TOWN BOARD MEETING

FEBRUARY 17, 2011

 

Prior to the beginning of the Town Board Meeting two Public Hearings were held as follows:

 

                                                                Local Law No. 1

 

7:15 PM Public Hearing on Local Law No. 1 Titled Chapter 39 Recreation Commission of the Town of Esopus Town Code.  This chapter was established by resolution originally and we are now adopting it by local law to include:  Establishment, Membership; Term, Successors, Officers; Meeting Procedures; Quorum; Records and Annual Report, Monthly Minutes; Recreation Budget; Compensation, Vacancies and Powers and Duties. 

 

Present:                                               Supervisor John Coutant

                                                                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet

                                                                Councilperson Wayne Freer

                                                                Councilperson Donna McAuley

                                Absent:                                Councilperson Kyle Barnett

 

Recording Administrator:            Diane L. McCord, Town Clerk

 

Public Comment:                             None

 

Councilperson Wayne Freer spoke as liaison to the Recreation Board stating they requested two additional members to their board to help with the activities. 

 

A Motion to close the Public Hearing was made by Councilperson Wayne Freer and seconded by Councilperson Donna McAuley at 7:22 PM. 

 

Supervisor John Coutant              Aye

Councilperson Gloria VanVliet Aye

Councilperson Wayne Freer       Aye

Councilperson Donna McAuley Aye

Absent:                                Councilperson Kyle Barnett

 

  Motion Carried.                                                                            

 

  

 

                                                                Local Law No. 2

 

7:25 PM on Feb. 17, 2011 a Public Hearing was held titled Amending the Present Text of Chapter 76 of our Town Code and replacing it with the following:

 

Chapter 76 Fees Article 1:  General Provisions 76-1 Town and Special District Services.  The Town Board may, by resolution and majority vote, set and amend rates and/or charges for any Town service and for any services of any special district service.  These powers shall also apply to fees in force at the time of the enactment of this chapter. 

 

Present:                               Supervisor John Coutant

                                                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet

                                                Councilperson Wayne Freer

                                                Councilperson Donna McAuley

                                                Councilperson Kyle Barnett

 

Public Comment:             None

 

Councilperson Kyle Barnett explained this law allows the Town Board to set and amend the rates for any town charges or special district charges.  Councilperson Wayne Freer said what we have done in the past is to revamp the town fees and this allows us to set the fees by resolution. 

 

(The adoption of this law eliminates changing the fees in the codebook each time there is a revision and makes it less confusing.)

 

A Motion to adjourn the Public Hearing was made by Councilperson Wayne Freer at 7:27 PM and seconded by Supervisor John Coutant.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

 

 

 

At 7:30 PM the Supervisor called the regularly scheduled meeting of the Town Board to order.

 

Pledge to the Flag

 

Public Comment:             None

 

1.  Assessor – State Award

 

Customer Service Representative Jennifer Mund and John Wolham, Regional Director of Real Property Services for the State of New York visited our Town to award our Assessor Dan Terpening and his staff Deputy Assessor JoAnna Mignone and Edie Glenn with a Certificate of Excellence.  By law, the assessments by which property taxes are extended are based upon property values.  If we take this to the next step, if the assessments are not accurately reflected the property values are not correct.  This is the sixth time in ten years an award has been given to the Town of Esopus and to the people who properly assess the values and we congratulate them for the excellent equity they have provided for six years at 100 percent value. 

 

2.  ZBA Letter – Chapter 123 Zoning Code Change

 

Supervisor Coutant read the following letter at the request of the Zoning Board of Appeals Chairman Don Cole:

 

At the February 15 meeting of the Zoning Board of Appeals I was asked to inform the Town Board of our request concerning accessory apartments – Chapter 123 Zoning – in the Code of the Town of Esopus, specifically 123-11 (G).

 

The ZBA requests that a provision be added to 123-11 (G) which would require that the primary residence remain “owner-occupied” in order to add an accessory apartment anywhere on the property.

 

Please inform us of your decision.

 

Respectfully,

 

Don Cole, Chair

ZBA

 

Several members of the Town Board believed this provision requiring the residence be “owner occupied” was already in place in our Town Code.  The Town Clerk will review 123-11 (G) as originally posted in the minutes.  The Town Board agreed this provision should be included requiring the residence remain “owner-occupied” for an accessory apartment.

  

3.  Town Board Approved Exemption

                                                               

The New York State Dept. of Taxation and Finance Office of Real Property Services has given a copy of the Exemption Administration Manual – Part 1 Residential – Other Than Multiple Dwellings to the Town Board to review.  This local law was reenacted in 1990.

 

Summary:  “Real property that contains a solar, wind, or farm waste energy system approved by the State Energy Research and Development Authority is exempt from taxation for a period of 15 years to the extent of any increase in assessed value due to the system.  Such property is liable for special ad valorem levies and special assessments.  The exemption as reacted in 1990 is subject to local option.”

 

B.  “LOCAL OPTION:  Yes – With respect to solar, wind, or farm waste energy systems constructed after January 1, 1991 and before January 1, 2015, each county, city, town, village and school district (except the city school districts of New York, Buffalo, Rochester, Syracuse, and Yonkers) may choose whether to disallow the exemption.  The option must be exercised by counties, cities, towns, and villages through adoption of a local law and by school districts by adoption of a resolution.” 

 

 

The Town Board was asked to review the information as given.  The Supervisor explained a local taxpayer came in recently stating the county gave these exemptions and asked why the town did not?

The Assessor is not in favor of the exemptions.  The exemption would only be on the value of the exemption not on the value of the whole property.

 

4.  Insurance Reduction

 

NYMIR has reduced the Town of Esopus Renewal Premium by 5.7 percent.  The total premiums are down by $3,743.10 from last year.  A lot of this is due to the Town not having claims and being a loyal customer of NYMIR according to our insurance carrier Gail Yonnetti from Ulster Insurance Services, Inc.

 

Supervisor Coutant said the town had followed the suggestion of NYMIR when they did a risk assessment and that has proven to be a great cost reduction for the town.

 

The Supervisor thanked the Highway Dept. for a job well done with this winter’s storms.

 

5.  Supervisor’s Audit

 

The Supervisor read the following letter:

 

“I have conducted an audit of the cash accounts of the following town offices for the year ending December 31, 2010:  Town Clerk, Tax Collector and Justice Court.  My audit was conducted to render assurance that all cash receipts and disbursements were properly recorded by the individuals in these departments.

 

The accounts of all the custodians of town money were found to be accurate.  The town justices are current in their reporting to the Department of Motor Vehicles for the TSLE&D program and the handling of their cases.

 

 

                                                                               

 

I would like to thank all individuals for their cooperation in the audit.  If you have any questions or concerns, don’t hesitate to contact me.”

 

Sincerely,

 

Brian Pickard, CPA

 

6.  Motion – Central Hudson Lighting Proposal

 

Central Hudson has hired contractors to assess how towns can save money by putting in energy saving lighting fixtures.  The Supervisor in the Town of Shawangunk, who also built a new town hall after we did, were able to save money by replacing their lighting fixtures and they recommended we invite Central Hudson to review our fixtures.  The contractor visited and our fixtures are already using these energy saving lights, however, we asked them to visit our Highway Dept. and Water Dept.  We can save $5,020 by replacing fixtures in our Highway and Water Depts. 

 

A Motion was made by Councilperson Wayne Freer and seconded by Councilperson Kyle Barnett to authorize the Supervisor to sign both contracts with Central Hudson for the Highway Dept. and Port Ewen Water District for replacement of the lighting fixtures.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

 

7.  Motion – Vending Machines for Town Hall

 

A Motion was made by Councilperson Gloria VanVliet and seconded by Councilperson Donna McAuley to authorize the Supervisor to sign a contract with Coffee System of the Hudson Valley, Inc. to place vending machines for snacks and coffee in the Community Room of the Town Hall.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

 

8.  Proposed Resolution Re:  NYS Climate Smart Communities Program

 

The Town Board was asked to review NYS Climate Smart Communities Program Resolution adopting a ten step climate smart pledge outlining steps to reduce our carbon emissions.  Many of the steps we have already completed.  Councilperson Gloria VanVliet was not in agreement with some of the theories that have not been proven and at this time she is not in favor of passing this resolution.

 

9.  Local Law No. 1 – A Resolution Establishing Recreation Commission

 

A Public Hearing was held on Local Law No. for 2011 Titled Chapter 39 Recreation Commission of the Town of Esopus Town Code.  This chapter was established by resolution originally and we are now adopting it by local law.

 

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

 

Whereas, as per Chapter 39 of the Town of Esopus Code Entitled Recreation Commission be established by Local Law No. 1, 2011. 

                                                                                               

   

Therefore, Be it Resolved, Local Law No. 1 for 2011 be hereby adopted.

 

                                                                Supervisor John Coutant                              Aye

                                                                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet                  Aye

                                                                Councilperson Wayne Freer                       Aye

                                                                Councilperson Donna McAuley                 Aye

                                                                Councilperson Kyle Barnett                        Aye

 

Resolution duly adopted.

 

 

10.  Resolution to Adopt Local Law No. 2, 2011 – Amending the present text of Chapter 76 of the Town of Esopus Town Code.

 

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

 

Whereas, Chapter 76 Article 1 Fees may, by resolution and majority vote, set and amend rates and/or charges for any Town service and for any services of any special district service.  These powers shall also apply to fees in force at the time of the enactment of this chapter.

 

Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the Town of Esopus Town Board has decided to amend Chapter 76-1.

 

                                                                Supervisor John Coutant                              Aye

                                                                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet                  Aye

                                                                Councilperson Wayne Freer                       Aye

                                                                Councilperson Donna McAuley                 Aye

                                                                Councilperson Kyle Barnett                        Aye

 

Resolution duly adopted.

 

11.  Budget Adjustments

 

RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING BUDGET ADJUSTMENTS

FEBRUARY 2011

 

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 budget adjustments and the adjustments have been examined and approved by the Town Board,

 

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the following budget adjustments be approved for payments:

 

AO.0599.000       FUND BALANCE                                AO.1220.4           SUPERVISOR CONTRACTUAL      $308.00                

 

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.

 

12.  Payment of Vouchers

 

PAYMENT OF VOUCHERS

FEBRUARY 2011

 

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:

 

General Fund                    111035-111100                  $99,176.85

Highway Fund                   112004-112029                  $65,247.60

Capital Fund                      115004-115007                  $10,497.00

Street Lighting                  116002                                  $  6,371.86

Port Ewen Sewer             113007-113026                  $65,427.17

Port Ewen Water             114008-114033                  $24,685.66

 

Total……………………………………………………………..$271,406.14

 

Resolution offered by Councilperson Donna McAuley

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.           

                                                                                               

 

                                                               

 

13.  Approval of Minutes

 

A Motion to approve the Minutes since our last Town Board Meeting was made by Councilperson Gloria VanVliet and seconded by Councilperson Wayne Freer.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

 

14.  Communications and Reports of Committees                           

 

The communications for the month of February are available in the Town Clerk’s Office for review.  The following Reports of Committees were received and are on file in the Town Clerk’s Office:

 

Supervisor’s Report for February 2011

Town Clerks’ Monthly Report for January 2011

Building Inspectors Monthly Report dated January 2011

Minutes of the Port Ewen Water and Sewer Board Meeting dated January 20, 2011

Assessors’ Report dated January 11, 2011

 

15.  Miscellaneous Comments:

 

Supt. Al Larkin was asked how our salt and sand are holding up with all the snow and ice storms we have had.  Supt. Larkin said we are doing okay.

 

Boy Scouts:  The Town Clerk asked the Town Board about the Boy Scouts who will be holding summer camp for two weeks during the summer.  Will they be paying a deposit?  The Clerk was requested to write a letter stating we charge a deposit and in their opinion what would be a fair deposit?  A second question was who will be taking the trash away, the town or the scouts?  The town will take the trash if it is not more than a thirty gallon bag per day.

 

A Motion to adjourn was made by Councilperson Wayne Freer and seconded by Councilperson Gloria VanVliet at 8:15 PM.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

 

                                                                                                                Respectfully submitted,

 

 

 

                                                                                                                Diane L. McCord

                                                                                                                Town Clerk, CMC, RMC