February 15, 2017
Absent: Councilman Bernard
CLOSED EXECUTIVE SESSION
1. Procurement policy
The board adopted a new policy that raised the threshold when competitive bids are required for the purchase of goods and services to $20,000 and for public works to $35,000. The new thresholds match those in state enabling legislation. No mention was made of the current thresholds. Supervisor Grace said the change would lead to greater efficiency of operation.
2. Sunrise Street
Acting on a request from three residents on the unpaved portion of Sunrise Street from Knoll Place to Granite Springs Road, about 500 feet, the board voted to take over the unpaved road. As the owner of Crystal Lake on one side of the road, the town already owns half the road up to the center line of the street. The road is used as a cut thru. The highway department will do what it can to upgrade the road short of bringing it 100% up to town specs.
3. Landmark Preservation
Acting on a request from the Landmarks Preservation Commission, the board agreed to amend the current Landmarks Preservation Law to permit a property to be landmarked without the consent of the owner. The change is needed for the town to qualify as a “certified local government” which makes the town eligible to apply for historic preservation grants.
Supervisor Grace explained that in 2012 he adamantly opposed the absence of a consent provision in the law which led the board to amend the law to require owner consent. However, because he is pleased with the work that has been done by the current landmarks group, he said he was willing to change his mind and now support the change,
The town attorney will draft the required amendment and a public hearing will be scheduled.
4. Highway Department/salt purchase
The board approved a budget transfer of $165,000 from the Highway fund balance to purchase road salt. Highway Superintendent Paganelli said that the department had salted roads 19 times so far this year. He also advised the board that he plans to borrow some equipment from another highway department and test the efficiency and benefits of using a brine mixture on the roads; once applied, the mixture gives the department about a half hour extra time before it can get to plow. Mr. Paganelli has explored other options and has opted for the brine mixture.
5. Garbage collection
With 2017 being the last possible one year extension of the 2013 garbage collection contract with Competition Carting, Kim Angliss Gage, head of the Reuse and Recycling Department, requested permission to seek Requests for Proposals for a new contract. She explained that the RFP has been drafted to give potential vendors maximum flexibility to come up with alternative collection systems, e.g., automated trucks and either once a week or twice a week pickup, within a basic set of parameters set by the town for kitchen garbage and recycling pick up. Acknowledging that the town didn’t have all the answers, her approach was “let them throw out ideas.”
Initially, Supervisor Grace said he wanted to see if legally the town could extend the current contract for one more year at the same price before going out for an RFP, but he changed his mind and agreed to the RFP which doesn’t bind the town to anything. He said that the current contract has saved the town $3 million over five years.
6. Traffic issues
A public hearing has been set for March 7 for the installation of traffic signs at intersection of Quaker Church Road and Granite Springs Road and at Bunny Court and Mark Road. The local law also includes a traffic light at the intersection of Stony Street and East Main Street but it was not clear whether the town was installing the light.
In a separate issue, Highway Superintendent Paganelli said that in response to discussions with Councilman Patel, he will be replacing the flashing stop signs at Gomer St and London Rd that are “almost shot.” The signs cost $2,000 each and he will transfer funds from other budget lines.
7. LED Chamber of Commerce sign at Triangle intersection
(See Town Board, 2-7-2017.) Chamber of Commerce Vice President Sergio Esposito responded to Councilman Patel’s concerns about whether the light from the LED sign would be/could be a distraction for drivers, especially seniors. While Councilman Patel said he had not been able to touch base with a representative of the sign manufacturer for more technical information, Mr. Esposito explained that the light will be automatically adjusted based on weather and light conditions and that studies have shown that the LED signs do not create a safety problem. Councilman Patel remained unconvinced, however, and voted against the two resolutions that would move the project forward. The four other members voted in favor of the resolutions. The sign will be on top of the brick wall at the intersection. Because the wall is on the property of the owner of the Triangle Shopping Center, the town will enter into a lease agreement for the sign similar to the lease agreement it has for the wall. The second resolution authorized the supervisor to sign a maintenance agreement for the sign with the Chamber of Commerce.
The Chamber will control the messages on the sign which will appear in 30 second blocks. In addition to advertisements for Chamber members, the town will be able to post notices on the sign, e.g., road closings, and community groups will be able to post signs.
The current Events sign will be removed and a new location will have to be found for the recently erected Purple Heart Town sign. Also, a new location may have to be found for the Ambulance Corps sign donated by the Lions Club.
8. Hearing issue
During the meeting, a woman in the audience who had moved her seat closer to the dais in order to hear the board’s discussion, advised the board that she was still having difficulty hearing what was being discussed at the board table. She asked if the board could use microphones. Supervisor Grace said no. When she moved to stand on the dais next to the table, Supervisor Grace said she had to return to her seat and advised her that it was his rule not to allow the public to stand on the dais.
CLOSED EXECUTIVE SESSION
To discuss personnel issues