AT A REGULAR MEETING OF THE TOWN BOARD OF THE TOWN OF NISKAYUNA DULY CALLED AND HELD ON THE 20TH DAY OF DECEMBER, 2005, AT THE TOWN OFFICE BUILDING, ONE NISKAYUNA CIRCLE, NISKAYUNA, NEW YORK, THE FOLLOWING WERE IN ATTENDANCE;
WILLIAM R. CHAPMAN, COUNCILMAN
RICHARD A. HOLT, COUNCILMAN
DIANE P. O’DONNELL, COUNCILWOMAN
LUKE J. SMITH, SUPERVISOR
LIZ ORZEL KASPER, COUNCILWOMAN, absent
Others present: Helen Kopke, Town Clerk; Eric Dickson, Town Attorney; Lew Moskowitz, Chief of Police; Richard Pollock, Superintendent of Water & Sewer; Frank Gavin, Superintendent of Highways; Paul Sebesta, Comptroller.
TOWN CLERK’S BUSINESS
The minutes of the Regular Meeting of November 29, 2005 were approved as presented.
PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR
Chad Cook, Boswell Engineering, representative of the developer of Fieldstone Estates, stated that Councilman Chapman had a copy of a letter received from him indicating that he reviewed copies of Latimer Schmidt’s correspondence and concurs with his findings regarding those letters.
The following resolutions were approved with a vote of four ayes (Councilwoman Kasper was absent) unless otherwise noted.
Resolution 2005-290, accepts the bids for certain chemicals to be used by the Town in its public works operations during 2006.
Resolution 2005-291 authorizes the purchase of a 20-yard RE-1648 open top roll-off container from Bucks Fabricating, at a cost not to exceed $6,300.
Resolution 2005-292 determines that Fieldstone Estates (a Planned Unit Development) will not have a significant impact on the environment and directs the Town Planner to file a negative declaration, and hereby grants tentative zoning approval for the Planned Unit Development subject to final site plan approval and final plat approval.
Councilman Chapman outlined the principal benefits of this PUD. Allowing for wetlands, the property would allow for up to 85 single family homes.
Traffic will be reviewed under Site Plan Review. The Board has been concerned about the County’s reaction to curb cuts. Councilman Chapman agreed that a letter from Joseph Ryan of Schenectady County, seems to concur that if conditions are all met, in the future the developer will not be told they cannot get a curb cut because it is unsafe. Reading from a letter from Mr. Schmidt from Schenectady County, “the County would accept the new access road number one intersection with Consaul Road if the developer can provide standard site distance on the approaches and provides the County with land or easements maintaining that.
Mr. Ginicki is free to develop when he is ready or continue his current business, however, the idea of having the road go straight across would be dependent on Mr. Ginicki being ready to have his property developed. He would be agreeable to having a road going across.
Kathy Matern, Town Planner, stated that she believes they have met the objectives of a PUD. Traffic will be dispersed throughout the subdivision since they will have three points of access. The developer reduced the density at the beginning of the project and they also provide easements which are required by the County and eliminated the connection to St. David’s Lane.
Councilman Holt stated that his opinion differs from Councilman Chapman as far as the usability of wetlands. It is an “iffy” investment and if you walk the Reist Bird Preserve after good rains it is a limited use. It is more of a nature refuge rather than useable parkland. Useable parkland and walking trails may be two different things. He would also debate whether the Town should retain ownership of the green space. In a Town where we have seen parkland expand very quickly, the maintenance of parklands will become more and more problematic as the years go by. The need to increase staff and equipment need to balanced out with our need to increase our highway staffs. Inevitably it will be a stress on the Town down the line. The Consaul Road configuration has been a
challenge to the Town for a long time. He does not see where Schmidt’s well intended remarks address this situation and it is not the developer’s problem to fix Consaul Road it is the County’s problem. The guarded comments of Mr. Ryan continue to be a curious anomaly because he seemed to be quite outspoken on certain other developments in Town. He has a real problem with Mr. Ryan holding back on this very problematic area between the curves at the Eddy residence and the curves in the area of this PUD. If this goes forward this is still a problematic situation and he thinks it will cause extended headaches for the Town in the long run.
Councilman Chapman stated that the preliminary discussion on the trails is that obviously they are wetland so they wouldn’t be wood trails all the way through. If there is a stream or a bit of water volume a wood bridge would be built by the developer at the beginning. Other trails would just be cleared or wood-chipped and that the Town’s maintenance would be minimal. We could repair or reseal the wood bridges. This may not be walkable all the time, but wetlands are not wet all during the year. Open space in the woods still has value to us and as we get closer to build-out this will be seen as a resource.
The County is scheduled to repair Consaul Road and he agreed it is not the developer’s obligation to fix it. In a recent meeting with the County, they talked about the possibility of straightening the road and everyone decided it wasn’t feasible. There was dissatisfaction on the Board that the County didn’t move more aggressively (didn’t move at all) when the easement was given by the Glenn Eddy to do some straightening of the curve. He presumes that Mr. Ryan would say that the County has higher priority traffic issues. He felt that the Board needs to look at the project on its merits and make a decision what is best for the Town.
Supervisor Smith stated that Mr. Ryan is saying that this project is OK but it contradicts his previous comment where he chastised the Town for dumping new residents onto his substandard roads and specifically mentioned Consaul Road and Lishakill Road. Now, all of a sudden, Consaul Road is OK with him. He will have to stand behind this if there is a problem. We would be hard pressed to tell a developer they can’t develop if the County Highway Engineer is saying it is OK.
Councilwoman O’Donnell stated she has concerns similar to Councilman Holt in terms of being able to maintain such park land. She is not against them, but how much can we maintain. The walkways at Hummingbird Manor go through the parkland and are maintained by the Town. The developer has not provided for parkland, just open space, so in the end there will be a parkland fee, regardless whether the Town accepts this or it remains part of the homeowner’s association. The vote tonight is on the PUD, not the consideration of the traffic on the road. We all can agree that Consaul Road certainly needs improvement and we want the County to act on the things that they have said they are going to do previously.
Resolution 2005-293 calls for a public hearing January 10, 2006 to consider the application of Huy Q. Nguyen to allow for the reuse of 2219 Nott Street as a mixed use building.
Resolution 2005-294 authorizing the filing of a joint grant application for the 2005-2006 Quality Communities Program.
Resolution 2005-295 authorizes a modification to the agreement with Schindler Elevator Corporation for an additional $4.92 per month for a total monthly charge of $168.83 for the contract year January 1, 2006 through December 31, 2006.
Resolution 2005-296 authorizes the issuance of dog licenses for up to 3 years, effective January 15, 2006.
Resolution 2005-297 authorizes the Superintendent of Highways to act in behalf of the Town for the leasing, lending, exchanging, borrowing or maintaining highway equipment and materials with the County of Schenectady; and authorizes the Supervisor to enter into an inter-municipal agreement for shared highway services with the County.
Resolution 2005-298 authorizes the Supervisor to enter into an agreement for the borrowing of highway equipment with the Niskayuna Central School District.
Resolution 2005-299 authorizes the Supervisor to execute an addendum to the Workers’ Compensation Service Agreement with RMSCO, to provide a pharmacy benefit management services program.
Resolution 2005-300 appoints Shana Malkis, to the temporary position of Clerical Aide on an as-needed basis, at $10.00 per hour, without benefits, effective retroactive to October 1, 2005, to terminate December 31, 2005.
Resolution 2005-301 accepts bids for labor, materials and equipment necessary for drainage improvements to Trottingham Drive, Lynnwood Drive, Pineridge Drive, and Merlin Drive from Carver Construction, Inc. for a total bid price of $228,197.
Resolution 2005-302 reappoints Thomas Price, 1093 Regent Street, to the temporary position of Student Intern at a rate of $10.50 per hour, effective December 27, 2005 and terminating on July 31, 2006, said position to be funded by grant moneys.
Resolution 2005-303 retains United Services for labor and installation of roofing materials on the roof of the pavilion in Avon Crest Park for a total cost of $1,600.
Resolution 2005-304 allows the construction of a fence within the Town’s right-of-way to John Kopta, owner of 3663 Somerset Street.
Resolution 2005-305 authorizes the Superintendent of Highways to participate in public auctions to expend an amount not to exceed $8,000.
Resolution 2005-306 calls for a public hearing January 10, 2006 to consider an amendment of Section 55-5 of Chapter 55 of the Town Code entitled Permit Requirements to allow unpaid alarm registration fees to be assessed as a lien against the subject property and added to the owner’s property taxes.
Resolution 2005-307 authorizes the purchase of computer software for the Police Department from Security Information Systems, for a total cost not to exceed $9,800.
There being no further business to come before the Town Board, Supervisor Smith declared the meeting adjourned.
Helen Kopke, Town Clerk