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Village has no ‘significant deficiencies’ in audit report

SPRINGVILLE—The Village of Springville has no material weakness in its 2016 financial audit, according to Laura Landers of Freed Maxick CPA. Landers presented the audit at the Oct. 16 Board of Trustees meeting.

“There are no material weaknesses or significant deficiencies,” Landers said.

The village’s sewer fund gave her the most concern, as it outlined a operating deficiency of $54,000. She said the fund was “not healthy” and “concerning.” The water and electric funds, however, were both in good standing. The electric fund had been struggling the last few years, Landers said, but is now back where it should be.

“It’s finally gotten to the point with some cash position,” she said. “It’s finally getting where it should be.”

The general fund has about $2.2 million, with $1.9 million in the unassigned fund balance and a capital reserve of $237,000. The village has a debt of $110,000, which Landers said will be paid off in full in 2017-18.

Landers reminded the board to look into its cyber security protection. With an increase in cyber crimes, including hacking and data breaches, Landers said all municipalities should be aware. Village Administrator Liz Melock said the village has a digital coverage which would protect them in the event of a cyber attack.

The board had a discussion on the village’s use of the CodeRED emergency alert system, and how they can better utilize it. There was no alert sent out during Sunday’s power outage, and Trustees Nils Wikman asked what the process is.

“It seems like [a power outage] would be the ideal time,” Wikman said.

The Control Center pushes the alerts out, Melock said, but they wouldn’t have known to send out the alert given how centralized the power outage was. Superintendent of Public Works Ken Kostowniak said he hadn’t been aware of the power outage initially. Trustee Rob Moriarty said there needs to be a better procedure in place, adding that the village does a good job sending out alerts for planned events, such as road closures, but is lacking in actual emergency situations.

“We have to establish protocol and procedure,” Mayor William Krebs said. “That’s why we have it [for emergencies.] We have to fine tune our way of reacting to … emergencies.”

A public hearing will be set regarding the zoning of the Springbrook Apartments, parts of Maple Avenue and the Boys and Girls Club. Currently, they are zoned as B1 – or village business. Code Enforcement Officer Mike Kaleta said they should be zoned as RM – or residential district. In 1977, the Planning Board approved the rezoning, but it was never changed, Kaleta said. The Boys and Girls Club, he said, is a special use and can be zoned as RM. A public hearing was set for Nov. 20.

“We have to update the zoning map … to reflect what’s there.” Krebs said. “Bring the current use up to what’s being used.”

Kaleta reported the village now has access to the Department of Financial Services’ data base on zombie properties. There are four listed in the village, though Kaleta said there are at least four more that meet the state requirements to be considered a zombie property. He noted there are more vacant properties in the village. Seeing the data base allows the village insight into which bank owns the property, and will hopefully make it easier to get the property cleaned up.

In other news:

– The Halloween curfew was set for 7 p.m. in the downtown business district and 9 p.m. in the rest of the village.

– The winter parking ban was approved, restricting street parking from 2-7 a.m. and no parking overnight in the Municipal Parking lot, unless in the designated area.

– Officer in Charge Nick Budney said the annual Shop With a Cop program has been set for Dec. 9. So far they have received $3,000 in donations. Donations can be mailed to or dropped off at the village office.

– A special public hearing was set for Wednesday, Oct. 25 at 7 p.m. in the Public Safety Building regarding the village’s Community Development Block Grant.

The next regular meeting for the Village Board of Trustees will be Monday, Nov. 6 at 7 p.m. in the Public Safety Building, 65 Franklin St.

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