City Engineer Chester P. Szymanski III, addresses the Common Council during their meeting Tuesday night.

by Dave Warner

There was a public hearing prior to the regularly scheduled Common Council meeting to hear public input on Local Law #1, Compensation of the City Treasurer, and Local Law #2, Compensation of the City Clerk. There were no comments from the floor and the public hearing was closed without comment. Both items passed during the regularly scheduled meeting.

Resolution #38 was for allowing Mark Rose, Esq, to continue to handle the litigation of Real Property Tax Law Article 7 Tax Certiorari Petition(s) filed in 2020 for the City of Little Falls at the rate of $175/hour for out of court time and $185/hour for in-court time. The resolution passed unanimously.

Resolution #39 allowed the City of Little Falls to contract with the Herkimer County Humane Society to shelter and care for dogs at large that have been caught by the City of Little  Falls Dog Control Officer. There were some adjustments to the rates that will be charged moving forward. The resolution passed unanimously.

Resolution #40 had to do with the Little Falls Housing Authority wage schedule approving a negotiated wage increase schedule between the Little Falls Housing Authority and its staff, with a 1.5% increase effective January 1, 2020, a 1.5% increase effective January 1, 2020, and a 1.5% increase effective January 1, 2022. The resolution passed unanimously.

Resolution #41 was for authorizing the issuance and sale of serial bonds for the purchase of upgrades to the water and sewer billing system including the purchase of water meters and software. $223,675.00 is estimated as the maximum cost of those items. Mayor Mark Blask said, “This is what we’ve been talking about for several months. It’s an upgrade to the water meters that we need. It’s a 20-year bond.”

City Engineer Chester P. Szymanski said, “The existing ones that are out there are 20 years old and we can’t get replacements. We’re losing 10-15 of these per month. This is an overhaul of a 20-year old system.”

The resolution passed unanimously.

Resolution #42 was for the issuance and sale of serial bonds for the purchase of a new vehicle for the department of public works. Blask stated, “We originally thought that both of these items (the water meters and vehicle) would exist in the same bond. As we worked through the bond, it made more sense to separate. So, this is a five-year bond and hopefully, depending on financing, we can pay it off next year. We didn’t want to pay that interest for the next two decades.”

The maximum amount of the bond was estimated to be $49,227.00. The resolution passed unanimously.

Resolution #43 was a bond to fund the New York State environmental facilities corporation grant. The terms of the grant require the City to initially fund the $458,000 project, which will then be reimbursed through the grant process. “Unfortunately we need to spend money in order to be reimbursed for it,” Blask said. The resolution passed unanimously.

There was no new or old business brought up, and there were no comments from the floor. In the Mayor’s comments portion, Blask discussed the great job that the DPW did on the water main break on Monroe Street. “It started about 3:30 in the afternoon on Thursday and it was all hands on deck. They didn’t get finished until 1:15 am in the morning. It was another example of a tremendous job.”

Blask also mentioned the tragic deaths last week. “When tragedy strikes, we all just really try to stay together and get through it. I’m always ultra-proud with the way people come together and support the families. These are our families.”

The meeting closed with a moment of silence before a motion to adjourn was put forth.

Photo by Dave Warner – City workers attempt to repair a water main break on Monroe Street.