What's going on in Germantown?

MY Notes on the Town Board Meeting Aug 20, 2012

The meeting was called to order at 7 PM by Austin Sullivan, acting as Deputy Supervisor in Roy Brown’s absence. Attending were Mike Mortenson, Don Westmore, Joel Craig and Joan Snyder. The Town Clerk, Charlene Diehl, was there, as well as the Town Attorney, Tal Rappleyea.

The Minutes of the previous meeting were approved. The audited bills were approved to be paid and there were no communications to the Board from the Town clerk.

Department Reports:

Maintenance and Parks: Anthony Cidras reported he has spent a lot of time and energy on skimming algae and pulling up duckweed from the lake. Mowing and weed cutting, plus work on cleaning out the area around the garage at the Parsonage also kept him busy. The intern Cody has finished his work term and will be missed because he was such a hard and willing worker. Don Westmore asked Anthony a question about possible erosion problems developing at Cheviot. Anthony said he had discussed the problem with Visage and will work out a plan to address the issue. They attributed the damage to the excessive water flow from storms. Austin said the town had just received the check from FEMA to pay for some of the costs of the storm last fall.

Sewer Department: Joan Snyder reported that the average flow was 25.000 gal/per/day in the last month (July). They had received 5 dig requests. They are still awaiting some final estimates for repair costs. Joel asked if they were aware of the new Sewage Right to Know Act, requiring notification of DEC officials immediately whenever a spillage occurs.

Police Department: Roger Rekow reported: There were 97.0 hours of service logged for the month of July. These included: 1 auto/deer collision, 1 felony DWI, 2 EID (alarm) responses, 2 DWI, 1 domestic disturbance, 6 traffic tickets, 19 warnings, 3 misdemeanors and 1 felony charge. Patrol visits to parks and school property: Cheviot: 23, Anchorage: 24, Schools: 24, Palatine Park; 25, Dales Bridge: 16. There are two Police Academy cadets chosen to serve in Germantown: Josh DuBois and Colin Brown. Rekow asked for the Board to appoint them and was given all Ayes. Joel Craig asked if there was any problem or any sense of conflict of interest since both young men were related to Town personnel. [Colin Brown is the supervisor’s son; Josh is the son of Officer Brian DuBois] the attorney said that since the individuals wouldn’t be supervised directly by their relatives there shouldn’t be a problem. Rekow reminded the Board that they interns are supervised by the Academy for the first year and after that, if they are still here, they come under the Town’s supervision. Town Board members voted to approve and welcomed the new additions to the Police Department

Highway Department: Joan Snyder reported: Usual summer work: mowing, cleaning out ditches and patching road surfaces. The Department heard that the town of Hudson might be interested in purchasing one of their old pieces of machinery. Also, the paver suffered a breakdown on Mountain View Road, blocking the road for a period.

Committee Reports:

Park Commission: No one was at the meeting to make a report. Don and Joel had attended the previous committee’s meeting and said it had discussed its role in the Apple Festival, and also the Lake’s condition.

Economic Development: Austin reported that the “after hours” event was very well attended. Otto Leuschel was given a presentation for his contribution to the health of the Germantown economy.

Communications Committee: Don reports that the website is almost ready to be up and running. Austin had worked with it and found that there was a lot more information on the site and that it was very easy to navigate around it. Works great and looks great. Will be unveiled in September, everyone hopes.

Sidewalk Committee: no report

Apple Festival Update; September 22nd. New vendors are now applying and more to come before the deadline. Should be a great event. Fireworks have been added to the agenda, as well as a pancake breakfast in the morning. Don thinks that some publicity needs to be developed about all the interesting vendors, since he thinks there will be some attractive offerings. They are trying to work out the parking issues.

History Committee: Sue Robb reports that they are once again cooperating with Bard on an archeological Dig. Dr Linder has invited interested persons to participate in the dig. In addition, they have worked out some programs with the Schools. An expert will conduct a program for 7th graders on how to make and use tools that would have been used back in colonial days. Elementary grades will make small pinch pots, do some cooking. and otherwise explore the “technology of that period.” She hopes that the Highway department can help with transporting the school children the way they did last year. She said their own website is improving and would like there to be a link on the Town’s website to theirs. Town board members indicated their positive attitude about all this.

Old Business:

Computer Policy; Cell Phone Policy: There was some development of policy about computer and cell phone usage done in 2008, but was never adopted. Town Attorney has reviewed and, since it was fairly basic and not controversial the board voted all Aye to adopt the Policies. If details need to be changed to be more up-to-date. the policies can easily amended.

Web-site Update: All is a “go”, as was spoken of under the Communications Committee’s section. Probable September launch.

Cheviot Property Resolution: The owner of the property was in attendance. He has done quite a bit to clear out the property, but has not met the current deadline set by the Board previously. He has filled two large dumpsters with trash that has been hauled away, so far. The Attorney recommended setting a 60 day (from that night’s meeting date) deadline and that will give the owner reasonable time enough to finish before the new deadline. If he fails, the town will finish cleaning it out and the cost will be put on the owner.

South Road property: Owners were notified and did not contact the Board nor did they show up. A resolution to condemn the property will be scheduled for the September Board Meeting.

2013 Budget update: Forms have been sent out to the Department heads to submit their proposals for the Budget for next year. A tentative budget will be drawn up and, after a few Budget workshop meetings, a public hearing will be held on a preliminary budget and then the final budget will be voted on. Dates for the early meetings will be set up very soon. The date for the adoption of the final budget is mandated by the state. [I will provide these dates as soon as Austin sets them up.]

New Business:

Verbal resolutions for Supervisor Brown to attend the NYSAC instead of the Association of Towns conferences Roy Brown seeks the approval from the Board to go to the County meeting rather than the Association of towns meeting, All Ayes.

Verbal resolution re Apple Festival budget allocation The Apple Festival requested that the Board provide the money from the town budget designated for “celebrations” to be used at the Apple Festival to pay for the Fireworks. ($2,000.00) All Ayes. These fireworks may be quite a draw, as there seem to be no other fireworks in the area that month.

Request for Town attorney to draft a resolution re fiscal responsibility of pet owners for expenses to the town when there are boarding or vet costs. The cost to the Town for mandatory boarding of stray animals, plus any veterinarian fees (vaccines, medicines, euthanasia, disposal fees) is a burden to the taxpayers. An Ordinance providing that these costs be paid by the owners will be presented at September’s Board meeting.

Opening of Bids for repair of the Garage Roof: nine bids were received for the repair of the Garage Roof as follows: (spelling approximate) Summit Enterprises: $47,800. S & L Roofing: $80,125, Titian Roofing: $25,575, D& J Construction: $35,605, RS Roofing: $68,650, Precision Roofing: $90,000.> revised to $107,000, Gallo Construction: $62,000, Joseph Dies: $31,258. The Town is required to accept the “lowest responsible bid”, with “responsible” the key element of discretion in selecting the winning bid. The bids and the details will be carefully reviewed and the Board will meet this Thursday at 7 PM to award their choice.

Supervisor’s Report:

Austin tells that Roy plans to have a presentation from a person who specializes in organic chemical solutions about a plan for the Lake.

Roy advised that he is in contact with a pro-Fracking representative who might be available for the second informational meeting. He hopes to have a date set soon.

Roy is in contact with the contractor who is building the foundation for the 9/11 monument. The hole is dug and the cement is ready to be poured but he needs to determine the actual connection needed for the beams with the concrete.

Austin reports that the Town received notification from the DOS that a low-cost loan offer would be withdrawn if the project were not started within a month. The Board has not decided on the level of repair to be done. They are awaiting some estimates from the consultants. They expressed confidence that they would be able to apply for a similar loan if they miss the deadline given to them.

Board Members Items: Joan says, “Speaking not as a Board member but as a Grandmother,”…she offers high praise for Austin Sullivan and the Summer recreational program this year. She said the children enjoyed it so much and each time she observed it the children were all having so much fun and were so well behaved. Don Westmore added that his experience with the children’s participation is a Library program showed that they were well motivated, attentive and happy to be doing just what they were doing. Austin accepts modestly and in turn praises his staff, naming three especially, “Although all were just great!” MFran Winnig, Kristen Lent, and Laurie Marchisio were the three he singled out for special thanks for the level of their help. Joel adds his praise for the program and asks if the Town was doing =had done= background checks on any personnel hired. Austin says, “Yes”, emphatically. He adds that the County hopes to reinstate a training program for camp counselors next year. It had been cut this past year due to fiscal cutbacks.

Audience Participation;

Kay Abraham asked for clarification of the discussion of the DOS loan deadline. She received a narrative which is now included in the page above.

David Byrne spoke. He is a candidate for the 106th Assembly District and stopped by to introduce himself to the Town Board and to get a taste of our Board meetings. He said one could get a good sense of how well a town was doing by the climate of the local Board meetings. He praised the sense of cooperation and concern for the well-being of the community in the way the Board conducted itself.

Kay Abraham spoke from the audience, saying that it was the second time in two months in a row that an “outsider” had praise for the tone and the conduct of the Board meetings.Roger Rekow said it might go to their heads. [laughter]

Meeting was adjourned at 8:20 PM

Corrections and additions welcomed Kay Abraham, 537-5404


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