TOWN BOARD MEETING
NOVEMBER 15, 2007

PUBLIC HEARING: Local Law #10

Present:                      Supervisor John Coutant

                                    Councilperson Gloria VanVliet

                                    Councilperson Wayne Freer

                                    Councilperson Michael Lange

                                    Councilperson Deborah Silvestro

Administrative Recorder: Diane L. McCord

Supervisor John Coutant called the Public Hearing to order at 7:15 PM on Local Law #10 to Prohibit Illicit Discharges, Activities and Connections to Separate Storm Sewer System. 

There was no comment from the public.  This local law was referred to Ulster County, as was Local Laws 4-9.  The Ulster County Planning Board reviewed the local laws.  The comment back was no county impact. 

A Motion to adjourn the Public Hearing was made by Supervisor John Coutant and seconded by Councilperson Michael Lange at 7:20 PM.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Carried..

November Town Board Meeting

A regularly scheduled meeting of the Town of Esopus Town Board was held on Thursday, November 15, 2007 at 7:30 PM in 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

Supervisor Coutant called the meeting to order.

Pledge to the Flag

Prior to getting into the public hearing portion of the meeting, the Supervisor brought to the attention of the audience item No. 1 on the agenda.

1.  Reschedule Budget Public Hearing - Tuesday, November 27, 2007 at 7:00 PM

We were one day short with the Notice to the Public of the Budget Hearing which was held on November 12, 2007.  There should have been five days notice and there were only four.  Therefore, we have rescheduled the public hearing for November 27, 2007.  If you have any specific questions you would like answered regarding the budget please submit them in writing to the Town Clerk. 

Stephanie Aivaz: Can we have copies of that budget?  They are available in the Town Clerks’ Office.

Patti Kowatch: A question about a recent Daily Freeman article written by Bill Kemble concerning the 2008 budget and the quote on the general fund and the highway fund was asked

Where did the 2.18 general fund and highway come from?  Bill Kemble answered he had added it up.

Announcement:

Councilperson Deborah Silvestro made an announcement on Saturday, November 17th at 10 AM there will be the first Sidewalk Scramble in Port Ewen.  This is sponsored by the Library and it is a walk along our new sidewalks with our Town Historian Anne Gordon.  Anne Gordon will

take us through our streets on the sidewalk and highlight our history as she goes along.  There will be refreshments at the Library after the walk.  We encourage everyone to give it a try and we hope this is the first of many.

Town Hall Update:

Charles Wesley - Clerk of the Works November 15, 2007

Progress from Friday, October 19th through Thursday, November 15th 2007

(20) working days logged for this period  (0) days lost.

 

<!--[if !supportLists]--> C         <!--[endif]--> (23) Geo-Thermal wells have been completed to date, with the 24th well started today.  My estimate is that drilling and grouting of the wells will be completed by the end of the month.

<!--[if !supportLists]--> C         <!--[endif]--> Geo-Thermal BUT output test results have been received by the Mechanical Engineer and he has informed us that in order for our heating system to operate efficiently, we will require 30 wells as originally planned for.

<!--[if !supportLists]--> C         <!--[endif]--> Connecting of the loop lines between wells (interconnection of the Geo-Thermal System) is currently in progress.

<!--[if !supportLists]--> C         <!--[endif]--> All exterior wall footings, foundation walls, and interior pier footings are in place, and perimeter expansion joint work has begun

<!--[if !supportLists]--> C         <!--[endif]--> The Port Ewen Water and Sewer Department has conducted pressure testing of the installed water line from Bowne St.

<!--[if !supportLists]--> C         <!--[endif]--> .The elevator pit is in place.

<!--[if !supportLists]--> C         <!--[endif]--> Natural Gas line from Rt. 9W to the building is scheduled to be installed this week.  Work was suspended today due to rain, but should resume tomorrow.

<!--[if !supportLists]--> C         <!--[endif]--> NYSDOT has provided us with nine trees which have been placed on both sides of our driveway near the entrance at Rt. 9W.  These trees, as they reach maturity, will provide screening, and will make for an attractive entrance.

<!--[if !supportLists]--> C         <!--[endif]--> Pouring of the concrete slab on grade is scheduled for this coming Tuesday, providing that our general contractor can insure us that it can e effectively protected against weather and traffic during the erection of the steel.

<!--[if !supportLists]--> C         <!--[endif]--> The Modular Stone0Stong retaining wall has been erected in place between the upper driveway and the lower parking area.

<!--[if !supportLists]--> C         <!--[endif]--> Steel is scheduled to arrive within the next few days.  It will be staged on site and erection of structural steel columns and girders will take place over the next month.

*          Our General Contractor U. W. Marx has confirmed that as of this date, we are on schedule.

<!--[if !supportLists]--> C         <!--[endif]--> To date, there have been no extra construction costs logged by contractors.

<!--[if !supportLists]--> C         <!--[endif]--> I have received a preliminary list of approved change orders from Joe Hurwitz Associates, which will be updated as we progress.  Once charted, this system will allow us to keep track of credits owed to us from contractors, or cost extras should they arise.

<!--[if !supportLists]--> C         <!--[endif]--> For example:

The original contract specifications required the Plumbing Contractor (Ashley Mechanical) to provide us with the natural gas piping and installation of piping from Rt. 9W to our building.  The Contractors bid was submitted accordingly.

Through negotiations with Central Hudson Gas and Electric, this pipe has been supplied to us free of charge.

As a result, we will receive a credit for this material for the amount which appears in the contractors schedule of values.

Tim Allred suggested a letter will be written to the neighbors surrounding the Town Hall Project asking for their cooperation keeping on eye on the site to prevent vandalism.  Charlie Wesley will adhere to this good idea.

2.  United Public Service Employees Union - Authorization to Sign Acknowledgment

An acknowledgment letter has been sent certified mail to the United Public Service Employees Union.  The Town Board will be looking at acquiring the proper legal folks to help us address a union.

3.  Riverview Condominium Associates vs. Town of Esopus - re: letter from Hacker & Murphy, LLP

The Town Board has been asked by our Assessor to choose a legal firm to represent us in the certiorari litigation with Riverview.  We have been referred to Hacker & Murphy a legal firm in Latham, New York.  Local attorneys had been contacted, however, many have clients who live in Riverview.

4.   Town of Esopus Highway Dept. Letter re: purchase of backhoe

The Highway Supt. has requested permission to purchase a 2007 580M Case Backhoe at a cost of $54,058.

A Motion was made by Supervisor John Coutant to allow Highway Supt. Al Larkin to purchase the backhoe requested.  Councilperson Deborah Silvestro seconded the Motion. 

Councilperson Wayne Freer wanted to wait until the 2008 budget was adopted and Councilperson Gloria VanVliet agreed.  Highway Supt. Larkin said the quote only was good for thirty days bringing us to Dec. 5 and the money for the backhoe is in the fund balance.  The question was asked if there would be a change in the price of the machine?  Supt. Larkin did not think so and he has the money and the Highway amount to be raised by taxes is down.  Councilperson Deborah Silvestro saw no reason to table the matter for the Supt. knows his equipment needs.  Supervisor Coutant pointed out the machine he is replacing has a problem with the transmission.  Highway Supt. Larkin spoke to the Board stating you talked about upgrading the equipment and the backhoe is a 1986 model.

The vote continued...............

                                                Supervisor John Coutant                 Aye

                                                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet       No

                                                Councilperson Wayne Freer            No

                                                Councilperson Michael Lange         Aye

                                                Councilperson Deborah Silvestro    Aye

Motion Carried.

5. $50,000 Grant New Town Hall (Emergency Center & Generator)

Previously covered.

6.  Memo from Supt. D. Kiernan & proposal from Fred Cook, Inc., re: Video Inspection of Sanitary Sewer Lines

A Motion was made by Councilperson Michael Lange and seconded by Councilperson Gloria VanVliet to hire Fred Cook, Inc. to do the video inspection of our sewer lines.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

 

7.  Port Ewen Sewer District Resolution

Whereas, the law requires the cost of the operation and maintenance of the Port Ewen Sewer District to be paid by revenue derived from the sale of service,

Whereas, the law requires the cost of the operation and maintenance of the Port Ewen Sewer District to be paid by revenue derived from the sale of the service,

Whereas, this Town Board anticipates adopting a Sewer District budget based on a rate of a minimum charge of $12.80 for the first 0 to 4,000 gallons and a rate of $3.20 per 1,000 gallons thereafter, based on the water meter.

Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the Town Board increase the rate charged for sewer service from a minimum of $12.40 for the first 0 to 4,000 gallons and $3.10 per 1,000 gallons thereafter, based on the water meter, to a minimum of $12.80 for the first 0 to 4,000 gallons and the rate of $3.20 per 1,000 gallons thereafter, based on the water meter, with the new rate to be effective upon adoption of this resolution.

Resolution offered for adoption by Councilperson Michael Lange and seconded by Supervisor John Coutant.

                                                Supervisor John Coutant                 Aye

                                                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet       Aye

                                                Councilperson Wayne Freer            Aye

                                                Councilperson Michael Lange         Aye

                                                Councilperson Deborah Silvestro    Aye

Resolution duly adopted.

8.  Port Ewen Water District Check $91,214.30

The Port Ewen Water District has received a check in the amount of $91,214.30 from the New York State Emergency Repair Fund for the flood damage from last April.

9.  Swanson Electric - Approval to do Business in Town of Esopus

Swanson Consul, Electrical Inspectors, have requested permission to do business in the Town of Esopus. 

 A Motion was made by Supervisor John Coutant and seconded by Councilperson Wayne Freer to authorize Swanson Electric to do electrical inspections in the Town of Esopus.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

10.  Lot Line Adjustment - Authorization/Scenic Hudson

Scenic Hudson has petitioned the town to do a lot line adjustment on the Gordon property bordering our Transfer Station.  They have done drilling on this property to see if our Transfer Station had contaminated the Gordon property.  There was no contamination, however, they would like to do a lot line adjustment giving us nine feet bordering our Transfer Station.

Authorization is required. 

Councilperson Michael Lange made a Motion and Councilperson Wayne Freer seconded it to agree to the nine foot lot line adjustment from the Gordon property to the Transfer Station property.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

11.  Local Law #4, #5, #6, #7, #8 and #9 Vote

Whereas, the Town of Esopus Town Board has introduced Local Laws No. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, and 9 for 2007 for Storm Water Management and Erosion and Sediment Control to comply with the Municipal Separate Storm Sewer System (MS-4) Phase II Storm Water Management requirements of the National Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (NYDES) regulations through the State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) regulations,

Whereas, the Town Board recognizes that the MS4 law must be passed by January 8, 2008 as per the direction of the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation and

Whereas, the Town Board recognizes that the MS4 law must be passed by January 8, 2008 as per the direction of the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation and

Whereas, Local Laws No. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 were introduced to the Town Board on September 20 and Public Hearings were held on said laws on October 18th,

Therefore, Be it Resolved, the Town of Esopus Town Board votes to adopt Local Law No. 4, 5, 6, 7, 8 and 9 on November 15th to comply with the NYS Pollutant Discharge Elimination System (SPDES) regulations.

Resolution offered by Supervisor John Coutant and seconded by Councilperson Gloria VanVliet.

                                                Supervisor John Coutant                 Aye

                                                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet       Aye

                                                Councilperson Wayne Freer            Aye

                                                Councilperson Michael Lange         Aye

                                                Councilperson Deborah Silvestro    Aye

 

Resolution duly adopted.

Councilperson Wayne Freer voted in favor under protest.

12.  Gas Meter - Motion to Authorize

There is a situation where we need a larger gas meter for the new Town Hall rather than was originally specified.  The cost would be $3,749.22.  The following letter was received from Central Hudson Commercial New Business Counselor John Disciglio:

            Due to the size generator installed at the new Town Hall, it will be necessary for Central Hudson to install a much larger meter than previously designed.  Also, the size pipe from Rt. 9W to the building will need to be increased.  Central Hudson will increase the pipe size at no additional cost; however, there will be a charge for the larger gas meter, associated material and labor to install the large gas meter set.  The cost including tax is $3,749.22 made payable to Central Hudson.  Please reference J3-74002 on the check.  You can forward payment to my attention at 120 Rt. 28, Kingston, New York 12401.  

A Motion to approve a larger gas meter from Central Hudson at a cost of $3,749.22 was made by Councilperson Michael Lange and seconded by Councilperson Wayne Freer.  All Town Board Members were in favor.  Motion Carried.

13.  Payment of Vouchers

Resolution Authorizing the Payment of Bills Received Since November 2007

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                        # 071619-071666                                $ 32,803.21

Highway Fund                       # 072324-072345                                $ 18,802.56

Capital Fund                         # 075027-075043                                $705,346.10

Street Lighting                       # 076011                                             $  5,162.65

 

Port Ewen Sewer                  # 073129-073142                                $ 4,362.17

                                                                                                          -    153.00 voided voucher #073137

                                                                                                            _________

                                                                                                            $ 4,209.17

 

Port Ewen Water                  #074277-074301                                 $ 15,624.67

 

                                                                                                           -         81.00 voided voucher #074297

                                                                                                            __________

                                                                                                              15,543.67

 

Total..............................................................................................$ 781,867.36

 

Resolution offered by Councilperson Michael Lange

Resolution seconded by Supervisor John Coutant

 

                                                Supervisor John Coutant                 Aye

                                                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet       Aye

                                                Councilman Wayne Freer                Aye

                                                Councilman Michael Lange Aye

                                                Councilperson Deborah Silvestro    Aye

 

Resolution duly adopted.

Comment: Councilperson Deborah Silvestro made a comment about one of the voided vouchers for $153.00 for the Water Dept. for long sleeve tee shirts....don’t we usually buy them short sleeve tee shirts with the Town of Esopus printed on it?  Supervisor Coutant said that was correct but the Town Board thought these long sleeve tee shirts would be covered up with a jacket and not serve the purpose for safety reasons.  Councilperson Silvestro said these shirts were already ordered and printed so what will happen to the $153 we already spent?  We should not charge the men the entire amount, we should pro-rate it and if we ordinarily buy them short sleeve shirts we should prorate it and charge them the difference between the two shirts.  If we are going to put the burden on the employees we should subtract the difference and only charge them that and pay the rest of the bill.  Supervisor Coutant said the employees of the Port Ewen Water/Sewer District are now involved in negotiations with the union.  Councilperson Silvestro asked if the employees were being punished?  What has that got to do with it? When were the shirts purchased?  Supervisor Coutant stated when we were notified about the union all benefits and pay were frozen until negotiations are completed.  That is the law.  Councilperson Freer stated we provide uniforms for the men.  Supervisor Coutant said we are not going to do it at this time.

14.  Budget Adjustments

            Resolution to Authorize Adjustments to the 2007 Budget

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

Whereas, the adjustments to the 2007 Budget are required in order to reflect changes in certain accounts,

Therefore, Be it Resolved, that the Town Board authorizes the transfer of the following amounts from the indicated accounts and fund balances to the indicated active accounts:

November 2007

Building Supplies                    A0.0599.000      $    660.79                A0.1620.403   $    660.79

Safety Insp. Contractual         A0.0599.000      $    700.19                A0.3620.4       $    700.19

Hwy Garage Contractual        A0.0599.000      $      35.49                A0.5132.406   $      35.49

Parks/Maint. Pers. Ser.            A0.0599.000      $ 4,385.95                A0.7110.1       $ 4,385.95

Playgrounds Rec.                    A0.0599.000      $      93.22                A0.7140.1       $      93.22

Heritage & Rec.                      A0.0599.000      $    147.52                A0.7142.4       $    147.52

Historian Personal                   A0.0599.000      $     249.66               A0.7510.1       $    249.66

Zoning Board of Appeals       A0.0599.000      $       59.66               A0.8011.4       $      59.66

Resolution offered by Supervisor John Coutant

Resolution seconded by Councilperson Wayne Freer

                                                Supervisor John Coutant                 Aye

                                                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet       Aye

                                                Councilperson Wayne Freer            Aye

                                                Councilperson Michael Lange         Aye

                                                Councilperson Deborah Silvestro    Aye

Resolution duly adopted.

15.  Approval of Minutes

A Motion to approve the previous Town Board Minutes was made by Supervisor John Coutant and seconded by Councilperson Michael Lange.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

16.  PILOT Program for Birchez

Stephen M. Fell and Jimmy Bruno, representatives from Birchez discussed the Esopus Tax Abatement Agreement with the Town Board.  Grant money is available for this Senior Citizen Housing Project to be constructed.  The PILOT (Payment in Lieu of Taxes) was sent to Attorney Peter Graham for his review and he wrote a sample resolution.  The three other lots at Birchez are not included in the PILOT. 

The was considerable discussion about the cost being $100 per unit when the Town Board had requested $150 to $200 per unit.  Stephen Fell described the changes are due to the new storm water regulations being imposed and the cost increasing another $40,000.  The escrow account to the Planning Board has now risen to $38,000.  This $100 per unit goes directly to the town to the general fund.   Councilperson Freer said the PILOT should be included in the budgetary process coming in the beginning of the year January 1, 2008.  Mr. Fell had no problem with that.  2 C and 2 D Councilperson Freer understood the company will provide a statement from the CFO confirming net rental and as the increase in rental increases the PILOT can be raised automatically.  These PILOT Programs should come to the Supervisor...not the Tax Collector so that was changed in the agreement.  Councilperson Freer was not happy about the monetary phase but since we need senior housing and since the lawyer has reviewed it he would be in favor.  Another question Councilperson Freer had was will the water and sewer fees be based upon usage?  Yes, they will pay for the service.

 

Supervisor Coutant had a problem with the $100 per unit for he thought it should be at least $150 per unit.  Two weeks ago he was given those figures.  We have been fighting so hard to get senior housing.  There was a question about how long the PILOT would be given and the answer was thirty years.  Councilperson Lange did not want to see Birchez lose their funding and there was a Dec. 3 deadline date for this agreement or they would lose their funding.  Mr. Fell stated rents are based on the average median income as made available through HUD.  Councilperson VanVliet asked if this senior citizen housing was for low income?  Mr. Fell answered no, it is for affordable senior citizen assisted living housing.  The state tells us whether we have spent enough money on the project to warrant increasing the rent.  The rents are based upon the average median income for this county. Councilperson VanVliet asked if this housing would exclude some senior citizens because of their income?  The majority of the senior citizens will be 50 to 60 percent of the median income.  That has been approved by the state. 

A Motion to approve the Esopus Tax Abatement Agreement between the Town of Esopus and Birches at Esopus was made by Supervisor John Coutant and seconded by Councilperson Gloria VanVliet.

                                                      Supervisor John Coutant                       Aye

                                                                  Councilperson Gloria VanVliet Aye   

                                                      Councilperson Wayne Freer                  Aye

                                                      Councilperson Michael Lange               Aye

                                                      Councilperson Deborah Silvestro          Aye

 

Motion Carried.

17.  Resolution to Appoint Planning Board Member

Whereas, the Town of Esopus Town Board, County of Ulster, State of New York, has received the resignation of John McMichael as Planning Board Member and

Whereas, the Town of Esopus Planning Board needs to fill this vacancy, the town of Esopus Town Board recommends the appointment of Michael Minor to fill the term vacated by John McMichael which will expire on December 31, 2009.

Therefore, Be it Resolved, the Town of Esopus Town Board appoints Michael Minor to fill this vacancy which will expire on December 31, 2009.

Resolution offered by Supervisor John Coutant

Resolution seconded by Councilperson Gloria VanVliet

  

                                                Supervisor John Coutant                 Aye

                                                Councilperson Gloria VanVliet       Aye

                                                Councilperson Wayne Freer            No

                                                Councilperson Michael Lange         Aye

                                                Councilperson Deborah Silvestro    No

 

Resolution duly adopted.

Councilperson Gloria VanVliet voted yes because there are some projects before this Planning Board and with the vacancy they cannot proceed and get things done.  It is necessary to place Michael Minor on the board and he would be a good addition to the board.

Councilperson Wayne Freer voted no because as he has stated in the previous meeting his preference would be to go from a seven man board to a five man board to expedite the Planning Board process.

Supervisor John Coutant voted in favor because he spoke with Michael Minor and believes him to be a solid individual who is interested in what is happening and is willing to spend the additional time necessary.  A seven member board makes a difference.  The existing Planning Board members take turns coming in for the Pre-Submission Conference which takes a lot of personal time.  He was not in favor of cutting the board from seven to five.

Councilperson Deborah Silvestro voted no because this process should have been opened up and there should have been an interview and a better process when there is an appointment made and it should not be made behind closed doors.  She was not in favor of this appointment.  Supervisor Coutant said Councilperson Silvestro had Michael Minor’s resume in your file for over a week did you take the time to go through it and talk to him?  Yes she did.  Then you had an opportunity to talk and discuss with him so why is it inappropriate?  Councilperson Silvestro stated this process of making appointments is constantly made behind closed doors.  I am not voting yes I am voting no.

Councilperson Michael Lange voted yes.  He spoke with Planning Board Chairperson Roxanne Pecora and she is constantly having a hard time getting a quorum.  Peoples lives are busy and they work a lot of hours and I am voting in favor.

Resolution duly adopted.

The following reports of committees and officials is on file in the Town Clerks’ Office:

Town Clerks’ Monthly Report for October 2007

Port Ewen Water and Sewer Board Minutes dated October 9, 2007

Assessors Monthly Report dated November 14, 2007

Building Dept. Monthly Report for October 2007

Planning Board Minutes dated October 17, 2007

Planning Board Minutes dated October 25, 2007

A Motion to adjourn was made by Councilperson Wayne Freer and seconded by Councilperson Michael Lange at 9 PM.  All Town Board Members voted in favor.  Motion Carried.

                                                                                    Respectfully submitted,

                                                                                    Diane L. McCord

                                                                                    Town Clerk, RMC, CMC