The Village Board of Trustees met on Wednesday, August 12 at 7:30pm.
Trustee Worthy was absent. Trustee Hanson was approximately 45 minutes late.
Mayor Stebbins reported that the month of July was a busy period for the Village with primary focus on Police and Traffic Guard contract negotiations, the DEC enforcement action regarding the Tuxedo Lake Dam and the prioritizing of funding for infrastructure related projects.
The Board of Trustees meets on the second Wednesday of each month at 7:30pm. Following the public portion of each meeting, there is generally an executive session, during which the Board discusses important issues such as litigation matters or contract negotiations with the Village attorney. Because monthly meetings tend to run several hours in length, often times these executive sessions don’t begin until after 11pm at night, when everyone is tired. Therefore, the Mayor announced that on some occasions moving forward, Executive Session may take place at the beginning of the monthly meeting and on those occasions, a sign will be posted at the Village gates informing residents and letting them know at what time the public portion of the meeting will commence.
Finally, the Mayor commented that over the past several months the Board has become more directly involved with water billing and specifically with addressing outstanding accounts. Recently, there have been some complaints by residents of poor water quality due to leaks in waterlines. These residents feel that they should not have to pay their water bills in their entirety. Closer investigation shows that the leaks in question exist in lines that run from the main to the individual homes. The Mayor reminded residents that it is the homeowners’ responsibility to maintain waterlines connecting the main to their home as well as waterlines within the home itself. He went on to state that the fee for nonpayment of water bills is 10% of the outstanding quarterly balance and that as long as the water meter is working, it is not for residents to decide how much of their water bill they wish to pay. He thanked everyone in advance for their understanding and cooperation in getting this issue under control.
Deputy Mayor’s Report:
The Town of Tuxedo is in receipt of the SEQRA document pertaining to Tuxedo Reserve’s amendment to their Special Permit however the Village has not yet received a copy. Deputy Mayor Hays plans to correct this as soon as possible. Additionally, the Village has asked its engineers to review the document, specifically as it pertains to the Tuxedo Lake so that they will be able to make comments to the Town when necessary. During the initial review process, it was discovered that the area of development that will be within the watershed is much larger than indicated on the developers map. This issue must be sorted out as soon as possible.
During the first week of August, Princeton Hydro presented both the Board and the Environmental Committee with a report regarding the health of the Village lakes. The Deputy Mayor commented that the report contained a lot of good information and has direct bearing on a project already under consideration by Village engineers, which is to redirect the storm water currently flowing into the lakes. Princeton Hydro’s report shows that there is a substantial amount of phosphorous in lakes. The Deputy Mayor feels that this problem can probably be linked to landscaping and the use of phosphates in lawn care. He suggested that rerouting the storm water flow into the forest rather than the lakes and possibly banning the use of phosphates within the Village would go a long way towards alleviating the problem.
On behalf of the DPW, Superintendent Jeff Voss reported that road striping, which was originally planned for August 13, will now take place on Tuesday, August 18.
Advisory Committee Reports:
There were no Advisory Committee Reports
Joan Alleman requested an update on the condition of the water in the Wee Wah Lake and whether or not it has improved. She further inquired about the weed population in the lake. Mayor Stebbins responded that because there has been so much rainfall, the water level in the Wee Wah lake is higher than it usually is at this time of year, which is good for the quality of the water. He commented that he was previously unaware of a weed problem in the Wee Wah. He further commented that upcoming work on the Wee Wah dam will necessitate that the lake be drained and all weeds growing on the bottom will be subsequently killed off when that happens.
Increased Capital Expenditures for fiscal 2010 and Related Financing Needs:
The relocation of the Tuxedo Lake waterline is the driving force behind the Village’s need for a funding increase. The new route, which will loop from Tuxedo Road to West Lake Road and back up a service road on the Tuxedo Club property at the west of the Tennis Courts, will connect two mains. Should the line ever break, this linkage would be able to supply the greater portion of the west side of the lake with water. The project will cost an additional $150,000.
An additional $25,000 is needed to fund water main leak detection and repairs.
Combined with the previously approved $595,000, this would bring the total amount budgeted for Capital Expenditures to $770,000.
The Mayor called on Trustee Pompan to briefly outline how funding requirements for these projects would be financed. Trustee Pompan explained that although the Village did apply to the state for funding, assistance is unlikely due to scores way below the funding line. However, he has learned that there is a new New York State program that helps to provide funding for municipalities who score below the line by offering a more favorable interest rate and providing 3-year short term financing, with funds available on an as-needed basis as well as long term financing for some of the weightier projects such as the sewer system. In order to be eligible for this program, the Village must be on the States’ “Readiness List” and this requires that all engineering work be completed and filed. Trustee Pompan proposed that the Board authorize Village Engineers Westin & Sampson to move forward and complete all necessary work in order for the Village to be on that list. Mayor Stebbins agreed with Trustee Pompan and the Board voted unanimously in favor of authorizing Westin & Sampson to move ahead.
Approve Maximum Account Balances at Depository Institutions:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of canceling the Village’s account with Providence Bank and establishing a $5,000,000 depository limit with JP, Morgan Chase.
Authorize Debbie to attend NYCOM Training School:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of having Village Clerk Debbie Matthews attend NYCOM Training School in Albany September 21 thru September 24.
Award Competitively Bid Contracts for Trailer and New Truck Body:
At the recommendation of DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss, The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting the lowest Bid of $10,280 for a new equipment trailer. As for the new truck body, Superintendent Voss requested that the Board not move forward with accepting a Bid until he had time to clarify some information with the lowest bidder.
Approve Water Main Leak Detection Contract:
The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving a water main leak detection contract for $8,200.
Consider a Tuxedo Lake Fishing Law:
The Board discussed the possibility of a fishing law, which would further restrict and regulate fishing on Tuxedo Lake. There has been some concern regarding the number of fisherman on the lake this season and the possibility that some of them may be accessing the lake illegally or may be unlicensed. Following a detailed discussion regarding who has access to the lake currently and the methods by which current restrictions are enforced, it was decided that more stringent enforcement of laws already in place might go a long way towards clearing up the problem. Trustee Hanson agreed to meet with Chief Sanford to review the laws currently in place and discuss the situation further.