Friday, May 15, 2020

Wells hires disaster consultant

Wells TB April 13 2020

Wells hires disaster consultant
WELLS—When the Wells Town Board met on April 13, Councilperson Andrew Lauria asked if the board could review the FEMA Consultant contract prior to voting on the Resolution.
Supervisor Nick Mauro forwarded the contract to each board member for review. Councilperson Lauria asked if this was the only proposal submitted. Yes, Municipal Disaster Consultants was the only firm that answered the Request for Proposals that ran in the Leader Herald.
Councilperson Vanessa Saltis asked where will the upfront costs to the Consultant come from as we wait for reimbursement from FEMA?
Supervisor Mauro suggested using the contingent fund.
Councilperson Rebekah Crewell added, the approximate cost for the Consultant would be $3,000 to $5,000, but not cast in stone.
Supervisor Mauro explained that FEMA will reimburse the Town the cost for a Consultant up to a maximum of 5% of the total project. Municipal Disaster Consultant, Ryan is aware of the policy and has never exceeded the 5% rule with municipalities he has represented in the past. Supervisor reiterated it is in the Town’s best interest to contract with a well-qualified professional to guide us and maximize the amount of funds we are entitled to through FEMA. Highway Superintendent Clay Earley feels confident in Ryan’s professionalism and experience especially having dealt with many of the FEMA staff on prior projects.
On a motion of Councilperson Saltis, seconded by Councilperson Tim Hunt, the following was APPROVED Ayes 5 - Mauro, Crewell, Hunt, Lauria, Saltis; Nays 0.
WHEREAS, the Town of Wells suffered devastating damage because of the storm and flooding that occurred on October 31, 2019 and thereafter (FEMA-DR-4472-NY), and
WHEREAS, the Town Board is currently planning and executing a massive recovery program to repair such damage caused by this storm and to mitigate future damage in the event of similar storms in the future, and
WHEREAS, the Town Board believes it would be beneficial to the Town to hire a professional consultant to advise the Town Board how best to maximize financial recovery from FEMA and New York State, and
WHEREAS, the Town Board published a Request for Proposals seeking candidates for said consulting position, and
WHEREAS, the Town Board has received and reviewed such proposals, and
WHEREAS, the Town Board has determined that Municipal Disaster Consultants, 45 Exchange Boulevard, Suite 530, Rochester, NY 14614 is the best candidate for the consulting position, NOW THEREFORE BE IT
RESOLVED, that the Town Board is authorized to enter into a contract with Municipal Disaster Consultants as a consultant to assist the Town Board in working with FEMA and New York State to maximize financial recovery for damages sustained as a result of the October 31, 2019 storm.
On a motion of Councilperson Lauria, seconded by Councilperson Hunt, the following was APPROVED Ayes 5 - Mauro, Crewell, Hunt, Lauria, Saltis; Nays 0.
WHEREAS, The Town of Wells desires to conserve valuable town resources and taxpayer dollars by using contract labor instead of town employees for the maintenance of three (3) active cemeteries that exist within the Town of Wells, in part on private lands with the permission of such private land owners, and
WHEREAS, The Town Board believes that such action is in the best interest of the residents and taxpayers of the Town of Wells, NOW THEREFORE BE IT
RESOLVED, that the Town Clerk of the Town of Wells is hereby authorized to advertise for bids for mowing and lawn maintenance of three cemeteries during the 2020 season according to specifications on file at the Office of the Town Clerk, and BE IT FURTHER
RESOLVED, that sealed bids will be received until May 8 at 12 noon and will be publicly opened on May 11 at 7:10 p.m., at which time the Town Board may award a contract but reserves the right to reject any or all bids.
Supervisor Nick Mauro reported on the Lake Algonquin Hydroelectric Plant for March 2020. Revenues totaled $4,503.19; expenditures totaled $326.57.
Superintendent Earley asked the Board to consider paying their outstanding bill of $101,103 for equipment, gravel, dump trucks. While they have been laid back but now due to COVID-19 and things slowing down for them it shows good faith as we will need to use them soon as we begin more projects. He suggested taking the funds out of the Money Market and replenish it when a FEMA reimbursement is received. Councilperson Hunt asked if they are charging interest. No not yet. Councilperson Lauria suggested paying half the bill now and the balance when FEMA reimbursement is received. Supervisor Mauro feels it is in our best interest to pay in full, clean slate as we will be reimbursed. Also, there are only a few contractors in the area, we will need Carver as projects begin. He will form a Resolution and email the Board for each of their acceptance and vote.
The Board reviewed the Building Code Enforcement Officer’s report for March 2020. Kevin Helm asked the Board to what level do you want him to enforce the 2017 Abandoned Vehicle Law as he feels it quite strict and many residents are in violation. He suggested putting something in the newspaper to reeducate residents and asked the Board to review the Law. He also asked about the oil spill on Luella Rd. and Superintendent Earley confirmed that the company needed to wait until the roads are unposted to remove the decontaminated soil. Kevin Helm also offered to assist with removing the white picket fence by the dam. Superintendent Earley thanked him and will let him know the date for removal.
The Board reviewed the Town of Wells Water Department for March 2020.
None received.
The Board reviewed the Highway Superintendent’s Report for March 2020.
Councilperson Saltis reported to the Board that the Summer Rec Program is currently on hold and all paperwork has been filed with the NYS Department of Health.
Councilperson Crewell asked if we have advertised or should advertise for lifeguards as other neighboring Towns have.
Councilperson Saltis thought last year’s lifeguards were returning and Supervisor Mauro suggested waiting until the May board meeting to hopefully have a better idea of when things will open.
Councilperson Lauria asked for a copy of the 2019 AUD. Supervisor Mauro will coordinate with him a date and time to pick his Board packet up and the AUD. One will be left in the Town Clerk’s office for filing as required.
Supervisor Mauro updated the Board on building repairs. Due to high winds earlier in the year, there was damage to the metal roof at the hydro plant which has been repaired with a new metal roof section screwed down. Also, the bandshell roof has been repaired. Installed the electric door on the back bay of the Highway Garage for the fly car. Kevin Helm offered to bring scaffolding in so the ceiling in Community Hall can be painted a bright white. All computers at the office now have high speed internet and high speed internet at the Highway Garage which eliminates the need to use the Bus Garage’s internet service. The office computers now can scan through the copier which is essential particularly with the FERC re licensing documents and communication with FEMA reimbursements. He thanked everyone for participating in the meeting as he did have some residents unhappy about holding a closed meeting but did not want to incur the $200 cost to bring the meeting online. He may reconsider if things must continue this way for months but hopes things will be back to normal soon.
Supervisor Mauro brought up the fact that Councilperson Crewell has been assisting Highway Superintendent Earley with his department’s paperwork with FEMA. Superintendent Earley then explained the scope of work she is doing and the fact by putting her on the Highway payroll is reimbursable up to $90 per hour. She will be compensated at $30 per hour. Councilperson Lauria expressed a concern about a Councilperson being hired/compensated as a Town employee as it may appear to be a conflict of interest. Superintendent Earley explained that, under Town Highway Law he did not need Board approval as it is like when he hires part time summer laborers.
Supervisor Mauro said Jen Woodward would be receiving overtime for the work she is doing under the General Fund FEMA reimbursement which is over and above her normal business hours as bookkeeper. Again, that portion of payroll is reimbursable from FEMA.

This article is based upon the minutes of Maryellen Stofelano Town Clerk.

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