Town Board Meeting
July 9, 2013
Absent: Councilman Murphy
Closed session: “To discuss advice of counsel”
1. Grange tractor parade
Representatives of the Grange asked the Board to override the Police Department’s denial of its request for a permit to close off certain streets for its annual tractor parade. The request was denied because it involved overtime costs. In response, Supervisor Grace explained that a special line has been set up in the police budget to cover overtime for events such as this and Councilman Bianco noted that the attendance was very poor at last year’s parade. (The Grange representatives said that the weather contributed to the poor turnout.) Supervisor Grace suggested that the Grange add an old car/old truck component to the parade in order to increase attendance. He noted the historic importance of the Grange and that the town should be helpful.
The Board voted 4-0 to okay the 4-hour overtime for two police officers, but for this year only, preferring to deal with the request on an annual basis.
2. Fees at Greenwood Street Recycling Facility (The Hill)
Brian Madden, a resident who owns a local landscaping business, complained about the high fees charged commercial users at the Hill. He said he could no longer afford the fee, which he said was $3,000-$4,000 a year, and that he couldn’t even dispose of landscaping debris as a homeowner from his own property for free because he loaded the debris into his truck which has business identification on it. He asked the Board to consider some type of discount for local businesses.
Councilman Bianco acknowledged that the commercial fee has increased in recent years and that some commercial operators have stopped using the facility. He also noted that demand for the resulting mulch has decreased since the town stopped providing “red” mulch. He suggested that if the town lowered its fee, it might attract more business. Supervisor Grace said the town should stop beating up on the little guys in town.
The Board advised Mr. Madden to speak to the head of the Refuse and Recycling Department about the fees. (Note: the facility is a joint operation involving Highway, Sewer and Refuse and Recycling.)
3. Landmark status
The Board agreed to advertise a public hearing on landmarking the Galbraith House on August 6.
4. Library children’s room renovation
Library Director Pat Barresi advised the Board that the library has the money to proceed with the renovation project and that it is in the process of drawing up the specs. She asked the Board to be ready to advertise for bids as soon as the town attorney reviews the specs. When the issue about the possible presence of asbestos was brought up, she told the Board that when the last renovation was done in 1992, the building was asbestos free. Supervisor Grace noted that as the town’s attorney at the time, the project was scaled back from a “cadillac” job to a “cheverolt” job, which Ms. Barresi said was the cause of some of the building’s more recent problems.
As part of the discussion of available funds, Ms. Barresi said that the Friends of the Library had obtained a $20,000 grant through the auspices of Senator Ball. The Board questioned her, however, as to whether the actual funds have been received. She said she believed the funds went to the Friends of the Library and not to the town.
5. Several resolutions were passed unanimously without any discussion. See the agenda and minutes for the details.