May 5, 2020
1. Town Finances
Supervisor Slater announced that the town is in good financial shape despite the fact there’s an $8.2 million gap, or 27.8% shortfall, in revenue received to date as a result of covid 19. While he stressed that it’s not a “doom and gloom” situation, he said that the town will have to rethink what services it delivers and how they’re delivered. The town has collected $18.7 million of the $20 million in county taxes; the town has to pay $12.6 of that amount in May with the balance due in November.
2. Mohegan Retaining Wall
(See Town Board 3-3-2020.) Considering the project an emergency, the board decided to proceed with the project estimated to cost about $1 million, despite the revenue shortfall. The town was not eligible for any grants for the project. Mr. Paganelli advised the board that the wall could last more than a year – or collapse the next day; there was no way of knowing. The contractor has already purchased the stone for the wall and the town has already spent about one third of the project’s cost. Work is expected to begin within the next two weeks.
In response to concerns from Mohegan residents about the need to reduce phosphorus entering the lake, the project will also include the installation of biofilters using an $18,000 credit from the contractor and the installation of catch basins that the town will supply and the contractor will install at no additional cost.
3. Outdoor sales for retail establishments
(See Town Board 4-28-2020.) The board authorized the supervisor to issue an emergency order that will streamline the special permit required for businesses in the town’s commercial districts to have outdoor sales. The permits will now be reviewed by the Building Department, with input from the Planning Department and permit fees will be waived. As with the emergency order relating to outdoor seating for restaurants, businesses can begin to apply for the permits now but they will not be effective until New York Pause restrictions are lifted. The permits will expire at the end of the year. A local law will be drafted reflecting these changes.
Before authorizing the emergency order, the board discussed the appropriateness of retail establishments erecting temporary structures, like tents, in or around parking lots as opposed to just sidewalk tables. The decision as to what would be a safe outdoor display will be left up to the building inspector who has already had informal discussions with some restaurants about possible locations.
It was also noted that for restaurants, they will be allowed to serve alcohol at outdoor facilities without having to go to the state liquor authority or approval.
3. Featherbed subdivision/ sewer issue
Mr. Riina advised the board that the developer would install emergency generators for each lot and that the on site low pressure system might not need a one day back up tank if there was an emergency generator. In the meantime, the town is reviewing possible amendments to the town’s Sewer Code based on language from the North Castle code regulating low pressure systems. Under the current plan, the town would be responsible for maintaining the sewer line in the private road, beginning at each property line. In response to a question during Courtesy of the Floor about who would pay to repair the road in the event the town had to dig it up to facilitate a repair, Mr. Paganelli said that the town would get an easement for the road. The applicant will discuss the revised plan with the county DOH.