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Notes on the Town Board meeting of May 21, 2012


Here are my notes on the Town Board Meeting held May 21st, 2012:

Austin Sullivan, Deputy Supervisor, acting in the absence of Roy Brown who was away, called the meeting to order at 7 PM. Present were Board members Mike Mortenson, Don Westmore, Joel Craig and Joan Snyder.  Charlene Diehl, Town Clerk was also present.

The minutes of the previous meeting were approved unanimously.

The list of “Audited Bills for Payment” was questioned by Joel Craig because of one large bill submitted that he felt had problems that needed to be cleared up before it was paid. After some discussion the motion to pay was amended to exclude that particular bill for further consideration and clarification for the Board.

Town Clerk:  Charlene told the Board that she had received no written communications for the Board.

Department Reports; 

Police Department: Roger Rekow reported that there were 112.25 hours of patrol by the Police in April. This included 16 traffic tickets, 23 warnings, 1 EID (Alarm service), 1 vandalism complaint, 1 DUIA, 1 harassment complaint, and 2 assists to the EMS.  Parks patrol visits: Cheviot: 35, Anchorage:32, School grounds:30, Palatine Park:32, Dales Bridge:20. Anthony Cidras tells Roger about someone who had driven onto the fresh stone near the ball fields and had done “donut” turns scattering the stone all over.

Highway Department:  Joan Snyder reports that the first cycle of mowing is almost done.  They are beginning to do top patching of the roads and are scheduling stone applications to certain roads in town, starting June 18th.  They are still clearing ditches and culverts.  They set up 5 parking spaces near the dog park.

Sewer department: George Sharpe, Jr. reported they had an average of 23,000 gallons per day usage, 6 did requests.  They replaced 2 home grinder pumps.  Joel asked if they had spare ones in reserve.  George: Yes, they used the two they had and now have replaced those so there are still 2 in reserve.

Maintenance Department:  Anthony Cidras advises that all the UV bulbs have been replaced; all water connections have been opened.  They start preparing the Lake this next week.  The large mower broke down this week and had to be repaired at some cost.  He rented a mower to use while it was out of service.

The first Lake treatment was done on May 9th.  Don Westmore asked, “What is the prognosis for the Lake?”  Many problems exist in trying to treat it for the algae issue and for the invasive weed (Asian chestnut) that clogs the water. They have strict regulations by the DEC as to how much copper sulfate can be used, and what can be done to conquer the weeds. Getting rid of the weeds, or controlling them requires a tremendous amount of hand labor to physically pull them out on a continuing basis. The real solution is to drain the Lake, dredge the Lake, and then allow it to fill from the springs, but this costs thousands of dollars.  Short of that project. the attempts we are using are short-term and may fail to make it usable for swimming classes and public use. Don asks “what’s the “no go” decision date for the Lakes use?  Joel says probably within 2-3 weeks.


Committee Reports:

Park Commission:  Andrea Dunn and Brittany Bohnsack report that they are holding a “Sub Sale” as a fundraiser on June 14th to benefit the Playground fund.  Sub Sandwiches will be available from 11:30 AM-2:30PM and later that day at 4PM to 7PM.  Bulk orders can be made by sending an e-mail to

Flyers will be distributed at the Memorial Day Parade next Monday.

They have been successful in getting the participation of the Hudson Valley Men’s Softball league to hold a Softball Tournament on July 7th and 8th. This event will also benefit the fund for the Playground. The Park Commission is very concerned about the condition of the Lake.  They are very happy about the parking spaces designated for the Dog Park.  They have ordered some high-concept dog tags that will be on sale for a donation of $25.00

The next meeting of the Park Commission will be held at 5:30 at the Kellner Activity Building on June 4th.  They will discuss plans for consideration for the Children’s Playground improvements and discuss other ideas.  Everyone is welcome.

Economic Development: Corrine Curry presented artist Kenneth Cooke with a framed certificate of appreciation (in his signature colors; black with a touch of orange!) for his many contributions to the well-being of Germantown including ArtSpace and specifically for the design of the 12526 logo which has been adopted by the Germantown business community as their unifying graphic.  Ken has contributed his talent to every project that has come to him for help and his award was greeted with applause from the audience.

Communications Committee: Don Westmore

It hasn’t met for a while as the web designer has been developing a new website according to some of the guidelines suggested by the Committee.  A prototype has been put up for consideration and the members have lots of comments which will be distilled at the next meeting of the Committee, date to be set.  June 1st will be the kick-off date for the public’s use of the new 536-INFO.  This contribution by GTEL is a phone number that provides a wealth of recorded information about town Government, the Schools, the Library and Community groups.  Information is updated frequently with dates and times for certain events. Dial it and see what you can learn!

Sidewalk CommitteeAustin advises that there are two meetings scheduled:

May 30th at 6:00PM for landowners along the right-of-way along the sidewalks.

           June 2nd at 9:30 AM for the general public.  This will be a general update with plans and drawings for view and discussion.

Old Business: Sewer Reduction request; Joan Snyder reports the request from a new local business for a reduction in its sewer rate because, although it has provisions for high occupancy rates, it currently is operating at a lower occupancy and wishes the sewer rate to reflect that level of usage. There was some (relatively good-humored) questioning from the audience as to why they didn’t name the property this was but the Board reluctantly declined to name it.  Austin said he would see if the information could/should be given out and it would be provided at the next meeting.

NEW BUSINESS: Austin reported on Anthony Cidras’ need to repair the large mower quickly.  Anthony checked several sources, all with similar figures, and chose the one that included the installation of the new engine. He is requesting the authorization to have spent the $2,250.00. This includes a new engine, new warranty, shipping and installation.  The Board voted all Aye.

Mike Mortenson opened three estimates for the cost of replacing the Highway Garage’s roof.   It has been repaired several times but now it needed to be replaced.  There were three similar estimates with the lowest being $26,457.00 by the John Jennings Company.  However, it turns out that for expenditures over $20,000 the town  is required to put out an RFP for sealed bids.  The RFP will be drawn up and put our for bids.

Joel Craig and Joan Snyder present an award to the Columbia County Senior Citizen of the Year:  our own Donna Diehl.  This is in recognition of her 13 years of organizing and providing a full Thanksgiving Dinner for those who are in need.  Meals are served in the Kellner Activities Building for those who can attend and delivered to the homes of those who cannot.  In addition, she heads a distinguished choir group that provides concerts each winter to the public. She is a key volunteer at the Food Pantry as well.  The audience and Board members applaud her! Well deserved!

Joel Craig had asked for a Board workshop meeting to discuss some of the more complex issues facing the Town:  the Sidewalks, the Lake’s condition, resolution of the Sewer District’s problems, etc.  A date was set or June 4th, at 6:30 PM right after the Parks Commission meeting, that begins at 5:30 PM

Mike Mortensen asks if something can be done to slow drivers down in the Ball Field areas. Sign/ Speed bumps here and there?  Anthony will look into it.

Joel Craig asks the Board to approve the appointment of Stephen Savoris, ZBA acting chair, to be made actual Chair.  All Aye.

Austin brings up the issue of closing the local Ethics Board and using the County Ethics Board instead, as many other towns do already.  They are not sure if it needs a public hearing.  Also the Board and the interested members of the public will need some written policy information before the decision is made, so they know what they are voting for.

 Other items: Otto’s General Store will open in early June.  Date is not yet set up.

The Town-wide Yard Sale on May 19th was a big success.  The date had beautiful weather and many cars were seen driving around in town with shoppers. There were 25 addresses listed on the map and probably as many who didn’t sign up but were doing business.

Public Portion:

Brittany Bohnsack advised everyone that the Park Commission was updating the

527-INFO number with current information.  Please call!

Martin Overington rose to thank again the Town and the residents who helped with another successful RIVERSWEEP!

Meeting adjourned at 8:15PM

Next Town Board meeting June 18th   Town Hall

Town Board Workshop:  June 4th at 6:30PM, Kellner Activities Bldg.

Sidewalk Meetings; 

         Right Of  Way Landowners: May 30th 6:00PM     

         General public: June 2nd 9:30 AM


To the best of my note-taking ability, corrections and additions welcomed

Kay Abraham 537-5404


PS:  Stephen Savoris asked me to include in my notes that he thanked each of the 226 people who voted for him in the School Election. “They voted from the heart”, he said.




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