The Village Board of Trustees met on September 9, 2009 at 7:30pm. All members were present.
A Private Attorney-Client meeting took place for approximately one hour. The regular session began at 8:40pm.
There have been an increasing number of bear sitings in the Village over the past month. In most cases, it is garbage that the bears are after. The Mayor reminded residents that garbage should not be put out until the morning of pick-up. He suggested that garbage cans should be rinsed down with ammonia in order to reduce odor. Likewise, bird feeders should not be installed until late November. Additionally, the Village has arranged for a 4-yard bear proof container to be placed in the parking lot at the Village office. Weekend residents are asked to please leave their garbage here on Sunday evenings.
Fall bulk pick-up day will take place on October 17. Items should be curbside the night before.
On behalf of the Village, Mayor Stebbins thanked the Tuxedo Park Garden Club for their placement of a new teak bench at the north end of the Race Track.
With regard to litigation, the Mayor reported that there has been good progress made with the DEC with regard to the Tuxedo Lake Dam. The dam, which was previously classified by the DEC as “high hazard” is now being classified as “Medium Hazard.”. The Village expects to conclude negotiations with the DEC by the end of the year. Unfortunately, the Board is also addressing the Donald Hanson litigation against the Village Gates, which has resumed.
The Village budget is running smoothly with current expenditures totaling roughly 21% of the annual budget.
Deputy Mayor’s Report:
Deputy Mayor Jim Hays had nothing pressing to report.
Police Chief Ken Sanford reported the following for the months of July and August:
Non-Criminal Complaints 48
Property Damage Complaints 2
Speeding Tickets Issued 8
Medical Calls - 2
Fire Alarms 2 (both false)
Burglar Alarms 5 (all false)
Assists given to Town Police 2
Additionally, 12,353 non-tagged vehicles passed through the Front Gate in the month of July.
Criminal Complaints 1
Non-Criminal Complaints 67
Property Damage Complaints 5
Speeding Tickets Issued 10
Fire Alarms 5 (4 false and 1 legitimate)
Burglar Alarms 5 (all false)
Assists received by Town Police 1
Additionally, 10,541 non-tagged vehicles [assed through the Front Gate in the month of August.
Deputy Mayor Hays commented that there had been an unusual number of complaints regarding violations of the noise law and he inquired as to whether or not there was an ongoing issue with these. Chief Sanford responded that the situation was under control and that in most cases, the noise violations had come from workers who were unaware of the law.
At the recommendation of DPW Superintendent Jeff Voss, The Board voted unanimously in favor of accepting the lowest Bid of $10,150 for a new steel dump truck body.
Advisory Committee Reports:
There were no Advisory Committee reports.
There were no public comments.
Authorize all eligible engineering expenses for NYS financing reimbursement:
Reimbursement from New York State for various engineering costs relative infrastructure projects was discussed. It was determined that a resolution was not needed to move forward with seeking reimbursement. The Mayor suggested that once received, the funds could either be put into a capital account for further infrastructure related expenditures or used to reimburse the Village.
Authorize borrowing of up to $175,000 from NYS for costs of Sewer Building and Chlorine Building:
Mayor Stebbins opened the conversation by explaining that the Village’s objective is to get as much guaranteed financing as possible as soon as possible as there is a substantial amount of work that needs to be done and given the current financial climate there is some concern about the quality of credit. Village Engineer Rich Messer gave a brief breakdown of the estimated costs for both projects. Repairs to the sewer building are estimated at just under $54,000 while the work at the Chlorine building will be roughly $85-90,000. As these figures are based on estimates, a 15% contingency was added brining the total amount to $175,000. Because the Board already voted in favor of borrowing the money several months earlier, a new resolution was not required.
Authorize Westin and Sampson’s engineering and bid management contract for relocation of Tuxedo Lake water main:
Westin and Sampson’s engineering and bid management contract for the relocation of the Tuxedo Lake water main was discussed. They are proposing to do the work for $54,810. This job will be separate and apart from what is happening with the DEC until the time comes for connecting the old water line to the new one, at which point Engineers O’Brien and Gere will take responsibility for severing and capping off the old line as well as hooking up the new one. Section three of the contract, which focuses on construction oversight was discussed. Trustee Worthy brought up the idea of Clerk of the Works, which is basically a third party who represents the Village and is on the job every day watching the work, doing paperwork, preparing progress reports and keeping an eye on the schedule in order to make sure that major benchmarks are met. The Clerk reports to the engineer on a regular basis and alerts them if any problems arise or if they need to come down and have a look. The clerk would also have the authority to stop work if there was a problem that needed attention. In most cases, the clerk does not possess all of the skills (licenses, degrees etc) that an engineer does, so their payment rate is much lower. Trustee Worthy expressed her support for exploring the option of a Clerk of the Works for this project. She commented that it was possible that the clerk would require liability insurance and this that might drive the costs up higher than those proposed by Westin and Sampson. Following some further discussion, The Board voted unanimously in favor of approving the first two portions of the contract.
Authorize all necessary professional reviews of all eligible FY2010 budgeted capital projects to Qualify for NYS Readiness list:
While the Village has already begun work on the Sewer and Chlorine buildings as well the Tuxedo Lake Dam, there are other projects that have been budgeted for and these must undergo the review process in order to qualify for the NYS Readiness List. It was agreed that Village Attorney Rick Golden would work with engineer Rich Messer to prepare the necessary SEQRA documents for these projects. This will allow the Board to move forward with the review process.
Water Department Collection Policies and Other Actions:
On behalf of the Water Department, John Ledwith reported that as of September 8, 2009 there remains roughly $70,000 in unpaid water bills between the Town and Village combined that must be collected. $49,000 is owed by customers from the Town. Various strategies of collecting the money as well as the criteria for determining hardship cases were discussed. It was decided that moving forward residents who are in arrears for more than 2 quarters will have their water shut off. Notices will be sent to these residents 45 days ahead of time.