AT A REGULAR MEETING OF THE TOWN BOARD OF THE TOWN OF NISKAYUNA DULY CALLED AND HELD ON THE 28TH DAY OF JULY, 2009, AT THE NISKAYUNA TOWN BOARD ROOM, ONE NISKAYUNA CIRCLE, NISKAYUNA, NEW YORK, THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS WERE PRESENT:
JULIE McDONNELL, COUNCILWOMAN, absent
MARIA P. FREUND, COUNCILWOMAN
DIANE P. O’DONNELL, COUNCILWOMAN
LIZ ORZEL KASPER, COUNCILWOMAN
JOE LANDRY, SUPERVISOR
A Public Hearing was conducted to consider the proposed Operating Plan for the Section 8 Housing Assistance Payment Program.
Jim Mastrianni, whose company serves as the contract administrator for the Town’s Section 8 Housing Program, gave a presentation of the background of the company, the program they administer for the Town, statistical information, and financial review. They specialize in low income housing programs and consult on behalf of 24 municipalities serving 2200 participants. They also administer a family self sufficiency program which helps participants move out of subsidy programs into self sufficiency and do this for 400 participants.
They now also administer program in three counties on behalf of the State to help nursing home participants move out of nursing homes and into traditional housing (Nursing Home Transitional Program).
They currently have a long waiting list of 87 people for their total program. Each house must meet quality standards each year. The average subsidy is $430 per month. In 2008 they saw a radical increase in the amount of subsidy that they were providing because their population was severely hit by the economic crisis. In June they were helping 38 families but can now increase this to 44 because they have received funding.
When no members of the public wished to be heard, Supervisor Landry closed the Public Hearing.
PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR
XXXXXXX South Amherst, Schenectady said that Fucillo Auto Sales is not being a good neighbor and distributed pictures to the Board showing zoning violations. S. Amherst has zoning restrictions with no exiting from the dealership or parking lot but employees are parked along the lawn. Tom Cannizzo has spoken to them several times but it continues.
They have set up a tent outside the building where they wash and detail cars and play very loud rap music. The police have been called and it has been turned down only temporarily. Tractor trailers unload new cars on S. Amherst and Central Avenue without plates and she wondered if this was legal.
Tractor trailers are sometimes parked on S. Amherst with their motors running left quite a bit through the night time. The police have been called and they are escorted out. She has also complained about speeding along S. Amherst Avenue.
She would like to discuss imposing a weight limit of 4 tons on S. Amherst. She thanked Tom Cannizzo who was able to get the intercom turned down which was turned up full blast. They could hear all their announcements and pages.
They have lived on S. Amherst since 1976 and had never had the problems they have now that Fucillo has moved in. This is their neighborhood too. She believes it may be the manager at Fucillo that does not control the situation.
XXXXXXXX S. Amherst Avenue (which is directly behind Fucillo) said that they have business hours of operation but at 2:48 a.m. they had to call the Police because the garage doors were open and they were painting cars and were very loud and boisterous. They also have had to call the police multiple times because of tractor trailers unloading cars at midnight and 3 a.m. They operate beyond their work hours and play rap music so loudly she can’t hear her TV.
She thinks it is not managed well and it appears there is no control over what the employees do. The business is good for the town but they need mutual respect. The problems increasing got worse after Fucillo took over.
XXXXXXXX Fairlawn Parkway, noted the alarming number of foxes in our neighborhood. On Fairlawn Parkway she has seen foxes in broad daylight and knows they are at Mohawk Trails. She has spoken to other people who have also seen them. She isn’t for their destruction but she believes they may be a problem. The Board may need to call the wildlife protection agency to get them relocated for a safer environment.
XXXXXXX, Orchard Park Drive, was concerned about work done at
6:30 a.m. near his home involving the Town’s dump truck, air compressor, a jackhammer and the Town’s work crew. He noted that the Town Code shows a prohibition of construction work prior to 7 a.m. He wrote to Mr. Gavin and asked if this prohibition wouldn’t apply to Town crews. Mr. Gavin responded that the new contract permits people to work in a more concentrated pace and gave more days off and he wondered if this superseded the Code with regard to construction noise.
Supervisor Landry noted that the Highway Department has changed their routines and are now doing certain tasks at the beginning of their shift instead of the end so they won’t be working in neighborhoods until about 7 a.m.
XXXXXXXX, appeared before the Board to discuss his mother’s residence on Hillside Avenue. He claimed to have sent a FOIL in April which was not responded to until July. He made 10-15 phone calls that were not answered, and a certified letter from last year was not answered.
XXXXXXX Brookshire Drive, was dismayed that the last Town Board video to be broadcast was the May 25th meeting.
She noted that the Recreation Committee had recommended hiring a person to help with the fall programming schedule including the community 5-K run (which replaced the DARE run) but this used to be a volunteer committee event. She asked that this resolution be pulled until other qualified personnel may apply and be interviewed for this position.
She noted that the summer recreation booklet was late, the scheduling of summer camps was held up, and the employee hired last year now has a secretary. She recalled the budget hearings where the reorganization of the Recreation Department was not going to cost any more money to the taxpayers because the salary of the Recreation Director was going to be lowered to take care of the new personnel. Additional funds are being paid to the Town Clerk to help with Recreation registration.
XXXXXXX Rowe Road, noted that last year he was before the Board after a flood at Rowe Road and Rosehill Boulevard. In October the Town improved an inlet to a culver and that goes under Rosehill Boulevard which was very well done. This doesn’t solve the problem and he asked for an update on where the Town stands on looking at the storm water drainage in this area.
XXXXXXXX, Dorwaldt Boulevard, appeared before the Board to request that they reconsider a law passed in 1975 banning ice cream trucks in Town. They have a 500 signature petition of residents who would like to see the ice cream truck return.
He volunteers to help drivers of other ice cream trucks and has a 10 year spotless driving record with trucks. All new trucks have safety arms and all drivers go through a safety course and background check. In Colonie there have been no accidents since 1975.
Public Works Committee - Councilwoman Freund reported that we had four water breaks this month with the largest break impacting 20 to 25 homes on Lishakill Road, while the smallest break impacted seven homes on Shannon Boulevard.
The Department is down one maintenance worker with the recent resignation of Jason Pollard. They are identifying minimum skills needed not only to perform traditional water and sewer maintenance functions but also to operate and maintain more sophisticated equipment such as pump station controllers, the SCATA systems, as well as high tech pipeline inspections and grouting equipment. Today’s Water & Sewer employee not only work with pipe, concrete, dump trucks, and back hoe’s, they also work with specialized chemicals for cleaning and grouting, computers, electricity, and complex control systems to keep 16 pump stations running 24/7.
The budget process has begun and she reminded the taxpayers that we have approximately 100 miles of water main, 100 miles of sanitary sewer lines, and 100 miles of storm drainage lines in the Town. The life expectancy of the Water & Sewer pipes is approximately 100 years while the life expectancy for storm drainage pipe is 50 years. If we want to do the proper job of maintaining these pipe systems, we should be replacing one mile each of water and sewer pipe, and two miles of drainage pipe each year. The money for the pipe replacement should be included in our annual operating budget and should not come from bonded funds. If we bond these expenses we are simply applying a “credit card” mentality. We are charging now, paying back later, and creating a much bigger problem of an ever
We all love our Recreation programs but she feels strongly that it is time that the Town cut back in its involvement in recreation programs and put our money where it is needed in water, sewer, and highway maintenance.
The next meeting will be held Wednesday, August 5 at 8 a.m.
Transportation – Councilwoman O’Donnell stated that paving projects have had numerous delays this summer due to the rain. This week they are working at the Rec Center and Winnie Road. They continue to do their regular pickups. Next meeting is to be announced.
Police & Safety and Senior Program – Councilwoman Kasper noted that the Board would be voting on a temporary Police Chief tonight and Dispatchers are coming back full time. Next meeting is to be announced.
The Senior Program is very active and well attended.
The following resolutions were approved with a vote of four ayes (Councilwoman McDonnell was absent), unless otherwise noted.
Resolution 2009-153 appointed Lieut. John Lubrant to the position of Temporary Chief of Police effective July 31, 2009 at an annual salary of $88,869 not to exceed one year.
Councilwoman Kasper noted that she has been informed that a civil service test will be given in March for this position.
When Chief Moskowitz announced his retirement, she and the Supervisor met and this issue was discussed at Executive Session. In the future, she believed all the members of the Board will decide if they wish to keep the position internal or open it up to a broader group. Councilwoman O’Donnell felt very strongly that the whole Town Board should be involved. Two meetings have been held on the issue one attended by the Chief, the two Lieutenants, the PBA rep, the Supervisor, and herself; the second attended by Supervisor Landry and herself.
After the test, a list will be issued of the top three.
Supervisor Landry stated Chief Moskowitz provided the Town with many years of great service. We are appointing John Lubrant who we are very comfortable with who is a 27 year veteran of the Department and we are very pleased that he has accepted the temporary position as Chief. He thanked the Chief for his many years of service and welcomed the new Temporary Chief. The Board will be having some good discussions about how they will fill the Chief’s position. This is a civil service, Town Board appointed, position for a person who must pass a test or who has already passed the test. The Town Board will have a lot of say as to who our next Chief of Police will be. He looks forward to working with John as our next Chief.
Resolution 2009-154 approves Local Law No. 3 which amends the Code, and adds a Stop sign on Carlyle Drive proceeding east at Orlyn Drive.
Resolution 2009-155 grants permission to the owners of 1241 Ruffner Road and 1245 Ruffner Road to travel over, and maintain, the 20 foot right-of-way owned by the Town adjacent to their properties for the purpose of ingress and egress to their residences.
Resolution 2009-156 authorizes the Supervisor to enter into an agreement on behalf of Consolidated Water District No. 1 with the owners of 2800 Troy Road, 891 Lisha Kill Road, 883 Lisha Kill Road, and 879 Lisha Kill Road under which the property owners shall grant the Town easements over their respective properties in exchange for connecting the property owner’s existing water services to the new 12” water main.
Resolution 2009-157 approves the purchase of one new 2008 Chevrolet Impala, with police package, from Hoselton Chevrolet, at a total cost not to exceed $19,186.48.
Resolution 2009-158 appoints Neal Conti to the position of Civilian Police Dispatcher, on a permanent basis, at a salary of $29,383, effective immediately; and appoints Nicole Lang, to the position of Civilian Police Dispatcher, on a permanent basis, at a salary of $28,238.
Resolution 2009-159 calls for a Public Hearing August 25, 2009 at 7 p.m. to consider amendment of the Vehicle & Traffic Code to provide for the instillation of traffic control signs within Fieldstone Estates.
Resolution 2009-160 authorizes the Supervisor to execute all necessary documentation for the 2009 Justice Court Assistance Program grant application for municipal court funding from the NYS Office of Court Administration.
Resolution 2009-161 calls for a Public Hearing August 25, 2009 at 7 p.m. to consider the appropriation of $8,662.98 from the Police Communication Equipment Reserve Fund, to be used to finance the purchase and installation of a radio repeater.
Resolution 2009-162 authorizes the Comptroller to make certain transfers of funds in the 2009 Budget.
Resolution 2009-163 authorizes the Supervisor to extend the date from June 30, 2009 to July 7, 2009 for which the maximum number of vacation days may be accumulated by the Town Assessor due to her being unable to use her allowable vacation days by reason of unanticipated work load.
Resolution 2009-164 appoints William D. McPartlon, as a member of the Zoning Board of Appeals to serve until December 31, 2013.
Resolution 2009-165 appoints individuals to the Summer Camp Program, to the rate of compensation listed.
Councilwoman O’Donnell made a motion that the original resolution be amended to remove the Recreation Attendant at $15 per hour until the Board has had an opportunity to discuss it at the Finance Committee which was seconded by Councilwoman Freund. The amendment passed by receiving three ayes (Supervisor Landry voted no).
Supervisor Landry explained that this position will assist in the fall soccer program and also assist with some possible changes within the Department due to retirement. This person could be used to help at that time and to also help at the fall Fun Run. This is a part time only summer Recreation Attendant position just like supervisors at the camps. All Rec Attendants hired (life guards or summer camp personnel) are approved for the year, and have to be renewed on a yearly basis. This is similar resolution for every Rec attendant.
The resolution as amended received four ayes.
Resolution 2009-166 approves the terms of the Memorandum of Agreement and authorizes the Supervisor to enter into a Collective Bargaining Agreement with the Niskayuna Police Benevolent Association covering the period January 1, 2009 until December 31, 2011.
Resolution 2009-167 proclaims August 2 to August 8, 2009 Clown Week in the Town of Niskayuna.
At this time Supervisor Landry requested that the Board go into Executive Session to discuss pending litigation.
There being no further business to come before the Town Board, Supervisor Landry adjourned the meeting.
Helen Kopke, Town Clerk