Thursday, March 19, 2020

Wells plans on FEMA reimbursements

Regular meeting, Town of Wells, February 10, 2020

Wells plans on FEMA reimbursements
WELLS—When the Wells Town Board met on February 10, Supervisor Nick Mauro updated the board with the following information concerning FEMA reimbursements
On January 14, 2020 Highway Superintendent, Clay Earley, Bookkeeper Jennifer Woodward, Councilperson Rebekah Crewell and myself attended a meeting with representatives from the State, Homeland Security, to discuss FEMA reimbursement. To say this was information overload, is an understatement. After 3 hours of intense informational content without so much as a drink of water, we all left feeling a bit overwhelmed and confused as to next steps and processes.
Fortunately, at that meeting we were able to re-connect with Anthony Minitti, (Disaster Assistance Representative from NYS Homeland Security and Emergency Services). Anthony will be our dedicated consultant through this entire process. He is also the one that initially came out and met with Clay to assess damages. Anthony met with Clay, Jen, Rebekah and me in the town office building on Thursday January 30 and provided some much-needed clarification as to the process. Here are some bullet points to summarize key steps that have been done and what we can expect in the days to come:
Applicants briefing is starting point: This is a declared disaster and we WILL be receiving reimbursement from FEMA, just determining how long that it will be before funds are received. Realistically will be months.
Request for Public Assistance was already sent in and received by state, forwarded to FEMA, once accepted as applicant, FEMA has 5 days to call for an “exploratory call”, expect a couple of weeks from January 30 meeting. They will then ask us to provide basic details of damages, at that point they will schedule a “recovery scoping meeting”.
Recovery Scoping Meeting: they will sit with Clay and Nick and go through the specifics of the damage, identifying all sites, quantifying of materials needed to repair etc. This will be on-site inspections and identify projects. Projects will be individual in nature, i.e. this road has this much damage and x amounts of materials were used/need to be used to. Future work will be contemplated in reimbursement as well.
$131,100 = small project and we get paid up front, once it’s been obligated and approved by FEMA.
Large project – over $131,100 can do progress payments to get paid as we go so; we don’t have to front that money ourselves.
FEMA will pay for rental of equipment to get rid of debris that has accumulated as a result of the storm
FEMA will pay for repair of storm damage to local parks and beach
FEMA will cover the deductible from the Flood Insurance FEMA – will provide 75% reimbursement
STATE – will provide 12.5% reimbursement – governor’s office
Total of 87.5% federal/state reimbursement is expected. Town of Wells will be responsible for the remaining 12.5% of expenses.
Rebekah Crewell and Jennifer Woodward will be assisting the Supervisor and Highway Superintendent in the next steps and with the direct reporting to FEMA. As of February 4, Rebekah has assisted Clay in getting set up with the FEMA Grants Portal. The Town of Wells has been assigned a FEMA PA Code Number (Public Assistance number). Clay now awaits a call from them to schedule the Exploratory Call.
Please contact me with any questions. Nick Mauro, Supervisor, Town of Wells.
Councilperson Lauria asked about the sediments in the lake. Supervisor Mauro said FEMA will reimburse removal but not a full dredging.
Supervisor Mauro stated that due to the plant being offline in November and December 2019 there are no revenues/expenses to report. We should receive a check within the next couple of weeks as the plant is now generating income and running well.
On a motion of Councilperson Saltis, seconded by Councilperson Hunt, the following was APPROVED Ayes 5 Mauro, Crewell, Hunt, Lauria, Saltis Nays 0
WHEREAS, Helen Buyce is an esteemed, loved and treasured long-time former resident of the Town of Wells, and
WHEREAS, Helen has served the community of Wells all her life by her presence, teachings, knowledge and kindness, and
WHEREAS, the community expresses thanks to Helen for her lifelong dedication to the Town of Wells and its residents and for her selfless giving of her talents to enrich the lives of so many, and
WHEREAS, the Wells Town Supervisor, the Wells Town Board and all the citizens of Wells desire to join the outpouring of respect and admiration for Helen Buyce upon the occasion of her 100th birthday, now, therefore,
BE IT RESOLVED that the Wells Town Supervisor, the Wells Town Board and all the citizens of Wells hereby offer their sincere admiration, congratulations and very best wishes to Helen Buyce on her 100th birthday, and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that this proclamation be spread upon the minutes of the Meeting of the Wells Town Board on this 10th day of February, 2020.
On a motion of Councilperson Crewell, seconded by Councilperson Lauria, the following was APPROVED Ayes 5 Mauro, Crewell, Hunt, Lauria, Saltis Nays 0
BE IT RESOLVED that the Town Board appoints Robert Zemken for the year 2020.
On a motion of Councilperson Saltis, seconded by Councilperson Crewell, the following was APPROVED Ayes 4 Mauro, Crewell, Hunt, Saltis Nays 0; Abstained 1 Lauria
WHEREAS, a Town Historian collects and preserves materials relating to the Town and works with the County and State Historians in performing the historical work of the Town, now therefore BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town Supervisor appoint Jen Woodward as the Town Historian for 2020.
On a motion of Councilperson Hunt, seconded by Councilperson Crewell, the following was APPROVED Ayes 5 Mauro, Crewell, Hunt, Lauria, Saltis Nays 0
WHEREAS, the Town provides a certified School bus Mechanic and facilities to maintain transportation vehicles for the Wells Central School District through a contract, and
WHEREAS, the Town Board has reviewed the 2020-21 proposed contract effective July 1, 2020,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town Supervisor is hereby authorized to sign an agreement with the Wells Central School District to provide a certified School Bus Mechanic and facilities to maintain transportation vehicles for said District as described in the attached agreement.
Councilperson Lauria asked if the rate was the same as last year, yes.
Justin M. Gonyo, President of Hudson Consulting provided the Board with a presentation regarding his company’s interest to administer the research of grants or other funding sources that may facilitate the remediation of the Algonquin Lake Dam. His services include identify potential grant sources and supporting entities, assemble grant applications and supporting documents and provide management for project and report on progress. At no charge Justin would tour the dam and then put together a proposal for the scope of work. Councilperson Crewell, a big proponent of grants said Justin is her resource for grant writing as she feels he is an expert, and this could take the dam to the next level.
Jim Abbott, Assessor and Barry Baker, County Director of Real Property, discussed property evaluation. Jim Abbott informed the Board that the last reassessment was done in 2007-2008 and the current Equalization rate is 93%. He feels by doing a reassessment or revaluation he would like to see the rate at 85%. All three towns, Benson, Hope and Wells must agree, and the total cost is $43,000 with Wells portion being $21,500. He reiterated a reassessment does not necessarily mean an increase in taxes.
Corinne Hayden, Wells Central School Ski Club advisor thanked the Town for funding the ski club each year and requesting $1500 once again for the 2020-2021 ski season. Supervisor Mauro explained there is a line item in the budget titled “Youth Contract Expense”.
Supervisor Mauro said during his campaign he had residents come to him suggesting the Town charge a day use fee for non-residents. This is a possibility or close the beach to residents only as Northville does. Councilperson Crewell is concerned about the traffic/parking situation on busy days. Jim Abbott brought up the fact that we have multiple rental properties with guests that use the beach. Councilperson Saltis felt if we charged a day use that monies collected may not offset the expense of administering a program. Councilperson Hunt feels it should be for residents only.
Supervisor Mauro read an email from Bonnie Reisinger from the Adirondack Speculator Region Chamber of Commerce regarding using the pavilion one Thursday this summer and having the Farmer’s Market, which is held each Thursday at the Speculator pavilion come to Wells so that residents can take advantage of all it has to offer and may also gain some crafters. She feels it could generate some good local business for our area if we would consider having them.
Councilperson Crewell added as Vice President of the Chamber, they are trying to move the market around to different towns within the county.
The Town Justice Court received a 2019-2020 Justice Court Assistance Program Award for furniture, an AED unit and Video Surveillance, alarm system for a total of $8,459.
They currently rent the former WVAC office and would like to relocate to the basement office in Community Hall. We will repaint the office and be ready for them to relocate in March or April.
Jean Frederick approached Supervisor Mauro regarding the cemetery on Kibler Point. She researched and found a deed where the Town purchased the property on December 3, 1990 for a $1.00. Jean feels it hasn’t been routinely maintained. Superintendent Earley said his crew will now maintain it a couple of times a year.
The Board reviewed the Building Code Enforcement Officer’s report for January 2020. He also made the Board aware of the fact that Leona Aird has a monitoring device that’s tied to Ellis Hospital and currently has no coverage. He is working with Centerline Communications for a building permit regarding an 18-foot extension of the existing monopole which will provide Leona coverage and others.
Superintendent Earley received a new mid-size truck last week and the old one is on Auctions International to be sold. He needs more space in the garage due to the GAVAC vehicle and is proposing an automatic door be installed on the northeast corner at a cost of approximately
$1,999. He will obtain more quotes.
Councilperson Lauria said the Watershed meeting scheduled for last Friday was canceled due to inclement weather.
Councilperson Crewell reported that she and Councilperson Hunt met with Town Justice Murphy to review both Town Justice books which were all in order.
Councilperson Hunt asked about better lighting in Community Hall. Dave Brenan is pricing LED lighting and plans to paint the ceiling a bright white.
Councilperson Saltis has been in email contact with Casey Young, NYS Department of Health regarding the Summer Rec program. She is contacting last year’s Counselors in hope they return this year. Dates for the program, July 1-23, with trips on Thursday’s, swim lessons for the younger children on Friday’s and with Trailblazer’s for hikes with the older children.
Dee Parker is encouraging people to use the LIFT Program. Sponsored by Camp of the Woods, young adult ministry who will help people with any inside or outside projects. The contact person is Rachel Nelson.
Roy Grisenthwaite, kudos to the Board for having Hudson Consulting come in. As an FYI, in Myrtle Beach you pay a percentage to use the beach.
Last comment - be prepared for the reassessment.

This article is based on minutes provided by Maryellen Stofelano Town Clerk.

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