Village Board of Trustees Meeting February 20, 2008

The Village Board of Trustees met on February 20, 2008 at 7:30pm.

Mayor Stebbins opened the meeting with his Mayoral report. He began by thanking the members of the Board for their hard work in the past month, during which there were two special meetings and one emergency meeting in addition to regularly scheduled commitments.

Recycling: Sterling Carting, the Village Garbage Carrier, has reported that 1/3 of residents are not following the proper recycling procedures in terms of separating glass and plastic from paper, bundling paper, and breaking down cardboard boxes. The Mayor made a plea for all residents to familiarize themselves with the proper procedures and begin implementing them immediately. He went on to say that the Village went to great lengths, at the request of residents, to secure a garbage carrier with recycling and so it is crucial that residents comply.

Oil Spill: There was a residential oil spill in the Village in which 80% of the leaked fuel was above ground and 20% below. In addition to local authorities, the resident notified all the proper environmental and state agencies and the leak is mostly contained at this point in time. The Tuxedo Lake, Pond #1 and the Wee Wah Lake have not been affected and nothing has leaked into the Ramapo River, despite reports to the contrary. Some fuel did leak into the Village Sewer line, however. Castlton Environmental Contractors, LLC, a DEC provider, continues to monitor the situation along with the DEC and the Village DPW.

Financial Report: Trustee Darby
During his financial report, Trustee Darby reported that the Village is operating within budget and that Department heads were to be commended for their good work in this area. With regard to the large number of uncollected professional fees that are owed to the Village, billing has begun. To date, the Village has billed a total of $240,000, of which $191,000 are debts carried over from prior years.

Department of Public Works Report: Jeff Voss
Acting DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss gave his monthly DPW report. The Department of Public Safety and Health paid a visit to the Village Water Plant. Over all, the inspector was very pleased with the conditions he found there. There were a total of 12 minor violations, 10 of which have already been corrected and the remaining 2 will be taken care of within the next week.

Advisory Committee reports were given.

Infrastructure Committee: Trustee Shaw
Trustee Shaw reported on Behalf of the Infrastructure Committee. The Wee Wah Dam is the committee’s top priority. A Phase One safety inspection has been completed. Next, the Village must make an agreement with the engineers to bring in marine contractors who will complete an underwater assessment and generate a report detailing the steps involved with repair. Trustee Shaw went on to report that there is a crack in the foundation of the sewer building, which is built on a landfill, and as a result the building is sinking. Engineers have looked at the situation and are preparing an estimate for repair costs. In addition, there has been some damage to the chemical shed where the Village stores Chlorine, which will also need to be repaired quickly. The roof of the DPW building has a leak in need of repair, however, given all of the other expenses currently facing the Village with regard to infrastructure, there may be a way to put a “band-aid” on the leak, which should stave off major repairs for the time being.

Lakes Management Plan: The Infrastructure Committee, together with the Environmental Advisory Committee has been meeting with several State and County lake management agencies with regard to creating a Lakes Management Plan for the Village. In addition to the Management Plan, they have spent a great deal of time discussing Storm Water Management with emphasis on replenishing ground water and reducing the amount of storm water at the Water Plant.

The Committee is working on 5-year plans for both the Village Sewer and Water lines. The G.I.S. maps, due to be completed in the near future, will be extremely helpful in moving forward with these plans. Trustee Shaw commented that Village water lines were last updated in 1934. Several years ago, former DPW Superintendent Richie Morrow suggested installing an additional line, running from the Water Plant to West Lake Road, however, as this would be an extremely expensive undertaking, action has not been taken. The Village has extended their contract with Engineers O’Brien and Gere to include investigating the possibility of moving some of the water and sewer lines.

Village Improvement Advisory Committee
Michele Lindsay reported on behalf of the Village Improvement Advisory Committee.
She began her remarks by commenting to Trustee Shaw that the Village laid a new water line, running between the Breezes and the Club just 10 years ago and that there has been other work done on the lines in recent years. Therefore, to suggest that the water lines have not been updated since 1934 is incorrect. Trustee Shaw acknowledged her mistake. Mrs. Lindsay went on to report that the VIAC met with representatives from the Wee Wah Beach Club and are putting together a list of safety related items that need to be addressed. In addition, she reported that the committee has put together a list of their own top priorities, which they will present to the Board when permitted.

Tuxedo Fire Department Company #1
The Village has been asked to endorse Kent C. Clark as Fire Commissioner. Speaking on behalf of Mr. Clark, Tuxedo Park Fire Dept. President Gardner Hemple expressed Company 1’s whole-hearted support. The Board voted unanimously in favor of endorsing Mr. Clark.

Tuxedo Park Police Department
The Village will be hiring a new part-time police officer. The Mayor circulated Richard Jackson’s resume amongst the Board. Mr. Jackson has worked in law enforcement for 30 years, most recently in the Town of Woodbury. He has training in many areas of expertise. He is also a trained EMT. The Board voted unanimously in favor of hiring Mr. Jackson.

During the public comment period, Mary Graetzer inquired as to why the Village is hiring a new part-time officer instead of the full-time officer they have been looking for. Mayor Stebbins responded that the Village is still seeking a full-time officer and that Mr. Jackson will be replacing current part time help.

Mrs. Graetzer went on to inquire about the Wee Wah Beach Club license agreement. One section of the proposed agreement alters the club’s current voting and election process so that Village residents may only vote for Village candidates and Hamlet members may only vote for candidates from the Hamlet. The license agreement, written by the Village, states that “The Village reserves the right to examine and approve the By-Laws of the Club (in which the election process is spelled out) and to require such amendments as it may deem necessary or advisable for the safety or welfare of the Village and its residents. Mrs. Graetzer inquired as to why altering the election process was necessary or advisable for the safety or welfare of the Village and its residents. She then addressed Trustees Shaw, Hansen and Darby and inquired as to why they had voted in favor of such an amendment, which in her opinion is both unnecessary and divisive. Trustees Hansen and Shaw denied voting in favor of the amendment and insisted that they voted on an entire package rather than an individual section. Trustee Darby commented that a number of residents have approached him with regard to this issue and he feels that this change in the system will be a good one overall. Trustees Hansen and Shaw expressed agreement with this sentiment. Trustee Darby continued on to say that because the agreement has expired and currently there is no agreement, the By-Laws quoted are not binding. Mrs. Graetzer responded that the By-laws she referenced are written in to the new, proposed agreement. The Board made no response to this.

Uncollected professional fees: Alan Heywood inquired about the uncollected professional fees (legal, engineering and consultants) incurred by residents who appeared before one of the Boards for approvals, specifically those left over from previous years. He wanted to know when bills were sent out, if any had been contested and what actions the Board plans to take for accounts that remain unpaid. Mr. Heywood was informed that the bills were sent out in November and December and that so far, none of the recipients had contested these bills. The Board hopes that they will eventually be paid. However, a number of the debtors have departed from the Village and whether or not they paid up, remains to be seen.

Workman’s Compensatory Insurance Plan Following the public comment period, Mayor Stebbins made a resolution as requested by Orange County regarding termination of their Workman’s Comp. insurance plan. This resolution was unanimously approved by the Board.

Wee Wah Beach Club License Agreement
Next, the Board discussed the Wee Wah Beach Club license agreement and the issue of voting as raised earlier by Mary Graetzer. Again, Trustees Shaw, Hansen and Darby expressed their desire to have Village residents elect Village Club officials while Hamlet residents elect Hamlet Club officials. Trustee Hansen also wanted to know what the nominating process would be for candidates and he was informed that candidates could either nominate themselves or others in writing prior to the election or in person on Election Day. In addition, the Board added language to the Club’s constitution stating that the Beach Club will now be responsible for the “supervised play of children," to which the representatives of Club rigorously objected. After some further discussion as well as some redrafting of the Beach Club’s constitution to incorporate these changes, the Board voted unanimously in favor of the Agreement.

Escrow Accounts for Professional Fees
Finally, Mayor Stebbins opened a Public Hearing with regard to Local Introductory Law #3, which addresses payment of escrow monies for Village Consultants’ fees for applicants seeking Board reviews an establishes a fee schedule for these fees. There were no comments from the public, so the hearing was closed. The Board went on to review the law and its language in detail before unanimously supporting the Mayor’s resolution to adopt the new legislation.

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