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Town Board – March 2021

TOWN BOARD MEETING MINUTES
MARCH 1, 2021

The Clermont Town Board held their regular monthly meeting on Monday March 1, 2021 at the Town Hall after the Park committee workshop. Those present were Supervisor Raymond Staats, Councilman Robert Desmond, Councilman Kris Gildersleeve, Councilwoman Dawn Brownson and Councilwoman Lindsey Lusher Shute. Others present were Chris Nolan and Mary Helen Shannon, Deputy Town Clerk. Present on zoom were Jennifer Phillips and Phyllis Heiko.

Supervisor Staats opened the regular meeting with the salute to the flag.

MINUTES:

The minutes of the February meeting were distributed to the board and accepted.

COMMUNICATIONS:

  • TOWN CLERK’S REPORT: The Town Clerk read the town clerk’s report for February and presented the Supervisor with a check for the General Fund for $3,366.35 and for Trust and Agency in the amount of $1,000.00.
  • The Town Clerk reported that a representative of New York Transco Energy Solution

was here to update the information on the work being done on the transmission lines through Columbia County on the laptop that they have provided for residents to review.

  • Web Committee Correspondence: There was none.
  • The Supervisor provided the budget and revenue reports for February.

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

  • Veterans Memorial/Parks: Councilman Desmond reported that there has been no movement on the pathway to the Veterans Memorial. It is still in good shape after the winter. The little league field, soccer field and other improvements which have been made at the park with little or no taxpayer funds, have been said to be some of the best in the county. Donations and grants made this possible. Councilwoman Brownson asked if we had received a report from the NYS DEC on the monitoring wells. The Supervisor has not seen anything. Councilwoman Lusher Shute agreed that there has been great progress on the property. The Climate Taskforce will submit a resolution at the next meeting identifying the purpose of the taskforce. They will be seeking volunteers interested in participating. Councilman Gildersleeve would like more information on the purpose of the taskforce and what they are planning on doing.
  • Councilman Gildersleeve has begun using the recording device for use at the meetings. This is available for any of the boards to use at meetings. The Zoning Board of Appeals has opted not to use it and it is unknown if the planning board will use it. They are not required to, it is optional.
  • Councilwoman Brownson did apply for a grant from the Bank of Greene County for up to $2500 to be used for the purchase of ADA swings, stencils to mark out lines for sports, etc. She also is looking into a grant from the Columbia Land Conservancy for $500.00 to apply toward sign for park entrance. There is also a grant due 4/14 to AARP Community Challenge but she has to find out what can be applied for.

OLD BUSINESS:

  • Supervisor Staats reported that we received the 4th quarter sales tax in the amount of $116,640.08. He said that this is up over 8% over 2019.
  • Discussed bank rates, which have gone down in recent months. He will be looking at other banks for a higher CD rate.
  • Workplace Violence/Sexual Harassment Training: Employees will be required to watch a video provided by the county and will be notified with a link by the Town Clerk. There will be other options to get the training if needed.

NEW BUSINESS:

  • Code Enforcement Officer Sam Harkins has requested that the Deputy Code Enforcement Officer position be filled with Blythe Harkins as per budgeted amount of $100.00 per month. The board did meet with Ms. Harkins and a motion was made to appoint her to the position by Councilman Desmond, seconded by Councilwoman Lusher Shute. All in favor. So carried.
  • Resolution #39 of 2021: A resolution by the Town Board to release and Quit Claim a portion of land on Commons Road now owned by Chris Nolan. This abandonment of property is subject to permissive referendum and upon approval by the board will be noticed as such. A motion was made by Councilman Gildersleeve, seconded by Councilman Desmond. A roll call vote was as follows: Councilman Desmond, aye; Councilman Gildersleeve, aye; Councilwoman Brownson, aye; Councilwoman Lusher Shute, aye, Supervisor Staats, aye. All in favor. Motion passed.
  • Supervisor Staats received a Intermunicipal Agreement – County Roads/Bridges which the County is asking for the Town Supervisors of Clermont, Germantown and Livingston to sign.
  • PARK ENTRANCE SIGN: After discussion at the workshop for the parks, a motion was made to purchase a sign for the park entrance on route 9 from Monkey & The Mule up to $1000.00 and Dutchess Signs for $625.00 to be paid from the budget account 7110.4 by Councilman Desmond, seconded by Councilwoman Lusher Shute. All in favor. So carried.

SUPERVISORS REPORT:

  • VACCINES: Supervisor Staats reported that the County is getting a supply of COVID vaccines and will be scheduling vaccinations.

ABSTRACTS:

A motion was made by Councilman Gildersleeve, seconded by Councilman Desmond to approve General prepaid abstract #3, vouchers #43-45 in the amount of $308.96 to be paid. All in favor. So carried.

A motion was made by Councilman Desmond, seconded by Councilman Gildersleeve to approve Highway abstract #3, vouchers #10 – 20 in the amount of $15,835.48 to be paid. All in favor. So carried.

A motion was made by Councilwoman Brownson, seconded by Councilman Gildersleeve to approve General abstract #3A, vouchers #46-71 in the amount of $6,050.71 to be paid. All in favor. So carried.

PUBLIC COMMENT: There was none.

EXECUTIVE SESSION:

A motion was made to enter into executive session to discuss contract negotiations by Councilman Gildersleeve, seconded by Councilwoman Lusher Shute at 8:15 P.M. All in favor. So carried.

A motion was made to come out of executive session by Councilman Gildersleeve, seconded by Councilwoman Lusher Shute at 8:30 P.M. All in favor. So carried.

A motion was made to adjourn at 8:30 P.M. by Councilman Gildersleeve, seconded by Councilman Desmond. All in favor. So carried.

Respectfully submitted,
Mary Helen Shannon, RMC
Deputy Town Clerk

Town Board – March 2021 Workshop

TOWN BOARD WORKSHOP MINUTES
MARCH 1, 2021
PARK WORKSHOP 6:00 P.M.

The Town Board met with members of the Park Committee to discuss the maintenance of the parks this Spring and months ahead. Those present were Supervisor Staats, Councilman Robert Desmond, Councilwoman Brownson, Councilman Kris Gildersleeve and Councilwoman Lindsey Lusher Shute. Members of the park committee present were Amy Parrella, Louise Kalin, Dianne O’Neal, Jennifer Phillips and Phyllis Heiko by zoom. Also present was Chris Nolan, Town Clerk Tracey Gallant, Mary Helen Shannon, Deputy Town Clerk.

  • The committee presented ideas for the old apple trees left after remediation was completed and whether to remove or prune those that can be saved. Discussion centered on expense of pruning and maintaining or removing.
  • Committee member Jennifer Phillips will donate topsoil for the NW corner of the park at the Monarch Meadow natural area.
  • Remove trash and debris from the vernal pool and stream.
  • The locations for the park benches, which have been put together and stored, have been marked for placement in the park.
  • Snow removal will be done when it can be during the winter by the Highway department and mowing will also be done but the committee is looking at less mowing so as to preserve natural areas and wildlife habitat.
  • Suggested locations for the porta-potty were also discussed and fencing around perimeter of the property. Estimates have been received for fencing, however, Supervisor Staats has an issue with spending on fencing when we still have to provide screening. The committee will have a map to the perimeter of the property.
  • The committee has also received estimates for a park entrance sign from Terrabilt for a composite sign frame and sign board & design but no assembly or installation, $5000.00.

Dutchess Signs for $1,000. Includes PVC sign and installation, Monkey & the Mule, $930 includes custom built wood sign frame and installation, doe not include sign board and Fast Signs $600 double sided heavy sign. The split rail fencing for the right and left of entrance would be estimated to cost $11,000.00 from Roma Fencing.

  • ADA Swing – an affordable swing would cost approximately $300 or so.

The committee would like to form a Friends Group for the Park so that they can apply for grants that are eligible for 5012c organizations. Dianne O’Neil spoke about these types of organizations. Will have to determine if this can be done for the town. Linsey will follow-up on what is needed.

Respectfully submitted,
Mary Helen Shannon, Deputy Town Clerk

Zoning Board of Appeals – February 2021

Clermont Zoning Board of Appeals
1795 Route 9
Germantown, New York 12526

February 24, 2021

The meeting opened at 7:30 pm. The meeting started with a salute to the flag. Members attending were Hank Himelright, Luke Kumburis, Don Van Wagner, Lee Gallant, Ben Peacock and Cheryl Werner as alternate.

Hank Himelright asked if anyone had any additions, corrections or omissions to the minutes of the last meeting, November 18, 2020. A motion to approve the November 2020 minutes was made by Ben Peacock, seconded by Don Van Wagner. All in favor. So carried.

Marissa Rendon, 23 Maisello Road, Tax ID #201.-1-33, was represented by PlugTV regarding the application of a Special Use Permit for ground a mounted solar system. Motion was made to close the regular meeting and open the Public Hearing for this project by Luke Kumbris, seconded by Don Van Wagner. All in favor. So carried. There were no questions or comments from the public. Motion was made to close the Public Hearing and return to the regular meeting by Don Van Wagner, seconded by Luke Kumburis. All in favor. So carried. A final decision on approval of a Special Permit is pending the outcome of the Planning Board meeting in March.

Dee Ann Campbell, 180 Shields Road, represented by Suncommon returned before the Board, confirming the set backs for the solar panels are being met. A site visit will be conducted by the Board at a date to be determined. Motion was made by Luke Kuburis, seconded by Lee Gallant, to accept the application as complete. The applicant will return to the ZBA’s March meeting.

The Board discussed the proposed audio recording of the meetings. Motion was made by Luke Kumburis, seconded by Don Van Wagner, to vote on the subject. A vote was held whether or not have the audio recording as follows: Don van Wagner, Luke Kumburis, Hank Himelright, and Ben Peacock voted Nay. Lee Gallant abstained. A letter will be sent to the Town Board stating the ZBA has voted to not have audio recordings of the meetings.
A motion was made to adjourn by Ben Peacock, seconded by Don Van Wagner. All in favor. So carried. The meeting adjourned at 8:20pm.

Respectfully submitted,
Desiree M. Webber, Secretary

Town Board – February 2021

TOWN BOARD MEETING MINUTES
FEBRUARY 3, 2021

The Clermont Town Board held its February meeting on Wednesday, February 3, 2021 due to a winter storm on Monday and Tuesday. The meeting was also held virtually due to the closure of town hall because of the Coronavirus. Those members who were participating were Supervisor Raymond Staats, Councilman Robert Desmond, Councilwoman Dawn Brownson, Councilwoman Lindsey Lusher Shute and Councilman Kris Gildersleeve. Others participating were Chris Nolan and Mary Howard and Deputy Town Clerk.

Supervisor Staats opened the meeting with the salute to the flag.

MINUTES:

  • A motion was made to approve the January 4th 2021 Organizational minutes by Councilman Desmond, seconded by Councilwoman Brownson. All in favor. So carried.
  • A motion was made to approve the minutes of the regular meeting on January 4th by Councilman Desmond, seconded by Councilwoman Brownson. All in favor. So carried.
  • A motion was made to approve the minutes of the Audit and Review meeting held on Saturday, January 16 by Councilman Desmond, seconded by Councilwoman Brownson. Councilman Gildersleeve was not present on January 16th and abstained from approval/disapproval of these minutes. Councilman Desmond, aye; Councilwoman Brownson, aye; Councilwoman Lusher Shute, aye; Supervisor Staats, aye. Motion passed.

TOWN CLERK’S REPORT: The Deputy Clerk read the Town Clerk’s report for January 2021. A check was issued for the General fund in the amount of $1,678.55 and presented to the Supervisor. The Code Enforcement Officer will be submitting deposits more regularly.

CORRESPONDENCE:

  • The Supervisor provided the budget and revenue reports for January.
  • Web Committee: No report

COMMITTEE REPORTS:

  • Councilman Desmond reported that the park benches are being assembled by the highway department. Superintendent of Highways Jim Potts will work on scheduling plowing of the park road. He also thanked the highway department for the job they did clearing the roads during this week’s storm.
  • Councilwoman Lusher Shute thanked the Highway department for assisting in the delivery of the park benches. At the recent park committee meeting the placement of the port-o-potty was discussed. Supervisor Staats said that the septic service needs to be able to access it to maintain it. The committee has a number of things for maintenance to be discussed. The park committee is also searching for funding and a recommendation was made about sponsoring a friend’s group that can be formed to apply for funds from foundations which serve 501c3 organizations. It was suggested to meet with the town attorney, town board and park committee to discuss what can be done.

The workshop will be held on Monday, March 1 at 6:00 P.M. before the town board meeting. Supervisor Staats will speak with the attorney or possibly have him on the phone for the meeting.

  • Councilwoman Brownson was advised by David Szlasa that the town did not receive the grant from LifeboatHV to help the town towards improving the impact of climate change.

We have someone else who is interested in joining the taskforce who works for a solar company. The task force is seeking others who might be interested. Councilwoman Lusher Shute, Councilwoman Brownson and David Szlasa took part in a Clean Energy Community webinar. They will also write up something for the website that might help get others interested.

  • Councilwoman Brownson reported that she applied to the Bank of Greene County for a grant of up to $2500.00 for bicycle racks for each park, ADA compliant swings and stencils and paints for marking. She also applied to the Columbia Land Conservancy for a grant of $500.00 for signs for the park entrance. She also would talk to the highway superintendent about a grant for the purchase of culverts from the state.

OLD BUSINESS:

  • SALES TAX: Supervisor Staats reported that he expects the fourth quarter sales tax to be approximately $116,640.00 and if so, our sales tax for the year will be 13% higher than last year. We should still be cautious through the year on spending.
  • WORKPLACE VIOLENCE AND SEXUAL HARASSMENT POLICIES:

Our attorney has updated these policies and a motion was made to adopt by Councilman Desmond, seconded by Councilwoman Brownson. All in favor. So carried.

NEW BUSINESS:

  • ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS: Due to resignations, the Town Board interviewed for open positions on the zoning board. A motion was made to appoint Lee Gallant to the zoning board for a five-year term 1/1/2021 – 12/31/2025 by Councilman Desmond, seconded by Councilman Gildersleeve. All in favor. So carried.

A motion was made to fill the alternate member position with Cheryl Werner for a one-year term by Councilwoman Brownson, seconded by Councilman Desmond.

  • DEPUTY CEO: Our Code Enforcement Officer has requested the position of Deputy CEO be filled with Blythe Harkins. She is his daughter and has been taking the training. The board would like her to come in to a meeting so that they can meet her.
  • The Town Hall has been closed for the month of January but will reopen on Thursday, February 4th for regular hours.
  • Supervisor Staats is looking into training for Sexual Harassment. It can be done by phone or with a pre-recorded session. Councilman Gildersleeve asked if this has to be purchased can we use it again next year. Supervisor Staats will get all the details.
  • During the review of policy’s, a change was made to the Procurement policy. A motion was made by Councilman Gildersleeve, seconded by Councilwoman Lusher Shute to approve as modified. All in favor. So carried.
  • The board discussed the concrete pads for the park benches. Superintendent Potts got a price of $150.00 per base (10) $1500.00 for precast pads installed. A motion was made by Councilman Gildersleeve, seconded by Councilman Desmond to authorize this purchase. All in favor. So carried.

SUPERVISORS REPORT:

  • VACCINATIONS FOR COVID: It has been difficult to find who has the vaccines and how to get on a list because of availability. Supervisor Staats just advised to continue to try to get on a list for when the vaccine is available. The pharmacies should be receiving the vaccines shortly.

ABSTRACTS:

  • A motion was made by Councilman Desmond, seconded by Councilwoman Brownson to approve General abstract #2A, vouchers #21 – 42 in the amount of $6,046.95. All in favor. So carried.
  • A motion was made by Councilman Gildersleeve, seconded by Councilwoman Brownson to approve Highway abstract #2, vouchers #4 – 9 in the amount of $4,683.44. All in favor. So carried.
  • A motion was made by Councilwoman Brownson, seconded by Councilman Desmond to approve Trust & Agency #1, vouchers #1 – 2 in the amount of $849.50. All in favor. So carried.
  • A motion was made by Councilman Desmond, seconded by Councilman Gildersleeve to approve the General pre-paid abstract #2, vouchers #18-20 in the amount of $294.88. All in favor. So carried.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Mary Howard is requesting that the Town sponsor a program for a grant from Berkshire Taconic Community Grant for a survey and feasibility study to help seniors with expenses related to maintaining their homes so that they can Age in Place. This is for Clermont senior residents who are in need of home repairs and who may not be able to make them on their own. She is requesting a Memorandum of Understanding from the town to support her. Also, she would appreciate volunteers and any letters of support for this project. The deadline is February 15, 2021. Councilman Gildersleeve offered to help in any way. A motion was made authorizing the town to sponsor Mary Howard to apply for this grant by Councilman Gildersleeve, seconded by Councilwoman Lusher Shute. All in favor. So carried.

Chris Nolan pointed out that there is now a COVID Alert app and it was discussed about the percentages of tests given in Columbia County.

A motion was made to adjourn at 8:15 P.M. by Councilman Desmond, seconded by Councilman Gildersleeve. All in favor. So carried.

Respectfully submitted,
Mary Helen Shannon, RMC
Deputy Town Clerk