WORKSHOP MEETING, TOWN OF MOUNT HOPE, September 18, 2017
The workshop meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Mount Hope was held at Town Hall on September 18, 2017 at 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 Rickard, Atty. D. Bavoso.
Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Supervisor Volpe called the meeting to order at 7:30PM. He asked for everyone to silence/turn off their cell phones
MOTION TO ACCEPT PRIOR MEETING MINUTES:
MOTION offered by Councilwoman Sutherland 2nd by Councilman Cambareri that the minutes of the Sept. 5, 2017 & Sept. 18, 2017 meeting as submitted by the Town Clerk are approved. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
- Highway budget modification
- Supervisor’s report 8-2017
- Proposed 2018 Halloween curfew
- Police report August 2017
- Public hearing notice from T/O Mamakating re: Mamakating Comprehensive Plan
- Public hearing notice from T/O Mamakating re: Moratorium for certain land uses
- Letter from Cypress Creek re: solar energy
- Memo from H’way Supt. re: pictures of trees planted at park from forestry grant
- Email from Atty. Bavoso re: highway Grievance
- Email from Atty. Bavoso re: Pierson’s solar
Councilwoman Sutherland reported the planning board meeting is scheduled for 9-25-17 at 7pm.
Councilman Carey reported the football league had a fundraiser but he is not sure of the results because he was out of town. Supervisor Volpe added that there’s a parking issue again. Chief Rickard added there were 9 parking tickets issued.
Councilman Howell reported the master plan committee will meet on October 19, 2017 at 5pm at the town hall. They are almost done with the 1st half of the master plan. He reported the Veteran’s Day parade will be on Nov. 11 at 11am. It will start at the Otisville fire house at go to the Otisville Veteran’s park.
Supervisor Volpe reported that he received a call from Liam O’Neill re: Moon Festival. There were 2250 visitors for moon festival. There were a couple small issues with Dean. He added that the newsletters went out the end of last week.
Supervisor Volpe asked the status of the salt. Supt. Hassenmayer said the 1st order is completed. He won’t order anymore until after clean-up days which are the 1st 2 weekends in October. There was discussion on the new systems put on 2 of the trucks. It should be cheaper with the new system & will be cleaner.
AT THIS TIME, Councilman Carey reminded everyone that there’s a blood drive at the Otisville fire house on Sept. 27, 2017 from 1:30-7:30pm.
Chief reported the moon festival went well. The bill will be sent after payroll is calculated. Dragon Springs has some trespassing issues going on. They are addressing this.
Supervisor spoke re: election signs. He asked for clarification from the attorney. The attorney stated there are no regulations to election signs in residential districts just in the LB & ORIP districts.
They have to be taken down within 2 weeks after the election. Most municipalities have a time period – one month before / 2 weeks after. He can put together a law if the board would like him to. It wouldn’t affect this election. It’s in the zoning. It only applies to 2 zoning districts. The law would expand that further. The board agreed it should be addressed. Mr. Clouse will send a copy of the village law on this.
MOTION TO APPROVE HIGHWAY BUDGET MODIFICATION:
MOTION offered by Councilman Howell 2nd Councilman Carey to approve modification as follows:
Increase revenue A2770 by $500 and Increase Parks & Recreation A7140.4 by $500. (This is proceeds from the forestry grant.) All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
HUDSON VALLEY REGIONAL COUNCIL:
Niklas Moran from the Hudson Valley Regional Council gave overview clean energy program. NYSERDA started this last August. There are 10 action items under the program as follows if you do 4 out of the 10, you get designated as a clean energy community. All grants have been allocated already. A lot of the action items do save money. The 10 action items: 1. Benchmarking, 2. Clean energy upgrades, 3. LED street lights, 4. Clean fleets, 5. Solarize, 6. Unified solar permit, 7. Energy code enforcement training, 8. Climate smart community certification, 9. Community choice aggregation, 10. Energize NY finance. He asked for questions. Ken Pinkela asked if he was the only municipality rep or the community service rep. He spoke about the community center committee. Solar wants to come. They’ve been working with O&R. He would like to speak with Mr. Moran about this. Mr. Moran covers Orange & Sullivan counties. He will leave cards on the table. Audience member asked if this was on the website. Supervisor will put it there.
MOTION TO APPROVE THE 2017 HALLOWEEN CURFEW:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilwoman Sutherland that anyone under the age of 18 must be off town roads after 9:00pm from October 27, 2017 through November 1, 2017 unless they are accompanied by a parent or guardian 21 years of age or older or if they are coming to or from a work assignment or school activity. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri, carried.
MOTION TO APPROVE SUPERVISOR’S REPORT:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Carey to approve the August 2017 Supervisor’s report as presented. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri, carried.
COMMUNICATIONS SYSTEMS SPECIALIST WITH ORANGE COUNTY DEPARTMENT OF EMERGENCY SERVICES – CHRIS CARNEY:
He explained they are building a new radio system project in Orange County. Part is landing in Mount Hope off Maryann Drive. Current radio system is a little rough. It’s made up of multiple radio systems. Coverage is horrible at best. They put in additional radio system to help them. It’s worse than the system they tried fixing. 2 of the 6 systems in the county are coming to the end of life. 1 is so old the parts are as old as he is. They are starting to fail and they can’t find replacements. They started a new radio system project that will tie all emergency services (police, fire, EMS) into 1 radio system. This will end of life the other 6 systems. It’s a multimillion $ project.
$127,000 of subscriber radio units (mobile radios) will come to Mount Hope. Supervisor stated there were complaints in the building dept. that a tower was being built without permit or notification to the town. Building dept. spoke to assessor to find out who owned property. There was an existing tower belonging to citizens communications. Mr. Carney: the existing tower there now is on county property. There’s confusion on property lines. The tower is on county property and the new tower is about 7’ away on same parcel. Supervisor: confusion came when the assessor map looked as if it wouldn’t be on county property. So if it wasn’t on county property then this person was building a tower without any kind of permit. A stop work order was issued. We realized shortly after it was the county property. You came down with all the stuff. A little communication on both ends would have been helpful. Maybe signs would have helped. Some were nervous.
Because complaints were piling up we thought it good for someone to come and explain. Chief Rickard explained currently on zone 1 which is this side of 211 – we have areas with no communication. This new system will correct that. He is on the police channel plan committee. This will resolve all these issues. So where we can’t communicate via car radio – with this new system we’ll be able to communicate with a portable radio. This will save us quite a bit of money. The county dispatches us this will be a big improvement for us and the fire department. The county at no cost to us will supply all the radios to not only Otisville but all the fire departments. This is in response to some of the issues that not only the police but fire depts./EMS have had over the years where we can’t communicate. Councilman Carey added: I know you work at the 911 center. We had a moon festival here over the weekend here and there was a huge banner up and a man collecting signatures against this project. They’ve collected over 300 signatures. Some people didn’t know what it was for. He spoke to the man & explained that this is for communications for the police, fire and the dead spots that are here. Chief Rickard: explained that he’s been talking about this for 6 years. The tower has been in the planning stages for 7 years. This didn’t happen overnight. He went to the table & their impression is this got approved overnight. Mr. Carney: Maryann Drive is off Mountain Road, it’s a 200’ tower vertical, 3 legged tower. It is next to a 150’ steel tower. Current plans as we take the old system off & we strip stuff off the old tower we are going to dismantle the old tower. That tower is only planned for public safety use (police, fire, EMS). No plans for putting cellular stuff up there. National initiative called First Net which is a national wide public safety broad band system. If that comes down and they say this is gonna be a really good spot we’re gonna have to break down & put their technology up there; they use 4G. This is behind the trees. People won’t see the steel that goes up. The tower will be complete in about 3 weeks. Current radio system off a mobile radio is 72-73%. The new radio system – Motorola guarantees portable coverage, radio on the hip at 95%. That means 95% of the time 95% of the property within Orange County – that radio would work. He has the coverage maps committed to memory. A man from Dragon Springs stated that he can see the top of the current tower. He said he saw the drawings form the new one that’s supposed to be 300’. They can see it from the other side. Carney: the original plans for the tower was 274’. We have to file with the FAA because we are up in the air space at that point. Anything over 200’ needs approval from FAA. They got the approval. It took so long to get to the construction phase that that permit had actually expired. We had to renew. At that point the FAA had limited us to 200’. The drawings still say 300’ but we are only putting 200’ of steel. Further discussion on the height of the tower. Carney: explained they need the height for coverage. For lightning protection we have to keep the antennas below the top of the tower. Nikki Macaluso thanked Chief Rickard for the background info he gave. She is concerned that even though it’s been 7 years in the making, they didn’t know anything about it as residents. For 4-6 weeks they heard banging/drilling/explosions. She found out about this because her neighbor’s dog went missing and they helped look for it. She was one of the phone calls made. She understands the county is under different authority. What kind of environmental impact studies have been done? 4G is coming. That’s her concern. The concern is what’s coming down the pipeline ie: Verizon & AT&T wanting to go on the tower. Carney: apologized for the work on a Saturdays. That’s solid rock & it had to be drilled. They had to excavate down 14’ for this tower. The company doing the work is called Pyramid. If Verizon or AT&T came and wanted to put something on the tower they would have to go to our zoning board. They have no authority over that. Someone asked when this will end. Where do we have a say? Supervisor verified that any cellular company wanting to add to the tower would have to go through the zoning board. Carney: yes. Adam McCarey asked about the county wanting to put 4G there. Carney: doesn’t think the county would do that. If the purpose of the tower needs changing, they have to go to the zoning board. Supervisor explained if it was to go to the zoning board all residents within 500’ of the property lines gets notified by certified letter. Audience: that doesn’t help when we are 3,000’ away. Councilman Howell asked in terms of public relations in the county, what has been done with any of these towers that have been put up. Were letters sent to the municipalities or homeowners, property owners? Carney: his previous boss visited several town boards about 5 years ago. Howell: thinks the county dropped the ball on that. The county doesn’t have a good track record with public relations. Carney: will bring concerns back to the county. Nothing can go on our tower without us saying yes. And go to the zoning board. This tower is intended for public safety use only. Councilman Carey added that all meetings are recorded and on the website and facebook. This was a surprise to him as well.
Question was asked how long before a meeting would residents be notified so that they could come to a meeting to see what someone else wants to put on there. Atty. Bavoso added that there’s a process. You need 2 weeks before to get on agenda. Site plans have to be up to date, public hearings have to happen. It could be up to a 6 month process to get this going. Audience asked how can you guys let us know so we can come. Councilwoman Sutherland added that ZBA meetings are as needed the 1st Wednesday of every month. Alison Miller: are agendas posted on website? Town Clerk: yes. Sutherland: it’s not every month only if something comes up. Supervisor: it’s still a process. Audience: if you knew about this and when phone calls were made why we were told we can’t tell you that? Chief: you could have called the police department and we would have told you what we knew. I didn’t know the technical details. Councilman Cambareri: we weren’t notified either that it was going up this week. That’s how we found out is by people calling the building department. Building Inspector added that as soon as she was contacted she went up there then called the county and we’ve been moving forward since then. Until we were notified, none of us knew what was going on. That’s where the county dropped the ball. They will now provide us with reports as the project moves forward. Audience:
It’s disturbing that we call and ask and were told you can’t tell us anything. It makes it seem like you’re hiding something. Councilman Carey added when he was contacted he called Julie 1st. He didn’t know when the tower was going and not speaking for anyone else on the board he’s not hiding anything from you. If you called and asked me a question, I would get an answer for you. Discussion re: not being told. Carney: this is on the county website. Someone spoke re:5G possibility and ridgeline protection. Cambareri: the county is exempt from our zoning. Carey suggested following up with people in the county ie: legislator, county exec. He thanked Mr. Carney for coming. Councilman Howell asked who sets stipulation for the public hearings. Atty. Bavoso: the town but the state sets the bare minimum. He will confirm that. Supervisor asked about expanding the notification to neighbors. Bavoso: yes and the board could post that on the website.
MOTION TO AUDIT THE CLAIMS:
MOTION offered by Councilwoman Sutherland 2nd by Councilman Howell to approve the following bills for Abstract 18:
GENERAL A: #533-562 $ 62,390.94
GENERAL B: #70-75 $ 9,999.56
HIGHWAY: #135-147 $ 64,915.82
SEWER: #70-77 $ 4,432.88
All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri, carried.
Alison Miller announced the Trick Tray for the old school community center on October 21 at 5pm. Held at the new Otisville School – calling is at 6:30pm.
Bob Clouse announced the alumni will be touring the old school this weekend. Everyone is welcome. They are seeking volunteers for various committees.
Dr. Dolores Roeder-Palmer announced the rabies/microchip clinic on Sept. 30 from 12-3. $10 donation for rabies and $25 for microchipping. If dog is licensed in Mount Hope there’s no charge for the rabies vaccination. This is a fundraiser for “Waiting in Hope”.
MOUNT HOPE SOLAR PILOT AGREEMENT:
Attorney Bavoso explained the 2 resolutions for 2 separate properties regarding a solar facility application before the planning board. NYS law & real property law permits the town to require a PILOT agreement for those solar facilities. This was negotiated with Glen. The motion is to adopt the resolutions as written regarding the PILOT agreements pending updated metes and bounds of the properties provided by the applicant.
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE EXECUTION OF THE PILOT AGREEMENT CONTRACT BETWEEN THE TOWN OF MOUNT HOPE & MOUNT HOPE SOLAR 1 LLC & MOUNT HOPE SOLAR 2 LLC FOR THE PIERSON FARM PROPERTY:
MOTION offered by Councilman Carey 2nd by Councilman Cambareri to adopt the resolutions as written regarding the PILOT agreements pending updated metes and bounds of the properties provided by the applicant. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri, carried.
(Copies on file in town clerk’s office)
RESOLUTION OF THE TOWN BOARD OF THE TOWN OF MOUNT HOPE AUTHORIZING EXECUTION OF THE STIPULATION AGREEMENT BETWEEN THE TOWN OF MOUNT HOPE AND EMPLOYEE ROBERT BAKKER:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Howell to adopt the resolution as written resolving the matter. (copy on file in the town clerk’s office). All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri, carried.
Councilman Howell read a bullet point from the elementary school with regard to the reason why police are on the school property in the mornings and afternoons every day.
Councilman Carey stated he needed until next meeting to finish getting the proposals for the fence at the pavilion. He’s received one so far.
Supervisor Volpe spoke re: today’s budget meeting being videotaped. Next meeting is 9-25-17 at 6pm.
MOTION FOR ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Howell to adjourn the meeting at 8:47pm. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri, carried.
The next meeting is scheduled for October 2, 2017 at 7:30pm in the town hall meeting room at town hall.
Kathleen A. Myers, RMO