A regularly scheduled Workshop Meeting of the Town of Esopus Town Board was held on Tuesday, July 18th at the Town Hall on Broadway in Port Ewen, New York with the following persons in attendance:
Supervisor John Coutant
Councilperson Gloria VanVliet
Councilperson Wayne Freer
Councilperson Michael Lange
Councilperson Deborah Silvestro
Administrative Recorder: Diane L. McCord, Town Clerk
Guests: Port Ewen Water & Sewer Supt. Don Kiernan
Carol J. McTague, Senior Municipal Consultant
Office of Communications
New York State Dept. of State
Elaine Stalzer, Susan Puritz and Carl Bethge - No Casino’s
Roxanne Pecora, Planning Board Chairperson
Reminder: Public Hearing 7:15 PM on Thursday
Water District Improvements
The meeting was called to order at 7:30 PM by Supervisor John Coutant.
Elaine Stalzer, Susan Puretz and Carl Bethge: These people represent
“No Casino’s” in Saugerties and came this evening to state their opposition
to Casino’s. They asked a Resolution be adopted by the Town of Esopus
against Casino’s. There are 24 municipalities in our area who have
already adopted this legislation. This would indeed impact the people
in Esopus because of the increased traffic, increased crime, low paying
jobs would impact the housing market and more schools would have to be
constructed.. As an example, Foxwood Casino has had a sixty-eight
percent increase in crime. The site where the proposed Casino would
be erected on the Winston Farm Property directly across from the Saugerties
exit of the New York State Thruway and could be the largest Casino in the
world. They believe most residents do not want Casino’s.
Supervisor Coutant will make copies of the information provided and distribute the information to the Town Board.
Steve Aaron - Birchez - Senior Housing
Steve Aaron reported on the progress of an application for Birchez Senior Housing Project and to speak about the pending application. Last years application was not funded. We had an EXIT Interview with the Dept. of Housing. The issue was the location. The current location is directly behind BOCES. We have had several meetings with the Planning Board. Our intention is to make Hildabrandt Lane a regular road. We would want to limit access and bring it within 12 degrees using it as an emergency access road built to town specs. There is an additional building site of seven acres. We want to build traditional cottage style senior housing and have frail elderly seniors who require some assistance in a two/three story building. A similar proposal was made for the Town of Ulster and we brought in “Eliant”. They bring a style of service which can be paid through Medicare because they are a non for profit service and can be paid at a reduced rate. They will provide for continuous care.
There is an existing twelve inch water line on River Road. We would loop that line. The Health Dept. requires this loop. Councilperson Freer asked about sprinklers and Steve Aaron said they were a must. Alarms are in each unit and educational classes are given to the residents to prevent false alarms from occurring. Radiant heat will be used. Councilperson Freer asked about a PILOT. Steven Aaron said there was a means used now through the Assessor called 581A in order to negotiate taxes. We would revisit this question at a separate meeting.
It is the intention of Birchez to proceed through the necessary Planning Board Meetings and if we are able to begin this year we would be ahead for both of us. We are not cutting any trees down.
8. Time Warner Cable - Public Access
Present at this evenings meeting was Carol J. McTague, Senior Municipal
Consultant Office of Telecommunications State of New York Public Service
Commission, Dept. of Public Service. The Town of Ulster, Town of
Hurley, City of Kingston and the Town of Esopus negotiated a contract with
Time Warner. The City of Kingston has now decided to negotiate a
contract on their own within a month. The questions is how will Public
Access TV be funded? A percentage could be added to the cable users
bill as a franchise fee. The Town of Esopus does not feel a franchise
fee should be charged. Ms. McTague suggested using the City of Kingston’s
contract as a template for our own contract and she believes it is to the
towns benefit to sign a franchise. At present the town operates on
an out of date contract agreement. Using the City of Kingston agreement
would save you 99% of the work. The City of Kingston will be charging
5% franchise fee. A second charge, a capital equipment fee, could also appear on the bill.
Questions having to do with Public Access can be addressed to Lisa Alt.
Vince Fisher: Is Time Warner Cable forced to negotiate with the Town? Ms. McTague answered yes. They need the towns approval to place additional wires on our poles and to use our public right of way. It was mentioned the Town of New Paltz has negotiated for the Senior Citizens to pay cable for twelve months and the thirteenth month is free and we may be able to include something like this in our contract. Councilperson Michael Lange asked if other towns are in the same boat as us? Yes. Again Ms. McTague said the agreement should be negotiated sooner rather than later.
Tom Danielle - Heavenly Valley Phase II
There had been discussion with Tom Danielle over him constructing a road into the Town Hall project (via a deductible alternate in our bidding), however, there were serious concerns from some members of the Town Board and they believed a donation to the town would be better than a road. Mr. Danielle needs access to our road going into the Town Hall for an exit for the second phase of his Heavenly Valley project. If the size of the donation is adequate he will be able to get on the agenda for the Planning Board. There was a question as to who will establish the amount? The Town Board will write a letter to the Planning Board stating we have a verbal agreement with Tom Danielle which is subject to approval.
Public Hearing Reminder:
There will be a Public Hearing on Thursday evening at our Town Board Meeting on the Water District Improvements. The meeting begins at 7:15 PM and has been publicized.
1. Bonding Resolution - Water District Improvements
A Public Hearing will be held on the bonding for the Water District Improvements.
2. SEQR Review Resolution - Town Hall Project
The SEQR Review must be read in its’ entirety. It is important to read this aloud in case there are any questions. With the passage of the SEQR it allows us to borrow.
3. Special Attorney - Town Hall Contracts
Our Attorney Paul Kellar has recommended we hire a Special Attorney who is an expert in the field to review the Town Hall contracts. Most attorneys recommended were in the Albany area, however,.there is a Poughkeepsie based law firm, Lewis and Greer who have given us their information for review.
4. Roth Property
According to our attorney Paul Kellar our property on Canal St. must go out for public bid, a survey must be done as well as an appraisal. It it goes out as an undersized lot, a variance could be requested. With the approval of the Town Board we could make a stipulation that this land will not be built on with a new structure of any kind. The Town Board decided to go with no structure. The property could be combined and this can be done with a lot line adjustment. If we should get the survey and the appraisal, we need to advise Mr. Roth of the cost because this will be his responsibility. Supervisor Coutant will advise Mr. Roth.
4B. Assessor’s Seminar
Assessor Dan Terpening would like to attend the Assessor’s Seminar in Lake Placid. The cost will be $175.
5. Recreation Commission Resolution
Draft No. 5 of the Recreation Resolution was sent to our attorney Paul Kellar. He had several words he wanted changed and corrections will be made. He also thought the entire Chapter 98 should be reviewed and changes should be made. The Town Board will review Chapter 98.
6. Group Insurance Decision
Some of our health insurance plans are changing. Our agent with Ryan Insurance recommends we hold a seminar with the employees to review these changes. Councilperson Silvestro brought up the fact we are paying for medical plans for our retirees at full rates. We should have some kind of wraparound since these employees have Medicare as their primary. Councilperson Freer said the state holds bids for health insurance and the town should be illegible for these plans. A Special Meeting will be held on August 1st a 7:30 PM at the Town Hall with the Town Board, the Town Employees and a representative from Ryan Insurance.
7. Town Drainage
A letter has been received from Lois DeKoskie, a Tilden St. resident, with concerns over a drainage easement the Town has over her property. The estimated cost to repair the problem is $2,065 on this 30 inch pipe. This is only one of many drainage problems the town has to face over the next several years. It was suggested money be appropriated in the town budget each year to address this issue.
8. Time Warner Issue - addressed previously
9. DOT Phone Numbers
A list of Emergency Telephone Numbers for NYS Dept. of Transportation has been provided to the town.
10. Town Hall Update - Clerk of the Works
Our architect Joseph Hurwitz recommended three candidates for the position of Clerk of the Works. Christopher Armstrong was introduced to the Supervisor. His cost per hour is $75. He has experience working with the Wicks Law. The projects already completed were Kingston City Hall and the Woodstock Fire House. Kay VanTassell interjected this could have been a free job if the plan she recommended was adopted. Two other candidates are Charlie Wesley and Art Cross.
11. Flood Related Assistance
FEMA will provide assistance to those people and businesses effected by the recent local flooding.
12. Miscellaneous Workshop Communication
Thursday, July 20th there is a trip to Warwick to view the Somerset Development being constructed by Ralph Zucker. Town Board members and Planning Board members are invited to attend and speak with the Mayor of Warwick.
There may need to be additional meetings of the Planning Board due to the increased number of applications.
13. Date to Interview Bookkeeper Candidates
Councilperson Gloria VanVliet asked the Board Members if they had decided to hire a town resident only? She recommended checking into the list and have the Civil Service people write a letter to canvass the top three people. There is the option to hire a provisional person and they can take the test later. Councilperson Freer volunteered to do the interview for a Municipal Bookkeeper.
14. Brush-hog for Transfer Station
Councilperson Michael Lange suggested hiring Steve Rodschat to brush-hog the transfer station at a cost of $950.
15. Volunteer Needed for Port Ewen Water/Sewer Board
Glen Kubista has resigned as a member of the Port Ewen Water/Sewer Board and a replacement is needed.
16. Request for Kathy Kubista to move from Part Time to Intermediate Employee
Justice Robert Grieco has requested his employee Kathy Kubista have her hours increased from part time to intermediate. The Board Members agreed this responsibility was theirs.
17. Esopus Fall Festival Car Show
Councilperson Michael Lange had several phone conversations over the issue of charging a $5.00 fee for the car show participants. Councilperson Deborah Silvestro, who has taken over the organization of the fall festival, said this was the only activity during the Fall Festival that does not pay its’ own way. There is a charge of $195 for trophies, $300 for the DJ, and another $200 for pies. Following a meeting with the committee about the festival it was decided this was a fair amount and the proceeds could be donated to the Scholarship Program set up for the summer. The remainder of the Board was not in agreement with a charge. Other items discussed were the need for extra bathroom facilities and the performance at the Town Hall at 1 PM.
18. Executive Session to Discuss Personnel Issue
A Motion was made by Councilperson Michael Lange and seconded by Councilperson Wayne Freer at 10:35 PM. to enter into Executive Session to discuss a personnel issue. All Town Board Members voted in favor. Motion Carried.
A Motion to adjourn from Executive Session was made by Councilperson Michael Lange and seconded by Councilperson Wayne Freer at 10:45 PM. All Town Board Members voted in favor. Motion Carried.
A Motion to enter into Executive Session was made by Councilperson Michael Lange and seconded by Councilperson Wayne Freer at 10:45 PM to discuss a second personnel issue. All Town Board Members voted in favor. Motion Carried.
A Motion to adjourn from Executive Session was made by Councilman Michael Lange and seconded by Councilperson Deborah Silvestro at 11:10 PM. All Town Board Members voted in favor. Motion Carried.
A Motion to adjourn was made by Councilperson Michael Lange and seconded by Councilperson Gloria VanVliet at 11:12 PM. All Town Board Members voted in favor. Motion Carried.
Diane L. McCord
Town Clerk, CMC, RMC
Regional Dir., Dist. 2 NYSTCA