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The Telegram
  • Mohawk board OKs contracts with PBA, grant writer

  • The Mohawk village board approved a pair of contracts during a meeting Monday evening. The board voted to approve a new three-year contract with the village Police Benevolent Association. The contract, which takes effect June 1, sets pay raises for each of the three years and expands the use of the yearly allowan...
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  • The Mohawk village board approved a pair of contracts during a meeting Monday evening.
    The board voted to approve a new three-year contract with the village Police Benevolent Association. The contract, which takes effect June 1, sets pay raises for each of the three years and expands the use of the yearly allowance the village provides for the officers to purchase boots. The new contract would allow them to purchase gear such as hats, gloves or other items instead if they don’t need boots.
    The board also approved a one-year contract with Grant and Essential Management Services, of Amsterdam, to provide grant writing services for the village at a cost of $1,600 per month. Village Attorney Karl Manne said he found the contract basic and had no problems with it.
    A pair of bids were received for lawn mowing service at the two Mohawk cemeteries. All Pro Unlimited of Frankfort submitted a bid of $32,000 covering cleanups in April and October and 10 mowings. Kubecka’s Lawn and Landscaping, Ilion, submitted a $29,500 bid and offered one cleanup in the spring and two in the fall as well as 15 mowings. No decision was made.
    Irene Sweet asked if the cemetery board should go ahead and interview seasonal workers for the job and Mayor Jim Baron gave the go-ahead. The board will decide at a future meeting whether to award a contract to one of the bidders or hire seasonal employees.
    Trustee Kathy Eisenhut raised questions about whether or not the village can offer bus trips.
    Manne said state law allows the village to subsidize trips that are part of a youth program and to subsidize concerts in the park that are open to the public, but not trips that would only benefit a limited number of people.
    “I’m concerned we won’t be able to run our trips this summer,” said Eisenhut.
    Manne said programs that benefit youth activities are an exception to the rule.
    Trustee Matthew Watkins, who serves as liaison to the Weller Library Board, said the annual report the library submits to the Mid-York Library System came back marked incorrect.
    Village Clerk Judy Bray said the library had been working on a calendar year rather than a fiscal year. “It will take a few years to adjust the figures,” she said. The library used to hire a certified public accountant to handle its finances, but more recently that work is being handled in the village office. Baron suggested Bray meet with the librarian about the financial records.
    Trustee George Cryer reported the village planning board lacked a quorum recently and was unable to conduct a meeting. The Zoning Board of Appeals did not meet, as there was no business to conduct. He expressed concern that none of the members of either board had signed up to attend an upcoming workshop in May. The state requires members of both boards to attend a yearly training session. A session is coming up May 1 in Schuyler and Cryer said he would contact the members about signing up to attend. The five-member boards are currently operating with three members each.
    Page 2 of 2 - Cryer asked if the village board could take on the role of the planning board if there aren’t enough planning board members to conduct a meeting, but Manne said there is nothing in the village charter that empowers the village board to fill that role.
    Bray asked if alternates could be appointed and called if there is not a quorum. Manne said that would require a change in the village’s bylaws.
    Cryer also reported he had seen some large items, such as couches, set out on the curb for pickup and suggested that Codes Enforcer Dave Kuehnle drive around the village, especially on the weekends, to check for violations.
    The board also discussed the New York Power Authority’s tree program, which offers trees at a reasonable cost to municipal electric systems. Baron said he expected the village would be looking to use some of its grant funds to take advantage of the program.
    Manne told the board he is reviewing the Mohawk Fire Department’s proposed changes to its bylaws to make sure they are in compliance with New York state regulations.
    The board accepted three new members to the fire department — Jon Burns, Bryan Mosher and Mark Walts — and accepted the resignation of Mike Rando from the department.
    Robin Mattar, of Career Connections, gave a presentation to the board about the possibility of placing people in positions to provide services such as mowing, snow removal or seasonal work for the village. Career Connections would provide a job coach and the village would be able to recoup some funds.
    Career Connections, a division of the Herkimer Area Resource Center, assists people with disabilities and others in the community who are seeking employment. Career Connections is in the Herkimer Commons Mall at 125-127 E. Albany St., Herkimer.

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