We have audio tape of the entire meeting because we believe in documenting Town Board Meetings in an effort to make the Town Board decisions as transparent as possible and thus afford taxpayers the opportunity to hold the Board or members of the Board responsible for their decisions.
The meeting started at 7:30 pm.
Discussion of Possible Buyer at the Town Center ( a parcel of about 15 acres). The buyer and his friend appeared at this work meeting and was allowed by Ms. Maas to discuss a proposal regarding an offer on 11/2 to 2 acres of this designated Town Center area. This man had attended an earlier Town Bd. Meeting asking why he had not received a response to an offer he made on the property on April 23.Ms. Maas said that she had heard no such offer from any realtor. He intends to open a Fitness Center of approximately 2,500 square feet, one story, using solar panels on the roof, using a pre-fab structure. The building will be steel. He hopes to entice other businesses to join him. He is willing to dress up the face of the steel structure to fit the area. The ceilings would be 12 foot high with three large windows across the front.
The Board suggested the potential buyer speak with George Kolb, Code Enforcer, and the Fire Department to check on code requirements. Possibly he will have to buy the entire parcel and would then become the developer. Ms Maas briefly outlined the process of buying the land and having the building approved. The Union Vale portion of that property is about 10 acres Mr. Frasier and Ms. Maas agreed.
Reports from Board Members
Corrina Kelley has spent the last few weeks gathering information on how 16 other municipalities deal with employee issues such as vacation, sick, and personal time. Kelley supplied a detailed chart of points of comparison. The Town of Clinton grants benefits to full time employees only.The Town of Beekman does not pay for unused sick days but does bestow some benefit for those unused days at retirement. Beekman gives a day off after Christmas. Other Towns had floating holidays which might include the day after Thanksgiving. Corrina noted which Towns were union and which were non-union. Some of these municipalities do have sick banks.
The Office of Comptroller uses 41J as an alternative to payout for unused sick days rather than direct pay by the town. Beekman uses the alternative.
Corrina also included much information about various approaches to the sick bank concept. Fishkill gives no sick pay to hourly/seasonal employees. Fishkill puts personal time on a hourly possibility which gives employees the chance to use just what they need. Most towns say that medical verification “may be requested” as opposed to demanding documentation at each absence from work.
Ms. Maas said that he health care rates are up 12% this year. Mr. Welsh agreed and said that the Town cannot be “overly generous.” At this point Supervisor Maas suggested Merit Based Increases. Mr. Frazier says that where he works, “there is a lot of pettiness between certain people.”
Ms. Kelley suggested that a full discussion of pay between the employee and the department head should be a part of the process.
Here Mr. Frazier, this is the third such request in as many meetings, interjected that the Town Hall air conditioning needs to be addressed.He wondered whether the problem was that the system was on timers.
“This ( Corrina’s research) is really extensive, Corrina,” Ms. Maas said. “Yeah, you got a lot of data, ” said Mr. Welsh.
Ms. Maas said the one rental house is empty as of yesterday.” We still have” the security deposit “I don’t want to make it sound worse than it is, but they left big piles of garbage.”
” Next time we should talk about the insurance,” said Ms. Maas. “Maybe at the next workshop.”
Direct deposit may save the Town money if a paycheck is lost by the employee.
August, September, and October there will be fifteen minute public hearings, before the official meeting starts, on the budget. ( This seems to indicate that public remarks will not be on public record.) On September 6 there will be a preliminary budget.). August and October will have preliminary meetings at 7:15 pm. for public comments.
They will use George Kolb’s format for all department head budgets.
Maas, said of Ryan Cortien’ s worksheet for the budget (of last year prior to her becoming Supervisor) she thought was a “perfect worksheet” and would use it herself as a basis for this year’s budget. Mr. Frazier said he was very confused by it.
Ms.Maas said she has to update infrastructure budget.
Ms. Maas said In regard to the rental house, windows have to be replaced, cracked windows need to be fixed. Master Plan says we need to do more for nature conservancy type non-profit, so maybe we could rent to them ( was rented for $2,300 a month).
Dave reported on solar in the landfill. Dave did research on other towns. Ms. Maas said the revenue from landfill leasing was 112 thousand by leasing to solar companies.
Ms. Maas said we will probably deal with brown field solar leases.
Mr. Frazier said he is not an expert but is very skeptical because the solar companies needed government subsidies. ( Oil companies are still receiving subsidies from the government. Did Mr. Frazier mean these?) Ms. Maas said the companies she has investigated commit to removal of the equipment themselves.
Ms. Maas said the companies will come and answer these questions.
Mr. Welsh wanted to share with Beekman, but Ms. Maas and Dave pointed out that that Beekman’s energy already has a buyer.
Dave’s research on town aggregates has revealed a savings of 9 million. The Towns then become the utility company.
Corrina went to meetings on aggregates and basically the towns create a buying club ( of at least 20,000 customers). Union Vale could get into the Hudson Highland aggregate. The power must go to the same utility. Based on the buying power, the cost could be very low for each consumer. And, there is an opt-out for each resident who could return to Central Hudson.
Ms. Maas said we have to focus on one project: the landfill which can be used for nothing else. Mr. Frasier said he isn’t opposed to this, but wants not to maintain the property. Mr. Welsh said that schools taxes would be applied, but Mr. McMorris said that there is an agreement by which the company will pay school, county, and town taxes. This agreement pilot is good for 15 years.
Ms. Maas said we should focus on this project. The companies want control. The nice thing is that Paul Curran, an nationally known provider, is right next door.
Mr. Welsh is worried about liability to the town regarding water.
Mr. McMorris said the EPA has already approved the process. The Town of Washington is working on this now.
Mr. Welsh thanked Dave and Corrina for all their work on this.
Mr. McMorris said the sooner the Town acts, the more options it has.
Ms.Maas said Computel said Altice will not respond to Computel, but will look into getting the $15, 000 back.
There are a lot of projects in play now. Mr. Welsh said that since 2012 we no longer have a scenic road section in the Town Code. It was supposed to be replaced but wasn’t. Changes to these roads would have to be addressed as part of the planning process. West Clove Mt. is one such. The lady from Dutchess County is coming to the next Official Meeting to talk about signs and Greenway.
Frasier wants parking lot lights on photocell not timer. This would increase safety.
Estimate for silos is $4,400 to fix, said Ms. Maas.
Frazier said these repairs are below the amount which requires a resolution.
Twelve years ago the silos were fixed, and then they later were removed.
Maas: “We called IT people, and he is coming by tomorrow.” He will officially get us on Board after Labor Day.
Bathrooms: there is rust everywhere. These have to be put on the list.
Tentative budget for next meeting.
(No mention of the library at all in this meeting.)
( My question is about the Town Board and the pre- vote Public Meetings: Will these be taped and or televised? And, will there be sound for this on the televised site?)