Jul 30, 2012 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
The village board of trustees is waiting to hear from the state attorney general’s office as to the legality of the possibility of not having a police chief after current chief Lloyd Perkins retires at the end of this year. Instead, the village would appoint current police sergeant Marty Steven as sergeant-in-charge, and he would run the department.
The change would make a significant difference in the village budget by the reduction in salary cost, said Trustee Sue Jones.
The village is uncertain if it can eliminate the police chief position because of conflicting laws on the subject. State law says a municipality with a police chief in place since 1985 must maintain the position, but civil service law states that a village with population less than 150,000 and fewer than four full-time officers does not require a chief.
Currently, the village has two full-time officers and eight part-time officers.
While the village awaits the attorney general’s opinion, it is beginning the transition to a department without Perkins by having Stevens take on increased responsibilities and appointing department clerk Cindy Jacobs as community service officer.
The village board of trustees last week approved the expenditure of nearly $50,000 to study the village’s 80-year-old water system in an ultimate effort to improve “fire flow,” the flow and pressure used by the fire department. The study, and the subsequent system improvements that result from it, also are expected to positively impact village property insurance rates.
“This is a prudent thing to do,” said Mayor Marty Hubbard at the village board’s July 26 meeting. “It’s just long overdue and needs to be done. We’ve got fire flow issues in the village.”
The Water System Asset Management Plan Project will allow the village to contract with GHD, an engineering, architecture and environmental consulting firm, which will survey the entire village water system and create both an map and a hydraulic model of that system. The model with then be used to run different scenarios to find the best way to improve pressure and flow on the system.
“This brings us into the 21st century,” said Bob Lotkowictz, director of municipal operations. “We can [use this to] plan one, five, 10 years ahead for what we’re going to do over that time frame to develop a plan for the system.”
The effectiveness of the village water system and fire flow also affects the village’s insurance, or ISO, rating by the property insurance industry, which directly affects property rates, said Village Attorney Michael J. Byrne. Skaneateles achieved a level 4 rating a few years ago, and village officials want to maintain and ultimately improve that rating, he said.
In recent years, the village has made numerous improvements to its water and fire system by constructing the new fire station, installing the ultraviolet water treatment system and implementing general infrastructure improvements. Hiring GHD to create the asset management plan will further improve the village’s ISO rating and therefore its property rates. “This will have a pretty significant impact,” Byrne said.
GHD will begin work the second week of August; the review will take several months to complete, Lotkowictz said.
The project, approved 4-0 by the board (Trustee Jim Lanning was absent) will cost $43,500 and will be paid out of the water department budget.
Also at the meeting, the board:
—Rescheduled its next meeting to 7:30 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8.
—Awarded the asbestos abatement bid for the new village hall to Jupiter Environmental Services, of Rochester, for $39,982. The village’s estimate for the work was $40,000. There were 10 total bids.
—Scheduled a public hearing for Local Law No. 2, peddling and soliciting in the village, for 7:30 p.m., Thursday, Aug. 23, at village hall. The text of the law will be available at village hall and on the village website.
—Appointed Ed Dienst as an advisor to the Village Municipal Board. Dienst, a retired Niagara Mohawk and National Grid executive, “comes very highly recommended from several sources,” Hubbard said. His appointment was made due to a current vacancy on the municipal board.
—Authorized publication of a bid notice for two boat motors for the Skaneateles Fire Department. Bids will be received until 2 p.m. Wednesday, Aug. 8.
—Appointed Cindy Jacobs a part-time community service officer. Jacobs, currently the part-time police department clerk, will do both jobs. As community service officer, Jacobs will assist village police with certain jobs, mainly vehicle ticketing.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.