Town Board Work Session
October 22, 2013
“Advice of Counsel and Personnel”
1. Journey’s End Road
Highway Superintendent DiBartolo advised the Board that because a property owner had constructed a gate across the road that created an unsafe condition that prevented town trucks from turning around, his department was no longer going to plow or maintain the road. With the approval of the Board, he will send a letter to the property owner notifying him about the cession of services. While Supervisor Grace said the town could not absolve itself from liability, Mr. DiBartolo said that Highway Law gave him the authority not to plow roads that were unsafe.
2. Traffic and safety issues
Councilman Murphy discussed a series of options with the Board and Highway Superintendent DiBartolo.for dealing with traffic safety issues on East Main Street in Shrub Oak, Mohansic Ave at Whitehill Road, on Locksley Road and Quinlan Street .
After Mr. DiBartolo advised the Board that flashing stop signs cost about $1,200 and pedestrian crossing signs, which frequently disappear, $950 each, the Board decided to deploy vacant police cars as decoys at selected locations as a deterrent to speeding and to consider adding some pedestrian stripping to some roads. Speed bumps on Locksley and Quinlan were ruled out,. Mr. DiBartolo will also install some “curve ahead” signs in Shrub Oak near the library.
3. Tax refund
In an item not on the agenda, the Board agreed to refund a property owner the second half of the school tax bill that had been paid in September. Initially, the tax receiver declined to approve the refund on the grounds that the full payment was not a duplicate payment. The Board felt, however, that the property owner (who might have been a relatively new property who didn’t realize that the total bill could be due in two parts) was entitled to have the use of his money until January.
4. Tax Certiorari settlement
The Board approved a settlement, but did not identify the property owner or the amount of the settlement.
5. Building permit renewal fees
Building inspector Winter presented the Board with four options for addressing the renewal fee issue. After a brief discussion, the Board agreed to grandfather all open building permits, noting that because building permit data is now computerized, going forward, there shouldn’t be a problem with expired permits.
The attorney will draft legislation and a public hearing was tentatively scheduled for December 1.
Emergency generators for YCCC and town hall
Supervisor Grace informed the Board that the town could apply to FEMA for a hurricane related grant that would pay for 75% of the cost of the generators. He added, though, that it could take 1 to 1½ years before FEMA decided on the application and also that the grant program dealt mostly with land use issues.
In response, Councilman Bianco said that with a $5 million fund balance, the town should go ahead and purchase the generators. The Board then voted to spend up to $100,000 for the two generators which will be purchased off state contract.
7. Granite Knolls barn
Based on information from the building department that the middle portion of the barn was collapsing, the Board agreed to ask the highway department to demolish the structure. Supervisor Grace said that the asbestos in the barn had already been removed and that there was an open DEC spill number on the property because of an oil stain on the floor.
8. Selected other resolutions
Without any discussion, and for some resolutions, without any written text available to the public, the Board agreed to several budget transfers, awarded a bid for the dog park fencing and authorized an agreement dealing with the Sparkle Lake Dam project .