TOWN OF ESOPUS TOWN BOARD

MAY 20, 2010

 

A regularly scheduled meeting of the Town of Esopus Town Board was held on Thursday, May 20, 2010 in the Town Hall on 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

 

                                                                Administrative Recorder:  Diane L. McCord, Town Clerk

 

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

Pledge to the Flag

Public Comment: 

Chet Allen – Riverview:  Many of us here have questions about agenda item No. 4 – Resolution to Buy Property.  The Supervisor said we will vote on this item tonight and went on to explain there is a parcel in front of your condos including 1.3 acres that cannot be built on.  The former owners were three years passed due on their taxes.  The original owner did not redeem the property for taxes.  No one bid on the land.  The town had an option to purchase it for taxes and that is what we did. 

1.   The town would like to utilize it and make it look better than it does.  

2.   The purchase will improve the existing George Freer Memorial Park.

                3.   Our new water chestnut machine will be here and what would be nicer than to have it on a

                       rock bottom surface rather than have it docked where it will get knocked around? This can be                  property beneficial for the entire town.  We want you to be proud of it.                                                                                

 

The Supervisor explained when the condos were built a 21 slip marina was proposed.  Where the “J” Road is now and where the weeds are up so high, that was to be the 21 space parking spot.  The project never was finished being developed.  The “J” Road was never to be a road like it is now.  At some point it was paved and is plowed by the Highway Dept. however, it is charged to the General Fund not the Highway Fund.  It is not a town highway.  We have to do a preliminary SEQRA (State Environmental Quality Review Act) review.  We are not doing anything with it to make it different than what you have.

Chet Allen:  This area is a bird sanctuary and a wild life sanctuary.  We hope you will not clear it.  Supervisor Coutant said we do not know what is in there at this point.  We need you to educate us, help us.

Riverview Resident:  As the plans develop can the people from Riverview be involved?  Supervisor Coutant said the town works with a budget and there is no money to do anything with this property at this time.  The developers going before the Planning Board have put money aside toward recreation and some of the money is coming out of this fund.  It will probably make the Town of Esopus the longest waterfront on the river.                                                                             

There is a park there already, what would be nice is over the next year or two to develop a plan and let some of the people from Riverview contribute.  The Supervisor said the Recreation Board will be the focus of what happens down there.  You should speak with the Recreation Board.  The maintenance person is Dan Vedder.  Let us take this a step at a time.  We can make this thing happen. 

The Water Chestnut machine purchase took a lot of time.  We would like it to be used in the park and to open Lighthouse Park.  We have a beautiful shore line and I do not want the water chestnuts to eat us up. 

Riverview Resident:  Many people here are concerned that the marshland needs to be preserved.  It serves as a haven for 102 species of birds.  It is a sanctuary and a unique sanctuary along the Hudson.  The other concern personally, I was looking for property near the water that I could afford.  When I found Riverview the one hundred year and 500 year flood plain was in the middle of the “J” Road.  The Highway Superintendent said the river has not flooded since 1971 that he recalls and the water has never crossed the “J” Road.  The resident said the rivers are rising and it is documented it will rise in the next twenty or thirty years.  Councilperson Kyle Barnett asked how is this issue effective?  The marshlands protect us.  Supervisor Coutant was sure the Recreation Dept. will listen to your opinions and I do not see why we cannot work things out.  Mrs. Schwartz asked when the water chestnuts would be harvested?  When they start to turn green that is when they will be cut. 

Councilperson Freer said the Recreation Board oversees the parks and they meet first Monday of each month in the Community Room at 7 PM.  They guide the Town Board and give us input.  They brought this property to our attention and asked us to look into this and extend the park.

Riverview Resident:  Ms. Bruno took issue with the Supervisor about this being useless land for she walks this land every day.  She purchased her home with that view in mind.  If there are changes we should be informed of those changes.  It would be wonderful to have a natural preserve and also for a park.  Councilperson Barnett did not want to create hysteria.  There is no way you would not be informed.  Everything we do is in the open.  You could discuss this with the Recreation Board. 

Bernice McNierney and Kathy Robinson:  We wanted this business of the property adjoining the park before we lost it.  We want everyone to enjoy it.  We can all work together.  It is too early in the game to predict what we are going to do.  Come to our Recreation Meeting. 

Riverview Resident:  I commend the Town Board on this action of preserving this land.  This is beautiful piece of property which includes a marshland and protects the land from erosion.  You should tread carefully.

 

Mark Miller:  Riverview:  I would like to commend you for your bravery.

 

Supervisor Coutant stated there has been a lot of interest in getting this new Water Chestnut Harvester. 

Many towns are envious of Esopus.  We have a real need.  A letter had to be written to the NYS Comptroller to try and get the grant money from the state.  The board was commended for looking ahead, however, many were concerned with the possibility of clear cutting the land.  The Supervisor stated at this point we will not commit to anything before we have a chance to look at it.  It was suggested Riverview send someone to the Recreation Meeting.   More questions were asked about what would be done with the land.  The Supervisor said we need a place to put the Water Chestnut machine. 

 

                                                                                                               

Rich Hobart– Riverview:  Where was the machine stored before?  The Supervisor answered, Hidden Harbor.  We have a hydraulic machine on a trailer.  There is no need to store it on the water.  Now it will be stored on the trailer.  We will need a place to launch the machine.  There is a place that is flat where the grass is cut and it has a harder bottom.  Councilperson Freer said this machine is trailered in and out and is not docked there.  It may stay if they are working on it for a day or two.  It will be used in other areas in the town.  According to the manufacturer, they recommend harvesting at night.  This vessel will have a full set of lights.  Our previous machine was not registered as a water vessel.  It had been stored at the Highway Garage.   As a member of the Town Board, Councilperson Gloria VanVliet was not in favor of cutting the entire property.  She is a nature lover as well as a bird lover.  It is a marshland and needs to be preserved. 

 

Fred Zimmer:  People interested in this property should become involved in the Waterfront Advisory Board.  The Supervisor agreed.

 

Jay Marie Olivett – Riverview:  As a former member of the Beautification Committee, the Board should keep an open mind.  The Town Board has been very cooperative. 

 

Supervisor Coutant gave an analogy.  Imagine what would happen if someone, a developer, purchased the land.  What would you do then?  You would have no say.  The town getting the land gives you a voice.   Councilperson Freers’ concern was supplying the money to buy the property, however, if we did not buy it who would?  The question was asked, how much is the town paying for the property?  $32,070.09 is  the minimum bid.  This is the amount of back taxes for this 1.3 acre parcel.   A question was asked about the seven acres above Riverview?  No one on the board was aware of this property.

 

Mark Miller – Riverview:  Did you have title searches on this property?  Not yet.  There was discussion about a quick claim deed.  There was discussion about the condos having an easement.  There are no easements.  Mr. Miller has a view shed easement.  Councilperson Barnett said this gives you the view, it does not give you an opportunity to walk or alter the land.   Councilperson Barnett will investigate the deed at the County Clerk’s Office.    

 

Ujjala Schwartz – Riverview:  When and where were the decisions made about the community garden?

Supervisor Coutant said this will be wonderful for Riverview residents to plant in that garden.

 

Richard Hobart – Riverview:  If the town does not purchase the property, will you still use the Water Chestnut Machine?  Absolutely.

 

 

9.  Solar Award

 

Randolph Horner:  I have good news to share, including some of the prospects we have in order to maintain momentum since the completion of this facility.  A portion of the capital fund was used to help us make the zero carbon plan.  The exciting thing is we received a grant for the Town of Esopus Library solar project.  The state has now received forty million dollars to create loan pools to provide funding for homeowners for solar use.  The previous Town Board and the present Town Board have maintained the momentum.  I hope the board will invite me back to talk about this PACE grant. 

 

Supervisor Coutant stated Randolph, as part of the team, went to Albany with us to receive for the Town of Esopus, the New York Solar Industries 2010 6 KC Award for the Best Ground Mount Photovotaic Project.   The town has been forward in steering themselves forward with solar energy to save dollars for the taxpayers.  When asked what the meaning of 6KC stood for, Mr. Horner explained it is six times the temperature of the sun which is 6,000 degrees centigrade.  There were a lot of decisions to be made to make us No. 1 in the state.  Our display will even appear in a letter to all the customers from Central Hudson.  

 

Veteran’s Memorial:  The Veterans’ Monument will be dedicated on Memorial Day May 31st to all the veterans who have served and given their lives for our country.

 

Wayne Hoyt:  Mr. Hoyt questioned the shared services agreement.  The county would like us to adopt the agreement by the end of May.    Supervisor Coutant said we have not changed our opinion.  Highway Supt. Al Larkin went to a meeting this morning.  He is not comfortable with what he is seeing.  There is no cost savings.   The Supervisor is concerned with this town and our people and we will not jeopardize our taxpayers and the liability that may come to us.  There was mention that each town is being treated differently.  According to the Times Herald Record there are many towns that have issues with the county and are being offered a different sell than what is on the website.

 

At 8:30 PM the Board took a ten minute break.

 

The meeting was reconvened at 8:40 PM.

 

1.  Resolution to Appoint Brian Barnes to Kingston Area Public Access Commission

 

Be It Resolved, by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus, in the County of Ulster, State of New York, that there is a vacancy on the Kingston Area Public Access Commission.

 

Therefore, Be it Resolved, the Town of Esopus Town Board has interviewed for this position and are appointing Brian Barnes to fill this vacancy.

 

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.

                                                                                               

2.  Resolution to fill Water/Sewer Dept. Vacancy

 

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

 

Whereas, the Town Board has conducted interviews for the vacant position available at the Port Ewen Water/Sewer Department,

 

Therefore, Be it Resolved, the Town of Esopus Town Board has decided to appoint Kenneth Solaas to this position.

 

Resolution offered by Supervisor John Coutant

Resolution seconded by Councilperson Donna McAuley

 

                                                                Supervisor John Coutant                              Aye

                                                                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet                  Aye

                                                                Councilperson Wayne Freer                       Aye

                                                                Councilperson Donna McAuley                 Aye

                                                                Councilperson Kyle Barnett                        Aye

 

Resolution duly adopted.

 

3.  Resolution to Change Banks and Authorize Opening of Account

 

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

 

Whereas, the Town has actively recruited for another banking institution to conduct Town Bank business with,

 

Whereas, the Supervisor must be empowered to sign and open any and all new accounts,

 

Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the Town Board of the Town of Esopus, County of Ulster, State of New York, has decided to change the banking institution that the Town deals with from the Bank of America to Citizens Bank effective immediately and authorize the Town Supervisor, John Coutant, to open and sign any accounts as soon as possible to complete this transaction.

 

Resolution offered by Councilperson Wayne Freer

Resolution seconded by Councilperson Gloria VanVliet

 

                                                                Supervisor John Coutant                              Aye

                                                                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet                  Aye

                                                                Councilperson Wayne Freer                       Aye

                                                                Councilperson Donna McAuley                 Aye

                                                                Councilperson Kyle Barnett                        Aye

 

                                                                               

Resolution duly adopted.

 

The Supervisor explained Citizen Bank will charge no service fees to the town and will pay interest on our funds.  They would like to meet with our employees about the services they have to offer.  They will cash town employee checks even if they do not join their bank.   This meeting will be held on a certain day at 2 PM to accommodate the Highway Employees/Water Employees.   

 

  

4.  Resolution to Buy Property

 

RESOLUTION TO PURCHASE PROPERTY

NORTH BROADWAY (ADJACENT TO GEORGE FREER MEMORIAL PARK)

 

Whereas,  the Town of Esopus would like to purchase Parcel #5 listed in the County of Ulster Public Auction, 2010 booklet which is located at North Broadway in Port Ewen, SBL: 056.052.0001-037.200-0000 consisting of 1.3 acres and adjacent to George Freer Memorial Park.  This property has not been redeemed by the owners thus is available for purchase by the Town of Esopus.

 

Whereas, the Town of Esopus can purchase this property for the total back taxes due in the amount of $32,070.09,

 

Whereas, the Town Board has reviewed this parcel and believe it to be beneficial to all our town residents,

 

Therefore, Be it Resolved, the Town of Esopus Town Board authorizes within sixty days, payment in full of the funds in the amount equal to all taxes and charges and includes necessary SEQRA determination.

 

Resolution offered by Supervisor John Coutant

Resolution seconded by Councilperson Donna McAuley

 

                                                                Supervisor John Coutant                              Aye

                                                                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet                  Aye

                                                                Councilperson Wayne Freer                       Aye

                                                                Councilperson Donna McAuley                 Aye

                                                                Councilperson Kyle Barnett                        Aye

 

Resolution duly adopted.

 

Councilperson Wayne Freer voted in favor but he would like to make sure the title search is correct.

All Town Board Members agreed prior to the signing of the check the title search be done and be correct.

 

5.  Community Room New Fees

 

Whereas, the Town of Esopus Town Board, County of Ulster, State of New York, would like to set the following rental fees for the Town of Esopus Town Hall Community Room:

 

                Use of the Kitchen (cooking event – UC Board of Health Permit may be required)  $50.00

                Entire Community Center - $120.00 with light refreshments (no stove)

                Entire Community Center - $170.00 with complete kitchen services

 

Note:  Certain activities will require the applicant to obtain and submit a Certificate of Insurance as deemed appropriate by the Town of Esopus Town Board.

 

Therefore, Be it Resolved, the Town of Esopus Town Board accepts the fee scheduled for the Town of Esopus Town Hall Community Room rental listed above effective as of 5/20/2010.

 

 

 

Resolution offered by Councilperson Kyle Barnett and seconded by Councilperson Gloria VanVliet.

 

                                                                Supervisor John Coutant                              Aye

                                                                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet                  Aye

                                                                Councilperson Wayne Freer                       Aye

                                                                Councilperson Donna McAuley                 Aye

                                                                Councilperson Kyle Barnett                        Aye

 

Resolution duly adopted.

 

6.  Resolution to Accept the Stipulation of Settlement for Town of Esopus Adv. Port Ewen Housing, Inc.

 

Be it Resolved, by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus, in the County of Ulster, State of New York, that the Assessment for Port Ewen Housing, Inc., SBL 56.67-6-20 for the tax year 2009 be amended, revised, and reduced to $400,000.

 

Further Be it Resolved, that the following three tax years, 2010, 2011, and 2012 will be the same as the revised 2009 assessment, to wit $400,000.

 

Therefore, Be it Resolved, the Town of Esopus Town Board accepts the Judgment and Order and Stipulation of Settlement for Town of Esopus adv. Port Ewen Housing, Inc.

 

Resolution offered by Councilperson Wayne Freer

Resolution seconded by Supervisor John Coutant

 

                                                                Supervisor John Coutant                              Aye

                                                                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet                  Aye

                                                                Councilperson Wayne Freer                       Aye

                                                                Councilperson Donna McAuley                 Aye

                                                                Councilperson Kyle Barnett                        Aye

                                                                                               

 

Resolution duly adopted.

 

7.  Resolution to Appoint Waterfront Advisory Secretary

 

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

 

Whereas, the Town Board wishes to appoint Terri Johnson as Waterfront Advisory Board Secretary,

 

Therefore, Be it Resolved, the Town of Esopus Town Board approves the appointment of Terri Johnson as Secretary to the Town of Esopus Waterfront Advisory Board.

 

 Resolution offered by Councilperson Wayne Freer

Resolution seconded by Councilperson Gloria VanVliet

 

                                                                Supervisor John Coutant                              Aye

                                                                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet                  Aye

                                                                Councilperson Wayne Freer                       Aye

                                                                Councilperson Donna McAuley                 Aye

                                                                Councilperson Kyle Barnett                        Aye

 

Resolution duly adopted.

 

8.  Resolution to accept Old Mill Road

 

The Town Board needs further information on this resolution from the Planning Board.

 

A Motion to table this resolution was made by Councilperson Wayne Freer and seconded by Councilperson Donna McAuley.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

 

9.  Solar Award

 

This subject was addressed in the beginning of this meeting.

 

10.  Memorial Day Parade

 

Memorial Day will be held on Monday, May 31st.  Councilperson’s VanVliet and McAuley will be out of town.  Councilperson Freer and Barnett will be available for the parade.

 

11.  Demolition Award – 207 Union Center Road – House Removal

 

Three bids were received for the demolition of the Rose property:

 

                                Dustin Wilber Excavation & Construction, Inc.                   $16,100.00

                                Dan’s Excavating and Construction, Inc.                                                $12,900.00

                                Washington Estate Dev. Corp. (Option 2)                             $  9,950.00

                                                                                               

A Motion to go with the most reasonable bid $9,950 was made by Supervisor John Coutant and seconded by Councilperson Wayne Freer.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

 

12.  Veteran’s Memorial Update

 

The monumental is ninety percent completed.  We are still trying to collect money for this cause.  If you would like to donate send the donation to American Legion Post 1298.

 

  

13.  Time Warner Update

 

The franchise fee charged by Time Warner Cable has been removed and credits have been to those customers to paid the franchise fee on their last bill.   

 

14.  Budget Adjustment and Payment of Vouchers

 

Budget Adjustment

 

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 the following budget adjustment and the budget adjustments have been examined by the Town Board,

 

Therefore, Be it Resolved, the following budget adjustment has been approved:

 

From: AO 0599.000                          To:  AO1320.4    Auditor Contractual                        $550.00

 

Resolution offered by Councilperson Gloria VanVliet

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.

 

15.  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.

 

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

               

                                General Fund                    101223=101290                  $49,406.08

                                Highway Fund                   102081-102114                                  $20.076.02

                                Capital Fund                      105014-105017                                  $81,812.50

                                Street Lighting                  106006                                                  $  4,693.21

                                Port Ewen Sewer              103059-103079                                  $12,271.64

                                Port Ewen Water              104101-104129                                  $13,137.72

 

                                Total……………………………………………………………………………...$181,397.17

 

Resolution offered by Councilperson Gloria VanVliet

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.

 

16.  Approval of Minutes

 

 A Motion to approve the previous months minutes was made by Councilperson Kyle Barnett and seconded by Supervisor John Coutant.  All the Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

 

Communications Available:

 

The monthly communications and reports of committees have been received and are on file in the Town Clerks’ Office:

Supervisors’ Report for April 2010

Town Clerks’ Report for April 2010

Building Inspectors’ April Report

Planning Board Minutes dated April 22, 2010

Assessors’ Report dated May 5, 2010

Environmental Board Minutes dated April 21, 2010

Port Ewen Water/Sewer May 11, 2010

 

A Motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Councilperson Gloria VanVliet and seconded by Councilperson Wayne Freer.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

 

                                                                                                                Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                                                Diane L. McCord, Town Clerk, CMC, RMC