The Village Board of Trustees met on November 10, 2009.
The meeting was called to order at 8:57 PM and all Trustees were present. The Mayor led off with a financial report. The General Fund’s balance is $2.70 million verses $2.44 million at this time last year. Expenditures YTD are $1.47 million. However, mortgage collection revenues from Orange County are now projected to be $44,000 less than budgeted; our NYS pension contribution is going to be $ 24,000 higher than projected; and legal expenses are going to be $150,000 higher than initially projected, for a negative swing of $218,000 in the current budget. The Mayor asked residents to be sure not to blow leaves onto Village streets. Residents are responsible for picking up their own leaves.
Jim Hayes discussed the Town’s October 26th Tuxedo reserve meeting held in Eagle Valley, and the fact that the overflow crowd and numerous resident statements that were made have lead the Town Board to schedule a second meeting at the Town Hall on November 23rd. All are encouraged to attend despite the Town Hall’s limited seating capacity. The Village turnout for the recently held Town and County elections was weak with roughly 100 voters turning out. This does not help the Village’s political standing with the Town. The Village and the Tuxedo Club are working together on a plan to share costs to reduce our resident goose population.
The Police Report had no unusual incidents other than numerous bear sightings.
The DPW Report discussed in depth the steps being taken to remediate water line leakage from our water system. Total leakage is about 12 million gallons a quarter. This represents about a 39% loss rate which is down from the 50% rate a few years back. Progress is obviously being made and all agree there is room for even more progress. This lead to a discussion of the roughly $52,000 in past due water bills and what steps the Village should take to collect these past due accounts short of shutting off water supplies.
The Village Improvement Advisory Committee reported that of the 62 street lights that were not working a month ago, 36 are now working and a map is available of the non-working light locations. VIAC is working with the Garden Club to plant some trees behind the Police Station, where a garage is being torn down.
A general discussion than took place about how small infrastructure projects such as replacing the guard rail along Tuxedo Road are constantly being pushed into the background in favor of funding larger projects and thus invariably have to wait until these small issues become large issues. The Mayor suggested that in the next budget, the Infrastructure Advisory Committee identify several smaller projects that should be funded before they become larger projects.
Two Building Permits were approved. One for an awning at the Tuxedo Club’s tennis house and one for a four-foot wall at the home of Nathaniel Jackson.
In Public Comments, resident Peter Regna was the only person to speak. He pointed out that when a new home is being built in the Village, the role of the Planning Board to approve sighting related issues is difficult in the absence of this Board’s understanding the architecture of the proposed dwelling, which falls under the jurisdiction of the Board of Architecture Review. The Mayor responded that ultimate sighting authority for new structures lay with the BAR, and that he would like to hear the opinions of the Chairs of both the PB and the BAR regarding this issue first, before contemplating any action.
There was then a 12 minutes discussion about a young man who by his own admission as well as by Police videotape, drove through the back gate without waiting for the gate to open, ripping it off and breaking a light fixture on the gate box as well. Replacing a gate costs $250. However, replacing the light fixture cost an additional $340. This then lead to a discussion based upon the young man’s father complaining about the high cost, of whether the Village should subsidize the $640 cost [please see lead in paragraph about Village finances]. The Board actually agreed to subsidize the replacement cost of the lighting fixture invoice [$340] by one third on the grounds that the fixture was old.
The existing sewer plant clarify cover needs to be replaced because it is too large and is not cost effective in heating the clarifier during the winter months. The current cover is large enough to be used to provide garage like shelter for DPW equipment current in a storage facility at a cost of $1,200/month. These savings will be used to offset the $11,000 cost a new clarifier cover.
The Village currently is paying Environmental Consultants a retainer fee of $2,000 a month. The Mayor suggested based upon input from Jeff Voss that by switching the current retainer contract to an “on demand” contract, savings would be realized. The Board agreed to try this for six months to see if savings could be realized.
A draft of the Wee Wah Beach Club lease license was discussed and approved. The lease is for three years, the Village annual fee of $4,000 to $5,000 for said lease will be reinvested into capital improvements on an annual basis at the WWBC grounds. Other provisions relating to liability have also been strengthened in the Village’s favor.
There will be a public hearing at the December 9th Village Trustee meeting regarding a complete ban on the use of phosphate lawn fertilizers. Said law will incorporate steeper fines for professional landscaping/maintenance firms than for individual residents.
Pothole repairs for the Wee Wah Bridge were approved and the Village is discussing with the Town how best to proceed with the joint ownership of Sewer Jet Equipment.