(845) 386-1460 clerk@townofmounthope.org

Town of Mount Hope

1706 Route 211W,
New York 10963


The regular meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Mount Hope was held at the Mount Hope Center on Baker Street, Otisville NY on August 15, 2016 @ 7:00pm with the following present: Supervisor Chad Volpe, Councilman Matt Howell, Councilman Brian Carey, Councilwoman Janet Sutherland, Councilman Dominick Cambareri and Town Clerk Kathleen Myers.

OFFICIALS PRESENT: Highway Supt. D. Hassenmayer, Chief P. Rickard & Atty. D. Bavoso.

The public hearing was called to order at 7:00pm by Supervisor Volpe following the Pledge of Allegiance. The audience was asked to turn off/silence their cell phones.

Supervisor Volpe: asked Frank Ketcham if there was a presentation he wanted to give.
Town Clerk Myers: noted that the public notice is available at the front table.
Supervisor: 3 minutes per person will be allowed. There are 3 options for the school: demolish, re-fit or Friends of Otisville School LLC. The LLC could possibly obtain funding and re-fit the school.
Alison Miller: gave power point presentation for the possibility to consolidate local government, recreational & educational opportunities. Ketcham added CSA gardens, coffee houses, exercise programs, adult education. Miller: there’s a lot of grant money available. A lot of people in the community have offered their time & equipment, labor, expertise, materials. There’s also fund raising options available. We believe this is a resource that should be kept for our community.
Bob Clouse thanked the board for the opportunity and Supervisor Volpe for his determination to allow the voters of the town decide the future of the school. Mr. Clouse is the president of the LLC. They are 501C. This group was organized earlier this year by concerned citizens to determine the fate of the old school. They would like for the corporation to seek title for the property. They envision a 6 year plan. 1st year would be evaluating & prioritizing the needs of the building, doing repairs & rehab work, organizing supporters, promoting our efforts getting fundraising apparatus up & running, & developing a long term plan for community use of the property. After the 1st year, we propose for the next 5 years where we bring our plan to fruition. If after 5 years we are successful, we continue until perpetuity. If we are unsuccessful, the property would then be given back to Mount Hope to be demolished or otherwise disposed of. They propose to fund this endeavor privately through donations and benefactors, public and private grants. They believe the old school has great potential. Potential that’s limited to the funds that we raise. They believe their plan is the best of the available options. They are ready and willing to accept this challenge. Supervisor Volpe: provided the following numbers: to re-do the school (estimated cost) $4.4 million. Demo bids received were $218,000 & $272,600. There will be a 3 minute time limit for any speaking.
Stan Chiswell: Several million $’s will be needed to renovate the building. How much grant money is available? Mr. Clouse will find out. A lot will be volunteer labor. The work needs to be prioritized. Mr. Chiswell asked what happens to the property if the building gets demolished. Supervisor: single family lots would go there. If it’s a through road it could get 6 lots. If not, it would be 5 lots. It’s zoned for single family homes. Mr. Chiswell: if it gets rehabbed – what’s your intent with the building? Supervisor does not know. There was discussion of consolidating services there. At the time Senator Bonacic said there money available $100,000 for the town: $50K for the town $50K for the village.
R. Vreeland: Read the following into the record: To the board. I am a taxpayer of the T/O Mount Hope. Find no humor in the fact that certain groups would like taxpayers to foot the bill for mis-guided pipe dreams for plays, farmers markets & craft shows. The tax payers will shoulder the burden of the ext. $4.5 million to refurbish the building and $450,000 to pay utilities, heat & water. Group talks of grants. Sure there’s grants. Try getting one that keeps the lights on for 1 year. You can do the building in phases but the cost will only increase. If this group thinks that this building has a viable future, let them buy it and reap the financial gains of its ownership. I for one do not want to spend a penny of my hard earned money on the building. (letter by Jim Kowalczik) Mr. Vreeland added that he has no problem, selling the building. He doesn’t begrudge what the people want to do – I don’t want to pay for it. They have wonderful ideas if they can make it happen. Fine with me. I would like it gone from the T/O Mount Hope so if it fails, we don’t have to go through this again in 5-10 years. He doesn’t want his taxes to pay for it.
Kathie Yedziniak: You said you don’t know what to do with the school? Supervisor: I personally don’t know. Yedziniak: do you as a board have any idea? Cambareri: Don’t think we have any use for it. Yedziniak: so you would recommend demolishing it? Cambareri: It’s not up to me – it’s up to you people. But as a future purpose for the town to move into it – it would be cheaper for the town to put an addition on town hall than to renovate the building. Sutherland always wanted the building sold. Carey has listened to some ideas thrown out in the past about municipal buildings, but I don’t have any ideas. Howell feels the building is oversized for consolidation with the village. There would be too much wasted space for a sole municipal entity. Yedziniak: in the proposal that was made, was that if the school doesn’t do what it’s hoped/prayed for, then in 6 years it would be given back. To me it’s a win-win. If it’s something terrific then you the town will reap the benefits from it. There are lots of grants.
Steve Hoffman: what harm would there be in letting these people try?
Jerry Cook: other towns/places have done it. It worked and it’s always been a good thing. Cambareri: some examples? Cook: Warwick, Marlboro, upstate.
Lou Dodd: we voted no to sell it. Why not let those folks have a chance to do what they can do on that building? There’s other avenues we can pursue – the not for profit, LLC. This community doesn’t have a shelter, no building that will sustain high winds – that one will. There are other avenues. There’s grants. I’m not against giving them the chance. That’s our building. Let them try.
Mary Maurizzio: my kids went to that school. She personally helped save the Middletown Library, name wise. She was going to say it would be a better idea to demolish the building because of the physical state that it’s in right now is due to neglect. She would like to hear more about the 5 year plan. How much has this building cost, to date? Cambareri: monthly electrical, alarm fee, insurance; it costs a little bit in monthly repairs for Dean and the guys to go up there. It’s not cheap. Maurizzio changed her vote to she wants to hear more about the 5 year plan. If that doesn’t fly, she says knock it down.
Chris Furman: the town has an engineer coming in. (inaudible) None of us want our taxes to go up. To demolish it is gonna be $1.6 million. We don’t know for sure that’s the exact number. There could be other things that could come up. (inaudible) Then you’re gonna divide into lots. There’s a cost to that. We got a building that’s worth using. How many people have gone to other communities to take classes? We can use this for us and bring other people in from other communities. His understanding is there are groups in the community that don’t actually have a building to have their meetings. The worst thing to happen is that 6 years down the road the town will end up with the building. Councilman Cambareri: 3minutes are up.
Diane Loeven believes fundraising would be essential. Any grant you put in for you’re gonna have to in all likelihood have to submit plans. Engineered plans are costly.
S. Chiswell asked who has final say in what happens to the building? Supervisor: would like to see all taxpayers vote on it.
Steve Hoffman: if there’s a referendum – can you make sure you clearly state the upside and downside. What is the downside to letting them try for 6 years?
Frank Ketcham: He’s been involved from the beginning. Our dream is for a rural community center that’s recommended by the Mazur Group when they came and did their study. KC Engineering made mention of it also. He referred to #1 status in the state. He would like the chance for a few years. He hopes it will still be a vote of the people. He spoke of prevailing wages and all building done at the same time. Same with demo$1.6 million doesn’t include HAZMAT removal of anything in the building. You have 2 choices: demo at taxpayers cost, renovation at taxpayers cost or give the not for profit a chance to see what we can do with it. He chose the latter.
Ken Pinkela asked who went to school there? Asked for show of hands. That building has nothing but love for this community. Milford had another success story with a building. Pine Bush has another. There is potential for tax revenue. He would like to see it go to a town vote.
Brendan Connor asked what resources are available to the residents right now as for studies that have been done in the past. (inaudible) He asked if KC Engineering study was available on the website. Supervisor stated that he can FOIL it. It’s a book. Cambareri added that he can come down and view it. Supervisor added it’s quite a bit to put on website. Connor stated thinks there’s a lot of misinformation. He would like to know the facts. He came to learn. Supervisor will find out if it can go on the website. Connor: were there prior studies? Supervisor: yes before my time; not sure of the year.
M. Maurizzio: she doesn’t mind the peace and quiet.
Tim Leap took a tour and took photos in the fall of the old school and the property. There’s a lot of unique spaces there: ball field & playground. He spoke of the gym and stage. There’s an opportunity there. Maybe the police department could go there.
Tom Bonagura: graduated there. A lot of our alumni has moved on and to come up with a vote for the whole area – a lot of new people are here – and don’t know this school from the next – all they’re thinking of is the dollar. Feels we could get short changed on it if we don’t just have a board vote on it and say give it to us for $1.

MOTION offered by Councilman Carey 2nd by Councilman Howell to close this public hearing at 7:43pm. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.

Supervisor Volpe: opened the public hearing for cluster housing moratorium at 7:43pm. Town Clerk Myers stated the notice is available at the desk. Atty. Bavoso stated this is a local law requested by the planning board then the town board which places a similar moratorium as the solar moratorium on cluster subdivisions and developments until such time as regulations can be put in place. The zoning and master plan committees are working on that. Theirs is movement on it. Supervisor asked for any questions.
Barry Moore: asked if this was high density housing. Why do we need high density housing when we’ve already had 1 acre zoning here. Supervisor stated that came to us from the planning board and ZBA – we’re moving forward on their recommendation. Moore: just trying to understand why we need it. Why do we need a moratorium? Is it gonna open up a can of worms? Supervisor: it’s another level of security until the master plan is complete. Bavoso: planning board didn’t feel like it was adequately addressed at the moment. So they wanted this extra measure in place while they worked on it with the zoning committee. Moore: so by putting a moratorium on there, you can’t put on any high density housing for 6 months or a year? Bavoso: up to a year.
C. Furman: this can happen and has happened. A development called 7Peaks has happened. These homes are 8,000 square feet at 49 homes. He votes for this law.
Dave Cole: be careful of exclusionary issues so that the town doesn’t subject themselves to legal issues.
Diane Loeven has a background in planning and zoning and she supports the idea of a moratorium. Current zoning does not adequately address cluster housing. Cluster housing is a fairly new concept. She is confused about cluster housing is not high density housing. Atty. Bavoso explained with cluster subdivisions it gives an avenue for a developer to go under what would normally be the zoning requirement for the lot size. However, when you do it, there’s a trade-off. If you’re gonna do a cluster subdivision under the normal zoning, 50% of the parent parcel has to be dedicated as the easement to the town for open space and recreation space.

MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilwoman Sutherland to close this public hearing at 7:52pm. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.

MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Howell that the minutes of August 1, 2016 meeting as submitted by the Town Clerk are approved. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.

MS-4 Annual Report 2015 from KC Engineering
Road closing notice re: County Road 60/Tally Ho Road
Supervisor’s report July 2016
Town of Deerpark Sept. 11 Memorial Service notice
Letter from Tara Gomez in appreciation of the summer camp
Police Department Monthly report July 2016
Copy of “Turn the Towns TEAL” letter
MH Fire monthly report through July
Cert. of Insurance from Blueberry Mountain to sell at concerts in the park
Police Dept. budget modification dated 8-15-16
Notice from Assessor re: petition for small claims review
Copy of legal notice for Old School public hearing
Copy of Letter from Fusco Eng. re: Revised Zoning Law #2 for Town of Deerpark
Copy of letter from Fusco Eng. re: revised Zoning law #3 for Town of Deerpark

Councilman Howell: no report
Councilman Carey: Little league is over. He thanked Dean for getting lawn mowed for Football. Summer rec ended on Friday. Devan’s Gate has no report.
Councilwoman Sutherland: spoke with Lucy Joyce who is excited by the contracts. Family Fun Day was not as largely attended as in the past. Harvest festival is 9-17-16. Duck Derby is 10-22-16. She verified with Paul that they were going to Devan’s gate to do the medical pick ups.
Councilman Cambareri: thanked Dean and the guys for all the work they did on the basement in this building. Water problem is resolved. Sewer plant had a muffler problem on the backup generator. He doesn’t think it runs a test cycle every month. He will check with operator. There will need to be repairs on the generator. Dean stated they could do the maintenance on the repairs.
Supervisor Volpe: spoke of the Moon Festival fliers he received. He will be meeting with the committee tomorrow to go over this event.

HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT by Supt. Hassenmayer:
Oil & chip was done last week. They started some ditching. They got the village oil/chip done on Friday. They are sweeping the roads now. Supervisor Volpe added that Senator Bonacic sent out another wave of funding available $50-$100,000. They will put 2 requests in. One is for a 2nd road mowing tractor and one for upgrade to the HVAC in this building. No one has issues for Dean moving forward for a grant for a 2nd road mowing tractor. Chief Rickard spoke on HVAC. Also needs a ladies locker room for the female officers in the department; this would be an enhancement to a current facility which is what the grant requests. All board agrees to move forward with these items.

Report read by Stu Carver. Councilman Carey spoke re: report in Otisville Voice by Teri Willis for the Mount Hope Fire Co. with regard to a donation of money made at the fireworks for July 4th. Lou Dodd added that now Harry Gomez is the website handler. Changes are being made. Councilman Carey read portion of letter where it states that the T/O Mount Hope fire company donated $1,000 to boy scouts for parking at the fireworks. Dodd: the end of the night the boy scouts gave a plastic bag to Paul Barth with cash in it. Paul was holding the bag who asked what do we do with it. Dodd added that they counted it as they always did. (We are not responsible for the fireworks. Mike Romano is.) These things will not happen anymore re: social media. That money was made from the function that Mike Romano put on. The T/O Mount sponsored those fireworks. He stood in the road with the scouts. When people asked what the charge is for parking, people were told there’s no charge for parking. Donation may be made to the scouts. Dodd explained the snafu for the whole fireworks issue from the beginning which is why the changes were made. He apologized to the board. Nothing was meant in malice.

Will be meeting with Moon Festival committee tomorrow. This is going to be bigger than originally thought. There will be costs associated with this. Supervisor added that there could be more than 1,000 people.
The budget modification will be for the sale of a car.

Final meeting for yard sale will be next week.
Turn the Town Teal/Ovarian Cancer awareness: not a fundraiser; she asked for board approval.
MOTION offered by Councilwoman Sutherland 2nd by Councilman Carey to approve the Turn the Town Teal awareness campaign and authorize the Supervisor to sign same. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.

Atty. Bavoso: comments from county were just received this evening. The county wanted the town to remember that moratoriums are only a temporary fix. They hope you are working on something in the meantime. You can vote to adopt the law.

MOTION offered by Councilwoman Sutherland 2nd by Councilman Cambareri to approve the cluster housing moratorium for a period of six months. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.

Supervisor spoke re: David sending out bid package for fire protection 1-1-17 thru 12-31-17.
Ad should be in Thursday’s paper. We’d like bid packets back on 9-2-16 at 10:00am.

MOTION offered by Councilman Sutherland 2nd by Councilman Cambareri to advertise for fire protection bids in Times Herald Record to be due September 2, 2016 at 10:00am. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.

MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Howell to approve the July 2016 Supervisor’s reports as presented. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.

MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Howell to surplus then destroy old fax machine Brother PC 201. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.

Atty. Bavoso explained to change term for highway superintendent from 2 years to 4 years. This can be done either: this board can adopt a local law at least 60 days before a general election which would be 11-8-16 of this year. Then it would go to mandatory referendum during general election that’s under the NYS home rule law OR the other option is by the town board by resolution at least 150 days before the next biennial town election – it would have to be at least 5 months before election day of 2017. If it was done by resolution before the general election, that would go to referendum next year for the biennial town election rather than the general election. Regardless of how the town elects to do it, if they do, the new term would take effect on January 1st 2018. You can’t extend an already existing term. Heard from 1 board member today. He prepared a potential local law based upon the requirements of the municipal home rule law. If you were to put it on the 1st meeting in Sept. and were to adopt it – it would be more than 60 days before the next general election which means voters would this year rather than next year. Sutherland asked what’s the thought with this. Hassenmayer explained the requirements for the position of highway supt. for the state of New York it’s crazy to have a 2 year term. He has to be certified because of our tank systems. You have to have knowledge of the MS4. The list could go on & on. It’s not just managing the crew and taking care of the roads anymore. I asked for it for not only me but future highway supts. Councilman Cambareri added that 2 years time is not enough time to get all the certifications.

Supervisor Volpe: so basically we are allowing the people to vote on it. Bavoso: if you put it up for a public hearing and adopt the local law next meeting, you would be putting it on as a mandatory referendum at the next general election. Supervisor: we as a board are not deciding, the people are voting. Supervisor: everything will be ready for next meeting.

MOTION offered by Councilman Carey 2nd by Councilman Howell to advertise the public hearing to be on Sept. 6, 2016 at 7:05pm to extend the term of highway supt. from 2 years to 4 years. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.

Board members agreed to have budget workshop meetings on Sept. 14 & Sept. 15 at 6pm each evening.

MOTION offered by Councilman Carey 2nd by Councilman Howell to have budget meetings on 9-14 and 9-15 at 6pm at town hall. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.

Supervisor Volpe spoke re: townwide newsletter. Kathleen will send out notices to all departments to have proposed write-ups due by 9-6-16. Kathleen agreed to edit articles. He hopes to have them ready to go out on 9-19-16.

MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Carey to approve the following:
Increase Revenue A2655 by $9,001.00 and Increase Police C/E A3120.4 by $9,001.00.
All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.

MOTION offered by Councilman Howell 2nd Councilman Carey to approve the following bills:
GENERAL A:#467-494 $ 48,283.71
GENERAL B:#109-111 $ 20,000.11
HIGHWAY:#117-121 $ 17,193.86
SEWER:#63-66 $ 2,176.72.
All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.

J. Cook: would like a water study done for the impact of what’s going on in Deerpark to our town. Supervisor asked attorney to draft a letter.
D. Loeven: there’s a senior trip tomorrow through Thursday evening.
L. Dodd: thanked the village board and the town board for putting together the summer rec program. They had a great time with the wet downs. Supervisor Volpe asked if they received the banner from the kids. Dodd: yes. Dodd asked if down at the park a wood post fence could be put up where the snow fence goes up every year. He asked about the fire protection contract and when packets will be available. Supervisor: tomorrow.
E. Fairweather: invited everyone to the volunteer dinner the night before the fair starts at 6pm. He asked about the old fire engine going to the historic society. This was discussed about a year ago. They’ve not heard anything about it. He also noted that there was a minor parking issue with the historic society parking. He thought there should be no parking signs possibly put up.
K. Pinkela: asked for update with TWC. Bavoso: still waiting for a response. Pinkela spoke next about the “state” park which abuts up to where the Buddhist installations. There are erosion issues already. He next spoke re: water/sewer expansions on town assets where the old school is. Can the fire companies handle the expansion of potentially 7-8 new homes. He appreciates tonight’s hearing.
L. Dodd: senior center looks great.

M. Maurizzio: she is friends some people involved with the Falun Dafa. She doesn’t discuss it with them. She spoke of the moon festival. Is it a good idea to have 2 large festivals the same day? Chief Rickard: we are meeting with them tomorrow. Supervisor: too late to have them move. She next spoke re: a correction that she felt should go in the next issue of the VOICE. She wanted to know why the fire company was counting the money at the fireworks. Councilman Carey: always been done that way over the years. This year was different. He’s not pointing fingers.

Councilman Howell: no report.
Councilwoman Sutherland requested executive session for a personnel issue.
Councilman Carey: as far as summer rec he never received any emails or complaints or phone calls from anyone. He thinks the program went pretty good.
Councilman Cambareri: no report.

MOTION offered by Councilwoman Sutherland 2nd Councilman Carey to enter into executive session at 8:47pm to discuss employment of a particular person. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.

MOTION offered by Councilwoman Sutherland 2nd Councilman Carey to reconvene regular session at 9:09am from executive session. NO ACTION WAS TAKEN AT THIS EXECUTIVE SESSION. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.

MOTION offered by Councilman Howell seconded by Councilman Carey to adjourn the meeting at 9:09pm. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.

The next meeting is scheduled for September 6, 2016 at 7:00pm at the Mount Hope Senior Center, Otisville NY.

Respectfully submitted,

Kathleen A. Myers RMC
Town Clerk