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Town of Lewiston Board approves junior accountant posting, SEQR for Solar Law

Sat, Mar 31st 2018 07:00 am
By Terry Duffy
Editor-in-Chief
With Town Board members Al Bax and Bill Geiben, plus the town engineer and building inspector all absent - not to mention Supervisor Steve Broderick contending with a case of laryngitis - Monday's regular meeting was a rather light one.
The session did include some discussion on the posting for the hire of a junior accountant - an item that drew comments from resident Paulette Glasgow at the end of the session, as she questioned, "Three accountants?"
Prior to the Town Board's approval, Martha Blazick, who most recently served as town finance/budget director, discussed the need for a junior accountant. Blazick remains with the town in a training position role for newly hired Finance/Budget Director Jacqueline Agnello, who started her job on March 2.
"Basically, the junior accountant keeps up with the daily transactions and is in charge of the general ledger - the things that repeat and occur on a regular basis," Blazick said. "Because so much of the director of finance's jobs are responding to FEC filings, insurance renewals. We get reconciliations, trying to keep track of the different funding sources, monitoring the budget. ...
"The junior accountant really is in charge of getting the cash receipts posted every day, getting the disbursements, monitoring the general ledger, making sure that all the entries are correct; doing the bank reconciliations on a regular basis.
"It's kind of a division of duties, so you don't have one person doing everything. (Here) you have one person doing it and one person reviewing it."
Blazick said the town has "a very large amount of money" that it goes through every year, and "to have just one person being responsible for all that is ridiculous."
She said past auditors from Pat Brown of Brown & Company to current auditor Dresher-Malecki both told her the new position was essential to having an efficient town financial management operation.
"I have said it is an absolute must to have a junior accountant," Blazick said.
Soon after, the board went on to approve the posting for junior accountant - a position expected to be filled by June at a salary of $25,500, according to the town's approved 2018 budget data.
In other news:
•The board session saw a host of procedural approvals for the town's pending local law covering solar energy installations on Lewiston properties. Included were such State Environmental Quality Review Act items as the town declaring itself as lead agency, approval of related documents and moving the project ahead with negative declarations.
The board approved for Broderick's signature on the Environmental Assessment Forms, and the matter was expected to be finalized at next month's meeting.
•Another project that saw SEQR approval involved a tower/antenna application by T-Mobile Northeast, for a telecommunications facility to be constructed at Seton Hall on the Niagara University campus.
•Town grant writer Bernie Rotella advised the board the town's Sanborn sewer reapplication process was progressing.
"We have the pre-application ready for the Sanborn sewer project," he said.
Rotella noted the project would cover a sewer extension on Bridgeman Road west, a $100,000 project of which $50,000 would be a grant refundable SAM application from New York State Sen. Robert Ortt, with town funding coming from its H-97 account.
The board approved the sewer project for the Ortt grant application funding, with the project's balance to be covered by the town.
Wrapping up:
•The board discussed, but opted to take no action on an outdoor replacement sign considered at the Lewiston Senior Center. The sign replace an older one that was damaged in a recent automobile accident.
The matter was left with the town to pursue bidding for a new sign, estimated to cost $7,355, versus an option for an insurance-funded replacement of the older sign at a cost of approximately $5,600.
•Until April 14, the town will accept bids for a discussed town dog shelter behind Town Hall.
•And the town announced it is still accepting applications to fill its long-vacant bingo inspector's position.
For more on the above items, visit www.townoflewiston.us.

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