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.
- 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.
- The Supervisor provided the budget and revenue reports for January.
- Web Committee: No report
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
Mary Helen Shannon, RMC
Deputy Town Clerk