Town Board

November 19, 2019



Personnel: Nutrition/Senor Services and Highway




1. Announcements

Unpaid taxes: Supervisor Gilbert announced that to date, the town has collected $680,000 in unpaid taxes based on the foreclosure notices that were sent out.


Snow issues: Highway Superintendent Paganelli said that residents can get “snow sticks” at the Highway Department to protect the curbs at their property lines.


Public Safety Committee: Highway Superintendent Paganelli read out a list of proposed stop signs and other traffic measures. The stop sign recommendations will be set up for future public hearings.  Councilwoman Roker, a member of the committee said that a part of the problem was that people don’t obey signs and she didn’t know how that issue could be resolved. Councilman Diana noted that the police can’t be everywhere all the time.


Community Resource Guide. Representatives of Alliance for Safe Kids (ASK) did a presentation on how they have developed a program to use QR codes to facilitate access to their Community Resource Guide.


2. Hallocks Mill Pump Stations

(See Town Board, 11-12-2019.) A representative of GHD explained the major unanticipated problem that delayed the completion of the construction: the discovery of an unknown abandoned underground storage tank at the Jefferson Park pump station.  Councilman Diana said that GHD should have known about the tank, but the GHD representative said that the 2015 contract did not have provisions for unknown tanks. He said that the company’s 2015 contract was to cover 12 months of construction but that the project is taking an estimated four additional months and that the company has to cover its costs. While the added cost, based on the original contract, is $21,850/month, he said the company would only bill the town for time expended.


At the suggestion of the town attorney, GHD will provide the town with the details of its billing and that the details will be compared with the terms of its contract.


3. Tree Law

Mr. Tegeder discussed the revised version of the proposed new Tree Law that he said reflected fairly minor changes from the version the board considered in July. The changes included: the following additions: more details on the Tree Commission’s educational role, that Planning Board and Town Board decisions could be appealed in Article 78 lawsuits, and that requiring that applications within the purview of the town engineer be referred to the Conservation Board and the Tree Co mission. Deletions included: requiring a permit to remove a tree on a slope greater than 15% and requiring a permit to remove trees on properties zoned half acre or less.


In response to Mr. Tegeder’s comment that board may want to consider the terms humus (top soil) and duff (fallen leaves) be deleted from the definition of what constitutes a disturbance to a woodland, Supervisor Gilbert said that  the top soil was important but left open for more discussion the duff issue. Mr. Tegeder will be meeting with a major property owner who objects to the duff inclusion.


The board will discuss any possible changes at its work session next week (note: this wasn’t completely clear) but also scheduled to reconvene the public hearing on the law on December 10.  (note: Copies of the 11-19-2019 version will be available on the town web site.)


4. Courtesy of the Floor

Geese on Lake Osceola: Mr. Mullen, hearing gun shots at geese on Lake Osceola called the police and was advised that the person had a permit. In response, Councilwoman Roker explained that the permit was a “deprivation permit” issued by the state.


Drainage issue/Forest Court.  A resident repeated his problem about leaks from underground stormwater line that is flooding his property that date back to 2008; he has brought the issue before four supervisors without getting any resolution of the problem.


Sylvan Glen Park. Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, announced that the Yorktown Trail Town Committee has received a National Heritage grant from the Hudson River Valley Greenway for an interpretive sign project at the park that will document the history of the abandoned Mohegan Quarry located in the park. In addition to the signs, information about the quarry will be available online and educational materials will be made available to local school districts.


Summit Hill. Residents from Jefferson Village repeated their arguments against the proposed development. Contrary to their statement, Councilwoman Roker said she has not reached a decision on the project although she is on record as supporting housing for millennials. The town attorney advised the speakers that for legal reasons board members cannot voice their opinions about a rezoning request until all the information has become available. Councilwoman Roker did say, however, was that  the Jefferson Valley hamlet needed “a shot in the arm” and that this can happen through the development process.  Supervisor Gilbert said that the proposed development became a political football. Councilman Lachterman rejected that characterization, adding that he had some concerns about the size of the project. The board also explained that when a developer submits a traffic study, the town hires its own traffic consultant, paid for by the developer, to review the developer’s study.


5. Selected resolutions

Branding: (See Town Board 11-12-2019.) The board voted 4-1 to hire the firm of Thompson and Bender to develop a branding program for the town. Councilman Diana voted nay because he preferred another vendor. The fee will not exceed $30,000.


Vehicle purchase. Authorized the purchase of a Ford Transit Van for the Police Department at a cost of $23,605 and a budget transfer to move $22,500 from the department’s Medical insurance line to cover the cost of the vehicle.


Seritage (formerly Sears). (See Town Board 2-19-2019.) The board approved an agreement involving the maintenance and repair of water improvements at the Mall.


Lowe’s. The board accepted the dedication to the town of the water and sewer lines at the site.


North County Trailway/Right of way parkland dedication. The resolution which dealt with the new Mohansic Trailway was tabled pending a correction in the resolution; the parkland dedication is only for the Mohansic Trailway and has nothing to do with the North County Trailway.  Prior to adopting a revised resolution, the planning director will review whether the entire right of way is dedicated parkland, or a small portion between Route 118 and Devoe Court is left as open space in the event the town ever wants to build a road on that portion as part of the conceptual mini master plan for Route 202.