AT A REGULAR MEETING OF THE TOWN BOARD OF THE TOWN OF NISKAYUNA DULY CALLED AND HELD ON THE 25TH DAY OF MARCH, 2008, AT THE NISKAYFUNA TOWN BOARD ROOM, ONE NISKAYUNA CIRCLE, NISKAYUNA, NEW YORK, THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS WERE PRESENT:
JULIE M. McDONNELL, COUNCILWOMAN
MARIE P. FREUND, COUNCILWOMAN
DIANE P. O’DONNELL, COUNCILWOMAN
LIZ ORZEL KASPER, COUNCILWOMAN
JOE LANDRY, SUPERVISOR
Others present: Helen Kopke, Town Clerk; Eric Dickson, Town Attorney; Paul Sebesta, Comptroller; Frank Gavin, Superintendent of Highways; Lew Moskowitz, Chief of Police; Bill Lawrence, Director Information Technology; Amy Houlihan, Assessor; and Kathy Matern, Planner
PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR
XXXXXXXXXX, 820 Red Oak Drive, expressed his concerns with the recent reassessment and requested an explanation why the Town hired a $400,000 firm to do the revaluation when we currently have an appointed Assessor. He had a problem with GAR’s overall process and found mistakes in the results which he distributed to the Board.
He discussed the reassessment with the Assessor who categorized his home as a Ranch and said “ranches are more valuable.” When he requested information on comparables, he was pointed to the Town’s website where he noted his house was listed as a Contemporary. He brought this to the attention of GAR, and the representative indicated that the house “looks like a ranch.” They used the information that the Town gave them which made him wonder what research GAR actually did in their assessments. It also made him question our Town Assessor’s review of the information upon receiving it from GAR. and he felt that she did not look at it.
He reviewed all the homes on Red Oak Drive and noticed that as the homes got bigger (regardless when they were last sold) the assessments went down. He asked GAR if it were true and they replied “yes, you get more bang for your buck.” He thinks that she meant to say that “the less bucks you have the more you are getting banged” in this assessment.
He distributed a picture of the 3,900 square foot home of County Representative Brian Gordon (built in 1999) assessed at $192 per square foot, and a picture of a 1,340 square foot 2 bedroom, 2 bath ranch which is assessed at $207 per square foot. He noted the 10 year difference in when they were built and wondered why the ranch is $15 per square foot more valuable than Brian Gordon’s home.
If the Board does nothing and lets the assessments go through as it is proposed, he felt it would echo our present administration in Washington that has done so much for so few that need so little. He felt that the Assessor let the Town and Board down. She made it clear that she does not answer to the Board and has recently been reappointed for a six year term. The majority of the residents in the Town elected the current Board because voters felt they were the best people to look out for the Town and the best interests of the residents when we are watching and when they are not.
The Town needs a reassessment but we need a fair assessment that doesn’t hurt those in the community that have the least and this assessment seems to be doing that. He looks forward to seeing the actions of this Board
XXXXXXXX, 2455 Brookshire Drive, noted the long tradition of two meetings per month by the Town Board and feels there is sufficient business before the Board to warrant two meetings. She suggested that the Board cut their salary in half and use these funds to conduct a town-wise curbside large appliance pickup. She expressed her concern with elected officials taking dollars from the same taxpayers for two different jobs and her concern that the Supervisor cannot devote more Tuesday evenings to the Town.
Councilwoman Kasper stated that the Board holds Privilege of the Floor at their Agenda Meetings, so there are two meetings per month where the public can be heard.
XXXXXXXX, 1919 Pawtucket Road, was informed that for now yard waste pickup would will stay the same as in the past.
XXXXXXXX, 2421 Troy Road, represented Friends of Stanford Home and offered a possible law for the Town from the National Trust for Historic Preservation entitled Protecting Potential Landmarks through Demolition Review. She read from the law which is a tool that provides communities with the means to insure that potentially significant buildings and structures are not demolished without notice and receive some level of review by a preservation commission. She distributed the document to the Town Board.
Public Works: Councilwoman Freund reported that Public Works has managed seven water main breaks and one sewer break. They have received a Shared Service Agreement with the County for drainage work on Rosendale Road which is expected to begin this summer. They also expect delivery of a grout truck in June which will provide visual feedback and air pressure testing. It can pinpoint broken pipes, isolate areas in need of repair, make repairs with epoxy-type grout, and allows retest to insure the repair work was successful. Their next meeting is Wednesday, April 2 at 7:30 a.m.
Safety Committee: Councilwoman Kasper reported that the Board will vote tonight on stop signs for Hexam Gardens and for the speed limit for Rosendale Road. Alternate side of the street parking for Palmer Avenue is going back to committee. A Police Dispatcher will be appointed tonight and they are searching for two others. Their next meeting is Friday, April 4 at 9:30 a.m.
Parks Committee is purchasing picnic tables and replacement fencing. They are meeting with a representative from Play World regarding play equipment for the Becker Street Park to be paid for out of the park fund.
The Senior group is “going green,” and trying to cut back on the use of Styrofoam and paper products. Today the senior’s held an art exhibit at Town Hall showing off their art and crafts work.
Education & Recreation: Chairwoman McDonnell is working closely with all the organizations in Town which serve youth currently focusing on spring sports and looking at ways to expand their field space and facilities for the future. They are working on on-line registration for Town programs and a web site which will eventually include all opportunities for youth. Next meeting: Wednesday, April 2, at the Community Center at 7 p.m.
The Safe Routes Committee is focusing on an application for State funding for a Safe Routes to School Grant which improves the path from Hempstead Road to Rosendale and Iroquois Schools so students will be able to walk and bike more safely to school.
Highway Committee – Councilwoman O’Donnell reported the startup of a busy season for the Highway workers getting the parks ready and performing road repairs. They will perform a survey looking at the number of yard waste cans used and will come up with new ideas and suggestions. Hexam Gardens will be changed from Zone 1 to Zone 3 due to the amount of pick up in Zone 1. Curbside pickup will start Monday, April 7 on a random basis and by zone starting in May.
They have met with representatives from ECOS regarding the Grange to review the new bids. The restoration of the Grange has a significant price tag so they will continue to look for sources of funding and will put together a time line on how they can do the restoration. Next meeting is tentatively scheduled for Friday, April 4.
Finance & General Government, next meeting: Monday, April 7 at 6 p.m. in the Schaffer Room.
The Economic Development Committee is working on including St. James Square in the Metroplex Service Area. The Board will vote tonight calling for a public hearing to receive public comment. The committee is hopeful that including St. James Square in the Metroplex Service Area will allow the Metroplex to take a more active role in trying to fill the 80,000 SF of vacancies. The next meeting is April 3 at 4:30 in the Shaffer Room.
The following resolutions were approved with a vote of five ayes unless otherwise noted.
Resolution 2007-49 approves Local Law No. 2 of 2008 regarding the installation of stop signs on Village Road at Meadow Lane, and at Townsend Road at Meadow Lane and a speed limit modification on Rosendale Road.
Resolution 2007-50 calls for a Public Hearing April 29 at 7 p.m. to consider amendment of the Town’s Official Map to eliminate the paper street known as Powell Road.
Resolution 2008-51 appoints Greg Lnenicka, Paul Shelmandine, Daniel Alcorn, Thomas Rider, David Guest, and David D’Arpino to the Tree Council to expire December 31, 2009.
Resolution 2008-52 appoints Patricia M. Gabriel as a member of the Conservation Advisory Council to expire December 31, 2008.
Resolution 2008-53 calls for a Public Hearing April 29, 2008 at 7 p.m. to consider enactment of a local law to increase the boundaries of the Schenectady Metroplex service district to include St. James Square.
Resolution 2008-54 authorizes the advertising for bids for the installation of four new wells at the Water Filtration Plant site.
Resolution 2008-55 authorizes the purchase of an asphalt plug joint system at a cost not to exceed $46,000 and liquid bituminous materials, at a cost not to exceed $25,000 from CRAFCT, and authorizes various transfers of sufficient funds for the purchases of this material and equipment.
Resolution 2008-56 authorizes the Supervisor to enter into an agreement with Able Body Labor, to provide temporary seasonal laborers, on an as-needed basis, at a cost of $12.68 per hour, and enter into an agreement with Labor Ready, as an alternate labor service, at a cost of $12.72 per hour.
Resolution 2008-57 authorizes the purchase of grass seed and fertilizer from Merritt Seed Company, Northern Nurseries, and Turf Links for 2008.
Resolution 2008-58 authorizes the purchase of 8 foot rustic wood picnic tables and fencing with rails and posts from Long Lumber & Supply Corp., at a total cost not to exceed $8,000.
Resolution 2008-59 accepts the low bid from Gorman Brothers for the furnishing of labor, equipment, and materials for fiber-reinforced bituminous-membrane surface treatment for 2008.
Resolution 2008-60 accepts the low bid from Gorman Brothers, for the furnishing of labor, materials, and equipment for paver placed surface treatment for 2008.
Resolution 2008-61 accepts the low bid in various categories for the furnishing of asphalt concrete paving, in-place from the Bob Talham Company, HMA Contracting, Hayes Paving, Hannan Paving, and Luizzi Brothers.
Resolution 2008-62 accepts the low bid from Gorman Brothers, for the furnishing of materials, equipment, and labor for in-place recycled base course.
Resolution 2008-63 accepts the low bid for the furnishing of asphalt concrete paving materials FOB from Carver Sand & Gravel.
Resolution 2008-64 accepts the low bid for the purchase and delivery of drainage and sewer pipe for use in the Public Works Operations for 2008 from Ferguson Water Works, Lane enterprises, Chemung Supply Corp., and Albany Winwater Works.
Resolution 2008-65 establishes a fee of $25 per year for residential permits for the Recycling and Transfer Station, effective April 1, 2008.
Resolution 2008-66 approves the purchase of sixteen Dell OptiPlex desktop computers from Dell Computer Corporation at a total cost not to exceed $15,000.
Resolution 2008-67 authorizes the Supervisor to enter into a contract with Empire State Fireworks Mfg. Company to provide the fireworks display that culminates the Niska-Day celebration, at a cost not to exceed $6,000.
Resolution 2008-68 authorizes Paul Sebesta to attend the New York State Government Finance Officers Association Spring Conference, held in Albany, on April 2-8 at a cost of $170.
Resolution 2008-69 calls for a public hearing April 10 at 7 p.m. to consider amendment of Chapter 151-9 of the Code of the Town, Peddling & Soliciting, Regulations and Restrictions to include certain items that are not allowed for sale at Niska-Day or other public events held in the Town.
Resolution 2008-70 authorizes the Supervisor to act on behalf of the Town Board in all matters related to the submission of a grant application to the New York State Department of Transportation for the Safe Routes to School project.
Resolution 2008-71 is a resolution to encourage the New York State Legislature to approve legislation that would increase the penalties for violations of regulations pertaining to contamination of public water supplies.
Resolution 2008-72 authorizes the appropriation and transfer of $500,000 from the Capital Reserve Fund for Repairs and Improvements for Consolidated Water District No. 1 to the Capital Projects Fund for four new wells, said monies to be used to finance the costs of drilling and installation.
Resolution 2008-73 congratulates the Niskayuna High School Girls Varsity Volleyball team.
At this time, Supervisor Landry made a motion to go into Executive Session to discuss contract negotiations which was approved unanimously by the Board.
There being no further business to come before the Board, Supervisor Landry adjourned the meeting.
Helen F. Kopke, Town Clerk