Collins holds first meeting of the year

COLLINS – The town of Collins held its first meeting of 2013 and passed the annual resolutions. One of those resolutions, the court clerk’s salary, prompted some discussion.

The two clerks will receive an annual salary of $8,250 each. Town Justice Norman Peters was at the meeting and suggested the town pay the clerks hourly instead of annually.

“As judges we split it up fairly, but we don’t have to do the paperwork the clerks do,” Peters said.

The town is planning on splitting the work between the two court clerks evenly and each clerk will work under one of two town justices. Peters warned that some of the cases are not split up equally and depend on when appearance tickets are written. Each judge works two nights a month, alternating weeks. When there is an occasion when there are five weeks in a month, the judges alternate working the fifth week.

According to Supervisor David Tessmer, the town looked back from 2008 to 2012 to see how many hours a court clerk put in. The hours peaked in 2009 with 1,300 hours but have steadily declined since. The town is estimating 1,100 hours will be put in by the court clerk and salary was based on this estimation. Councilman Mary Stelley voiced her opinion to leave the salary rates the way they are proposed.

“You don’t know that it won’t work,” she said.

The town agreed to revisit the court clerk hours later in the year to see if salary pay should be reduced back down to hourly pay. All 61 town resolutions passed.

In other business, the town approved to spend $452,394.22 for improvements on Smithcrest Drive, from Taylor Hollow Road to Edgewood Drive, Archer Street from Highland Avenue to Wendy Drive, and Lower Lenox Road from Taylor Hollow Road to the dead end. The town also approved to modify the rental fees at the L.K. Painter Center.

“We had interest in (renting) the kitchen and gym for the day. It was going to be $240 at the current rates for two months,” Tessmer said.

The new rates will be $10 per hour for kitchen or classrooms or a daily maximum of $50; $20 per hour for the gymnasium or a daily maximum of $60; and annual programs will be charged $100 per month. The hourly rates are the same which was set in 2005 but the town will implement daily maximum rates. Community based not-for-profit organizations may be exempt from this fee schedule upon proof.