The workshop meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Mount Hope was held at Town Hall on September 19, 2016 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
RESOLUTION TO ACCEPT PRIOR MEETING MINUTES:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Howell that the minutes of the Sept. 6, 2016 meeting as submitted by the Town Clerk are approved. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
1. Letter from V. Biele re: MHPD presence at school
2. Supervisor’s report 8-2016
3. Otisville Fair Committee thank you note
4. Letter from County re: 19-1-29 38.40 acres
5. Ag & Mkts shelter report 08-30-2016 – satisfactory
6. Standard workday resolution amendment
7. Planning Board/Mount Hope public hearing 9-21-16 @ 7pm re: Homestead Lane/5 lot subdivision
8. Planning Board/Mount Hope public hearing 9-21-16 at 7pm re: amendment to site plan/Sweetman property Shoddy Hollow Road
9. Letters from John Doty & Marie Doty
10. Rabies clinic flier 10-16-16 at Cuddebackville FD 3-5pm
11. Complaint re: 16 Robbins Road
12. Halloween curfew 2016
13. County resolution re: Indigot Reservoir
14. MHFC report through 9-19-16
Councilman Howell: Comprehensive plan public interaction meeting 7pm on 9/20/16 at Senior Center.
Councilman Carey reported Little league/softball had games on Saturday during the moon festival. Everything went good. Football – no report.
Councilwoman Sutherland: Library used 116 cards/sold. 4H harvest festival was well attended. Purchase is complete with 4H & town. She is waiting to hear from Rich Mayfield re: retaining wall. Planning Board meets Wednesday at 7pm.
Councilman Carey added (to Janet) Rich Mayfield will be here on 9-29 for a meeting with (inaudible) & Julie at 11:45am in case you don’t hear back from him you can see him here.
Councilman Cambareri: no report.
Supervisor Volpe: 9/21/16 at 6pm at small pavilion at park – International Peace Day ceremony. Refreshments will be served.
HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT by Highway Supt. Hassenmayer:
Supt. asked for permission for he and Julie to attend a stormwater conference on 10/19/16 in Beacon. Cost is $125/person. The trash ad is ready to go into newspaper. He read the dates of the clean up. He noted the $5 fee for computers and TV’s with CRTs. He received his certificate for a Class A Operator for Underground Storage System. OC Highway opened Tally Ho Road on Friday afternoon/completed out there. They are on schedule with Guymard. That’s a 6 week closure/they still have a way to go yet. Supervisor added that he needs info for the newsletter. Dean will work on it tomorrow morning. Supervisor added that he needs Roger to do a few things here for a fire inspection this week.
MOUNT HOPE FIRE:
Mike Masters thanked the town board for buying breakfast for the water resources drill. It was very much appreciated. They have 1 member going to EMT class.
POLICE DEPARTMENT by Chief Rickard:
Chief reported the moon festival went well. Softball games went on uninterrupted. Good turnout. An officer was there. Supervisor spoke re: the parking for this. Next year would do it a little different. Councilman Carey added that troop 1 in Otisville didn’t have enough people to cover this so a troop from Middletown actually did it.
VILLAGE OF OTISVILLE: No report.
CORNELL COOP. UPDATE:
Supervisor stated the closing was Friday for the Cornell property and went well. $350,000.00 will go into the town coffers.
Supervisor reported that the meeting was last week. No one came. He has a few minor changes. He will email everyone with them once they are done.
Supervisor reported that he met with the county at 1pm. 3 weeks ago he was contacted by Red Hossan (supervisor/Greenville) asking Chad if he knew anything about Indigot Creek. This creek runs through Wallkill, (primarily) Mount Hope & Greenville. On the county floor was a bill for the City of Middletown to draw up to 1 million gallons of water/day from Indigot Creek and take it meter it and sell it to Goshen for a business there. The particular business there is gonna use 390,000 gallons of water/day. The city didn’t have the capacity in order to add that to their water supplies so they solicited the county which owns the rights to Indigot Creek to actually drill out there. When I was contacted by Red Hossan, I knew pretty much nothing & contacted David. He reached out to Melissa Bonacic who handles our area. She was very receptive & in the 8th hour it was pulled off their agenda as they were going to vote on it the next day. Today was 1st time for workshop. I don’t know if it was much of a workshop. The county seems to think that they have enough votes to put it through. Their attorney thinks all the precautions have already been taken. He has a huge problem with the C/O Middletown being lead agency & also the agency that’s going to make money off of it. He expressed his disappointment in some of the houses that run along there have a very shallow well. Some as small as 20’ deep because some of the very enriched with water. He doesn’t know what will happen when a million gall/day comes out of the creek. He gave the board a copy that David sent to Melissa Bonacic for us. He thinks the entire thing needs more oversight. The county, because the C/O Middletown is footing the bill, in his opinion, there’s not the proper oversight. He spoke with Melissa Bonacic today after the meeting. She was not at the meeting. She asked him if I was rest-assured that things would be taken care of and I am not. There’s a lot more to look at. Everyone bought out here and may have drilled their well or whatever and there’s never been an issue. Now that there’s all this coming out of there, I don’t know that’s the right thing. He knows the county, and he’s not against jobs; this particular place is supposed to bring 600 full time jobs. That’s awesome but not if it affects the people that live here. They are looking to take upwards of a millions gallons/day. When he asked Langdon Chapman – I didn’t see anything I there that said if it doesn’t rain for 3 months would we still allow a million gallons/day. He said it’s covered. Chad saw nothing in any of the writing that he had. They did have an actual plan. When he asked if he could get a copy of the plan he was told he could FOIL it. He believes that he and Red Hossan are on the same page – he can’t speak for the entire board, but he thinks more testing needs to be done before we start pulling that amount of water out of it. Wallkill & Middletown meter water so it’s a little different. We don’t meter water out here. He thinks that it changes it for the future. If Greenville or Mount Hope had a big business that was going to come out here obviously that would be the first water supply and I think it’s going to be capacity once they make this agreement with Middletown. He encourages anyone to contact Melissa Bonacic before they vote next week. He thanked David for writing this letter. It was supposed to be Chad, Dan Depew, Red Hossan & Steve Neuhaus. Steve Neuhaus was not there and a couple people from the county and rest were attorneys.
Atty. Bavoso: so the board knows where this came from was through my work in Greenville. The T/O Greenville was notified in August of a SEQRA determination of which they were an interested party that had been made in the beginning of July. The engineers for the applicant, which is the C/O Middletown, claimed that they sent notice but it was to the wrong address for the T/O Greenville. I immediately thought it was ridiculous because Greenville town hall hasn’t moved since it’s been built and 30 seconds on the website would have told you what the mailing address was. The action that they were taking now was determining a negative declaration as far as the C/O Middletown establishing an easement over a portion of the Indigot reservoir. He’s trying to set up a meeting with the corporation council of the C/O Middletown, Supervisor Hossan, David and his father to go over the project more. Right now it’s the easement. His understanding from the corporation council of Middletown that it’s just the easement; any further development of that easement still has to go through the SEQRA process. He’s actually expecting that the DEC is going to take lead agency of any action that happens within that easement.
Supervisor was told that the DEC has no right to take lead agency. Bavoso: that’s news to me. Was that from the county attorneys? Supervisor: yes. Bavoso: not surprised. The Middletown corporation council believes that the DEC is going to take lead agency in those projects. So there is still review and opportunity to provide comments during review a for every time someone wants to dig a well in that easement or Middletown wants to put infrastructure, they have to go through the SEQRA process all over again. Initially, it was me writing a letter on the behalf of Town of Greenville, that SEQRA requires that you notice us & you noticed us 6 weeks after you took the action – which isn’t what SEQRA permits. It set off the Town of Greenville when the engineers wrote in their letter that they were sending that notice as a courtesy at this point. In fact, they were legally obligated to. We’ll be having more meetings next week with the City of Middletown to discuss further. By all means contact your county legislators & county executive & let them know your feelings.
Councilman Carey asked who will vote and what stage it’s at as compared to where it’s gonna go. Supervisor stated the committee which is (say) energy – a subcommittee will vote on it to go to the floor chances are it’s definitely gonna go to the floor because the sub-committees are only 5 members & they only need 3 to go to the floor. Then everyone in the county will vote on that. Then they send it to Steve Neuhaus for a signature. Talking to Melissa Bonacic today, she said the 1st day she found out about this whole deal was the day Steve Neuhaus did the county of the state where the mayor of Middletown went up and shook hands & they signed the agreement and at that point she didn’t know anything of what they were talking about. I’m all for jobs but suffice to say if it means our well are going dry there’s gotta be an alternate solution. Melissa knows how I feel. I think I speak for a lot of the people out there – they all moved out here for a particular reason – they like the landscape/everything out here at the end of the day they’re gonna make money off us – and it’s not us. They’re not saying as a courtesy we’re gonna run water down to the Cornell site, the towns of Greenville, Wallkill & Mount Hope are not getting anything from this. Supervisor will send emails to the board with any updates.
Councilman Howell asked the attorney was there any reason that Greenville was notified or as a courtesy or whether obligated by law or not and not Wallkill or Mount Hope? Attorney: is surprised that Mount Hope wasn’t. It’s my understanding that the head waters for the Indigot system are primarily in Greenville but also Mount Hope and Wallkill. Supervisor added that this past Thursday is when we got all the information.
Councilman Cambareri added that 60% of the county property that they’re talking about is in the Town Mount Hope. The other 40% is in Greenville. Supervisor: where they are drilling the wells is Greenville.
Howell: do we need to request to the county or the city that we are an interested party. Attorney: we can – I didn’t know if the town had been or not. Supervisor was told that we are an interested party. He doesn’t know why we didn’t get any correspondence until now. He would like to follow this up with a letter.
RESOLUTION TO APPROVE SUPERVISOR’S REPORT:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Howell to approve the August 2016 Supervisor’s report as presented. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri, carried.
RESOLUTION TO APPROVE THE STANDARD WORKDAY AMENDMENT:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Howell that:
Be it resolved, That the Town of Mount Hope/Location code 30364 hereby establishes the following as standard work days for elected and appointed officials and will report the following days worked to the New York State and Local Employees’ Retirement System based on the timekeeping system records or the record of activities maintained and submitted by these officials to the clerk of this body: Highway Superintendent, Town Supervisor, Town Clerk, 2 Justices, 3 Council persons & the Assessor for 6 hours per day (copy at end of these minutes). All in favor; Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri; carried.
19-1-29 – 38.40 ACRES:
Supervisor Volpe it looks like we’ll be very successful – we voted on it last time – in acquiring 38.40 acres up on the ridge for $7,500.00. We discussed last meeting was one side of this property is owned by Dragon Springs; the other side is owned by Huckleberry Ridge NYS DEC. NYS is extremely interested in purchasing this piece of property. The way that home rule works is the town would have 1st right of refusal – the county has 2nd right. Then, if the county decided not to sell to highest bidder, the state would have an opportunity to buy it. He spoke with the state. They are interested in this property. They will not be able to give us the $7500. They have to have it – somebody come out and do the whole piece of property, get a price on it and make us an offer. Chances are we’re gonna make out much better. Our intention was for them to have the extension of the state land. Their turn-around time is approx. 6-8 months. Once they have a surveyor come out and they have a price, I will let the board know. It was in our bills tonight to purchase this piece of property and hopefully we’ll be the owners of it before the 5th of October.
RESOLUTION TO APPROVE THE 2016 HALLOWEEN CURFEW:
MOTION offered by Councilwoman Sutherland 2nd by Councilman Howell that anyone under the age of 18 must be off town roads after 9:00pm from October 28, 2016 through November 1, 2016 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.
Supervisor Volpe: we needed a program in order to do the newsletter properly. Kathleen is up and rolling with that. Obviously we are still waiting on information to do this newsletter. If any department heads hopefully will have it this week and we’ll really get cracking on it. My thought is because of not actually being able to put 3 options on the old school and putting it out to vote, the state is saying we must 1st take an action in order to undo the action that we took. In the newsletter, what I’d like to do on either the front or back page, I would like to put the 3 options that we discussed at the public hearings. As we are sending them out, I would like to number them and coincide those with the addresses. Obviously it won’t be foolproof. One newsletter for one house. You could log on to web-site with your number or you could come in and see Kathleen. Once your number is done then that number is over. I would rather have 1,000 of the 3,000 back than just the phone calls I get or the amount of people that came to the public hearings. I will not do it, if the board doesn’t want me to do it. The newsletter is not going to be good enough to get all of the details. I will reach out to Alison or Frank to see if the power point could be uploaded to our website. Obviously the engineering report could be put on the website.
I know everyone doesn’t have access to a computer, but they could come down and do that stuff here. Let them educate themselves on it. The newsletter would say these are the 3 options; visit our website on the front page we’ll put – if you like to see the cost of doing this with the school- click here- it’ll give them everything. If you’d like to see the cost of ripping it down and what’s entailed – then click here. If you’d like to give it to the LLC and see what’s entailed with that – click here. Very vague – but give them the 3 options. My hope is that we get a lot more than 50 or 60 people. This is the 1st year that we sent out a thing for summer rec. He sent letters to the parents for summer rec and asked questions. We probably got about 60% back. Most of the people from summer rec had very few things to say except maybe conflicts with their schedule.
At least we got their input. If the board is ok with it, we waited 6 years, if we put a deadline on it & see when Kathleen has the newsletter ready and we put a month…you have to have your vote back in a month. Then we’ll have an idea.
Councilman Carey asked what you said as an example, you have 4 people in your house, your basically sending back one vote. Supervisor: yes. He explained his reason that it was brought up to him that “I could just make 50 copies of it” and put in 50 votes. That’s why we would number them.
Supervisor Volpe asked how the audit went. Councilman Howell: Brian & I did the audit of the court’s books on Friday. Everything checked out with that. There was nothing that needed to be clarified or reported. That is complete. Supervisor explained it has to be in our minutes.
RESOLUTION FOR JUSTICE AUDIT:
MOTION offered by Councilman Howell 2nd by Councilman Carey to adopt the recommendation of the Town Board members & the statement that the audit is complete and they found no discrepancies. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri, carried.
Supervisor asked if anyone had any questions. Councilwoman Sutherland had a question for David and requested executive session to seek advice from counsel.
RESOLUTION TO APPROVE 2 TO ATTEND STORMWATER CONFERENCE:
MOTION offered by Councilman Howell 2nd by Councilman Carey to approve Dean & Julie going to Stormwater conference on Oct. 19, 2016 for $125/person in Beacon. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri, carried.
RESOLUTION TO AUDIT THE CLAIMS:
MOTION offered by Councilman Carey 2nd by Councilman Howell to approve the following bills for Abstract 18:
GENERAL A: #528-558 $ 69,184.91
GENERAL B: #120-125 $ 5,061.99
HIGHWAY: #133-142 $ 38,014.34
SEWER: #71-72 $ 1,065.47
All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri, carried.
RESOLUTION TO ENETER INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION:
MOTION offered by Councilwoman Sutherland 2nd by Councilman Cambareri to enter into executive session at 8:07 pm to seek advice of counsel. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri, carried.
RESOLUTION TO RECONVENE THE REGULAR MEETING:
MOTION offered by Councilwoman Sutherland 2nd by Councilman Carey to reconvene the regular meeting at 8:27pm from executive session. THERE WAS NO ACTION TAKEN AT THIS SESSION. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri, carried.
RESOLUTION TO APPROVE FIRE PROTECTION:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Howell to allow the supervisor to sign the contract with the lowest bidder. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Cambareri; NAY: Sutherland – motion carried.
Lou Dodd: I’d like to thank the town of Mount Hope residents for allowing the Mount Hope Fire Company to volunteer to protect & serve them. He congratulated the village of Otisville for winning the bid for fire protection.
Tim Selg: thanked all fire members of both the village & Mount Hope for the dedicated service over the years to protect our community. I trust that the board in their review of the bids – objectively looked at the bids & weighed the safety of the town members versus the capacity to put out a fire & provide equipment & trained personnel when you made your decision. I filed a FOIL request to review both bids; to look at them objectively as best I can not being a fire person.
Selg cont: I wanted to see what were the differences in the bids and if the differences were worth the low bidder or a higher bidder and try to put a value of life’s worth on that bid. My findings that: the membership in Otisville was 28 members but I was not able to determine active members or how many calls each member went to a fire or some type of response. I was not able to find any EMS service provide by Otisville and that was 1 of my concerns that maybe that caused the bid to be higher because Mount Hope is providing EMS service as a 1st responder to somebody’s house before the fire people can get there. Not only fire but accidents: chain saws heart attacks, strokes. Without having a 1st responder EMS provided to this town for the protection of us is a dis-service to our safety & our health. I would think that the town would objectively consider that before they made their decision. The equipment – in age they are both the same: 24 years vs. 23.8 years. My concern was in the units (Otisville) 144/Rescue unit, Tower 140 Pumper 143 – they’re overloaded right now in that capacity. They are unsafe to operate with any other personnel in those vehicles other than the driver. These units are made for other personnel to arrive on the scene but they’re too heavy & overweight to have other firefighters in that fire truck going to a fire. How are we going to get the firefighters there? Units 144 & 142 are so overweight & unsafe as to not to be operated under any condition. They can’t leave the fire station. Was that part of your decision process that you used and how did you come about that decision when some of these facts are quite alarming? I’m not making this up. This was a report from the village of Otisville on the fire operation of their fire department. This was in their bid. I hope you saw that and weighed that against all other options. This is not subjective favoritism. This is about saving property, saving lives & maintaining the health of our citizens and I’m sure you took that into account as well. I wouldn’t think that you would do anything less. Cambareri: 3 minutes are up.
Ed Fairweather: He thanked Mr. Selg for his comments. He hit many points that I was going to bring up. I know the board hopefully took those things into consideration – but obviously not being the way that you decided to do the contract. I’d like to say about the EMS, I know that in budget discussions a member stated that it wasn’t required as far as the fire contract but though not required I believe the additional benefit of the EMT service provided by the MH fire department is a service should have been maintained & obviously now it will not be. Statistics show that over 22 million patients treated by frontline EMS personnel last year alone. As we all know the golden hour is the time frame identified by emergency medical professionals as a crucial period in which beginning of treatment for heart attack/stroke victims should occur for the greatest chance of survival. Over 1,000 lives are lost with sudden cardiac arrest every day. This board, you as the board, recognized and sponsored CPR classes showing that you realize the importance of being able to respond quickly in this type of emergency. Medical professionals recognize that whether no matter what the emergency issues are, that every second counts in response time. The ability to arrive on scene & immediately provide this EMS treatment is a game changer in our rural community. Today in communities all over the Hudson Valley we see signs looking for volunteers for our fire companies & ambulance corps. The demand on EMS service & 1st responders grows ever greater every year. Just as budgets are shrinking and fewer & fewer are willing to help their neighbors in distress. When you look at the dollars required to maintain this vital community service yet every time we breathe a sigh of relief when those trained volunteers arrive to help. I would certainly hope that the board took not only this but the outstanding service record that Mount Hope fire department had provided to the citizenry realizing that over 40% of its service calls have been medical and you have just now eliminated that service. How did you justify that? How could you justify that? I don’t care about the 3 minutes. I’m sure that every one of those gentlemen there would give me his 3 minutes. As we look at this – a ladder truck in your own bid requires that a ladder truck be serviceable. Otisville’s truck has not been in service for over 7 months. I called today. It’s still not in service. Cambareri: 3 minutes are up. Fairweather: Parliamentary procedure I am allowed – someone else is allowed to give me their time to speak. Cambareri: they can speak for themselves. Fairweather: I would continue sir. Mr. Rickard (inaudible) I turn myself in to your custody sir at this very moment. I think I am making my point. You can sit there and huff/puff all you like. This is a dark day for the Town of Mount Hope. You have done a tremendous di-service to its citizens and I hope to God and pray that it does not come back to haunt you. This is despicable. That political comradery overwhelms the safety of the community – the responsibility of you as a board member. I am not addressing the crowd; I am addressing the board as per protocol. If you wish to have some of their questions presented to me, I will gladly answer every question asked. Supervisor: that’s fine. They can do that after the meeting.
Fairweather cont: I think, quite honestly by doing this and not holding public session to hear more of the response of the community before you again you did another dis-service to this community. And, just for your information, you are over 48 people. This meeting could technically be declared illegal.
Wayne Melton: to be clear about EMS calls, Otisville does life threatening calls. Their amount of EMT’s & certified 1st responders – way, way below what we have. They’ve had pretty much the track record of showing up to calls in their own district without any medical people. You guys chose to do that – that’s on you. Rumors are all out there that we are all going back to Otisville. It’s not going to happen. 19 of us are still being sued by the village and we cannot go back. That’s a fact. That’s just to dispel the rumors. $200,000 worth of grant equipment has to go back. The air packs- I gotta call FEMA tomorrow – find out what we’re gonna do with them January 1st. Whatever department is down the line – they’re gonna go to them. The bailout systems, the harnesses – all that stuff – it has to go back. It’s a NYS law that every interior fire fighter MUST have a bail out system, a harness & annual training. It’s not an option. It’s a NYS law. You as a board are just as liable as the village board will be and the chiefs, whoever they happen to be, will be liable when something bad goes down. Sorry you voted that way.
Linda Olivo: I have a concern. I have a child that’s in the Otisville School. Is there a law regarding a ladder truck for a fire department for that school? If they don’t have an operable ladder truck, what happens to that school if there’s an emergency? Is there a law? Is there a rule that they are supposed to have a ladder truck? Cambareri: not all companies have a ladder truck, no. Olivo: we have a school in our district, is that a problem? Cambareri: I couldn’t tell you. Olivo: how do we find out? That’s a very big concern. I have a kid on the 2nd floor of the Otisville elementary school. What is the answer? That’s my child. I’m sure there’s other people in this meeting that have children in there. That’s a very big concern. That is my kid in that school. What are you gonna do when there’s an emergency in that school? You have to get to that 2nd floor and you don’t have a ladder truck, what are you going to do? No answer? What are you going to do? I’m sure the school would love to be informed. I will tell you I am on the PTO at the Otisville elementary school& I will make them aware. What is your answer? Sutherland: sadly, they don’t have to answer you.
Ken Coppola: When does that start? Supervisor: January 1, 2017. Coppola: I’m sure all the concerns heard here tonight will be addressed by then. Then she can tell the PTO or whoever the next meeting by January 1st that truck will be in service to service those people. Also, 3 years ago there was approx. 80% of the people in the room spoke to the previous board about not doing what they did & they didn’t listen. If the minutes reflect that which I hope they do anybody can go back and read the minutes. There was no less than 80% people that said don’t do it and they did it anyway. And now thank God there’s only one of them left sitting on the board.
Councilwoman Sutherland: When I made my decision, I put my head down and slept very soundly knowing that there were ladder trucks, that my children were protected, that my neighbors were protected, that the seniors at Devan’s Gate were going to be protected. My understanding (ask David) and I’ll ask in this forum, my understanding is that when a bid is put into place, I’ll ask this question again, when a bid is put into place, and a company says that they have this equipment and have these fire fighters – everything is in place as if even though it doesn’t start ‘til Jan. 1st, that is what you are saying is the case as of right now. For all of the equipment, the air packs – this is based on the bid that was turned in – the last time air packs were inspected & certified was 9/2014 & 11/2014. Those need to be done every other year. They’ve not been done yet. The hose test & the pump truck were serviced in 9/2014 & 10/2014, respectively, those are supposed to be tested annually. My concern here is not only for the community but for the people who are working – our firefighters, the volunteer firefighters who are supposed to be using these things. If these things are not certified and not up to speed right now, what happens come Jan. 1st, if for some reason something is not done? Now we no longer have what we were, these gentlemen – who they decided to give the bid to? What can happen then if come this time – because this bid is not what we – we gave a bid that is not sufficient? The equipment has expired. There are no certifications. What happens? Bavoso: If they are not in place by the time the actual work would begin, then this board can declare a breach of agreement and terminate it and are free to contract with any company they feel appropriate. Sutherland: my understanding is that this should not even be considered because these things were not certified at the time that this was presented. Bavoso: as I had explained before, this town board’s job is to take the information that was provided in the proposals, weigh them against each other.
Bavoso cont.: Then make a determination. If the board felt that a particular proposal was unsatisfactory, that is the prerogative of the board. If the board felt that it was satisfactory, again, its’s the same principle, it’s this boards prerogative to determine what it feels is in the best interest of the town. Supervisor: if Dec 1st rolls around and the town board decides to go on a field trip and we inspect everything Otisville has and we don’t feel it’s adequate, obviously Mount Hope is going to up & running until Dec 31st because the contract runs that long, we can still at the 1st meeting in December or obviously prior to that, just say obviously we’re not going to be able to award the contract. No money is going to be exchanged and potentially not award the bid to Otisville. Bavoso: that’s correct. If this board determines that if feels that the company that it chose is not able to provide the services on Jan. 1st, if they’re able to make that determination early, then you can terminate any agreement that’s entered into and contract with another company. Supervisor: obviously the ladder truck and many other things that were brought up today, many other things that obviously they don’t have to have until Jan1st, I would feel a lot more comfortable if we knew by Dec 1 that we were ready to go. In the event that they can’t fill everything that is needed within our town, then we’ll obviously not exchange money and they won’t have the bid. But obviously it’s the power of the board to do that? Bavoso: that’s correct.
Cathy Markert: my son volunteered – he’s now deceased and we both live in Hidden Valley. You know there’s no fire hydrants in Hidden Valley. What are you going to do when Otisville doesn’t show up? Your home…my home. I can’t tell you how many times Mount Hope has come to my home because I fell down the stairs and fractured my hip, went into congestive heart failure. I just recently had a heart transplant and there’s gonna be no one to come and help me? I live by myself now. That’s what’s important to me. My life and I’m paying taxes for this. We know black and white what’s going on in Otisville. I just need to tell you that. My life is important. And so is your home and my home.
Phil Higby: I can’t believe what just happened. I think the board has, with the exception of Mrs. Sutherland, really just put the entire town of Mount Hope at risk. As far as the deficiencies with the village of Otisville, you can call a repair man and within 2 months, one month, whatever, they can probably fix it. What are you going to do about manpower? This is not something where you’re just gonna add water and have a trained certified interior fireman that’s gonna run into a building and drag me out or you. Or that’s gonna go into the school over here and rescue 700 children. It’s not a matter of depending on mutual aid. There’s an old slogan “when seconds count, mutual aid is only minutes away”. What are we gonna do? We don’t have the manpower. Otisville right now doesn’t have the manpower for it. The people they have – the average age I believe is 60 some years old. The average age of Mount Hope is mid-30’s. We have up & coming people in the Mount Hope fire department – young people. I’ve seen a drive by the village and I don’t know what it turned out. But subsequently they don’t have the manpower. What are gonna do? I just don’t see this as something that’s in the best interest of the town of Mount Hope. It’s not something that you’re gonna flip a switch or add water or anything else to get a trained professional. You gotta have people that are gonna come in, gonna volunteer. This is all a volunteer organization, both the village and the town. Where you gonna get people to volunteer? You don’t have the manpower for the village. And it’s crazy to think that the Mount Hope firemen are going to – ‘oh well we’re done here, I’ll go back to the village’. It’s not gonna happen. And we’re gonna be left here with inadequate service. It’s just not gonna happen. I just don’t know how the board decided this. All I is see it going back to a purely political situation between the 2 fire departments when the men left for just cause. We’re back to square one at this point here 2 or 3 years later. I’m sorry – I’m really sorry to see this.
Lou Dodd: I’m the president of the Mount Hope fire company. I wanna try to wrap my mind around this. Really didn’t have much more to say. We did the best we could to come up with the best bid. We made sure all of our equipment is to date. Everything is perfect right now. Out of the box, out the door, we’re on top with all of our equipment. Now you’re saying you’re gonna wait until December and you’re going to inspect them & see if they can perform the job. Did anybody think about the people that volunteer and what we’re supposed to do? So we’re gonna now, as a business, because that’s what you called us, is a corporation, a business – we’re gonna sit around on our thumbs and wait to see if you’re gonna want us if the lowest bidder doesn’t perform. How do we grow? I have opportunities to purchase land. We have opportunities to move forward. What do I say to them? What do I say to the people? Keep doing what you’re doing, hang around, maybe they’ll want you. You run a business. Everyone up there is self-employed or been involved in a business. How can you run your business like that?
Dodd cont.: Now you’re gonna say in December that – well you know, since they really weren’t up to speed when the bids were awarded, we’ll go back to Mount Hope. I can’t wrap my head around that whole thing. But I’ve seen enough.
Tim Selg: If you’re willing to re-visit the fire department vote on December 1st, then what was the need for the vote tonight? And I’d also like to know, what did you use personally, individually to determine the value of each bid? Did you make a list and compare? Did you say what’s the need of the town vs what the fire department can provide? How many square miles is the town? Do we know? How many square miles? 587 – I think. I may be wrong. It’s significant. My point is, if Dean has to figure out how many plows he needs, how much sand he has to use, how is the village department going to cover that square miles of the town? They had 25 calls last year. And this is not really against Otisville fire department actually I think they’re innocent in my point of view. They’re doing what they’re trained to do – provide service. It’s your job to make those tough decisions without any political consequences. Objectively measure, can my job as an elected official is to protect my constituents whether they voted for me or not is not the issue anymore. The issue is the protection. I never even thought about the school. That’s another issue. You have a fiduciary & protective responsibility to protect us. Put the issues aside and measure them objectively. I would like to know what the attorney said to you. What was his recommendation to you as to what his advice? I don’t know if I’m allowed to ask that or if I’m allowed to know. But I’m sure he had some input and he looked at it as well. Did you take that advice into account? These are the things I think that you – I would like for you to reconsider individually as a person. Did I make the right decision? Can I put my emotions aside? And then look at this objectively, fairly safely. To protect the unborn and the elderly that need constant help. We’re all getting older in here. It’s gonna get tougher. Without that EMS/EMT I’m frightened. I needed help. There weren’t paramedics. They had to calm me down and they were there quick. Reconsider when you can. I think that this decision will be fair to all. That’s what we want. Fair to all. Nobody is gonna get hurt.
Robert Wilson: I’ve been involved in this controversy when it 1st started. I think it divided the community a lot. I have a lot of good friends that aren’t friends anymore. There’s some that still are. But if the previous board, which Janet was on, went for a public referendum vote for the forming of the Mount Hope fire company, that would have probably passed with flying colors back then. When Bill Novak said we’re doing it – that’s it – that upset the whole community. That’s what the division was brought in because Bill said he was gonna do it and a lot people said no you ain’t gonna do it. He did it and now they changed it back. And now you’re going through this bid process and I know what ideas you went through to get the bids. I don’t know by law – you have to take the lowest bidder? Bavoso: no, actually I had advised the board that technically this service isn’t subject to bidding requirements because it’s professional services. This is something that the board wanted to put together in order to essentially receive a prospectus from both companies in order to make an informed decision. Wilson: with that information you gave the board, and with the information they received in the bids, the bids specifically say about the equipment and everything in the bids? Bavoso: the bids asked for specific items. There was inventory lists, proof of insurance, certifications, things like that. It was my opinion that both bids provided what it needed to provide. Then the onus is on the town board to make a decision based on the information provided. Wilson: but the problem with the trucks being overweight and not operational? Bavoso: those would be factors that the town board would consider. Wilson: they didn’t know about that until tonight? Bavoso: I don’t know what knew prior to tonight honestly. They received the bids, I had advised them once they received them to review them and compare them carefully. And to make a decision based on that. I don’t know what extra homework they did on that. Wilson: I remember years ago the subject came up about overweight trucks and all that stuff when they formed the other fire company. That was a big thing. The equipment, trucks gonna be used and a lot of stuff was out-dated. The village board did not upgrade things that they should have. You have to allocate so much money to the fire company. That stuff should have been upgraded. Training – I don’t know what the training levels are now. But I hope they take all this in consideration when they do check the village thing out because the village has had problems in the past of not taking care of the fire company. That’s my concerns.
Mike Coppola: as far as our air packs, Scott air packs, they get inspected the 29th of this month. They are in compliance. We have the certificates from the last inspection. They are all up to date. With the over weight of the trucks, when we split up, it was a big issue brought to our attention, the state police came up and weighed our trucks.
Coppola cont.: We took some stuff of it, gear and stuff, extra triple-double stuff that we had in them and we were in compliance. The state police gave us a form. I don’t know. You didn’t get that? In your packet? Just so everybody knows in the room – our trucks are ok to go on the road with people in them. The air packs are being done. They were done on time last time. Just to clear the air on that. We’re certified with them.
Lou Maurizzio: I want to respond to Mr. Wilson. Supervisor: you can’t respond to him but you can respond to us. Maurizzio: I was mayor of the village 2001-2007 and Louie Dodd and I, if he remembers, the village of Otisville had the state of the art equipment. Everything was up to date. Every truck was up to date. We bought trucks. We approved all the air packs. We improved that entire fir house. Am I right Lou? Dodd: yes. Maurizzio: I just wanted Mr. Wilson to know.
Lou Dodd: I have to notify, I don’t want anybody to take this as any sense of the form that this is a threat, I have to start notifying people on our situation as a corporation…the bank for the note on the tanker. I have to start dissolution. I have to start dissolving the corporation. Legally you can’t notify your creditors, well you can, but that’s a bad way to go about it, and can reflect on you quite poorly, we have to start. We are gonna respond to calls. We are gonna do the job that we have always done til January 1st. But I have to be honest we have to start planning because we did not get the bid. The bid was awarded to Otisville. ‘Til Jan. 1st we’ll be the same.
Mary Maurizzio: I’m not prepared. I don’t have anything written. I’ve been listening. I’ve been an Otisville resident for over 40 years. Otisville Fire Company has protected the village of Otisville and the Town of Mount Hope for at least that long and done a good job at it. I don’t believe the decision this board made is politically motivated. I believe in this board as far as being persons – all of you – being persons that would be certainly concerned with the safety and the well-being of the people of the Town of Mount Hope. If they feel that Otisville can continue to protect the village and the town as they had for many many years, if the Otisville firemen themselves and ladies, if any, say that they can do it as they have in the past, I believe it.
Orrin Pierson: Not anything to do with the fire company. I have about 70 signatures for commercial solar petition that I put together and I’d like to give them to Kathleen. Can I continue to get signatures for this? Or does this finalize? Supervisor: is there a certain number you need? Pierson: no but I can continue to collect signatures or would this be a finalization by submitting it right now? Supervisor: I think you’re supposed to have them all in before. Pierson: ok that’s fine.
Councilman Howell: no comment.
Councilman Carey: no comment.
Councilwoman Sutherland: I’d like to answer Mr. Selg’s question as to how I came up with my decision to vote the way that I did. Not too worried about what people think. I never have been. I’m going to say that this was not political. I sat down with 2 bids. I went through those bids. Some of the concerns that I had was that in fact, while most of the things were addressed. I did not feel for one that the contract bid was sufficient. I did not feel that it asked for the right things. I felt that certain things were omitted. So I had a problem actually with the bid itself – the contract bid. I felt that they were not apples-to-apples. The thing that was apples-to-apples across the board is that these are both volunteer organizations. And all of these men and all of these women do this because they enjoy firefighting – it’s a passion, it’s what they do. Or if they don’t love it, they do it anyway. Because I’m sure – I can’t go into a burning building. But these are all volunteers. I kept that in mind. I was concerned with how it was not apples-to-apples when it comes to medical coverage. I believe in the packet that it shows Mount Hope had 8 EMT’s and 6 1st responders. I believe – Otisville 4 possibly 3 1st responders not EMT’s. That was a huge concern of mine considering about 48% of their calls are medical, that we do have the school, that we have Devan’s Gate which those elderly people over there are in such great need that I was concerned with that. That was my decision in that regard. It also was surprising to me that considering there was..there are not EMT’s and there are very few emergency responders that there was line for $36,000 allotted for medical for training and what-not. I wasn’t sure what was happening with that. I didn’t understand that. Another concern of mine was the discrepancy with fire fighters. Both had a tremendous amount. Otisville had I believe 23. Mount Hope had 38. My concern when I went through and looked at the firefighters that were listed that in fact they were not all fire fighters. There were 3 off the top of my head who are not fire fighters. And yet they were listed as such. So that was a concern. Because I didn’t really know then how many there truly were. Because I knew right off the bat that these 3 were not.
Sutherland cont.: Mr. Coppola – thank you for bringing to our attention that perhaps the air packs are going to be re-certified. But all of the certifications that were provided were the dates that I read off to you. My concern was that going into this that the equipment was not going to be up to snuff. Again, my understanding, David’s not saying I’m right, maybe I’m wrong, is that truly when the packet was turned in that that’s what we were going off of. What I was told that then makes the bid invalid because the things were not appropriate at the time. I was also very concerned with the fact that there wasn’t any bail out training and that it is required by law. It’s not required by law, my understanding, that it has to be from a certain story but that it is. None of that equipment or apparatus was listed under Otisville. My fear is for Otisville and they don’t have that training. Not only can our community be hurt but their firefighters can be hurt as well. These were just some of the things. I did sit down and I made the pros and the cons. I voted for whom I thought was going to provide my community with the best fire protection. That’s how I came to my decision.
Councilman Cambareri: I also spent several hours going over comparing the 2 bid packages. I also have children that live in this district and grandchildren in Otisville elementary school and I am very comfortable in our decision.
RESOLUTION FOR ADJOURNMENT:
MOTION offered by Councilman Cambareri 2nd by Councilman Howell to adjourn the meeting at 9:12pm. All in favor: Howell, Carey, Volpe, Sutherland, Cambareri, carried.
The next meeting is scheduled for October 3, 2016 at 7:30pm in the town board meeting room at town hall.
Kathleen A. Myers, RMO
Town of Mount Hope