MINUTES OF THE TOWN OF ESOPUS
ENVIRONMENTAL BOARD
January 17, 2007

 

 

PRESENT:  Bob Santiago, Chairman;  Emily Pereira; Any Bicking; Kathy Quick; Michelle Higgins; Robert Yerry

Town Board liaison:  Debbie Silvestro

EXCUSED:

The meeting was called to order at 7:00pm by Chairman Robert Santiago. 

Santiago introduced new members to the Environmental Board.  He said his goals for the upcoming year were for the Board to educate the community and to develop short-term projects for the community’s youth. 

Santiago would also like to establish a separate Environmental Board website that is linked to the Town web page.  Past Board member Julie Melancon had made recommendations for a webpage which had been discussed at previous meetings.  There were suggestions including topics of the month and providing links to external websites (i.e. issues on backyard burning).  The issue of backyard burning raised questions from Board members including what the process would be to resolve backyard burning issues; what research has been done, and who is responsible for enforcement.  It was said that State law for backyard burning passed.  It applies to larger municipalities and the environmental advocates are in Albany, NY.

The Board suggested that the current rules and regulations for backyard burning are reviewed before doing any other research.  After the existing Town law could be reviewed and decisions could be made on making suggested changes for outdated laws.

Silvestro thought that this would be a good project for the Environmental Board.  She would also like them to include a plan to replace trees being removed for the 9W expansion and for the new town hall site plan. These issues may potentially lay the blocks for the Town to revisit the Comprehensive Plan.

Chairman Santiago would like the Code Enforcement officer (Building Inspector) to come to one of the Environmental Board meetings.  He also suggested that Rob Hare of the Zoning Board might be interested in coming to provide input on everyday issues and share their knowledge.  He said there is a need to get the Environmental Board more involved with other Town Boards and Committees.  He thought the Environmental Board should also reach out to Clearwater, Scenic Hudson, etc. 

Santiago suggested that the Environmental Board sponsor a forum and bring in different guest speakers and exhibits.  He told the Board to pick a date.

Chairman Santiago asked the Committee members to come up with an agenda for the next few months (or years) so the Board can move forward. 

He also reminded new Board members that they needed to sign the Oath of Office at the Town Hall in the Clerk’s office.

 

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Prepared by Laura Petit