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Town Board Minutes 9/25/2007


Others present:  Helen Kopke, Town Clerk; Eric Dickson, Town Attorney; Matthew Yetto, Jr. Engineer; Frank Gavin, Superintendent of Highways; Lew Moskowitz, Chief of Police; Paul Sebesta, Comptroller.

        A public hearing was held to consider enactment of a local law “Illicit Discharges, Activities and Connections to Separate Storm Sewer Systems.”
        Matthew Yetto, Jr. Engineer, stated that the Town is required to implement a Storm Water Management Program by January 2008 and part of this program is the implementation of illicit discharge detection and elimination local law which prohibits the introduction of any non-storm water into the collection system of the Town.  This will help the Town enforce the washing of cars, changing oil, pet waste, use of fertilizer, and failing septic systems which could introduce non storm water into the collection system and could damage the water quality.   The Town is required to investigate any potential sources or assess fines.
        Once we have our management in place, it can then be modified or changed according to state regulations.  The draining of chlorinated pools is included, however, pool drainage is allowed if residents allow the chlorine to dissipate before draining which lowers the level of chlorine.   Rug cleaning companies should be draining into the sanitary sewer through a drain in a house which is treated at the water plant.  
        The County will be conducting training for Storm Water Management Officers to know what to look for and how to look for violations.

        clip_image02.gif, spoke in support of this local law.  Regulating draining to our storm water system is good public policy from both an environment and public health perspective.  This legislation will help protect our wetlands and prevent further pollution to the Mohawk and Hudson Rivers which will benefit not only our community but communities down stream.

        clip_image02.gif, felt the Board will need to do some public education program to go along with this legislation.  She is concerned with car washing in driveways because not all driveways are the same and some don’t drain to the road.  She wondered if any car washing can occur in a driveway and she feels this needs to be clarified and hopes residents can continue to do this.  Councilman Chapman noted that the law states that water from individual car washing is allowed.
        We will be working with the County about public education and information will be available on the Town’s web page.  

        clip_image02.gife, hoped that there would also be information provided as to how a resident can report a possible violation of this law.  He saw a contractor pour unused concrete down a storm sewer and was told this was done all the time to get rid of it.  
        When no other members of the public wished to be heard, Supervisor Smith closed the Public Hearing.

        The Special meeting of August 28, and the Regular meeting minutes of September 4 were approved as presented.

        clip_image02.gif, asked about the cable TV franchise agreement.  She hoped that the Town would negotiate a contract.  

        clip_image02.gif, had previously raised issues about the traffic on Oregon Avenue and the Police have monitored the traffic which worked out well.  Traffic has increased since the start of school and huge commercial buses use the road a couple of times per week.  It seems to have become the established commercial route to cut through to Route 7.  He asked for the speed limit to be reduced.
        Supervisor Smith reported that the Police monitor does some education, truck use as a major thoroughfare is another issue which the Police would have to look into and speeding patrols have been present.  The Town speed limit is 30 mph and enforcement is important.  He will ask the Police to enforce the limit and look into the use by trucks and buses.        Frank Gavin stated that weight limits can be posted on any street and it’s up to the Town Board to post this. Trucks come up Eastern Parkway, turn right on Oregon to Route 7.  The weight limit on Eastern Parkway is 4-1/2 tons.  

        clip_image02.gif, stated that New York State and Schenectady County have re-approved a license for a day care on Oregon Avenue.  There were 30 violations from their inspection and some have been repaired, some have not.  He will be leaving in the spring because he cannot stand living alongside the day care center.  He has extra people using, parking, and staying in his driveway, and the Police are there a couple of times per week.  
        30% of the speeding could be reduced just by stopping the speeding of Niskayuna school buses and UPS. Brown buses transfers 5-6 students in front of his house every morning and then they go into different Niskayuna buses.   
        clip_image02.gif, stated that the Board was to cablecast its meetings on Channel 16 and he wondered when we might expect this to happen.  Channel 16 is interested in contracting for this and he hoped the Town would follow up.
        Referencing a path off Orchard Park Drive leading to the High School, there is a large stone placed there in honor of Steve Evans (a long time member of the Tree Council).  The plaque itself has deteriorated and should be taken down or replaced to honor his memory.
        He noted that at last week’s Town Board meeting, the Board went into Executive Session to discuss the Time Warner contract.  He distributed a pamphlet to the Board relating to Open Meeting Laws and access to documents.  He quoted from the law about procedural steps and stated that some of the procedures were not followed by the Board.  He noted the eight subjects that are allowed to be discussed behind closed doors and he believes that the Time Warner contract would not qualify nor was the procedure followed used to identify this as an Executive meeting.  He was sure this was not intentional.  
        Channel 17 is the educational channel and every Town will have different programming.  He was encouraged while President of the Board that communities worked together to try and come up with a contract because all the chips are in the hands of the cable company.  Any contract that is developed now will cost them more than their current contract which gives them incentive to delay. It’s unfortunate that more use isn’t made of the access channel and he would like to see this happen. Niskayuna does not have an active commission about access television.   In Maryland, they have three education channels.  

        clip_image02.gif supported funding to begin the process of restoring the Niskayuna Grange.  Not only is this a great opportunity to restore a historical building, but when it’s completed the space will be occupied by a very progressive organization, ECOS.  This legislation is an important first step and she hopes that the project continues to move forward.

        The following resolutions were approved with vote of five ayes, unless otherwise noted.

        Resolution 2007-199 authorizes a change order to Laberge Group, for additional survey and mapping work within the Lishakill Road easement area to prepare designs, plans, and specifications for the replacement of an 8” water main in the amount of $1,700.

        Resolution 2007-200 authorizes advertising for bids for the purchase of a gas compressor.

        Resolution 2007-201 authorizes a change order to the bid received from Lenz hardware in the amount of $2,175 to add repeater radios at the Vly Pointe pump station and Imperial Drive pump station to strengthen the radio communication system.

        Resolution 2007-202 authorizes the purchase of four Fujitsu tablet P’s from Atec Group, at a total cost not to exceed $12,000.

        Resolution 2007-203 authorizes the sale of a traffic counter to Thomas Melander, in the amount of $500.

        Resolution 2007-204 authorizes the development of a GIS mapping program from Fountains Spatial, to develop a GIS base application and ArcGIS Engine runtime licensing at a cost not to exceed $12,100.

        Resolution 2007-205 authorizes Valerie Peters to attend the New York State Water & Sewer Infrastructure Co-Funding Initiative Conference e on October 16, 2007.

        Resolution 2007-206 authorizes the Supervisor to renew a contract for waste disposal services from Allied Waste Services/BFI for the Highway Department, Town Office Building, Community Center, and Town Pool.

        Resolution 2007-207 appoints Marion Edith Cannizzo to the temporary position of Clerical Aide on an as-needed basis at $10 per hour, effective August 15, 2007, without benefits, to terminate December 31, 2007.

        Resolution 2007-208 authorizes the Supervisor to retain Stracher, Roth, Gilmore, to prepare bid specifications, oversee the bidding, inspections and development associated with the rehabilitation of the Grange building at a cost up to $19,000.

        Resolution 2007-209 employs additional persons in the Recreation Program and to modify the rate of compensation.

        At this time, Supervisor Smith, with unanimous approval from the Board, requested that the Board go into Executive Session regarding a collective bargaining agreement, pending litigation, and a specific employee’s work history.
        With no other business to come before the Board, Supervisor Smith adjourned the meeting.

                                        Helen Kopke, Town Clerk

One Niskayuna Circle, Niskayuna, NY 12309
Phone: (518) 386-4500 Fax: (518) 386-4592 | Hours: M-F 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.