AT A REGULAR MEETING OF THE TOWN BOARD OF THE TOWN OF NISKAYUNA DULY CALLED AND HELD ON THE 14TH DAY OF AUGUST, 2007 AT THE NISKAYUNA OFFICE BUILDING, ONE NISKAYUNA CIRCLE, NISKAYUNA, NEW YORK, THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS WERE PRESENT;
LIZ ORZEL KASPER, COUNCILWOMAN
WILLIAM R. CHAPMAN, COUNCILMAN
MARIE P. FREUND, COUNCILWOMAN
DIANE P. O’DONNELL, COUNCILMAN
LUKE J. SMITH, SUPERVISOR
Others present: Helen Kopke, Town Clerk; Eric Dickson, Town Attorney; Lewis Moskowitz, Chief of Police; Matthew Yetto, Jr. Engineer; Amy Houlihan, Assessor; Paul Sebesta, Comptroller.
The minutes of the meeting of July 17 were approved as present.
PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR
, expressed his concern regarding burning in residential fire pits and chimineas. There are state and local regulations for this but he feels the public needs to be educated about the effects of the smoke and he believes Niskayuna residents do not know it is illegal to burn.
Fire pits are not specifically outlawed, however, New York State regulations cover “nuisance burning” and covers the use of all types of burning containers whether clay, steel, barrel, and concrete units. Burning brush is outlawed by both state and local law.
This past weekend, the police were called when a neighbor burned a huge pike of brush. The smoke was so thick he had to close his windows. He sited two New York towns that recently passed legislation preventing this type of burning. Their new laws restrict the types of permitted fires to only outdoor cooking containing a grill or hibachi and with the use of charcoal or charcoal briquettes, natural gas or LP gas. Use of outdoor fireplaces or fire pits with ceramic logs will still be permitted, but all other forms of recreational fires or campfires are prohibited. Bonfires will be permitted only for a publicly sponsored celebration or event.
State regulations say that in cities and towns over 20,000 population there is no open burning at all. He requested that the Supervisor include a notice in the Town’s Newsletter or post a notice on the Town’s web site about burning which he thinks would go a long way to curbing it.
Mr. Reynolds contacted DEC who indicated that a State conservation officer can be called and issue tickets for burning brush. He quoted State law that “no person shall cause or allow emissions of air contaminants
……unreasonably interfere with the comfortable enjoyment of life or property.” He believes that not being able to open his windows and get fresh air is an unreasonable interference with his enjoyment of life and property
Fireplaces are not a problem because the burning is through a stack which is 25 to 30’ in the air so the smoke is emitted above the houses and often these are used in the winter when windows are closed. Fire pits and 55-gallon drums and burn barrels produce smoke at ground level and it doesn’t have a chance to dissipate. When there is very little wind movement it looks like fog.
Supervisor Smith stated he would have the Town’s Building Department/Code Enforcement personnel look into the situation, and he will talk to DEC. He is sure that people with fire pits will state that there is no difference in air pollution between burning in their fire pit versus burning a fireplace ¾ of the year. The hard part is that the chiminea’s are popular and widely sold. Mr. Reynolds pointed out that this burning is taking place during the summer months when windows are open, and it is taking place at ground level.
Supervisor Smith does not wish to violate any state laws on air pollution or open fires and will request regulations from around the state to assist us. Mr. Reynolds main request was to educate the public about the state and local law. These fires can be a bad idea that can be inconsiderate to neighbors and some could be illegal. He would also like the Town to tighten our regulations. Currently our regulations regarding open fires are all inclusive and fairly ambiguous.
, stated her main concern was a health issue. She started to pass out because of the smoke coming into her room.
, discussed sex offender legislation by the County she wished they would rescind rather than amend. We know where sex offenders are living, they are checking in, and she thinks the County created more problems rather than solving the problem.
The following resolutions were approved with a vote of five ayes unless otherwise indicated.
Resolution 2007-173 authorizes acceptance of the bid from CUES, for sewer television inspection and grout equipment at a cost of $213,800 plus options for $18,137 for a total cost not to exceed $231,937.
Resolution 2007-174 authorizes payment to Lenz Hardware, in the amount of $7,831.25 for electrical work at the Valerie Drive pump station.
Resolution 2007-175 authorizes payment of the bill submitted by Municipal Sales, in the amount of $5,175.10 for sanitary sewer main cleaning.
Resolution 2007-176 appoints Joshua P. Schmidt, to the position of Water & Sewer Maintenance Worker in the Water & Sewer Department, effective August 20, 2007.
Resolution 2007-177 appoints Timothy Healey to the position of Wastewater Treatment Plant Operator, on a permanent basis, at the rate of $17.12 per hour.
Resolution 2007-178 calls for a public hearing August 28, 2007 at 7 p.m. to consider the leasing of space on the water tower of Consolidated Water District No. 1 for the purpose of installing an antenna for wireless broadband communications service system by Clearwire US for $13,200 per year.
Resolution 2007-179 appoints Richard Kopke to the Planning Board to terminate December 31, 2010.
Resolution 2007-180 certifies the current base proportions to be used as class tax shares for municipal and school district levies.
Resolution 2007-181 certifies the adjusted base proportions and the current base proportions to be used as class tax shares for municipal and school district levies.
Resolution 2007-182 appoints Kathy Nilsen, to the position of Real Property Tax Aide in the Assessor’s Office, on a permanent basis, at her existing grade and salary, effective immediately.
Resolution 2007-183 calls for a public hearing October 9, 2007 at 7 p.m. regarding the Town’s proposed Agency Plan for Section 8 Rental Assistance.
Resolution 2007-184 modifies the fees collected by the Recycling Center and Transfer Station for 21-39 gallon bags to $3.00 per bag.
Resolution 2007-185 authorizes the purchase of two new 2007 Chevrolet Malibu LS from Doan Chevrolet, at a cost of $12,407 for each vehicle for a total cost not to exceed $28,814.
Resolution 2007-186 employs additional persons, and modifies the rate of compensation and title of certain employees in the Recreation Program.
There being no further business to come before the Board, Supervisor Smith adjourned the meeting.
Helen Kopke, Town Clerk