MAY 21, 2009

A regularly schedule meeting of the Town of Esopus Town Board was held on Thursday, May 21, 2009 at 7:30 PM in the Town Hall on 284 Broadway in Port Ewen, New York  with the following persons in attendance:


                                      Supervisor John Coutant

                   Absent:        Councilperson Gloria VanVliet

                                      Councilperson Wayne Freer

                                      Councilperson Deborah Silvestro

                                      Councilperson Carl Belfiglio


                   Recording Administrator:   Diane L. McCord, Town Clerk


Supervisor Coutant called the meeting to order at 7:34 PM.

Pledge to the Flag

Public Comment:

Sal Silvestro:  Item number eleven on the agenda is a resolution to make an appointment to the Kingston Cable Commission.  Mercedes Ross is a producer and Sal has known her for several years and he recommended she be appointed to this position.  Supervisor Coutant said Bob Rizzo had been approached about taking this position, however, he wanted time to think about the commitment.  It is important to fill the vacancy on the KPA quickly since without the appointment they cannot have a quorum at their meetings.   

Drew Smith:  Mr. Smith was concerned about a property on Union Center Road where twenty five portable toilets are stored.  In the last two months the children of Patrick DiSantos have noticed sewage was dumped in the stream and  blue chemicals are in the water.  The portable potties could be the source.  It was recommended  a complaint be filed with the Building Inspector.  Upon inspection Tim Keefe will take a look and come up with an answer.  The appropriate agencies would be notified.  Drew Smith is a renter on DeSantos Court off Union Center Road. 

Supervisor Coutant said we need to look at this immediately.  Mr. Smith said the DEC had taken samples about one or two months ago.  They have not been informed of the results.  Councilperson Silvestro said Drew Smith had attended the Environmental Board Meeting and they recommended going to the Building Inspector. 

1.   Alan Larkin, Highway Superintendent

Highway Supt. Alan Larkin attended this evenings meeting to discuss some vouchers that have not been signed.  Supervisor Coutant said the cooperation between the Town Board and the Highway Superintendent has always been outstanding.  Lately there has been a conflict over the plowing of the Town Hall property and the failure of the Town Board to approve the payment of the plowing vouchers.  The Supt. hired Karen Mains, a clerk to do the plowing here at the Town Hall, after her regular hours.  Since he believes the road was not built up to town specifications and no turn around was made for the trucks he is not legally bound according to Highway Law to take care of the road.  The road does not meet town specifications….”you are breaking your own rules”.  You do not have a second access road.  Councilperson Wayne Freer quotes other laws stating the Highway Supt. is legally bound.  As a result, the voucher for the plowing in the amount of $1,082.92 has not been signed.    Now other jobs previously not charged by the Highway Dept. to the General Fund are now being charged such as taking the water to the transfer station for the dogs. 

Supervisor Coutant stated a good portion of the revenue for the town comes from the mortgage tax.  At this point in time we are $43,000 short on our anticipated budget.  The Highway Supt. has always been gracious to handle the Memorial Day Parade and the various related duties and has not charged the General Fund.  Should we anticipate a bill?  Supt. Larkin said no he will not submit a voucher, however, the Memorial Day Parade will be paid by the taxpayers whether it comes from the Highway Fund or the General Fund.  Why should the charges for the docks, the beach, the dogs etc. come out of the Highway Fund?

Supervisor Coutant said the Highway Supt. has always provided us with the spirit of his cooperation and has always met us more than half way.  We are willing to sign the vouchers.  In the future we need to find adequate funds to handle these extra expenses.  The Highway Supt. did not mind absorbing some of the costs but for the Town Board to tell him the plowing should come out of the Highway Fund is not right. 

There was further discussion about the purchase of highway equipment and how that equipment is funded.  New equipment used to be funded through the CHIPS money and the fund balance.  This is no longer happening.  Two pieces of equipment should be purchased a year.  He should not be worrying about the sub-train on a 1971 trailer failing.

Councilperson Belfiglio told the Highway Supt. that we want to cooperate. We

want a budget that is fair.   Supervisor Coutant mentioned in this meeting tonight you will see that the Town Hall needs work.  Grass seed has been planted.  A price of $17,000 has been quoted from Merit to place a 26 ft. road from Bowne Street to the Town Hall with item four.  Supt. Larkin said it does not meet Town Code without pavement.  The item four will not be good even if it is only an emergency access.  Will the Port Ewen Fire Department accept it without pavement?  In the winter who will take the item four out of the grass?  Who will clean it up?  You definitely will have drainage problems.  The Town Board does not want any more drainage problems with water going into the retention pond.

If that area was blacktopped it would make its way down to the end of the road.  If you take item four with a town truck you will have it all over.  Supt. Larkin said it should have a binder on it and you should make the road an exit only.  Councilperson Belfiglio believes we should have two entrances and he referred to the Daniele property, Heavenly Acres II, which was going to be the second access road.    Councilperson Silvestro is definitely against paving the second access road to Bowne St. 

Councilperson Silvestro was disturbed when Karen Mains was hired to drive the small truck to plow.  She was not being paid equal work for equal pay.  Supt. Larkin said he tried to save the town money by hiring Karen because she makes $6 less an hour.  Councilperson Silvestro said Karen Mains should be paid the same and she was not and that is sexual discrimination.  Supt. Larkin said Karen does not have a CDL license.  He could have hired anyone at the same rate of pay as he hired Karen.  Councilperson Silvestro compared her rate of pay to a part time driver Steve Rodschat and he is paid $18 an hour.  Councilperson Belfiglio did not believe this was sexual discrimination.  The Supervisor asked if there was any validity to the question?  We are in union negotiations and we should check this out.  Councilperson Freer said the question had been answered. The Highway Supt. can hire anyone Nov. 1- April 15 part time to do any type of work.   Karen Mains was paid as a clerk.  The only way you can do that is if you hire someone at whatever rate you set.  The person has to be hired for that particular position.  You cannot hire her as a clerk and have her plowing the snow.  She has to be paid out of two separate accounts.  This same thing happened with Debbie Pugliese being a clerk and a Fire Inspector.  Set a rate of pay for a particular job and that will be the same for everyone.  Supt. Larkin mentioned he does the plowing during the day and Karen was doing it on off hours.  She would get two separate checks.  Councilperson Freer had spoken with the union representative about this. Councilperson Belfiglio said  Supt. Larkin did this with the best intentions and he apologized for not signing the voucher.

 Councilperson Freer said we had discussed this and he thought the situation was solved.    He remembers discussing this on the way to the elevator.  The discussion was about hiring part time individuals to do part time jobs.  There was controversy about hiring Karen Mains on a part time basis.  The problem is taking a full time clerk and placing her in the position to do a part time job.  She cannot have two jobs.  This led to a lengthy discussion where the Highway Supt. said he cannot plow anything that is not a town road.  This Town Hall is not a town road and plowing cannot be paid out of CHIPS.  He cannot disburse any fund to anything other than a town road.  I have seen nothing from you that says I have to plow.  This property does not meet town specifications.  None of your radius are wide enough and you cannot use a town parking area.  Councilperson Freer said there are areas we could bill the Highway. 

It was suggested we should sit down and come up with some type of understanding.  We need to get on the same wave link.  We need to work out these problems.  Supt. Larkin is willing to work with the Town Board.  What is the purpose of these different funds?  Councilperson Freer stated the State sets up the procedure of how things are paid.  We do not have an option and we must following the state guidelines.  Would you be happy if we paid the bill?  Yes.  Supt. Larkin is willing to work with the Town Board and try to do everything he can to work out his budget and Councilperson Freer said that works both ways for us.  We need to be on the same page.  We need to look for shared services.  Supt. Larkin said when we get grants they should go back into our budget and Councilperson Freer agreed this bookkeeping error must be


2.  BID Results – Water Chestnut Machine


The bids for an Aquatic Plant Harvester Vessel were opened in the town Clerks office at 11 AM on May 14th with the following results:


          United Marine International                                      $247,700.00


          Alpha Boats Unlimited                                             $123,678.00

                   With added trailer………………………………………….$ 16,500.00

                   With Trade-In of Harvester Model HM7-420 with




We understand the Bruderhof is willing to give us a donation toward the purchase of the machine.

3.  Solar Energy

Hurwitz and Assoc. sent to eighty-two different businesses on the NYSERDA list our requirements for solar energy.  Twelve or thirteen visited the Town Hall yesterday providing us with a list of who they are and where they are from.  There is much interest from many companies in providing solar power.  They have three weeks to come back with proposals.  The solar system should be in place by the end of the summer.

4.  Town Hall – Merritt’s Work

The proposal from Merritt to build a road in from Bowne St. with twelve inches of item four is $17,000.  Highway  Supt. Al Larkin was asked to provide the specifications.  Merritt suggested with twelve inches of item four as a sub base it would provide the road with the base for eventual blacktopping.  The Highway Supt. recommended fifteen inches with a chain on the center post to keep it for emergency use only, however, it does not meet town specifications.  Councilperson Silvestro does not believe the road should ever be paved.

5.  American Legion Request

Margaret Yost, an American Legion Veteran, had explained a problem the American Legion is having.  They want to store their rifles within the Town Hall in the Records Storage Room in one of our old safes.  They are now stored in a barn and the rifles are rusting.  We referred this matter to Attorney Paul Kellar (Letter in Attorneys Opinions Folder).  We could rent them a portion of the space in the Records Room for $5 a year.  This matter will be discussed further.

6.  Memorial Day Parade

The Town Board Members were asked to participate in the Memorial Day Parade scheduled for Monday, May 25th.  The parade will begin at 10 AM.  The American Legion is now meeting in the new Town Hall. 

7.  Kitchen Complete & Ready

With the kitchen now completed we can move forward with our plans.  The biggest problem we had was the warping of the cabinet doors.  The Bruderhof corrected the problem by using plywood imported from England.  All the doors have been replaced.

8.  Inflow & Infiltration Study      

Preliminary meter results of the assessed sewer metering data provided from Fred Cook’s Telepipe Service to Morris Associates Engineering Consultants has been done.  This infiltration study shows Dynobel has a major infiltration problem at the beginning of the pipe.  This problem must be corrected.

9.  Town Hall Chairs

On County Bid we have purchased 100 chairs from Mike’s Used Furniture.  Seventy two chairs have been delivered and the remainder should be coming within the next two weeks.

10.  Resolution – Environmental Board Appointment

Whereas, the Environmental Board of the Town of Esopus has a vacancy,

Whereas, the Town Code allows a member of this board to be an individual between the ages of 16 and 21,

Whereas, Olivia Belfiglio has expressed an interest in serving and has already participated in meetings and vents sponsored by the Environmental Board,

Therefore, Be it Resolved, that Olivia Belfiglio be appointed a member of the Environmental Board, to complete the term of Carrine Brown which expires 122/31/10.

Resolution offered by Councilperson Carl Belfiglio

Resolution seconded by Councilperson Deborah Silvestro

                                      Supervisor John Coutant                  Aye

                   Absent:       Councilperson Gloria VanVliet

                                      Councilperson Wayne Freer`           Aye

                                      Councilperson Deborah Silvestro     Aye

                                      Councilperson Carl Belfiglio             Aye


Resolution duly adopted.

A Motion to enter into Executive Session to interview Mercedes Ross for a position on the Kingston Cable Commission was made at 9:28 PM by Councilperson Carl Belfiglio and seconded by Councilperson Wayne Freer.  All Town Board Members present voted in favor.  Motion Carried. 

A Motion to adjourn from Executive Session was made by Supervisor John Coutant and seconded by Councilperson Wayne Freer at 9:40 PM.  All Town Board Members present voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

11.  Resolution – Kingston Cable Commission Appointment

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

Whereas, there is a vacancy on the Kingston Cable Commission created by the resignation of Colin Evans,

Therefore, Be it Resolved, the Town of Esopus Town Board approves the appointment of Mercedes Ross to fill this vacancy.  Her term will expire on December 31, 2010.

The Board was polled: 


                                       Supervisor John Coutant                  Aye

                   Absent:       Councilperson Gloria VanVliet

                                      Councilperson Wayne Freer             Aye

                                      Councilperson Deborah Silvestro     Aye

                                      Councilperson Carl Belfiglio             Aye

Resolution duly adopted.      

12.  Approval of Minutes

A Motion was made by Supervisor John Coutant and seconded by Councilperson Wayne Freer to approve the minutes of the previous meetings.  All Town Board Members present voted in favor.  Motion Carried.






13.  Payment of Vouchers




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 091212-091280                                            $ 35,476.79


Highway Fund 09090-092115                                               21,645.17


Capital Fund 905026-093069                                                17,072.05


Street Lights 096005                                                             5,044.53


Port Ewen Sewer 093057-093069                                                    35,542.55


Port Ewen Water 094109-094144                                                    41,006.19


Total…………………………………………………………………….… ………$155,787.28


Resolution offered by Supervisor John Coutant

Resolution seconded by Councilperson Carl Belfiglio


                                      Supervisor John Coutant                  Aye

                   Absent:       Councilperson Gloria VanVliet

                                      Councilperson Wayne Freer             Aye

                                      Councilperson Deborah Silvestro     Aye

                                      Councilperson Carl Belfiglio             Aye


Resolution duly adopted.

Sojourner Truth Park Dedication

Councilperson Deborah Silvestro was the guest speaker at the dedication of the Sojourner Truth Park in the Town of Ulster on May 21st.  The Supervisor was very impressed with the story of this wonderful women as presented by the Councilperson.  Councilperson Silvestro did an outstanding job.  I present her with a challenge… when we dedicate our Sojourner Truth Park that she will have even something better yet.

Correspondence and Reports of Committees:

Correspondence for the month is in the Town Clerks’ Office for review.  The following reports of officials and boards have been received and are on file:

Town Clerks Report for April 2009

Planning Board Minutes dated April 23, 2009

Building Inspectors Monthly Reported dated April 2009

Zoning Board of Appeals Minutes dated March 17, 2009

A Motion to adjourn was made at 9:50 PM by Councilperson Wayne Freer and seconded by Councilperson Deborah Silvestro.  All Town Board Members present voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

                                                          Respectfully submitted,

                                                          Diane L. McCord

                                                          Town Clerk, CMC, RMC