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Grand Island Town Board: Thanks, but no thanks

by jmaloni

Cooke returns bonus

Fri, Dec 24th 2010 12:00 pm

As she does each year, Grand Island Town Councilwoman Mary Cooke returned to the town's coffers her medical care bonus, which the town offers to those who decline the town's coverage.

Cooke said the town offers the incentive as a cost-saving measure because the bonus, $4,056.79, is less than the cost of coverage, which now sets the town back approximately $16,000 for the least expensive family plan.

"I believe that medical insurance benefits offered by employers were never meant to become a source of income if one does not use the benefit," Cooke explained in returning the benefit. "With this in mind, I am returning the $4,056.79 to the town, and I urge others who receive the bonus to do the same."

Also at Monday's meeting:

•No one from the public spoke during a public hearing regarding the 2011 sewer rents. Subsequently, the board adopted a resolution to set sewer rents in the consolidated sanitary sewer district for 2011 at $5 per 1,000 gallons of water used.

•The board set public hearings in order to receive citizen input on two matters.

The board voted to set a public hearing for Monday, Jan. 3, 2011, at 8 p.m. to receive comments on the Grand Island Fire Co. contract. The GIFC has proposed a three-year deal beginning Jan. 1, 2011.

The new contract begins Jan. 1, 2011, and expires Dec. 31, 2013, and calls for the town to pay the GIFC $995,623.05 in 2011, $1,015,535.51 in 2012, and $1,040,923.90 in 2013. Other terms of the contract remain unchanged.

The board set a public hearing for 8 p.m. on Monday, Jan. 3, 2011, to receive citizen comment regarding final plat approval for East River Landings phase 3. The Planning Board recommended approval at its Dec. 13 meeting.

•The board accepted two resignations at its Monday meeting.

The board accepted with regret the resignation of Senior Engineer Assistant Kevin Lesika, effective Jan. 2, 2011. Also, the board accepted with regret the resignation of John McCarthy from the Board of Assessment Review. McCarthy's resignation ends his 28-year involvement with the Board of Assessment Review, after having been appointed Oct. 1, 1982.

•In a letter to the Town Board, Time Warner Cable gave notice of a price adjustment coming in the next billing statement to Island customers. Sharon L. Hanson, director of government affairs at Time Warner Cable, sent a form letter to the board claiming that over the past year Time Warner Cable has "continued to invest in our infrastructure to increase network reliability, program offerings and enhanced customer service."

According to a letter Time Warner Cable will mail to customers, the new prices reflect higher programming costs, development of new features, and investment in the infrastructure and network.

Coincidentally, Time Warner Cable also notified the town of upcoming program agreements that will soon expire. Hanson sent a list of channels the cable company "may be required to cease carriage of "if an agreement is not reached between Time Warner and the channel. Channels on the list included: WIVB, WNYO, WUTV, WNLO, the Golf Channel, The Weather Channel, Starz, E!, NHL, and Lifetime.

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