TOWN BOARD MEETING
August 19, 2013 Page 1 of 4
The regular meeting of the Richfield Town Board was held on Monday, August 19, 2013. The meeting was called to order at 6:00 PM at the Richfield Springs Central School by Supervisor Enjem. Other board members in attendance were Bond, Seamon, and Snyder.
The meeting began with a scheduled public hearing on a “Local Law Imposing a Moratorium on Heavy Industry Within the Town of Richfield, County of Otsego.” Supervisor Enjem stated that the purpose of the moratorium is to prevent heavy industrial business from coming into the town for at least six months. He is also working on grants to bring business into our area.
Robert Yaciuk –he will leave a copy of his comments with the board. Spoke of the natural beauty of the area; the purpose of the moratorium is to protect the community; information has been misrepresented to townspeople; lack of science to support the project.
Ryan Fagan – it is a controversial topic; at least come to an agreement to protect Canadarago Lake; put some regulations on industry around the lake; protect the water, sewer, etc.
Susan Huxtable (Winfield) – is in favor of adopting a moratorium; we need a comprehensive plan; public hearings have been held without proper notice or space; the special use permit was not thought through; three more turbines would give the project to Albany.
Nick Palevsky – the election is coming up, four out of the five seats will be up, leave the decision in the hands of the voters; let the new board make the decision.
Johannes Snekerman (outskirts of Richfield) – he cares for the community; wind towers are disastrous; biodiesel fuel in Europe did not work; wind farms in Germany going bankrupt; wind power is not feasible; wind power is a Ponzi scheme.
Joe Zvirzdin – most countries have setbacks to protect the people; two board members have objections to the moratorium; did the board have a public hearing?
Marshall Hollender (Columbia) – this is not just about the wind turbines; there is a lot of misunderstanding about the moratorium; why such controversy over windmills; the Town of Maryland project is dead; have a moratorium.
Larry Frigault – has asked for a year and a half to stop the project; get a comprehensive plan; citizens are scared; he doesn’t believe the wind project won’t expand; our Planning Board members are amateurs, ignored county’s professional opinion; if moratorium is not in place, it will be too late after the election; the ethics code is a good step for us.
Dawn Seamon – vote yes on the moratorium.; start conserving energy.
Carol Frigault – we need the moratorium because the Planning Board does not understand; DOT imposes things on us; disputed that there is no shadow flicker, health issues, etc.
Code of Ethics – a public hearing on a “Local Law Establishing a Code of Ethics and Board of Ethics for the Town.” Supervisor Enjem explained how the Board of Ethics is chosen. There were no other comments from the public.
Motion to close the public hearing at 7:00 PM by Enjem, second by Seamon. Bond – yes, Seamon – yes, Snyder – yes, Enjem – yes. The supervisor called a short recess.
The regular meeting convened at 7:13 PM.
TOWN BOARD MEETING
August 19, 2013 Page 2 of 4
Motion by Seamon, second by Snyder to pay claims as presented. Bond
– yes, Seamon – yes, Snyder – yes, Enjem – yes.
A and B General $ 2891.71
DA Highway $72,626.64
DB Highway $18,308.79
SL Street Lighting $ 81.73
TA Trust & Agency $ 507.32
H Wind Project $ 3,763.25
Total $ 98,179.44
Motion by Bond, second by Seamon to approve minutes of May 15, 2013. Bond – yes, Seamon – yes, Snyder – yes, Enjem – yes.
Supervisor Enjem reported that he, Dan Sullivan, and Geraldine Wong have been working on getting grants for a comprehensive plan. The deadline was August 12, 103. Anyone interested in helping can let him know. Scott Fickbohm has added a proposal to help clean up Ocquiones Creek to a grant he is working on.
Highway Superintendent Kress also attended a meeting at the county along with the supervisor and others. There is no money available for bridge replacement. The River Street Bridge work is complete, Spectra Engineering has done an inspection, and the flag has been removed. Oil and stone work will be done on Filburn Road, Gulf Road and part of Hyder Road.
The clerk reported that the Village of Richfield Springs is asking to use the town hall for a referendum vote on Tuesday, October 15, 2013, from noon to nine. Motion by Bond, second by Snyder to allow the use of the town hall. Bond – yes, Seamon – yes, Snyder – yes, Enjem – yes. Otsego County will hold a hazardous waste collection day on September 14, 2013. More details will come from the county.
Assessor Woodrow asked to be reappointed to her position for another six year term. All assessor appointments are for six years. The current appointment will September 30, 2013. The state has changed the way STAR applications are handled. Basic STAR applicants will need to apply through the state; letters will be sent by the state to applicants. Enhanced STAR applications will still go through the assessor’ s office. Councilman Seamon asked how many building permits have been issued this year; six or seven. The board briefly discussed the assessor appointment. Assessors need to take ongoing training and be certified by the state. Motion by Bond, second by Snyder to reappoint Margaret Woodrow to a new six year term, October 1, 2013 to September 30, 2019. Bond – yes, Seamon – yes, Snyder – yes, Enjem – yes.
Motion by Enjem, second by Seamon to transfer $25,000.00 from the Bridge Reserve Account to DA5120.4 to help pay for the River Street Bridge. Bond – yes, Seamon – yes, Snyder – yes, Enjem – yes.
TOWN BOARD MEETING
August 19, 2013 Page 3 of 4
Motion by Enjem, second by Seamon to approve the “Local Law Imposing a Moratorium on Heavy Industry Within the Town of Richfield, County of Otsego.” Councilwoman Snyder read a statement detailing why she is not in favor of the law as presented. Supervisor Enjem responded that this will only delay any development for six months, it will help, not hinder the community. Bond – no, Seamon – yes, Snyder – no, Enjem – yes.\
Motion by Enjem, second by Snyder to approve a “Local Law Establishing a Code of Ethics and Board of Ethics for the Town. Bond – yes, Seamon – yes, Snyder – yes, Enjem – yes.
Councilwoman Bond asked how much revenue the beach has brought in this year. Supervisor Enjem – about $600.00.
The supervisor reminded the public they can still send in resumes to serve on committees.
Four candidates submitted letters of interested for deceased board member Bonnie Domion’s position. Paul Palumbo, Geraldine Wong, Ryan Fagan, and Nicholas Palevsky all briefly addressed the board. Motion by Enjem, second by Seamon to appoint Paul Palumbo to the position. Enjem – his experience will be a big asset to the town; Bond – are we setting a precedent by endorsing a candidate already running for a seat?; Snyder – the election is so close, let the election settle it. Bond – no, Seamon – yes, Snyder – no, Enjem – yes. Motion by Enjem, second by Seamon to appoint Geraldine Wong to the position. Bond – no, Seamon – yes, Snyder – no, Enjem – yes. Motion by Enjem, second by Seamon to appoint Ryan Fagan to the position. Bond – no, Seamon – yes, Snyder – no, Enjem – yes.
The board discussed the open position on the Planning Board created by the death of Paul Szeflinski. One letter of interest was submitted by Tim Cantwell. There was concern by some board members that if the position was to be filled the public should have been informed. Mr. Cantwell spoke on his qualifications. Motion by Enjem, second by Seamon to appoint Mr. Cantwell to the position. Bond – no, Seamon – yes, Snyder – no, Enjem – yes.
Supervisor Enjem had information on SEQR training that he will share with the Planning Board. He will put an ad in the paper for the public.
Privilege of the Floor:
Nick Palevsky – moving money from a reserve fund requires a referendum.
Carol Frigault – can’t believe the board would not appoint her brother to serve on the Planning Board. There is no one more qualified.
Larry Frigault - three very qualified people were voted down; his brother-in-law is very qualified; the Planning Board has put this town in jeopardy.
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Dan Sullivan – what does the town board plan to do about last week’s illegal vote; does the town board intend to something about a board that does not respect the law?; a sham 7.3 was explained away. Supervisor Enjem – Attorney Merzig is sending a letter to Don Urtz, board member Harris will not vote; DOT will be sent a letter about the scenic by-way 239m letter recommendation; Attorney Merzig believes the host agreement isn’t any good.
Leslie Weaver – supports the Frigaults and Sullivan.
Tim Cantwell – Don Urtz is not following the law.
Motion by Seamon, second by Enjem to vote again on the appointment of Tim Cantwell to the Planning Board. Bond – no, Seamon – yes, Snyder – no, Enjem – yes.
Motion to adjourn at 8:45 PM by Enjem, second by Bond. Bond – yes, Seamon – yes, Snyder – yes, Enjem – yes.
Monica Harris, Clerk