March 21, 2007

PRESENT:  Emily Pereira; Andy Bicking; Kathy Quick; Michelle Higgins; Robert Yerry

EXCUSED:  Bob Santiago, Louise Ferrente

Also present:  David Higgins

Town Board liaison:  Debbie Silvestro


Pereira reported on the Arbor Day projects.  She had contacted the DEC to see if the Town could get about 300 seedlings to hand out, and get someone to explain how to properly take care of them  She had spoken with Santiago about purchasing the seedlings, and he suggested she get a voucher.  The nursery said the request had to be received by the 31st.  She was concerned about the seedlings care for the week before the event.

Bicking suggested that if a resident did not want a tree, the resident could donate to a landscaping fund.  Quick asked what if a resident wanted to donate a tree rather than money to the landscaping project.  The Board didn’t know if that would fit into a landscaping plan.

Silvestro was asked about the Town Hall project and if it would be too soon to donate trees to the project.  Silvestro said that the architect had not received a report from the engineer yet so it would be too soon.  The project would probably not be going out to bid until April.

It was suggested that hardy native species be used to landscape the new Town Hall.

Silvestro reported that the week of April 15th until the 21st may be too busy for an Arbor Day event.  She mentioned that the library was having a dedication, and said they would be ordering an Esopus Apple tree for their property.

Pereira said that Soil and Water had a seedling distribution event on the 21st and would like the Town event to be a stand alone.  Silvestro asked the Board if they would like to see it on a Tuesday or a Saturday.  Higgins felt that publicity was as important as the event itself.  She asked if the Town hall would be available after the soccer signup on Saturday. 

Higgins also asked if the seedlings would be gardener friendly.  She remarked that the seedling available were a very large growing species and felt that shrubs would be a better choice.  It was suggested that other information be made available to tie it into the new Town Hall.  Silvestro reminded the Board that last month, it was suggested that the school children be involved such as doing artwork or an essay and give some type of Peoples Choice award.

Higgins said that Robert Graves has a monthly news letter that goes out April first so the event could be posted, but felt it was too late for the art teacher to get the classes involve.  Higgins suggested it be posted at the schools and be on a voluntary basis.  She said a few morning announcements could be done at the school too.

David Higgins though a box of good markers could be given as a prize.  He also offered to but something in his school newspaper.

Silvestro suggested April 28th as the Arbor Day seedling handout.  There was discussion on who could work that day.  Higgins said she would be available on the Tuesday.  Quick didn’t feel a weekday would be a good day for kids and working parents.  She asked about holding it on a Sunday from 12:00 to 2:00pm.  The Board agreed that Sunday, April 29th at the Town Hall from 12:00pm to 2:00pm would be a good day.  The event will be called Breathe Green. It will be the tree give-away day sponsored by the Environmental Board of the Town of Esopus.

Higgins asked about a flyer.  Quick said she was working on it.  Silvestro asked Andy Bicking if he knew of anyone from Scenic Hudson that may be able to speak at the event.  He said there may be a DEC person from the Urban Forestry division who may be able to speak.  He would get in touch with the Board. 

There was Board discussion on which shrubs to choose for distribution  A voucher was available for Pereira to submit to the nursery for purchase of the shrubs.

There was further discussion on the event for advertising at the schools and providing a form for the students to fill out with their submissions that included names, age, grade, etc.  Silvestro said she would contact the Freeman for advertising.  Pereira said she should be available to pick up the seedlings, if not Bicking offered to help.


MOTION to approve the February minutes was made by Michelle Higgins and seconded by Emily Pereira.  All present in favor.

The Board asked if the minutes could be received at least two weeks prior to the Board meeting and to be e-mailed.  Silvestro suggested that anyone without e-mail stop by the Town Hall and check the Environmental mailbox.


MOTION to approve the vouchers was made by Michelle Higgins and seconded by Kathy Quick.  All present in favor.

 Other Projects

Robert Yerry had contacted Jason West in the Village of New Paltz to check on what Esopus can do with their department of public works to conserve fuel.  He would also be contacting Woodstock.  Pereira had suggested that Barbara Kendall give a presentation on better site design and environmental conservation.  She was already working with two other towns on ways to develop laws to conserve the area.

Silvestro suggested that Pereira speak to Marion Zimmer of the Waterfront Advisory Board to hold another joint presentation.  She offered to speak to Supervisor Coutant before scheduling.

Pereira asked about an EPS grant application, and other applications that may be available to the Town for environmental issues.  Silvestro suggested that Pereira attend the WAB meeting.  She felt that Zimmer would be very open to a joint presentation since these issues were very important.

Pereira said Kendall had asked if the Town had a stormwater control law on the books.  Silvestro didn’t think there was.  She said that the Town Supervisor had attended a stormwater meeting with the County last week with the Building Inspector and Highway Superintendent, and said that the County had left the Town’s on their own.

 Other Business

Silvestro reported that the Dunkin Donuts project was moving forward through the ZBA, but wouldn’t be moving ahead with the Dollar Tree since the absorbent field to satisfy stormwater requirements would be too costly.  The builder had mentioned that Mother Earth may be interested in renting a store front.

Silvestro also reported on the UCRRA HHW and Electronics event being held on April 21st.  Yerry suggested that Brian at the Esopus Transfer Station be provided with flyers for distribution.  Higgins asked if Esopus could hold a HHW waste collection day.

Backyard Burning

Higgins reported on Backyard Burning.  She said that St Lawrence County is the only County she could find that had a backyard burning law.  She said she was told if there was a concern that the resident could call the Fire Marshall to file a complaint.


Silvestro reported that Santiago wanted to get more information on the website so the community would stay current on events.


MOTION to adjourn the March Environmental Board meeting was made by Kathy Quick and seconded by Michelle Higgins.  All present in favor.