Town Board Blog

Answers to Questions from Public Forum                                                                            April 2019
  1. What has been growth of the Police Department over time?
    1. The Department has remained relatively stable in size.


    2. The Police Committee is open to the public. It meets every other month, fourth Wednesday at 5PM. Next meeting is May 22, 2019.

  1. How do Insurance Companies rate our Fire Departments?
Insurance Services Office (ISO) scores 10 (poor) to 1 (excellent)
    1. Fayetteville: 2 mixed paid/volunteer [district has hydrants]
    2. Manlius: 2 mixed paid/volunteer areas with hydrants;
7 areas without hydrants
    1. Minoa: 4 all-volunteer [district has hydrants]

  1. Is there state-level intervention to protect municipalities from stores challenging their assessment like Target is doing?
    1. A-4752 introduced by Assembly Member Zebrowski
      1. Needs a NY Senate sponsor

  1. What is the rationale for the new Municipal Building?
    1. Increased security
      1. Safety concerns for the public when Court is in session
      2. Safety of employees working in the Town Offices
    2. Better collaboration between Town’s operational functions
    3. Current Police building [in Manlius] needs repairs, has no air conditioning and is “not reflective of a first-class Police Department”

  1. What is meeting room reservation process?
    1. Speak with Debi Witzel

  1. What is the process to have Public Comment at a Board meeting?
    1. Speak with Allison Weber or Ed Theobald
    1. Share the topic about which you would like to speak
    2. If it is a Town Board matter, you will be given time on an upcoming Agenda
    3. Please note the ‘rules of decorum’

  1. How are we letting the public know about the agenda notification option?
    1. The sign-up is on the website
    2. There are sign-up sheets at board and committee meetings
    3. Periodically announced on Facebook page
    4. Shared at public meetings

Manlius Town Councilor

March 2018

Lots to cover this month!

Small Cell Wireless is coming to a utility pole near you. The FCC issued new guidelines making it easier for wireless companies to locate small cell antennas where they are needed to improve bandwidth and speed. This is 4G now but paves the way for 5G installations in the future. For more info see the SOCPA PPT on the Manlius website. Community education is needed. A Public Hearing has been scheduled for April 24th at 6:35 to review a Local Law that I was involved in preparing, with others.

The Inland Port is not dead. The grand plan articulated by CenterState CEO for a huge shipping terminal in Dewitt a few years ago is not happening, but a $19 million expansion at the CSX terminal in East Syracuse is on a fast track for completion this year. Most of the development will be on land CSX already owns and will include some technology improvements to increase efficiency of operations. This is an economic development opportunity for Minoa and the northern parts of the Town but will also increase truck traffic.

Did you know that the Town is thinking about building a new Municipal Building that would bring the Police Department into space adjacent to the Courts, enhance the security and efficiency of both, and move the offices currently at Brooklea Drive to a new location? A preliminary feasibility study has been done, and Phase 2 was approved March 13th. We are looking at a site on the wetlands on the corner of North Burdick and Bowman Road extending to the former landfill.

NY Municipal Energy Program: Community Choice Aggregation. Good Energy made a presentation at the March 27th meeting. Minoa Mayor Bill Brazill spoke in favor. The Villages of Fayetteville and Manlius have also already signed on. This is a win/win opportunity to lower utility costs for Town residents and small businesses.

Zone change request for the Wellington House/Estabrook Mansion property on the corner of Genesee Street and Mott Road. Resident opposition is clear. As of the date of this blog we have received +/- 50 letters/emails/calls in opposition to a zone change and 1 with reserved support. The board invited the developer and his attorney to amend their proposed use [which I believe will not be approved] to something with less impact on the neighborhood. As of this post, I have not seen any other proposals. Please check the agenda on the website to see if they plan to return 4/10 or 4/24.
    Manlius Town Councilor

    February 2019

    Boy Scout Troop 210 of Kirkville visited the meeting February 13th.  Chuck Marshall representing Stewart’s Shops & Laura Cassalia, Project Manager, CHA Design presented a request for a zone change for the parcel on the corner of Route 92 and Enders Road [across from the Manlius fire house].  After conversation the Board decided not to forward their request to the Planning Board, effectively ending the application.
    The summer theater show will be Guys & Dolls.
    The Board authorized the purchase of two tractors with mower decks and allowing ESM students to Intern at the Highway Garage.
    The Town has begun the process to demolish an unsafe house located at 138 Wilson Dr., E. Syracuse.  The Annual Report for the Planning and Development Department is available at the Town Office.
    We have two openings on the Zoning Board of Appeals and one opening on the Board of Assessment Review.
    STAR property tax exemption requests are due by March 1st.
    The Police Department is hosting a ten-week training called Citizens Police Academy:  Go Behind the Badge. Residents may apply on-line or at the Police office in Manlius.
    Boy Scout Troop 153 attended the meeting on February 27th.
    Check out the new agenda software on the Town website.  Now there is a link to attachments right in the agenda.
    NYS will lower the speed limit on Route 92 from Manlius toward Oran to 40 MPH in response to a petition from residents in the area.
    There will be a public hearing regarding the demolition of an unsafe house on April 10th.

    Manlius Town Councilor

    December 2018

    Town Historian Barbara Rivette gave an annual report to the Town Board. John Loosman gave a report to wrap up the work of the Town of Manlius Environmental Council (TMEC) which was formed in 1973 to monitor the environmental impact of proposed developments in the town. The work of the TMEC has been largely replaced by the State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process, which is now a routine component of the Planning Board process. The Council volunteers have worked with the Town Historian to catalogue and preserve their records before they disband.

    There was a Public Hearing for an all-way stop intersection at Huntington Lane & Chatham Drive and a stop sign at Whetstone Rd. & Chatham Drive. Several neighbors attended. These stop signs were approved.

    Chief Crowell gave the following report: - The field training is going well with the new police officers. - Mary Alice Boyke and Captain Jeff Peckins have retired. - Phase 2 of the strategic plan has been completed and he will begin gathering input from the town board and the police committee.

    Jon Paul was approved to fill the vacant Sargent’s position at the Town of Manlius Police Department.

    The Town has entered into two short-term contracts with M.A. Police Consulting due to their experience with police departments and their IT requirements. This service will be put out to bid for a long-term contractor.

    The DEC has received the deer management permit application from the town. Culling services will begin in January.

    Several town officials met with 5G providers outside of a board meeting to get more information on the 5G service that will be coming to the town. I attended this meeting and will be monitoring the implementation of 5G service in the Town.

    John Loeffler presented a summary update from the planning process committee of which I am an active member. The planning process committee has identified and taken action on certain topics such as:

    - Special District Mapping Accuracy
    - Zoning Information on the town website
    - A review of the town code for items that are not addressed or may have inconsistencies.

    The Town of Manlius has a Facebook page!
    Follow us at: Town of Manlius

    Manlius Town Councilor

    November 2018

    The November 14th meeting had the largest number of residents in attendance so far this year.  The hot topic was the Deer Management Plan. The Eagle Bulletin wrote a good summary in the 11.21 issue.   The plan for 2019 is confined to areas contiguous with the Village of Fayetteville, because the Town is joining with Fayetteville’s plan.  Most of the residents who spoke will not be in the culling areas this year, but it was important to hear their concerns because the Town plans to expand the scope of the program for 2020, if all goes well in 2019.  The Town approved the Deer Management Plan after the Public Hearing had closed.

    A Public Hearing was also held regarding a ‘paper street’ separating the Fayette Manor neighborhood from the Homewood neighborhood.  Further study is needed. The Board took no action.

    The Final version of the $15.2 million 2019 Town budget was presented.  Some of the items that were unknown in October turned out to be favorable, especially rates for the employee health insurance plan, which were considerably lower than anticipated.   As a result, the tax rate was reduced by 6₵ from $4.89 to $4.83 per $1000.

    Some items in the Budget that may be of interest:

    An external independent audit of Town finances

    Increased website capabilities – may forms and licenses can now be handled via the website without needing to come to the Town Office

    New zoning map software on the website so residents and developers can look up properties and learn about how they are zoned

    A contract with General Code to ‘recodify’ the Town Code, which has not been done since 1996.

    The November 28th meeting had a good turn-out of residents interested in a proposed Alzheimer’s Special Care Facility behind AmeriCU on Medical Center Drive.  Residents of Avriel Drive expressed concerns about increased traffic. Mayor Olson pointed out that facilities like this have a major impact on emergency services.  The Developer agreed that, in their experience, there are likely to be 3-4 ambulance calls each week. The Special Permit was approved, and the project was sent to the Planning Board for Site Plan review.

    Street lights were approved for the entrance ways into Austin Meadows.  The Town received a DASNY grant for a new storage building [the old shed leaks].  Public Hearings will be on 12/12 on a proposal for a Verizon micro-cell on Enders Road near the schools and amending the local law relating to the Town Attorney.

    Manlius Town Councilor

    October 2018

    Budget Time

    Resident interest in the Manlius Town Budget was notably absent this year.  I know many of us were busy campaigning for County, State and Federal candidates, but the lack of participation at the Town level was obvious.

    Public Hearings were held on the Fire Protection District Budgets on October 10th.  If you live in a Village, this tax is included in the Village tax you pay in June. If you live in the Town but not a Village, this tax appears as a line item on your Town and County bill in January.  Pull out your tax bill – the Fire District amount is pretty high! No one showed up for the Public Hearings.

    Over the summer I have served on an Ad Hoc Committee with John Loeffler, Rich Rossetti and Allison Weber to develop recommendations to improve transparency, consistency and constituent convenience particularly around Planning and Zoning issues.  The Preliminary Budget includes funds for Map Link and General Code. The Highway Department Budget includes increased costs for salt and asphalt.

    On October 10th the Board adopted the 2019 Preliminary Budget and set the Public Hearing for October 24th.  The Budget is on the Town Website:

    Only Tom Schepp showed up for the Budget Public Hearing.

    Other Issues

    A new Alzheimer’s Memory Care facility is being planned by JEA Senior Living to be located on Medical Center Drive behind AmeriCU.

    Several government and emergency management entities participated in a “Table Top” emergency simulation exercise.  Sergeant Chris Cushman and Highway Superintendent Rob Cushing contributed greatly to the success of this exercise.

    The Town voted to join with the Village of Fayetteville to implement a Deer Management program.  Karen Green has been diligent in moving this process along.

    Frank Mento has been appointed to the Planning Board.

    At the request of several residents, the Board approved stop signs at the intersection of Bentbrook Drive and Drinkwater Lane in Manlius.

    Manlius Town Councilor