Village Board of Trustees Meeting October 17, 2007

The Village Board of Trustees met on October 17 2007 at 7:30pm.

Trustee Worthy was not present.

Mayor Stebbins opened the meeting with his Mayoral report. 

Progress has been made on the renegotiation of service contracts in the Village.  The DPW contract has been negotiated, the Village Police negotiations are well under way and bids have been received for the garbage contract. The DEC has been kept abreast of engineering work on the Tuxedo Lake dam and has granted the Village an extension to complete the work.   The confidential Police Investigation Report was leaked to the

press.  This is unfortunate as two of the officers involved are still engaged in the plea bargain process.  The leaking of this report could affect that process.

The Mayor met with Chris Yeager, Village water consultant, Trustee Shaw and resident Joan Riccardi to discuss the presence of algae in our lakes.  The Environmental Advisory Committee will be focusing on this issue moving forward.  There is an important election taking place in the Town of Tuxedo on November 6.  Mayor Stebbins urged everyone to vote. What goes on in the town directly affects our way of life in the Village.

In closing, the Mayor reminded everyone about the party in honor of Richie Morrow, who recently retired as Superintendent of the DPW after 28 years of service.  The event will be held on Saturday, October 27 from 4-6pm at Tuxedo Park School.  All residents are encouraged to attend.

During his police report, acting Police Chief Ken Sanford reported that there were 54 non-criminal complaints and 4 property damage complaints in the past month.  20 summonses were issued, 15 of which were for speeding. 11,964 non-residential vehicles entered the park during that same period.  When asked if he had any specific concerns, Sgt. Sanford replied that increasing commercial traffic in the village is becoming an issue of concern for police and residents alike for a variety of reasons.  Therefore, he has been investigating the possibility of sending an officer for training to receive certification as an Inspector of Commercial Vehicles.  This certification would allow the Village not only to inspect commercial vehicles but also to write summonses for them.  Sgt Sanford suggested that the Village code can be reconfigured so that the money collected from these summonses comes back to the Village.

Newly appointed DPW acting Superintendent Jeff Voss reported that leaks in the water main have been repaired in both the Village and the Town.  Also, the Tuxedo Lake was treated with copper sulfate on October 16, as it is each fall and spring, in an effort to control the build-up of algae.  Finally, he made a plea for all residents to trim back brush and large branches from the roadway, which are damaging to DPW trucks.  Also, please keep the street gutters free of leaves.

Advisory Committee reports were given. 

Reporting for the Village Improvement Advisory Committee, Michele Lindsay explained that John Ledwith and Trustee Worthy had recently walked the shoreline at the south end of the Tuxedo Lake in order to observe fallen trees that had been selected by VIAC for removal. VIAC had previously obtained an estimate of $5600 from Canadian Tree Service for the removal of 11 trees in the lake and 14 trees on the land in this area.  At the September BOT meeting, the Mayor suggested that the DPW might be able to do some of this removal.  However, after walking the shoreline, Trustee Worthy and Mr. Ledwith suggested that some of the trees currently in the lake could be dragged onto the shoreline rather than being removed entirely.  Mrs. Lindsay asked the Board to please seriously consider removing the trees, as the initial purpose of the project was to make the property both accessible and safe for Village Residents.  She went on to suggest that perhaps the number of trees to be removed could be reduced in an effort to lower the cost of the project. 

Trustee Hanson commented that the Wildlife Advisory Committee will post two important Public Notices in the near Future.  The first notice will pertain to hunting season and related safety issues and the second will contain important information about the upcoming deer drive.

During the public comment period, David Morton urged the Board NOT to treat the WeeWah Lake with copper sulfate.  He explained that recent testing done by the Village has shown the presence of Cyano Bacteria Bloom in the lake and that treating this particular bacteria with copper sulfate may cause it to release more toxins.  Mayor Stebbins responded that the Village has begun consulting with a variety of sources, including representatives from the New York State Federation of Lakes, with regard to this issue and that treating our lakes differently is a possible solution.  Due to a bulge in the WeeWah Dam, it may become necessary to drain the WeeWah Lake so that engineers can get a closer look at the dam’s base.  Should this be the case, exposure of the lake bottom to frost and hard freeze would kill a great deal of the aquatic plant life.  This could be beneficial in remedying some of the recent algae issues we have seen in the WeeWah.

Michele Lindsay commented that she had attended the October 9 Town of Tuxedo Planning Board meeting, the focus of which was Phase One of the Tuxedo Reserve development.   In addition to Tuxedo Reserve, with 102 waiver requests for the first 103 homes in their development, there was discussion of additional developments and building within the town of Tuxedo. Michele urged everyone to keep themselves informed and attend these very important meetings.  David du Pont added that he had also attended the October 9 meeting and that he had requested that Andrew Dance, representative for Tuxedo Reserve, supply the Village office with a complete and up to date set of plans.  In addition, Mr. du Pont urged Mr. Dance to provide as much material as possible in electronic format, which would make it easily accessible to all residents through the Village Website.

In response to Jeff Voss’s comments about branches and brush in the roadways, Jim Hayes commented that there are a number of intersections throughout the Park where trimming also needs to be done.  He inquired as to whether or not the Village police and the DPW might make a coordinated effort to complete this work.  David du Pont, a member of the Tuxedo Volunteer Fire Dept, suggested that the Fire Department could also be helpful with this effort.

Jim Hickey, president of the Tuxedo Union Free School District Board, announced that he has been receiving e-mails, phone calls and questions from residents concerning the school budget as well as the current situation with Greenwood Lake.  He informed the Board that Superintendent Zanetti plans to contact Mayor Stebbins and the Board to set up a meeting to discuss these issues.  Following this initial meeting, the TUSFD Board would like to conduct a second meeting for the benefit of the Public.  This meeting will feature a detailed power-point presentation explaining the issues followed by a Q&A during which residents can voice their concerns as well as ask questions.  The TUSFD will conduct a similar meeting with residents in Greenwood Lake.  Mr. Hickey urged all residents to attend the public meeting as the issues facing our school district are severe.

Mayor Stebbins announced that the Board had received 4 letters from residents, 3 of which pertained to the WeeWah Beach Club and 1 concerning a retaining wall on the Yanuzzi property.  These letters are available for review at the Village Office.

The ongoing O & R lighting project was discussed.  The village continues to research an affordable streetlamp option.  A test light has been hung at the intersection of Clubhouse and Continental Road. Trustee Hanson suggested that reducing the number of streetlamps in the village would enhance the rural feel of our environment as well as help reduce costs.

The Village has received two bids from engineers for map digitations.  The Board will schedule a special meeting in order to view demonstrations from both firms. 

Back in July, Advisory Committees were asked to submit mission statements and project proposals for Board Approval.  Those received were approved and will be posted on the Village website soon.

The Board discussed the renewal of the WeeWah Beach Club’s lease and Mayor Stebbins announced plans for the Village Building Inspector to conduct a site visit.  In addition, the Mayor will conduct a careful review of all Beach Club contracts and documents in order to assess the impact of the Beach Club on Village resources as well as the budget.  The Mayor asked for suggestions from the community whic will be accepted at the Village Office.   These suggestions must be in writing and contain rational recommendations along with complete fiscal analysis. 

Mayor Stebbins made a resolution for Expense Reimbursement by Board Applicants, which was unanimously accepted by the Board. 

The Village has received 3 bids for the garbage contract.  They are as follows:

Birchwell - $8,999

Sterling Carting - $12,719.75

Interstate Waste Management Systems - $14,014.08

In an effort to preserve negotiation strategy, Mayor Stebbins announced that the Board would discuss the bids in further detail in Executive Session.  Trustee Hanson disagreed with Mayor on this point and suggested that they discuss the bids openly before the public.  He reasoned that the discussion involved the spending of public funds and therefore, everyone should be privy to it.  However, in an effort to protect Village negotiating strategy, Mayor Stebbins resolved to hold the discussion in Executive Session.  He maintained that nothing was being concealed from the public and that no voting would take place behind closed doors.

The bulge in the WeeWah dam was discussed in greater detail. The Infrastructure Advisory Committee has gathered all the information necessary for phase one of repairs.

Richard Messer, Village Engineer, has been asked to perform a dam safety inspection and draft a Request for Proposal (RFP), which the Board will use to put together a template for putting the project out to bid.

The Board wishes to extend the current Fence Law through January 31, 2009.  During this extended period, the Board of Trustees and the BAR will study the impacts and results of the law as well as new technologies with regard to fences and wildlife control in general, which will allow them to make an informed decision about modifying the law.

Trustee Hanson will review information regarding National Flood Insurance.  This voluntary program allows residents in effected areas to receive federal aid.  Only the southernmost tip of Tuxedo Park lies in the floodplain, so the plan is only relevant to the Village Gate and few residences, which would benefit.

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