AT A REGULAR MEETING OF THE TOWN BOARD OF THE TOWN OF NISKAYUNA DULY CALLED AND HELD ON THE 24TH DAY OF MARCH, 2009, AT THE NISKAYUNA TOWN BOARD ROOM, ONE NISKAYUNA CIRCLE, NISKAYUNA, NEW YORK, THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS WERE PRESENT:
JULIE McDONNELL, COUNCILWOMAN
MARIE P. FREUND, COUNCILWOMAN
DIANE P. O’DONNELL, COUNCILWOMAN
LIZ ORZEL KASPER, COUNCILWOMAN
JOE LANDRY, SUPERVISOR
Supervisor Landry announced March 29 to April 4 as Substance Abuse Prevention Week in the Town. Members of the Niskayuna Coalition (Rev. Scott DeBlock , Eva Jones, Cindy Desso, Carol Mondello) were commended for their work over the past two years in planning for this week of recognition of this concern and bringing substance abuse issues to the forefront.
A public hearing was held to consider an amendment to the Vehicle & Traffic Code to provide for the installation of Stop signs on Pheasant Ridge and Briar Ridge.
When no members of the public wished to be heard, Supervisor Landry closed the Public Hearing.
PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR
XXXXX Oregon Avenue, reported his recent hit and run in front of his home on Oregon Avenue. He reported on various activities of local police departments and traffic on Oregon Avenue. He keeps a diary of Highway Department truck activity and wondered why so many vehicles drive down his street toward the ball field. He counted 85 cars in one morning that run the stop sign at the end of Oregon Avenue onto Route 7. He has been part of the neighborhood watch but does not want to do it anymore.
XXXXX Brookshire Drive, noted articles on the proposed indoor soccer and lacrosse building. She noticed that the Supervisor mentioned that there might be interest from other clubs as well as school groups and adult leagues. Supervisor Landry reported that Town clubs attended a committee meeting where they expressed an interest. Ms. Zabin thinks the building is a wonderful idea but feels this is a County recreation facility. We have a County ice skating rink and she is worried about the maintenance and care and added expense. Also, the location seem to be going against most of the things that we should have there.
She isn’t sure how much the Dog Park and Skate Park is used. She thinks we spent over $120,000 on it and that too has not been an overwhelming success. She thinks this building is too big and the location is in a very prominent, crowded, and possibly dangerous location. They would be taking green space that was dedicated for outdoor fields and now they want to build on it. She would like the Board to consider this further.
She thinks it is a disservice to the residents to hold meetings only once per month and asked the Board to reconsider their schedule.
XXXXX, Orchard Park Drive, asked the Board to consider delaying taking any action on the proposed Time Warner contract. Most of his arguments are the result of his reading a recent Daily Gazette article.. The proposed contract is for ten years and has been under negotiation for four years. Negotiations will continue for the City, Rotterdam and Glenville so there is no urgency. Glenville is not in a hurry because the Town gets exactly the same money without a contract through six months extensions of the old contract which is required by the State. The State requires that they pay the maximum allowed under Federal law. The Federal law now is fairly restrictive and not very favorable to the municipalities and it is his hope that with the new
administration there may be a rebalancing so things are more favorable to municipalities.
There is no money for access television in the proposed contact. Channel 16 (which we use) is not funded. Channel 17 (which is our own education channel) is also getting no money but will get $75,000 for equipment. The cost of operating a TV station is not in the equipment but in personnel. They have one full time, one part time person, and a few volunteers.
Niskayuna pulled out of a consortium consisting of the City and Glenville which consisted of 75% of the users of Time Warner which was a powerful negotiating block.. It doesn’t seem reasonable to pull out when we will get the same money whether going with a new contract or see what comes out of the new administration in Washington.
The Federal law allows for three channels; education, access and government but access and government can be on the same channel if there isn’t enough need. He feels there is enough need in this area to have three but there is no money to run the government channel where Board meetings could appear for all the Towns and the City for people who do not have an opportunity to attend these meetings could still be advised. They are also shooting for a much stronger education component to cover sporting events, plays, and concerts.
These types of things are offered in many parts of New York State and elsewhere. There is no downside for delaying but there is a downside for going forward. By pulling out of the consortium, Niskayuna will lose $25,000. Proctors may take over Channel 16 which is one person. Channel 17 used to have news coming from the State University, now they only have announcements. He invited the Supervisor to make an appearance on his program and talk about the agreement why it is better for Niskayuna to pull out of the consortium.
XXXXX Lamp Lighter Road, appreciates the Boards efforts in working with the clubs on the proposed indoor facility which would be built using private funding, not the Town’s and thanked them in advance for considering a resolution.
XXXXX Victoria Court, thanked the Town for their support of the indoor facility. She thinks an indoor facility is a great opportunity to offer recreational sports year round. An indoor facility gives our young people and adults something to do and this is a great opportunity. She thanked the Town for their great senior citizen program we sponsor.
XXXXX, Tamar Drive, supports the multi use facility and thanked the officers of the soccer and lacrosse club for their efforts and tireless work and their innovation in bringing this forward. The youth of the community is excited about this and it is extraordinary when we can get our kids excited. He urged the Town to fully consider this.
XXXXX Riverview Road, has two daughters who are products of the lacrosse and soccer programs and he would like to highly recommend that the Board vote yes to the resolution for an indoor facility. This will keep the athletes in Niskayuna.
XXXXX Shaker Ridge Drive, as a coach for the lacrosse team , encouraged their support. The kids and their families are passionate about lacrosse and soccer and he encouraged the Board to support the resolution.
XXXXX Windsor Drive, voiced his support in favor of the resolution for the multi purpose facility. He has been a coach and parent of athletes and believes this will do a lot of good in our community.
XXXXX Pawtucket Avenue, knows there are limits to what the State allows us to negotiate. She doesn’t have a problem with the Town pulling out of the cable franchise consortium but sees no benefit to the average rate payer. All we get is the opportunity to pay more for a studio at the high school and equipment at Town Hall without a plan how it will be utilized.
Public Works - Councilwoman Freund reported that there were more than 70 applications for the position of Maintenance Worker. Interviews have been conducted and they hope to make a recommendation by their next meeting.
Well No. 1 was not producing enough water so the pump was pulled and sent back to the factory. C. T. Male is reviewing the pump curves for two other wells to determine if we may need to require a large horse power for these wells.
Rich Pollock offered the Board to tour the Water & Sewer Department, Transfer Station, Waste Water Treatment Plant, and Pump Station.
Transportation – Councilwoman O’Donnell reported that pickup of brush will be starting the first week in April. The pickup schedule was advertised in the Gazette, is on our web site, and on the Highway Department phone line.
The Parks Department is working on Blatnick Park bathrooms, the baseball buildings, Rec Center bathrooms, Train Station, Tennis Courts, Driving Range, River Road Park Bathrooms, Avon Crest Park, Skate Park, Boat Launch, and the Pool.
The tentative paving schedule is on the web. They have an escalation clause since typically prices do go up as we get into the summer season.
Public Safety & Seniors – Councilwoman Kasper noted that tonight they are promoting a Patrolman to Sergeant and are hiring two dispatchers and two part time dispatchers. A metal detector has been installed in the Court Room received through a grant.
The Senior Program now has an art exhibit in the Town Board Room. She described some of the senior programs offered to seniors such as cards, art, afghans for nursing homes, etc.
Education, Parks & Recreation Committee, Councilwoman McDonnell said the committee met March 5th and discussed the proposal for the soccer/lacrosse indoor facility. They also discussed their spring youth programs which have been distributed in schools and are located on our web site and have begun to discuss their summer programming.
A flyer will be distributed to schools and posted on line at the end of this week for summer camps and programs. They will continue to provide new program information. Registration is available on line as of April 13. They are accepting applications for youth and adult employment for summer either electronically or downloaded and mailed in. Next meeting is Wednesday, April 1 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.
The following resolutions were approved with a vote of five ayes unless otherwise noted.
Resolution 2009-57 supports the efforts of the Niskayuna Soccer Club & the Niskayuna Lacrosse Club to construct a multi-purpose recreational and sports facility in the Town.
Resolution 2009-58 appoints Michael A. Stevens to the position of Police Sergeant on a permanent basis, at an annual salary of $71,584 effective immediately.
Resolution 2009-59 appoints the following residents to the Safe Routes Committee: Leslie Weidmann-Herd (Co-chairman); Jared Wells (Co-chairman); Noel Bylina; Dart Strayer; Melissa MacKinnon; Eliza Kelish; and Jackie Skolnik.
Resolution 2009-60 appoints the following residents to the Zoning Board of Appeals: Robert E. Hess (term to expire December 31, 2015); James Frawley (term to expire December 31, 2010) and Vincent Daly, ad hoc member, (term to expire December 31, 2009).
Resolution 2009-61 appoints Kenneth Hassett to the position of Code Enforcement Officer in the Building Department on a permanent basis upon completion of his probationary period.
Resolution 2009-62 approves a Special Use Permit for Highbridge Development for a medical office building at the intersection of Balltown Road and Reilly Way.
Resolution 2009-63 authorizes the Supervisor to enter into a contract for the renewal and modification of the franchise agreement between Time Warner Cable and the Town for a term of ten years. The resolution was approved with a four ayes, with Councilwoman O’Donnell voting no.
Resolution 2009-64 authorizes the Superintendent of Highways to accept bids for paving in the Town.
Resolution 2009-65 authorizes the Superintendent of Highways to accept bids for temporary laborers for the Highway Department.
Resolution 2009-66 appoints Deena A. Malkis, Joseph Chapman, and Lance Lichorat, as temporary seasonal employees in the Water & Sewer Department, effective immediately, at the rate of $9.25/hour.
Resolution 2009-67 appoints Joshua Schmidt to the position of Water & Sewer Maintenance Worker on a permanent basis.
Resolution 2009-68 – was tabled.
Resolution 2009-69 accepts bids for Water Meter Installation contracts from East National Water, not to exceed $34,578.25.
Resolution 2009-70 accepts bids for the purchase of Water Meters from Ti-Sales Company at a cost not to exceed $1,675,000.
Resolution 2009-71 amends the fees for use of the Transfer Station.
Resolution 2009-72 authorizes the renewal of the water billing system annual software maintenance agreement not to exceed $3,543.53.
Resolution 2009-73 authorizes advertising for bids for the purchase of manhole riser rings.
Resolution 2009-74 appoints Kathleen Matern to the position of Planning Technician in the Planning & Building Department effective immediately.
Resolution 2009-75 authorizes the Superintendent of Highways to use certain law mowing and trimming services for Baker Avenue Park.
Resolution 2009-76 makes certain budgetary amendments to the 2009 Budget.
Resolution 2009-77 makes certain budgetary amendments to the 2008 Final Year-End Budget.
Resolution 2009-78 appoints Neal Conti to the position of part-time on-call Civilian Police Dispatcher, on an as-needed basis, at a rate of compensation of $17.5584 per hour, without benefits, effective April 1, 2009.
Resolution 2009-79 appoints Daniel P. Bouck to the position of Civilian Police Dispatcher, on a permanent basis, at an annual salary of $28,238 effective April 1, 2009.
Resolution 2009-80 appoints Angela M. McCasland to the position of Civilian Police Dispatcher, on a permanent basis, at an annual salary of $28,238 effective April 1, 2009.
Resolution 2009-81 appoints Virginia Ferraro to the position of Information Processing Specialist I, in the Town Clerk’s Office, not to exceed 21 hours per week, effective April 6, without benefits, at a rate of $17.6481 per hour.
Resolution 2009-82 authorizes the purchase of seed, fertilizer and other materials for use in the Highway Department from vendors listed.
Resolution 2009-83 designates certain banks to be depository of funds for the Town.
Resolution 2009-84 appoints Jeffrey Thomas on a part time basis to the position of Civilian Police Dispatcher, on an as-needed basis, at a rate of compensation of $17.5584 per hour, without benefits, effective March 1, 2009.
Resolution 2009-85 declares the week of March 29, 2009 to April 4, 2009 as Substance Abuse Prevention Week in the Town.
There being no further business, Supervisor Landry adjourned the meeting.
Helen Kopke, Town Clerk