REGULAR MEETING OF THE TOWN BOARD
TOWN OF GLENVILLE
SEPTEMBER 2, 2009
AT THE GLENVILLE MUNICIPAL CENTER
18 GLENRIDGE ROAD, GLENVILLE, NEW YORK
Present: Supervisor Frank X. Quinn, Councilmen Edward F. Rosenberg, Mark A. Quinn, Christopher A. Koetzle and Councilwoman Valerie M. DiGiandomenico
Supervisor Quinn called the meeting to order at 7:00 PM; Councilman Rosenberg gave the Invocation and led us in the Pledge of Allegiance.
Supervisor Quinn asked the Town Clerk, Linda C. Neals, to call the roll. Everyone was present and accounted for.
Town Council Reports:
Councilwoman DiGiandomenico reported that the Town received a check from the NYS Department of State for $479,600 for the Alplaus Sewer Project. She explained that Glenville’s share of that grant is 70% or $405,720, Clifton Park and Glencliff School are co-applicants and they will receive the remaining 30%. She further explained that this $405,720 would be applied directly to offset the Town of Glenville’s cost associated with this project, which will significantly reduce the sewer user debt payment.
Councilman Quinn gave an update on Planning and Zoning. He explained that the Town has been contemplating guide lines for the use of wind turbines as an alternative energy source. He further explained that he would like to strike a balance between utilizing these as an alternative energy source and balancing that with the needs of the residents and neighbors. He asked what the next step would be on this subject.
Tony Germano replied that the next step would be to provide the Planning with comments based on the proposed draft that has been prepared. He stated that their next step would be to notify the Glenville Environmental Conservation Commission and then the Planning Board would give recommendations to this Town Board.
Councilman Quinn asked if this could be discussed at the next Town Board Work Session.
Privilege of the Floor:
The following people exercised the Privilege of the Floor:
Tom Coppola, resident and employee of the Town, commented on the purchase of a new truck for the highway department. Mr. Coppola informed the Board that the existing vehicles are in need of repair. He continued to explain that in doing this the equity value would stay up. He stated that the Board needs to think about the trucks that the Town currently has. He continued to explain that to keep our truck line going we need to keep equity in the vehicle because when you go to get rid of the vehicle it needs to be worth some kind of value. He suggested that the maintenance should be performed on a 2004 truck currently owned and keep it in good shape and then in maybe two or three years the Town could sell it and get
$65,000 or $70,000 for it and then put that towards a new vehicle.
He continued to explain that this money that is proposed for a new vehicle, first we should make our facility whole that we have now and the fleet should be made complete and then work from there. He stated that he can talk about these vehicles because he works on these vehicles every day, he is the guy that does the repairs, the sandblasting and the welding. He also commented on the John Deere mower which is a 2004 and the cab is starting to rot out. He stated that we need to keep the equity in these so before we purchase new vehicles we need to make our current fleet up to standard so we don’t loose it.
He further explained that they can’t even wash the vehicles (MS4 regulations) and to keep them up to date they need to have a wash facility for them. He informed the Board that the 2009 Sterling truck is a discontinued vehicle and that we lost equity the minute we took possession of that vehicle.
He went on to talk about the facility (highway garage): he stated that there are lifts that do not work, there is structure that is falling apart and it doesn’t look feasible in the future that we are going to get a new facility so we need to take care of what we have.
Mr. Coppola asked the Board that before they spend the FEMA money, which was a wind-fall for us, they need to make the facility (highway garage) whole.
Jerry Vien, resident expressed the concerns of the residents of “The Return” in regards to the unfinished paving of their roads and a “Petition” signed by the residents in The Return Sub-division was submitted.
He further explained that the bond for the finish paving course was allowed to expire years ago which released the original builder of his responsibilities to finish the road properly.
Mr. Vien stated that it has been almost twenty years since the sub-base had been installed, since then the finished paving course has not been applied to two-thirds of the roads in “The Return”. He informed the Board that this has resulted in enormous damage to the sub-base that now has many sections that need to be replaced before a finished course is applied along with failed restoration of the entrance to the return from Route 50 after the sewer lines were installed years ago.
Mr. Vien read an email from the former Superintendent of Highways, Andimo Coppola, dated November 4, 2005 expressing his apology for the frustration and that the Town was working on the various matters pertaining to the Return Development.
Mr. Vien submitted a petition signed by every resident in The Return to finish the roads and explaining to do so in a timely manner to avoid any legal action. He further expressed in an email to Anthony Germano that this was not an ordinary road repair but one that was never finished and needs to be addressed immediately.
Alan Boulant, resident, business owner and President of the Glenville Business Association, expressed his concern regarding the unfinished road paving in The Return. He stated his opinion regarding the use of the “FEMA” money and the purchase of a new truck. He doesn’t understand what is going on with the current Board and asked them to please put a plan together before they decide to spend this money.
Ron Bova, resident and business owner stated that he has lived in The Return since 1998 and that the road did not receive any top course at that time and now it is in dire need of having that top course. He stated that he realizes that this current Board and the current Highway Superintendent were not in office at the time the road was built nor when the developer was let go of his responsibility, however it doesn’t change the fact that we still have this issue.
Mr. Bova also mentioned the extensive flooding that occurred across the street after the rain storm the other day and said that he has never seen the flooding on Glenridge Road that bad and he suggested as a forensic engineer that it’s more than a coincidence the development was put in with this large pond (next door to municipal center) or detention basin that was built, I would suggest that someone look at it because I suspect that it may not be designed properly.
He also mentioned that there are several areas in the Town that upset him, new development, and it was a shame that the review process this town has available to them that these projects that get built and don’t get accepted. There still are design standards that have been violated and designs that are substandard that, and as an engineer I can see that, they don’t get addressed. They can be addressed before we release or give them their certificate of occupancies.
Virginia Graney, resident, commented on a couple of newspaper articles. She stated that she is a supporter of economic development but the only issue that Glenville has is not economic development. She disagrees with quotes by Alan Boulant regarding the use of FEMA money being used to purchase new trucks. Ms. Graney stated that it was her understanding that the FEMA money came to the town to assist in reimbursing extenuating costs involved with the ice storm. She feels that most of these costs were incurred by the highway department and feels the funds should go to that department.
She expressed her opinion that it could go into the general fund but then when the town needs to purchase new equipment we are forced to bond and then we pay for it in taxes.
Ms. Graney also asked why the town would take on the project of redeveloping the K-Mart site. She feels that the town should be getting after the owner of the property to address this issue, not us (along with other undeveloped sites in the town). She feels these should be the responsibility of the property owners not the responsibility of the town.
Bart Rizzuto resident stated that he wanted to echo the sentiments of Jerry Vien. He stated that it is an ongoing issue that has not been addressed and feels that it is the board’s responsibility to take care of it at this point.
Jeremiah Mackey resident spoke in opposition to spend any of the FEMA funds towards any project at this point until the budget is finalized or a priority list for the Town of Glenville is developed. He stated that regarding the trucks it does not seem necessary or prudent at this time with taxes expected to go up 24%, as mentioned tonight, it seems fiscally irresponsible to do so at this time.
He stated that as members of the Town Board he feels that it is your responsibility to be good stewards of our money and he asked that they do so.
Sid Ramotar resident quoted the following from Susie Orman “don’t spend the money on something you don’t need”. He stated that with the economy the way it is it doesn’t make sense to spend any of the FEMA money.
Mr. Ramotar stated that he feels maybe the Board should start doing things differently to increase revenue. He stated that to increase tax base would be to develop the properties that are empty, that would increase the revenue instead of hoping that someone moves into those properties. He stated that it is the landlord’s problem but he feels that it is up to the Town to make an effort to make those properties available to be housed in some way. He mentioned that it is hard to get out of his street onto Rte. 50 because there is a lot of traffic going to and from Glenville. Those folks are not stopping in Glenville, as much as we would like them to and I feel if we developed some of the empty commercial properties they
may stop and spend some money.
Don Sweet resident reiterated what the earlier speakers stated regarding the paving of the roads in The Return. He stated that nothing was done properly when the development was completed and he hopes that when it is done he hopes it is done right.
Suzanne Meeker resident stated that she wanted to support the effort to have the roads paved in The Return. She also reinforced the statement by Mr. Ramotar. Most of us take our dining dollars for example out of town. There’s just not a lot of opportunity to spend our dollars in Glenville so I think business development is a very important priority for this area.
Supervisor Quinn shared the following information:
The Baptist Health and Retirement Center held an informational session last week invited the Town Board along with our Committees and Commissions so they could share with us there concept and what they are trying to do.
They applied for a grant through the NYS Department of Health to expand what they are doing and they got approved for 3.5 million to do a brand new concept. They took an option on a property that is located on Swaggertown Road, the Horstman Farm, just off of Rte. 50 on the left hand side. The plan is to build a skilled nursing facility, an assisted living facility and an independent living housing. They will keep the current facility and that will be made into apartments.
Congressman Tonko held a meeting regarding the closing of the various post offices, one of which is in the Village of Scotia. We all met in his office in Albany and he explained that the U.S. Post Office is scheduled to loose between 2 and 6 million dollars this year. I spoke up on behalf of the Village along with Mayor Kastberg.
We heard tonight about the grant for the Alplaus Sewer Project. There was a goodly amount of people that were involved in this so besides the Town Board and the Town Administrator the whole DPW staff from Rick LeClair, Jeff Gemmette, Dana Gilgore, Cathy Visco, Denny Russell, and Amanda Galvin all of these people were involved in this grant. Sue Lombardi put it together; George Phillips our Comptroller, Linda Neals,Town Clerk, was also involved in it. We put in for a three way shared service grant, they were quite impressed and I think that helped us get the grant. The grant went in because the Town of Glenville in conjunction with the Town of Clifton Park and Glencliff School, Niskayuna school district and the town are
all part and parcel of why this $500,000 plus came through. The Alplaus Homeowners Association has been very involved in it so this grant is the result of the work of a lot of people.
You have a fact sheet on the property owner’s budget tax information fact sheet, that will be enclosed with the 2010 Town and County tax bill which explains what the line items are in the budget. On the back is our first shot in trying to explain what it means.
We have heard not only tonight but at other times that we have no schedule for paving and no plan for vehicle replacement, I hold up for you here the plan that runs out to the year 2013 and we all have the plan and had signed off on it months ago and it also has all of the vehicles on it as well. There is a plan and it has been available.
As you know we have got six resolutions tonight having to deal with the fund balance. Given what revenues and expenses are and so forth for the sake of all of our tax payers in the town I am not going to vote tonight in favor of any spending of any money until we have a 2010 budget and we can balance some of these expenses and revenues then and only then am I ready willing and able. That doesn’t mean I don’t think we need vehicles, I do think we need vehicles but I have to balance that up against other things.
Councilman Koetzle – “Mr. Supervisor you made the observation that we have a plan and you are right in the sense that roughly you could call it a plan. I think the frustration is that the plan changes and the frustration…
Supervisor Quinn – “Yes, yes…
Councilman Koetzle – “The frustration is not following the plan but it isn’t just changing because there needs to be a change necessarily, it’s changing on whims and it’s changing quite quickly and priorities are changing quite quickly as well. So I think it is not fair to say “people are saying there is no plan” I think from the point of view that we are not necessarily following that plan. You can make a case that there isn’t really a plan and I think it’s a distinction just to be fair to people we should at least put that side of the story on as well.”
Supervisor Quinn – “Okay, I agree with what you said but I disagree with “changes on a whim”.
Councilman Rosenberg – “I don’t think that it is necessarily changing on a whim, I think we as a Board have acknowledged that every year we have asked for a 5 year plan and then we don’t support it financially. We don’t give them the money to do it, so how is he going to pave roads or buy trucks if we don’t give him the money? I have seen the plan and it has come to the table many times before you even were here.”
Supervisor Quinn moved forward with the agenda items.
Councilwoman DiGiandomenico – “I think it is pretty clear, I am suggesting that we use the FEMA money that was put into the fund balance to purchase this truck.”
Councilman Quinn – “I believe in the need for this truck and I will support it in one fashion or another.”
Councilman Koetzle – “I support Councilman Quinn, slow it down, table it and take a better look at it.”
Supervisor Quinn – “I agree we need to do something about trucks, I also agree there is something that has to be done about paving, I also agree there’s merits to this REDI proposal on the agenda, I also know there is $400,000 in the fund balance now as a product of everybody’s hard work last year. If that is used up against 2010’s taxes that alone amount is an 8% tax reduction.”
Followed by a lengthy discussion Councilman Koetzle made a motion to table item numbers 7 through 12 on the agenda until further discussion at the Town Board Work Session to be held on September 9, 2009 and then placed on the agenda for the Regular Meeting to be held on September 16, 2009; Seconded by Councilman Quinn.
Ayes: Councilman Koetzle, Councilman Quinn and Supervisor Quinn
Noes: Councilman Rosenberg and Councilwoman DiGiandomenico
RESOLUTION NO. 124-2009
Moved by: Councilman Koetzle
Seconded by: Councilwoman DiGiandomenico
WHEREAS, the Town of Glenville applied for Petroleum Overcharge Restitution (POCR) funding from the New York Power Authority (NYPA) for the implementation of a solar energy project at a designated town facility; and
WHEREAS, the New York Power Authority has authorized a sum of $100,000 of POCR non-match funding to be made available to the Town to complete this energy project; and
WHEREAS, the Town of Glenville will utilize the awarded NYPA funding for services to design the POCR energy project and subsequently purchase and install required solar equipment at a designated town facility,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED by the Town Board of the Town of Glenville hereby authorizes the Town Supervisor to execute NYPA Agreement #4500177581 for the transfer of POCR funding to the Town to complete the authorized energy project; and
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Town Board of the Town of Glenville also authorizes the Town Supervisor to undertake competitive bidding to make required purchases and obtain necessary services in accordance with the town’s procurement procedure for the expenditure of a sum not to exceed the $100,000 NYPA POCR funding to complete this energy project.
Ayes: Councilmen Koetzle, Quinn, Rosenberg, Councilwoman DiGiandomenico and Supervisor Quinn
RESOLUTION NO. 125-2009
Moved by: Councilwoman DiGiandomenico
Seconded by: Councilman Rosenberg
BE IT RESOLVED, that the minutes of the regular meeting held on July 15, 2009, are hereby approved and accepted as entered.
Ayes: Councilmen Koetzle, Quinn, Rosenberg, Councilwoman DiGiandomenico and Supervisor Quinn
RESOLUTION NO. 126-2009
Moved by: Councilman Rosenberg
Seconded by: Councilman Quinn
WHEREAS, The Glenville Town Board is committed to enhancing Town Government operations, administration and communications between Board Members, the Town Administrator and Town Department’s to ensure that delivery of services are as effective and efficient as possible;
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that effective immediately the Town Supervisor, pursuant to the authority vested him in New York State Town Municipal Law, will re-institute the traditional Town Board Liaison system with the various Town of Glenville Departments, Committees and Commissions. The Town Administrator will coordinate day-to-day program and staff activities for all Departments.
Noes: Councilman Koetzle, Quinn, Rosenberg, Councilwoman DiGiandomenico
and Supervisor Quinn
Councilman Rosenberg: - “As bad as K-Mart looks, they still pay taxes and they are current on their taxes. We are getting a tax payment from them every time it is due, the same thing with McDonald’s and the rest of the vacant businesses. Across the street from Price Chopper, it was nice the development was going in but when all of those buildings got torn down their tax bill went down along with it. Unless there is something on the table it is not a good idea just to tear down buildings because now you have vacant land that we are not getting anything for.
I think the Board has failed to step up and support the highway department. I think when you look at his portion of the budget on a percentage basis; I think you brought it up 2 or 3% of our tax bill. We need a new highway garage, we need a truck wash, we need trucks and we need to fix our roads. This is a prime example part of #7 through #12 there is $70,000 in his budget that we gave him that we just took back. It doesn’t make any sense. We all sit up here and say we want a plan and then we don’t financially support it. There is no fund to replace a truck, we didn’t fence any money; the $70,000 that is in his budget line, if he doesn’t spend it before December 31st it goes back into the fund
balance, it is gone. So if you don’t give him $150,000 next year he doesn’t get it.”
The Town of Glenville Town Board Meeting was adjourned at 8:50 pm.
Linda C. Neals