TOWN BOARD MEETING
 JUNE 17, 2004

A regularly scheduled meeting of the Town of Esopus Town Board was held on Thursday, June 17, 2004 at 7:30 PM in the Town Hall 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 Secretary: Diane L. McCord, Town Clerk, RMC

Guests:  Patty and Ray Kowatch
Joan Cypher - ZBA candidate
Kathy Kiernan - ZBA candidate
PLEDGE TO THE FLAG

Announcements:

Insect Repellent is available from the Town Clerk’s Office.
The Environmental Advisory Board has a vacancy.
The Port Ewen Water/Sewer Board has a vacancy.

Public Comment:

Ray Kowatch - Avon Park: Ray Kowatch asked the following questions?

Has there been any additional information on the Town Hall property since Monday night?
Supervisor Rice answered no.

Has a title search been done on that property yet?
Supervisor Rice answered there is one in the process.

Regarding the water tank property, was there a title search done there? The water property has had no change in ownership and it has been through a couple of tax sales. The history on the water tank property is more convoluted.

Does the purchase price for the Spinnenweber property, does that come before the Town Board for a vote?  Supervisor Rice said only if we had to borrow money in order to purchase it.

Is the property now zoned residential?
Yes.

In order to put in municipal buildings would the zoning have to be changed?
Municipal buildings and playgrounds are allowed, including a fire department and sheriff’s office?  Supervisor Rice said he did not know the answer for the fire department but he believes they can go anywhere.

Do we have a contract with Spinnenweber as yet?
No contract.   It would be premature to do that until we have some idea from the architect of what the building will look like.

Is the entrance to the property wide enough?
Yes.

Patty Kowatch: Will you do an Environmental Impact Statement?   Supervisor Rice said the town would be required to do that.  Regarding the driveway cut on Rt. 9W....the sight distances are much larger than I thought they were.  The sight distances are 500 feet and therefore a traffic light will not be necessary.

Ray Kowatch: The two houses at the entrance to the property...are the people aware of what is going on?  Supervisor Rice has not made an attempt to contact those residents.  The one on the one side is certainly aware of it.

Garth Warren - Port Ewen: As you know there have been meetings with the Community Action Committee regarding the sidewalks.  There was a special meeting the other night with the people from the funeral home down to the cemetery.  There are some questions we have, which the state wants us to have answers from the Town Board and those two issues are:

1.  On street parking along the Rt. 9W corridor  - between November and April there is no on       street parking.  Once you remove on sight parking from the residences what will you do about        no on street parking between November and April?    If you substitute on sight parking for on        street parking the ordinance will have to be amended.  Art Cross had once stated this could       not be done because of an insurance issue.  The NYSDOT is reserving judgement until they see if the Town Board will be taking action on it.

2.  What will be the method of payment for maintenance and snow removal for sidewalks on Rt.
     9W?  The people along 9W are not in favor of it.  It will not enhance our property but be an
     anchor around our necks.  If the special committee of people from the funeral home to the
     cemetery took a hand vote and 100% of those people felt the entire town should shoulder the
     responsibility for the maintenance, snow removal and upkeep of the sidewalks not just the
     people who live on Rt. 9W.  The State has no jurisdiction on sidewalks and they will not
     install the sidewalks until a resolution has been adopted.  We would like a commitment
     from the Town Board saying the maintenance, upkeep, snow removal of the sidewalks along
     Rt. 9W will be shouldered by the entire town.

Supervisor Rice said there are a couple of approaches that could address this issue.  You could set up a special district to solely maintain the sidewalks.  This would place a undue burden on the people on Rt. 9W.  Another approach is to have this as a town expense.  You could take the view that sidewalks would be an improvement that would benefit the entire town in its entirety.  The town would be more attractive and bring more people to our town.  For example, completing the sidewalks down to the old bridge will generate some traffic from the Kingston and Rondout area
into the hamlet here.  There has been no real discussion on this.  Other towns such as Woodstock, Rosendale, have similar situations, part of theirs are maintained by the property owners and part by the town.

Garth Warren - There is a parking issue on Rt. 9W as well as the sidewalk issue.  Many houses
are directly on 9W.  If there are no shoulders and no on street parking the properties, there is a two lane road and a curb those property owners will have a serious problem.  The sixty driveways in town where there is a single lane and a curb will stop traffic completely while they turn into or back out of their driveways.  You need to look at this issue.  Where will people dump the snow anymore?   According to Highway Supt. Larkin if the town maintained the sidewalks a machine would have to be used to clear the sidewalks and a truck would have to cart the snow away and that would be a great expense to the town.  DOT told Mr. Warren to go out to the community and get their feedback and even if his direct problem is solved, he must bring these issues to the attention of the Town Board.

Supervisor Rice would like to hear from the Committee about these issues.  The Committee will invite the Supervisor to attend their next meeting.  Garth Warren has handed out questionnaires to those people who are effected and he will share the information he receives with the Town Board.  Councilman VanVliet stated since the people on this committee are not coming here and verbalizing their concerns, she would like to know who is effected and are from the residents on the Rt. 9W corridor?

1.  Resolution in Opposition to the Eddyville Mine

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

Whereas, the Eddyville Corporation is seeking a permit to open a mining and stone crushing facility in close proximity to the Town of Esopus.

Whereas, the operation of this facility could be detrimental to the health and well being of Town of Esopus residents,

Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the Town Board expresses its opposition to this project and requests that the Town Board of the Town of Ulster make every effort to prevent the opening of this mine.

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 Abstained

Resolution duly adopted.

Councilman Gloria VanVliet stated that the Town has had Callanan Industries for a long time and by passing this resolution we are in no way opposing Callanan.  Councilman Ernie Germano stated he abstained from voting because his neighbor and good friend across the street has a business and sells sand, gravel and landscaping supplies.  Conceivably, if this business was to open he may buy material from them.  Since he is such a good friend Councilman Germano abstained from voting.

2.  Resolution in opposition to tax relief for the Esopus Heights Apartment Project

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

Whereas, the Richman Group Development Corporation is seeking to build a high density housing project utilizing Low Income Housing Tax Credits on the Berg property.

Whereas, the Richman Group have indicated that they require tax relief from the Town in the form of a payment in lieu of taxes,

Whereas, twenty five percent of the property in the Town is currently tax exempt,

Whereas, this project would provide little or no benefit to the residents of the Town of Esopus,

Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the Town Board expresses its opposition to granting any form of tax relief to the Richman Group for this project.

Resolution offered by Councilman Gloria VanVliet
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
 
Resolution duly adopted.

3.  Resolution to Fill a Vacancy on the Zoning Board of Appeals

This resolution will be delayed until later in this meeting.

4.  Resolution Authorizing the Payment of Bills Received Since the May Town Board       Meeting

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  #041352-041407  $ 27,924.57
Highway Fund  #04260  -042181       9,191.82
Capital Fund
Street Lighting  #046006        3,564.51
Port Ewen Sewer  #043061-044187                35,111.49
Port Ewen Water  #044146-044187     29,150.54

Total.....................................$104,942.93

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.

5.  Motion to accept the Minutes of the May Board Meetings

A motion was made by Supervisor Ray Rice to accept the minutes of the May Town Board Meetings and seconded by Councilman Wayne Freer.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion carried.

6.   Authorize May Escrow Payments

The Town Board signed and approved the May escrow payments.

A motion to enter into Executive Session to interview candidates for the vacant seat on the Zoning Board of appeals was made by Supervisor Ray Rice at 8 PM and seconded by Councilman Wayne Freer.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion carried.

A motion to adjourn from Executive Session was made by Councilman Gloria VanVliet and seconded by Supervisor Ray Rice at 8:25 PM.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion carried.

4.  Resolution to Appoint a Replacement to the Zoning Board of Appeals

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

Whereas, the Town of Esopus Zoning Board of Appeals has a vacancy resulting from the resignation of Steve Britton,

Whereas, the Town Board has solicited and received applications for this position,

Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the interviewing several very qualified applications, the Town Board appoints Darren DeKoskie to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a term expiring December 31, 2007.

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.

Public Comment:

Jane Haber - New Salem Rd. - Ms. Haber thanked the Town Board for their resolution regarding the Eddyville Mine.

Announcement of availability of correspondence and reports of committees:

June correspondence is available for inspection in the Town Clerk’s office.  The following reports of committees are available in the Town Clerk’s Office:

Town Clerk’s monthly report dated May 2004
Minutes of Port Ewen Water/Sewer District for May
Planning Board Minutes dated May 27, 2004
Highway Supt. report dated June 2004
Building Inspectors monthly report dated May 2004
Planning Board Workshop Meeting dated April 19, 2004
Planning Board Minutes dated April 22, 2004
Dog Control Report dated May 2004
Environmental Board Minutes dated May 18, 2004

A motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Supervisor Ray Rice at 8:30 PM and seconded by Councilman Michael Lange.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Diane L. McCord
Town Clerk, RMC