Jerusalem employee benefits talks continue

John Christensen

The battle over the Jerusalem assessor Vernon Brand’s position continues. The problem seems to stem from the position not being classed as part-time or full-time. Questions were asked about how vacation time is to be granted, and the number of days and hours he must be available every week.

It was finally agreed that vacation time would be granted by conferring with the Town Supervisor, and the benefit package was unanimously approved.

In a related matter, a resolution to exempt all salaried employees from punching the time clock was passed unanimously.

A motion to pay $160 for mandatory training for the assessor was also approved. The possibility of making the position full-time for the remainder of the current appointment was discussed. This would only be until the assessor is able to catch up with the backlog of work.

There was discussion of the sick day policy to allow an option of using unused sick time toward health care costs or a one-time cash pay out. It was decided that the cash option must be taken immediately upon retirement rather than deferred, but a public hearing to amend the policy must be held.

Other business on the board’s agenda included:

• MUSEUM: The town board will act as lead agency on the SEQR for the proposed local law allowing museums. The non-significance statement was approved.

• WATER AND SEWER: The solar mixer for the Keuka Park water tank is on site and should be operational by June 1. A check for over $5,000 has been received from NY Municipal Insurance for the sewage grinder pumps that burned out in a power outage. The 2012 sewer budget was amended  $5,975.94 to reflect the pump replacement.

• BUILDING PERMIT FEES: Jim Bedient recently built a pole barn on his farm, and the building permit fee was $900. Surrounding towns have exemptions for agricultural buildings, and Italy has a cap of $500 or 5¢ per square foot. This is about one third Jerusalem’s current rate, and it was asked if the town is trying to encourage agriculture shouldn’t the fees be reduced?

Members Mike Steppe and Pat Killen suggested a streamlined process and a flowchart to make things easier for applicants. Supervisor Daryl Jones and Member Mike Folts agreed it was an excellent idea and approved forming a sub-committee.

• CLEANING: A resolution was passed to contract with Connect-a-Service for cleaning the town hall and barns for the rest of 2012. Dissatisfaction with costs and quality of work by the current service was given as the reason.

• RTE. 54A PROPERTY: The cleanup of a derelict property that has been in discussion since last year seems to have stalled. The board will get estimates to have the property cleared by June 1.

• RECREATION: Bev Eggleston was appointed Summer Recreation Director after a last-minute call by Killen.