Village grossly inefficent? Updates on Sewer/Water. 68 days left….Fact checking the FLT?

(0915hrs 4/18/2013 update)  —>  Village Timeline given to Employees, including Plan to put this to another referendum!!!    DOC260 Village handout to village employees on timelines      – Village came through on this FOIL request within 5 days as required by law, and explained the situation regarding other delays.  Essentially, most records are not scanned in upon receipt, and those that are spiral bound must first be copied, then scanned creating duplicative inefficient workloads that slow village business down.

(4/17/2013 Update)  The village has been stalling on providing the FOIL requests regarding Sewer Studies and emails.  They’ve given a May 3, 2013 date for possibly releasing the records.  Don’t get excited:  What tends to happen is they delay the release by suddenly claiming they forgot to charge for the records and must charge at the lowest hourly rate to copy them at $22 per hour, plus $.25 per page.  The amended FOIL law @ http://www.dos.ny.gov/coog/foil2.html encourages the village to freely post relevant information like this for the public to review.  Our village has scanners capable, but notes that it takes them 20 days to search for records and scan them due to their methods of filing.  When OneLyons discusses efficiency and responsiveness of government, its examples like this for the public to consider:  NYS had the records requested sent within 3 days, the Village of Lyons averages 20 – 27 days…..  WOW.  Our experience with Town of Lyons was responsiveness to FOIL within 2-5 days, which is the expected norm for an efficient government.

Keep up to date with village minutes on their website at www.villageoflyons.com.  <<Current debt reported by Village as of 2/21/2013:  $1,568,007.84.  or $880 per tax parcel, but remember almost $35 million in exemptions are enjoyed by 300+ property owners including Federal/State/County/Town/Village and other tax exempt properties…. so taking out 350 properties leaves possibly 1432 properties shouldering the tax loads @ possibly 1094.98 per property>>> (Relevant in this debt are projects related to water and sewer:  Route 31 water project from 1995, Cole Rd Sanitary Sewer from 1995, Waste Water Renovation from 2002, Phelps St Sewer Line from 2006, and Water Meter Installations in 2012.)

Keep up to date with the Dissolution Committee at MRB’s website setup for them:  www.lyonsdissolution.org

At the March 12, 2013 Village Board meeting, MRB was authorized to submit grant requests on the village behalf with a goal of obtaining grants to build new sewer lines to Newark.  We then discovered that the village had commissioned a study of the sewer plant and operations but not shared it publically — Obviously OneLyons began digging….  What we know so far is that our Sewer Plant is rated low on the state’s Risk list at 68 out of 72 plants.  We’ve received back in less than 5 days the FOIL requests from NYS — Here is the results of our recent Sewer Inspections:  2012 Inspection sewer plant, 2011 Inspection Sewer Plant  What we are trying to find out is how shutting down a sewer plan that we still owe $695,000 on (Upgraded in 2002 for $1.8 Million) and turning all over to Newark, will fix the underlying infiltration problems of the sewer collection system that serves almost 1700 residences and business inside the village?  NYS has notified the Village since 2011 that they have Sewer infrastructure problems to address…..  they commend the Sewer Plant operators and chastise the village administration….  What has the village done since 2011 to address this????

We know that shutting down the water plant and buying all water from the Wayne County Water Authority did save the Village Board $ on gallons per 1,000 purchased; but still has not fixed the underlying water loss.  Also remember, we are now dependent on our water supply soley via ONE pipe from the village of Newark that we also share with the County Jail/Nursing Home and they have priority.  The village has taken steps to address the issue after heavy scrutiny since 2009.  1) Borrowed $440,000 to replace all water meters in system, waiting for commercial meters to be changed next.

Don’t forget their budget, which contains the exact numbers above:  V of Lyons 2013 to 2014 Budget

Coming up next week:  Fact checking the fact checkers… did FLT mess up like Mayor claims, or was the reporting accurate?  Did the Mayor mislead the village board and the community as the newspaper seems to allege?  Clues to these answers are sprinkled in the village minutes and the FOIL results, we are researching and tying it all together for future release….

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