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Town Board Minutes 9/27/2011

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

Liz Orzel Kasper, Councilwoman, absent

        Also present: Barbara A. Nottke, Deputy Town Clerk, Peter Scagnelli, Town Attorney, Matt Miller, Deputy Town Attorney, John Lubrant, Chief of Police, Frank Gavin, Superintendent of Highways, Paul Sebesta, Comptroller, Richard Pollock, Superintendent of Water and Sewer, Kathy Matern, Planner, Stan Fiminski, Deputy Chief of Police, Rebecca Scanlon, Engineering Technician and Julie Lohre, Recreation Supervisor.


        Supervisor Landry presented ceremonial resolutions to the Babe Ruth All-Star Under 15 and Under 13 Teams honoring team members, coaches and managers.
Aaron Gordon accepted on behalf of the under 15 team Coach Chris Bianchi accepted for the under 13 team.  

        Supervisor Landry presented a ceremonial resolution to the participants of the First Annual Niskayuna “Art-Out” held at Lions Park on August 12th through 14th. Edie Cannizzo accepted the resolution and thanked the Town for making this event possible.

        “Hurricanes Turned Tropical Storms”:  Rebecca Scanlon of the Water and Sewer Department put together a presentation regarding the preparation, response and recovery surrounding Hurricane Irene. To prepare, generators were double checked and fueled; crews and pump trucks were put on standby at the Water and Sewer Department. Important equipment and records were removed from the Water Plant to a more secure location. Highway crews were on standby.
        In response, a berm was built around the Water Plant to protect it from flooding due to the proximity to Lock 7. Residents were evacuated in low lying areas along the river. Police used generators to keep traffic lights functioning and kept government and businesses updated with road closures. County Emergency Management and the Town were in constant contact about the safety conditions of bridges and roadways within the county and surrounding areas.
        Highway crews immediately went to work on storm clean-up removing large trees along roadways, parks and picking up storm debris.
        One thing residents can do as prevention to basement flooding is to install a backwater check valve on connections in the home. 

        Lorene Zabin, 2455 Brookshire Drive, asked if there are areas in Town listed as Flood Zones. Kathy Matern, Planner answered letters are sent to anyone in town listed as living in a flood plain.
        She asked about the job description of a new employee to be appointed by resolution tonight for the Senior Center. She is not happy that he does not live in town.

        Pat Smith, 31 Lori Drive, thanked members of the board and Planning Board for listening to the residents of Lori Drive and turning it into a real neighborhood.

        Shareen Tate, 78 Lori Drive, asked the board to vote for the resolution tonight providing for a gate on Lori Drive. The neighborhoods are enjoying the closed road atmosphere with people walking, riding bikes and pushing strollers back and forth. In the event of an emergency, the gate can be opened. She commends the board for bringing this resolution to the table and asks for the gate to remain permanent.

        Leslie Gold, 1919 Pawtucket Avenue, thinks the permanent gating of Lori Drive is ill-advised. She says it is not what the Planning Board recommended. Snow plows and emergency vehicles should be able to go through. She remembers when a diverter was used in the Hexam Gardens neighborhood. Eventually that had to be removed even though the residents were against it. She believes this should go the same route.

        Laura Clark, 45 Lori Drive, has lived on Lori Drive for 20 years and says the entire experience has gone well and thanks the board. She asks for their support on the resolution tonight to keep the gate on Lori Drive.

        Peter Gigante, 929 Douglas Court, spoke about what a nice, quiet and safe neighborhood it was for his kids to grow up in; how safe the streets are for walking. His concern is also for homes to keep a higher value with the gate in place, thus creating a higher tax base for the town and better situation for everyone.

        Steven Showers, 961 Douglas Court, says he would not let his daughter ride her bike on Lori Drive if they remove the gate. With the gate in place people are getting out more, going over to Empire Drive and meeting new neighbors. There’s a feeling of community.

        Dave Fields, 23 Lori Drive, agrees with the others here tonight. There are a lot of small children. He does not want to think of them standing at the bus stop early in the morning while cars are using Lori Drive as a cut through to Lishakill Road. That’s what he pictures if the gate is removed.

        Bruce Nelson, 34 Lori Drive, asks the board to support the resolution to keep the gate on Lori Drive.

        Anitra Modasra, 18 Lori Drive, has a special needs child and appreciates the situation they have had living there 20 years. She feels that if the gate is removed the traffic will increase and their safety will be jeopardized.

        Michelle Kuzniar, 969 Douglas Court, decided to live in a cul-de-sac neighborhood so their children could have a safer environment to play on the streets. She asks the board to vote yes on the resolution to keep the gate.

        Jeff Warrick, 934 Douglas Court, purposely chose to live in a closed neighborhood for the safety as well.

        Katie Showers, 961 Douglas Court, is able to ride her bike and walk to school and wants other kids to be able to have the same experience.

        Michael Carmoli, 2965 Hillcrest Road, has a granddaughter in that neighborhood and is worried that if the gate is removed, traffic will increase and cars will cut through to Lishakill Road. He thinks speeding will become an issue, police will be called in and if speed bumps become necessary, that will add to town expenses.

        Jon Herrgesell, 59 Lori Drive, asks the board to vote to keep the gate permanently. There was an incident yesterday where a school bus had to back all the way down Lori Drive to allow a construction truck to go by. He feels if the gate is open more construction vehicles will be allowed to come through and that will be a hazard.

        Jeff Ban, 71 Lori Drive, feels that if the gate is open the houses in the neighborhood will lose value.

        Donna Novatny, 67 Lori Drive, says this issue has been going on for years and everyone wants the same thing – to have the gate kept closed. She asks the board to support this.

        Mae Burgess, 848 Maxwell Drive, regarding resolution number 188 to hire someone for the Senior Center, she thinks the money should be spent to hire a cook.

        Linda LaFebvre, 86 Lori Drive, supports the gate staying in place.

        Rich Phillips, 933 Douglas Court, mentioned a situation in his neighborhood years ago when a school bus hit a child on a bicycle. He would not like to see traffic increase and invite a similar situation again.

        Lorene Zabin, 2455 Brookshire Drive, is not for or against the gate, but remembers the original plans for Lori Meadows and it was never intended for it to be a cul-de-sac. She says there have been accidents and people hurt because of cars having to back out of cul-de-sacs and issues for emergency vehicles not being able to get through. She thinks there is a bigger picture to look at than just the neighbors wanting their kids to be able to walk in the street and she hopes everyone will come up with a better solution.


        Public Works and Transportation Committee:  Councilwoman McGraw thanked Rich Pollock and Rebecca Scanlon for their informative presentation. She reports the town is in the process of trying to recover expenses after the storm. Superintendent of Highways, Frank Gavin met with FEMA to begin that process. This administration made sure Niskayuna was included in the FEMA declaration and eligible for public assistance. Storm cleanup is almost complete. Leaf pickup will begin soon.

        Senior Committee: Councilman McKinney reports the committee is looking to hire a new person to help out in the kitchen.
        Economic Development Committee:  Councilman McKinney reports the Shop Rite is getting ready to open. Mansion Square should be making a number of announcements soon. The new CVS will be opening its doors again soon as well.

        Education, Parks & Recreation Committee:  Councilwoman McDonnell reports the Recreation Department is busy with the Fall Soccer Program and Football. The 5K race was Saturday, which was well attended and everyone had a good time. There were quite a few sponsorships for the race which helped to make money and offset expenses for programs. Currently the committee is planning the winter programs.


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

        Resolution 2011-174, authorizes certain payments and purchases by the Water and Sewer Department.

        Resolution 2011-175, authorizes the supervisor to accept a proposal for a drainage project on Merlin Drive.

        Resolution 2011-176, authorizes the acceptance of grant monies from NYS Energy Research and Development Authority and authorizes the advertising of bids for the purchase of Public Works equipment. The resolution was approved with a vote of three ayes and one abstention. Councilman McKinney recused himself due to a conflict of interest, currently having a contractual arrangement with NYSERDA.

        Resolution 2011-177, amends Resolution 2010-286 authorizing the Superintendent of Highways and Superintendent of Water and Sewer to make purchases through available state contracts.

        Resolution 2011-178, accepts title to Empire Drive and a portion of Lori Drive in the Orchard Creek Subdivision for the purpose of Town Highways.

        Resolution 2011-179, amends resolution 2011-123 authorizing the purchase of a lift for parks equipment for use in the Highway Department from Mohawk Resources LTD pursuant to State Contract at a cost not to exceed $8,500.

        Resolution 2011-180, establishes an Examining Board of Plumbers and appoints Richard Pollock, Matthew Yetto, Ken Hassett, George Latimer Schmidt and David Guest to that board.

        Resolution 2011-181, makes certain budget modifications to the 2011 budget.

        Resolution 2011-182, appoints Komieko N. Mosher to the position of Civilian Police Dispatcher .

        Resolution 2011-183, adopts Local Law No. 6, entitled Zoning, Chapter 220-4, Definitions, amending the code to address animated signs and electronic message boards.

        Resolution 2011-184, adopts Local Law No. 7, amending the Vehicle and Traffic Code to provide for the installation of a Stop Sign on Oakline Court and Oakmont Street.

        Resolution 2011-185, authorizes the purchase of fire hydrants and water valves.

        Resolution 2011-186, appoints Shawn C. Fyvie and John H. Courter as Civilian Police Dispatchers on a permanent basis.

        Resolution 2011-187, authorizes the purchase of manhole riser rings.

        Resolution 2011-188, employs a part-time person in the office of Senior Programs.

        Resolution 2011-189, adopts Local Law No. 8, amending the Vehicle and Traffic Code to provide for the installation of Stop Signs on Gala Place and Lishakill Road, Gala Place and Lori Drive, Empire Drive and Lori Drive and Hislope Road and Lori Drive.

        Resolution 2011-190, accepts title to Gala Place, Hislope Road and a portion of Lori Drive for the purpose of Town Highways.

        Resolution 2011-191, honors the players, coaches and managers of the 2011 13U Niskayuna Babe Ruth All-Star Team.

        Resolution 2011-192, honors the players, coaches and managers of the 2011 15U Niskayuna Babe Ruth All-Star Team.

        Resolution 2011-193, honors the participants and winners of the First Annual Niskayuna “Art-Out”.

        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
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