to serve the blind, hearing impaired or physically or otherwise challenged individuals.

Approved Town Board Meeting Minutes - Mon., August 3, 2009

   Click for
8/3/09 Town Board Meeting Minutes.

Town Board Meeting Agenda - Mon., August 17, 2009

   Click for
8/17/09 Town Board Meeting Agenda.

Country Club Cottages SEQRA Approval Tabled Again - August 2009

    By Joelle Logue

      Monday, August 3, 2009 . . .For a second time, the Country Club Cottage SEQRA approval agenda item was tabled by the Town Board. Vocal residents of Fareway, Fix and Baseline neighborhoods who live adjacent to the proposed cluster home development project by John Stickl were on hand to reiterate their strong objections. Jerry Wochadlo called the Grand Island government “broken” by serving special interest groups rather than listen to their constituents. He called the Country Club Cottage SFEIS double talk that doesn’t say anything, and stated that if the project goes through “Stickl would be building a house over a drainage ditch.”
      Lois Shriver used the Grand Island zoning code to express her objections: “,,,prevent overcrowding of land and ensure structure and land use arrangements are aesthetically harmonious to surrounding areas and structures; and “the proposed development will not have a substantial or undue adverse effect upon adjacent property, the character of the neighborhood.” Shriver also reminded the Board that Attorney Dan Spitzer had said in a special workshop that “the Board could decide it is not safe to build because of soils or effect on the community.”
      Elizabeth Stoklosa accused the Town Board of “selective deafness.” In a letter she read to the Board she stated that “adjacent property owners and taxpayers supply expert facts, resources, data and personal testimony from expert sources including local, state and federal agencies, and we feel that you give Mr. Stickl’s experts more weight than ours.” She specifically focused on the soil of the property asserting that the southwestern parcel where the most of the houses would be built is Lakemont Odessa soil and wetter even than the majority of the property. Stoklosa also contends that Stickl’ retention ponds would abut the creek which is not allowed because the creek is a direct feeder to the Niagara River and protected by the Clean Water Act.
      Sean Hopkins, attorney for the proposed development, also addressed the Town Board and said the Board could not legally turn down the project because it is private property and zoned for development. He contends that the cluster development is the best option for adjacent properties and that all the objections raised by neighboring residents have been addressed in the SFEIS. The number of homes Stickl plans to build, according to the zoning, is under the required limit.
      According to Supervisor Peter McMahon, the SEQRA was tabled Monday because there are still some concerns that need to be addressed in the SEQRA.

Town Board Sets Six Public Hearings - August 2009

    By Joelle Logue

      Monday, August 3, 2009 . . .The Town Board, Monday, scheduled six public hearings on a number of issues for its next meeting slated for August 17 at 8 p.m. One will concern Local Law Intro #6 on whether to allow, as a special use, drive-in windows at businesses (including restaurants, banks and drug stores) in the TCMU zoning district. This would be an amendment to Section 49-67 (D) of the zoning code. Two other public hearings address specific requests for drive-in windows from Walgreen’s, currently under construction at Grand Island Blvd. near Baseline Road and the proposed Key Bank in Tops parking lot.
      Another public hearing will consider a request from the Traffic Safety Advisory Board to install a stop sign at Waterford Park and Stony Point Road. A request to close Park Place from residence 106 to 132 for the purpose of a block party on August 29 with a rain date of Aug. 30 will also be aired. And, finally, a sixth public hearing will entertain a special use renewal for Florence Prawel of Fix Road to add another horse on her property.
      Public Improvement permits for construction of waterline, storm sewer, sanitary sewer and a roadway to serve 23 lots in Ransom Village - Section 4E were approved by the Town Board. The Board also awarded a bid for bituminous resurfacing of various town roads to the lowest bidder, Robinson Paving, in the amount of $455,408.
      A proclamation was presented to Recreation Director Linda Tufillaro for her organization of “America’s Night Out Against Crime” which was held at Marion E. Klingel Town Common Tuesday, August 4. The event included child ID kits, a band concert, an outdoor movie, hot dog and popcorn sales. The Grand Island Fire Company, Police Department, Erie County Sheriff’s Department, NYS Police, US Border Patrol, US Coast Guard, CERT, Traffic Safety Advisory Board and Parks & Recreation Advisory Board were among the participants.
      Councilwoman Mary Cooke reminded residents that National Airborne Day would be observed on Grand Island August 16. Of particular importance to Grand Island is remembering Pfc. Charles DeGlopper, a member of Company “C” First Battalion, 325th Glider Infantry Regiment, 82nd Airborne Division, who was posthumously awarded the nation’s highest award, the Congressional Medal of Honor for heroics during World War II in LaFiere, France. He died for actions above and beyond the call of duty on June 9, 1944. Also remembered is Lt. Col. Terrance K. Crowe, a trained Airborne Trooper serving with the 98th Division, who was killed by hostile fire while part of an offensive operation in Tal Afar, Iraq June 7, 2005. The US Senate passed the National Airborne Day Resolution on July 6, 2004.

Approved Town Board Meeting Minutes - Mon., July 20, 2009

   Click for
7/20/09 Town Board Meeting Minutes.

Town Board Meeting Agenda - Mon., August 3, 2009

   Click for
8/3/09 Town Board Meeting Agenda.

Three Public Hearings Held Monday - July 2009

    By Joelle Logue

      Monday, July 20, 2009 . . .The Town Board, Monday, approved the final plat for Ransom Village, Section E (23 lots) on Park Lane following a public hearing. Also approved following a public hearing was the creation of Grand Park Vue Phase V Lighting District NO. 56.
      No one spoke at a public hearing to air a request to close Oakridge Road between house numbers 131 and 251 for a block party Saturday, August 1 from noon to 11 p.m. The Town Board approved the road closure except for emergency vehicles should there be a need.
      The Town Board moved to solicit the town as lead agency in amending its Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP). It will comply with the State Environmental Quality Review Act in the review of such amendments.
      Subject to the approval of the Town Engineer, the Board approved the Phase VI site plan for a 100x30 ft. metal storage building at Hugill Storage, 2761 Bedell Road. Questionable is the 30 ft. stream setback because according to the zoning map, it requires a 50 ft. setback. The Planning Board stated that after engineering reviews and inspects the site, a waiver for the setback could be granted.
      Referred to the Town Board and Town Engineer was a request for a site plan from John Yensan for a single family dwelling and a 2.7 acre pond on a 33-acre parcel on 6th Street at 1st and 2nd Avenue. The Planning Board has recommended that Yensan post a bond or escrow until a certificate of occupancy is issued on the house to cover the possibility only the pond would be built.
      A site plan for a warehouse, showroom and service building at River Oaks Marina, 101 Whitehaven Road was approved. This site plan is a downsized version of a previous one that would have required an 8 ft. variance for a setback at the northwest corner of the building.
      In other business, the board:
• Authorized the supervisor to advertise the position of part-time zoning officer.
• Accepted a bid of $32,810 from M&M Electric Construction Company for the sanitary sewer pump station's auxiliary power wiring.
• Approved Commonwealth Electrical Inspection Service, Inc. as a third party electrical inspection agency for the town.
• Accepted with regret the resignation of Dolly D’Orazio from Reality Café.
• Appointed Lisa Parisi and Phyllis Diden as part-time recreation attendants at Reality Café.
• Announced that the 4th annual Paddles Up would take place at Beaver Island State Park beginning at 8:30 a.m. Saturday and that the Grand Island Historical Society would hold a luncheon at 2 p.m.

Country Club Cottage Opponents Speak Up - July 2009

    By Joelle Logue

      Monday, July 20, 2009 . . .Gerald Wochadlo and Lois Shriver spoke at length Monday night about the omissions and misleading statements that were in the Country Club Cottage FSEIS that the Town Board approved July 6. In addition, a letter submitted by Tom and Artie McAuliffe, cited adverse effects of traffic patterns for Fareway Lane residents and the dangers of creating the proposed two large detention ponds.
      Wochadlo focused on the fact that the development would have a substantial adverse effect on adjacent properties by changing the character of the neighborhood. He also referred to maps that show the hydrologic connections between the wetlands and the topographical elevations that exist on the site.
      Shriver asserted that information she had provided in January around soil quality, wetlands and other adverse environmental impacts were totally ignored in the FSEIS. All comments and letters were referred to the Town Board for further review.

Approved Town Board Meeting Minutes - Mon., July 6, 2009

   Click for
7/6/09 Town Board Meeting Minutes.

Town Board Meeting Agenda - Mon., July 20, 2009

   Click for
7/20/09 Town Board Meeting Agenda.

Approved Town Board Meeting Minutes - Mon., June 15, 2009

   Click for
6/15/09 Town Board Meeting Minutes.

Town Board Meeting Agenda - Mon., July 6, 2009

   Click for
7/6/09 Town Board Meeting Agenda.

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