REGULAR MEETING, TOWN OF MOUNT HOPE, October 2, 2017
The regular meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Mount Hope was held at Town Hall on October 2, 2017 at 7:30pm with the following present: Supervisor Chad Volpe, Councilman Brian Carey, Councilwoman Janet Sutherland, Councilman Dominick Cambareri and Town Clerk Kathleen Myers.
NOT PRESENT: Councilman Matt Howell
OFFICIALS PRESENT: H’way Supt. D. Hassenmayer, Chief P. Rickard, Attorney D. Bavoso.
Supervisor Volpe called the board meeting to order at 7:30pm following the Pledge of Allegiance and a moment of silence for the tragedy in Las Vegas. He asked for everyone to silence their cell phone.
MOTION TO ACCEPT THE PRIOR MEETING MINUTES:
MOTION offered by Councilman Carey 2nd by Councilwoman Sutherland that the minutes of the 9-18-2017 budget meeting & 9-18-2017 town board meeting as submitted are approved. All in favor: Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
- Resignation from Police Officer Nick Ianuzzi effective 9/25/2017
- Police union contract proposal for approval
- Packet received 9/28/2017 from “STOP MOUNT HOPE TOWER”
- 2017/2018 Snow & Ice agreement from T/O Wallkill
- Budget modification from police dept.
- Copy of proposed law re: temporary signs
Councilman Cambareri – no report
Councilwoman Sutherland – planning board meeting was 9/25/17. Borrego was approved. There will be 3 public hearings for the November meeting as there was not enough time to advertise for the October meeting on October 18th.
Councilman Carey – he took the NARCAN class; he referred to the expiration date on the can from 2 years ago & if you want to get an updated can you turn in the outdated one for a current one. There were 11 people in attendance. He reported there were mistakes in the newsletter; it was brought to his attention.
Supervisor Volpe – last budget meeting was 9/25/17. The preliminary budget public hearing will be in 2 weeks. There’s one opening left for the AED/CPR class this week this Thursday Any town resident can take it. Friday is booked. 5 spots left for the first aid class. Contact Angie to get on list.
Highway Supt. Hassenmayer reported:
- Fall cleanup starts Wednesday. 4 senior pick-ups are scheduled every day this week so far.
- About ½ way through final mowing of side of the roads.
Supervisor Volpe asked about the T/O Wallkill snow/ice agreement. Supt. Hassenmayer: yes, it’s identical to last year.
Chief Rickard reported:
- He introduced police officer Chris Rosa who spoke a little bit about himself.
- Officers Winchell & Sherwood will be coming on the 16th.
- He would like the board accept resignation from Officer Ianuzzi.
- He requested approval for Jeff Madden as a part time non-competitive police officer. Chad met him last week. Agility test was passed.
- MOA was sent out last week. He’s hoping to get that approved.
- Still a problem at football field. They will keep giving tickets. There are signs there saying it’s prohibited.
- He spoke re: police radio tower that the county is installing. There’s a website out there that mischaracterizes his thoughts on this. That tower is critical for the police dept. We don’t have police communications in some areas of the town. Tower will additionally benefit Deerpark. Tower is here because we asked for help from the county. It’s a police, fire, EMS tower; nothing else going on there. Project kick-off was April 2012. They hired a consultant. A firm was hired by the county in June 2013 & site was identified. Drawings were out over a year ago. Bids went out and bids were received. All specs & items are on the county website. County exec has spoken about this. This is an important project for us for the community. He knows there are concerns. The county has reiterated to him there’s no plans for that tower other than police, fire, EMS communication. This is desperately needed. He’ has been talking about this for years in these meetings. He is in support of this tower. The website mischaracterizes a statement that he made. He also noted that people are stealing items from the site. That’s against the law. Metal rebar and other items have been stolen. Patrols have been increased up there.
VILLAGE OF OTISVILLE
Trustee Loeven reported:
- She asked if the copy of the village sign law was requested at our last meeting. She wanted to know if it was received. Supervisor Volpe: yes.
- Halloween curfew will be adopted at their next meeting.
- She invited any/all officers to attend the village board meetings to introduce themselves.
Supervisor Volpe has received many calls re: radio tower. He wants to be sure we are protecting the town. Atty. Bavoso reported that a challenge to this would probably not be successful for this case for the specific purpose that this is being built for. (David received the packet noted in correspondence.)
Supervisor Volpe reported a week ago Saturday the MV Rotary planted 10 trees at the town park. Dean picked out where they were going. If you go into the Otisville elementary entrance, you will see them on the right side. Councilman Carey posted pictures on facebook, he thanked Nancy Diaz.
MOTION TO APPROVE BUDGET MODIFICATION FOR POLICE DEPT.:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd Councilman Carey to approve the following:
Increase revenue line in A1520 by $2,335.98 & increase Police Contr. A3120.4 by $2,335.98. This represents payment rendered for police service for the Otisville Country Fair. All in favor: Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
2017/2018 INTER-MUNICIPAL AGREEMENT FOR THE CONTROL OF SNOW & ICE ON CERTAIN TOWN ROADS WITH THE T/O WALLKILL:
MOTION offered by Councilman Carey 2nd Councilwoman Sutherland to approve the 2017/2018 Inter-municipal agreement for the control of snow & ice on certain town roads with the T/O Wallkill as presented. (Copy on file in town clerk’s office). All in favor: Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
AT THIS TIME, Supervisor Volpe noted that he received an email from Councilman Howell that he is on vacation & will be back next meeting.
PROPOSED POLICE CONTRACT 2018 CHANGES:
Supervisor Volpe spoke re: proposed changes for the 2018/2019/2020 contract for the police contract. He asked the board if they were okay with the changes. Board agreed.
MOTION TO ACCEPT THE PROPOSED CHANGES FOR THE 2018/2019/2020 POLICE CONTRACT:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd Councilman Carey to approve the proposed changes to the 2018/2019/2020 police contract and give the supervisor the authority to sign the contract. All in favor: Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
MOTION TO ACCEPT RESIGNATION FROM POLICE OFFICER NICK IANUZZI:
MOTION offered by Councilwoman Sutherland 2nd Councilman Cambareri to accept the resignation from Police Officer Nick Ianuzzi effective 09-25-2017. All in favor: Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
MOTION TO APPROVE HIRING JEFF MADDEN AS A PART TIME NON COMPETITIVE POLICE OFFICER:
MOTION offered by Councilwoman Sutherland 2nd Councilman Cambareri to approve hiring Jeff Madden as a part time non-competitive police officer effective October 4, 2017. All in favor: Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
HUDSON VALLEY WILD GOOSE CHASERS:
Supervisor Volpe passed out information re: Hudson Valley Wild Goose Chasers. Seems to be a problem at the town park. This is – basically – dogs that go in there and chase the geese away. Discussion ensued. The board agreed they would like to speak with this company.
MOTION TO THE AUDIT THE CLAIMS:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd Councilwoman Sutherland to approve the following bills Abstract #19:
GENERAL A: #563-579 $ 42,724.21
GENERAL B: #76-78 $ 4,190.11
HIGHWAY: #148-150 $ 15,355.22
SEWER: #78-83 $ 14,043.59
CAP RES GEN B: #13 $ 350.00.
All in favor: Carey, Volpe, Cambareri, Sutherland carried.
Levi Browdy: spoke re: tower. He’s not against the EMS communications. No one is against that. The concern is that location. The new tower is going to up 250’. Lack of communication and a possible study as to different location was noted. Supervisor Volpe added (his opinion) that correspondence with the county hasn’t been awesome. The county owns that property. An average cell tower and this is not a cell tower pays upwards of $6,000 a month to lease land. The county owns this property. The chances of the county going to another area and paying to rent property, in his opinion, is not gonna do it considering there’s already a 150’ tower there. He was notified on Friday from an attorney saying that we were notified on or around August 25, 2015. The town was notified that this tower was going up. Kathleen reads the correspondence every meeting. We went back and researched it and the town has received absolutely nothing. We went forward, backwards everywhere around. We try our hardest to be as transparent as we can with the residents we serve we can only tell you what we know. When he started receiving the calls that there was a tower going on he was dumbfounded. Yes we heard this was coming for 7 years. He guessed that every resident should have done their due diligence to scan the county website or go to a county meeting. The county is above us. As soon as we get something, we’ll put it on the website. We don’t have a leg to stand on. Browdy: It was clear that the county already owns the land and the tower was there. He understands they are within their legal right to do it but common sense would dictate that location is horrible. We have (inaudible) signatures & counting. The county would listen to that rationale. There’s got to be some sort of common sense approach to have them stop construction and prove to us that there’s not another site. If it’s a fiscal issue, let’s discuss that. Chief Rickard added that the county hired a consulting company that picked sites and made recommendations to the county. Fiscal implications come into it. This site was selected as being the most effective site for the area. All the documents are on county website. Councilman Cambareri: they started their testing on 9/27/12. Browdy: he’s not familiar/contesting that. The issue is- was there a human element to the research being done? Did they look at the ridge elevations and get all the angles right and say we own the land – done?
Was there research done? Let’s see that research. Did they eliminate the other sites? There are more important issues other than cost. Supervisor Volpe: They had a rep here at our last meeting. The county is broken down into districts. The person that represents this district – we have 2 (one covers one of our districts and one covers the other 3 districts). His opinion is that’s who you’d wanna reach out to.
They could have come to our meeting here and told us prior to them starting the project. It seems like we are behind it; there’s footings in the ground. The county has a meeting on Thursday. He thinks you have to get on their agenda to be heard. He asked the attorney if there’s any recourse on our end. Atty. Bavoso: it would be extremely difficult if at all. The law that we’re looking at (his partner did the same independent research and they came to the same conclusion) the question is do we have jurisdiction zoning-wise over what they’re doing. He further explained with other case law. Councilman Cambareri asked on your website you listed the contact information for our representatives to the county legislature, county executive, director of EMS, state senator, congressman, have you heard from any of them? Mr. Browdy doesn’t run the website; he’s not sure. Atty. Bavoso added the county dropped the ball in communicating. The people here tonight should bring this to the county’s attention. Browdy thinks the county is on shaky ground. It’s on them to make sure the 200’ tower they’re putting up has been discussed. Case law aside it makes little sense to not have a dialogue with the town if you’re gonna put that tall of a tower that close looming over all the homes. They should be talking to us. Councilman Carey hopes the county meeting is packed with people. He went to the moon festival and they had over 300 signatures. Tonight he heard 800. Obviously people are concerned about it.
Ken Pinkela: spoke re: radio tower and the county website. The county contracted out to a 3rd party to do the infrastructure build. They were told by the customer – start here. They didn’t consider the other sites. He has a problem with this. He noted other sites that could have been considered: Route 84, Joey Hosking’s. In 2010 who on the town board sat on the municipality agreement that Eddie Diana signed? Did we participate? Graham mountain tower is the key to the microwave upgrade. He spoke to the people the other day. I don’t think we’re gonna stop the tower. No one wants to stop the capability the tower brings. He noted the county website and the environmental impact. He asked if the town could put a link on the website for our public notices and also on facebook.
Kate: collected signatures on a petition form. She got 59 signatures. Only 2 people did not want to sign. She doesn’t think too many people that are in favor of this. Where is the notice from the town to the residents to let them know this is something as a town we don’t want to accept. We hope to get the word out. Chief Rickard added that people came to him about the petition that signed the petition and said they didn’t understand it. Once it’s explained that it’s for police/fire/EMS – they were supportive of it. They didn’t realize it and were told it was gonna be a cellular tower. He hasn’t come across too many people against once they know what it is for. Everything is on the county website. He is in favor of this. We need this to fill in the gaps. From the county’s perspective, they didn’t know there was apposition to this. Kate: it’ is hard to have opposition in the absence of information. She understands all the benefits. She doesn’t understand why people don’t know about it. Chief: they’ve been posting since 2012. I agree they should have come to a meeting to announce they will be starting this project on a certain date.
Everything is on website. The county executive has done press conferences and so has the previous county executive. Councilman Cambareri added the county executive has used it as the high point of the state of the county address for the last 2 years. Councilman Carey: if you tried coming in here and building a tower obviously there’s rules on the town books that that is what you have to follow. At the county level of it – the county can come in since they own the property and put up the tower. We sent our building inspector out there. As a municipality – county supersedes town. He referred to the packet he received from their group re: stop the tower. He read the line specifically that quotes Chief Rickard. He does not believe that was the statement made by the chief. Chief: he doesn’t mind people objecting to it but that’s… I don’t remember saying that. Maybe my point was not clear. He is in favor of police communication.
Laura Hadden: lives not far from the tower. 6G sounds scary. She’s not against EMS. She’s disturbed by the county doing fact finding through a contractor and they went to the site the county pointed to. We shouldn’t let them railroad us. She thinks we can find legal basis. It’s built not to box us in but to protect us.
Frank Ketcham spoke re: the tower being a health problem. He understands we need the services. He spoke re: the water problem with C/O Middletown. He asked if there was an update on that. Supervisor stated a hydrogeologist was hired to shadow every move they make. They will be reporting back to us as soon as they make any moves on their new application. Councilman Cambareri added that research has been done on the local aquifers and such and when they do go for a permit he’s got…Ketcham hopes we are actively pursuing that. Cambareri: nothing has been applied for yet. Ketcham asked if test wells were being tested.
Supervisor knows they had pumps running when they shouldn’t be running. They’ve been shut down a number of times. Cambareri: the county has claimed they’ve never tested the test wells but there are people who have seen them testing the test wells. We’ve not received any documentation.
Mike See: asked about the presentation Alison Miller was gonna possibly do for the “vote no for the constitution” and if anything was set for that. He asked about signs being put out for this. Supervisor will reach out to her about this. Councilwoman Sutherland will ask at the school because there was a presentation about it at the school.
Diane Loeven: spoke re: constitutional convention vote. Alison did a well thought out presentation about this a few meetings ago pointing out that if the constitutional convention is convened that opens up everything within the constitution to change. Her opinion was we risk a lot that’s taken years to acquire. MVTA is hosting a forum with guest speakers on October 26, 2017 at 7pm at the MV high school. She will leave fliers with Kathleen.
Councilman Carey spoke re: fence proposals. We did not put out any message to the 3 or 4 people that we got fence quotes from for the dog park. No one was contacted as far as where we are at with that. When I called to ask for a quote they are not jumping on the horse to run down and get me a quote because they gave a quote before and got no answer. He has 2 – hopefully he has someone coming out Friday. Specs were written. Supervisor: with the weather fastly approaching, if you do get the 3rd one, have Kathleen mark it received and send it to the board that way we’ll have it and put it on the agenda.
Councilwoman Sutherland: no report.
Councilman Cambareri: no report.
Supervisor Volpe: will link all the information he has on the tower to the town website. He wishes everyone luck that goes down to the county meeting. Mr. Browdy asked if individually the board members can do something or are your hands tied. Supervisor stated he will be happy to call the county and say there’s a lot of opposition in Mount Hope. There’s not just opposition, there’s concerns. Councilwoman Sutherland there’s concerns from the people that live in the dead zones that this will not happen and then where are they left. She’s heard both sides, it’s tough. She doesn’t agree with how it was presented and how it was done without letting anybody know but there are people who feel very passionate about the one side and then people passionate about the other side. She would be happy to reach out and share peoples’ concerns. With concerns there’s also support. Browdy: both sides are for the EMS it’s those that feel strongly about moving the tower somewhere else and those that don’t. Supervisor: the power of this board is not what you think it is. I’d be happy to make the call.
MOTION TO ADJOURN:
MOTION offered by Councilman Carey seconded by Councilman Cambareri to adjourn the meeting at 8:42pm. All in favor: Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
The next meeting is scheduled for October 16, 2017 at 7:30pm.
Kathleen A. Myers, RMO