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Manlius says yes to meters, no to more taverns

MANLIUS —The Manlius Village Board has approved a project to replace all the water meters in the town. The approval came after a lengthy discussion and a tie-breaking vote by Mayor Gene Menard.

In addition to the mayor, trustees Darrell Anderson and Donna Ericson voted to go ahead with the $63,900 project; trustees Dawn Reglin and Joe Hunt cast the no votes. Trustees Jan Williams and Trisha Johnson were absent.

During discussion of the project, Menard said there are several issues with the existing meters, including inconsistencies with readings from the old meters. Also, the existing meters are old, contain brass and lead and will be required by the Environmental Protection Agency to be replaced in time. The upgrade will provide accurate readings and have diagnostic capabilities to determine any problems, the mayor said.

On Wednesday, Menard said the $63,900 is the estimated cost to buy 180 meters, the necessary software and installation. If village employees can handle the installation, the cost of purchase and software would be reduced to $49,400.

Menard said the project will be paid through TIF money and existing money in the water fund. There will be no new taxes to cover the project, nor were there any new taxes needed for the recent $68,000 cost of painting the interior and exterior of the village’s water tower, he added.

In other business at Tuesday’s meeting, the village board considered an amendment to increase the number of liquor licenses within the village from the current two licenses to three licenses. The motion died for lack of a second.

Prior to the vote, resident Tammy Benson addressed the board, saying she had an application for a liquor license, if the board adopted the liquor ordinance amendment.

On Wednesday, Menard said Manlius is a village of 350 people including children, and the board has received a petition with 99 signatures of people who do not want another tavern in town. That’s a significant number, he said.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting, the board discussed the adoption of the auditor’s “best practice” recommendations.

Those recommendations include, in part, having board members initial bill lists and having invoices cancelled with initials, dates and/or check numbers.

Also, accounting transactions should all be entered on the Quickbooks program, which is used now for payroll and disbursements but not for revenue. Since the village has two people entering transactions, the work should be done by both people using the computer in village hall, not in individuals’ homes.

The purpose behind the recommendations is to protect the village from any wrong doing now and in the future, Menard said.

The recommendations have nothing to do with personalities, he added.

After further discussion, any action on the recommendations died for lack of a motion.

Also, village attorney Michael Henneberry presented information on the tax levy for the new year, which is projected at $29,700. The new levy represents less than a 5 percent increase from the current levy, Henneberry said.

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