CLERMONT TOWN BOARD MEETING
MAY 7, 2007
The Clermont Town Board held its regular meeting on Monday, May 7, 2007 at 7:00 P.M. at the Town Hall. Those present were Supervisor Banks, Councilman Harned, Councilwoman Lent and Councilman Nolan. Councilman Staats was absent. Others present were: Robert Desmond, Judy Neary, Greg Fingar, Richard Roth of the Independent, Ray Tousey, Charles Lent, Dianne O'Neal, Dennis Palazzo, Dagmar Payne, Elizabeth Mahar, Carol Livellara, George Davis and Nan Leonard.
Supervisor Banks opened the meeting with a salute to the flag. Called for a motion to approve the minutes. Councilman Nolan noted a correction on Page 1, paragraph 3 – change Charles Larsen suggested to Chris Nolan suggested. A motion was made to accept the minutes with correction by Councilman Harned, seconded by Councilwoman Lent. All in favor. So carried.
Councilman Nolan would like to see the map submitted by Paul Doherty on his proposed subdivision on Turkey Hill Road. Councilman Nolan objected to the comment of Councilman Harned on Page 5 of the April minutes in regards to Councilman Nolan’s letter on Local Law #1-2007, the words "to stall". Discussion followed on the verification of location of neighboring wells on the twenty-acre parcel for DEC. The location of the wells were verified and located on the maps provided by C.T. Male. Councilman Nolan would also like to see the map. In further discussion, it was noted that all that was requested was location of the wells, there was no request for depth or water capacity.
- Town Clerks report for April was read by the Supervisor. Checks were submitted for $2162.23 General Fund and $1204.75 T& A. A motion was made to accept the Town Clerks report by Councilman Harned, seconded by Councilwoman Lent. All in favor. So carried.
- Supervisor Banks introduced Resolution #06-07 – Dated 5/7/07 to transfer funds from A1220.1 Supervisor Personal Services to A1320.4 Auditing and Accounting the sum of $5200.00.
Councilman Nolan made motion to accept, Councilwoman Lent seconded. All in favor. So carried.
- Read a letter from Peter Ostrander who is resigning as Clermont Town Assessor, at the end of his term on 9/30/07.
- Letter from James Van Deusen, Columbia County Fire Coordinator thanking our volunteer firefighters and asking for support, as they worked many hours during the recent floods of April 16,17,18 and brush fires of April 23.
- Received a check from National Heritage Trust for $25,000 for the Community House grant. We have another $5,000.00 coming to close out the grant.
- Letter from NYS Department of Transportation regarding application for Chips and Multi-modal payments which are administered by DOT and issued by NYS Thruway
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Authority. Application must be on file before payments are issued. Will complete form and send in.
- Letter from NYS Emergency Management Office on application submitted on 12/20/06 for flood assistance from Flood Mitigation Assistance Program for flooding of Buckwheat Bridge Road in spring or after heavy rainfall. The application was denied as projects must be long term or directly benefit homes that are insured.
- Letter from Assemblyman Peter Lopez, advising Supervisor Banks that his request for $4000 has been granted for construction/repairs at the Community House. A contract will be forthcoming.
- Letter from C. T. Male on Brownsfield services available.
- Received a Certificate of Attendance for John Gall who has completed training for the Board of Assessment Review on April 30, 2007.
- Receiving certificates of attendance, Planning Board members Charles Larsen, Bruce Unson and Robert Desmond, for a seminar at Columbia Greene Community College on April 26, 2007 on Land Use Training.
- Dagmar Payne asked about the display cases at Community House, if they are done, who built them and how many are there. Councilwoman Lent stated there are seven and they are done and ready to be used. They were built for the Town Historian, Anne Poleschner for historical items that she has.
- Dagmar asked if the work for the wells for the Town buildings will go out to bid and if an engineer is involved. Supervisor Banks responded that we have had our engineer involved and four bids have been received. Our wells have been sampled and the results are on file in the Clerk's office.
- Robert Desmond noted that in an issue of the Clermont Broadside there was mention of shared services in response to building a new highway garage. Our highway superintendent is already doing this, with other towns on the use of equipment, etc. Also in the March issue, on the matter of the equalization rate being below 100% and that taxes will go up. Bob would make the point that bringing the rate up to100% does not make the taxes go up.
- Supervisor Banks discussed the equalization rate and how the sale of property affects the assessments. Also, he has seen a drop in the mortgage tax checks of $14,000 from last year at this time. It will probably have an effect on our budget. Greg Fingar asked if county sales tax is down. Our sales tax for the last quarter of 2006 was $63,800. It usually runs between 63,000 and 68,000 but the last check was $54,900. This may be due to the new Walmart in Catskill and the gas tax reduction.
- Wells – Due to the emergency nature of getting water for the town buildings, Dan Wheeler’s office requested bids for the maximum anticipated depth of 400 feet. Four Bids were received as follows:
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- Keyser Well Drilling Co. – Claverack Drilling - $10.00 per lineal foot, Casing - $14.00 per foot, well cap, grout $250.00. Based on a 400 foot well, l00 feet of casing and well cap, etc. Total cost $5650.00.
- Hanson Well Drilling and Pump Co, Inc. – Nassau
Drilling - $10.00 per foot, Casing - $12.00 per foot, Drive shoe and well cap, $100.00, Grout - $200.00. New pump installation and materials $3200.00. Abandonment of existing well - $3000.00. Total cost $11,700.00
- Eastern States Well Drillers, Inc. – Hillsdale
400 foot well with 100 foot casing, drive shoe and well cap, grout - $5750.00
Pump installed w/ brass fittings - $2,600.00
Offset materials - $75.00, Inside materials - $800.00, Seal old drilled well at $8.00 per foot, grout old hand dug well and fill $500.00
- W. Gordon Goold, Inc. – Valatie
Drilling 400 foot well with 100 feet of casing, drive shoe, well cap - $5,900.00
Pump installation and materials $2,590.00. Closing dug well and drilled well - $650.00. Total Cost - $9,140.00
Councilman Nolan wants to recuse himself because he has done business and will do business with them. Supervisor Banks doesn’t think that this applies. Councilman Nolan has business relationships with them, so he is going by the Code of Ethics. Councilwoman Lent stated that all of these businesses come highly recommended. Councilman Nolan agrees. A motion was made by Councilman Harned, seconded by Councilwoman Lent to accept the bid from Hanson Well Drilling and Pump Company for $11,700. A roll call vote followed: Councilwoman Lent, aye, Councilman Harned, aye, Supervisor Banks, aye. Councilman Nolan abstained. Motion passed. The Highway department will do the excavation.
- Councilman Nolan reported that the Steamboat exhibit has opened at Clermont State Park and included in the exhibit is a part of the bar top from Clermont Hotel, which as legend has it, was made from part of the steamboat. There was no further discussion during last month’s meeting about combining the Village Green barbecue with Clermont State Park’s events because there were conflicting dates for the events.
- Supervisor Banks has asked Highway Superintendent Jim Potts to get in touch with Bill Graziano of National Grid about the trees that they maintain will have to be cut for the street lighting to be installed at Route 9G and County Route 6. It is not clear what trees they are talking about. Carol Livellara heard about the streetlight at last months meeting and she does not see the need for a streetlight, citing that it sometimes creates more glare and makes it harder to see and visibility is very good now. Councilman Nolan said that the request was made by some residents for lighting at the intersection. Robert Desmond suggested that maybe a study should be made if some, who live on the road, do not see the need. Councilman Harned did not agree with the idea of the streetlight because no study was done. The Clerk contacted the Columbia County Traffic Safety Board, but they do not get involved with streetlighting. That is strictly a National Grid issue. If it is something that a town wants and there is an available pole then National Grid will install a light. There is a monthly charge of $15.00 - $20.00.
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- Councilman Nolan asked if the board was interested in getting together with Germantown on discussions of their comprehensive plan. We have our currently have a comprehensive plan and it was recently updated.
- Judith Neary understands that Germantown is proposing five-acre zoning. Our board recently approved two-acre zoning and she thanked the board for acting on it.
Supervisor Banks asked Greg Fingar if he could get a copy of the proposal to Councilwoman Lent and she will copy it for board members.
- Councilwoman Lent thanked the volunteers, Fire police, Jr. Fire members and Firemen who helped at the 11th Annual Easter Egg Hunt. She estimates that about 1000 people came, even though the weather did not cooperate as in other years. The Town budget allows for $2000 and with donations it makes it possible to hold it with no cost to anyone.
- Keep Farming Coordinator Judy Neary reported that all committees are working. They are getting new maps from Soil and Water Conservation. In need of more volunteers from Germantown and Livingston. Councilwoman Lent is hoping to hear from Supervisor Brown of Germantown, who may be able to get volunteers from Germantown School or Columbia Greene Community College for food surveys. Courtney Grimes Sutton of the Glynwood Center has done a phenomenal job with food surveys.
- Councilman Harned reminded everyone that May 15th is the school budget vote.
- Report on C.T. Male Brownsfield investigation. C. T. Male is hoping to get an answer from DEC by June on what steps to take next. They do want to make a presentation to the board and schedule a public hearing when they receive DEC’s recommendations.
- Councilman Harned asked if we want our assessment rolls on the website. He has checked and only one town in Columbia County is on the web. Other towns in other counties are also on the web. There are different ways it can be done, but would have to look into the cost. Discussion followed on assessments and ways to grieve assessments. Supervisor Banks will check with Real Property Tax Service.
- Supervisor Banks presented Annual report for 2006 and budget reports for January through April.
Councilman Nolan motioned to approve General Fund abstract #5, vouchers #116-#147 in the amount of $11,466.13. Councilman Harned seconded the motion. All in favor. So carried.
Councilman Nolan motioned to approve Highway abstract #5, vouchers #41-#62 in the amount of $6,549.01. Councilwoman Lent seconded the motion. All in favor. So carried.
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Councilman Nolan motioned to approve Trust and Agency abstract #4, vouchers #37-#48 in the amount of $1,118.65. Councilman Harned seconded the motion. All in favor. So carried.
A motion was made to adjourn at 8:40 P.M. by Councilwoman Lent, seconded by Councilman Harned. All in favor. So carried.
Mary Helen Shannon, RMC