CLERMONT TOWN BOARD
DECEMBER 3, 2018
The Clermont Town Board held there regular meeting on Monday, December 3, 2018 at 7:00 P.M. Those in attendance were Supervisor Raymond Staats, Councilman Robert Desmond, Councilwoman Dawn Brownson, Councilman Evan Hempel and Councilman Kris Gildersleeve.
There were five other residents present.
The Supervisor opened the meeting with the salute to the flag.
MINUTES: The minutes were approved after review by a motion made by Councilman Desmond, seconded by Councilman Gildersleeve. All in favor. So carried.
TOWN CLERK’S REPORT: The Town Clerk read the report for November and presented the Supervisor with a check for the General fund for $360.00 and for Trust & Agency for $679.00.
- The Keeping Identities of Seniors Safe (K.I.S.S.) program will again take place from December 3rd to December 14th. Bring your personal documents that you want to have shredded during the Town Clerk’s regular hours to the Town Hall.
- The Clermont Fire Department will hold their annual Children’s Christmas Party on Saturday, December 15th at 6:00 P.M. at the Firehouse on Firehouse Road off Route 9G.
- The Village Green Committee will hold the Clermont Christmas Event on Sunday, December 16th from 6 – 7 PM at the Village Green on Route 9. Caroling at the little church from 6 – 6:30 and visit with Santa and refreshments at the Community House. Gifts from Santa for children under 12.
- The Columbia County Solid Waste Department has notified us that effective January 1, 2019 it will be necessary to use a permit for recyclable material brought to the solid waste stations. Two will be issued to each household. The fees will be annual and can be purchased at the Town Clerks office or at the county waste stations for $50.00 for residents, $35.00 for residents over 65 and $100.00 for non-residents. These will be available after December 17th. Supervisor Staats explained the reasons for this fee.
- The Supervisor provided the budget and revenue reports through November 30, 2018.
- Councilman Desmond reported that the new highway truck will be coming in February and put in service in March. The Veterans Memorial was dedicated on Veterans Day, November 11, 2018 and there was a good turnout. A flag donated by the Clemente’s will be put up when the ground will allow. The Park committee has been meeting. Mary Howard is the Chairperson of the committee.
- Councilman Hempel said that there has not been much more done on the website because it is hard to get people together.
Supervisor Staats introduced Peter Cichetti, a twenty-seven year member of the Zoning Board of Appeals, who is resigning from the Zoning Board. He applied to the Zoning Board with an application for a special event venue and knew that there would be some sticky points. He did spend a lot of time with the ZBA and the Planning Board. He told the Board that he feels with all the members of the various boards and a code enforcement officer that it is not necessary to have an engineer and attorney on every project as it just increases the cost for the resident. He thinks we should change the escrow requirement so that they must advise the applicant before spending the escrow. He thinks that they have too much of a free hand with their reviews of a project. He has withdrawn his application and the escrow was depleted without ever being approved. He also feels that we should send out a letter seeking new members to the boards and rotate members as chairperson of the boards. Supervisor Staats accepted his resignation and thanked him for his service, as did other members of the board.
- HAIL DAMAGE: Insurance agent wanted pictures of the further damage.
- DEC: There has been another invoice received for $2,923.00 and our attorney and engineer are looking into this and we will address these invoices with DEC.
- DEVEREAUX FOUNDATION: We have received an application from the Devereaux Foundation that they are looking to add another group home in Clermont. There are currently six homes in town that are taken off the tax roll. We are going to file an objection. A resident voiced her concern of having another group home, as we are a small community and it has gone too far. She thinks that we should have a survey but the Supervisor says there is nothing that we can do but file an objection. Another resident asked where the homes are located and what kind of homes they are? The homes are located throughout Clermont for handicapped that have reached a certain age. Another asked if Devereaux makes this decision? The state approves or disapproves the locations and purchases of the homes.
- BUCKWHEAT ROAD: After concerns were voiced about speeding on Buckwheat Bridge Road, the Supervisor contacted the Sheriff’s Department. They monitored the traffic over six days and there were 1518 during which 1375 vehicles were doing an acceptable speed under 49 mph, 111 were doing between 50 and 55 mph and 32 vehicles were over 55 mph. The average speed overall was 41 mph. The heaviest traffic time was between 6 A.M. and 9 A.M. and 1 P.M. and 3 P.M. There were some very excessive speeds between 69 and 75 mph. Paul Clemente thinks that the speeders have slowed down, that it is worse in the summertime.
The next step that could be done is to have a traffic study to try to get a lower speed limit. Writing tickets may be the only way to stop them. In the spring we may be able to put up signs or use the machine.
- COUNTY ROUTE 6: There were concerns about speeding on County Route 6. The Supervisor will present a request to the County.
- US ROUTE 9: Is there anything that can be done about the trucks using engine brakes on Route 9. The Supervisor would have to ask the County and State.
- MORTGAGE TAX: Received a check for $19,964.03 for mortgage tax and this was $5,093.00 over what was anticipated.
- BOARD OF ASSESSMENT REVIEW: A motion was made to re-appoint Mary Howard to the Board of Assessment Review for the five-year term from 10/1/2018 to 9/30/2023 on a motion made by Councilwoman Brownson, seconded by Councilman Desmond. All in favor. So carried.
- INVESTING: Supervisor Staats has been seeking better interest rates from the banks. It looks like we can increase our investment earnings by investing into a 12-month CD, the rates are 2% and 2.65% for $500,000.00 on a short-term C.D. We have $800,000.00 total and he is comfortable investing $500,000.00. Councilwoman Brownson suggested purchasing several C.D’s.
Bank of Greene County also came back with an interest rate of 2% with a savings account for municipalities on the full balance. This would work out better for us because we earn the same and nothing is locked up on the full $800,000.00.
- YEAR END MEETING: The year-end meeting will be held on Wednesday, December 26th at 7:00 P.M.
- SEXUAL HARASSMENT/WORKPLACE VIOLENCE: The State adopted new guidelines for Sexual Harassment/Workplace Violence on October 9th. All employees must take the training and it must be done by October 2019 and annually thereafter. Our policy must be updated and adopted every year thereafter.
- ROADS: We have several roads in town that end on personal property. The Supervisor has asked for an opinion on what is owned and not by the town. The attorney sent his opinion on this is the town may keep the right of way for 3 rods (49.5 feet). So on any road the town owns 49.5 feet in width and if a turnaround is needed you are supposed to stay within that even if it is private property. There is no limit as to how far at the end of the road you take as long as it is not over the 49.5 feet.
- PLANNING BOARD: The Planning Board asked to revise the process for a lot line alteration. The town attorney will prepare a revision and talk to the Planning Board members.
- ZBA: The Zoning Board asked to be able to recommend that applicants come to the ZBA application night, on the second Thursday at 7:00 P.M. with their applications prior to coming to the Zoning Board meeting. This has been added to the website on the Zoning Board page.
- DONATIONS: Supervisor Staats thanked those that donated to the park, Mary and Jim Shannon, $500; Fingar Insurance, $1000; Freeman-Howard Attorneys, $500; Southern Columbia Soccer League, $1,000; Morris Associates Engineers, $1000; Mary and Dan Howard, $4,000. He also thanked the Clemente’s for donating a flagpole for the park.
- HIGHWAY DEPT. Thanked the Highway Department for maintaining everything.
- VILLAGE GREEN: Thanked the Village Green for doing the Election dinner and Christmas event which is Sunday, December 16th at 6:00 P.M. at the church on the Village Green.
- CLERMONT FIRE HOUSE: The Clermont Fire Department is holding the Children’s Christmas Party on December 15th at 6:00 P.M. at the firehouse on Route 9G.
- COUNTY BUDGET: The budget hearing is Wednesday December 12, 2018 at 7:00 P.M.
Cash balance of $4,000,000.00 years ago. In the past ten years it has risen to $11,000,000. Every year they add whatever they can and Supervisor Staats will not be voting in favor of the budget.
- A motion was made by Councilwoman Brownson, seconded by Councilman Hempel to approve Trust and Agency abstract #8, voucher #15 in the amount of $353.50. All in favor. So carried.
- A motion was made by Councilman Desmond, seconded by Councilwoman Brownson to approve General abstract #12, vouchers #308 to #341, in the amount of $21,120.24. All in favor. So carried.
- A motion was made by Councilman Gildersleeve, seconded by Councilman Hempel to approve Highway abstract #12, vouchers #114 to #123, in the amount of $18,328.15. All in favor. So carried.
There was a question about the higher amount of the abstracts and it is because they do include the payment to NYS Retirement for next year.
A motion was made to adjourn at 8:15 P.M. by Councilman Gildersleeve, seconded by Councilman Hempel. All in favor.
Mary Helen Shannon, RMC