Reeve accepts trustee seat in Penn Yan

Gwen Chamberlain
New Penn Yan Trustee David Reeve takes the oath of office as administered by Mayor Robert Church.

A new trustee joined the Penn Yan Village Board Dec. 20. David Reeve was sworn into office by Mayor Robert Church at the beginning of the regular meeting.

Reeve says he approached Church about serving because as a life-long area resident who recently moved into the village, he has an interest and is willing to serve. With the appointment, he will serve three months, until the March election, when he’ll seek election to the seat.

Agenda items at the Dec. 20 meeting included:

• CSEA CONTRACT: The board unanimously approved an agreement with the CSEA unit of village employees. The unit’s previous contract expired June 1. The new agreement includes a one year pay freeze and an across the board 30 cents per hour increase (about 1.5 percent) in the second year of the two year contract.

Michael Christensen, who represented the board on the negotiating committee, noted the contract also included a change in health insurance providers.

The board also authorized the mayor to sign an agreement with the Penn Yan Police Benevolent Association addressing the changes to health and dental insurance coverage.

• LOSAP: The board adopted two resolutions regarding the volunteer fire department length of service awards program. See related story.

• LOCAL LAW ON FUNERALS: Attorney Ed Brockman distributed a local law on protests during funerals for review. The law will be discussed further at the January meeting.

• REFINANCING BOND RESOLUTION: The board agreed to refund bonds totaling $2.3 million with an outstanding principal amount of $1,842,000. Village Clerk Treasurer Shawna Wilber says refinancing the loan for the water treatment plant will save the village $97,000 in interest payments. The debt dates back to 1993. Church lauded Wilber’s efforts in researching options and taking the steps to accomplish the savings.

• TASK FORCE: The board tabled action on the appointment of a task force to establish an addendum to the 1995 Jerusalem/Penn Yan intermunicipal sewage disposal agreement. The Municipal committee had asked the board to appoint Jerry Nissen, Shawna Wilber and Brent Bodine, director of public works, to a committee with Mike Folts, Carrie Wheeler and Wayne Ackart, all of the town of Jerusalem, to work on clarifying a specific section of the 1995 contract. Wilber explained the intent is to clarify the specifics on how the costs of the sewer budget should be allocated to the Town of Jerusalem.

Brockman said a village board member should be on the committee, and he believes Wilber and Bodine are acting in good faith, but he suggested they provide all board members with a copy of the contract and an explanation of what they want to discuss with Jerusalem officials and why. He and Reeve both said it appears Jerusalem officials are attempting to re-negotiate the contract.

Trustee Michael Christensen said, “We have a history of Jerusalem not acting in good faith.”

Church added, “This has been going on for several years. I don’t think one month will be a problem.” He said he likes the task force, but would also like Willie Allison, as chairman of the municipal committee, to participate.

• TAX CAP WAIVER: The board unanimously approved a resolution allowing the village to over-ride the state’s 2 percent tax cap in 2012.

• ELECTRIC RATE: The board authorized spending up to $15,800 to hire BST Advisors, LLC to develop and submit a mini electric rate case filing with the Public Service Commission. The village has not adjusted electric rates since 1998, and during a recent external audit exit meeting, this filing was recommended. See related story.

• SURPLUS VEHICLES: The board declared a 2008 Ford F250 pickup used by the waste water treatment plant, a 2002 Chevrolet Blazer used by the water/sewer department, a 2005 Chevrolet pick-up used by the electric department, a 2000 Chevrolet Silverado 1500 pick-up used by the street department and a 2002 Chevrolet Impala used by the police department as surplus to be sold to the highest bidder on e-bay.

• NEW VEHICLE: The board agreed to purchase a 2012 Ford Fusion at New York State contract pricing to replace the police chief’s 2002 Chevrolet Impala. The cost of the vehicle, including a new radio and other equipment will be $22,000.

• PART TIME OFFICERS: The board hired Wayne Marsh and Brandon Dehond as part time police officers to attend the Finger Lakes Law Enforcement Academy from Feb. 13 to July 30, 2012. They will be responsible for all tuition and other costs.

• APPOINTMENTS: The board appointed Brenda Ingram as chair of the Historic Commission and Dottie Jansen as a full time member of the commission. The board also approved Kelsey Broome as a member of the Hydrant Hose Company.

•  MEETINGS: The next meeting of the Municipal Utilities Board will be held at 8:30 a.m. Jan. 12, 2012 in the Municipal Board Room of the village office building. The next village board meeting will be held at 6 p.m. Jan. 17 in the board room.