Town Board

December 19, 2017


1. 2018 budget

In a 4-1 vote, with Councilman Patel voting no, the board voted to adopt an amended budget that includes changes discussed at the December 5, 20167 hearing..


2. Street Opening Law (Con Ed issue)/ Reconvened public hearing

(See Town Board 11/28/2017.)  Town Attorney McDermott explained that the proposed local law was modified based on informal discussions with representatives of Con Ed. One of the changes was a reduction in the proposed inspection fee; it now reads up to 4% of the cost of the construction. A Con Ed representative asked the board to change the threshold for when a Town Board permit was required (for “large” projects) as opposed to permits issued by the highway superintendent for smaller projects.  The board did not go along with the suggestion , with Supervisor Grace noting that even a project that involved a modest number of linear feet that would be dug up could involve other safety issues. 


The board voted to amend the proposed law and then voted to adopt the amended law.


3. Front Street rezoning/Reconvened public hearing

The applicant explained that he didn’t want to spend money to prepare the required stormwater plan (SWPPP) until after he was assured that the board would approve the rezoning.  Mr. Tegeder said that the Planning Board supported the transitional zoning and had no problem with the concept plan but that more detail was needed on certain aspects of the site plan. Mr. Riina, the applicant’s engineer, agreed that the applicant had to go back to the Planning Board  for some “tweaking” and that adjustments could be made in the current concept plan.


Summit St resident Wade Hoyt whose property abuts the site expressed concern about several aspects of the plan that he felt would negatively impact on his property. Citing the zoning code, he stated that the board should not be acting on the rezoning request until after it received the required recommendation from the Planning Board. He also asked why the town was not considering the C2-R commercial zone that has standards and which would permit mixed use.


In response to comments from Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, about the C2-R zone, the applicant said that a larger and less desirable building could be erected based on C2-R standards and that the concept plan using transitional zone would be preferable for the abutting residential properties.  Noting that the supervisor had explained at previous transitional zone hearings that the board simultaneously approves the rezoning and the site plan, she asked how the board could approve the rezoning without a stormwater plan and without a more detailed site plan.


The hearing was closed and the board voted 4-1, with Councilman Patel voting no, to declare itself lead agency for SEQRA, adopt a negative declaration and approve the rezoning based on  several verbal conditions  stating that certain issues will be subject to future review by the Planning Board.


3. Restore NY grant application for Depot Square/Public hearing & contract for architect

Susan Siegel, the person writing this summary, stated that the application, which was for $1 million for site work related to Depot Square, was premature because the site work couldn’t be done until the highway garage was relocated and, to date, there was no plan for the proposed new highway garage. Noting that the application has already been submitted, she questioned whether the application would met  the state’s requirement that a Town Board approval resolution be included in the application. In response, Supervisor Grace said this was not a fatal issue and that the resolution could be submitted retroactively. He also said that planning has been done for the new highway garage and that a stormwater plan had been submitted to the DEP.


Paul Moskowitz suggested that the existing highway garage building could be repurposed for a new use after the highway department relocated. Supervisor Grace said that this was not practical.


Five people spoke in support of the project, adding that the town should go after any available funds  and that replacing the existing garage was a high priority. Two of the speakers added that the town needed to construct a stand alone senior center.


Ken Belfer thanked the board for doing long range planning.


The board voted 4-1, with Councilman Patel voting no, to submit the application.


In a related agenda item later in the meeting, the board voted 4-1, with Councilman Patel voting no, to authorize the supervisor to sign a $120,000 contract with an architect to design the new highway garage. During Courtesy of the Floor, Stewart Glass questioned why the board rushed to sign this contract, noting that the money would be wasted if the incoming Town Board decided not to proceed with the contract. He had no objection to submitting the application because it didn’t involve the expenditure of town funds.


4. Hickory Street wetland permits/public hearing

(See Town Board 11-28-2017.) The applicant and his consultants made a presentation, noting that the site’s wetlands were “low functioning,” that the proposed stormwater plan would not increase any downstream runoff, and that as part of his public/private plan to sewer the two lots, the developed would construct a spur in Granite Springs Road that could be used to sewer the homes on Breen Lane.


A long list of speakers expressed a variety of concerns about the project, including exacerbating downstream flooding along Colonial and Waverly, long term  maintenance issues associated with the underground infiltrators that will capture runoff, the impact on the stream, wetlands and wildlife, liability issues if the infiltrators didn’t work as designed, etc.   They also cited the need for more information, a point also made in the Conservation Board’s memo. Residents from Colonial Street noted that the mitigation plan associated with the Guiding Eyes wetlands permit many years ago has not worked as designed and that their flooding problems have gotten worse since the facility expanded.


 Supervisor Grace acknowledged that the properties downstream have a flooding problem, but he said that developing the two Hickory Street  lots would not solve the problem.


The board voted to adjourn the hearing.


5. Cold War Veterans Exemption/public hearing

The board opened and closed a hearing that repeals a section in the ecxisting town law that provides for a 10 year duration for the exemption. The exemption remains in place but there is no time limit on it. The change in the local law conforms to a change in the state law.


6. Granite Knolls turf

In a 3-2 vote with Supervisor Grace and Councilman Patel voting no, the board voted to award the turf contract to Shaw Sports for $1,037,785. Supervisor Grace explained that after meetings with Shaw and LandTek that included town staff and members of the athletic clubs, the difference between the two bids was reduced so that the Shaw bid was only $80,000 more than LandTek.


7. Jefferson Valley Mall

In two items not on the agenda, the board voted to accept the dedication of the ring road around the complex and also to authorize the supervisor to sign a maintenance agreement with the mall owners for the road.  No details of the agreement were available.  During Courtesy of the Floor, Steward Glass expressed concern that incoming Supervisor-elect Gilbert should have been involved in the drafting of the agreement as it will be the new board that have to live with it.  Supervisor Grace said that Highway Superintendent Paganelli had reviewed the agreement.


8. Lowe’s

The board authorized the supervisor to sign an agreement with KJM Construction Management for an amount not to exceed $235,800 to oversee some aspects of the construction project.  The money will come from the inspection fee that Lowe’s will be required to pay.


9. Hallocks Mill Pump Station bids

The board voted to advertise for bids for the revised specs for the Jefferson Valley, Jefferson Park and Walden Woods pump stations.


10. YCCC rental fees

The board voted to reduce the rental fees paid by SPARC, an organization that provides recreation services to disabled youth and adults, to $460 from $4,442.


11. Zino’s barn

The board voted to pay the developer of Lowe’s $20,180 for the removal and relocation of the barn.


12. Vacation carryover

The board approved a long list of vacation carryover time for town employees, ranging 3.5 hours to 262.5 hours.


13. Resignations/appointments

In an item not on the agenda:

Ethics Board: resignation of Michael Reda and appointment of Serge Esposito

Rec Commission: resignation of James Hackett and appointment of Matt Talbert.

(During Courtesy of the Floor, Stewart Glass objected to the outgoing board filling these positions without giving the members of the incoming board a chance to consider possible appointees.)


The meeting ended with Supervisor Grace and Councilman Bernard making “goodbye” statements.