Quarterly Update From Town Supervisor Sue Bellor – July 2023

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Welcome back to view my mid-year letter in my second year of quarterly updates for our Town of Massena’s Website!

Thank you to those who watch and keep up with our website, agendas and minutes and continue to let me know if any are lacking. It is appreciated and Jason works hard to help us get it right and up to date. Again, I reach out to you to consider contacting me to be added to our waiting list for committees: Library, Museum, Massena Electric Dept., Planning, Zoning, Ethics, Joint Recreation or if you would like to help with the fishing tournaments.

The East Massena Water Project was completed in early May. Thank you to all who patiently waited for the project and its required processes to get it done.

The town through Barton & Loguidice was able to receive a large grant for a possible new water district along the South Racquette River Road. Nothing is quick and easy and therefore the company has been working on a long list of requirements to fulfill; with the establishment of a new water district, its design and their plan for construction, to name a few.

With the help of being awarded a large Federal Grant through C&S Engineers, the airport will be shut down in July for rehabilitation of one runway. Since this will impact air travel in July, Boutique Airways has notified all travelers and we have made known through media and website.

Linda McQuinn secured two grants to support 5 fishing tournaments in 2023. We hope you have planned for these 5 big tournaments: Big Bass Tour July 28-30, Toyota Series August 10-12, Phoenix BFL Sept. 9-10, Cashion Rods Sept. 30, and Big Bass Blowout October 7-8. Linda is also working on grants for other areas of infrastructure. Coming to the Massena Town Beach on August 19th for the Rockin’ The River Event is the performing group “Draw the Line”, the only tribute band endorsed by Aerosmith. We thank their sponsors. At this date of publication, the following are sponsors: North Country Colocation Services (NCCS), Massena Savings & Loan, Patriot Paving, SeaComm Federal Credit Union, St. Lawrence Health, and H3Designs.

The Town of Massena was recognized for the St. Lawrence County’s “Best Destination Marketing Initiative Award”, specifically for “Explore Massena & Fish Massena” at the annual dinner held by the St. Lawrence County Chamber of Commerce. I submitted the nomination to recognize: Don Meissner, Linda McQuinn, Jason Hendricks and Nate LaShomb.

Town board members and I have continued with training and webinars through both the Office of the State Comptroller (OSC) and the Association of Towns (AOT). Deputy Supervisor Pat Facteau and I have begun working on Multiyear Capital Planning with departments. This has been a challenge added to the inherited pension debt and zero cash balance.

Auditors Bowers & Company presented the 2021 audit report to the Town Board on May 17; explaining our issues, deficiencies and providing guidance on what needs to be done. They are beginning work on the 2022 Audit.

I have attended webinars on: “Legal Updates: What Employers need to know for 2023” (which brought us to adoption of the new NYS Sexual Harassment Policy and education on the Hero Act related to airborne infectious disease prevention plans); “Getting Started with the new financial report through the OSC”, and “Understanding the Budget Process”.

The town board approved a policy for non-contract employees and began work on revisions to the Procurement and Investment policies, as required by Auditors and OSC.

Having Researched the former Article I, Dog Control and Licensing adopted in 1987, and since amended in 2000 and 2011, the town approved new licensing, procedural fees and penalties for offenses.

The Honorable Senator Dan Stec and Assemblyman Scott Gray met with me, council member Deb Willer and Town Attorney Eric Gustafson about a variety of issues affecting our town budget; including one lingering issue of the MMH debt left to us from its sale to SL Health. Deb Willer, Attorney Eric Gustafson and I also met with Senator Stec to discuss the upcoming agreement with the NY Power Authority as relevant to the Local Government Task Force.

Representatives from both Senator Dan Stec and Assembly Member Scott Gray’s offices met with St. Lawrence County Supervisors’ Association to address questions of concern.

Council member Deb Willer and I were invited for a tour by the Great Lakes St. Lawrence Seaway Development Administration on May 24th. We visited with Administrator Adam Tindall-Schlicht, Associate Administrator Jeff Scharf, and Community Relations Manager Amy Stark along with representatives from offices of Congress Member Elise Stefanik, Senator Dan Stec and Senator Kirsten Gillibrand. We toured the grounds and visited with personnel in on-site buildings and boarded the newest tugboat “Trident”. They plan to finish construction of the visitors’ center by year’s end.

The Planning Board continued their dialogue with presentations and visits from Air Products at their March-April monthly meetings about the hydrogen plant plan and processes.

The Ethics Board has finalized all the changes to the Handbook and was distributed to the Town Board for their review before adoption and publication.

The Massena Public Library celebrated National Library Week April 23-29. We thank Director Elaine Dunne Thayer for her many years of dedication to our town library and welcome new Director Krista Briggs. Both Director Elaine and assistant director Deb Fuehring were both recognized for their years of dedication at a reception on June 7th by staff, trustees, and friends.

The Celine G. Philibert Cultural Center and Town of Massena Museum sent a letter early April asking for charitable funding to purchase a storage building on their premises. The museum archives had been stored in a variety of locations in Massena. They were able to raise around $7,000 and the town also applied for a grant in the amount of $50, 000. We thank Josh Davis for his year working hard as historian and await to see the results by Museum Board on their decision for the new historian. .

The town employees will be tasked again this year to complete annual NYS Required Trainings; Anti-Discrimination and Sexual Harassment, and Workplace Violence Prevention.

Website manager Jason Hendricks has updated several areas of our town and village’s website and we hope this has become easier to access information. Also, check out Explore Massena.

The Massena Chamber of Commerce has been approved by its vote of the membership to integrate into the St. Lawrence County Chamber. The legal process continues and Council member Deb Willer and I met for a discussion of goals, staffing and expectations with SLC Chamber Executive Director Ben Dixon, SLC Tourism Director Brooke Rouse, Massena Mayor Greg Paquin, Village Administrator Monique Chatland, current Massena Chamber Executive Director Eowyn Doud, and Louisville Supervisor Larry Legault and Louisville town clerk Joanne Cameron.

Serving the Town of Massena for a Positive Future!

Supervisor Sue (Spadafore) Bellor

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