AT A REGULAR MEETING OF THE TOWN BOARD OF THE TOWN OF NISKAYUNA DULY CALLED AND HELD ON THE 22ND DAY OF DECEMBER, 2009, AT THE NISKAYUNA TOWN BOARD ROOM, ONE NISKAYUNA CIRCLE, NISKAYUNA, NEW YORK, THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS WERE PRESENT;
JULIE McDONNELL, COUNCILWOMAN
MARIA. P. FREUND, COUNCILWOMAN
DIANE P. O’DONNELL, COUNCILWOMAN
LIZ ORZEL KASPER, COUNCILWOMAN, absent
JOE LANDRY, SUPERVISOR
Others present: Paul Sebesta, Comptroller; Kathy Matern, Town Planner; Marion Rhodes, Receiver of Taxes; William Lawrence, Director of IT; John Lubrant, Chief of Police; Lori Perretti, Coordinator of Community Programs.
A Ceremonial Resolution was awarded to Frank Cannizzo, Assistant Director of Recreation, in celebration of his upcoming retirement. He was complemented by the Board for his more than forty year career dedicated to working with youth within the schools and our community.
A Ceremonial Resolution was awarded to Marion Rhodes, Receiver of Taxes, in celebration of her upcoming retirement. She was recognized by the Board for her many years of service contributing to various departments within Town Hall and as a four-time elected official along with her many contributions to the community.
TOWN CLERK’S BUSINESS
The minutes of the meetings of November 12 and 24, 2009 were approved as presented.
Public Hearing No. 1 – considers amending the Subdivision Regulations regarding trees. When no members of the public wished to be heard, Supervisor Landry closed the public hearing.
Public Hearing No. 2 – considers amendments to the Code regarding the regulation of Portable Storage Units.
Charles Lester, 3454 Albany Street, appreciated this legislation. He hopes that units already located at homes are also regulated.
Public Hearing No. 3 – considers amendments to the Code to add a chapter regarding the construction and operation of Wind Energy Facilities in the Town. When no members of the public wished to be heard, Supervisor Landry closed the Public Hearing.
PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR
XXXXXX Whitmyer Drive, thanked Councilwoman Freund and McDonnell for their past years of service as Town Board Members and wished them luck in their future endeavors.
XXXXXX Fairlawn Parkway, submitted a FOIL request for the exact amount of money that is in the Town’s fund balance. This specific line item has not been evident in past budgets she has received.
She will also FOIL how much of the Town’s budget is dedicated to the position of Coordinator of Community Programs. It is her opinion that this position is not essential to the operation of the Town in light of the economic issues we are facing.
She thanked Councilwoman O’Donnell and Councilwoman Freund for their work in the community.
XXXXXX Brookshire Drive, thanked Councilwoman O’Donnell and Councilwoman Freund for their collective 12 years of dedicated service as Board members. They were always available to residents, and it is her hope that the newly elected members of the Board will also be available.
XXXXXX Mayfair Road, recalled her pride in her mother’s election and what she has stood for. She has shown integrity and been an example to her daughters that it is important to stand up for what you believe in and to stay true to yourself. Her family and residents have benefited from her time on the Board.
She listened to everyone, volunteered in times of need and represented the Town with grace and poise. She has made friends for life and she has made her family proud. On behalf of her sister Emily, dad, Emma and herself, and all those who know and love her and those who have voted for her, she was thanked for her dedication, commitment, and heart.
XXXXXX Albany Street, is concerned about the Vrooman-Sylar-Stanford Cemetery on Fillmore Avenue. The Highway Department was planning to construct a fence along one property line and he would appreciate this fence being built to respect this historic cemetery. He volunteered to help keep up the cemetery.
XXXXXX Briar Ridge, spoke about tonight’s Resolution 250 regarding Windsor Road at the corner of Briar Ridge and Brittany. She noted that there is no mention of the issue that they have been having since May when the sewer system was hooked up.
Their house is on the corner and they have had sewer gasses coming through their home since last May. Bill Parkis and Rich Pollock have been working on the issue and seem to be happy that it may be resolved but indicated that the odor may come back and they want to retain some money from the builder.
Bill Parkis informed them that they may put a sewer trap at their home even though these are not used often in Niskayuna. Her sewer washout (which is usually in the basement of a home) is near their front door. In this case, she is concerned that as the weather warms up the gasses may come back through the front of their home. The situation has been intolerable especially over the summer. She is concerned that the issue will not be corrected especially when the homes are added on Windsor Drive and there are additional sewers coming down.
Councilwoman O’Donnell stated that she recently had the privilege to take 92 year old Mrs. Burger to our train station. She was born on Troy Road and lived in Niskayuna all her life. She was married to Melvin Burger (who died at age 94) for 68 years. Both of their fathers were farmers and her dad also taught at Union College. All of the sisters lived on a farm next to the current bike path and moved to the farm 62 years ago.
The farm is now passed on to the brother Roy and said her dad farmed full time until just before his 93rd birthday going to market at 4:30 in the morning and driving a tractor in the fields. They remember when the bike path was train tracks.
On a final note she thanked all of the residents of the Town for giving her the honor to serve on this Board for the last eight years. The fact that her girls, husband, and mother were here on her first day and here on her last means a lot to her. She thanked everyone for their kind words. It has been a pleasure and she hopes that future Town Boards continue with fair, open, and honest government and thanked everyone for the opportunity they gave her.
Councilwoman Freund thanked everyone who had voted for her as a Councilwoman. She had four wonderful years and worked with some incredible people such as: Rich Pollock and Matt Yetto from Public Works, Kathy Matern, Former Chief of Police Lew Moskowitz, John Lubrant Stan Fiminiski, Paul Sebesta, and Frank Gavin. She thanked Diane for her eight years of service and felt that Niskayuna was very fortunate to have had her all these years.
Supervisor Landry announced that Liz Kasper was ill this evening and was sad she wasn’t able to witness the ceremonial resolutions and speak to Councilwoman O’Donnell and Councilwoman Freund tonight.
There being no other members of the public who wished to be heard, Supervisor Landry closed Privilege of the Floor.
Public Works: Councilwoman Freund reported that the new pump station at Hexam Road West is up and running.
Transportation: Councilwoman O’Donnell reported the completion of the leaf pickup.
She had the pleasure of attending the holiday party at the senior center and 80 seniors enjoyed the entertainment. She thanked everyone who contributed to this event: Ann Tracy, the chef, planned the meal. Frank Gavin helped set up for the meal program. Susan Leonard, Edie Cannizzo, Annette Gaylord, Linda Reilly shopped, coordinated, cooked, prepared, served, and cleaned up. Don Marsalla helped with the set up and brought many of the seniors to the party. Nicole Baum, former chef, lent her expertise during the planning. She also thanked Avon Meat Market, Nancy and Ken Brown, Dorothy Caruso, Frank Cannizzo, Serafina Fenaroli, Carol Walsh, Phyllis Fox, Janice Mansfield, Sandra Kaminski and everyone who volunteered to fill in without question,
Education, Parks & Recreation: Councilwoman McDonnell reported that the winter and spring brochure is on line and distributed in the schools. Next meeting is Thursday, January 7 at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.
The following resolutions were approved with a four ayes (Councilwoman Kasper was absent) unless otherwise noted.
Resolution 2009-244 employs Jefferson Solutions to provide the Town with an actuarial analysis of the Town’s post-employment benefit obligations according to GASB statement 45 at a cost not to exceed $3,500.
Resolution 2009-250 (to accept certain streets in the Windsor Estates Section 3 Subdivision) was tabled for future consideration. The resolution would have authorized the Town to accept the roads. Since they are still owned by the developer they should not be opened to the public.
Councilwoman McDonnell noted that they are tabling this resolution because the developer needs more time to finalize certain documents. She wants to make sure that the developer reimburses the Mirza family for their
out-of-pocket expenses as well as making sure we have enough funds in the letter of credit should a problem arise again.
Supervisor Landry added that they anticipate a lot of activity prior to the street acceptance such as letters of credit. They will also address the issue of the odor spoken about earlier tonight. There have been discussions of setting aside at least $5,000 from the contractor relative to this issue.
Resolution 2009-251 was tabled.
Resolution 2009-252 authorizes the Supervisor to extend an Intermunicipal Agreement for the disposal of sewage sludge until December 31, 2012 with the County of Fulton.
Resolution 2009-253 retains Hisham A. Khafaga, in the Police Department, as a patrolman on a permanent basis.
Resolution 2009-254 authorizes the Supervisor to enter into an agreement with PMA Management to provide administrative services until December 31, 2012 at a total cost of $8,365 per year.
Resolution 2009-255 makes certain budget modifications in the 2009 budget and did not pass. The resolution received a vote of two yes and two no votes (Councilwoman O’Donnell and Freund voted no; Councilwoman McDonnell and Supervisor Landry voted yes).
Councilwoman O’Donnell was informed that there were modifications to since the Board saw this resolution at their agenda meeting. The Comptroller stated that this is a work in progress and there will be subsequent modifications that effect this year’s spending.
The 2010 changes that were not discussed were an allocation of Personnel Services under the Youth Recreation line broken out by program. They had been waiting for that breakout so included these in this modification. There were also water and sewer unit changes that were fairly insignificant.
Councilwoman O’Donnell had concerns with the reduction in our contingent account by $45,000 to $55,000 which is the equivalent of a 1% tax increase. She was concerned that we are not watching our accounts carefully to make sure we are not going over budget and she was also concerned that the 2010 budget amendments presented were not discussed in agenda.
Resolution 2009-256 authorizes the purchase of a computer network firewall and software bundle at a cost not to exceed $3,918.72.
Resolution 2009-257 authorizes the hiring of Hafner Valuation Group to prepare appraisals for certiorari litigation for two parcels at a cost not to exceed $7,000 for the first property and $18,000 for the second property the cost of which will be split between the Town and the South Colonie School District.
Resolution 2009-258 authorizes the purchase of renewal of a software maintenance contract for the Town’s Water Billing program and other related programs from Harris Computers in an amount not to exceed $2,941.66.
There being no further business to come before the Board, Supervisor Landry adjourned the meeting.
Barbara Nottke, Deputy Town Clerk