REGULAR TOWN BOARD MEETING, TOWN OF MOUNT HOPE, August 21, 2017
The regular meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Mount Hope was held at the Mount Hope Town Hall, 1706 Route 211 West, Otisville NY on August 21, 2017 @ 7:30pm 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.
Following the Pledge of Allegiance, the Supervisor called the meeting to order at 7:30PM & asked for everyone to silence their cell phones.
MOTION TO ACCEPT PRIOR MEETING MINUTES:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd Councilman Howell that the minutes of August 7, 2017 meeting as submitted by the Town Clerk are approved. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
- Letter from NYS DEC re: 174 Murray Road
- Letter from Historic Society VP Ed Fairweather re: antique fire truck
- Supervisor’s report July 2017
- Police Dept. budget modification
- Highway Dept. budget modification
- Financials from Otisville Fire
- Thank you note from Rose Phillips re: library
- Police Department Monthly report July 2017
- Copy of “Turn the Towns TEAL” letter
- 2017 Investment Policy amendment
Councilwoman Sutherland spoke re: library cards number cap. Library said that can’t be done. Councilman Carey asked the attorney his opinion on this. Atty. Bavoso: the way to move forward would be when the board begins negotiations with the library for next year the best way would be to negotiate down the # of cards per bundle. He will talk to the library board. She reported that there were 127 cards to date. There’s no ZBA meeting next month. Planning board is scheduled for 9/20.
Councilman Carey spoke Minisink football/cheer fundraiser at Westtown Brew Works on 8-11-17. They raised $800. Next fundraiser is at Rita’s Ice on 8-22-17 from 6-9. They will earn up to 30% of sales. He reported re: summer rec. it ended on 8-11. Parents were happy, extended hours worked out great. He thanked Mr. Monahan for allowing us to use the school for early hours and after care. Rose Phillips little library was a cool event. Pictures posted on facebook. He didn’t make the village event for it. Summer concert series went well. This week is the last in the series. He talked about a grant for next year. Nothing is out yet but he is on email list for when grant comes out.
Councilman Howell spoke re: next master plan meeting will be on 8-31-17 5PM at town hall. Planning board meeting was rescheduled to 9-25-17 due to Rosh Hashanah.
Supt. Hassenmayer reported the following:
- Per Supervisor Volpe – Request from Mike Romano for a small pile of sand next to dumpster for Sunday fire works display & request for backhoe. He will contact Dean.
- Hassenmayer reported on roof project. It was finished on 8-10-17. Still have to have walk through with contractor. Still have to paint skylight.
- Road construction is done for the year. The big bills are in for this meeting.
- Few more days of trucking materials for the towns that helped us. (Minisink, Deerpark, Greenville)
- Requested permission to attend NYSAOT & NYS Highway Supt. annual conference in Ellicottville NY Sept. 19-22, $557 for conference/meals; hotels are booked. He will stay at campground with his camper for $192.
- He requested executive session for a personnel issue.
- Golf outing proceeds (over $9,000) donated to Hudson Valley Honor Flight
MOTION TO APPROVE HIGHWAY TRAINING CONFERENCE:
MOTION offered by Councilman Carey 2nd by Councilman Howell to approve Highway Supt. request to go to Highway conference in Ellicottville NY Sept. 19-22 total cost $749. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
Supervisor Volpe handed paperwork to board members. He met with fire department last Tuesday. Things seem to be going pretty well.
POLICE DEPARTMENT by Chief Rickard:
- The budget modification will be for the sale of a car.
- He asked for training request for Sgt. Anna Briceno; Women’s Leadership Institute training conference. Dominick Blasco (T/O Crawford won the seat and is giving us the seat for nothing.) We just have to pay the hotel: $500. He applied to the state to see if they will cover it. He won’t know until after 9-1. Conference is Oct 8-13 in Saratoga.
MOTION TO APPROVE POLICE CONFERENCE FOR SGT. ANNA BRICENO:
MOTION offered by Councilwoman Sutherland 2nd Councilman Carey to approve Sgt. Anna Brinceno to attend Women’s Leadership training conference Oct 8-13 in Saratoga Springs, NY for $500. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
VILLAGE OF OTISVILLE:
Trustee Loeven reported:
- Supervisor should have received the village fire contract proposal for 2018.
- Highland Avenue resident complained about early morning speeding on Highland Avenue. Info was passed on to Police Chief.
- She received an email from a resident about vendors from the fair that are tenting/camping out in the parking lot across from Dr. Roeder in village parking lot. Chief and Lions Club were notified. There were allegations that children’s toys from the houses there were found broken in the parking lot. Chief requested the email be forwarded to him.
Councilman Cambareri wanted it clarified that we don’t sell the library cards – we give them away. Councilwoman Sutherland agreed. We can’t say that after 125 cards we can’t do this. That’s a violation and they could lose their charter. Supervisor asked attorney if we could do an open enrollment for a certain period of the year. Atty. Bavoso will look into it further. He doesn’t think we can. Councilman Carey asked how much it costs for a library card for the town to pay. Town Clerk: $75 per card – whether renewed or a new one. Supervisor: the problem is we buy them in lots of 25. And if we are at 127 now, those 2 people cost us $3000.
Supervisor Volpe met with the Mayor & the Chief last Tuesday. They went over everything. He had asked the board to give him 2 weeks as it says in the contract that we would have the opportunity to negotiate. If everybody is not happy with that, we could still put it out to bid considering we had nothing ready to go out to bid which is basically the same thing we did for the 7 months with the Mount Hope Fire company. In a nut shell, this comes down to a $1 increase for 2018. In 2017 we paid $249,000. For 2018 it will be $249,001. He gave copies to the attorney and town clerk. He doesn’t think we could negotiate a better deal than that. Councilman Cambareri: when we met with the mayor, 2 village board members, himself and the supervisor. It was productive. They went over plans for the future, what their expenses are, what they project they’re gonna spend this year & they’re within their budget. He thinks a $1 increase is pretty good. Councilwoman Sutherland asked the Supervisor if he had particulars & the list of the firefighters. Supervisor stated he had the list in his office. The particulars are exactly the same particulars that we already agreed to; we’re not changing anything in the contract.
Councilman Howell added that we have the contracts drawn up & once we have them ready, approve you to sign them and continue for another year. Councilman Carey agreed.
MOTION TO START PAPERWORK FOR FIRE PROTECTION:
MOTION offered by Councilman Carey 2nd Councilman Howell to start drawing up the paperwork for fire protection. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Cambareri; Nay: Sutherland. Motion carried.
Councilwoman Sutherland would like to see the list of department members.
Supervisor received something from Janet, Matt & Dominick for the newsletter. Brian is sending something tomorrow. He got Dean’s changes. He’s not heard from Julie or DCO. He’ll give it another day or so & he’ll sit with Kathleen and start getting it formatted out. Town clerk added that hers is ready in her computer.
ORANGE COUNTY SNOW & ICE AGREEMENT:
Supervisor asked H’way Supt. if he’s ready to go with snow/ice contract. Supt. Hassenmayer stated we can go ahead and accept it.
MOTION TO APPROVE 2017-2018 SNOW & ICE AGREEMENT WITH THE COUNTY OF ORANGE:
MOTION offered by Councilman Howell 2nd Councilman Carey to approve the 2017-2018 Snow & Ice contract with the County of Orange for certain county roads for $4,750.00/mile for a total of 9.18 miles. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
SUMMER RECREATION YEAR END FINANCIALS:
Supervisor Volpe updated the board with the summer camp. He gave everyone the abbreviated report. Receipts were not attached. He went over the figures with the board. They are officially closed out. (copy on file in town clerk’s office)
Supervisor asked the town clerk to go over the investment policy. Town clerk explained the bank in town changed its name from Hometown Bank of the Hudson Valley to Wallkill Valley Federal Savings & Loan. The investment policy needs to be amended to reflect this name change.
MOTION TO APPROVE AMENDMENT TO 2017 INVESTMENT POLICY:
MOTION offered by Councilwoman Sutherland 2nd Councilman Cambareri to amend the 2017 investment policy to reflect the name change from Hometown Bank of the Hudson Valley to Wallkill Valley Federal Savings & Loan. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
RESOLUTION TO APPROVE POLICE DEPARTMENT BUDGET MODIFICATION:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd Councilwoman Sutherland to approve the following:
Increase Revenue A2655 by $1,725.00 and Increase Police C/E A3120.4 by $1,725.00. This is for a sale of a police vehicle. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
MOTION TO APPROVE TURN THE TOWN TEAL REQUEST:
MOTION offered by Councilman Carey 2nd Councilman Howell 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.
RESOLUTION TO APPROVE THE SUPERVISORS REPORT:
MOTION offered by Councilman Howell 2nd Councilman Carey to approve the July 2017 Supervisor’s reports as presented. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
Supervisor Volpe re: outstanding building department permits. People took out building permits & they never closed them out. We are offering a close-out fee to expedite some of them. Basically, you would have to pay per year to renew your application. Some of these applications are 10 years old. They’re not gonna come and pay $100/year for the 10 years; they’re not gonna pay $1,000 for a $100 permit. We’re proposing a building close-out fee which will give them – back in to the building department, follow through the proper way & just do a flat fee of $150 to close out their permit. It will expedite things a little. We will do this in small amounts considering we don’t have 2 full time people here. We can send to 100 people – 60 are gonna show up right away. He would like to make the fee of $150 so it can be added to the schedule and he needs a motion. Councilman Cambareri explained we’ve discovered we have over 1,000 building permits that were issued but never closed out. By law they have to be closed out. Julie has compiled a list she’s been working on for months and months. It’s something where the books have to be closed out and cleared up. Supervisor added that the problem is if we don’t have it uniformed and people come in – what do I charge them? This way it’s a set fee. The few that we’ve talked to so far have no issues. They’ll come in & do it. Cambareri: things that need to be inspected, are still being inspected and CO’s – we have a few houses that were built and never got a CO – they still have to go through the process. They have to have the proper documentation from their engineers. We’re trying to clear that all up in the building department. Councilman Carey asked what we’re gonna do if someone comes to us and says I’m not paying $150. This is your issue, you guys screwed up. Supervisor added that what would have to happen is they could reapply and they’ll pay 5x what….Cambareri added that how most of them get caught is the people apply for financing or sell their house and it was never closed out, the abstract company finds out and they can’t sell their house so they do have to close it out. Councilwoman Sutherland: that’s going to be the same whether it’s a year or 10 years? Supervisor: yes just to try to expedite the process and try to set a set fee. These are all people that live here. Do we wanna charge them $1,000 when we could…it’s still gonna be work on our end. Carey: just to be clear, these were written and done by people that are no longer in the building department. We’re just fixing someone else’s mistakes and that’s why we’re giving people benefit of the doubt for $150. Supervisor: some of it is as easy as going there and seeing the seal from the electrician and some will require engineers to verify that things were done correctly. The process will still be done correctly, it’s just we need a schedule in order to do that.
MOTION TO APPROVE REQUEST FOR $150 FEE TO CLOSE OUT OLD BUILDING PERMITS:
MOTION offered by Councilman Carey 2nd Councilman Howell to add $150 close out fee to the building department fee schedule list. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
MOTION TO AUDIT THE CLAIMS:
MOTION offered by Councilman Howell 2nd Councilman Cambareri to approve the following bills from Abstract #16:
GENERAL A: #487-517 $ 65,671.55
GENERAL B: #64-65 $ 10,217.30
HIGHWAY: #118-129 $ 228,286.45
SEWER: #62-64 $ 1,321.52
CAP RES GEN B: #11 $ 1,528.00.
All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
Supervisor Volpe spoke re: hydrogeologist. We need to set limits as to what we want to do and how far we want to go. Councilman Howell added that the proposal we’re gonna talk about one of 2 we have here we’ve got a $10,000 maximum cap on it. What this will do, by authorizing KC to do the work, will allow them to compile any necessary information this way when the county or city puts in a permit to take any water from the Indigot project, KC can submit the paperwork as a interested party. This way we can be involved in public participation aspect of the permitting process and any concerns we have, any information we want to see in regards to testing with this project will be – this will authorize them to do that because they’ll have the information to act on it.
Supervisor Volpe added this is the one we wanna do. Basically, we would make a motion to go with the hydrogeologist services not to exceed the total project cap of $10,000. Cambareri: this is he can gather all of the information and set together his plan to go to the DEC. Supervisor: in conjunction with working with our master plan. Hypothetically, we talked about the prisons, the lab…if there was a need for additional water/growth in our town – this would be the time we want to show that once it’s committed to “x” amount of gallons per day we’ve kinda missed that opportunity.
MOTION TO APPROVE HIRING KC ENGINEERING FOR HYDROGEOLOGIST SERVICES:
MOTION offered by Councilman Howell 2nd Councilman Carey to approve the hydrogeologist services from KC Engineering which will be billed monthly not to exceed $3,500 with a total project cap not to exceed $10,000. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
MOTION TO ENTER INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION:
MOTION offered by Councilman Carey 2nd Councilman Howell to enter into executive session at 8:08pm to discuss a resident complaint and highway personnel issue. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
MOTION TO RECONVENE REGULAR MEETING:
MOTION offered by Councilman Howell 2nd Councilman Cambareri to reconvene regular session at 8:36am from executive session. NO ACTION WAS TAKEN AT THIS EXECUTIVE SESSION. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
PUBLIC PARTICIPATION: (3 minutes)
Alison Miller spoke: August 12 article in THR about constitutional convention vote which will appear on the ballot in November. A government group “Citizens Union” has been contacting local governments to host public forums to raise awareness about this. She didn’t know if Mount Hope had been contacted or if the board will hold a forum about the issue. She encourages them to do it. Every 20 years the voters can choose whether or not to open the constitution for a review and revision. Citizens Union and supporters of the convention want NY-ers to vote yes in November. This will be on the back of the ballot. They want NY-ers to vote yes so the delegates can target issues like ways to improve voter access, curb big money in politics and address corruption at the state capital. Citizens Union fails to point out important facts: enormous cost to taxpayers (last convention was held in 1967, cost taxpayers $6 ½ million, and produced no results), a convention doesn’t guarantee any changes to the document even after spending all that money, our state constitution can be changed at any time through the amendment process which is cheaper and a more transparent legislative process. One target of the convention could be the NYS public pensions system under the guise of reforming it. This is already happening in other states. In NJ, the legislature was given the power to raid the state pension fund and it’s now only 30% funded. Pensions in Michigan and Rhode Island were reduced 3% even though they had constitutional guarantees. This pension reform would affect public employees including: police officers, firefighters, teachers, corrections officers, hospital workers, paramedics, sanitation workers & MTA employees. It could also result in developers gaining access to forever wild parklands, restrictions on the right to own weapons & legitimization of fracking. Over 100 state organized groups from unions & environmental organizations to pro-gun groups and the state’s conservative party fear the rights can be taken away if we open our state constitution. There’s no reason to vote in favor of the constitutional convention. She encourages the board to look into this and hold the public forum. Supervisor Volpe added that he would to host one. Any information you can give would be good. We can do it here or the senior center. She can get speakers from a variety of organizations. Discussion ensued about whether or not you actually vote on this and whether or not the vote actually counts.
Dr. Roeder spoke re: “Waiting in Hope” (animal rescue organization) will be holding a rabies/micro-chip clinic on Sept. 30 from 12-3 at Roeder’s Ark. It will be a $10 donation for the rabies vaccination for dogs/cats although it will be free to any dog currently licensed in the Town of Mount Hope. Fundraiser is not limited to animals from the T/O Mount Hope but if you have a dog that is currently licensed it is a no charge. Supervisor asked if this could be put on our website. She will have it emailed to town hall.
TOWN BOARD COMMENTS:
Supervisor Volpe is not a huge fan of social media. It’s an election year. This board decided last year that we were going to come up with a hold harmless agreement to protect the town after there was already an organization that rented the facility and the town got sued. My job isn’t to protect somebody’s feelings. My job is to protect the town. We came in to place a hold harmless agreement which is the way it was explained to him – like an onion – one more layer of protection before the town would have anything to pay. This town has paid out money for stuff that has nothing to do with the town. We pay out money – insurance rates go up – the taxpayer pays. There’s a lot of not-for-profits in our town. There’s a lot of great organizations in our town. He’s part of 1 of them. Our club doesn’t need help from a paid group in order to make things happen. Volunteerism is down everywhere you go. Our average cost is about $3,000/day to have labor at the fair. Last year we helped 4 days before & 4 days after. With police protection it’s about $30,000. If anyone on the town board wants to make a motion to use $30,000 of tax payers money to offset a private organization – he’d be happy to entertain the motion. It’s $3,000/day that the highway workers are down there. He was contacted by Mike Romano. He spoke re: golf carts. We’ve never had golf carts. On March 13, 2016 Sue Marshall emailed him and asked for help with the light towers as he did 2 years prior and also to get golf carts of 2016. This year he got nothing. She gave someone else the paperwork to bring to the county for the light towers and he wasn’t contacted at all. At 7:16am this morning he was contacted to contact the C/O Middletown that they may have golf carts. He would have been happy to write a letter to anyone. We went back/forth for 3 weeks with the hold harmless agreement and could have discussed a need for golf carts. He emailed the mayor this morning and has heard nothing back. He cc’d Sue Marshall on the correspondence with the mayor of Middletown. He would be happy to help. Pretty much anything anyone has asked him to do (writing a letter or something that we can do) that’s one thing. If anyone wants to go for training we need dates and how much money it will cost. But if we want to spend $20,000 of resources just because it’s been okay for 20 years it’s still okay now. It’s not. Not everyone that lives here goes to the fair. He’s sorry if he comes off abrasive or if he hurt someone’s feelings. This is our money and if things were reversed and we were raising taxes 10%/year people would be down here ‘what can we do to cut things’. Just because the town is in good financial shape doesn’t mean we throw $20,000 away. If another group is gonna pay for it there’s no reason anybody else can’t pay for it. Highway guys is a different situation. If any of them get hurt setting up anything down there to boot 90% is on village property; explain that to the insurance carrier. We saw last year. Town was involved in a law suit. We paid this year. I will protect the town’s finances, resources and employees.
Councilman Howell: re: police barrel. On 3-8-17 Susan Marshall signed a Mount Hope Dept. of Parks & Rec park pavilion rental contract policy initialing a box that says “the party requiring additional police and/or maintenance will be charged accordingly and shall be the sole responsibility of the applicant. The Otisville Country Fair knew that they would have to pay for the police. He doesn’t think any tax payers should be forced to pay taxes to supplement any organization not-for-profit – for profit. We don’t live in North Korea or China. The Orange County Veterans Svc Agency has transportation for veterans. They have outreach counseling svcs., food pantry deliveries, recognition programs & hotlines for veterans in crisis. Fliers on the table. This will be sent to the website.
Councilman Carey spoke re: the fence around the pavilion. There’s some rails down. Community day is there, the fair is there. The highway dept goes up and puts up snow fence and the following week it’s taken down. The next time it’s put back up again. May be we can put some kind of fencing on Finchville so it’s permanent. Councilman Cambareri: split rail fence that’s in the back of the park is old. It’s time to be replaced. It’s starting to be a safety hazard. People are gonna start sitting on the rails. Some will start to break. We should definitely change this. DO new split rail – whatever you guys want but definitely should be replaced. Carey: he’s talking about around the pavilion and down by the park. If we’re gonna have more & more events, it would be appeasing. Hassenmayer: we’ve been patching it now for 10 years. It was there for at least 5 before that. Cambareri: it’s well served it’s time. Supervisor asked who wants to chair it. Carey will do it. He asked about getting a price for Finchville. Hassenmayer added along the road he would rather see guard rail. Carey: who does that? Hassenmayer will get a price on that. Supervisor noted he would like to see a huge cross walk there. Carey inquired about grants for flashing lights/solar signs. Hassenmayer hasn’t seen any grants but last fall he priced them out & they were solar operated crosswalk signs where you push a button. They were around $10,000 each. 91
Supervisor thought fake speed bumps would be good. Hassenmayer: they’re not good on a road like that.
Councilman Cambareri spoke re: summer camp report. With us making a little over $3,000; we’re not designing it to make money – it’s to break even. Previous years’ camp cost the taxpayers between $11-18,000. By renegotiating everything and changing the way the camp was operated they still got lunch every day, they still did everything that they normally did & this year we’ve actually shown a profit. Councilman Carey added they were fed every Friday like last year.
MOTION TO WAIVE PARK PAVILION RENTAL FEE FOR OTISVILLE COUNTRY FAIR:
MOTION offered by Councilman Howell 2nd Councilman Cambareri to waive the 2 week rental fee for the 2017 Otisville Country Fair for the use of the pavilion. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
MOTION TO ADJOURN:
MOTION offered by Councilman Howell 2nd Councilman Carey to adjourn the meeting at 8:59pm. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
The next meeting is scheduled for September 5, 2017 at 7:30pm at the town hall meeting room located at 1706 Route 211 West, Otisville NY.
Kathleen A. Myers RMC
TOWN OF MOUNT HOPE
2017 INVESTMENT POLICY
Motion by Councilmember Janet Sutherland
The Town Supervisor is designated to make all investment transactions for the
Town. The Town of Mount Hope investment policies are governed by the
statutes of the State of New York, however, the Town must have a stated and
approved investment policy. The Town funds are deposited in F.D.I.C. insured
banks located within the State. The Town uses demand accounts
and may use Certificates of Deposit. Collateral is required for all funds on
deposit not covered by Federal deposit insurance. Obligations that are pledged
as collateral shall be obligations of the U.S., its agencies, New York State, its
municipalities and school districts. The collateral should be placed in a third
party bank and the third party bank is to give the Town notification of possession,
the depositories for the Town investments shall be First National Bank of
Jeffersonville, Wallkill Valley Federal Savings & Loan, Orange Bank & Trust Company.
The investment policy of the Town shall be in accordance with the statutes of New York
State and be periodically reviewed and revised as necessary to reflect changes in
available investment opportunities and market conditions. Investment records and
controls should be within the guidelines of policies and procedures set forth by the Office
of the State Comptroller.
Seconded by Councilmember Dominick Cambareri
Supervisor Chad Volpe X
Councilman Matthew Howell X
Councilman Brian Carey X
Councilwoman Janet Sutherland X
Councilman Dominick Cambareri X
Approved at Town Board meeting held on August 21, 2017.
Kathleen A. Myers, RMC