November 12, 2019
Town attorney: litigation and negotiation
1. Battery Storage Facilities /Legislation
Representatives of NYSERDA answered the board’s questions that focused mostly on safety issues associated with the use. They explained that the model NYSERDA law that the town is considering addresses the two types of storage facilities: those contained within a cabinet and the walk-in container type as well as facilities in houses and on commercially zoned sites. Both types, they said, had a low frequency of fires or explosions but were considered high risk. The issue, the fire expert said, was knowing how – in advance – to have a plan for managing the potential risk. He said that that the recently adopted 2019 supplement to the state’s Fire Code addressed that issue, although Planning Board chairman Richard Fon noted that the state code sets minimum standards and that only the state can amend the code which municipalities have to follow. The town can, however, decide the locations where storage facilities are permitted.
Some of the concerns that were addressed included how fires would be handeled, the need to train local first responders before any facility was installed, the release of toxic fumes, and the suggestion that before the town approved any facility, the plan be subject to outside peer review paid for by the applicant.
2. Battery Storage at Staples Center
The applicant advised the board that the Fire Advisory Board is satisfied with its plan and that the applicant is prepared, as requested by the Fire Board, to provide training for first responders before the facility is installed. The applicant will also agree, as a condition to the approval of its plan, to confirm to the proposed new town law.. The applicant also advised the board that the insurance carried by the shopping center’s owner would cover any potential issues with the facility.
Councilman Roker said her safety concerns were based on the center’s proximity to houses.
3. Battery Storage/Gomer Court
The applicant advised the board that he had no issue with the suggestion that its plan undergo peer review and that it would provide the required first responder training and adhere to the Fire Code. He objected, however, to the possibility that his application would be caught in a proposed moratorium after being before the Zoning Board for five months.
In response, Supervisor Gilbert distinguished the Staples project which is being considered an accessory use to the site’s main use, i.e., a shopping center, from the Gomer Court project which is a primary use. Councilman Lachterman assured the applicant that the board was moving as quickly as possible on the proposed new law and that it was not likely that the project would be held up for a year.
4. Economic Development and Revitalization Committee
(See Town Board 9-22-2019.) Representatives of the committee asked the board to select a company to develop a branding plan for the town after interviewing two possible vendors on October 22nd. Supervisor Gilbert said that $50,000 had been included in his tentative 2020 budget to cover the cost. In response to questions from Councilman Lachterman about how the branding plan would be implemented over time, the committee members explained that the initial contract with a consultant, at an estimated cost of $30,000, would be to develop the plan, but that the next steps, to implement the plan, at a potential cost of $30,000-$50,000, could be carried out either by a consultant or a town employee, but not both at the same time.
Supervisor Gilbrt indicated that the board might vote on the issue at its next meeting. It was explained that in developing the branding plan, the consultant would seek input from residents.
5. Hallocks Mill pump Station upgrades
Town Engineer Quinn gave the board an update on the status of the replacement project for three pump stations, all of which should be ready to become operational by either this month or December. However, GHD, the engineering consultant hired in 2015 to oversee the project is requesting additional money to oversee the final stages of the project. The engineer estimated the cost at $87,000 based on a monthly cost of $21,850. Ed Mahoney, who oversees the operation of the sewage treatment plant and the pump stations advised the board that at this final stage of the project, it did not make sense for town staff to complete the final tasks. The board had an issue with the cost and asked that the company to appear before the board at its next meeting to explain the need for the additional money
Mr. Quinn explained that as the project progressed, there were unexpected delays and unanticipated design issues that needed to be addressed. The project was supposed to have been completed by August, 2019.
6. Selected resolutions
ACCC yearly leases. The board approved several leases for rental of rooms at the building.
2020 budget. The preliminary budget will be available on November 20 and the public hearing will be held on December 3 at 6:30pm.
Employee training. Approved hiring a firm to provide Workplace Violence Prevention Training sessions for town employees.