TOWN BOARD MEETING

JANUARY 21, 2010

 

A regularly scheduled Town Board Meeting was held on Thursday, January 21, 2010 at the Town Hall 284 Broadway, Port Ewen,  New York with the following persons in attendance:

 

                                                                Supervisor John Coutant

                                                                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet

                                                                Councilperson Wayne Freer

                                                                Councilperson Donna McAuley

                                                                Councilperson Kyle Barnett

 

                                                                Recording Administrator:  Diane L. McCord, Town Clerk

 

Pledge to the Flag

 

Supervisor John Coutant called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM.

 

Public Comment:  

 

Lois Ingellis:  The following letter was read into the minutes from Lois Ingellis representing over 100 members of the Promote Pride in Port Ewen.

 

“Re:  Rt. 9W Corridor

 

The business corridor along Broadway is our Main Street.  We are very happy with all the improvements that have been made by the State, Main Street Grant, Sojourner Truth Park, and kept up by the Town of Esopus.

 

We are concerned with dilapidated buildings that were cited, but with no additional work apparent.  The Riley property, Santouris’ old Riverview Restaurant building, as well as Shaw and Wenzel properties are unoccupied hazards and/or derelict looking.

 

We believe that there are State laws on the books that can be enforced to hold these building owners accountable for the condition of their property.  Several of them are eligible for the New York State Main Street Grant façade improvement matching funds distributed through RUPCO but have failed to participate.  We are asking you to please have the building inspector visit these properties, inform and work with the owners, and cite them if necessary, to expedite improvements that are sorely needed.

 

We are also concerned about the Dollar General Rt. 9W sign and making sure that it is done well.  A new pole has been erected and we believe that they are subject to State Highway laws.  We would like to see the sign conform to the Main Street Guidelines, so as not to destroy the gateway look of our hamlet.  They might even be eligible for MSG matching funds since they are so close to Horton Lane, which is the starting point of the grant area.

 

We would like to meet with you to discuss our concerns and if there is a need for new ordinances to be enacted to support the enforcement tasks we would work with you on formulating a realistic plan for the hamlet and Rt. 9W corridor.  Please enter this letter into the record.”

 

                                                                                               

 

A copy of this letter was sent to the Planning Board and the Building Inspector along with the Town Board. 

 

Margaret Yost and Tom Triscari – American Legion Monument

 

Members of American Legion Post 1298 asked permission to leave a model of their proposed Veterans Memorial in the Town Hall for residents to view?  Permission was given.  Supervisor Coutant said when we were constructing the Town Hall the American Legion asked for permission to place a monument in honor of the Veterans on the property.  Merit Construction, the contractor for the Town Hall, leveled a 32 ft. space where a monument could be placed.  This space is to the right of the entrance to the Town Hall.  Mason Joe Grimaldi and Kevin Larkin worked on the Esopus Meadows Lighthouse and are willing to work on the monument.  In fact, after seeing the Town Hall and its angles a triangle shape monument

was designed.

 

In 1927 a plaque with WWI Veterans was purchased with the funds raised by area school children.  This plaque is now at the Klyne Esopus Museum, however, because the traffic speed is 55 MPH, no one is able to see it.  Klyne Esopus would like to use this space for a better entrance to their property. 

 

The American Legion is trying to make this a showpiece so everyone can honor our Veterans.  Our Memorial Service could be held there on Veterans Days.  Our average age Veteran is 88 years old.  We are trying to raise funds for this endeavor.  Supervisor Coutant said this type of thing needs Veterans support throughout the county as well as town support.  There is a monument for WWII veterans that was purchased through Hercules but is lost or misplaced over time.  We do have a picture of it and perhaps it can be duplicated.  The Supervisor will be helping to raise funds for this worthy project for our town. 

The Veterans hope to have the monument completed by Memorial Day.

 

Anne Gordon asked how much this would cost?  $30,000.  Councilperson Barnett said American Post 1298 will provide the $10,000 seed money.  Councilperson Freer asked about contacting Congressman Hinchey and Senator Bill Larkin.  A trip is planned to see Sen. Larkin. 

 

Lois Ingellis:  Someone cleared the snow at the rock cut and she asked where they take the snow?  The Town Board was not aware of who cleared the sidewalk.  New York State has recommended we make the rock cut a seasonal sidewalk and close it down during the winter said the Supervisor.  

 

13.  Authorization to Purchase Plow for Recreation Department

 

The Town Board has asked Dan Vedder to clear some of the intersections and sidewalks after snow storms.  There are also some roads to plow.  We have been trying to find an inexpensive plow.  The cost of a used plow is $5,500 and a new one costs $4,400 at Bonesteels.  We have put together a package for $2,500 to do the job.  We can move on this at any time.  Highway Supt. Al Larkin was asked if Dan Vedder is needed during a storm and he answered yes but not the next day following the storm.  With the Town Board’s permission the following Motion was made:

 

 

 

                                                                                               

Councilperson Wayne Freer made a Motion to have the head of the Recreation Department be authorized to do the sidewalk and crosswalk areas and the Town Hall property and sidewalks.  Payment for the plow is authorized and as well as parts for the F350.   This Motion was seconded by Councilperson Donna McAuley.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.   

 

 

1.  Received Cost Analysis Forms Requesting Information Relative to Town Plowing of County Roads

 

Today Supt. Al Larkin updated us and this proposal by Ulster County. It is not as clear cut and favorable as it may appear.  In our situation, there are definitely some concerns that need to be addressed in the Town of Esopus before we could do this.  The condition of River Road is our primary concern.  The second area is if the county wants to do this, the Town of Shandaken would plow four or five times, where the Town of Lloyd would plow once.  We have been asked to make a decision within forty-five days and we are uncomfortable doing this. 

 

Ulster County would like the town to tell them how much it costs us to plow our roads.  The County roads are used more and they have different needs which must be considered.  The Supervisor’s Association believes we should slow down and take a careful look at this.  Supt. Al Larkin said this could work if it started a year ago but they have not offered a dollar amount yet.  Councilperson Freer said there are many unanswered questions to think about going for this.  Supervisor Coutant said we need to remind the public that when the county did the cost analysis of the election process it cost the town $14,000 and the county did this for $60,000.  This was a lot of money to come up with.  The county expense was shifted down to the town.  This may happen with the Highway.     

 

Councilperson Gloria VanVliet said she heard in this years’ budget that thirty highway workers will be laid off.  Wayne Hoyt, an Ulster County Highway Employee said the money for the thirty workers is included in the budget.  Overtime has been cut. 

 

Councilperson Freer asked if it were possible we could use the county trucks?  Supt. Larkin said the county first decided to give the trucks to the towns and now they are considering leasing them.  Councilperson Barnett said the problem is you have not been given all the facts and figures for us to do an analysis of this.  The Highway Supt. agreed, no they want us to do the leg work.  This is due by February 2nd.  How do we get shared services out of the county when we are doing all the work?…..It will costs us more money.  The Supervisor believes we need more information.

 

Supervisor Coutant said the State is looking toward the Town Clerks taking over all the dog licenses.  The Town Clerk explained we have a state data base for all the dog licenses and renewals.  They send out the renewal licenses, provide the tags and mail the renewals.  If they discontinue the state database, the towns will be responsible for sending out the renewals, buying the dog tags, paying for the mailings and processing the licenses.  A part time person would be necessary for at least 25 hours a month.  This downsizing from New York State will cost the towns a great deal of money.

 

 

 

 

 

2.  Insurance Savings

 

The Town of Esopus has reduced the cost of insurance every  year over the last four  years.  Between 2009 and 2010 our insurance cost $70,445 and it is going down to $63,000.  We received $9,500 back

from NYMIR again.  We are doing well on the insurance side of things.  The rates are better and we have promoted safety.  The risk management side of NYMIR has worked with us to limit our risks.

 

3.  NYS Audit

 

 The Supervisor explained last October the State of New York did an audit.  The state has been working lately on towns and fire districts.  We have had no response from our initial audit.  We have been chosen to go through a full blown audit within the next two weeks.  The Supervisors Audit was done by CPA Brian Pickard and the only problem was a minor error.  The Supervisor thanked the people who handle the money.  The Comptroller’s Office sent a page of items needed for the audit.  There was a problem with using the Supervisor’s signature stamp…..they want all 350 checks signed. 

 

4.  Speed Limit – Rt. 9W – Authorization to Write Letters

 

There was discussion about St. Cabrini people wanting the speed limit lowered on Rt. 9W and the Supervisor asked for authorization to write a letter denying this request.  Councilperson Freer said the campus is on the west side of the road.  There is a walkway.  Rt. 9W is a main thoroughfare.  There are large signs and yellow flashing lights to make the motorist aware. 

 

A Motion was made by Councilperson Gloria VanVliet and seconded by Councilperson Kyle Barnett to deny a request to lower the speed limit on Rt. 9W and authorize the Supervisor to write a letter stating that we intend to keep the 55 MPH.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

 

Councilperson Barnett read the Supervisors prior letter to St. Cabrini expressing condolences for the loss of life.

 

5.  Port Ewen Water Bonding – Public Hearing Scheduled – Feb. 1st.

 

The 1.8 million dollar bonding is needed for the Port Ewen Water Treatment Plant to bring our plant into one hundred percent capacity again  and to eliminate the problems created in 2007 with the flooding and slope damage.  A Public Hearing will take place at 7 PM on February 1st.  Questions will be taken at this time.  Several residents have questioned if this would be bonding for the entire town but this will only affect the Port Ewen Water and Sewer District residents.  The expense of the repairs will be reimbursed by FEMA and SEMO after the damage is corrected. 

 

6.  Resolution to Authorize Training – NYC Feb. 14-17, 2010

 

                                                Resolution to Authorize Councilperson Gloria VanVliet

                                                And Councilperson Donna McAuley to Attend 2010 Training

                                                School and Annual Association of Towns Meeting in NYC

                                                Feb. 14-17, 2010

 

Whereas, the Town of Esopus Town Board, County of Ulster, State of New York, authorizes Councilperson Gloria VanVliet and Councilperson Donna McAuley to attend the New York State Association of Town’s 2010 Training School and Annual Meeting to be held at the Hilton New York and Towers, New York City, Feb. 14-27, 2010.

                                                                                               

Further, Be it Resolved, that the Town Board authorizes reimbursement for any and all expenses incurred.

 

Resolution offered by Supervisor John Coutant

Resolution seconded by Councilperson Wayne Freer

 

                                                                Supervisor John Coutant                              Aye

                                                                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet                  Aye

                                                                Councilperson Wayne Freer                       Aye

                                                                Councilperson Donna McAuley                 Aye

                                                                Councilperson Kyle Barnett                        Aye

 

Resolution duly adopted.

 

The Town of Esopus needs a voting delegate for the Association of Towns Meeting.  There will be a vote on municipalities being able to use banks other than commercial ones. 

 

A Motion to appoint Councilperson Gloria VanVliet as a delegate to the New York Association of Towns Meeting on Feb. 14-17, 2010 and Councilperson Donna McAuley as an alternate was made by Supervisor John Coutant and seconded by Councilperson Wayne Freer.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

 

7.  CSX Communication

 

Residents came to the last Town Board Meeting to complain about the CSX trains parking near their yards and causing disruptive noise and  odor from the diesel fumes.  Supervisor Coutant went to investigate.  He ended up calling Mayor Sottile about getting a phone number in Selkirk for CSX.  The Supervisor wrote a letter to John Gaylor about the Old Post Road Siding Rail and asking for a meeting date to discuss the issue.

 

8.  Bridge Lights – turned on

 

Eight lights on the bridge have been repaired by the City of Kingston electrician.  There was discussion over a light that was knocked down and it is hoped RUPCO will pay for this with the Main St. Grant.  A light at Medrex is out and it is believed there is no power going to the light. 

 

9.  Floor Waxing – Town Hall

 

The Ulster County Sheriff’s Dept. will provide the town with stripper and wax for our floors.  They will bring the trustees in to do the work during the week of January 24th

 

 

 

                                                                                                               

 

10.  Supervisor’s Audit Completed

 

Our CPA has completed the Supervisor’s audit. 

 

11.  St. Remy Reform Church – Motion to Authorize Writing of Letter

 

The Town received a letter from the St. Remy Reformed Church requesting special consideration be given to them for the use of the Community Room for their fund raisers.  

 

A Motion was made by Councilperson Kyle Barnett and seconded by Councilperson Donna McAuley to authorize the Town Supervisor to write a letter to the St. Remy Reformed Church advising them of our policy and stating the use of the Community Room applies to all residents.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.   Motion Carried. 

 

12.  Water and Sewer Adjustment Report

 

During our last audit we were instructed the Town Board should approve any and all adjustments to the Port Ewen Water and Sewer District Accounts.  The Supt. will submit monthly adjustments and the Town Board will review them.

 

                                PORT EWEN WATER/SEWER DISTRICT ADJUSTMENT REPORT

                                                                                JANUARY 2010

 

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

 

Whereas, the Town Board of the Town of Esopus has been presented with the following adjustments,

 

Now, Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the following adjustments be approved,

 

Date      Acct.      Name                    Water                   Sewer   Total      Reason

 

1-11       04-240   Sentar                   -121.2                    -100.8    -222       Meter reading incorrect

1-11       04-265   Clausi                                                    -13.42    -13.42    Problem with past due sewer

1-11       08-201   Sleight                  -29.49                    -24.53    -54.02    Meter reading incorrect

1-13       08-204   Leonardo             -323.2                    -270.27 -593.47 Meter reading incorrect

 

Resolution offered by Supervisor John Coutant

Resolution seconded by Councilperson Wayne Freer

 

                                                                Supervisor John Coutant                              Aye

                                                                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet                  Aye

                                                                Councilperson Wayne Freer                       Aye

                                                                Councilperson Donna McAuley                 Aye

                                                                Councilperson Kyle Barnett                        Aye

 

Resolution duly adopted.

                                                                                               

 

13.  Authorization to Purchase Plow for Recreation Department

 

This item was previously discussed in the beginning of this meeting.

 

14.  Aquatic Harvester Machine Will Be Delivered May 15, 2010

 

The Supervisor suggested taking a VCR and recording the training that will be given for use of the Water Chestnut Harvester.  This way we will be able to train others and provide maintenance instruction.  With the old machine there were many problems with the machine operators.

 

15.  Vouchers

 

                                                RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING PAYMENT OF BILLS SINCE

                                                                DECEMBER 2009 AND JANUARY 2010

 

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,

 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the following vouchers be approved for payment:

 

                                                                                December 2009

 

General Fund                    091715-091741                                                                  $ 13,187.00

Highway Fund                   092347-092361                                                                  $ 12,536.43

 

Total………………………………………………………………………………………………………$25,723.43

 

 

                                                                                January 2010

 

General Fund                    101001-101036                                                                  $ 22,395.81

Highway                              102001-102006                                                                  $   2,444.38

Capital                                  105001-105004                                                                  $ 55,290.00

Street Lighting                  106001                                                                                  $   5,707.64

P. E. Sewer                         103001-103007                                                                  $   1,988.53

P. E. Water                         104001-104018                                                                  $ 18,508.37

 

 

Resolution offered by Supervisor John Coutant

Resolution seconded by Councilperson Kyle Barnett

 

                                               

 

 

                                                                                               

 

                                                                Supervisor John Coutant                              Aye

                                                                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet                  Aye

                                                                Councilperson Wayne Freer                       Aye

                                                                Councilperson Donna McAuley                 Aye

                                                                Councilperson Kyle Barnett                        Aye

 

Resolution duly adopted.

 

 

Prior to the vote on the vouchers there was some confusion about the payment of the Dec. 2009 bills and clarification is needed from the bookkeeper. 

 

16.  Budget Adjustments

 

Budget Adjustments  December 2009

 

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

 

Whereas, the Town Board of the Town of Esopus has been presented with the following budget adjustments,

 

Now, Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the following budget adjustments be approved:

 

Town Board                                                        AO0599.000                                        AO1010.4             $     300.00

Attorney Contract                                        AO.0599.000                                          AO1420.4             $  1,458.23 

Building Utilities                                                AO.0599.000                                       AO1620.402        $     161.00 

Dog Contract                                                      AO.0599.000                                       AO3510.4             $     341.12

Feral Cats                                                            AO0599.000                                        AO3511.4             $       90.00           

Safety Inspect. Contract                                               AO0599.000                                        AO3620.4             $       49.38   

Supt. of Highways Personal                         AO0599.000                                        AO5010.1             $  5,546.67

Highway Garage Contract                             AO0599.000                                        AO5132.401        $     450.00 

Home Health Relief                                         AO0599.000                                        AO6140.4             $  5,769.38 

Park Maintenance Contract                         AO0599.000                                        AO7110.4             $     856.16 

Zoning Contractual                                          AO0599.000                                        AO8011.4             $     305.30

Snow Removal Contractual                          AO0599.000                                        DA5142.4             $  2,065.79 

Sewer /Admin. Contractual                         AO0599.000                                        SS8110.4              $  1,645.41

                               

Resolution offered by Supervisor John Coutant

Resolution seconded by Councilperson Kyle Barnett       

                        

Supervisor John Coutant                              Aye

Councilperson Gloria VanVliet                  Aye

Councilperson Wayne Freer                       Aye

Councilperson Donna McAuley                 Aye

Councilperson Kyle Barnett                        Aye

Resolution duly adopted.

                                                                                               

 

17.  Approval of Minutes

 

A Motion was made by Councilperson Gloria VanVliet and seconded by Supervisor John Coutant to approve the Minutes of the previous Workshop Meetings and Town Board Meeting.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

 

18.  Communications and Reports

 

The Communications for January are filed in the Town Clerks’ Office. 

 

The following reports were received and are on file in the Town Clerks’ Office:

 

The Town Clerk Report for December 2009

The Town Clerk Annual Report for 2009

The Supervisors Report for January 2010

The Assessors Report dated January 21, 2010

Planning Board Minutes dated December 17, 2009

Waterfront Advisory Board Minutes dated Dec. 22, 2009

Building Inspectors Report dated December 2009

Port Ewen Water and Sewer Report dated January 11, 2010

 

19.  Adjournment

 

A Motion to adjourn the meeting at 9:02 was made by Councilperson Wayne Freer and seconded by Councilperson Kyle Barnett.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

 

                                                                                                                Respectfully submitted, 

 

                                                                                                                Diane L. McCord

                                                                                                                Town Clerk, CMC, RMC