AT A SPECIAL MEETING OF THE TOWN BOARD OF THE TOWN OF NISKAYUNA DULY CALLED AND HELD ON THE 10TH DAY OF NOVEMBER, 2010, AT THE NISKAYUNA OFFICE BUILDING, ONE NISKAYUNA CIRCLE, NISKAYUNA, NEW YORK, THE FOLLOWING MEMBERS WERE PRESENT:
Jonathan McKinney, Councilman
Liz Orzel Kasper, Councilwoman
Julie McDonnell, Councilwoman
Joe Landry, Supervisor
Denise Murphy McGraw, Councilwoman absent
Also present: Barbara A. Nottke, Deputy Town Clerk, Peter Scagnelli, Town Attorney, John Lubrant, Chief of Police, Matt Miller, Deputy Town Attorney, Paul Sebesta, Comptroller, Frank Gavin, Superintendent of Highways, Kathy Matern, Town Planner and Matt Yetto, Town Engineer.
A Public Hearing was held to consider the Preliminary Budget for 2011.
Linda Rizzo, 2229 Fairlawn Parkway, questioned the amount in the fund balance and said she felt this information should not have to be foiled (requested through freedom of information law). Regarding recreation, she says the department appears to be growing over the last several years and although she is in favor of recreation programs, in these economic times where she says the State is cutting education programs, she thinks the town should look to cut recreation programs and use the fund balance for projects that have more effect on the quality of life of the residents.
Richard Fisher, 2305 Berkley Avenue, wanted to know the amount in the fund balance. He questioned an item in the budget titled Economic and Assistance Business Development and what that might be used for. He said the town should be able to come up with a budget with no tax increase and with no bonding necessary.
He thinks the Board should hold two meetings a month to allow for more public input.
Lorene Zabin, 2455 Brookshire Drive, thinks that a $9,500.00 gift to the Senior Center should be considered revenue rather than being listed in the budget with monies used to determine taxes. She does not think enough money was put in the budget for building maintenance since, for instance, she says there are plumbing problems and the roof is leaking at the Senior Center.
She views the Allen House, owned by the Town and next to the Mohawk River as being prime property for park land and would not like to see it given to the High School Crew Club.
She wonders, having noticed a line in the budget for a deputy police chief if one might be hired replacing the lieutenant’s position.
She is against bonding for an ice-skating rink at the location where she claims the skate park lost revenues.
Lil Stacy, 2252 Niskayuna Drive, was curious about the difference between adult recreation programs and programs for seniors.
Marcie Schaefer, 1262 Fox Hollow Road, would rather the Town not bond to pay the difference between the total cost and the $9,500 gifted to the Senior Center being used to buy a new bus.
She feels an adult program, for ages 45-65, would cut into the senior programs. The seniors would not be able to do the same activities as the adults added to the problem of limited space at the center. For many that are elderly, it’s their only place to go and socialize, while those that fit into the adult category have many more options.
Margaret Blechinger, Parkville Place, regarding the senior bus, is interested in knowing if the new bus will come with certain items previously discussed in meetings, for example an emergency door and the Town seal displayed on the outside with Senior Center written on the bus as well. Also, she asked if the bus would have a warranty.
About the transfer station, she commented that the staff all does a wonderful job and the yard is run very efficiently.
She questioned the budget increase in youth programs and decrease in some highway materials.
If the Town salaries are public knowledge, she asked if there is a website where they can be viewed.
Leslie Gold, 1919 Pawtucket Avenue, asked why after so many years there was a line in the budget for a Town Historian.
Noticing an increase in the budget for dog licenses, she assumed this is because the State is handing the whole process of licensing over to the Town. She would also like to know that cats are being cared for and vaccinated so would like cats to be licensed as well.
She is against the fluoridation program, believing people are being unnecessarily medicated and thinks the town should save money by not purchasing sodium fluoride. She is aware of the aging infrastructure and thinks it smart to anticipate those needs.
It is her opinion that the senior center should not be mixed with the younger adult senior programming.
Dave LaMontaigne, 1019 Lamplighter Road, would like to see the Town Budget on the website.
When no other members of the public wished to be heard, supervisor Landry closed the Public Hearing.
At this time, Supervisor Landry made the statement to the public that he is available in his office every day to answer questions. The purpose of the Public Hearing is to listen to public concerns. He encourages anyone to bring specific questions to his attention by calling his office.
The following resolution was approved with a vote of four ayes unless otherwise noted.
Resolution 2010-234, authorizes certain budget modifications to the 2010 budget.
PRIVILEGE OF THE FLOOR
Leslie Gold, 1919 Pawtucket Avenue, wondered when a position would be filled or if it had been upon the resignation of a Planning Board member in August.
Linda Rizzo, 2229 Fairlawn Parkway, in reference to the resolution for dog licensing, she wondered if anything had been done about making changes in the law regarding dogs marking.
Councilwoman Kasper explained that at this time the Board is passing the law the way it is because of the time constraints set by New York State. However, there would be another public hearing in the future to readdress that issue.
Commenting on the senior center, it is Ms. Rizzo’s opinion that the seniors who attend the center daily should be able to get the programs they want and continue to keep the staff they are comfortable with.
Mike Diffley, 2372 River Road, missed the budget presentation but felt that an explanation of the budget would answer many people’s questions. He expressed concern over the infrastructure issues mentioned earlier, saying that the Town needs to prepare for those issues before they run into a very big expense.
Lorene Zabin, 2455 Brookshire Drive, brought up the fact that the Towns of Rotterdam and Glenville have five day senior programs, which includes a lunch program. They charge a yearly membership fee (approximately $20) to the seniors and use volunteers to help out.
The school district had an article in their bulletin about the land swap with the Town. She wants to know if there is anything in the land sale agreement that gives the Town a say in how the land is used by the school district. She feels the proximity to Town Hall makes it an important issue and plans to address the School Board as well.
Marcie Schaefer, 1262 Fox Hollow Road, mentioned a new political party being formed in the County.
Margaret Blechinger, Parkville Place, spoke about some of the programs offered at the Scotia-Glenville Senior Center and the fees.
Lil Stacey, 2252 Niskayuna Drive, is happy that Annette is back at the Senior Center to cover a few days a week.
There being no further business to come before the Town Board, Supervisor Landry adjourned the meeting
Barbara A. Nottke, Deputy Town Clerk