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Sherman board eyes grant options for sidewalk plowing equipment

February 18, 2016
Westfield Republican

Sherman Village Board of Trustee members explored options at their monthly meeting for using grant money to purchase equipment to plow sidewalks.

Sherman recently obtained a $10,000 USDA grant to assist with equipment purchases. It was also awarded $43,500 as a low interest loan from the same source. Village clerk Ann Gilbert reported that she received a call from USDA representative Tom Becker who said the funds were still available.

The village had hoped to use these funds for a new high-end sidewalk plow. However, according to Department of Streets Supervisor Doug Crane, the price of one exceeds $140,000.

Crane presented board members with several options, including the purchase of a compact tractor or a skid steer with a five-foot snow blower. Crane also recommended that a bucket be purchased for use on projects in the summer.

The only "catch," Crane said, is that the sidewalk on the bridge is 59 inches wide, just a half-inch less than the snow blower. Crane said the sides of the snow blower could be adjusted to fit. Another possible solution, Crane said, would be to plow in front of the school in exchange for school personnel plowing the bridge.

The matter of adopting a law for cross connection control and backflow prevention for the village was raised by Crane. He told board members that cross connection control and backflow prevention are already being done, so the law will not change any Department of Public Works practices.

Village Clerk Anne Gilbert stated that a public hearing is needed before a new law can be approved.

The board scheduled a public hearing for March 2 at 7:00 pm to validate the adoption of the county template for the new law regarding backflow prevention and cross connection control.

Gilbert informed the board that the used 4" pump that was projected to cost the town between $10,000 and $12,000, was actually purchased by Jay Irwin for under $9,000.

In another matter, Gilbert said she contacted Paul Bishop of CGR, the company that will be conducting a dissolution study for the village. Bishop was not available to attend Wednesday's meeting, but said he would meet with village officials soon.

According to Gilbert, Bishop said he was seeking more information regarding a grant to help pay for the study, which will cost $28,800. In phase one of the contract, CGR will collect information to determine the possible effects should the village be dissolved and assumed into the town. At that time, Sherman village residents will vote on the matter. If the vote is for dissolution, phase two will be to develop a plan to help the municipalities combine.

Gilbert said CGR will not help the village apply for the grant. 'They will help get the information we need for the grant, but they won't touch the grant application," she said.

In regard to the possible dissolution, Crane said he would like to attend a meeting of the Sherman Town Council to seek their advice regarding snow plowing. "It was stated at a public meeting that 'you guys are not doing a good job - we can do a better job for the Village'; I want to know how," Crane said. "I would like to go to the town board meeting and get their ideas. If their suggestions are good, maybe we can apply them now and save money."

Crane said he would also like to discuss what benefits Sherman village residents gain from the town tax they pay. "I hear time and again; 'What do you get for your village tax,'" Crane said. "I would like to know what village residents get for their town tax."

Village trustee Isaac Gratto said he would accompany Crane to the town's March meeting to discuss these issues.

In other business, Gilbert informed the board that the Fire Hall Deed has been returned because some of the information which was submitted was incorrect. Crane mentioned that there were parcels that were easily confused.

Gilbert said that Attorney Mike Bolender is going to change the erroneous information so the deed can be resubmitted.



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