What's going on in Germantown?

My Notes on the Town Board Meeting of June 17, 2013

It was a short meeting this month–Started at 7 PM and adjourned at 8 PM!


The meeting was called  to order at 7 PM by Supervisor Roy Brown. Present were Mike Mortenson, Don Westmore and Joel Craig; Joan Snyder was absent.  Charlene Diehl, the Town Clerk, was present.

Motions were made to approve the May Town Board MeetingMinutes and to pay the audited Town Bills for the month.  Both motions received all Aye votes.

There were no written communications to the Board from the Town Clerk.  She did advise that one of our young police trainees has resigned because he was offered a full time police position  in another town.

The  Department Heads, except for Roger Rekow were all at  a meeting elsewhere, so the Department Reports were given in an abbreviated form by Board Members.

Highway Department.  They have received their new back hoe and are awaiting the final attachment for it to be put into use. They are nearly finished with their second round of mowing and cutting roadsides.  Sharpes’ Landing and the extension are being prepped for repair and resurfacing. There is a mandatory OSHA training day scheduled for next week.

Sewer Department: The average flow was 39,000 gallons per day for the month of May.  The Department received 17 dig requests in May. Every thing is running fine.


Maintenance Department; The second round of installing the new LED lights is complete now.  Summer cleanup for parks and buildings is done.  They have just received the 30 Grass Carp, fish that will aid the clarity of the Lake.  The State’s program, Workforce, NY, will provide Germantown with one or two workers for the summer. [Last year we received an excellent worker, and were sad to see him go at the end of the Summer—especially Anthony Cidras! Ed.]


The Police Department: Roger Rekow reports that 237 hours of service was logged for the month of May.  Activities include: 1 larceny, 1 small plane crash into the Hudson, 3 domestic disputes, 2 court custody assists,. 1 Fire Department assist, and 1 attempted break-in. There were 4 tickets, plus 22 warnings issued,  Patrol visits include 28 to Cheviot, 28 to Anchorage, 24 to School properties, 28 to palatine Park, 16 to Dales Bridge Park.


Don and Joel ask about the ability of our local police to deal with people who seem to have set up a camping area along the Hudson shoreline near Cheviot.  They are not sure they have jurisdiction or whether they need to seek permission from AMTRAK, because the railroad has the right of way along its tracks.  Roger will contact and find out and will advise the Board and, of course our own Police Department.  Sheriff DuBoise said they would certainly drive down there and check it out. Don says it looks like someone is setting up camp for the Summer.  Roy says the same is happening at Anchorage.


Committee Reports:

Economic Development, Corrine Curry reports that the big news is the progress towards the installation of the two Kiosks next to Otto’s Market, on the lawn of the Fingar Insurance Agency.  Foundations are ready to receive the Kiosks as soon as they are ready.  The town has agreed to maintain the area.


Park Commission: Roy says that Saturday, July 20th will be the date for the Community Picnic Day.  Details will come soon.

Sidewalk Committee: Roy says he will cover it in the Supervisor’s Report later in the meeting.

Old Business:

The Back hoe was purchased.  The Town was able to get a Bond at the rate of 2.25%, cheaper than what the Catepillar Company was offering.  It will be paid off in five years.


There has been a Code Violation complaint issued by John Fiezer, the Code Officer, against a property on 9G.  So far the owners have not complied with the orders to clean up and he asks the Board to authorize the next legal steps to be taken. After some discussion the Board authorized the Code Officer and the Town Attorney to get together and set up the next steps to be taken. Board votes: All AYE.


Zoning change issue:  This is in response to requests from individuals and the Economic Development Committee to extend the Zoning designation on Main street east to Hover Avenue. There will be a public Hearing set for July 22, at 6 PM prior to the scheduled Town Board meeting that evening at 7 PM. Roy asks Board members if they have heard any negative comments from the public? None so far. Attorney Tal Rippleyea says they need to notify the adjacent towns and will also have to observe any SEQRA requirements before approving.  Don says they should make extra efforts to notify residents about this change and that it should get put up on the website.


2013 Hazardous Materials Mitigation Plan update: Roy tells Board that they must review and suggest any needed updates to the plan and then adopt the revised Plan.


New Business:  Roy tells of Janet Crawford’s resignation from being the Secretary for the ZBA and the Planning Board, now that she is the Admintrative Assistant.  He had interviewed two applicants for that newly opened job and had decided to hire Jennie Del Pozzo.  Don asked if the Supervisor always made the decision about hiring for part-time positions and Roy said it was the custom.  Don suggested that since the person would be working with the two Boards they should have the opportunity to be in on the decision.  Roy tables his appointment and will run the two applications past the two Boards for their input.


The Town is getting rid of a batch of old equipment , mostly computer related equipmemt that is outdated and unusable. They need a motion to allow disposal of them. Mike Mortenson reminds them that memory card from old printers should be removed before disposing them.  All Aye


Roy reminds residents that July 1, 2013 is the deadline to apply for their children to be tn the Summer Park Program. They need to have their application forms, the medical forms and the payment in to the office by that day.


There is discussion about the dam at the Fire Pond.  The dam does not belong to the Town and the property owners cannot afford to make major repairs to it—repairs that are necessary for the safety of the dam.  Only municipalities can receive the grants that are out there to help pay for major repairs. The town is developing an agreement for the owners to transfer the ownership of the dam to the town.  Lawyers will draw up the necessary paperwork for the transfer of ownership. The Town is seeking an estimate for repairs.  About $19,000.00 is believed to be the general cost.  If the dam beaks down it could flood parts of Rt 8 and the nearby properties. The Pond is used by the Fire Department to fill water tank trucks when there is no hydrant near a burning building. The Pond is approximately 6 acres large and it could do some damage if the Dam is not repaired.


Supervisor’s Report.

Roy advised that the State had classified Germantown as having100% equalization –that is, the evaluation currently applied to our properties is right up to date with what the market value is.  This will have a downward influence on what our tax rate will be later this year.


Sidewalk Meeting:  Roy says they had about 30 people who attended.  It was a very good meeting that resulted in 4 questions:

1 Will there be a meeting with all the Right-of-way property owners.  Answer, Yes, date to be determined. 

2. When were the final plans sent to the DOT?  Answer ,This week. 

3. Can Granite Curbing be used?  Answer: The plan shows it as an option, but Granite is not budgeted throughout, and prices have gone up since the Plan was written.  It can be done as a separate item to be bid for.

4. When will construction begin?  Answer: They anticipate in the Spring of 2014.


The big issue right now is the decision of when to close Rt 8 Main Street to install the large box Culvert under the road.  They want to avoid the period when there is a lot of school traffic—both busses and private cars—and the business community reallydoesn’t want the road closed in the midst of the summer season. Otto’s stores rely on a booming summer business to provide income cover for the slow period in February & March.  This is a true problem and the best minds will be working on it so as to do the least damage.


Roy says that in July they will begin the first steps to build next year’s budget.


The Board needed to go into  Executive Session but decided to open the meeting for Public comments first so as to not hold folks up, waiting to speak.

Public Comments

 There was only one speaker:

Arthur Schiff spoke. He asked if the town had made any progress in gathering the e-mails for residents within the town  in order to extend communication with a large portion of residents.  There is an option on the Town’s website but there has been no real outreach to gather a widespread list.  He feels that there needs to be a more aggressive effort to establish a good sized list in order to use for speedy emergency notification and for regular public notices of events, meetings. Etc.


He asks if the Fire Department really uses the Fire Pond?  Answer, Yes.  If so he says couldn’t the fire Department help out with the cost of repairing the dam?  If grants require matching funds or some portion of the total cost couldn’t the Department be asked to contribute what they could find in their budget to help fund the costto the town. The Town will look into that as part of the coming development of the pan to pay for the dam.

 Meeting closed at 8:00 PM as Board goes into Executive Session.


Public Hearing on Zoning issue: 6 PM  July 22, Prior to Board Meeting.

Town Board  Meeting July 22, 7 PM

To the best of my ability in taking notes,

Kay Abraham


Corrections and additions welcomed


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