July 20, 2004

The regularly scheduled meeting of the Board of Trustees was held on Tuesday, July 20, 2004, in the Village Hall. Deputy Mayor Conley opened the meeting at 7:00 p.m. Also present were Trustee Bateman, Trustee Herriven, Clerk-Treasurer Schweigert, Public Works Superintendent Mahar, and Daniel E. Seaman, attorney. Absent: Mayor Maedl (who joined the meeting at 7:20 p.m.), Trustee Shuttleworth, and Police Chief Swick. Trustee Herriven led the Pledge of Allegiance. There were several Village residents present, as well. A motion was made by Trustee Bateman, and seconded by Trustee Herriven, to approve the minutes of the May 17, 2004, meeting as distributed at the June 21, 2004, meeting. Carried. A motion was made by Trustee Bateman, and seconded by Trustee Herriven, authorizing payment of bills submitted on Abstract No. 2--T in the amount of General: $45,176.49; Water: $12,690.77; Sewer: $5,619.65; Total: $63,486.91. Carried. A motion was made by Trustee Herriven, and seconded by Trustee Bateman, to approve payrolls No. 3 and 4, for weeks ending July 3 and July 17, 2004. Carried. The Treasurer’s report was submitted and accepted for the month of June 2004. The Public Works report was submitted and accepted for the month of June 2004. The Village and Town Police reports were submitted and accepted for the month of June 2004. The fire report was submitted and accepted for the month of June 2004. Trustee Bateman asked why the recreation program was being held at the Scout House this year. Submission of paperwork to reserve the school was inadvertently overlooked. The rec. directors have found that it is better holding this program at the Scout House for several reasons. Jay Johnson, 65 Main Street, asked for permission to close Vernon Street between Maple Avenue and South Street when the roofing is done at the Middleport Inn, 28 Vernon Street. He is concerned that fall roofing material could injure someone or damage passing cars. The street would probably only need to be closed for about 4 hours. Permission granted. Weather permitting, the work will be done July 26 or 27. Mr. Johnson was advised to notify the police and fire departments when he plans to close the street. Clerk Schweigert advised that the Library has asked for permission to have Park Avenue Closed on August 12, 2004, from 1:45 p.m. to 3 p.m. for the finale to the summer reading program. Permission granted. Park Avenue residents who will be affected by this will be notified. Deputy Mayor Conley advised that he has received some favorable comments on the appearance of the Scout House. He asked Mr. Mahar to pass that information along to his employees. Letters of thanks will be sent to those individuals who loaned equipment to this job. A motion was made by Trustee Herriven, and seconded by Trustee Bateman, to move into Executive Session for purposes of discussing proposed, pending, or current litigation. Carried. Executive Session opened at 7:15 p.m. Mayor Maedl joined the meeting at 7:20 p.m. A motion was made by Deputy Mayor Conley, and seconded by Trustee Herriven, to move back into general session. Carried. Mayor Maedl reconvened the general session at 7:31 p.m. Mayor Maedl advised the Board that the NYSDEC has made matching grants in the amount of $3,500 to $10, 000 available for tree plantings. The tourism committee could donate $500 toward this and she is willing to approach the Rotary Club for a donation, as well. Board authorized her to move forward with applying for this grant. A resolution was offered by Deputy Mayor Conley, who moved its approval, and seconded by Trustee Bateman, as follows: WHEREAS the Village of Middleport had a tree survey performed by a certified arborist in July of 2003, and WHEREAS the arborist identified 62 trees throughout the Village in the Village’s rights of way that were in need of immediate removal due to a serious state of decay, and WHEREAS, the Village of Middleport does not have sufficient funds to replace said trees in the near future, it is THEREFORE RESOLVED, that Julia A. Maedl, as mayor of the Village of Middleport, is hereby authorized and directed to file an application for 50 percent matching funds in an amount not to exceed $10,000, and upon approval of said request to enter into and execute a project agreement with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation for such financial assistance to this Village for tree replacements. The vote on the above resolution was as follows: Ayes: Deputy Mayor Conley, Trustee Bateman, Trustee Herriven, and Mayor Maedl. Nays: none. Absent: Trustee Shuttleworth. The resolution was duly carried. At this time Richard Bitterman, owner of 17-½ Orchard Street, was asked to approach the Board. He had been notified of non-compliance of his special use permit as granted by the Board in July of 2001. Mayor Maedl read a portion of a letter sent to Mr. Bitterman by Tom Arlington, Code Enforcement Officer, which spelled out the violations. Specifically: Plantings along west property line behind parcels on Orchard Street have never been installed (not later than June 2002); Only one sign on Main Street entrance was permitted. Large sign put on south side of building wall. No sign on Main Street; It has been reported traffic has been using entrance off of Orchard Street for flea market. This driveway was to be blocked off except for emergency vehicles. Full conformance with building and fire code has never been ascertained. Mr. Bitterman explained that: he had agreed to the plantings as he expected lots of cars and that hasn’t occurred. Business has been slow. he put the sign where it is so it would be seen by train passengers. not a lot of people are using the Orchard Street entrance. Mr. Bitterman doesn’t think he is in violation of the permit. Mr. Seaman reminded him that there had been some opposition to granting this permit at the public hearing. Mr. Bitterman agreed to these conditions, and that is why the permit was granted by the Board. Mr. Bitterman again said that he agreed because he thought there’d be more business. Mr. Seaman reminded him that he must agree or he can’t run his business there. He advised him that if he violates the special use permit, he violates the zoning code. He isn’t living up to the agreement. He was again reminded that if he doesn’t live up to the agreement, his permit will be revoked. Mr. Bitterman advised at this time that he was in compliance with the electrical issue. Mr. Arlington inspected his property a week after the letter was sent to him. Mayor Maedl advised that there are three conditions that must be met to continue operating under the special use permit: take down the sign, put in the plantings, and bock off Orchard Street. Mr. Bitterman protested at having the Orchard Street exit blocked as he claimed it is his handicap parking area. Mr. Seaman reminded him that it is part of the agreement; it must be block. Mr. Bitterman again stated that very few cars use this exit. Mayor Maedl explained that the special use permit was granted based on these conditions. Either abide by it or close the business. There isn’t any leeway in this, and based on the permit, this should have been done two years ago. Regardless of any explanations, it doesn’t mean these things don’t have to be done. We have no choice. Having Mr. Bitterman appear before the Board was a better option that taking him to court. The Board does want his business to succeed, but these conditions were made and haven’t been met. The Board may be forced to revoke the permit if these terms aren’t met. Plantings will enhance the property and are part of what made the Board agree to this. Non-compliance forces the Board to consider revocation. Mayor Maedl emphasized that all of the conditions must be met. Mr. Bitterman asked if he must take down the sign. Mr. Seaman advised he could apply for a change to the permit to leave the sign, but the other conditions must be complied with. Mr. Arlington will follow up on this in a month’s time. Mr. Mahar advised the Board that there is a drainage problem on Manor Lane. The residence at 17 Manor Lane is experiencing flooding that has never occurred before. As there is a possibility that micropaving done by the Village caused this, he contacted Wendel Duchscherer for an estimate to fix it. They proposal is $4,550 to make plans to fix this. Mayor Maedl advised that Harvey Lyndacker, a realtor, has checked out the property at the well and gave an estimate of value at $10,000 to $12,000 for the lot. It is assessed for $11,300. Attorney Seaman recommended that the property not be listed for sale, but that the Board should wait until approached about selling. Work for the back landing will start on July 19, 2004. Prints have been forwarded to Barden for cost of woodwork. Clerk Schweigert advised she had met with Bill Rausch from the Baseball committee, and they’d figured out the differences in the books. They are asking if the Board could amend the 2004-05 budget to allow them to spend what wasn’t spent from the 2002-03 budget. Discussed current program. Mayor Maedl, Deputy Mayor Conley, and Trustee Herriven will meet with Royalton Superintendent Chad McHenry and Baseball rep. Dan Dodge to discuss a contract with Royalton for the program. The next Northwester Frontier Association of Village Officials meeting will be held on Thursday, July 22, 2004, with the Village of Elba hosting. The next regular board meeting will be Monday, August 16, 2004, at 7:00 p.m. A motion was made by Deputy Mayor Conley, and seconded by Trustee Herriven, to adjourn. Carried. Meeting adjourned at 8:45 p.m. Respectfully submitted, Rebecca A. Schweigert Clerk-Treasurer
© 2018 Village Of Middleport, Niagara County