BUDGET MEETING, TOWN OF MOUNT HOPE, September 13, 2017
The budget meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Mount Hope was held at Town Hall on September 13, 2017 at 6:00pm with the following present: Supervisor Chad Volpe, Councilman Matt Howell, Councilwoman Janet Sutherland, Councilman Dominick Cambareri and Town Clerk Kathleen Myers.
NOT PRESENT: Councilman Brian Carey
Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Supervisor Volpe called the meeting to order at 6:00PM.
The public notice is on the table.
Supervisor Volpe explained a different format for the budget this year. Budget font is larger and some of it in color. Numbers in budget reflect numbers from the department heads. He started with the justices – their meeting time is 6:15pm. Clerks & justices reflect 3% increase. Court officer’s rate/hour was discussed. Justice John Goldsmith entered at this time 6:05pm. Mr. Goldsmith called around for other court officer pay rates. They requested $1/hour increase for the court officers. He requested a 2nd backup officer. He spoke about lifelock. He explained that it’s a credit – if someone puts a judgement on him or tries to do something bad to his credit it alerts him. Threats have been made to both judges. He requested lifelock for both judges and the clerks. Councilman Howell questioned the contractual line for the courts. Supervisor Volpe explained the money they bring in – a good % gets paid to the state. Mr. Goldsmith explained it’s not a real # representing expenses of the court. It’s actually fine money that comes into the court and goes back out. Councilman Howell asked when someone appears before the court, do they pay a fee to be there? Goldsmith: it depends. For a small claims action, you pay filing fees. They’re minimal. If you come in on a criminal offense, there’s no fee to get in but if there’s a fine or for every case there’s surcharge – part of it comes back to the town. It’s not a lot. Supervisor: year to date the court has brought in $49340. That’s money that came in & then we’ve paid out $30193.58. September #’s are not in there yet. Discussion re: town prosecutor and his billing process. Justice Joe Hosking entered at this time 6:30pm. Discussed the court officers with Mr. Hosking present. Supervisor asked Mr. Hosking his thoughts on town prosecutor. He will talk to him on Tuesday night when he comes in for court. Judges are happy with the prosecutor and they will talk with him about the billing issue.
Board met with Julie Musial, Building Inspector. Working in that office now is Julie, Adam McCarey (contracted for 100 hours for the year) and Laurie ($20/hour for 5 hours/week). Angie works there. A lot needs to change. Julie reports her hours to the town supervisor. She puts in a lot of time above & beyond. We added 3%. For 2018, would like to move Adam McCarey to per diem. He’s local & has all the qualifications. Supervisor wants to move Julie’s hours from 20 to30 hours/week. Additional hours would be comped (banked hours). Asst. BI (Laurie) would leave at 5 hours/week. Need to have someone in there as a clerk; it would be beneficial. Laurie is working on closing out old stuff. He wants Julie out doing inspections and closing things up. He wants someone in the office doing filing, doing monthly reports. Julie: things that need to go out like letters for expiring permits which wasn’t happening. If we want to move forward and make the department better that should be happening. She passed out brief overview of what the department has processed in the last few years ie: violations, permits. She requested a secretary. She further explained when a CO search request comes in she goes out to the property to check things out. She would like to get someone in in the next couple weeks to start helping with paperwork. Maybe 5-10 hours a week. Supervisor added that there’s enough money in the budget this year. Councilwoman Sutherland asked if she had someone in mind for the position. Musial: I can interview a couple people. Supervisor: the changes Julie wants to make will not affect the budget. Councilman Howell asked the starting salary. Musial: whatever the clerk starting salary is. Supervisor: $12/hour. Musial: starting January she wants to start on the new system. It takes more time to put in the initial information for the permits. She would like for 10 hours/week. January would be 20 hours/week. The town is evolving. There are large building projects coming up. Councilman Cambareri added that the position needs to be advertised for. Supervisor asked board members if they had questions. Howell: you said we have enough money in the budget to do this for 10 hours/week. Supervisor added there’s enough to hire someone for 40 hours/week. Musial: asked if she can advertise now. Supervisor: yes.
Supervisor went back to justice’s budget. He has no problem with a $1/hour adjustment for the court officers. Mrs. Musial came in to inform the board that Chris Carney (rep from county) will be coming to Monday night meeting about the tower on Fire Tower Road off Mountain Road. Back to justice. Everyone was good for bump for court officers. Discussion on lifelock for the 2 judges and 2 clerks. Supervisor will look into the legality of paying this. Both justices & clerks are 3%, court officers will be as previously discussed.
Supervisor referred to town board salary. They have to be the same across the board. 3% for them. He referred to the wage & salary page from the town handbook and gave everyone copies.
Town board to be changed to for current pay rate or just take it out of there. Town supervisor salary to be discussed among other board members. Town clerk starting salary average $33,775-$52,000. He recommends $35-40,000. He is recommending $62,000 for highway supt. starting salary. He would like to see $6500 for tax collector starting salary. He would like to have justices starting salary go up $1,000. Highway department is done by the union. He suggested for clerks – $14/hour starting pay then after 12 month probation to $15/hour. 2018: $17.32 for Angie and Amy too. Paula to $15/hour. Carol from $15 to $16. Sherri is salaried. He will discuss with Paul. Assessor he would like to see go up by $1,000. Asst. building inspector $20/hour per diem for 260 hours. Sherri is at $18.83 now with 3% would go to $19.39. He will discuss with Paul. Supervisor salary is all over the board. Planning board chair is in line. Discussion of dog control line. Highway snow plow will be TEMP $16.25. Councilman Howell asked town clerk to get the past supervisor’s last few years salary. Discussion re: supervisor salary. Board agreed on $25,000 for starting supervisor salary.
Supervisor requested a 3 minute break at this time.
Supervisor: as the budget sits it’s a 2.6% increase. Per the comptroller’s office we need to earmark some of the funds we have. We don’t have any big projects. He spoke about possibly adding 22’ to the back of the town hall – it would add 2 rooms. One could be a conference room and the other for cold storage. He doesn’t want any more surplus. He would like for the town to have about $3,000,000 and we are at $5-6,000,000. That’s too much. He and Angie ran the #’s a couple weeks ago. In ‘A’ we are about a hundred thousand over, in ‘B’ about $40,000 over, and about $60,000 over in highway. He suggested looking at the air conditioning system in town hall building. Cambareri: it’s an obsolete system. Supervisor: it’s not energy efficient. Paul is hoping to have a price for the police station basement flooding problem. Senior center side doesn’t get any water. He will re-work everything for next budget meeting. His goal is to be even not necessarily to lower taxes. Howell asked is there capital reserve for Hidden Valley. Supervisor: no. Howell thinks it’s something to look into. Cambareri: we can’t take money from our budget and put into theirs. Howell: that district should have a reserve for unfunded mandates. Supervisor: we would have to raise their fees. If you look at their budget, he went up $10,000 this year. It’s because we have to make payments back to us for the loan. He raised each house in there $100. Lazier is close to hooking up 3 houses at $6,000/house hook up fee. Mr. Lin (Chinese restaurant) wants to do up to 20 houses next year. He bought the farm at Homestead & Guymard. That would hook into Hidden Valley also. Ryan from KC said we could add 40 houses to the sewer district without adding applying to the DEC. Over 40 we would have to reapply.
Supervisor added that Brian Carey wanted him to bring up about the youth programs budget line on page 9. He requested for that line to be increased to $3,000 from $2,000 for the clay.
He will try to have the modifications done by Friday. Discussion on copy machines for town hall and police station.
MOTION TO ADJOURN:
MOTION offered by Supervisor Volpe 2nd by Councilman Howell to adjourn the meeting at 8:12pm. All in favor: Howell, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
Kathleen A. Myers, RMO