TOWN BOARD MEETING

OCTOBER 15, 2009

 

A regularly scheduled meeting of the Town Board was held on October 15, 2009 at 7:30 PM in the Town Hall at 284 Broadway Port Ewen, New York with the following persons in attendance:

 

                                                                Supervisor John Coutant

                                                                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet

                                                                Councilperson Wayne Freer

                                                                Councilperson Deborah Silvestro

                                                                Councilperson Carl Belfiglio

 

                                                                Administrative Recorder:  Diane L. McCord, Town Clerk, CMC, RMC

 

Supervisor Coutant called the meeting to order.

 

Pledge to the Flag

 

Public Comment:

 

Roseane Balistreri:   Ms. Balistreri is on the Design Committee of the Pride of Port Ewen Group.  She and Lois Ingellis are on this committee.  Lois wrote a letter to the Planning Board asking them if they had any suggestions for putting together guidelines   for historic preservation.  The Supervisor said the communication suggested they would like to become some kind of advisory board to the Planning Board.  Would the Town Board agree with this type of advisory board? 

 

Supervisor Coutant gave his opinion stating he was not in favor of creating any more boards to throw any more  things in front of people who are trying to do things in our community.  He has been advised that an overall conception could be put together by the Pride of Port Ewen Group and could be given to the Planning Board so they could review it.  Not a situation where you would deal one on one with each particular applicant.  A letter was written to Lois Ingellis by the Planning Board stating they did not have the authority to create an advisory board and they suggested contacting the Town Board.

 

Councilperson VanVliet asked Ms. Balistreri about the Business Overlay District dealing with esthetics, shrubbery, etc.  Roxanne Pecora said they need to come to the Planning Board with a proposal and tell us what you want to do.  We will review it and make a recommendation to the Town Board. 

 

Councilperson VanVliet said yes we could look at something like this but she did not want to restrict people to the point where they would have to build a certain design, paint a certain color and she is not in favor of that at all.   Roxanne agreed other towns are more restrictive.  Ms. Balistreri said they would like to have an interaction but that did not mean being more restrictive.  She would like an open dialogue with the people, for example with the bank before they begin ground breaking or tearing down the building.  There is no historic designation for the property where the bank is going according to Councilperson VanVliet.  There is, however, stated Ms. Balistreri,  people with historical interest and she has a list of those people.  Councilperson VanVliet said the Planning Board will hold a public hearing and that is the process. 

 

 

Councilperson Freer did not believe we need another board or another layer of government.  We have enough layers as it is.  We are always open to suggestions but to create another board especially in the next few weeks when we will be cutting back substantially on many other things.  This is not the time to consider this.

 

Councilperson Silvestro said an area where this could be included would be in our Comprehensive Plan which is sorely out of date at the present time.  At the Association of Towns’ Meeting it was recommended the town renew their Comprehensive Plan every ten years and ours is over twenty years old.  This is an avenue where it could be addressed, the business corridor,  without being so restrictive.

It could be just a generalized plan of how we want the business district to proceed but unfortunately it is a very long process to review the plan but it could be addressed in the near future without having to create a new board. 

 

Councilperson Belfiglio believes there is an acute awareness that we do have historical buildings with the sale of the Freeman Building and I think the Port Ewen Group is doing a good job in advocating.  The purpose is not to restore or keep our historical buildings but to try to make Port Ewen a better place for business to come; also, not to restrict people but to help guide people  through a comprehensive plan type of thing for the town.  If you go by the guidelines of the Main Street Grant, those are very restrictive and I think there needs to be a departure from that.  Councilperson Silvestro said the Chinese Restaurant  with the Main Street Grant,  did put on vinyl siding…so the Committee is receptive to the business owner and their needs.  The Main Street Grant Guidelines are developed within the community they are not dictated by the state.  Councilperson  Belfiglio talked with Guy Kemp from RUPCO and he told me they do not do roofs, they do not do vinyl siding or aluminum siding and if people do it on their own they will be scrutinized as to whether they will be paid or not.   Roseane  Balistreri said it was not a complete rehab it was an addition.  Councilperson Silvestro said the different towns set the guidelines.  It is up to the individual communities.  Councilperson Belfiglio will call RUPCO tomorrow pertaining to this.

 

Councilperson Belfiglio said it was not for him to say what the focus of the Pride of Port Ewen was to be.  If you are concerned about historical buildings….go to the Planning Board.  They are receptive to talking with you.  If you come with a genuine attitude of trying to do something good for this town, and it needs it, then all parties will be served.  Whatever the developer has proposed for the Freeman house, that is the way it will be.  You could have input or contact the developer yourself.   The bank builds beautiful buildings and in the past the building has been slightly neglected and it has not reached its full potential and it has been for sale for a long time.  You should look forward and your goals can be realized. 

 

1.  Retirement – Al Larkin, Highway Superintendent

 

After a lot of thought Supt. of Highways Al Larkin has decided to retire to lock in his wife’s benefits.  His last day of work is December 30, 2009.  If the Town Board is willing he would be willing to finish his two year term.  He would need to be reappointed to fulfill his term from Dec. 31, 2009 to December 31, 2011.   A resolution will be written to this effect for the next Town Board Meeting.

 

 2.  SEQRA – Solar Energy                                                                                              

 

On October 13th we had our Ground Breaking Ceremony for our solar energy.  Dignitaries included Congressman Maurice Hinchey, Senator William Larkin and the head of NYSERDA.  The public officials who attended indicated the Town Board and this administration has a forward way of looking at things.  This will be the biggest solar energy project in the State of New York.  The Supervisor admitted the team that was put together is good.  Fifty-two percent of our needs will be met and Randolph Horner and Joseph Hurwitz Assoc. are looking for other ways to save energy. 

 

Central Hudson was at one time willing to buy back electricity and to allow people to make more than ten percent above their needs.  We were ready to do this and now this is no longer in effect.  Central Hudson states their rates have gone up.  The rules were then changed.  The costs are up even when we use less energy. 

 

TOWN OF ESOPUS, NEW YORK

TOWN BOARD

RESOLUTION OF DETERMINATION OF ENVIRONMENTAL SIGNIFICANCE

PURSUANT TO S.E.Q.R.

 

PROJECT:  Photo-Voltaic Solar Array Installation at the Town Hall, Town of Esopus, New York

October 15, 2009

 

WHEREAS, the Town of Esopus Town Board has determined that it will install a solar-powered energy source for the Ground-Exchange HVAC system at the new Town Hall; and

 

WHEREAS, the project will consist of the installation of a 5,500 square foot, 77.2 KW photovoltaic “collectors”, at a location on the on the new Town Hall property situated north of the Town Hall building proper; and

 

WHEREAS, the project is eligible for funding from the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA); and

 

WHEREAS, the project is classified as an Unlisted Action pursuant to Sections 617.4 and 617.5 of the NY State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) Act and a Determination of Environmental Significance must be made on the proposal by the Lead Agency under SEQR before funding is approved by NYSERDA; and

 

WHEREAS, the Town of Esopus Town Board, having served as project sponsor and lead agency in the environmental review of the new Town Hall project in 2006, is also serving as project sponsor and lead

agency for the purposes of this action, which will amend a previously-approved project plan; and

 

WHEREAS, the Town Board previously rendered in 2006 a Determination of Non-Significance (Negative

Declaration) pursuant to SEQR for construction of the proposed Town Hall; and

 

WHEREAS, the Town of Esopus Town Board is in receipt of project plans for the new facility, construction of which will disturb less than a half acre of land; and

 

 

 

WHEREAS, the Town Board has determined that it is the only involved Agency for the proposed action, as defined under SEQR, that the proposed action does not involve a federal agency and therefore Coordinated Review with other involved Agencies is not necessary; and

 

WHEREAS, the Town of Esopus Town Board has received a draft of the Short Environmental Assessment Form, Part 1, and a draft Negative Declaration notice for its examination.

 

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that:

 

The Town Board of the Town of Esopus, New York hereby renders a Determination of Non-Significance (Negative Declaration) pursuant to SEQR for the proposed photo-voltaic solar array facility on the Town Hall property.

 

And BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, THAT

 

Copies of the attached Negative Declaration statement be distributed to the following agencies as follows:

 

One paper copy must be filed each with

 

1.  Esopus Town Board; P O Box 700; Port Ewen, NY  12466-077

 

Motion made by:  Supervisor John Coutant

 

Seconded by:  Councilperson Wayne Freer

 

The Vote of the Town of Esopus Town Board being as follows:

 

                Supervisor John Coutant                              Yes

               

                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet                  Yes

               

                Councilperson Wayne Freer                       Yes

 

                Councilperson Deborah Silvestro             Yes

 

                Councilperson Carl Belfiglio                       Yes

 

                WHEREUPON, the Resolution was declared adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus on this 15th day of October 2009.

               

 

                        John Coutant, Supervisor

                        Town of Esopus

                                                                                               

3.  Heating/Cooling Contract – DJ Heating or Dutchess Tekcon Industries, Inc.

 

Building Inspector Tim Keefe and the Supervisor reviewed the contract for Dutchess Tekcon Industries.  The contract included changing the filters and buying them at retail.  The cost included bi-yearly service on the 21 ground source heat pumps, checking the overall operation, lube motors, clean the drain lines and note any problems at an annual cost of $2,800.  The Supervisor thought the installers D J Heating should be given the same consideration.

 

Councilperson Silvestro said we could save $500 by changing the filters ourselves and purchasing them.  The filters cost $350 and they must be changed four times a year.  Councilperson VanVliet said there is something wrong with this system as it exists.  Is it normal to have to change the filters four times a year?  Was the system ever balanced?   Supervisor Coutant stated there were several contractors involved with the installation.  D J’s and another company did the controls.  The problem is the system works on a minimum and maximum sixty degrees and seventy-two degrees.  Whenever there is a problem with the current the system does not reset.  Building Inspector Tim Keefe balances the system every two weeks.  People change the settings.  If the power goes out there is a problem.  Councilperson Freer thought the problem was with the thermostats. 

 

Councilperson Belfiglio said we were given a quote for a computerized system.  Most buildings have a computerized system.  It would have been cheaper to put it in originally.  The specifications were told to us afterward.  Councilperson Silvestro said we were to make a decision on who would do the maintenance.  Our custodian Langston Williams can change the filters in between.  The level of service is important.  We have no personal experience with Tekcon.  Councilperson VanVliet said we need the contract in place by November.  Councilperson Freer asked do we go with the company that installed the system or do we go with the company from Marlboro? 

 

Councilperson Carl Belfiglio made a Motion we consider Dutchess Tekcon Industries, Inc. for our heating and cooling service and Councilperson Gloria VanVliet seconded the Motion. 

 

                                                                Supervisor John Coutant                              No

                                                                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet                  Aye

                                                                Councilperson Wayne Freer                       Aye

                                                                Councilperson Deborah Silvestro             Aye

                                                                Councilperson Carl Belfiglio                       Aye

 

Motion Carried.

 

Councilperson Freer thought we should contact the new company and have them re-calculate the thermostats.  Councilperson Gloria VanVliet believes we should get a quote on a computerized system.

 

Councilperson Freer made a Motion to have Dutchess Tekcon Industries, Inc. as our point person to get price quotes for computerization of our heating and cooling system and contact them with reference to re-programming the system.  Councilperson Deborah Silvestro seconded the Motion.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

 

 

4.  Introduction of Local Laws No. 5 through No. 13

 

Several Local Laws are being introduced to change the Town of Esopus Zoning Regulations in order to be in compliance with state regulations and to adhere to the changes needed to keep our zoning up to date:

 

No. 5     A Local Law with regard to compensation of Planning Board Members.

No. 6     A Local Law  regarding eligibility of Waterfront Advisory Board Members.

No. 7     A Local Law to revise subdivision plat regulations

No. 8     A Local Law to provide Pre-submission Conference at no charge.

No. 9     A Local Law to Amend “Standards for Construction of Roads”

No. 10   A Local Law to revise subdivision regulations

No. 11   A Local Law to strengthen Chapter 123 Zoning Regulations

No. 12   A Local Law to regulate Outdoor Wood Fired Hydronic Heaters and Boilers

No. 13  A Local Law to Amend Local Law No. 1  2009 to comply with NYSDEC Flood

Damage Prevention Law.

 

Public Hearings will be held for local laws No. 5 – through No. 12 at 7 PM on November 19th .

A Public Hearing for Local Law No. 13 will be held at 7:30 PM on this same date.  The Town Clerk will

notify the Daily Freeman of this Public Hearing and the change in the time of the regular meeting.

The Clerk will file the laws with the Ulster County Planning Board.

 

 5.  Resolution NY Electrical Inspection & Consulting, LLC

 

Whereas, the Town Board and the Building Inspector of the Town of Esopus, County of Ulster, State of

New York has reviewed this proposed legislation.

 

Whereas, we believe this to be not necessary or beneficial to government and inflationary to consumers

and residents. 

 

Be It Resolved,  that a Resolution is hereby adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus in the County of Ulster, State of New York to approve New York Electrical Inspectors & Consulting LLC as an authorized agency to the Town of Esopus to provide Electrical Inspection.

 

Resolution offered by Supervisor John Coutant

Resolution seconded by Councilperson Carl Belfiglio

 

                                                                                Supervisor John Coutant                              Aye

                                                                                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet                  Aye

                                                                                Councilperson Wayne Freer                       Aye

                                                                                Councilperson Deborah Silvestro             Aye

                                                                                Councilperson Carl Belfiglio                       Aye

 

Resolution duly adopted.

 

 

 

 

                                                                               

6.  Resolution Regarding Proposed Local Law for the County of Ulster Commercial Construction and Home Improvement Contractor License

 

Whereas, the Town Board and the Building Inspector of the Town of Esopus, County of Ulster, State of New York have reviewed this proposed legislation,

 

Whereas, we believe this not to be necessary or beneficial to government and inflationary to consumers and residents:

 

Be It Resolved, That a Resolution is hereby adopted by the Town Board of the Town of Esopus in the County of Ulster, State of New York that the Town of Esopus will not license Commercial Construction and Home Improvement Contractors.

 

Resolution offered by Supervisor John Coutant

Resolution seconded by Councilperson Carl Belfiglio

 

                                                                Supervisor John Coutant                              Aye

                                                                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet                  Aye

                                                                Councilperson Wayne Freer                       Aye

                                                                Councilperson Deborah Silvestro             No

                                                                Councilperson Carl Belfiglio                       Aye

 

Resolution duly adopted.

 

Previous to the vote several opinions were given.  The following is a letter read into the minutes from Building Inspector Tim Keefe:

 

To:          Town of Esopus Town Board

Re:         Proposed County local Law Contractor Licensing

 

I would ask that the board review the proposed law carefully.  In my opinion, I see no need for the County to require licensing of contractors to conduct business in this county and especially in this jurisdiction.  The local law would require an examination by all contractors and exuberant fees paid to the county which I am suspicious is the underlying purpose of the law.  As I see it the County could stand to collect upwards of $l,000,000 in fees.  We do not need any more red tape and multi-layers of government to allow people to work in the area.

 

The board should take a stand and oppose the proposed law.  Thank you.

 

Tim Keefe, Building Inspector

 

Supervisor Coutant agrees with this letter.  Councilperson Gloria VanVliet said it is a hardship on private contractors and will add to the cost of doing business.  We have the Consumer Fraud Bureau.  We have not heard of fraudulent contractors.  I am definitely against this.  Councilperson Belfiglio agreed with the Building Inspector stating it adds more administration.  He is against this because the cost is too much and will add another layer of government.  Councilperson Freer said times are too difficult to think about doing this.  We have laws on the books for people who do incomplete work.  This will not benefit our town residents.  I only see revenue for the county.

                                                                                               

Councilperson Silvestro had spoken with Legislator Phil Terpening and Legislator Dave Donaldson who is the Chairman of the Legislature.  The licensing will be for a two year period.  If you have been in business for five years the fee is waived.  This law will protect the consumers.  It will make sure contracts are adhered to. 

 

Building Inspector Tim Keefe said we require insurance from our contractors and the county does not.  Councilperson Silvestro asked why did they begin this action?  What about the contract between the contractor and the consumer?  The Building Inspector said we do not get a copy of the contracts.

 

7.  NYS Retirement System Increase

 

NYS Retirement has 26 billion in their funds, however, due to the poor economic conditions they have lost money and have now, in order to build up their resources, billed the town $164,309 for the year.

This is an increase of $48,000.  We now have three people who have retired and returned to work, the Town Clerk, the Highway Supt. and Water/Sewer Supt. Don Kiernan.   The three employees are allowed by state law to only earn $30,000 a year saving the tax payers over $60,000.  Coupled with the solar energy savings of about $33,000 a year we may be able to balance the additional fees in the budget.

 

8.  Pictures – Solar Energy Ground breaking

 

The ground breaking pictures are available with all the dignitaries.

 

9.  Budget Adjustments

 

Resolution Authorizing Payment of Bills Since October

                                                                               

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

 

Whereas, the Town Board of the Town of Esopus has been presented with the following budget adjustments,

 

Attorney Contractual                                     AO142.400                          $    262.50

Building Utilities                                              AO1620.402                        $ 3,032.22

Traffic Control                                                   AO3310.400                        $ 2,832.79

Home Relief County                                       AO6140.400                        $18,019.47

Landfill Maintenance                                     AO8162.400                        $  1,735.17

 

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 Deborah Silvestro             Aye

                                                                Councilperson Carl Belfiglio                       Aye

 

Resolution duly adopted.

 

10.  Payment of Vouchers – September 2009 to October 15, 2009

 

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                    #091505-091552                                $35,005.24

                Highway Fund                   #092245-092269                                $42,297.41

                Capital  Fund                      #095046                                                $65,821.04

                Street Lighting                  #093144-093157                                $  5,896.74

                P. E. Sewer                          #093144-093157                                $  6,694.00

                P.E. Water                           #094231-094249                                $17,166.77

 

                                                                Total………………………………………$172,881.20

 

11.  Approval of Minutes

 

A Motion to approval the Minutes of September 17th 2009 was made by Councilperson Deborah Silvestro and seconded by Councilperson Gloria VanVliet.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

 

12.  Reports of Committees

 

The following reports of Boards and Committees were received and are on file in the Town Clerk’s Office:

 

                Town Clerk Report dated September 2009

                Port Ewen Water and Sewer Board Meeting October 13, 2009

                Planning Board Minutes dated September 24, 2009

                Assessors’ Monthly Report for October 2009

                Building Inspectors’ Monthly Report dated September 2009.

 

13.  Miscellaneous Items

 

1.  Councilperson Freer asked at what point do Town Board Members make contact with our attorney?

Councilperson Silvestro said we are members of the Association of Towns and they should be contacted if we have any questions.  If another opinion is required an interpretation should come from the Town Board Members.

2.  Councilperson Gloria VanVliet asked why Attorney Peter Graham reads all the Planning Board Minutes?  Planning Board Chairperson Roxanne Pecora stated the attorney is than able to answer our concerns because he is informed, otherwise it would cost three times more money to research the minutes.    Chairperson Pecora said most of the fees for Attorney Graham come from our escrow accounts.  Councilperson Freer believes as a Town Board we should review how we create a policy and what lawyers we go to.  He believes we should go through the Association of Towns lawyer first. 

3.  The Town Clerk spoke about a fund raiser for local businessman Mike Nash who has a twin sister

who was mauled by a chimpanzee and lost her face.  If you would like tickets to this event contact the Town Clerk.

 

A Motion to adjourn was made by Councilperson Wayne Freer at 9:05 PM and seconded by Supervisor John  Coutant.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

 

                                                                                                                Respectfully submitted, 

 

 

                                                                                                                Diane L. McCord

                                                                                                                Town Clerk, CMC, RMC

  

 

The following changes to our Zoning Laws were introduced in Local Law No. 5 – 11 and Local Laws No.  12 for regulations on Outdoor Wood Fired Hydronic Heaters and Boilers and No. 13 to amend certain provisions of the Flood Damage Prevention Law:

 

No. 5                     A Local Law to Amend Chapter 34 of the Code of the Town of Esopus: 

Compensation:

The members of the Planning Board may be compensated at a rate to be determined as appropriate by the Town Board.

 

No. 6                     A Local Law to Amend Chapter 43-2C of the Code of the Town of Esopus:

Each member of the Waterfront Advisory Board shall be a resident of the town.  Members shall be chosen for their demonstrated knowledge, ability and readiness to serve the Board in functions described in this chapter and with due regard for maintaining among the membership a range of special aptitudes and expertise in areas relevant to the work of the Board.  In addition, it is recommended that one member shall be a member of the Planning Board, one shall be a member of the Environmental Board and one shall be a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals.

 

No. 7                     A Local Law to Amend Chapter 56 of the Code of the Town of Esopus – Building Construction

                                A description of the land on which the proposed work is to be done, a copy of the most current property deed for the site, a copy of any existing property survey or other to-scale map or plan of the property, along with a copy of any approved and filed subdivision plat, as recorded in the Ulster County Clerk’s Office, that shows the property in question along with any and all covenants and restrictions set forth in said subdivision plat.  In the event that there is no accurate survey or subdivision plat that depicts the property, the Building Inspector may accept a to-scale plot plan of the property or portion of the property proposed for building construction and related disturbance and improvements.

 

No. 8                     A Local Law to Amend Chapter 76 of the Code of the Town of Esopus:  Changing Chapter 76-2 of the Code of the Town of Esopus is amended by addition Section 76-2 as follows:

 

                                76-2 Pre-submission Conference:  No Charge

 

No. 9                     A Local Law to Amend Chapter 88 of the Code of the Town of Esopus with regard to “standards for construction of roads.”  

 

No. 10                   A Local Law to Amend Chapter 107 of the Code of the Town of Esopus regarding subdivisions.

 

No. 11                   A Local Law to Amend Chapter 123 of the  Code of the Town of Esopus regarding changes to tighten our zoning requirements.

                                                                                           

No. 12                   A Local Law to regulate Outdoor Wood Fired Hydronic Heaters and Boilers

 

No. 13                   A Local Law to amend certain provisions of Chapter 80 of the Code of the Town of Esopus.  The Town Board passed a Local Law No. 1 of this year in accordance with DEC regulations and now this is an amendment to this local law which the NYSDEC added to the first local law.

 

 

A Public Hearing will be held on November 19th, 2009 beginning at 7 PM for local laws No. 5-11 and at

 7:15 for local law No. on the Outdoor Wood Fired Hydronic Heaters and Boilers and on local law No. 13

 

At 7:30 PM on a local law to amend local law No. 1 – 2009 to comply with NYSDEC Flood Damage

 Prevention Law changes.  Notice of the public hearings will be sent to our surrounding neighbor

 towns.