By Kathleen Wilson
The Village of Florida held its regular monthly meeting on Wed., Jul. 11. The meeting was called to order by Mayor Daniel Harter with Village Board members and a mere handful of residents in attendance. After all, it was a glorious summer evening and the community was out and about enjoying the lake and the park and the summer Recreation Program, which is well under way as reported by Trustee Craig Olejniczak.
“We closed early on Tues., Jul. 3 due to the extreme heat, with concerns about the health and safety of participants,” Olejniczak reported.
Initially, the summer program began a day later than expected; a make-up day will be scheduled. For updates visit www.villageofflorida.org and select community to access the Parks and Recreation section.
July 2018 Transfers for 2019 Budget Year
The new Village Treasurer, Mark Weaver, worked through the financial reports which included the Treasurer’s Report and the payment of vouchers. The list of transfers from the General Fund, Water Fund, and Sewer Fund was itemized and stated in the meeting agenda. Once completed, Trustee John C. Barczak, on behalf of the Board, took a moment to thank Weaver for the reports, noting his appreciation for the detail Weaver provided.
Trustee Barczak also mentioned the retirement announcement of Senator John Bonacic and, on behalf of the Village and the Board, expressed gratitude for the great work the Senator has accomplished during his 20 years in the District. The Village of Florida has benefited from grants made possible through Senator Bonacic’s work. These contributions were vital to the infrastructure and enhancement of the Village and included municipal facilities such as sidewalks and parking lots, the Fire District, and the Seward/Mapes Historic Homestead, to name a few.
Reports of the Trustees
Trustee Brian Slattery, the Village trustee responsible for the Department of Public Works (DPW), Parks, and Building and Grounds reported on the area of Highland Ave. and Scanlon Ave. New water lines were installed and they are working on connecting those services with the main line now.
The purchase of a DPW locator and transmitter was proposed and passed after three estimates were submitted by DPW Supervisor Brunswick.
Trustee Slattery also provided an update on the Seward/Mapes Homestead, stating that board replacement is underway which entails repairing every broken piece of siding, every hole, and the complete replacement of wood boards that are beyond repair, not to mention scraping and sanding every inch of the wood boards on the outside of the structure.
Once this project is complete, building a new porch deck is next. Again, this will involve several steps including reworking the ground under and around the location of the new deck to properly prepare for the deck and the eventual building of the two staircases that once flanked the original front porch. Workers will build the porch deck using support collars.
Working on a site that is well over 100 years old with historic designation is problematic to begin with, but when Federal or State Funds are awarded in the way of a grant, the process is much slower. Restoring involves preserving and the use of specific materials and methods of restoration. The goal is to complete the porch deck and the removal of the temporary support boards in the front of the house by the Annual Family Fun Fest Day in August.
Trustee Barczak, who is responsible for Sewer and Water, reported that the rebuilding of the RBC (rotating biological contactor) units is necessary. These are used in the treatment of wastewater following primary treatment. He stated that the units are constantly spinning and are about 40 years old. Other work included replacing a generator pump and the removal of 20 tons of sludge. Trustee Barczak also noted one of the problems involves the algae bulbs and explained that it is not the algae, but the algae bulbs that cause all the clogging.
The Village used 16,108,000 gallons of water, up 600,000 gallons from the prior month. However, the reservoirs are only down three percent. The Correctional Facility used 2,235,000 gallons of water which was down 100,000 gallons from the previous month.
Trustee Olejniczak followed up on the LED lighting project for the Village with information and a time line stating, “We are where we expected to be. We’re now in the longest part of the project. We are working with Real Term Energy and the Village has mapped its lights, performed its audit and sent a letter to O&R to purchase the lighting. In turn, Orange & Rockland performs their audit and determines needs along with estimates. We are going to be patient right now because we were ahead of a lot of municipalities and we hope we are at the top of the pile.”
The actual changing of all the lights to LED will only take O&R about two weeks.
Other agenda items included Attorney Elizabeth Cassidy briefing the Board on the possible installation and location of solar panels which, at this point, is a research and discussion project. Village Engineer Al Fusco and his team are currently researching possibilities. The Board noted that they will discuss this in a work session prior to moving forward.
Cassidy also apprised the Board of details for a Procurement Policy. Cassidy explained the goal of streamlining the paperwork process and cited NY Law, then simplified it by stating, “Essentially, any expenditure over $5,000, regardless of bidding or not, will need to go before the Board.”
Generally, a procurement policy helps to ensure that a business can buy efficiently and obtain value. The Procurement Policy was adopted.
Trustee Barczak mentioned the 2017 $2.5 million Clean Water Act and the potential $275K available to help clean up water and spillways. He will be meeting with Senator Bonacic’s office soon to discuss the possibility of the Village qualifying to obtain a portion of the funds under the Clean Water Act.
Next Village Board Meeting
The next regular meeting of the Village Board will be held on Wed., Aug. 8 at 7:30 p.m. in Village Hall, located at 33 S. Main St. in Florida.