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Town Board – October 2018


OCTOBER 1, 2018

The Clermont Town Board held their monthly meeting on Monday, October 1, 2018 at 7:00 P.M. at the Town Hall.  Those in attendance were Supervisor Raymond Staats, Councilman Robert Desmond, Councilwoman Dawn Brownson, Councilman Evan Hempel and Councilman Kris Gildersleeve. There were twelve residents present.

Supervisor Staats opened the meeting with the salute to the flag

MINUTES: Councilwoman Brownson did note two corrections to the September 4th meeting. The time of the meeting on the first page should be 7:00 P.M. and at the top of third page should be pressure ‘washer’. A motion was made by Councilman Desmond and seconded by Councilman Gildersleeve to accept the minutes with corrections.  All in favor.  So carried.

TOWN CLERK’S REPORT: The Town Clerk presented the Supervisor with a check for the General Fund in the amount of $294.01 and for Trust & Agency for $800.00.


  • The Columbia County Office of the Aging is holding public hearings on the Annual Implementation Plan on October 24 in Valatie and October 25 in Copake.
  • Website: There was no comment.

PARK COMMITTEE: Supervisor Staats welcomed the Park committee members. Mary Howard, Co-chair of the committee, presented the results of the online survey on the park.  There were 727 postcards successfully delivered and 118 surveys completed, a 16% response rate.  Most that answered were in the age group 56 – 65 and have lived here for at least 25 years with most being full time residents. Walking trails, bathrooms, benches and pavilion/shade structure seemed to come out as top priority for the park.  There was some discussion by those present who said they did not receive a postcard, but they were offered the opportunity to complete the survey now. There were some that questioned why the board went ahead with the soccer field when the survey was not done and Supervisor Staats explained that this has been discussed at prior meetings and planned for a long time and is something that is needed for the youth of the community.  Supervisor Staats will put together a plan of what the board is looking for from the committee.


  • VETERANS MEMORIAL: Councilman Desmond said that a spot has been picked for the Veterans memorial on the hill behind the cemetery. It will be visible from the parking area.  The budget for the monument is $2,260.00.  Hopefully, we can get things done through donations and grant money.  The board has not made a decision on the flag pole yet but the cost is minimal. 
  • Website: Councilman Hempel reported that there has been a good bit of progress, and Ellen Earle has been responsible for the work that has been done. We are nearing the transition period and will be sharing the link to the board.
  • RECYCLING: Councilman Gildersleeve has been working with the Town Clerk on recycling electronics that are outdated.
  • ELECTION DAY DINNER: Councilwoman Brownson reported that the Election Day Dinner will be held from 5:00 P.M. to 7:00 P.M. at the Community House on Election Day.
  • Supervisor Staats handed out the budget and revenue reports for September.


  • HAIL DAMAGE: On May 15, 2018 a hail storm moved through town and did damage to the Community House, Town Hall and a shed behind the highway garage.  The damage to the shed was just noticed and an adjuster will be coming out to inspect that building.
  • DEC INVOICE: An invoice has been received for additional expenses for the remediation of the twenty acres north of the town hall. We are not committing to paying this invoice.  We have been looking at these charges and have our town engineer looking at these also.  As soon as our engineer completes his review we will set up a meeting with DEC.


  • PARK DONATIONS: Donations have been received to pay for the soccer goals in the park. To date we have received $4,000 which more than covers the cost of the goals.  The donations were as follows: Southern Columbia Soccer League, $1,000; Morris Associates Engineers, $1,000; Fingar Insurance, $1,000; Freeman-Howard Attorneys, $500.00; Mary Helen and Jim Shannon, $500.
  • REVALUATION: Supervisor Staats met with NYS Office of Real Property, Columbia County Real Property and our Assessor Cheryl Kaszluga. The State lowered our valuation numbers down to 91% from 100%. In order to rectify this, we must have a full revaluation done.  We have to enter into an agreement with our Assessor.  Data mailers will be mailed out to each household and reviewed by the Assessor and then the County will complete the valuation.  There is a fee for the County and we have provided for this in the 2019 budget.  This all has to be completed and sent to the state by February.

Resolution #43 of 2018 was passed on a motion made by Councilman Robert Desmond and seconded by Councilman Evan Hempel to approve the resolution to enter into an agreement with Assessor Cheryl Kaszluga to perform the data collection for 2019.  All in favor.  So carried.

  • 2019 BUDGET: The amount to be collected for taxes is the same as last year’s budget. The Highway Superintendent and two full time employees were given a 2% raise.  The Code Enforcement Officer was increased from $7500 to $9000.00. In the buildings account there was an increase of $20,500 for the repair to the buildings from the hail damage but this is offset by the insurance check received.  Not having a plan, the Parks account was increased to $10,000 from the Parks Reserve. The Highway Equipment budget was increased by $86,000 for a dual wheel dump truck at $75,000 and a mower head for mowing at $11,000. The Highway equipment reserve fund for purchase of equipment was increased to $45,000. A copy of the preliminary budget will be available at the town hall during regular business hours.

A motion was made by Councilman Desmond, seconded by Councilwoman Brownson to proceed with the preliminary budget hearing Monday, November 5 at 6:45 P.M. All in favor.  So carried.


  • ELECTION DAY DINNER: The ham dinner will be held at the Community House from 5 PM to 7 PM on Election Day.
  • The Supervisor also thanked all those that are involved with the Park and the Highway Department.
  • CORN HOLE TOURNAMENT: The Corn Hole Tournament was held at Tousey’s Tin Barn and the Village Green did the food preparation with the money raised going for the kitchen in the Community House.


A motion was made by Councilman Desmond to approve General abstract #10A, vouchers #258 – 274 in the amount of $3,468.37, seconded by Councilwoman Brownson.  All in favor.  So carried.

A motion was made by Councilwoman Brownson to approve General abstract #10, Prepaid, vouchers #255-257 in the amount of $198.49, seconded by Councilman Gildersleeve.  All in favor.  So carried.

A motion was made by Councilman Hempel to approve Trust & Agency abstract #7, vouchers #13 – 14 in the amount of $319.55, seconded by Councilman Desmond.  All in favor.  So carried.

A motion was made by Councilman Gildersleeve to approve Highway abstract #10, vouchers #93-101 in the amount of $6,619.97, seconded by Councilman Hempel. All in favor.  So carried.


Paul Clemente asked if anything can be done about the speeding on Buckwheat Bridge Road.  Supervisor Staats will ask for a sign and patrols to see if that will help. 

Phyllis Heiko thanked the Board for listening to the Park Committee.

A motion was made to move into executive session at 9:05 P.M. to discuss contract negotiations by Councilman Desmond, seconded by Councilwoman Brownson.  All in favor.  So carried.

A motion was made to come out of executive session at 9:25 P.M. by Councilman Gildersleeve, seconded by Councilman Hempel. All in favor.  So carried.

A motion was made to adjourn at 9:25 P.M. by Councilman Desmond, seconded by Councilman Hempel. All in favor.

Respectfully submitted,

Mary Helen Shannon, RMC

Town Clerk