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Town Board Meeting, June 18, 2012


My Notes on the Town Board Meeting of June 18, 2012

The meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by Supervisor Roy Brown.  Attending were Board members Mike Mortenson, Don Westmore & Joel Craig and Town Clerk, Charlene Diehl. Joan Snyder was absent.

The minutes of the prior meeting were approved unanimously.

The motion to pay the audited bills was approved unanimously.

Roy asked the Board to approve moving certain amounts within the Budget:  A grant for the Court was received for $993.00 under the JCAP program, and the amount was moved into a new line in the budget.  Also the money held for the previous engineering firm’s bill  for services rendered for the Sidewalk project was moved so it could be paid. All Aye.

Written communications to the Board?  Charlene has none but advises the Board and the public that there is a Federal Primary to be held on June 26th at the Activities building.  Both Republicans and Democrats have choices to make.  Polls open from noon to 9PM

Police Department: Roger Rekow reports; There were 122.75 hours logged in by police patrols in the month of May, including 11 traffic tickets, 22 warnings, 1 Cat in Tree, 1 harassment complaint. In addition, they made 30 patrol visits to Cheviot, 30 to Anchorage, 34 to the school property, 29 to Palatine Park and 21 to Dales Bridge Park.

Roger was asked about the cadets for Police training that they had given permission to set up.  He expects to have them signed up later in August.

Highway Department None.  Rich Jennings was at a County Superintendents meeting, and Joan Snyder was out.

Sewer.  Mike Mortenson provides a brief summary of the Sewer Department; 24,222 gallons per day usage in May. There were 7 dig requests and otherwise all is running well.

Maintenance Dept:  Anthony, who doubles as our Animal Control officer, was out on a Dog Call. Mike tells us that the lake has its aerators all in and functioning.  That day the Lake looked great, partly because of the weather.  The decision was made to keep the algae controlled but not to go ahead with Duckweed control because of the cost and logistical problems.  Anthony has completed his OSHA training.

Committee Reports:

Park Commission:Andréa Dunn; She says they made $1.300.00 in their Sub Sale, held last week.  They sold out.  They may hold another soon, since it was so successful.  They received an anonymous donation of $3,350 for the Playground renewal project. She expresses grateful thanks to whomever it was that sent it. The Parks Commission has received its !D # and are filing the last papers to establish their status as a 501C3 organization.

They will continue to work on raising money for the playground.  They are working with the Lions Club on the Hudson Valley Apple Festival  to be held in September.  The proposed Softball Tournament will be changed in scope; they are working on making adjustments to the plans.  She thanks George and  Linda Sharpe and Kerrie Abela for their help in managing the process.  Don Westmore suggests they contact news outlets when they get their new official status.

Economic Development: Bruce Bohnsack reports they had a meeting on May 24th to discuss several initiatives: Bicycle Friendly Town.  On June 8th they met with Ed Fertik who has lots of experience dealing with bike trails etc. in Philmont.  He suggested that they set up a website of “Bike Germantown”, so we will show up when searched on the Internet.  Handy bike racks and good signage are some of the other ingredients to making the Town a ‘Bike Friendly” town.  Business Friendly:  They want help in clarifying the difference in Hamlet Residential and Hamlet Mixed Use zoning. They had some discussion with Joel about the possibility of extending the Mined Use zoning  and it will be brought up at the Zoning Board’s next meeting. Even a small change will require a Public Hearing , extensive notification to residents and to the adjoining towns, etc.  it’s the same process, whether it’s a small of major change.  The Committee would like to set up a Business Breakfast as a social event for business in town to get to know each other and share experiences.  Norman Mintz has designed 2 Kiosks to be placed in convenient places in town.  They need to raise a little $ to fund building them.  The Committee’s next meeting is on Saturday June 23rd at 9 AM.

Sidewalk Project: Bruce and Roy attended a meeting with Region 8 Department of Transportation.  The final approval is about to be received and it will be sent on the Federal level for approval for the final hurdle.

Communications Committee: Don Westmore said they were focusing on the new web design for the Town.  They are interviewing three designers and should be able to recommend one to the Town soon.  The next meeting has not been scheduled but should be in late June or early July.

Nikki Sacco-Brown spoke about the September 22/23rd Hudson Valley Apple festival being set up by the Lion’s Club and the Parks commission.  They re still seeking food and Craft vendors.  They are reaching out to the schools and the scouts to see if they can get young people to participate.  There will be an “Apple Cart Derby’ (but any kind of wooden crate or box will do) and a wine tasting booth.  The website can be reached at for more information.

At 7:30 PM the Board went into executive session to discuss a Police Department matter and returned at 7:50 PM to resume the public meeting.

Old Business:

There was further discussion about the lake.  Today it looks fine, but as someone said it smelled like dead fish even though it seemed clear.  Tests, however, show the water to be fine for recreational use. The decisions were made to keep the Lake open for the two week swimming lesson period, to keep the lake clear for swimmers, but hire only 4 Lifeguards and perhaps reduce the hours of swimming, to monitor the Lake’s condition and make any needed judgments if it should be closed, and to make preparations for repair—dredging and cleaning—in the fall and to make the necessary decisions in the next year’s budget for its remediation.

Three proposals were received based on the Requests for Proposals that  had been sent out. This was to get recommendations about the best way to finance the needed repairs to the Sewer System and to examine the feasibility of expanding the system.  These are Professional Services and need not to be put out to bid.  Joan and Mike are the Board members who need to interview the firms and to make recommendations to the Board.  It was recommended that they add at least one other person to facilitate the process, but that it should begin ASAP.

Ethics Board.  Thee Board members, Roy, Joel and Don, had discussed the fate f the Ethics board at the Workshop meeting held on June.  After exchanging views and hearing a smattering of comments from those of the public attending it was proposed to increase the number of members on the Ethics Board to 5 from 3.  They all expressed a reluctance to lose the home rule aspect of having a local Board.  Joel commented that as Planning Board chair he had had to rule against some of his neighbors or friends but it caused no real problem.  The Town Board is looking for several people willing to serve on the Ethics Board, and noted that in the last ten years only 3 cases came before them. So, although it requires willingness and objectivity, it does not eat into one’s busy schedule very much.  Those interested should contact Austin Sullivan and give him your name.

A motion was made to increase the size of the Board and the Public Hearing will take place just before the next (July) Town board meeting, and they will vote on it after the Hearing.

New Business: Workforce Investment Board has offered a grant to fund hiring two interns.  Germantown is applying for the monies.

Supervisor’s report;

Concerns about the Analema were discussed at the Workshop meeting, resulting in news of progress: Kurt Holsapple and Don Westmore will demonstrate their stone wall building skills this summer, and finish it.

Roy advises that the Chronicle, a local monthly paper will feature an article about Hydrofracking and will cover Germantown’s actions.  Roy plans to set up a meeting, or possibly two meetings, one Pro and one Con,and possible in conjunction with Clermont and Livingston.

Roy wants the public to know that the Town is considering planting new trees along Main Street as well as new lighting as part of the Sidewalk project.

The Town is applying for “ Safe Routes to School” grants to perhaps hire a crossing guard and better signage.

Roy announces that June 28th will be the             GRAND OPENING OF OTTO’S NEW GENERAL STORE!        

Public Comments:               

Larry Osgood asks what the procedure is for changes in the zoning law, re any change in the Hamlet/Mixed Use zone.  Joel says the Planning board will discuss and perhaps recommend it to the Town and the Town changes the law after a public hearing.

Kay Abraham asked why they decided to use the whole $50,000 plus of the Weiner family gift for purchasing the playground equipment.  She was told that the donation had been made with that purpose and that the donors were thinking to rescind the gift if it wasn’t used soon by the town.  Consequently,  they decided to act promptly.

Martin Overington asks about the Sewer project and the RFP’s that have been responded to.. He is told that the RFPs are on the website so he can see the details, but basically, the RFPs are not for the repairs of the tanks, but rather for professional development of a financing plan that will include the possibility and the feasibility of expanding the sewer district. The RFP to replace the roof on the Town garage is also on the website.

Meeting adjourned at 8:27 PM

The next Town Board meeting is to be held on Monday, July 16th

To the best of my ability…Additions and corrections welcome

Kay Abraham 537-5404



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