TOWN BOARD MEETING
 JANUARY 20, 2005

A regularly scheduled meeting of the Town of Esopus Town Board was held on Thursday, January 20th at 7:30 PM at the Town Hall on Broadway in Port Ewen, New York with the following persons in attendance:

Supervisor Ray Rice
Councilman Gloria VanVliet
Councilman Wayne Freer
Councilman Michael Lange
Councilman Ernie Germano

Recording Administrator: Diane L. McCord, Town Clerk

Supervisor Ray Rice called the meeting to order.

Pledge to the Flag.

Public Comment:

Debbie Silvestro - Port Ewen: Debbie Silvestro attended the meeting tonight to ask that our park be dedicated to Sojourner Truth.  When the Town Hall is taken down a small park and parking lot will be placed on the site.  The original plan was to build a “stamp park” with a tree, a light, and a trash can, however, New York State Dept. of Transportation received Debbie’s idea about dedicating the park to Sojourner Truth with enthusiasm.  The State Landscape Designer has halted plans in order to accommodate the special needs of a Memorial Park until a decision has been made about the park.

Sojourner Truth was born into slavery in Rifton.  She lived in Port Ewen, West Park, St. Remy, her first thirty years were spent in the Town of Esopus.  It was in the Town of Esopus that her personality was formed and her character developed.  All we have to indicate that this woman lived here is a small historical plaque along side Sturgeon Pool in Rifton.  Through the efforts of our former Town Historian Dot DuMond, a great deal of information has been discovered about Sojourner Truth, then known as “Isabella”.  Much of this information was not available when the “Town of Esopus Story” was written.

When the State was researching the Town in preparation for the Rt. 9W Improvement Project they published a survey “Cultural Reconnaissance Survey Report” and in this report it reads “
Early businesses on the post road here included the Revolutionary War period Jugg Tavern on the corner of River Road and by 1830 Martin Schryver’s Tavern on the corner of Salem St..”
Since 1809 when Sojourner lived in the tavern of Martin Schryver many businesses have occupied this corner.  When this building is torn down Sojourner Truth belongs in the park that replaces it on this plot.

 A passage from Carlton Mabie’s letter:

“Once, when Isabella was about ten a grand ball was held in Martin Schryver’s tavern and it so entranced her that she recalled it years afterward.  The women wore white caps with high crowns and the dresses were starched and ironed so well that she could see her face in them.  As the dancers pranced about the tavern to the music they shouted out a popular song called “Washington’s Ball” which celebrated George Washington for having planted the tree of liberty.
From having heard this song at the ball Isabella was able to sing the song for the rest of her life.”

If Sojourner Truth were here today she would not ask for this honor.  She was a simple woman but what an inspiration.  She has already been inducted into the National Woman’s Hall of Fame.  In 1986 the United States Post Office issued a stamp with here image.  The ceremony for that stamp was held in New Paltz.  Debbie Silvestro has spoken to the principal of the Robert Graves School and she told her that although Sojourner Truth is included in the curriculum of the school from the fourth grade on it is just not enough.  The park would be living history.  The Town of Esopus Library also recognizes the educational possibilities of this park.  Frankly, I would rather see this park remain two benches and a trash can than to see it named for anyone else other than Sojourner Truth.”  This park belongs to Sojourner Truth.

Roger Mabie - Port Ewen: In 1976 Roger Mabie was Chairman of the Bi-Centennial Committee and helped to put together the “Town of Esopus Story”.  There is a chapter “Residents Renown” which include seven prominent citizens from the Town of Esopus but in reality there should have been eight.  Very little was known about Sojourner Truth.  Roger Mabie would like the Town Board to given consideration to dedicating the park to Sojourner Truth.

Barbara Hill - Ulster Park: Barbara Hill has been a resident for ten years.  She believes it is exciting to honor Sojourner Truth for she has been her heroine for years.  She has been Barbara’s serious roll model.  This seems like a “ no  brainer”.

Barbara Lockhart would like to send her regards through Barbara Hill.  Barbara Lockhart was involved in a march in order to honor Sojourner Truth many years ago.  She has worked for so many causes in town and she would like to do anything she can do to promote this cause.  Supervisor Rice asked the audience to visit Barbara at Golden Hill for she would appreciate it.

Peggy Mabie - Port Ewen: Peggy Mabie has lived in the town since her marriage.  She believes this is one of the most exciting things that has happened in the town.  Many people have achieved
and left their mark but we have no one of the historic significance as Sojourner Truth.  She was not only a woman alone in what she did, she stood for so many things with courage and I think it would be an honor for the town to recognize this person who we did not even know before.  I think it would be wonderful for the town and she would recommend it whole heartedly and it would add luster to the Town of Esopus.

Anne Gordon - Port Ewen: It seems to me in order to build up the town’s economic base we should not overlook a plan that would bring tourists to this town.  The Bruderhof are planning to have a museum dedicated to Sojourner Truth as well as a “Peace Trail”.  This would be one more reason for people to come here.  People all over this country hold Sojourner Truth in great respect.  This would make the Town of Esopus a town worth going out of the way to visit.

Melissa Ortquist - West Park: Melissa Ortquist never knew Sojourner Truth lived here.  What a great history lesson.  It is exciting and I hope we can do this.

Susan Holland - Ulster Park: Susan Holland has lived here for sixteen years.  She could not think of a more dedicated historical figure to have the park dedicated to.

Bobbie Katz:   Bobbie Katz is a thirteen year resident, taxpayer, and property owner and “Ain’t I a Woman and I vote for her”.

Vince Fisher - Ulster Park: As a resident for twenty-seven years Vince Fisher supports the dedication of the park to Sojourner Truth and asked what the Town Board’s opinion was?

Sal Silvestro - Port Ewen: Sal would not dare support anyone other than Sojourner Truth
and this is a great time to reach back and honor this woman.  This is a great idea and I am definitely in favor.

Supervisor Ray Rice: Supervisor Rice thanked Debbie Silvestro for sensitizing us to this extent.

Town Board Resolutions:

1.  Resolution to Authorize the NYSDOT to Design a “Mini” Park for Es Town Hall Site

Be it Resolved, by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus, in the County of Ulster, as follows:

Whereas, the NYSDOT will be starting a major renovation project for Rt. 9W in the Hamlet of Port Ewen,

Whereas, part of the renovation will result in the removal of the current Town Hall to be partially replaced by parking and a small landscaped area,

Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the Town Board requests that the DOT factor into their landscape design a mini park to be used as a memorial.  The naming and beneficiary of the memorial will be determined by the Town board.

Resolution offered by Supervisor Ray Rice
Resolution seconded by Councilman Wayne Freer
 
Supervisor Ray Rice   Aye
Councilman Gloria VanVliet  Aye
Councilman Wayne Freer   Aye
Councilman Michael Lange  Aye
Councilman Ernie Germano  Aye

Supervisor Rice explained the NYSDOT was in the process of designing the landscaping for the Town Hall Park when they discovered, through the Citizens Advisory Committee, there was a potential for dedicating the park to Sojourner Truth .  As a result, the design is on hold until a designee has been chosen and they get the feeling of what the public wants for this park.  This Resolution would get them moving again.  Supervisor Rice was in support.

Councilman Wayne Freer stated the first time the Town Board had heard about this was at our Tuesday evening meeting.  He wanted to hear from the public to make sure everyone was on the same page.  Councilman Freer has been aware of Sojourner Truth for many years and he has no problem with it but he wanted to make sure everyone was aware of it.

Councilman Gloria VanVliet believes Sojourner Truth is a very deserving candidate, however,   she would like to wait for we only heard about this on Tuesday.  Councilman VanVliet would like the full committee of the Citizens Advisory Committee to review this and the full committee from the DOT.  After we are sure that everyone wants it and there are many favorable comments then we would go ahead.

According to Supervisor Rice the next CAC Meeting will be in early February and a decision could be made at the February Meeting.

2.  Executive Session to Interview Building Department Clerical Candidate

A Motion to Enter into Executive Session was made by Supervisor Ray Rice and seconded by Councilman Wayne Freer at 8 PM to interview a Building Department Clerical Candidate.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

A Motion to Adjourn from Executive Session was made by Councilman Ernie Germano and seconded by Councilman Wayne Freer at 8:12 PM.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.   Motion Carried.

Based upon the recommendation of the Building Inspector Debbie Pugliese will be hired as our part time Building Clerk.

3.  Resolution to Recognize Our Current Middle East Conflict Veterans

Be it Resolved, by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus, in the County of Ulster, as follows:

Whereas, the Town of Esopus has a long history of residents serving honorably in our Armed Forces,

Whereas, the present conflict in the Middle East has required the attention and personal sacrifice of a number of our residents,

Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the Town Board wishes to recognize the service of all our citizen soldiers, and specifically three citizens of which we have been made aware: Kirk Reinhardt, Dale Bania, and Michael Fitzgerald, upon their recent return from duty in Iraq.  We thank you for your service to our country and wish you and your families a happy future.

Resolution offered by Supervisor Ray Rice
Resolution seconded by Councilman Michael Lange

Supervisor Ray Rice   Aye
Councilman Gloria VanVliet  Aye
Councilman Wayne Freer   Aye
Councilman Michael Lange  Aye
Councilman Ernie Germano  Aye

Resolution duly adopted.

In addition to this, there are other individuals that we are unaware of returning from Iraq.  We would like to recognize their services also.  If you know of an individual returning from Iraq please contact us.

4.  Resolution Designating esopus.com as a Recipient of Minute for Town Boards

Be it Resolved, by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus, in the County of Ulster, as follows:

Whereas, the Esopus Town Board, Zoning Board of Appeals, and the Planning Board are required to prepare meeting minutes and make them available to the public,

Whereas, the Esopus website, Esopus.com is a popular and readily accessible medium for our Town residents,

Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the Town Board requests that the minutes of our Town Boards be placed on the website in a timely manner.

Resolution offered by Supervisor Ray Rice
Resolution seconded by Councilman Wayne Freer

Supervisor Ray Rice   Aye
Councilman Gloria Van Vliet  Aye
Councilman Wayne Freer   Aye
Councilman Michael Lange  Aye
Councilman Ernie Germano  Aye

Resolution duly adopted.

Councilman Germano stated the Town Board decided that every Board that covers the whole Town should be on our website. One of the reasons for having a website is for residents who cannot get out to a meeting will be able to see exactly what was said.  The Town Board did not feel it was right to have two boards on and not have another one on we would like to have them all on.

If you have been on our website when you look at a particular boards minutes, at the bottom it says archives.  If you clique on archives all the minutes were mixed up together.  Those minutes will now be separated into Town Board, Planning Board and Zoning Board Minutes making the information readily available to all our citizens.  It will also enable us to keep track of how many people are using the service.

Supervisor Rice spoke to our Website Administrator and he is making it easier by improving the “archives” access.  He estimates there are 850 hits on the website per month.  There may be other information we could add certainly information about tourism and facilities we have in the town.
Councilman Freer asked the public for input to improve our website.  Supervisor Rice believes soccer sign ups and Little League sign ups and schedules could be placed on the website.

5.  Resolution Authorizing Attendance of Town Board Members and Justices at NYS Assoc.        of Towns Annual Meeting

Be it Resolved, by the Town Board of the town of Esopus, in the County of Ulster, as follows:

Whereas, the NYS Association of Towns will hold their annual meeting in New York City February 20-23, 2005,

Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the Town Board authorizes the attendance of Town Board members and the Town Justices, the expenses to be paid from their respective budgets.

Be it Further Resolved, that Board Member Gloria VanVliet be designated as the voting delegate for the Town of Esopus.

Resolution offered by Supervisor Ray Rice
Resolution seconded by Councilman Gloria VanVliet

Supervisor Ray Rice   Aye
Councilman Gloria VanVliet  Aye
Councilman Wayne Freer   Aye
Councilman Michael Lange  Aye
Councilman Ernie Germano  Aye

Resolution duly adopted.

6.  Resolution Authorizing Attendance of Assessor at Mobile Home Park Valuation Seminar

Be it Resolved, by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus, in the County of Ulster, as follows:

Whereas, a “Mobile Home Park Valuation Seminar” will be held on Albany February 4, 2005,

Whereas, there are currently three mobile home parks in the Town of Esopus,

Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the Town Board authorizes the Assessor to attend the seminar with the expenses to be paid from the Assessor’s budget.

Resolution offered by Supervisor Ray Rice
Resolution seconded by Councilman Gloria VanVliet

Supervisor Ray Rice   Aye
Councilman Gloria VanVliet  Aye
Councilman Wayne Freer   Aye
Councilman Michael Lange  Aye
Councilman Ernie Germano  Aye

Resolution duly adopted.

7.   Resolution to Authorize Adjustments of the 2004 Budget

Be it Resolved, by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus, in the County of Ulster, as follows:

Whereas, adjustments to the 2004 budget are required in order to properly reflect changes in certain accounts,

Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the Town Board authorizes the transfer of the following amounts from the indicated accounts,

From:    Amt.:   To:

A599 Fund Balance        $1,481.02   A1620.401 Town Hall
138.00   A1670.4 Postage
         2,188.40   A3620.1 Building Dept.
         2,803.78   A5010.1 Highway Dept. Admin.
         1,237.08   A7140.1 Recreation
276.90   A8010.1 Zoning
         5,112.47   A6140.4 Home Relief
         3,586.83   A9061.8 Health Ins.

DA599 Highway Fund Bal. 2,989.04   DA5142.4 Snow Removal
         3,899.81   DA5111.4 Fuel
         1,562.16   DA9061.8 Health Ins.

SW599           3,332.92   SW8310.4 Water Dept. Contract.

Resolution offered by Supervisor Ray Rice
Resolution seconded by Councilman Gloria VanVliet

Supervisor Ray Rice   Aye
Councilman Gloria VanVliet  Aye
Councilman Wayne Freer   Aye
Councilman Michael Lange  Aye
Councilman Ernie Germano  Aye

Resolution duly adopted.

8.  Resolution to Appoint a Representative to the Kingston Cable Commission

Be it Resolved, by the Town Board of the town of Esopus, in the County of Ulster, as follows:

Whereas, the Town of Esopus supplies a representative to the Kingston Cable Commission,

Whereas, Marian Schoettle has capably represented the Town for the past two years,

Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the Town Board appoints Marian Schoettel as representative to the Kingston Cable Commission for the town of Esopus for a term expiring December 31, 2006.

Resolution offered by Supervisor Ray Rice
Resolution seconded by Councilman Gloria VanVliet

Supervisor Ray Rice   Aye
Councilman Gloria VanVliet  Aye
Councilman Wayne Freer   Aye
Councilman Michael Lange  Aye
Councilman Ernie Germano  Aye

Resolution duly adopted.

9.  Discussion of Port Ewen Water District Turbidity Measurement Proposal

Superintendent Don Kiernan stated a monitoring program for each and every one of the nine filters entering the water treatment plant must be installed according to the Environmental Protection Program by January 1, 2005.  This expense has been placed in the 2005 budget. The only way to successfully monitor this is to begin daily monitoring of the filters.

A proposal from a computer designer, Don Chickering,  who worked with the City of Kingston to design their program, has been received.  Basically, we need to take these readings every fifteen minutes and data logging them.  The computer generated program will tell us when there are threshold problems and sends out alarms.  The company that we deal with for our turbidity meters,  which was phase one of this program, recommends this designer.  It is computer generated information, the computer takes the reading, sends us an alarm, tells us when we have problems.  Human guess work is all taken out of this system.  The cost is about $8,000.  Eventually, we will have to send these daily logs to the EPA   It is required that we do this January 1st of this year.

 Councilman Germano asked if we already had Excel and Access on the computer and the Supt. answered yes.  Councilman Germano continued,.... the program developed for Kingston can we use that program?  Kingston runs 24hours a day, seven days a week.  Our system is different and the program would have to be substantially modified.  Councilman Germano asked what other software was available and for he would like other quotes.  Superintendent. Kiernan stated the program would have to tie into our present turbidity meters.  Supervisor Rice asked if this was a one time charge?.  This is a one time charge, however, there may be some additional hourly fees added in to develop and prepare the program.

Councilman Wayne Freer mentioned at the Port Ewen Water and Sewer Board Meeting there was discussion about this programer being the only one around here and Kingston is very happy with it.  This program combines five different programs together making it into a workable document that will satisfy both the EPA and our local health department.

Councilman Gloria VanVliet asked if there were a new PC involved and is it big enough?  Supt. Kiernan answered yes.  Councilman Michael Lange asked if the system would generate a printed paper copy or would it be electronically filed?  Supt. Kiernan estimated the EPA will want electronically generated information within the next six months.
 
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Councilman Ernie Germano asked if we do buy this program and it is all customized and something happens to him what do we do then?  Supt. Kiernan said part of the $8,000 cost is to train us on how to operate and run the program.  We do use Microsoft Works and Excel.  Supervisor Rice stated as part of this package it is important to get any kind of source code the programmer may have and any kind of documentation that describes the actions and interactions of those programs in the event there was some kind of catastrophe so that someone else could pick up the step.  That would be one of the contingencies necessary.

Councilman Germano wanted other quotes, however, Councilman Freer stated what is unique with us is we are drawing our water from a different source and our filtering system is different and this program is made specifically for our plant.  It is not like you could pick up another program that would fit in our plant.  The Supervisor would like to have other programs to compare it to.  Councilman Gloria VanVliet would like to know what the opinion was from the Water Board?  At this time we are not in compliance and these are new requirements.  It is something that is necessary and because it is new and specific to us the programer is taking these four or five programs and putting it together into one operational system.  Each system is unique.
On the river there is more turbidity.  Councilman Gloria VanVliet gave her opinion.  Don Kiernan
is the Superintendent, he has researched the program, he believes there is no other software available and I would be in favor of approving the purchase of this program tonight, especially since it has been recommended by the Water Board..

The contract has to be worked out with the programmer.  We need the source code and specific information as to how these programs interface with each other.  If the programmer does not agree we will keep shopping stated the Supervisor.  Supt. Kiernan will talk with the contractor tomorrow.

A Resolution was made by Supervisor Ray Rice To Acquire a new software program
for our Water Treatment Plant to Measure the Turbidity in Accordance with the EPA Requirements and that we have sufficient documentation provided by the Programmer to maintain the Package and it must be in hand prior to purchasing the program.

Resolution offered by Supervisor Rice
Resolution seconded by Councilman Gloria VanVliet

Supervisor Ray Rice   Aye
Councilman Gloria VanVliet  Aye
Councilman Wayne Freer   Aye
Councilman Michael Lange  Aye
Councilman Ernie Germano  Aye

Resolution duly adopted.

Supt. Kiernan said there was a bunch of documentation that had to be downloaded into the computer due to a software virus and this ended up being very expensive.  If we had Roadrunner it could have been downloaded quickly but over the telephone line it takes three or four hours.
Roadrunner cost $63.00, Councilman Freer suggested bringing to the Port Ewen Water Board.

10.  Resolution Authorizing the Payment of Bills Received Since the December Board Mtg.

Be it Resolved, by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus, County of Ulster as follows:

Whereas, the Town of Esopus has been presented with vouchers for payment and these vouchers have been examined and approved by the Town board,

Now, Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the following vouchers be approved for payment:

General Fund  #051001-051070   $21,925.91

Highway Fund  #052001-052038   $24,744.52

Street Lighting  #056001    $ 4,126.56

Port Ewen Sewer  #053001-053014   $ 6,970.54

Port Ewen Water  #054001-054028   $19,117.59
 

Total...................................................................................................$76,885.12

Resolution Authorizing the Payment of Bills Received since December 16, 2004

General Fund  #041846-041850   $ 1,506.12

Port Ewen Sewer  #043155-043157         583.73

Port Ewen Water  #044304          225.40
 

Total...................................................................................................$ 2,325.25
 

Total of both warrants....................................................................$ 79,20037

Resolution offered by Supervisor Ray Rice
Resolution seconded by Councilman Wayne Freer
 
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Supervisor Ray Rice   Aye
Councilman Gloria VanVliet  Aye
Councilman Wayne Freer   Aye
Councilman Michael Lange  Aye
Councilman Ernie Germano  Aye

Resolution duly adopted.

Public Comment:

Peggy Mabie - Port Ewen: What was the resolution for the Park?  Supervisor Rice answered to  request the NYSDOT to continue on with the design of the park and the Town Board will make a determination as to who dedicate the park to.

A Motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Councilman Michael Lange and seconded by Councilman Wayne Freer at 8:45 PM.   All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Diane L. McCord
Town Clerk, RMC