Notes on the Germantown Board Meeting of November 18th, 2013
First, let me note that the Public Hearing for the Budget for 2014 was held Thursday, November 7th at 7 PM and I did not attend. I just forgot it although it was on my calendar. The election and company from out of town is my excuse, but…
Only one person attended the meeting from the public: Matthew Phelan, who is soon to be on the Board effective January 1st. The Board closed the public hearing, went into session and voted to adopt the budget as proposed. As you will see below, Roy Brown will write an explanation of the Budget and it will be posted on the Town’s website next week.
My apologies for not covering it. Kay
The Town Board Meeting of November 18, 2013 was called to order at 7:02 PM by Supervisor Roy Brown. All Board members were present; Mike Mortenson, Don Westmore, Joel Craig and Joan Snyder. Also present, the Town Clerk, Charlene Diehl and Town Attorney, Tal Rappelyea.
The Board unanimously approved the minutes of the previous meeting. The audited bills were approved for payment after a motion was made and approved to move funds amounting to $3,000. from the unexpended balance to a line item within the Parks and Maintenance budget. The funds were used for payment of the new Town Signs, soon to be installed. Motions? All Aye
Charlene Diehl advised that a letter of resignation had been received from Jesse Bender of the Highway Department. Roy asked that a letter of thanks for his service be prepared for the Board members signatures. Motion to accept resignation? All aye.
Parks & Maintenance: Anthony Cidras had been called away for a family related cause and was absent. He had no time to write up a full report but asked that an announcement that a Board Workshop Meeting for the purpose of discussing the Lake Management Program with the sponsoring firm is scheduled for Saturday November 30th.
Highway Department: Mike Mortenson reported that interviews for filling Jesse Bender’s position will be taking place this coming week. Notices of the position were posted at Town bulletin Boards and at the Kiosks as well. Otherwise they are clearing brush, cleaning ditches and catch basins of leaves and debris, and have mounted the snow plow preparatory for Winter.
Sewer Department: George Sharpe, Jr. reports that the average usage was 20,000 gallons per day and that they received 3 “dig requests”. He is using the nice weather to make all preparations for winter.
Police Department: Roger Rekow reports that in September there were153.5 hours of patrol time logged by the Department. Activity included 1 criminal arrest, 1EID (response to an alarm), 4 traffic tickets issues, 19 warnings, 1 missing person, 1 larceny, 1 domestic disturbance and 1 EMS assist. For the month of October :220.5hours of patrol, 6 tickets, 22 warnings, 1 EID response, 1 suspicious person and 1 warrant served. Patrol visits to Parks: Cheviot: 29, Anchorage: 29, Schools: 31, Palatine Park: 30, Dales Bridge: 22. Roger requests permission to add two recruits to the payroll to fill two empty slots on the payroll : Joshua Duboise and William Jennings. Board: All Aye. Joel mentions that the hours worked were increased because of Police presence at the Halloween Parade and on Halloween Night, plus 1 in-service training session.
HISTORY: Sue Raab not there, no report.
ECONOMIC DEVELOPMENT. Corrine Curry and Bruce Bohnsack were absent. Roy says at the last meeting they finalized the Town Signs. The next Meeting is scheduled for Saturday December 14th at 9 AM.
PARKS: No one here, but events area announced: Holiday Stroll, Santa Arrives, and Tree Lighting: Dec. 7th from 5PM to 7PM
SIDEWALKS: Roy tells that the maps and all drawings were presented to the DOT for approval. Town has received requests for clarification on 4 items, to which it has responded, so are awaiting final approval ANY DAY NOW! Then bids can be put out and the building can begin!
OLD BUSINESS: Roy has received another call with a complaint about a car being left parked at the curb in front of one of the stores that has been there for more than a week. Currently the Town has no ordinance prohibiting such behavior and so Roy opens the issue for discussion by the Board. Developing a new Parking ordinance takes time to draft, hold a Public Hearing and a subsequent vote, but the issue seems to need resolution. Joel makes the motion to begin the process: All Aye.
NEW BUSINESS: The Town has had some recurring problems with public usage of the Kellner Activities Building: garbage left behind, keys not returned in a timely way. Etc. They had set a policy designed to prevent this but enforcement has back-slid and they need to address the problem. The Board agreed that some minimum charge was reasonable and that a deposit fee for the key was a good incentive. Joel says Town should reinstate the policy. Mike suggests that the renewed policy be effective immediately, except for activities already booked.
Sewer Charge-backs. Roy tells of the procedure for Sewerage Fees that become in arrears: If delinquent payments are not received, at the end of the year the Town sends them to the County. The County reimburses the town and then the County adds the amounts to the property taxes of the delinquent property owner. This year, as in others the amount is about $26,000–usually from repeat delinquents, Roy says.
Property Clean-up: Bad news and good news. Tal Rappelyea reports that he property on 9G has fallen back in to its prior state, in spite of two extensions that the Town granted to the property owner. After discussion the Board votes to put the clean-up out for bids. One neighbor complains again that instead of cleaning up the owner has propped up various pieces of junk to serve as “fences”. The town will act to have the debris removed and bill the owner. Legal notices need to be served, establishing a new time-line for all steps. All Aye to proceed.
On the other hand, a previously condemned property on South Road has been sold and the new owners are busy cleaning up the debris and making repairs to the dwelling. Joel said he stopped by and gave them his good wishes. Joel makes motion to remove the condemned status of the property. All Aye.
SUPERVISOR’S REPORT: Roy thanks GTEL for renewing their previous 5-year donation to the Town of providing the host service for the Town’s e-mail account. He says Thank You! To Gtel for the past and the next 5 tears.
Roy tells the Board that he will compose and post on the web-site, a letter that explains the newly adopted budget for the year 2014.
This week he will be up in Albany, attending an NY State Emergency Management Conference as a representative of Columbia County. Attendance is required by county officials in order for the County to be certified for compliance and to be able to apply for grants and other benefits from the State.
Next month is Roy’s last meeting as Supervisor of Germantown after 8 years of service. He asks the Board permission to give a brief presentation of what Germantown’s governance—his and the Board’s work—has accomplished over that period. The Board, of course, assents!
PUBLIC COMMENT: Ellen Epstein reminds the board that December 7th is the date of the NY Department of Environmental Conservation’s team presentation of the results of their Estuary Survey and their report about the natural resources within the Town of Germantown. This program will be from 9 to 12 Noon at town hall (or the Kellner Activities Building if necessary). She had some flyers and the Town will put them out. Look for them on the KIOSKS!
Meeting adjourned at 7:47 PM
To the best of my note-taking ability Kay Abraham 537-5404
Corrections and additions welcomed.