What's going on in Germantown?

My notes on the Town Board Meeting Sept. 23, 2013


The meeting began promptly at 7:00 PM by Supervisor Roy Brown. Mike Mortenson was absent, but Don Westmore, Joel Craig and Joan Snyder were present as well as Charlene Diehl, Town Clerk and the Town Attorney Tal Rippleyea.

The Board voted unanimously to approve the minutes of the previous meeting and  accepted the motion to pay the current audited bills.

Charlene advised the Board that she had not received any correspondence for the Board.

Department Reports

Maintenance Department.  Anthony Cirrdas was on duty elsewhere; Roy gives the report: Beach sand has been distributed to the ball fields where needed; benches have been installed near the 9/11 monument and in front of kiosks and the flower shop on Main Street. Monthly Lake maintenance has been done.  The Department helped with the preparations for the Apple Festival and the ball fields have been prepared for soccer.

He advised that the company overseeing the Lake maintenance wants to meet with the Town Board for a report—they were supposed to be there that evening but some problem occurred.  Roy will set  a short meeting for Saturday AM at 9 AM.

Highway DepartmentDon Westmore gives the report that the mowing has been completed. They are continuing to pruning trees and shrubs along the roadways. The Department, of course aided the preparations for the Apple Festival.  The parking areas at Town Hall and at Anchorage have had parking stripes painted. The DEC is removing the docks on the Hudson this week. On September the 30th the Highway Department reverts to the winter schedule/

 Sewer Department George Sharpe, Jr, reports that the average daily flow last month was 22,000/day.  They received 4 dig requests. The DEC made its annual visit and asked for a Wet Weather Operation Plan to be filed with them .  This is in progress. Joel mentions the problem with hand “wipes” in the sewer system.  “They are not as disposable as they imply”, said Joel. George Jr. says they have not had too much volume but they have been able to remove them at the gates.  It would be burst not to throw them into the toilet.  And he advises people not to flush them down into a septic system.

Police Department : Roger Rekow reports 145.75 hours patrolled last month. Their activity included : 3 aggravated unlicensed operations (three cases of someone driving without a license), 1 disabled vehicle assist, 1 unwanted suspicious text message, 1 suspicious vehicle,  4 transportation trip,2 EMS assists, and 1 aggravated harassment.  They issued 15 traffic tickets and 32 warnings. They made the following patrol visits : Cheviot: 22, Anchorage: 41, school property: 35, Palatine Park: 38. Dales Bridge 30.

Committee Reports

History Department Sue Raab asks for a snow fence to be installed around the dig site to prevent accidental falling in. Last year a snowmobile found itself in the hole. She also asks the Town Highway Department to provide transportation on October 2nd. Grades K through 2 will be taken to and from the schools to he Parsonage from 8:30 to 12:30 They take them in an open wagon. Town Board says yes.

Environmental Management Council Rep:  Ellen Epstein had been appointed to this committee, which considers and advises the Columbia County Board of Supervisors  about environmental issues throughout the County. She advised us that the EMC is sponsoring a Town-wide meeting on November 16th at which representatives from the DEC will make  a presentation to the community about our local area environmental concerns. They have made a detailed study of the immediate area of Germantown that will be very useful for Germantown to develop a Waterfront Plan and also the new review of the Comprehensive Plan.   Don Westmore asks her if they cover the problem of invasive plants (from which our own Lake suffers) She tells him that there is a meeting on Tuesday Oct. 24th , specifically about Water Edge Restoration, which would address that.

She tells the Board that the EMC wants to set up a plan to help identify potentially dangerous sites to safeguard first responders. Although each town has a Hazard Mitigation Plan there may be businesses not complying with their mandated “self repot” of dangerous substances.  Roy says that right now there is no penalty for businesses that simply don’t report at all—no enforcement mechanism.

Economic Development Committee: Corrine and Bruce are not able to be there.

Roy says the Kiosks are well liked and successful. They have a Bike Route map for an approximately 10-mile trip around the area. The “Welcome to  Germantown“ signs are nearly finished.  Thanks the Maintenance and Highway Department for all their help with the installation.

Parks Commission:  Andrea Dunn reports: Successful Apple Festival and Kayak Trip on Saturday the 21st.  Don Westmore said the “Greenway” people were very happy that Germantown has participated in the Hudson “Paddle” and that the town has been added to their promotions.

Andrea says there will be another “Sub Sandwich Sale” on October 3rd, with sandwiches available to order and pick up for both lunch time and for dinner time.

The net event will be the Halloween Parade on October 26th.  The parade will begin prior to the School events that begin at 7 PM.  More details soon.

And December 7th has been chosen as the date for the Holiday Tree Lighting and the arrival of Santa Clause.

Andrea repeats the cry we all recognize:  WE NEED VOLUNTEERS! Contact the Park Commission at

Sidewalk Committee: Roy reports that there is only one property that has not been settled for the Right of Ways needed to remit the Final Plan.

Old Business: Powder Mill Dam Spring.  Roy says the Town is ready to take the next step to acquire the strip of land and its obligation to plan a repair of the dam.  Attorney Rippleyea tells the Board that they need to do the SEQRA before they take that step.

Don doesn’t want to delay another month:  Can’t we take the vote on the basis that it gets a positive report? Tal R is concerned. Roy says he will press the engineers to get the SEQRA done immediately. Town Board votes to approve motion to take next step depending upon a good SEQRA .  All Aye.

Motion is made to approve the Zoning Law amendment discussed at the last meeting (the extension of the mixed use designation along Main street as far east as Hove Ave.) All Aye.

Motion is made to adopt the new Police Department procedures covering the new AR-15 rifles. Don Westmore says he wants the public o know that he reviewed the training and was impressed with the detailed, clear parameters for the use of the new rifles.  He expressed his confidence in the procedures.  All Aye

New Business:

Because of technical problems, the Reformed Lutheran Church cannot “give” the Town the strip of land needed for the sidewalk down to Palatine Manor. It now appears that the only way for the Town to gain the ROW is to go through the” Eminent Domain process, which is costly to the Town by the tune of $8.300.00.  This cost is for the process alone, and not for any payment tot he Church. The Board members were aghast and the irrationality of the whole thing.

New Rules for Star Exemptions:  The State of NY has mandated a new process for those property owners under 65 that requires them to apply again this year to remain on the list .  Questions? Call the Office of the Aging to get the forms and to answer any questions you may have about your eligibility for this popular exemption program.

There will be a walk-in Flu Clinic at Town Hall on October 30th from 9:30 AM until 11:00 AM

Roy tells the Board that there have been instances of people parking on Main Street and leaving their cars for days.  The Town currently has no law to address this problem. They must consider what can be done about it.

Supervisor’s Report:

Roy advises that Fingar Ins. Company has just signed legal papers to give a Right of Way to the Town for the area around the Kiosks.  The agreement stipulated that on that small piece of property the Town will have liability responsibility, The Town will also maintain the area. Personnel from the Town and from GTEL are taking responsibility for monitoring the postings for those that have expired, etc.

Roy expresses thanks to all who helped with the 9/11 Monument dedication and with the Apple Festival.  It was successful between 1600 to 2000 attended, depending if you counted children and some who came in the back way and avoided paying) and once again the rain held off until after the fireworks were set off .  The date for next year’s event will be Saturday September 20th, 2014!

Public Comments:

Martin Overington spoke, thanking Roy for his tenure of 8 years of service  and voicing appreciation for  the Apple Festival, citing its small-town atmosphere: friendly people, many couples with strollers, children running around freely, not too crowded and noisy but with things to do—just a nice, small town festival.

The next meeting will be held on October 21st, 2013

Meeting went into Executive Session at 8 PM.  The Board expected to adjourn after the conclusion of the executive session, so everyone left—including me!

To the best of my note-taking

Corrections and additions welcomed

Kay Abraham 537-5404


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: