The workshop meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Mount Hope was held at Town Hall at 1706 Route 211 West, Otisville, NY on October 17, 2016 at 7:15pm 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: Deputy Chief Corcoran, Supt. Hassenmayer & Att’y D. Bavoso.
Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Supervisor Volpe called the budget meeting to order at 7:15pm
BUDGET MEETING FOR THE 2017 TOWN BUDGET:
7:15pm Supervisor Volpe opened the budget meeting for the 2017 Town Budget. Legal notice was available at the desk. We met last month and got a lot done in one night. Some of the other numbers came in. I gave you a sheet as to what was changed after we verbally spoke and exactly what it was that we changed. Basically, we decreased $21,693. 2016 the tax rate was 6.335%. 2017 tax rate was 6.327%. It’s a decrease of approx. .025 of a %. We received the library and Howells numbers. He went over some of the list of changes: overnight shifts for the police. Most of it is contractual. Board had no questions.
RESOLUTION TO SCHEDULE PUBLIC HEARING FOR 2017 PRELIMINARY BUDGET:
MOTION offered by Councilman Carey 2nd by Councilman Howell to schedule the public hearing for the 2017 Preliminary Budget public hearing on Nov. 10, 2016 at 7:15pm. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
RESOLUTION TO CLOSE BUDGET MEETING:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Howell to close the workshop at 7:22PM. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
7:30PM at this time, Supervisor Volpe opened the regular town board meeting.
RESOLUTION TO ACCEPT THE PRIOR MEETING MINUTES:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Howell that the minutes of the 10/3/2016 meeting as submitted are approved. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
1. Resolution re: 13-1-5
2. Supervisor report Sept. 2016
3. Copy of letter from DEC re: acquiring 19-1-29
4. Resignation from Officer R. Kozlowski
5. Police dept. budget modification
6. Letter from Congressman Maloney re: Transportation Alternatives Program
7. Corres. From A.O.T. re: 2016 Personnel Management School
8. Police monthly report Sept. 2016
Councilman Howell reported there are no ZBA or planning meetings scheduled for this month. The next comprehensive workshop meeting is 10/27/16 at 5pm at town hall.
Councilman Carey reported he is meeting with the county planning dept. next week for funding/grant opportunities for the concert series and the other is for follow up on a possible grant we might be able to get. He wants to get more information before he talks about it.
Councilwoman Sutherland reported the 4h fall harvest was very successful. They netted just under $20,000. Next weekend is the Duck derby at the D&H canal the open house was this past weekend.
Councilman Cambareri reported on the sewer plant that the contract information came from KC Engineering that they’re going to submit.
Supt. Hassenmayer reported that he doesn’t have a full trash report but they were down from the spring. Electronics collected 15 pallets, C&D filled 14 dumpsters in 9 days, 3 metal dumpsters. He reported Roger will start removing the carpet tomorrow in town hall hallway. He will pick up the tile at Home Depot. He should get it stripped down next week. Supervisor reminded him of the curtain rods for the senior center – 6 windows.
Dep. Chief Corcoran noted the resignation from Kozlowski to be approved. He reported that Mobile Life informed them that the oxygen equipment is in. We plan on training 3 dates in November. We get the O2 certification, blood-born pathogen and AED-CPR certification. Councilman Carey asked what type of training you get for oxygen. It’s brief. It’s an explosive gas. It has to be stored correctly. Volume depends upon patient needs.
VILLAGE OF OTISVILLE:
Trustee Loeven reported they adopted the Halloween curfew.
Supervisor Volpe informed the board that a few of them went to a county meeting a week ago Thursday. It didn’t seem as if they wanted to budge very much. Seems as if they made additional writing into the easement where the wells that are within the 1,000 feet will be monitored and included in the event that there is an issue with anyone’s well within the 100 feet of Indigot Creek. As they pull water from the creek – hopefully there won’t be an impact. I don’t know if 1 million gal/day will turn in to 5 million gal/day. There were a lot of rumors that night that this is going to go down the 17M corridor and end up at Legoland. It was stated that if any additional supplies – it’s back to the drawing board. The process would start all over again. Councilwoman Sutherland asked if this will affect Legoland? Supervisor doesn’t know. It was just a rumor. Cambareri stated it’s for Amy’s Kitchen. There’s no plans to go any further yet. Supervisor: the issue is Goshen doesn’t have enough water to give to Amy’s kitchen so they’re not gonna have enough water for Legoland. Once it exceeds the million gallons, they have to go back to the drawing board and start over. Sutherland: so they’ll start the process & pull the million gallons/day then if they see that it’s not enough, then they’re gonna stop all together and redo it or they’re gonna continue to draw the million gallons? Supervisor: they’ll continue but all the testing has to be done first. They’re gonna do a 72 hour test where they see how much water comes out per day non-stop for 72 hours & as they do that they’re gonna check the impacts around as they do the draw. Councilman Carey: the legislative meeting is online Janet. Both Dominick & Chad talked. They answered a lot of questions. I think it was informative to listen to. Supervisor: I don’t know what’s going to happen. Middletown has enough water to give to Amy’s kitchen without doing anything. The deal the county has with them is the 1st 375,000 gallons/day is free so the county is doing this to get more business. Anything above the 375 up to the million, C/O Middletown has to pay the county for per 10,000 gallons – a certain amount per 10,000 gal. They were saying it could be 15 years before they even do anything with it or as quick as 6 months. The problem is C/O Middletown being lead agency & they’re funding everything. The county said that now that us & Greenville are both listed, we should get correspondence all the way through. Carey: when the legislature passed, what was the vote? Supervisor: 20-1. Sutherland: who was the one that voted against it? Cambareri: Roxane Sullivan T/O Crawford. Supervisor: she thought there should be more testing before they voted. Sutherland: how long do we think this was going on before we knew about it? Supervisor: a long time. Cambareri: 3 years. Sutherland: seriously? Cambareri: the T/O Goshen was working with Amy’s kitchen to bring this project to completion. They made the comment that now we are down to the 11 ½ hour, why are we throwing a wrench in the monkey? Cambareri: our ? was, why did you wait until the 11 ½ hour to find a water source? The supervisor explained the process to speak at the meeting. Hopefully we got our point across. Atty. Bavoso: the action that they took was to create the easement. It was explained to us that any potential development has to go through SEQRA process with all of the interested/involved agencies. If Middletown actually got to the point that they wanted to develop & start pulling water, they’d have to start with preliminary tests then they’d have to demonstrate a need to the DEC then they’d have to go through the SEQRA process all just for one piece of – one well or one pump or something like that. There are going to be multiple stages if they decide to move forward with actually developing the property in the easement. They are subject to SEQRA review at every stage.
TOWN PARCEL 19-1-29:
Supervisor explained that the town property we just bought for $7,500, the state is very interested in acquiring the property so that the Huckleberry Ridge Preserve could add this acreage to it. He gave a copy of the letter of intent from NYS to everyone. He called them back and left a message the other day. We don’t have a deed. It should be here within 45 days. He let them know all of that. He will keep everyone posted. Councilman Carey clarified the number of acres to be 38.4.
RSOLUTION TO APPROVE POLICE BUDGET MODIFICATION REQUEST:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Howell to approve the following modification:
Increase revenue A1520 by $201.12 AND increase Police P/S A3120.1 by $201.12. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
Supervisor Volpe explained that the newsletter went out last Thursday & Friday. Hopefully everyone received them. Kathleen had a few people in today. We’ll look at August/September next year.
TOWN PARCEL 13-1-5:
Supervisor Volpe explained that when the property was bought from the Bilinski farm, it was bought out of “B” parkland. For the last 6 years, we’d get nasty letters from the state saying it should have been bought out of “A” and we owe the money. We owe it to ourselves. It should have been “A” parkland not “B” parkland. We’re not gonna stand out there and say hey you’re from the village – please get out of the park. The sale of the property to Cornell is going to act as 350 out of the 550 we spent of repayment but it needed to have proper language showing this is what we are doing. We received some of the money in and we are crediting – it went in to “A” and we’re giving it back to “B”. This is the language we need to have to satisfy the comptroller
RESOLUTION FOR FUND TRANSFER:
MOTION offered by Councilman Howell 2nd by Councilman Cambareri that:
WHEREAS, the Town of Mount Hope previously purchased property located on Finchville Turnpike and further described as Section 13, Block 1, Lot 5 on the Tax Map of the Town of Mount Hope; and
WHEREAS, the Town of Mount Hope financed the purchase through General Fund A, which is designated for the entire Town; and
WHEREAS, the General Fund A did not have sufficient funds to finance the purchase and borrowed the necessary funds in the amount of Five Hundred Fifty Thousand and 00/100 ($550,000.00) Dollars from General Fund B which is designated for the Town outside Village; and
WHEREAS, General Fund B continues to show an account receivable for the funds it loaned to General Fund A; and
WHEREAS, General Fund B has not received any payments toward the receivable account; and
WHEREAS, the Town of Mount Hope sold a portion of the property acquired through this transaction to a private party on September 16, 2016 for the sum of Three Hundred Fifty Thousand and 00/100 ($350,000.00) Dollars; and
WHEREAS, the proceeds of the sale were deposited into General Fund A; and
WHEREAS, the Town Board would like to use the proceeds of the sale to make a partial payment on the account owed to General Fund B,
THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town Board of the Town of Mount Hope shall move the proceeds of the sale of property located on Finchville Turnpike, in the amount of Three Hundred Fifty Thousand and 00/100 ($350,000.00) Dollars from General Fund A, entire Town, to General Fund B, Town outside Village, in partial repayment of an outstanding account receivable.
All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
RESOLUTION TO ACCEPT RESIGNATION FROM ROBERT KOZLOWSKI:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Howell to accept the resignation from police officer Robert Kozlowski effective 10-31-2016. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
Supervisor Volpe asked Town Clerk to possibly close out the bills on the 28th of Oct. since the next town board meeting is not until the 10th of Nov. Town Clerk would just have to inform the department heads of voucher cut off day.
RESOLUTION TO PREPAY BILLS BEFORE NEXT MEETING:
MOTION offered by Councilman Howell 2nd by Councilman Carey to prepay Abstract #21 vouchers presented to the Town Clerk’s office by October 27th. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
Councilman Cambareri explained that there has been a couple of issues in the town with people who have rebuilt their septic systems without a permit and that’s something that requires a permit. As they are cited for a violation for not having the permits for a septic – normally what they would do is they would allow their engineer to write something up & have it approved. Being they have already been underground, we want permission to have Julie send KC Engineering to look at it & go over their plans to make sure their plans are right and if need be go visit the site. There’s actually several of them around that this has happened to. A lot of people don’t realize that they need a permit when they rebuild their septic system, but they do. You need a permit whenever you rebuild any of the facilities in your house especially septic system. Laws have over the years with distances from your well to septic to your neighbors well. That creates a little bit of an issue. That’s why we want to protect ourselves. Even though we require an acre to build on in the town, it’s very rare that you can get 100’ from your septic to your well and 100’ from your neighbors.
We need to have engineering look at that to see if these things comply with the law. I’m not sure how the new laws work on it but we don’t want people to just come in and put a septic system in and infect their neighbors well without engineering looking at it. Supervisor: David, if it’s a new house it goes through the planning board and obviously our engineer can look at it. Bavoso: well they’d be getting it anyway because they’d have to pull the permits for new construction. That would be a part of the permit inspection process. Cambareri: the problem is the ones that have rebuilt their septic without a permit. Bavoso: yes, they’d have to come in. Frankly, I’m a little surprised because I’d be more worried about the DEC than I would the town as far as putting in a septic without a permit. They should be heading to the building department anyway in order to pull the permit for it. To have the engineer inspect it or the building inspector inspect it certainly seems like the natural end product if they want to get their CO. Sutherland: is this – they’re replacing what’s there or completely re-doing it and putting it someplace else? Isn’t it 50’ to the tank and then 100’ to leach fields, correct? Cambareri: the tank has to be a minimum of 10’ …Sutherland: from the well. Cambareri: from the well 100’. Sutherland: I thought it was 50’ for the tank & 100’ for the leech field. Cambareri: the law has changed so I can’t tell you that for sure. In any event no matter what they do, it has to be approved by the engineer before (inaudible). These people have went ahead and replaced systems without engineering so we are requiring even if their engineer comes in and says this is what we did and here’s the paperwork to show what we did, we’d like permission to have our engineers look at that paperwork & if necessary review the site. There are many, many septic systems that are too close to the neighbors well because we only require an acre of land. That was a common practice at one time, but the laws have changed. Supervisor: what do we have to do David? Do we have to have a local law for that? Bavoso: they should be pulling the permits from the building department anyway. I spoke to Julie earlier today. Her concern was over one that apparently pulled out a tank and was putting in a leach field with no permit. If she is aware of any other properties where that’s happening, she can issue stop work orders and make sure they’re pulling proper permits which would require inspections. Supervisor: if you come in and get a permit, does the permit say you gotta have engineering – like our engineer? Bavoso: they’re gonna have to pass final inspection to get a final CO. Cambareri: (inaudible) it could be their own engineer. What Julie is looking for is permission for to have our engineer review the plan. Sutherland: how many are we talking about? Cambareri: right now there is only one that’s of concern. There’s actually several that have been done. As they catch up to them as they find out the ones that have been done, they can go back to them and cite them for doing construction without a permit. That’s the hard part to inspect it because it’s already underground. Sutherland: so we’re gonna fine them? Cambareri: we’ll have to try and find them but we want their engineering report that shows how it was built. Sutherland: no – fine. Cambareri: oh, pay a fine, yes. Bavoso: potentially, depending on what the prosecution would be but if a violation is issued & compliance is achieved right away there might not be. Ultimately the role is compliance. If people are refusing to give information they are supposed to be giving then certainly the fines are appropriate. Cambareri: if it goes in front of the planning board, the applicant automatically pays. But what we are looking for is permission for the town to pay KC to review plans that we receive for ones that have already been done underground. Sutherland: but if you’re saying there’s only one that’s an issue right now, how many are there now, how many are there total? Cambareri: only one reported. Supervisor: the issue is we found a loophole in the system. New construction it’s gonna be reviewed and just replacing obviously it’s not being reviewed. Cambareri: only one has been brought to Julie’s attention so far. Over the years there’s many that have done this and if you catch up to them this is the recourse to go back at them. Just like if you put a deck on your house and you never got a permit, when they re-assess your property and they find a deck, they go back and make you go through the whole engineering process, the application process, when you find it after they’re done, it gives you the ability to go back and collect that and then make sure it’s right. Councilman Carey: if our engineer is looking into a certain ones, how are we gonna recoup our money to pay our engineer that’s gonna go out? Is there gonna be a process down the road if our engineer’s involved, I realize we are talking one now but if we’re talking a lot that’s..Supervisor: if it was our planning board, the applicant was made responsible. This particular thing, I think should say it on the permit. Are we subject to our engineer reviewing – I don’t see how the town should pay the fee. Quite honestly, I think it’s something that people do all the time. I don’t see the review being very expensive. It’s just a precaution to make sure that’s it’s being done so that if it’s next to your neighbor’s well it’s not an issue. My thought is it’s terrible that you have to replace your system and I feel bad for you but at the same time I don’t see why I should have to pay for it to have the review done.
RESOLUTION TO APPROVE SUPERVISOR’S REPORT:
Motion offered by Councilman Howell 2nd by Councilman Carey to accept the September 2016 Supervisor’s report as presented. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
RESOLUTION TO AUDIT THE CLAIMS:
MOTION offered by Councilman Howell 2nd by Councilman Carey to approve Abstract #20:
GENERAL A: #602-628 $ 49,092.45
GENERAL B: #130-134 $ 2,721.09
HIGHWAY: #152-158 $ 28,911.16
SEWER: #80-81 $ 1,152.66
CAP RES GEN A: #6 $ 2,880.00
All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
Mary Maurizzio: if I were living in the town, replacing my septic system, and I have an engineer draw the plans and go through the proper process, I feel it’s an imposition to me. I’m paying an engineer to do that for me. Why do I have to pay your engineer to look at it? Supervisor: we have 1 particular property we can go by right now but if your next door neighbor was putting in a new septic & days after they put it in your water doesn’t taste right, would you want me to just tell you’ well their engineer said it was fine.’ Councilman Cambareri: what we are talking about is people who did it without a permit which didn’t have an engineer design septic system – they put in themselves. The got no permit. They have no design. So now they get in trouble because they didn’t have a permit. We make them go to their engineer and have them draw one up. Well we don’t know because it was done after the fact – there was never any inspections done to the ditches and the piping. How is this engineer gonna certify it? They want to protect ourselves and protect the neighbors ‘til that engineering firm can review what this guy drew up because he doesn’t know what’s underground either. It’s after the fact. Maurizzio: spoke re: the choices for the school. Initially, wanted it torn down then decided on LLC. My husband thinks it should be demolished. There seems to be some kind of unfairness to that. You’re taking a poll and you’re gonna base your referendum on the result of the poll which won’t be a true poll result because right there with my 2 people in my house it’s not accurate. Supervisor: it’s not foolproof. But regardless of the outcome, it’s still subject to a referendum. We will force the permissive referendum. Maurizzio: we don’t have to go out and get signatures? Supervisor: correct. Maurizzio: but it’s going to be the majority of what you get back from your poll. Supervisor: correct. Maurizzio: she is still waiting for an answer as to how much the school has cost so far since it’s been in the town’s possession. She would like the answer.
Kathy Hosking: re: vote: she knows it’s one per household. They have 2 tenant houses, are the tenants allowed to vote? Supervisor: just the property owner.
Diane Loeven: just to be clear, one per property owner regardless of how many properties that individual has? Supervisor: yes.
Jerry Cook: spoke re: average rainfall per year is around 44”. 2008 when test was done we had 52”. That’s an interesting scenario we should look in to. He spoke of the impact zone from the testing. He would like the town to talk to a geologist because all the surface water and ground water is interconnected. He wants to know if this will impact things farther away from their designated circle zone. He is concerned with our future growth. We’ll be using a lot more water 20 years from now than now. He clarified the county vote: 20-1 vote was to give the county executive permission to make a deal with C/O Middletown. The 21-0 vote was the study. The opposition vote was you should be doing the first before you start making the deal. He asked if Middletown is doing a SEQRA process on the easement line. Bavoso: it’s already been done just for the easement itself. The development requires its own. Cambareri: they will keep us notified as an interested party.
Lou Dodd: are we to the point that we can file as a township for an article 78? Bavoso: in regard to their initial SEQRA – yes. Dodd: he talked to the fellas at the V/O Otisville, their wells are down. Behind my house is not a swamp anymore. We are in a drought. The groundwater is here but when you start to draw from the earth below where is the groundwater gonna go? Can you drink groundwater? This is beyond anything else. It’s time that we file a lawsuit. They’re gonna draw millions of gallons of water out of that aquifer. That aquifer runs into V/O Otisville and supplies the state prison. They can’t run out of water. We need to get a lawsuit. Mr. Cook agreed with Mr. Dodd.
Alan Lewis: he received the newsletter but he believes some things were missing from it. Nothing was said about the Indigot Creek in the newsletter. Supervisor: explained the newsletter was done before the Indigot Creek issue had come up and they wanted to get them out. He is concerned with rate-ables in the town. What are you doing to bring light industry, clean industry – new businesses into the Town of Mount Hope? That will help reduce our tax rate. He feels taxes are pretty high. He tried to get his taxes lowered and will continue to try. He thinks if you check surrounding towns in the area that tax rates are lower because they have light industry and more businesses. What are you doing to promote businesses and industry and what can you do in the future? Supervisor: that’s all part of the master plan. Councilman Howell: that is part what we are going to discuss but we haven’t gotten to it yet. It is something on our agenda to be discussed. Lewis: back in the 90’s when we did the zoning for the town, the master plan at that time – the same things were said. How are you promoting this? Are you meeting with various industries? If we are going to give away our resources from the ground, we ought to get something from someplace else.
Frank Ketcham: talking about the million gallons of water to go that way, he wanted to give an impression on what Dragon Springs/Deerpark Commons are looking to do. Dragon Springs is 100,000 gallons/day then Deerpark Commons is 400,000 gallons/day. You’re talking a ½ million gallons/day being sucked out of the aquifer on this side of our town. This is important to follow. This will be right on the edge of our village/town.
M. Maurizzio: what does the attorney think of the whole lawsuit situation? Bavoso: since the last meeting I contacted an environmental attorney. He provided that information to the supervisor. He indicated he was satisfied with some of the explanations regarding at the last meeting of the OC legislature. He will arrange to have the board meet with this attorney at the boards direction. Article 78’s don’t have to be brought by the town. Individual property owners that might be affected can also bring an article 78 proceeding. It’s not limited to the town. I’ve not been directed by the board to set up a meeting with that attorney. It’s up to the town board to move forward.
Julie Musial: asked about a class action. Bavoso: you could if a number of the property owners surrounding the particular area wanted to file suit collectively. They probably have better standing than the town itself. The best cause of action for the town is the initial SEQRA process. If an individual property has seen a drawn down on their well, that gives them a better standing than the town to challenge what’s going on up there. This town board represents the entirety of the town not just one specific area subject to potential impact. He would recommend anyone in that area to at least consult with an attorney. If you can do it in a group, it would abate the cost. At this point they are not authorized to draw any water out. They are authorized to go on to the property to do test to potentially develop. But even the tests & that development require extra outreach & extra procedure in order to get through. The vote the other night was – ok now you can start demonstrating a need, you can start doing studies to make sure it’s not going to affect other wells/water sources. You can start the process of SEQRA once you’ve satisfied us with these studies.
Lou Dodd: is there a plan for how they’re going to monitor the wells? Bavoso: believes there might be but he has to double check. He will check with the corporation council of Middletown. Dodd: where is the information out they’re gonna do studies? Bavoso: they’re gonna provide it when they do the studies.
Ken Coppola: (re: Alan Lewis) he spoke about a horse farm down the road that’s on their 4th name and they get a tax break every 10 years because they change their name. If you’re going to do what Mr. Lewis asked you to do, I would ask that any industry you bring in doesn’t get a tax breaks. That’s usually the only industry that you can get in. It doesn’t make sense that you ask these people to come in and then you’re gonna give them a 10 year tax break.
Kathie Yedziniak: to Dep. Chief Corcoran – why did we pay an officer $200+/- for the moon festival? Corcoran: yes. Yedziniak: why aren’t they paying for it? Corcoran: that’s exactly what this was. This was a reimbursement of their payment to pay the officer.
RESOLUTION TO ENTER INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Howell to enter into executive session at 8:30pm for litigation. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
RESOLUTION TO RECONVENE REGULAR MEETING:
MOTION offered by Councilman Howell 2nd by Councilman Carey to reconvene regular meeting from executive session at 9:05pm. NO ACTION WAS TAKEN IN THIS EXECUTIVE SESSION. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
TOWN BOARD COMMENTS:
Councilman Howell stated that we plan to meet with an environmental attorney referred by David, Mrs. Gallagher, to further discuss the Indigot project.
RESOLUTION FOR ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Howell to adjourn the meeting at 9:06 pm. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
The next meeting is scheduled for November 10, 2016 at 7:15pm in the town hall meeting room.
Kathleen A. Myers, RMC