Ballston mulls wireless water meter proposal

According to Blair, applications for that type of federal stimulus money are due by Thursday, May 28.

The Town Board forwarded Blair's information to the water council for review.

The Town Board and Jenkins Park Advisory Board members also engaged in a brief but lively debate at Tuesday's meeting when the advisory board presented an update that suggested a raise for the park's caretakers.

Minutes from a Feb. 11 meeting of the JPAB show that four members present unanimously approved granting a $5-per-hour raise to Norm and Eileen Collins to bring their pay to $20-per-hour.

Councilman Jim Briaddy objected to the idea of the caretakers making "more than highway employees."

The town's 2009 payroll shows that Motor Equipment Operator John Hollowood has the highest hourly wage and makes $23.62 per hour, though some of his colleagues make under $20.

JPAB vice president Sat Ihara noted that Collins does not receive benefits or a retirement plan from the town and also supplies and maintains his own equipment.

"Norm's giving you a lot of things for free," said Ihara.

The JPAB provided rates from private lawn services that were far more than a $20-per-hour rate for Collins and did not include park maintenance. Board President Lynnette Ziskin noted that Jenkins Park is supported by a fee charged to a special district of 573 parcels.

"If we lose Norm, we would probably have to double that tax," she said.

The Town Board allowed that Collins should not have to pay for equipment expenses out of pocket, but frowned upon a $5 pay raise.

"You want to make sure he's being compensated in a way that seems fair, but it's very hard for the board when your town employees do not receive that compensation," said Southworth.

The advisory board also proposed that liaisons from community groups be established and that the bylaws be amended to provide for two alternates and to establish term limits for board members.""

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