The regular meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Mount Hope was held at Town Hall on February 1, 2016 at 7:55pm with the following present: Supervisor Chad Volpe, Councilman Matt Howell, Councilman Brian Carey, Councilwoman Janet Sutherland, Councilman Dominick Cambareri & Town Clerk Kathleen Myers.
OFFICIALS PRESENT: Dep. Police Chief J. Corcoran, H’way Supt. D. Hassenmayer, Town Attorney D. Bavoso.
Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Supervisor Volpe called the public hearing to order at 7:15pm. At this time, Supervisor Volpe asked the audience to silence cell phones.
RESOLUTION TO OPEN PUBLIC HEARING AT 7:15PM:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Howell to open the public hearing for the proposed Fireworks law at 7:15pm. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
7:15PM PUBLIC HEARING FOR PROPOSED LOCAL LAW ON FIREWORKS:
Town Clerk: the legal ad from the paper is here if anyone wants to see it. Supervisor Volpe stated: This transpired in September. We have people for/against it. We did some investigating. I went with John Doty to check out alternate site for fireworks. There’s a 150 yard difference. Not a perfect fix. He spoke with David and met with Mr. Vreeland. We’re trying to come to a compromise.
Vil Vaitas: (75 White Bridge Rd.); he has concerns with the proposed legislation: Section 4 (# of permits to be issued /year), same paragraph section F (date/time of day fireworks to be held), Paragraph 4 (section B) – no more than 2 permits/year, Fees set by town board by resolution, Section 5 (regulations) referring to reimbursement to fire department for personnel & equipment costs. He’s concerned with the effect of this legislation on this community. He noted the 2 days of fireworks displays. 4th of July and the country fair. By limiting the fact that you wind up taking away either one of the days from the Lions Club or you take it away from those that benefit from the 4th of July. Local Scout Troop 1 gets a benefit from the fire company from their parking fees and/or a fee for helping them in parking the vehicles. It is the major fundraising event of the year.
It helps us provide badges, books and other things to go along with it. Scouting has raised their fees for the scouts and the adults. Taking away a night of fireworks, you’re taking away revenue;
proud that my son did the marker for the Berger field as an Eagle Scout award. Eagle Scout projects are all over town. We need to have that flow of income. Mike Romano donates the fireworks for 4th of July. Take away one night of fireworks from the fair and see how much the attendance drops. This is very important to the local people. He explained that his uniform has 6 pins on it for being a mentor to 6 boys getting their Eagle Scout award.
Pete Capria: (3 Maggie Lane); He is scoutmaster for the troop in Otisville. If you take away one day of fireworks, it is going to hurt this town’s revenue. Being in law enforcement for many years, if you don’t provide something for someone to see fireworks, they’re going to shoot off their own. This is a very tight knit community. When you do events like this, this brings the tightness of the community back. If you take this away, they will take their money to another community and spend their money in another community. I don’t know why there is a limit to the number of permits issued. Councilman Cambareri asked if he had an idea why this law is proposed. Capria: he heard that it killed a couple cows. He heard the farmer had plenty of time to move the cows, but last year he didn’t get notice when everybody knows when the fireworks are going off. He heard that a young man mowing the lawn hit a firework and it exploded. Cambareri: instead of listening to rumors, you should have asked what the facts are. Capria: I just found out about this meeting yesterday. Cambareri: so it doesn’t matter to the boy scouts that a farmer lost a serious amount of money. He loses every time they have the fireworks. It stresses his animals. We get more than $500. What is the problem with him moving his cows to another field? I don’t understand how fireworks going off affects the cows when they are way up in the sky. They are no affecting people with pacemakers and heart problems. I used to help a couple farmers and there’s been explosions and the cows didn’t even move.
Joan Rollin: (126 Grange Road); I disagree with what he was saying. I have a heart condition. I expect to have fireworks on July 4th and the Otisville Fair. That’s why my family and I moved here. There were unexpected fireworks that went off at the 4H and I was alarmed. Maybe it doesn’t affect you because of where you are but it may affect other people, their property and their livestock.
John Doty: Who is gonna do the site inspection? Atty. Bavoso: should be building department or police. Doty: what about their training? The county can provide them with training. There’s only 1 organization that provides this; it’s PGI. There’s only 4 people in this community right now that are trained to go to a fireworks spot to make sure everything is done properly; myself, Mike Masters, Wayne Melton & Mike Romano. There’s a lot that people don’t see behind the scenes. If you’re gonna send the building inspector out there, you need to get him properly trained. He spoke about the permit fees. A lot of communities do it with set fees. We don’t set a fee from show to show. Atty. Bavoso: that’s not the intention of the law as written. Doty: I read it as you’re going to take from show to show and set the fee for the permit. Atty. Bavoso: they can change the fee by resolution. The idea is you set it by resolution then years later if you want to adjust it you can do it by resolution so you don’t have to do a local law. Doty: spoke re: reimbursement to the fire department and town highway. All permits we’ve been issued, the money taken for the permit fee goes to the local fire department to stand by or pays for like the building inspector to come out that night. Not an additional fee to the company doing the fireworks or the people providing the display ie: fire company, Lions Club. Bavoso: It’s my understanding that this is similar to a mass gatherings law. In most towns usually the municipal highway dept. or highway dept. has to engage in clean up and those individuals are being put on to work duty because of one particular event that the town gets reimbursed for that. The board can choose to look at that. He spoke re: sparklers are legal in NYS.
Rick Vreeland: explained that he has a pending lawsuit against the John Doty, Cornell & the Town of Mount Hope. The losses I incurred that night are more than you made last year. What you know about cows is as much as I know about rocket ships. He could care less about fireworks. They blow up right over Grange Road. I have a letter from my dad. (He read the letter into the record about his experience in the Army.) The liability to this town is astronomical. We dodged a bullet with the kid running over it with a mower. Who’s gonna pay for that lawsuit? The same one that’s gonna pay for my lawsuit if they don’t pass this law – all of you. Capria: it’s been going on for years – why now? Vreeland: I’ve been milking cows for 9 years. Capria: these fireworks have been going on for how many years? A lot longer than that. Vreeland: there’s a right to farm law in NYS and I will win. Councilman Carey: how many fireworks displays went off last year? Vreeland: 3 then 4 then randomly for a whole day and into the night. Then once John come and notify me and I did move my cows to the other end of the farm. This time when the damage incurred 3 cows aborted and one threw her hip out and had to be destroyed. No one told me there was gonna be noise. They told me it was gonna be a noiseless light display.
Sue Marshall: (Otisville Country Fair); asked about the enforcement being by the Mount Hope police and any other person. Who is that and how are they qualified? Bavoso: would be the building dept. or any other agency that would be involved with the display itself. She asked about the permit: the fair does 2 shows. Is permit good for 1 day, 2 days or the whole fair? Bavoso: the board would have to give direction on that. It’s his understanding that a single event would be a single day. Supervisor: it’s 2 across the board. Marshall: Asked about the application being between 30-60 days. I sign my contract in Feb. So we will take another loss when we cancel the 2nd show. What’s the board’s suggestion on that? Not sign the contract? Supervisor: for what? Marshall: the fireworks company. She questioned the age, experience & physical characteristics of operator? What does that mean? Bavoso: what’s on permit should be description of the person who’s gonna be the responsible party for the group doing the fireworks display. Marshall: asked about protection of persons or property. Bavoso: it means if there’s something unique or unusual about that display the town wants that listed on the application.
Marshall: asked about denial of application. What’s the time frame for denial? Bavoso: it’s not there now. It’s up to the board. Marshall: spoke about the people allowed on site. Believe it’s state law that no one not certified would be allowed up there.
Jim Kowalczik: fireworks are not a big problem if you have 2/year. Animals get upset. You can’t tell them fireworks are gonna be tonight. Turn up a radio. Twice/year is enough.
Vil Vaitas: asked about the fees being $100 vs. $1000. What program are you taking away from the Lions? Cub Scouts? Boy Scouts? Eye glass program? Scholarships?
Dr. Roeder: acknowledge the animal aspect. Absolutely the cows could have aborted as a response to loud sounds. Previous board came to her and told her there were going to be fireworks. People from fire department came and it gave her the opportunity to make arrangements for the animals. There were things she could do because she knew they were coming. She sympathizes with Mr. Vreeland if he didn’t know that the 4H things were going go off. He was a victim of the fireworks. I am for the fireworks. It’s a great community activity. You just need to tell the local residents that they are coming.
Frank Ketcham: the major problem is the percussion sound of the fireworks. It’s caused the loss of profit in the whole community and to Mr. Vreeland. We’re only talking about one additional fireworks that would make the whole community happy. If you could reduce the percussion, that would be good. It’s not the light that bothers my animals. It’s the sound. You can buy better because they’re quieter.
Ed Fairweather: (1183 Rte 211 West/Hamlet of Baileysville); I agree with Dr. Roeder. I understand Mr. Vreeland’s plight being a farmer myself. Not animal farmer but a farmer. I think we’ve over-reached the boundaries of this law. Most of the discussion is about the notification. The 4H didn’t do their job as they should have. I’m speaking personal opinion not for the Lion’s Club, I don’t feel that they Club has any objection as to the content as far as safety and other issues. We’ve had a long run. We have a very good safety record. We had one accident though I would have liked there were none. I’d like to remind the board not a single 911 call was placed during that incident. It couldn’t have been that catastrophic. Take this law allow for the displays that are necessary to satisfy the community and make a safety & notification law and leave the rest of it alone.
Lou Dodd: He agrees with Ed. He would like to clarify about reimbursement to the fire department. As long as the Mount Hope fire company is protecting the Town of Mount Hope, we will not seek for reimbursement for costs or seek donations. We will be there for the life and safety of the people that are putting it on to help those that are fundraising.
Diane Loeven: the purpose of a public hearing is to bring to light things that haven’t been thought about before. She wanted to reinforce the 30-60 day time limit. In previous discussions, it seemed very reasonable to me; never thought about that with a company that’s doing something of this magnitude, that’s probably not enough lead time with the contracts. I would ask that whatever direction the board takes, that they take that into consideration.
John Doty: Does the date of the permit include the rain date? Councilman Cambareri: the intent is for a rain date for the 2 of them.
Vil Vaitas: spoke re: fireworks after 8:00pm before 10:00pm and then a possibility of a rain delay.
RESOLUTION TO CLOSE PUBLIC HEARING:
MOTION offered by Councilman Carey 2nd by Councilman Howell to close public hearing at 7:55pm. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
RESOLUTION TO ACCEPT THE PRIOR MEETING MINUTES:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Howell to approve the minutes from the January 19, 2016 meeting as presented. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
- Fire report from Mount Hope fire company
- Palmer’s Ark January 2016 impoundment report
- Budget modification from Police department
- Zoning board resignation from Adam McCarey effective 1-19-2016
- Request to be on zoning board from Chris Furman
- Supervisor’s report for Dec. 2015
- Email from Grace Woodard re: Dragon Spring solar farm
- Request from Sue Marshall (lions Club) to use park for Easter Egg Hunt on March 19
- Items to surplus then destroy list
- Letter from Frank Ketcham re: Dragon Springs proposed solar farm
- Building Inspector’s report Jan. 2016
COUNCILMAN HOWELL reported: the receipt book audit is complete. The Zoning Board meets tomorrow at Town Hall. They also meet on the 23rd – not positive on date.
COUNCILMAN CAREY reported: Little League opening day is 4-16-16. The next meeting is 2-9-16. They also talked about their pancake breakfast in March. Football has a meeting on 2-3-16. He reached out to Rockland Housing Coalition for Devan’s Gate.
COUNCILWOMAN SUTHERLAND reported: She has a call into Rich Mayfield re: Devan’s Gate in regards to community development grants. The village – Diane is here.
COUNCILMAN CAMBARERI reported: he’s been in contact with Mike for Hidden Valley. They’re gonna meet next week to give me a set of keys. We’re gonna meet after this meeting to discuss the old school.
At this time, Councilwoman Sutherland thanked Dean and the highway guys for taking down the curtains for the play which is Thursday & Friday this week. They came to her in the school and asked if they could borrow the curtains, as you know, on the old stage. Dean sent his guys over, they took them down, washed them and it’s gonna be great. Thank you.
POLICE DEPARTMENT by Dep. Chief Corcoran:
Dep. Chief noted the budget transfer. The car is ordered with anticipated delivery date in May. He noted that he spoke with David about the noise ordinance. This will be looked into.
Supt. Hassenmayer reported that he received a request from Pack 69 to use the park for a soap box derby sometime in May. They have their own insurance for that day. Supervisor asked if the fee is to be waived. Supt. stated fees are not usually charged for not-for-profits. They want to do this behind the barn on the hill. Atty. Bavoso asked for a written narrative including safety measures. Supervisor asked to get the date too for the next meeting and they can move on it then. Supt. Hassenmayer noted the Lions Club request for the use of the town park for the egg hunt.
MOUNT HOPE FIRE COMPANY:
Wayne Melton read report into the record. (on file in town clerk’s office.) Sarina Bodnar graduated from EMT last week. Dante Pierson is starting EMT tonight. Lou Dodd thanked the town board for coming to the 1st annual inspection/dinner dance: Chad & Heidi, Janet & Rob, Brian. He thanked Matt for responding with a prior family commitment. He added that he wanted to bring everyone up to speed with the lawsuit between them and Otisville fire company. Burke, Meile & Golden were hired by Mount Hope fire company. The judge ruled that what they did was arbitrary and capricious. We got our membership reinstated. Mount Hope has not heard from their (Otisville’s) attorney. We have agreed to what they have offered back in October and still have not heard from them.
VILLAGE OF OTISVILLE:
Trustee Loeven reminded everyone about the joint public hearing on the 16th. She and Ike serve on a review committee. We try to make sure what we do parallels what you do in the town. She had the opportunity to use the town’s E-codes. It was delightful.
ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS VACANCIES:
Supervisor reported there are 2 vacancies on ZBA.
RESOLUTION TO ACCEPT RESIGNATION FROM ADAM MCCAREY:
MOTION offered by Councilman Howell 2nd by Councilman Carey to accept the resignation from Adam McCarey from the Zoning Board of Appeals effective 1-19-2016. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
RESOLUTION TO APPOINT KATHY HOSKING TO ZBA:
MOTION offered by Councilman Howell 2nd by Councilman Cambareri to appoint Kathy Hosking to the Zoning Board of Appeals to fill vacancy created by Bill Rebman. (Term to expire January 2018.) All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
RESOLUTION TO APPOINT DEB TAYLOR TO ZBA:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Howell to appoint Deb Taylor to the Zoning Board of Appeals to fill vacancy created by Adam McCarey. (Term to expire January 2020.) All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
2016 PALMER’S ARK AGREEMENT:
Supervisor Volpe asked David about the status of agreement. Atty. stated he reviewed the additional language. Everything is fine and can be added as an addendum to the original contract. Contract signed last year automatically renews unless the town board decides not to renew it.
RESOLUTION TO APPROVE PALMER’S ARK AGREEMENT:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Howell to approve the amendments to the agreement with Palmer’s Ark for 2016. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
RESOLUTION TO SET DATE FOR HIGHWAY GRIEVANCE:
MOTION offered by Councilman Carey 2nd by Councilman Howell to set a hearing for the highway grievance on Feb. 16, 2016 at 6:40pm. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
RESOLUTION TO APPROVE SUPERVISOR’S REPORT:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Howell to approve the Supervisor’s report for December 2015. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
RESOLUTION TO ALLOW LIONS CLUB TO USE TOWN PARK FOR EASTER EGG HUNT:
MOTION offered by Councilman Carey 2nd by Councilman Howell to approve the Lion’s Club request to use the park for an Easter Egg Hunt. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
RESOLUTION TO SURPLUS THEN DESTROY ITEMIZED LIST OF EQUIPMENT:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Howell to approve the following list of items as surplus then to be destroyed:
Sharp el 1197g calculator, Sharp AR168S copier, Speakers CA2100, HP Printer HPJ6480, 3 Keyboards: 1 each Microsoft, Dell & Logitech, 2 Monitors: 1 each Samsung & V7, Computer cart, Brother SX4000 typewriter, IBM Selectric II & Panasonic Cordless phone KX-TG2267.
All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
RESOLUTION TO SCHEDULE PUBLIC HEARING FOR MS-4:
MOTION offered by Councilman Carey 2nd by Councilman Cambareri to set a public hearing for the MS4 report for Feb. 16, 2016 at 6:30pm. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
RESOLUTION TO APPROVE POLICE BUDGET MODIFICATION:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Howell to increase revenue budget line by $364.11 and increase A3120.4 police contractual by $364.11. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
PROPOSED FIREWORKS LAW:
Supervisor Volpe stated that a few things came up with the verbiage for the law ie: 30-60 days, the background & experience of person inspecting them; he made noted on a few things.
He would like those corrections made before voting on the law. Councilman Cambareri noted that there’s a few things to review. This will be tabled to next meeting.
RESOLUTION TO AUDIT THE CLAIMS:
MOTION offered by Councilman Howell seconded by Councilman Cambareri to approve the following bills:
GENERAL A:#42-65$ 48,035.56
GENERAL B:#7-10$ 5,368.92
SEWER: #8-11$ 3,765.79
CAP RES GEN A:#1$ 8,000.00
All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
Alvin Kaufman: spoke re: fire at the tire store. His son and Sam Sweetman could have been in the building. They happened to leave. Mark Capalbo (Otisville FD) was one of the 1st ones on scene. He was told to get off the property while Mount Hope took over. They didn’t call Otisville which is ½ mile up the road. They called Slate Hill, Howells, Pocatello. If there’s a fire – you call the closest department.
Tom Mydosh: agrees with Al. He doesn’t understand why the companies are not working together. The boundary lines are connected. It’s for the safety of the people.
Marybeth Horzepa: The next meeting for the ZBA is 2-25-16 at 7pm.
Vil Vaitas: asked if the # of nights for the fireworks is going to be looked at. Supervisor stated there’s a certain time that everyone gets to talk and a certain time that the board talks. He is looking to get all comments from the audience and board members.
Frank Ketcham: asked what the MS4 public hearing is about. Supervisor stated that a new stormwater annual report. Ketcham stated that MS4 would have something to do with the solar farm. Also SPDES and SWPP and all DEC laws that I feel you’re avoiding and I hope that you’re putting up a fight against it.
Jerry Cook: spoke re: solar law. He would like for the board to get in touch with NYS Energy Resource Development Agency, NYS Power Authority & Town of Chester. They have guidelines and it’s a great starting place.
Diane Loeven: spoke re: Mount Hope seniors. She met with Dean last week. Hope to start in March. 1st trip is March 16, 2016 to Milford. Open to non-members for $49/person. She asked if day trip parking should be at senior center. Supervisor: you should be fine here. She added that the Community Advisory Board still has openings.
Doug Marshall: Is anyone from 4H here to apologize to this gentleman? All living creatures we think of – more so now. We also have monies to think of, support. We have communities and scouts. He feels sorry for Mr. Vreeland for losing his animal. Would it really hurt to have 3 fireworks? 2 for the fair which supports a lot in this community. We would inform you. Be smart about it, there’s some open things in the law. Councilman Carey asked Mr. Marshall if he’s a resident of the Town of Mount Hope. Marshall: you know I am not. I used to be. Cary: where do you live: Marshall: Afton. Carey: what state? Marshall: here. Carey: I’m concerned about residents from here that want to speak. Marshall: I don’t live here anymore. I used to for 10 years. But we still are a big part of the community. I have a right to speak no matter where I live.
Karen Ketcham: spoke about the fireworks and signs and brochures.
Joan Rollin: doesn’t have a problem with fireworks at fair or July 4th. 4H is what got her. She was home alone and it was alarming.
Frank Ketcham: asked the status of the solar law. Atty. Bavoso: the planning board is continuing to look at it and make recommendations. Supervisor Volpe: they have to get it back to us with what their recommendations are. Then we can vote on it.
Kathy Yedziniak: questioned the move of 150’ feet for the fireworks. Supervisor stated that’s not in the law. John Doty knows the specs on it. We found another spot on the other side of the road that would be far away from where there was an issue. Yedziniak: where: Supervisor: not by the football field but across the road 150’ farther up the road. Yedziniak: where are those that are gonn view the fireworks gonna be? Supervisor: they go up high enough. John Doty explained.
Mary Maurizzio: she agrees with Ed Fairweather. Notification seems to be the big issue. She is in favor of 3 nights. It’s been happening that way for years. Nothing ever happened until this time and it was the 4H. She thinks if Mr. Vreeland was notified other than by signs & brochures, if he was sent a mailing, letting him know personally, that may help solve the problem and save the community monies too. There are a lot of organizations that make a lot of money at the fair. She next asked for a comment about the fire across the street. Wayne Melton: a gentleman from Otisville who called the fire in, an officer, whose vehicle was parked where the tankers needed to be. I asked him not once but three times to move his vehicle. I didn’t ask him to leave. I didn’t use expletives. I asked him the same words 3 times to move his vehicle.
Ed Fairweather: asked about the surplus materials list. He didn’t hear about the refrigerator, stove & microwave from the senior center. Will they go to surplus? Supervisor: yes they will be listed. Fairweather asked about the barn at the bungalow colony on 211 that is collapsing. There’s a lot of children in that area. Supervisor: there is action. It’s almost into court at this point. Fairweather asked Councilman Carey where he lives. Councilman Carey: right up the road. Fairweather: in the village of Otisville? Carey: yes.
Diane Loeven: spoke re: both microwaves that were donated to the senior center. We have no use for them once the kitchen is redone. Supervisor asked Dean to make a list for next meeting.
Mary Maurizzio: what is protocol for a fire on Shoddy Hollow Road and if they need help who do they call. What’s mutual aid protocol? Councilwoman Sutherland: 911 is called. Maurizzio: what fire company is called? 911 decides next who comes after them? Supervisor: it’s gonna be whoever is set up on their mutual aid. NYS is a home rule state. They’re their own entity. They fill out a spread sheet they submit it to Orange County with different phases of 1-alarm, 2-alarm, 3-alarm of how the protocol is gonna work. Once they go and it’s an active fire it automatically puts what’s in that first box in place. Maurizzio: it has nothing to do with proximity or location of the fire? Wayne Melton: the new CAD system that the county 911 system has in place, if you have what they call the mama’s plans, if you have the 1st alarm through 5th alarm who it goes to then it’ll populate whether you have a traditional 1st & 5th alarm or you have a rescue alarm or tanker alarm set up or hazmat, if you have gaps in that, the new CAD system will populate it with closest. Any holes in your plans it will then reach out. If you need another ladder truck, it will go to the closest ladder. If you need foam, your closest foam. Supervisor: to answer your question, it’s gonna go to the protocol set up by the fire company, however, if Wayne go there and said I want ‘XYZ’ on the radio, they’re still gonna send ‘XYZ’. If he doesn’t do anything, it’s gonna do what it’s already set up through emergency management through orange county.
NYS TAX CAP:
Atty. Bavoso stated that he would like to prepare for the board and he’d like the board’s confirmation to prepare for the 2% tax cap local law. As you are aware NYS has a tax cap of 2% but it isn’t actually 2%. By the general municipal law, every municipality is permitted to adopt a local law in order to override that tax cap fi it deems it best for the municipality. That law would have to be adopted by July 1st. I would recommend the board directs me to put that together so that the board can present it on the 1st meeting in March that way it can be on the books and out of the way. Best case scenario is you have it but don’t need it then you appeal it. Worst case scenario is you don’t have it and you do need it. Supervisor stated we don’t need it. Atty. Bavoso: as your attorney I would strongly recommend you put that law in the books for this year. Supervisor: if you want him to write it, he’ll write it. We have plenty of reserves. We have plenty of unallocated funds. Councilwoman Sutherland asked the attorney why he feels so strongly about it.
Bavoso: generally speaking, if the board does a number of low or non-existent tax increases per year it decreases the amount that the percentage will mean come the following year. One of the reasons I like to have that in place despite the reserves you may not want to exhaust your reserves before you start taking those measures. There’s a lot that can happen as far as natural disasters or anything else between the end of the year and end of the budget season. I recommend that any municipality that we represent puts that into place just in case an unusual set of circumstances that would cause that you need it. Most municipalities do not have the same reserves that this town has but being that the 2% is not really 2% the projections right now are 1.7 of 1% for the cap. It would be wise to have it as a safety measure. If you don’t end up using it, you can appeal it at the end of the year. Councilman Howell stated: prepare the information for us to review then we’ll go from there.
Doug Marshall added that he is the Vice President of the Lions and he lives with Susan. He is active with the Lions.
OLD SCHOOL: (8:45pm)
Supervisor Volpe opened the discussion about the old school. He wants to leave the fate of the school up to the taxpayers. There’s mixed feelings about what to do with school. There’s possibly 5 options for the school. He doesn’t want to exceed 5. He would like to come up with those options and put it out to bid. Hypothetically option 1 is to tear school down then we would RFP it and have bids so when we have public hearings – we have real numbers. If it’s remodeling downstairs, if it’s forming an LLC perhaps (there may legal aspects and a time limit on it). Again this is hypothetical. A lot of people say to sell it – the town will not be able to dictate who it’s going to be sold to. Initially the town would be able to however people that are in things for profit are in them for profit. If it was sold to somebody with the intention of it becoming a particular item and 3 weeks later they decided to sell to another group, public referendum is not gonna stop that. He would like to have public hearings in April then June/July we could do a vote. There may be one public hearing if not that many people show up. We may have to hold 10. He’d like to work out what the options are. Mr. Vaitas: asked what the condition of the inside of the building is. Supervisor: some people have seen it and said tear it down and some people say it’s not that bad. Councilman Cambareri added that the building is structurally sound. Mr. Tripken: spoke of the study done a few years ago. After paying this groups the bottom line was it would cost too much because of asbestos and that’s when they put the building up for sale. Has the group come out and said..Supervisor: the committee is volunteers from the community that put their heads together. Cambareri: the engineering firm went in and said the building is structurally sound – pretty much everything on the inside has to be completely remodeled from electrical to HVAC to plumbing. They gave us a square foot proposal of the average of what renovations were gonna cost. Their projection came out to be 4 ½ million dollars. Mr. Selg: asked to discuss the referendum. It could be complicated for people to understand. Have you given this any thought as to the layout of the proposal for the referendum? Then once you decide that, how is that information going to be disseminated to the public? Supervisor; tonight we’re looking at what the options are. That gives us a month and a half or so to have our ducks in a row to be able to say this is what we are doing: this is for ground level. If that’s what they really want, they’re gonna go in and say estimated cost $700,000.00 to re-do the 1st floor; or they’re gonna say sell it. We want it to be to the point. We want to be able to elaborate in the public hearings. In the actual vote you’re not gonna be able to put 6 paragraphs. Selg: if they say yes to renovate, where does the money come from to do that? Cambareri: we’d have to borrow that. Ketcham: that’s the option of having an LLC do it is a completely different financing program. Mrs. Miller: asked to go over the options: 1- tear it down, 2 – restore 1st floor, 3 – establish an LLC and give 18 mos. to get grants, 4 – put up for sale. Mrs. Musial: if you renovate the 1st floor, what are you doing with the rest of the building? Miller: I feel like that will come out in public hearing. Cambareri: that initial renovation will have to, the entire building except top 2 floors cosmetically. You’d have to do all electrical, plumbing, HVAC & structural work. Vast majority would have to be done in the initial phase. Mr. Rickard: one thing to remember to Doug’s point, there was a previous committee that spent a lot of time and money to have a study done. That 1st study said there was no commercial viability to the building.
When you talk about other options, when the people are selecting their choice should realize that 1st study was done and paid for by the town and it was said there’s no commercial viability. I don’t think you can throw that study into the garbage. I don’t see anything that’s changed since you did that study. Nothing has gotten better since then only deteriorated. Ketcham: there was no commercial viability as far as renting office space in Orange County. There’s so much office space everywhere that there would not be a business for doing that. The idea for re-use of this building is for community purposes. There’s a community need. You packed this place tonight. The gym would be available for that. It’s meant to be a rural community center. This is the strongest building in the town. Mr. Kowalczik: how much is it gonna cost the tax payers to keep it going. Mr. Vaitas: spoke re: LLC 18 months is not enough time. Supervisor: suggested 3 yrs. Vaitas: suggested that LLC is discussed at the public hearings. You need limited choices. Rickard: is LLC independent of town or is the taxpayers responsible for the LLC’s debts/bonds?
Bavoso: is the town the incorporator? Or private citizens wanting to do a not-for-profit? Cambareri: if it’s run by an LLC, the LLC has to own it, don’t they? Bavoso: not necessarily. If you structure it as a not for profit corporation which has been done in municipalities, then that would be able to donate to what’s considered a historic/public site or preservation of a property. The question is how you want to structure that entity. I don’t think an LLC is what you want. I think you want a not for profit corporation which would be permitted to accept donations tax free and make expenditures tax free. Supervisor: is the town still on the hook for anything during those 36 months? Bavoso: of the town is not an incorporator, the town wouldn’t be responsible for any debts. Vaitas: the town would lease the building to the LLC/NFP? Rickard: could we just give it to them? Bavoso: you’d have to file for proper procedure for it. Councilwoman Sutherland: what about insurance? Bavoso: as far as insurance goes, it’s the same as anybody else working on town property. We’d want the town to be named as additional insured. Sutherland: if a NFP gets in and something happens in there, is the town liable for that? Bavoso: if it owns it, they’d be named in the lawsuit certainly. Selg: asked the difference between non-profit and NFP? Bavoso: There really isn’t one. Supervisor: is it fair to say that one option would be “making necessary total building repairs and redoing the 1st floor”? Sutherland: I thought we were told that it wouldn’t behoove us to do this in stages? Ketcham: originally we had phased our presentation. Supervisor: so it can’t be done in phases? Miller: I think KC didn’t recommend doing it in phases. Supervisor: so one option is “tear it down”. Miller: that has to be an option. Maurizzio: if you tear it down, you have to let the people know that there are 6 building lots for the village for private sale. Mrs. Hosking: if building is torn down, are those building lots still owned by the town? Supervisor: yes. We would sell the lots then it would go on the villages rolls. Now we need option 2. Selg: 2nd option was to re-do the 1st floor. Does that include the gym? Supervisor: yes. Miller: stated the way the Supervisor stated this option before the best: “make necessary total building repairs and re-do the 1st floor. Musial: you’re asking for RFP’s for hard costs so that when you go and have these public meetings you’re gonna have those numbers for these options that we’re going through now. Cambareri: that’s why we gotta limit our options, it’s gonna cost a fortune to get all these RFP’s. Miller: Option 3 is to establish a not for profit that takes ownership of the school & given 36 month time limit. How do we word that? Bavoso: the town law requires that this board has a fiduciary duty to seek the best return to the town in the event that they are disposing of an asset. I’d have to do research on this. Mr. Furman: so that number is $325,000? Bavoso: could be anything. Furman: I was always told the number value put on that building was $325,000. Supervisor: you would have to get fair market value now for the number to give that building. Vaitas: may want to consider a charter school as a NFP. Supervisor: anything we want to do to that building still has to go before the village. We own it but it’s in the village limits. Musial: Didn’t the comptroller say you have to get the value of that property and lease it to the NFP? Bavoso: when it comes time, it’s gonna depend on what the perceived value of that property is. Musial: the minimum is 10%. Rickard: problem with leasing is if nothing happens then we are stuck with this building again. Then what do we do with it? Bavoso: my job is to make sure these guys don’t get sued. Supervisor: Option 3 – we’re gonna look into the lease thing. Mrs. Garcia: asked about a hard number for the re-vamp 1st floor before moving forward. Hosking: is it costing us anything right now? Supervisor: electric, alarms, insurance. Rickard: it’s a liability now. Miller: are we in agreement that we are not selling it? Sutherland: my understanding was that the vote was to not sell it to that particular buyer.
Supervisor: It was then we took it off the market and put it into a town asset. Supervisor called for any other options to get prices for. Ms. Loeven: spoke about re-purposing the 1st floor for municipal use and then have income producing use on the other floors. That sounds wonderful but the reality is the village already has a multitude of commercial property that we can’t get anybody to develop. Supervisor: we’ll look into NFP but that may come off the table then it may just be tear it down or re-build it. Ketcham: still believes the LLC can work. Supervisor: so we’re at 3 options. Liability for the LLC was discussed. Attorney will look into it. Maurizzio: LLC vs. NFP? Bavoso: NFP means you can eventually file for 5013C status through the IRS. Which means that people that make donations into it and any payments paid out would be tax free. Regular corporations are an entity that people set up to shield themselves from personal liability for a business they are running. The only difference is the tax structure. For both of them the purpose for creating them is for a shield for liability. Maurizzio: to clarify: you said 4-5 million to renovate the whole building interior. Supervisor: yes.
Councilman Howell: with the lease to a NFP would it be structured that the lease over time would be payment and then allowing that to release the purchase? Bavoso: I don’t see why not.
Councilwoman Sutherland: I still think if we were going to present all viable options then the option to sell has to be put out there. I hear what you’re saying about the referendum did state that it was not to be sold to this particular person. Not that the building shouldn’t be sold at all. It was not to be sold to this particular buyer. I feel that that has to be an option and if we’re going to educate people and have open discussion then that’s the time to have it. In my opinion it needs to be put out there. Bavoso: there’s also the consideration that the town tears down the building, subdivides the property and sells of the pieces with deed restrictions that it can only be used for single family residence. Sutherland: feels that all options should be available. Musial: does it hurt to put it on the list? Put it on the list. Tripken: if there was a sale of the building, they wouldn’t be a tax free – the village has its own zoning laws. Sutherland: David, in 2014 didn’t we pass that law that no religious organizations…Bavoso: but it’s subject to the village zoning. Sutherland: then it would be up to the village to not…Bavoso: no matter who you sell it to it’s gonna be subject to the
- Yedziniak: to Janet – you said the referendum on it- it said a person’s name? Sutherland: a corporation. Cambareri: agreed corporation. It said that on the referendum.
Councilman Cambareri: to Ed: How many years into the fair was it when we went from one night of fireworks to 2? Was it the 20th anniversary? Fairweather: no it was earlier. Somewhere around the 10th. K. Musial: we voted for the 20th anniversary to go to 2 nights. Cambareri: at the Lions Club? Musial: at the fair committee. Ed: it was earlier than that.
RESOLUTION TO ADJOURN:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Howell to adjourn the meeting at 9:44pm. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
The next meeting is scheduled for February 16, 2015 at 6:00pm for public hearing on Annexation, 6:10pm public hearing for amending the dog law, 6:20pm public hearing for amending the garbage/hauling law, 6:30pm public hearing for the MS-4 law, 6:40pm Highway grievance, 7:30pm is the regular town board meeting.
Kathleen A. Myers, RMC