The Village Board of Trustees met on July 8, 2009 at 7:30pm.
Mayor Stebbins began his report by welcoming newly elected Trustee Gary Pompan to the Board as well as congratulating Trustee Hansen on his re-election. He went on to comment that these are demanding times for the Village and that in his view the community is very fortunate to have the various talents and unique make-up of the current Board of Trustees. He thanked the Trustees in advance for their time and their hard work in facing the challenges that lie ahead.
The Village DPW and the Tuxedo Fire Department are asking residents to cut back any tree branches and/or bushes that are hanging into the roadways. The Mayor urged residents to comply with this request, noting that not only are the branches causing damage to the large trucks used by both these departments, but they are also obscuring visibility around many curves throughout the Village and are therefore a serious safety hazard.
Deputy Mayor’s Report:
After echoing Mayor Stebbins’ welcome to Trustee Pompan, Deputy Mayor Hays went on to congratulate both Trustee Hansen and Mayor Stebbins on their re-elections. He thanked Mayor Stebbins for his service to the Village, noting the countless hours of dedication he has put into the job.
The Town Board is in the process of drafting a resolution regarding the Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement for the Tuxedo Reserve project. There is still time for residents to write-in and suggest content for this review. Anyone interested in viewing a copy of the draft resolution should contact Deputy Mayor Hays.
The Village of Tuxedo Park sign, which is in a state of decay, has been removed from the Front Gate and will be replaced as soon as fiscally possible.
Police Chief Ken Sanford reported the following for the month of June:
Criminal Complaints 1
Non-Criminal Complaints 66
Property Damage Complaints 3
Speeding Tickets Issued 4
Medical Calls 1
Fire Alarms 7 (all false)
Burglar Alarms 3 (all false)
Assists given to the Town Police 3
Assists received from the Town Police 1
10,282 non-tagged vehicles entered the Village through the Front Gate.
DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss reiterated the importance of having residents cut back tree limbs and bushes from the roadways, commenting that he has received several complaints over the past couple of weeks specifically with regard to blind corners. There was a brief discussion regarding how this would be implemented. Trustee Hays inquired as to whether or not it would be easier to have the DPW cut back the limbs, but was told that it would not. It was decided that the Mayor would mention the problem in his July newsletter. A list of problem areas will be compiled and those residents who do not take care of the problem on their own will receive notification from the Village after August 1. Former Mayor Susan Goodfellow, whose administration addressed this issue as well, recommended that the Board develop an on-going system for evaluating the problem moving forward.
The DPW is in need of two new lawn mowers. After a brief discussion regarding whether or not it might be possible to share a lawn mower with the Town, permission was granted for the purchase of 2 walk-behind mowers not exceed a cost of $4,100.
On behalf of the Water Department, John Ledwith reported that a recent look at how much water is processed versus how much water usage is billed has revealed that between 50-60% of the water is being lost. In order to address this major problem, the Mayor announced that the Village is planning to hire an individual to evaluate the entire water system for the purpose of identifying where the leaks are so that the DPW can repair them. This individual comes at the recommendation of DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss and will cost the Village roughly $800 a day for his services, which are estimated to take about two weeks. Infrastructure Advisory Committee Chair Jake Lindsay commented that Village Engineers Westin and Sampson have submitted a proposal for a similar study. John Ledwith responded that in his view rather than commissioning yet another study, the Board should hire somebody to identify and fix the problem. The Mayor agreed with this sentiment, commenting that the $8000 that it will cost to hire this individual is not much compared to the $200,000 a year in lost water. Trustee Hansen commented that before hiring this individual, he would like to see a detailed proposal outlining specifically what he intends to do and how extensive his work will be.
Advisory Committee Reports:
On behalf of the Infrastructure Advisory Committee, Jake Lindsay reported that the committee would review Westin and Sampson’s proposal to evaluate the water system and discuss the options with Jeff Voss before making a recommendation to the Board.
Building permits were granted for the following applicants:
There was some discussion with regard to conditional approvals as well as possible methods of requiring applicants to be more thoroughly prepared for BAR meetings.
Michele Lindsay informed the Board of an issue with the Post Office whereby mail lacking a street number is being returned to sender rather than delivered to the proper recipient. She noted that street numbers are relatively new to the Village and there has never been any formal communication from the Post Office informing residents that they are required. Furthermore, she commented that if a resident has a PO Box but receives mail addressed to them at their residential address, that mail is being returned.
When Mrs. Lindsay inquired about this issue at the Sloatsburg Post Office, she was informed that residents must choose one delivery address and if they have not specified their choice with the Post Office, the PO box is the address being used. Mrs. Lindsay asked the Board if there was anything they could do to help resolve this issue and ensure that residents are receiving their mail.
Mayor Stebbins responded that he would have a chat with the Post Master. Trustee Hansen suggested that the Mayor make a note in his monthly newsletter informing residents of the situation.
The Board unanimously passed 2 resolutions authorizing advertising for bids for the purchase of both a DPW equipment trailer and a new dump truck body to be used for a 2001 DPW truck.
The Board discussed the need for new local laws regarding littering and fishing in the Tuxedo Lake. Board Attorney Rick Golden informed the Board that there is already a section in the Village Code that deals with littering, making the offense punishable by fine, not to exceed $250, or even possible jail time. Trustee Hansen questioned the Village’s ability to enforce the law commenting that without a witness, it would be difficult to determine the legitimacy of a complaint. Mayor Stebbins agreed and suggested that the way to enforce the law would be to encourage witnesses to littering to contact the Police and file a complaint.
There have been an unusual number of fishermen on Tuxedo Lake this season, some with licenses and some without. The Board discussed the possibility restricting fishing rights on this lake to Village residents. Trustee Worthy suggested that fishing be restricted to members of the village and surrounding community who rely on the lake for drinking water, her theory being that those who drink the water will have a healthier degree of respect for it. Mayor Stebbins and Trustee Hays disagreed with this however, commenting that in their view, only Village residents should be permitted to fish on Tuxedo Lake. It was determined that Trustee Hansen and Trustee Pompan would work together with Mayor Stebbins on draft legislation.
A resolution to reaffirm the June 10 consensus of the Board to hire Ryan Eirand as a Part Time Traffic Guard was unanimously approved.
The New York State DEC Water Improvement Grant Program was briefly discussed. Village engineer Rich Messer has advised the Board that the program represents a worthy opportunity for the Village to pursue grant money for the purpose of improving storm water management in the Village. Mayor Stebbins asked Trustee Hays to work together with Village Engineers Westin and Sampson as well as the Environmental Advisory Committee in preparing the application, which is due on October 16.
The Board reviewed the New Official Zoning Map for Overlay Districts and after some discussion regarding the method used to calculate the ridgeline and precipice areas, voted unanimously in favor of approving the map.
Finally, there was a discussion about a resolution regarding the terms for participation in the Village Health Insurance Plan by Trustees. Currently, Trustee Hansen is the only member of the Board who takes advantage of the Village Health Insurance Plan and the Taxpayers have been bearing the expense of his family plan. This will no longer be the case. Trustee Hansen will still be able to obtain Health Insurance through the Village, as will all Board members if they so wish, however, they will now be responsible for the premiums. It was agreed that Trustee Hansen would investigate possible new coverage options for the Village in an effort to further lower costs. The Board then voted in favor of the resolution, with Trustee Hansen abstaining.