AT A REGULAR MEETING OF THE TOWN BOARD OF THE TOWN OF NISKAYUNA, DULY CALLED AND HELD ON THE 5TH DAY OF SEPTEMBER, 2006, AT THE TOWN OFFICE BUILDING, ONE NISKAYUNA CIRCLE, NISKAYUNA, NEW YORK, THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS WERE PRESENT;
LIZ ORZEL KASPER, COUNCILWOMAN
WILLIAM R. CHAPMAN, COUNCILMAN
MARIA P. FREUND, COUNCILWOMAN
DIANE P. O’DONNELL, COUNCILWOMAN
LUKE J. SMITH, SUPERVISOR
Others present: Helen Kopke, Town Clerk; Eric Dickson, Town Attorney; Paul Sebesta, Comptroller; Richard Pollock, Engineer; Lewis Moskiwitz, Chief of Police; Frank Gavin, Superintendent of Highways.
A Public Hearing was held regarding the formation of Extension No. 161 to Consolidated Water District 1 (lands of Brian Peek, 206 Greylock Avenue.
The Planning Board has approved this subdivision. Mr. Brian Peek, the developer reported that it consists of two unit to be located on Greylock Avenue.
When no members of the public wished to be heard, Supervisor Smith closed the Public Hearing.
TOWN CLERK’S BUSINESS
The minutes of the meeting of August 15, 2006 were approved as presented.
PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR
, expressed his concern about the manor in which the archeological site at Flower Hill Subdivision is being managed. He distributed a copy of the standards for mitigating data recovery for a Phase 3 archeological site received from Cynthia Blakemore, Historic Preservation Program Analyst, and He felt that the early stage of site work
was inadequate and stakes were installed by the engineering company without representation by the archeologists as earth was moved and encouraged the Board to investigate if the work is being done properly.
Mr. Wagner sited problems with the development and stated that the Army Corps of Engineers discovered an error regarding wetlands. The engineer revised their plan which was then approved by the Planning Board. The original archeological investigation of the area had still not produced a report. The first archeological company was replaced by a second who found that a Phase 3 was required. A report submitted to Historical Preservation was prepared by the second archeological company but with data collected by the first company. He understood that the engineer for the project revised their plan a third time which was approved by Planning Board. He felt that development is proceeding on the site but not in accordance with the archeological standards.
He sees there is a pattern of inadequacy in both the information that is being called to the attention of the Town, and in the interaction with Chazen Engineering, the Town Planner, and the Planning Board. He did not feel that the contractors who are working on the site are being informed of what they are walking on.
Supervisor Smith stated that every project of the Town goes through a myriad of changes after input from engineers, our consulting engineers, resident input. It is part of the process of public hearings.
Mr. Wagner stated that a prehistoric artifact was found at the site “dating back 4,000 or 5,000 years” which was identified by the archeologist on site and found by his son and nephew. He made this information known to both the first and second archeologist he provided photographs and showed where it was found. The artifact is still in the possession of his nephew. It’s available to be turned over to Historic Preservation.
Supervisor Smith asked if the State Historic Preservation had come on site to inform the Town that the project should be stopped because of the archeological site. Mr. Wagner stated that they are customarily involved in these sites and their expertise is regularly sought out by developers to make sure it is done right and in this instance he feels they are being avoided. His understanding is that the power was given to the Towns in the SEQR law to take action as they see fit.
Supervisor Smith understood that $40,000 had been spent for the archeological study by the developer which was submitted to the State, reviewed, and approved. If the site is staked out incorrectly, the Town certainly relies on residents to bring these things to our attention. If he received a call from Historic Preservation that a historic site was being improperly managed he has the authority to stop work immediately; however, no one has called him. There are criteria that empowerment the Town to make determinations relative to SEQR and we have to follow these criteria. Mr. Wagner’s complaint is that the Town is relying on information from the developer.
Mr. Wagner went cited the Phase 3 standards which state that a Phase 3 “is required if an archeological historical resource listed on or eligible for inclusion on the state or national register of historic places is identified.”
Councilwoman O’Donnell wondered why the Town hadn’t heard from the State agency to halt the project WHEN artifacts were found that was so old and valuable. She was confused why we haven’t heard that the Town should stop the project. Everyone would agree that this would be extremely exciting.
Richard Pollock spoke to Ms. Blakemore this past week and he understood she is waiting for the archeologists report now and stated that the initial approach of the site did not strictly adhere to the standards.
Supervisor Smith will look into the matter the next day and will talk to Ms. Blakemore, Town Planner, and members of the Planning Board to find out what the Town has to do and that it is being handled properly.
, inquired about the funding of projects in Town parks by the County. She understood that the Town had not been involved in planning these projects; however, the Town has been involved recently. Funds are coming from County tax dollars instead of Town taxes. She is concerned that other groups have come forward over the
years and worked out agreements with the Town where they put some work and money into developing different sports facilities. She doesn’t see why any particular sport should be favored by the County out of her tax dollars and it goes contrary to the work ethic that we need to see more of instead of less of. She would like to see this resolution not approved. She also expressed her displeasure with the County usurping the Town’s authority and responsibility on this and other matters.
She felt that planning for recreation was a great concept. Schools put a huge emphasis on team sports and other things that unify the schools but don’t put a huge emphasis on recreational activities that promote good health that people can maintain as they grow older. She would like to see some effort to design these types of recreational activities that foster good health.
The following resolutions were approved with a vote of five ayes, unless otherwise noted.
Resolution 2006-185 appoints John Baker to the position of part-time on-call dispatcher for assignment on an as-needed basis at a rate of compensation of $16.07 per hour, without benefits.
Resolution 2006-186 approves a Special Use Permit for 3518-3522 State Street to allow for the removal of a portion of an existing canopy and two fuel pump dispensers and for the construction of a two bay car wash at the existing Mobil Gas Station.
Resolution 2006-187 adopts Local Law 8 and amends the Zoning Ordinance regarding the height of fences to conform to the New York State Code.
Resolution 2006-188 calls for a public hearing September 26, 2006, 7 p.m. to consider amendments to the Comprehensive Plan 2003 to include a safe routes plan and map.
Resolution 2006-189 adopts the Annual Plan for 2006 for Section 8 housing.
Resolution 2006-190 supports the Mohawk Valley Heritage Corridor Commission and supports the creation of a voluntary Erie Canal Greenway, and the Town supports the submission of an application for funding from the New York State Canal Corporation in the amount of $100,000.
Resolution 2006-191 authorizes the Supervisor to sign a public benefit services agreement with the County of Schenectady for the improvements of Town parks. The resolution was approved with a vote of four ayes with Supervisor Smith voting no.
Councilman Chapman requested corrections be made to the agreement such as the correct location of the football fields and correcting the word “park land” to “town land.”
Upon questioning of wording in the contract, Supervisor Smith stated that the contract arrived on August 16 which has not allowed much time for review or discussion. Councilwoman Kasper stated that the sport groups have been told they would be receiving the supports listed in the agreement and they are waiting.
In response to a question regarding “maintaining” the project improvements, Superintendent of Highways Frank Gavin stated that the Town does not maintain sports clubs buildings, electric service, or power. The Town has a lease with each sports group which outlines each party’s responsibilities. Various other changes, including the aspect of maintenance, our ability to divest and reimburse pro-rata, and being listed as additional insured, were suggested by Board members.
Supervisor Smith was pleased that the resolution was approved for the children, but he cannot go along because the Town was not notified of the work being planned for the Town parks and he does not like the idea that money was borrowed to finance these projects.
Resolution 2006-192 authorizes Thomas Cannizzo to attend the Capital District Building Officials Educational Conference October 16-18 in Albany at a cost of $245, and to attend the New York State Building Officials Conference on September 12 in Niagara Falls, at a cost of $40 plus a per diem allowance if necessary.
Resolution 2006-193 authorizes reimbursement of special district assessments to Joseph A. Salamone, 2255 Van Antwerp Road, in conjunction with the establishment of Extension 91 to Sewer District No. 6.
Resolution 2006-194 modifies the rate of compensation for certain employees in the Niskayuna Recreation Program.
Resolution 2006-195 authorizes the purchase of youth and adult Fall soccer T-shirts from JCB Specialties, to be used by the Recreation Department, at a total cost not to exceed $2,600.
Resolution 2006-196 authorizes the printing and distribution of Fall program flyers listing the Fall Recreation Programs by Vincy’s Printing, at a cost not to exceed $750.
At this time Supervisor Smith requested that the Board go into Executive Session to discuss contract negotiations.
There being no further business to come before the Board, Supervisor Smith adjourned the meeting.
Helen F. Kopke, Town Clerk