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Notes on Town Board meeting of July 16, 2012

The Meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by Supervisor Roy Brown.

All Board members were present, Mike Mortenson, Don Westmore, Joel Craig and Joan Snyder. Charlene Diehl, Town Clerk was also present.

The approval of the minutes of past meetings and the payment of audited bills were unanimous. There were two communications to the board from the Town Clerk; a note of appreciation for the use of the Park facilities from the Southern Tier Seniors group from Red Hook and a thank you from the Red Cross for the blood drive that the Town participated in. They had eleven donations.

Reports from Department Heads:

Maintenance: Anthony Cidras reports completing usual maintenance, including cleaning all the lights, mowing and weed-whacking. He has filled in a lot of muskrat holes around the lake. Wood chips have been spread all along the trail, and the radar unit has been placed out on roads in many locations. By far the biggest problem is the condition of the Lake. He was advised by the DEC that the surface aerators are not really effective and that the Lake’s duckweed infestation is a serious problem. He thanks Roy for his help that very afternoon in pulling duckweed from the lake. They have rigged a homemade “skimmer” to skim the green surface off the lake. He has also done the ground prep work ready for the placement of the 9/11 Monument.

Police Department: Roger Rekow reports there were 110.75 hours of patrolling done in the month of June. Police actions include: Visits to: Cheviot: 34, Anchorage 35, School Property: 33, Palatine Park 33, and Dales Bridge 19. Six traffic tickets were issued, 24 warnings, 1 parking violation, 1 dog assist, 1 loud party, 2 harassment, and 1domestic dispute. No definite news about police cadets.

Highway Dept: Joan Snyder reports that the month has been spent in mowing. (I couldn’t hear the details) Rich Jennings wants the pubic to know: NO BURNING UNTIL OCTOBER! This is a statewide edict.

Sewer Dept. George Sharpe, Jr. reports 19,000gal/per day usage. Everything running well. No problems at all.

Park Commission; No one attending this meeting but Andrea Dunn sent a message saying they were working on the Apple Festival for this September. She is also concerned about the overflowing trash barrels at the docks, Not only are boaters dumping all their trash, there is evidence of others using the barrels for household trash.

Economic Development: No report

Communications Committee: The next meeting is on Monday July 23rd at 5:30 PM More news later under Old Business (website)

Apple Festival: Nikki Sacco-Brown reported that the festival has been changed to a one-day event Saturday, September 22nd, for the greater convenience of the vendors, See Website. for updated details.

Old Business:

There was a brief discussion about the need to update the policies about cell phone and computer usage. They plan to put forth a resolution at the next meeting outlining the guidelines. Should it be part of a Town Law, requiring a Public Hearing, or simply a Resolution to update the Policy Manual? That will be determined.

Town Website: Don Westmore reports that the committee has reviewed 3 people who were interested in designing the new website. They unanimously chose Gabrielle Greene from Red Hook, as the best fit for their work. (Also, the lowest bid!) He asks for authorization to offer the job to Ms. Greene. Vote: all aye

NYS Workforce Investment Board Summer Help: The town has one person (named Cody) from this program who is helping Anthony with maintenance tasks. He has been doing a very good job and everyone is very happy to have him.

Derelict properties; On Cheviot there is a property that was given a deadline to be cleaned up. They have missed the deadline but will be given an extension of 30 days as part of the formal steps to solve the problem. There will be a public hearing with the owners and the town to lay out the next steps. If not cleaned up, the town will do it and bill the owner.

Two buildings along South Road, vacant and falling down. The Town will begin steps to condemn by getting a report from the Code Enforcement officer about the unsafe condition of the properties, then scheduling a Public Hearing, and then the final demolition. New Business:

LAKE: Roy sends kudos to the parents and the lifeguards who have helped pull weeds from the lake. (Some of them are in the audience). Roy has spoken with the DEC about the condition of the lake with its infestation of Duckweed. The lake is 25 to 35 years old and needs dredging and scraping the bottom to rid it of a thick layer of organic material that has accumulated over the years. Its proximity to the woods is part of its downfall because of all the organic stuff that rains down into the lake and sinks to the bottom adding to the problem. The only solution is to clean the lake out and that will prevent the duckweed from gaining hold for several years. Also the springs may be partially plugged, and need to be cleared out.

Usage of the Lake by swimmers is down to maybe 5 people a day. Eleanor Prior (one of the volunteers who helped weed the lake) says years ago there were many families who came to the “beach” and used the park and the lake, but now, just driving by and seeing it, no one would stop there. The whole discussion about the lake went on for a while with participation from members of the audience chiming in with opinions and recommendations. There seemed to be widespread support for two things: Get the lake cleared out by a “volunteer work day” and dredge & scrape the Lake for future use.

There is no specific money in the budget for such a project, which can be very expensive (anywhere from $50K to $150K) but there might be enough funds that can be gathered from other areas of the budget as we go into to the Fall so that initial efforts can be begun this year with a finish in the spring. That would make the lake is available for use in its new shining, clean, blue form next summer. The Lake means a lot to the Town and a clean lake will be good for Germantown as it seeks more participation from other towns in the summer programs. Board members remember that to clean the lake the fish must be removed and placed somewhere…

Board is urged to set day for community work on the Lake, and decides on this Saturday July 21st and asks media to put the word out for all who can help in the effort to come on Saturday at 10 AM

Budget for 2013: By the August 20th Board meeting Roy will have his requests out to the Department Heads to put together their financial requests, the first step in developing next year’s budget.

Mitchell Black, a Germantown Boy Scout asks the Board to consider his proposed project for credit for Eagle Scout designation. He proposes to build a gazebo at the corner of Main Street and Palatine Park Road. Roy says this idea has been around for some time and was considered in the sidewalk plan. He makes a motion and all approve of Scout Black’s proposal.

New Business:

Hudson Valley Greenway Grants: Joel says we have been awarded funds from this program before and he wants to apply for funding to cover a wide range of related projects including bicycle racks, trees along new sidewalks, Kiosks, village lighting, Gazebo (!) and the other things that have been part of the recommendations of the Economic Development Committee and the Sidewalk Committee. He offers a resolution to apply for this grant and the Board unanimously approves it. Don Westmore says that all these things fit in very neatly with the overall goals for the improvement and the beautification of the town. (Someone from the audience says” The Lake!”)

Don W. brings up a request from County sheriff Eli Fieser that the board designate Lasher Avenue from Church Road to South Road as a 35 MPH limit. Also he wants a 10,000 lb weight limit. Note: Agricultural equipment and deliveries to homes, farms would be exempted from the weight restrictions.) Attorney Rippleyea says it must go through the County and the State for approval because smaller towns don’t have the authority. There was discussion about all the other roads in town that should have some restrictions, but that would take a thorough study identifying them. At any rate, they will begin the first steps in requesting the 35 mph limit for this particular stretch of road. All Aye to take the first step. Highway Department Head, Rich Jennings will be asked to do the request, after examining the road.

The first of two meetings about Hydrofracking will be held on Thursday July 26th at 7 Pm Ann Rubin and George Rodenhausen will be the presenters. This meeting will feature those who are generally opposed to the process of Fracking. Rodenhausen is the attorney that argued successfully that a town could deny Hydrofracing even if the State DEC declared it “safe”. A second meeting will be scheduled with speakers who defend the process of fracking and the economic benefits for a community that allows it.

The Town is applying for a “Safe routes to Schools” grant to help pay for a crossing guide and signage.

A town-owned bicycle rack has been moved to a location between Otto’s Market and the Fingar Insurance Co’s property.

The town now has new signs that say both “County RT 8” and “Main Street” on the same sign.

Roy has contacted a contractor who will assess the site for the 9/11 memorial, in preparation for constructing the base for the beams.

Public Comments: Kay Abraham introduces Didi Barrett, Assemblywoman from the 106th District. Her District has been changed to include Germantown as of January 2013. She has come to say “Hello”.

Didi Barrett speaks, praising the Town Board for its inclusive and collegial meeting. “I’ve been to many Town Board Meetings and I never have seen one so open and friendly and positive.” She explains how she welcomes constituents to her office and is happy to do whatever she can do for the town with any issue they feel she can be helpful on.

Meeting adjourned at 8:16 PM

The next Town Board meeting will be on August 20th, 2012, at 7 PM.

Submitted by Kay Abraham 537-5404


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