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Town Board Minutes 7/26/2011

Jonathan McKinney, Councilman
Denise Murphy McGraw, Councilwoman
Liz Orzel Kasper, Councilwoman
Julie McDonnell, Councilwoman
Joe Landry, Supervisor

Also present: Barbara Nottke, Deputy Town Clerk, Peter Scagnelli, Town Attorney, John Lubrant, Chief of Police, Matt Miller, Deputy Town Attorney, Stan Faminski, Deputy Chief of Police, Paul Sebesta, Comptroller, Richard Pollock, Superintendent of Water and Sewer, Kathy Matern, Town Planner, Amy Houlihan, Assessor and Bill Lawrence, Computer Network Coordinator.


        Presentation No. 1:  Girl Scout Troop #2383 gave a video presentation on Disability Awareness. The troop created the video as a group effort in order to achieve their Bronze Award. Councilwoman McGraw spoke a little about the process the girls went through in making the video starting with meetings at Town Hall. She said the troop has increased in membership over the years due to the dedication of the girls and their leader. They make scouting and community service seem attractive. How wonderful for these 10 – 11 year old girls to have the ability to make this video thanks in large part to resources provided by Proctors.  
        Supervisor Landry presented the ceremonial resolution to congratulate each member of Girl Scout Troop #2383. He explained the Bronze Award is given for a leadership adventure for members of the girls scout troop that undertake a team project intended to build confidence and character. The Bronze Award is the highest award the group can achieve.

        Presentation No. 2:  Councilwoman McDonnell introduced a group of Niskayuna High School students being honored with a special resolution for their film making accomplishments. They are Christopher Finn, Kristjan Salasoo, Matthew Nicoletta, Alex Burstein and John Michael Fragnoli. Film Instructor at the High School, Steve Honicki said the students were recognized at the Westport Youth Film Festival in Fairfield, Connecticut this year. These students are passionate and dedicated in their craft. Their films stood out for their uniqueness, their personal vision and the method in which they were able to communicate their ideas visually. He thanked the Town Board for publicly recognizing these talented students again.
        Councilwoman McDonnell presented the resolutions to the students wishing them many future successes in film making.

        Presentation No. 3:  The Town Board is thanking and honoring Michael E. O’Brien, Jr. upon his retirement from the Niskayuna Police Department, for his many years of dedicated service.  
        Supervisor Landry extended his appreciation for twenty-one years of service as he presented the ceremonial resolution and wished him well in all future endeavors.
        John Lubrant, Chief of Police, congratulated Michael on his retirement and said he would be missed by him and by the whole department.


        A Public Hearing was held to consider an application of Property Acquisitions, LLC for the construction of 560 square foot addition at 2333 Nott Street East.
        Mike Arcangel, Columbia Development Co., wanted to present the application to amend a previous PDD on St. James Square. He explained that they want to expand an area 560 square feet to provide for a shop-at-home service. This is an area where groceries can be picked up which have been ordered online or by phone. This benefits those that cannot come into the store, especially the sick and elderly.  The plan is to enclose the bottle return area.
When no other members of the public wished to be heard, Supervisor Landry closed the Public Hearing.


Lorene Zabin, 2455 Brookshire Drive, is still upset about signs taped to poles around town by realtors on street corners and with people putting mattresses and other garbage out on their lawns. She would like to see a part-time zoning officer to patrol and take down these signs and address the mess.

Mary Warner, Chair of SCEAC, Schenectady County Environmental Advisory Council supports resolution 2011-140, the climate smart communities pledge. Similar pledges have been adopted by almost 100 communities across New York State. They have committed to reducing green house gas emissions and to developing plans to adapt to the unavoidable impacts of climate change. Schenectady adopted the climate smart pledge in 2009 and has taken major steps toward fulfilling components of that pledge.
Speaking for SCEAC, she thanks Councilwoman McGraw for bringing forth this resolution. They commend Niskayuna for its attention to energy usage and climate change and look forward to their future partnership in the climate smart communities program.
She would also like to lend her support to the resolution 2011-137 regarding a grant application for the Grange Hall. SCEAC works closely with ECOS on many projects and they believe the Grange can offer a very desirable home for ECOS, allowing it to become a more effective organization.

Jacqueline Skolnick, 1271 Lock 7 Road, supports the resolution to restore the Grange Hall. She said with the restoration of the Grange and the use of that location, ECOS will be able to do even more for the Town.

Councilman McKinney address the issue of signs around town saying the signs go up as fast as they are taken down added to the fact that the public is not aware that putting up the signs is not legal. However the effort is made to take them down.
Councilwoman Kasper agreed that Kathy Matern’s department has been diligent in their efforts to remove illegal signage. She suggested a possible fine for habitual abuse.  


        Economic Development Committee:  Councilman McKinney reports that Shop Rite should open in October. Mansion Square has announced three tenants: Chipotle, Gentleman’s Warehouse and Sleepy’s, a mattress company. They are finalizing the road that will cut from Balltown Road to State Street. The CVS and Xtramart construction is underway. McDonalds is doing some remodeling as well.
        Senior Programs Committee:   Councilman McKinney reports about 100 seniors attended a veterans lunch. There were trips to see Guys & Dolls, Jeckyll & Hyde and to the race track. Sadly, the cook at the Senior Center is retiring leaving a part time position open. They are currently looking for someone to fill that position.

        Public Works and Transportation Committee:  Councilwoman McGraw reports the Safe Routes Committee is working on a mapping project to help increase the number of signs around town for non-motorized transportation.
        From the Water Department, we are asking residents to restrict water use due to the summer heat putting a strain on the pumps. The systems are working at capacity. Therefore, everyone chipping in by watering lawns a little less would be very helpful.
        She wanted everyone to know that Friday night the Niskayuna Swim Team was going to have a dive-a-thon at the Town Pool to raise money for the Donna Crandall Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. There would be a lot of fun activities and raffles. Several local merchants help in the organization that she wished to thank and of course the team members that participate. Proceeds help to buy gift baskets and other items to make patients in local hospitals more comfortable.

        Education, Parks and Recreation Committee:  Councilwoman McDonnell reports the department is halfway through summer programs and they are running very smoothly. Registration is very good for the lacrosse camp coming up. The summer Concert Series on the Green has been very successful, thanks to Lori Peretti and Julie Lohre. The Schenectady County Movie Night is coming up here at Town Hall.
        Frank Gavin has been working hard to improve the parks, paving the basketball courts and parking lots.
        We are looking ahead to Fall and Fall Soccer will be starting soon. The 5K Fall Run will be September 24th.  
        She would like to thank the Niskayuna Community Foundation for two grants provided. One was a grant for $1,000 for the Community Fun Run. The other was $1,000 grant to offset some costs for services to special needs children at the summer camps this year. There were many grateful parents for those services. Councilwoman McDonnell thanks the foundation for their support of those two programs.

        Police and Safety Committee:   Councilwoman Kasper reports the department will miss Detective O’Brien. Also a dispatcher recently left, but was replaced with someone who had previously been a dispatcher with the town so he will not need training.  
        There are a lot of people asking for stop signs and the committee reviews them all. There is one stop sign going in from a cul-de-sac onto a main road.

        Supervisor Landry commented the Senior Newsletter and the Summer Town Newsletter are now available at Town Hall, the Library and online with a new format.
        Regarding the signs (real estate, etc.) around town, he says the Building Department/Code Enforcement Officers are out there and pick them up when they see them or whenever they receive calls. Many of the signs collected are sitting in Town Hall basement. It’s an ongoing battle.


        The following resolutions were approved with a vote of five ayes unless otherwise noted.

        Resolution 2011-135, certifies the current base proportions to be used as class tax share for municipal and school district levies.

        Resolution 2011-136, certifies the adjusted base proportions to be used as class tax shares for municipal and school district levies.

        Resolution 2011-137, authorizes the supervisor to execute a grant application for funds to be used in connection with the improvement, preservation, restoration and rehabilitation of the Grange Hall.

        Resolution 2011-138, authorizes Extension #120 in Sewer District 6.

        Resolution 2011-139, appoints Derek Bittner as a part-time Civilian Police Dispatcher.

        Resolution 2011-140, adopts the Climate Smart Communities Pledge.

        Resolution 2011-141, calls for a Public Hearing to amend the Vehicle and Traffic Code to provide for a stop sign on Oakline Court and Oakmont Street.

        Resolution 2011-142, makes certain budget modifications to the 2011 budget.

        Resolution 2011-143. authorizes the supervisor to enter into an agreement with Monolith Solar Associates, LLC.

        Resolution 2011-144, proclaims August 1 to August 7, 2011 as Clown Week in the Town of Niskayuna.
        Supervisor Landry said clowns would be coming to the summer camps this week and the resolution would be presented to them at that time.

        Resolution 2011-145, acknowledges and thanks Michael E. O’Brien, Jr. for his many years of dedicated service to the Town of Niskayuna.

        Resolution 2011-146, acknowledges the accomplishments of five Niskayuna High School film students.

        Resolution 2011-147, acknowledges the efforts of the members of Girl Scout Troop #2383 for creating a Disability Awareness video for their Bronze Award project.

        There being no further business to come before the Town Board, Supervisor Landry adjourned the meeting.

Barbara A. Nottke, Deputy Town Clerk

One Niskayuna Circle, Niskayuna, NY 12309
Phone: (518) 386-4500 Fax: (518) 386-4592 | Hours: M-F 9 a.m. to 5 p.m.