Town Board Meeting
June 2, 2015
1. Courtesy of the Floor
Jefferson Valley issues. Two residents called the board’s attention to problems in the hamlet. Denis Antonuccfi spoke about garbage flying off the backs of garbage trucks, missing guard rails on Wood St, hanging wires, speeding along East Main Street, and the derelict condition of the building known as “Wet Willies” Marie Donadio talked about speeding and parking problems.
(See below for details on the parking issue.) In response, Supervisor Grace spoke about the problems dealing with the derelict building. I spoke about efforts during my term as supervisor to reduce the speed on Wood St but how the effort stalled in Putnam County.
Second Courtesy of the Floor. During my opening comments, I advised the public that even if a second Courtesy was not shown on the agenda, I would make a motion at the end of the meeting to open the meeting up for comments.
2. Winery: public hearing on wetlands
After Supervisor Grace explained the history of the site and the proposed land swap, about a dozen people spoke, mostly in support of the Winery in general, and some more specifically in support of the swap. Environmental Consultant Bruce Barber spoke about the benefits of being able to control the outlet to Lake Mohegan and Ann Kutter, a former Planning Board member, spoke about the safer traffic flow. Moving forward on the swap would be an alienation of parkland and would require the approval of the state legislature.
Explaining that the Winery had waited over two years for permission to use the town parcel and that the alienation process would take time, Supervisor Grace proposed that the town grant the Winery a revocable license, without a time frame and without any monetary compensation, to use town parcel right away while the alienation process went forward. He acknowledged, though, that the license could continue indefinitely and the town would not have to follow through on the alienation.
My position was that while I totally supported the swap/alienation plan, I opposed the interim license as not necessary. Responding to Mr. DeChiaro’s impatience to move the plan forward, I noted that he could have submitted the swap plan two years ago but that he chose to wait until now to come forward with it. Supervisor Grace called the two years delay, “sinful.” He said that the license agreement could include bonding and insurance conditions and that the board would be able to control what is done on the premises since the license would be revocable.
When Supervisor Grace suggested a modification to the plan to the plan that could create three additional spaces, Mr. Barber advised him that changing the plan now would complicate issues; he advised that the notation be made on the current plan for “future parking” and that the site plan to amended after the
The board voted unanimously to close to the public hearing, followed by a 3-2 vote with Councilman Patel and me voting no, to direct the town attorney to draw up the following papers: SEQRA findings, wetlands permit resolution, license agreement, contracts for the transfer of the two parcels giving the two parties contract vendee status, and a home rule message to begin the alienation process. The documents will be voted on either at the June 9 or June 16 meeting.
3. Public Hearing/Parking on Veterans Road
(See Town Board 4-28-2015) The board voted unanimously to remove the No Parking restrictions on Veterans Road in front of Solaris. Supervisor Grace explained that repealing the legislation will give the board time to resolves the parking situation before the onset of winter when parking along the street becomes an issue. Speaking on behalf of Solaris, Chris Sciarra suggested that only 2 feet had to be added to the street in order to fix the problem and suggested that employees be allowed to park on the street. He said he was not aware of any safety problems on the street, even in the winter. Highway Superintenent Paganelli was not at the meeting.
4. Public Hearing/Stop sign Rutlledge Rd & McKeel Street
Without any comment, the hearing was opened and closed and the board voted unanimously to erect the sign.
5. Public Hearing/Commercial parking regulations
(See Town Board 4-28-2015) Without any comment, the hearing was opened and closed and the board voted unanimously to delete the section from the commercial parking requirements that exempted the Costco plan from the reduced parking requirement.
6. Public Hearing/No Parking on East Main Street in Jefferson Valley
Without any comment, the hearing was opened and closed and the board voted unanimously to erect No Parking signs on East Main Street to the east and west of Wood St. However, Supervisor Grace said he would ask the Highway Department not to put up the signs until after the department had had time to work out the details of how the town owned lot on the east side of Wood St could be cleaned up and configured for up to about 14 possible parking spaces.
7. Spectra pipeline/Atlantic Bridge
Without any discussion, the board voted unanimously to authorize the supervisor to send scoping comments to FERC. The comments, which had been previously circulated via email, were not included in the published agenda. (For a copy, email me at email@example.com)
8.Spectra pipeline/AIM/Junior Lake
The board set a public hearing for June 16 for a wetlands permit for the project. If the Army Corps of Engineers has completed its review of the draft agreement between the town and Spectra by that time, the board will also vote to approve the agreement.
9. Ethics issues
Although listed on the agenda, there was no resolution ready for a vote. Supervisor Grace said he was still working on one.