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Notes on the Town Board Meeting 10-21-13


My notes on the Town Board Meeting October 21, 2013

Meeting was called to order by the Supervisor, Roy Brown at 7:00PM

All members present along with the Town Clerk, Charlene Diehl, and the Town Attorney, Tal Rappleyea.

The Board  approved the minutes of the previous meeting and the Audited Billsfor the past month with an unanimous vote. All Aye

Roy asked the Board to approve a transfer $525.70 from one line to another within the Police Department’s budget to purchase ammunition for the AR15 rifles.  Approved, All Aye

 Charlene advised the Board that there were no communications from the Clerk’s office for the Board.


There were two issues brought to the Board by Tal Rappleyea, town Attorney:

  1. Asks the Board for a 30-day extension of the time a homeowner has to clean up his property before the Board takes action.  Approved.  All Aye.
  2. Tal reports on the status of the cemetery that was part of the property which was occupied by a church and that was purchased by a private individual.  The new owner does not want to take possession of the cemetery and has asked the town to take it over and sever the cemetery from the lot that has the building.  Legally, the town is obligated to take possession of any cemetery that is “abandoned”.  The Town needs to budget funds to provide maintenance for the cemetery.  If there are any empty lots left, the Town may sell them. There needs to be some research to determine if there are any funds from a “perpetual care” agreement. Mr. Fox, owner of Yadack-Fox funeral Home has offered to guide the Town through the tangled legal obligations and opportunities.


Department Heads reports:

Maintenance Department: Anthony Cidras says he has been working on laying chips on the trail. He has put up the snow fence that the History Department had requested to keep the dug up area at the Parsonage safe for walkers. He speaks about the possibilities for the Town to purchase “floating Islands” to help purify the water in the Lake. He and Janet Crawford had taken inventory of all the broken items in the office that should be replaced or done without. He requests funding in the budget for a laptop computer to use in connection with the solar panels.  The computer can be hooked up to the solar panels to download a great deal of data about its functioning.  Particularly useful for the schools to have classes visit and learn from the data. Students can monitor the flow of energy under different circumstances, among other topics. Don Westmore makes a motion to approve the finding.  Approved All Aye.

Anthony gives more details about the “floating islands”. Having attended a seminar about them, he urges the Board to set up a presentation from the vendor about the benefits of establishing these islands. They will set up a date.

Highway Department: Mike Mortenson reports it has been clearing leaves from the drainage basins, prepping all the trucks for winter operation.  There was lots of damage around the Anchorage landing from the recent heavy rainfall. Cleaned up debris.  The docks will all be up by next week.

Sewer Department: George Sharpe Jr. reports that we had an average of 21,000 gallons per day through the system.  The Dept received 21 dig requests, primarily for the replacement of telephone poles along 9G.  All preparations made for the coming winter.

Police Department:  Roger Rekow was not there and no report was given.

History Department:  Sue Raab read a letter received from the Hover family Foundation granting the Parsonage $5,000 for their work in the coming year.

All Board members signed the grant.  Sue thanked the Board for the help they received on the Palatine Heritage Day.  The Highway department provided transportation from the school to the Parsonage for a historic presentation to the students.  “A very successful day!” said Sue Raab. They are still having problems with the computer and to help with those problems they are setting up a wireless tower in a Town Hall office.

Committee Reports:

Economic Development: Corrine Curry was absent.  Roy tells of the next meeting to be on this coming Saturday at 9 AM.

Park Commission:  Andrea Dunn absent Joel reports that on Saturday October 26th the Halloween Parade will leave Palatine Manor and travel to the School.

Sidewalk Committee: Roy had the thick packet of the final detailed drawings of all the Right of Ways clutched in his hand and said  “They’re here and will be sent to the DOT for approval and as soon as that happens they will be able to put out Bid Requests for beginning the construction. Project should be done by the end of summer next year.


Troy & Banks had done an energy-billing audit and reported that they identified $181.99 that was billed incorrectly and would be recouped.  $50.00 goes in the Town budget, the balance to the Sewer District.

Roy asks once again for volunteers for the Zoning and the Planning Boards.

Our representative to the County Planning Board has been Larry Saulpaugh who represents the 3-town area of Germantown. Livingston and Clermont.  His term is up and he would like to continue serving. Appointment was Approved and sent to the County.

Roy speaks about the renewal of the Town’s participation in the payment structure for the Northern Dutchess Paramedic Service to Germantown.  Our town’s share has been $88,812 annually for their service for the past 4 years. They are about to go into new negotiation for an increase in 2015, but they maintain the current rate for the coming year. Approved. All Aye. The Columbia County Board of Supervisors will enter into negotiation about the rate for 2015. Then the cost divided among the towns covered, and is taken out of the money that the towns receive from the County.  “Very convoluted bureaucracy”, days Don.


Roy asks for approval of a grant application to the JCAP fund for building improvements for heightened security for the Courts. Also included were a new computer and a printer/FAX.  Approved. All Aye.


Roy tells public about the work having been done on the 2014 budget.  They have reduced the original requests to come up with a budget that represents anincrease in the tax rate under the CAP allowance of 1.6% There will be aPublic Hearing at 6:30PM on Thursday, November 7th.  If there is general acceptance, the Board will convene that evening to adopt the Budget as presented. The County budget is dealing with negotiations with several unions and may not be finished until the deadline of October 30th.

Roy announces that Donna Diehl is once again preparing her famous Thanksgiving Dinner for all who need it. This will be at the Kellner Activities Building on November 28th from 12 noon to 8 PM. They can eat at the Activities Building or the meal can be taken home.  If you can help or wish to attend the dinner call her at 537-6405  Also she is accepting donations of food preparations. Call Her!!

Roy speaks about the impact of the storm on October 7th on the shoreline. Several trees at Anchorage came down and there was debris everywhere that had to be cleaned up.  He thanks the Highway Department for its good work.

Public Comments:

John Fieser, the Code Officer, spoke about a complaint he had received from neighbors about a new roof being built on a near-by house.  They didn’t like the color of the roof, a terra cotta red, and said the “Scenic Overlay “ status in the Zoning Law should prohibit the installation.  He wanted advice from the Board as to what he should do, given the vague language in the Law.  Roy said he would refer it to the Town Attorney for advice.  Fieser asked if he should issue a “stop-work” order until it was settled. This brought out several remarks from the audience, including the homeowner.

Claude Jean, spoke.  He was a neighbor and vigorously defended the homeowner.  He said the complainers had harassed the homeowner throughout their renovation and that this kind of issue should be turned down immediately.

Kay Abraham spoke.  Saying that the paragraph about the “Scenic Overlay” said that buildings should be suitably compatible with the neighborhood, and did not prohibit specific colors. The previous roof had been blue and the new color was on the list of Historic colors and was not anything offensive.  Certainly if the language was not specific about colors there would be absolutely no cause for something as drastic as a “Stop-work” order. It shouldn’t even be considered as a possible step against the homeowner, because of the potential cost of delay in putting up a roof.

Meeting adjourned at 8:00 PM

To the best of my note-taking ability.

corrections and additions welcomed


Kay Abraham  537-5404


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