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GDO  My notes on the Town Board Meeting of 2/24/2014

There was a meeting at 6 PM, an hour prior to the Town Board meeting scheduled for Feb 24, 2014, which was an update given  to the Board about the progress the new accounting firm, Sickler, Torchia, Allen & Churchill, has made in developing financial reports for the Town.

These reports will be provided to the Board members prior to each regular monthly meeting so they will have time to review them before the public meeting.  The financial status of the Town, the Highway Department, the Sewer District and the Lighting District will be displayed in separate reports which summarize the monthly activity, the cash on hand, the short-term liabilities and the amount of funds set in the adopted budget. In other words, the reports provide a snapshot of the status of all the accounts as of the end of each month. Board members were very pleased at the product, as expressed by Mike Mortenson: “We’ve been looking for this for the past two years”.  Members feel this will give them a more accurate financial context for many of their decisions.

One recommendation by the accounting firm was that the town should try to maintain a surplus fund to equal about 5 months of operation, a goal estimated now to be about $280,000. Currently there is a “unassigned Fund Balance” or surplus of $ 154,447.                It is usual for  the surplus find to be at its lowest at the beginning of the year, but it should be increased throughout the year whenever prudent as revenue comes in.

This meeting was adjourned at 6:40 PM

The February Town Board meeting was called to order at 7:00 PM by Supervisor Joel Craig.  Attending were Members Don Westmore, Mike Mortenson, Matthew Phelan.  Andrea Dunn was absent.  The Town Clerk  Joyce Vale, and Attorney Tal Rappelyea were also there.

The Minutes of the previous Town Board meeting and the Audited Bills to be paid were approved unanimously.  There were no written communications from the Town Clerk to the Board.

Joel welcomes the students in the audience brought by Judge ( and High School teacher) Beaury.

Town Department Reports:

Maintenance, Parks:  Anthony Cidras reports that he had received the UV bulbs he had ordered and was installing them.  He was in contact with the firm that had put on the new roof for the garage about some leaks.  The roof is still under warranty.  Otherwise, he has been shoveling and salting like everyone else. He has been dealing with some frozen pipes at the Parsonage.  He notes that a town resident, Matt Mortenson, was at the Olympics for the two-man Luge event He has spoken with the Sportsmen Club and they will hold their annual Fishing Derby at our Town’s Lake in May sometime, the date to be advised.

Highway Department: Rich Jennings: “Two words Snow. Ice.”  [Lots of overtime and hard work has been put in by this Department, for which we are all grateful! Ed.]  They will be repairing some mailboxes that were damaged in plowing. They are also looking to identify low places in the roads & intersections that will be vulnerable when the snow melts.

He will speak to Martin Overington to set dates for Riversweep and the annual Roadside Clean UP for the spring.

He asks for authorization from the Board to increase the amount appropriated for equipment repair.  The John Deere tractor had to have some rear-end repairs which had been estimated at about $4,000. but further examination showed that they needed a new housing for  the trans-axel and a few other repairs.  The Board authorized  (All Aye) up to $10,000 for the repairs to bring the tractor up to good condition.  Rich hopes it to last another 3 years perhaps.  Looking forward, they hope to get a motorized sidewalk snowblower for Anthony and the Maintenance Dept.

Sewer Department; George Sharpe Jr. reports an average flow of 23,000 gallons per day, and 2 dig requests for January, He has been working on some complicated paperwork for hiring for specific repair jobs that the Town will undertake.

Police Department:  Roger Rekow reports; 128 hours of patrol provided in January.  Activities include 10 traffic tickets, 23 warnings, 1 criminal arrest, 2 auto accidents,1DWI, 1EDI (alarm response) 1 dead deer, 1 drug sale report, 1 marijuana use complaint, 1 suspicious person complaint, 1 assist to another agency, and 1 vehicle blocking the road.

Joel notes that the town is considering raising the fee for “renting” an officer for an event from $40.00 to $50.00 , consistent with what other towns are paying.  Makes motion, All Aye.

Committee Reports:

History Department: none

Economic Development: Roy Brown reports that partly because of the weather they have not met this year.  However they will meet  on Thursday the 27th at 9AM.  He tells of the meeting that several people, including Joel, himself, Don Westmore, Sue Brown (from the Schiool District) and Corrine Curry, had with the Register-Star to increase awareness of Germantown in the paper’s coverage.  They felt they were successful and look forward to a new appreciation of our town.

Emergency Preparedness Committee Mike Mortenson said the committee will meet on March 6th at the Kellner Activities Building at 7 PM. The committee needs to discuss the new requirements from the Red Cross and other agencies for certification.  He invites anyone who is concerned about the Town’s ability to respond well to emergencies to attend.

New Business:

John Fiezer requested the Town authorize his attendance at a March 25th  training session for Certified Floodplain Management in Poughkeepsie.  Board voted to cover the cost. All Aye.

Appointment of Mike McKeag to the Grievance Board.  Board approves: All Aye.

The Planning Board still needs members.  To avoid the situation of not having a quoram and being unable to do business, the Chair has asked to appoint the Secretary Jamie DelPozzo as an Alternate so she can fill the quorum when needed.  Board approves: All Aye.

The Board is asked “to accept” the JCAP grant allocation of $2700.00 to pay for a new copier/printer and a new security improvement of a more secure access door.  Joel thanks Judge Beaury for his efforts in applying for the grants. All aye.

There is a request from the assessor for a new laptop. His current one won’t handle the software he needs to use. The request is tabled until next month’s meeting so that the Board would be more able decide what amount would be needed. Matthew Phelan will do some research.

Superintendant’s Report.

The Town Clerk has agreed to be open for an additional hour Saturday mornings, for the convenience of residents.  Hours will now be from 9AM to 1 PM.

 Joel announces a Town Board Workshop Meeting on Monday, March 17th at 7 PM to discuss issues of town-wide interest. He invites anyone who has an issue that concerns the interests of the community to attend.

 Public Session:

Kay Abraham asks the Board to tell the public a little about the Financial Reports that were discussed in the earlier evening. (There were few attendees and there was no tape made of the meeting for later TV coverage)  Joel summarized what had been presented and how useful these reports will be to the Board members.

She suggested a topic for discussion at the March 17th meeting.  Since the School system is so separate from the Town Government, “like ships sailing down the river side by side”  there is little cross-over discussion about the impact of the school’s financial difficulties and its impact on all residents.  Perhaps there will be some framework to talk about this .  Joel says he and Sue Brown (Colsolidated School District Superintentdat) have spoken about developing a better communications link between the two entities.

Steve Savoris: He is worried about the unsafe vision for traffic entering RT 9G from.Palatine Park Road.  The curve is bad and the snow piled up makes it worse.

Don Westmore joined in the concern about the safety—or lack of it –at that intersection.

Rich says he will look at the intersection to see what he can do to improve it.  Perhaps a convex mirror on the west side of 9G—but there is private property there and he is not sure the County would approve of it anyway.  He will check out the possibilities..

Roy Brown reminds everyone that the Lions Club’s Hudson Valley Apple Festival will be held on September 20th and looks forward to continued support form the Town. It was bigger last year than the year before and he hopes it will continue to grow.

Meeting adjourned at 7:40 PM

To the best of my abilities…

Kay Abraham 53795404


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