Personnel (employment of a particular person) and negotiations
1. Water meters
(For background on the water meter project, scroll down to Water Meter billing and meter replacement program.) The board heard a presentation from a consortium of three companies to complete the water meter project begun in 2011 but stalled beginning in 2013. The company would install ultrasonic meters which they say are better than the mechanical meters that are currently being used. The meters would be owned and maintained by the company and the town would pay a fee of about $5.30/meter/per month to the company as part of a 25 year agreement. The town has about 10,000 meters. The company estimated that the new meters would save town approximately $728,000 a year in O&M costs and generate about $824,000 in additional revenue because the meters would be more accurate.
Supervisor Slater, who had met with representatives of the company before the presentation to the board, explained the benefits of the proposal: more revenue and no up-front cost to the town.
Water superintendent Rundle advised the board that if the town went ahead with the project, it would not result in any decrease in water district staff as he would reassign the four people currently working in the meter department.
As part of the discussion, the board also discussed whether the company could handle water billing, and if the billing could be done more frequently. The board also wanted to know if the company could provide meters for commercial customers.
If the board decides to go ahead with the project, the first step would be for the company to do a “propagation” study (it did not explain what this entailed). Based on the study, it would then make a more definitive proposal to the town which could lead to a 25 year agreement. The town could terminate the agreement at any time, without a fee, and arrange to buy the installed meters based on their remaining life.
2. Fluoridation project
Town Engineer Quinn and the outside consultant working on the project advised the board that because problems were discovered with the cement block walls of the building that would house the new fluoridation equipment, it made sense to completely replace the walls rather than try to fix the problem. The revised work plan would cost an additional $70,000.
In addition to the $901,000 state grant the town has received for the project, the water district has had to expend roughly an additional $200,000 of water district funds for the project. Currently, the project is about 30% complete. Mr. Quinn said that the state would not increase the amount of the grant.
In response to Councilman Diana’s question why the problem with the walls wasn’t discovered earlier, the consulting engineer explained that the problem did not become apparent until the building’s roof was removed. Both Councilmen Diana and Lachterman questioned the wisdom of proceeding with the project (Mr. Diana said he was not a proponent of the project from day one.) Councilmen Roker and Patel supported the project; Supervisor Slater didn’t express an opinion.
No decision was made on whether or how to proceed.
3. Tracer/Kitchawan Road/Pre application discussion
In 2017, the Town Board approved a change to a transitional zone to permit the digital printing company to repurpose the building once used by the Brooklyn Botanical Gardens. (See Town Board, 4/28/2017 for a description of the project and Town Board 11/14/17 for the approving resolutions. Click here and scroll down to "Kitchawan" for additional meeting summaries.) By the terms of the 2017 resolution, the company needs Town Board permission to expand an existing storage building. The applicant presented a site plan and a video showing the existing site. Based on the board’s favorable response to its presentation, the applicant will now submit a formal application to amend the previously approved site plan.
4. Design District
Mr. Tegeder briefly walked the board through draft standards for a proposed Yorktown Heights district. The standards would add a new section to the Design District Overlay law passed in November. The standards included permitted uses, bulk regulations, design elements, density, signage, parking and concern for unique buildings A draft map outlining the boundaries of the proposed district was presented. There was no discussion of the standards.
The Planning Department is also working on standards for Jefferson Valley.
5. Traffic and environmental consultants
In a brief discussion, the board agreed that it made sense to use the services, on an call basis, for a traffic consultant to review traffic studies prepared by developers. The board asked Mr. Tegeder to gather up the RFP proposal for an environmental consultant that was advertised by the previous administration and work with the town attorney to come up with a new RFP for each consultant.
It was noted that in the past, applicants reimbursed the town for the services of these consultants.
6. Solar fees
This issue was tabled
7. Drag racing legislation
The town attorney has drafted two related laws that were referred out. One would ban drag racing while the second would enable the town to seize the vehicles who people arrested for violating the law.
Personnel (employment of a particular person)