December 17, 2019
Absent: Councilman Lachterman
Personnel: Highway and Water Department
Litigation and negotiation: Town Attorney
1. Street lights
Supervisor Gilbert announced that the Highway Department will be replacing existing NYSEG street lights with LED lights, resulting in an annual cost savings of $25,000.
Several testimonials were offered to outgoing lawmakers: County Legislators John Testa and Michael Kaplowitz and Supervisor Ilan Gilbert.
Ethics Board: Larry Killeen
Recreation Commission: In a 3-1 vote, the board reappointed Town Clerk Diana Quast and Comptroller Patricia Caporale and appointed Highway Superintendent Dave Paganelli. Explaining his no vote, Councilman Diana said he believed that department heads and elected officials should not be on the Rec Commission and he suggested that the town code that set up the Commission be looked at next year. Councilwoman Roker agreed that the code should be looked at. Supervisor Gilbert said he was voting for the people and the jobs they had done and would do.
Highway Department. Several promotions were announced with one requiring a waiver of the town’s nepotism policy because the person was Mr. Paganelli’s son-in-law. Mr. Paganelli explained that when the person was hired five years ago, he had no relationship with any family member. Explaining the promotions, Mr. Paganelli said that the promotions were long over-do and had been delayed because he was using the salary savings to purchase needed equipment and vehicles.
4. Courtesy of the Floor
Michael Grace. The former supervisor asked the board to reimburse him for his expenses defending some lawsuits.
Legacy Field. John Campobasso, president of the YAC, asked if the town would be honoring its commitment to set aside some of the Enbridge funds to replace the turf at Legacy. Supervisor Gilbert assured him that the commitment to set aside money to pay for the turf replacement had been made although the issue was where the money would come from was not settled.
5. Getty/Barger Street Gas Station/Public Hearing
Despite the applicant’s request that the hearing be adjourned in order to give him time to consider the Planning Board’s comments from the night before, plus get input from the DEC, the board entertained comments from the public, including residents from Trump Park and an abutting property owner, all of whom expressed concern about the project on environmental grounds and also traffic issues, The applicant explained his plans to clean up the mess currently on the property and that he was prepared to deal with any unanticipated environmental problems that might surface once the existing building was demolished. He also noted the positive aspects of the proposed redevelopment plan, including a stormwater plan and the elimination of a potentially polluting auto mechanic shop.
The applicant said he wanted to work with the neighbors. The hearing was adjourned.
6. Battery Energy Storage Law and Moratorium on approving large scale storage systems
Although Supervisor Gilbert initially said that the board would only consider the local law regulating battery energy storage facilities, as the hearing progressed and questions were raised about needed amendments to the regulatory local law, the comments during the hearing also included the pros and cons of a moratorium.
Several speakers raised concerns about some of the provisions in the regulatory law as it related to large scale facilities, including the provision that would allow them in any zoning district, including residential districts; the need to set a time limit for the special permits; and additional fire and safety provisions. Councilwoman Roker noted that the board had not received any comments on the proposed regulatory law from the town’s two fire districts.
Initially, the board thought that a moratorium would not be needed because it could draft a revised law and have it ready for the new board to pass in January. However, after several speakers urged the board not to rush and the board agreed that a moratorium made sense, the board adjourned the hearing on the regulatory law and passed the moratorium.
Town Attorney Abbate advised the lawyer representing the company that has had an application for a large scale facility on Gomer Court before the Zoning Board for about seven months that the moratorium law included an appeals provision for hardship cases.
7. Selected resolutions
Traffic light emergency equipment. The board transferred $11,262 from the contingency line to purchase generators, chains and locks for 26 traffic lights so that they would comply with DOT guidelines in the event of emergencies and power failures.
Highway Department. Authorized the purchase of a dump body and chassis for a slide in salter for $78,946.
Parks & Recreation Department: Authorized the purchase of pick-up truck for $35,791.
Police Department. Authorized the trade-in of the department’s two used motorcycles and the purchase of two new motorcycles at a cost of $25,486.
NOTE: This is the last Town Board meeting of the year.