The first meeting of the year for the Dunkirk Town Board began with the swearing in of its new justice.
Robert Hubbard, a town resident, ran unopposed in November's election for the town position previously held for six years by Terry Bender.
He was sworn in Wednesday by Town Justice Priscilla Penfold. Supervisor Richard Purol said he has been to training and is ready to start in the position.
OBSERVER Photo by Nicole Gugino
Dunkirk Town Justice Priscilla Penfold (left) swears in new Justice Robert Hubbard.
"A new era has started," Purol said jokingly.
The board welcomed Hubbard and thanked Christopher Penfold for filling in since April.
"He came in to help us in our hour of need and I sincerely thank you," Purol said.
Also as part of the organizational meeting, the board approved salaries for the year. Purol noted the town gave its employees a 3 percent raise, but was able to lower the tax rate by $0.08.
The only staff changes from last year's organizational meeting include Hubbard, as well as Deputy Clerk/Deputy Registrar of Vital Statistics Joshua Kozlowski and Code Enforcement Officer Ryan Mourer also took over fire code inspections. Purol also appointed Councilman Robert Penharlow as the deputy supervisor.
The board designated the OBSERVER as its official newspaper, Manufacturers & Traders Trust Co and First Niagara Bank as its depositories and the third Tuesday as its regular meeting day.
The board's next meeting will be held Jan. 15.
The board also held a workshop where Purol reported having received the police contract from Dunkirk Police. Purol was previously authorized to sign the agreement which contracts for six months of coverage at the same price of $1,500 per month.
Purol also reported receiving an email from the state comptroller's office alerting the town it stayed within the allowable limits of the tax levy cap.
Purol also reported the final costs of the additional work on the snow plow's ABS, starter, king pins and valves by Rexford Services Inc. to come to $11,000. The board approved payment of the bill. Rexford also fixed the rails for $16,500.
"It made sense to do the other repairs when you saw how close the starter was to the rails," Purol said. "They did a great job, ... it is a safe truck now and it should last us another 10 years ... It will save us in the long run."
Board members said they had not had enough time to review the employee handbook to make suggestions for changes. Penharlow said he found nothing to prohibit the board from purchasing time clocks and suggested implementing them on a trial basis to evaluate what problems may arise. The board decided to discuss the matter more at its next meeting.