TOWN BOAD MEETING
September 21, 2015 Page 1 of 4
The regular meeting of the Richfield Town Board was held on Monday, September 21, 2015, at the Richfield Town Hall. The meeting was called to order at 6:00 PM by supervisor Enjem at 6:00 PM. Other board members in attendance were Bond, Eckler, Palumbo, and Snyder.
There was a discussion on a number of bills presented to the board for approval. The bill from Hugick Purcell Shepard Post for flags submitted by the supervisor is a different amount than the one submitted to the clerk. Supervisor Enjem stated the bookkeeper called about it and the supervisor’s bill is the correct one; the T & A portion of the CDPHP bill still shows four months in arrears; voucher #177 submitted by Councilman Palumbo was questioned by the supervisor. The bill is for the new copier purchased from a vendor the town does not have an account with, but the price was about $130.00 cheaper than if purchased from Hummel’s. The comptroller’s office exempts government entities from paying sales tax, our attorney said that tax may be paid. Councilman Palumbo pointed out that the town pays sales tax when vouchers are submitted for food, mileage, etc., and the savings in the case exceeded the sales tax. The supervisor is opposed to paying the tax. Board member Eckler questioned why the beach lawnmower was taken to a dealer for repair when it could have been done locally. Motion to pay claims as presented by Enjem, second by Eckler. Bond – yes, Eckler – yes, Palumbo – yes, Snyder – yes, Enjem – yes.
A General $ 5,854.21
B General $ 37.35
DA Highway $ 4.172.43
DB Highway $ 88,826.89
SL Street Lighting $ 84.73
TA Trust & Agency $ 1,095.66
Motion to approve minutes of the August 17, 2015, and August 21, 2015, meetings by Enjem, second by Snyder. Bond – yes, Eckler – yes, Palumbo – yes, Snyder – yes, Enjem – yes.
Dan Sullivan reported that tomorrow the Comprehensive Plan Committee and Elan Planning will conduct interviews with selected members of the community to get input as to what is needed/wanted in a comprehensive plan.
Highway Superintendent Kress was absent, but left a report. The paving and shoulder work has been completed on Henry Conklin Road; the dock, tables, and grills at Bakers beach have been put away for the winter, Rod Toner has winterized the beach buildings; the highway department worked with the tree crew from the Otsego County Highway Department to remove dead trees from Bakers Beach as well as trimmed dead limbs from other trees; last Tuesday and Wednesday worked with the same tree crew to cut several large dead cottonwood trees on Elm Street Extension; roadsides have been mowed back before winter; would like to have the engineer from Delta Engineering be on the October agenda to discuss options for replacing the Ann street Bridge, there is a new bridge design approved by NYSDOT that has a lower cost; the Volvo should be back from Wayne’s Welding soon with the new box.
TOWN BOARD MEETING
September 21, 2015 Page 2 of 4
The clerk has provided board members with copies of the August fire report. The clerk has checked on the e-mail sent to all the board members concerning the final SEQR Part 2 provided by Verizon for the cell tower project. The supervisor said he did not receive it. It was sent to the entire board, including the supervisor.
Planning Board Chairman Urtz reported that Sandy Mathes did not show for last week’s planning board meeting, as expected. Mr. Mathes approached the chairman about a possible solar project in the Town of Richfield. Chairman Urtz may try to schedule a meeting sometime other than a Monday. If at least three members of the Planning Board attend it will be advertised as a special meeting.
The person that contacted the town last year about new lighting at the town hall/garage and beach is unreachable. The phone number is disconnected, e-mails get bounced back. The subject is on hold for now.
The supervisor presented board members with a revised Moratorium on Industry in the Town of Richfield. Board member Eckler and others asked if this version is the one we go by. Yes. A public hearing will be held on Monday, October 19, 2015, at 6:00 PM at the town hall.
The 239 m letter has been returned for local action by the Otsego County Planning Department.
Before action is taken on a fire alarm system for the hall/garage, the supervisor wants to get a few other quotes. Board member Eckler will call Central Security in Herkimer and Ed Bello.
A Small Claims has been filed against the Town of Richfield in the City of Oneonta Court concerning alleged damage to a car on Butternut Road last October . The claim was originally denied by NYMIR.
A letter from the Comptroller’s Office was sent to the supervisor at his home address. The letter is asking for a copy of the latest audit of the Town Justice’s books. The supervisor asked who wanted to do it. He said he cannot because he receives money from the court. Board member Palumbo has spoken to Justice Marzeski, and he will provide a folder of papers the board needs to audit his books. A letter will be sent to Justice Bartle telling him the audit of his books needs to be done in the next thirty days.
Councilman Eckler asked the supervisor why official mail is being sent to his home address rather than the town hall.
The supervisor has received a letter telling the town our domain name will expire, for a fee we can keep the name. Councilman Palumbo said that is a scam, ignore the letter.
TOWN BOARD MEETING
September 21, 2015 Page 3 of 4
Harriet Berard has sent the town a letter asking that the spelling of Prey Hill Road by changed to Pray Hill Road. At one time the spelling was Pray. The Supervisor will respond to Ms. Berard.
Patrick Doyle addressed the board on the Host Community Agreement for the Monticello Hills wind project. The project was first started in 2009; the original project was slightly larger. The first Host Community Agreement was approved in January, 2012 but never signed by the supervisor. The Planning Board had a second public hearing in 2013, and the second Special Use Permit was issued. Based on an installed capacity of 18.5 megawatts when the project is operational, the town will receive $50,000.00/year if the HCA is approved, the IDA will get about $125,000.00 that will be split between the town, county, and Mount Markham School District., plus money spent on historical mitigation; some money will also be paid to individuals in the neighborhood of the turbines. A few things need to be updated in the HCA; one update will allow either the supervisor or a town board designee to sign; the address of the wind project company needs to be changed to Western Ave., Albany.
Supervisor Enjem asked if the height of the turbines will change. Doyle – they will remain under 500 feet. Once the turbines produce, the town will be paid on horsepower.
Councilman Palumbo asked about neighbor agreements. Doyle – three families are going to the Court of Appeals, but he would be happy to discuss the matter with the families.
When the second Special Use Permit was before the Planning Board, the County Planning Board provided a list of recommendations for the town to consider. The Town Board will review those recommendations. The decommissioning section of the HCA needs to be looked at. The board feels there is not enough set aside if they need to come down. Doyle – if the board does not approve the HCA, the project will probably not proceed. Palumbo – the board will review the HCA and bring up the concerns. Eckler – what is the life of the Pilot agreement? Ten Years? Doyle – we would like a twenty year agreement. Doyle asked if the board can reach a conclusion by the end of the year. Palumbo – we will be well on the way. Perhaps there will be a committee of town and planning board members, possibly some from the public. Palumbo – is there any evidence that the original HCA was ever negotiated with the board? Eckler – is not happy that Mt. Markham is getting all the school district money. Richfield has taken all the heat and Mt. Markham gets money for doing nothing.
A special meeting of the board will be held on Monday, October 5, 2015, for the purpose of holding a fiscal year 2015 budget workshop. Board member Palumbo asked if the columns that were wrong last year have been fixed? Enjem – yes, they have.
Privilege of the Floor
Mike Reid – there are non-participating homeowners in the wind project; HCA has lies; for the first two years the wind company gets their money from the federal government.
TOWN BOARD MEETING
September 21, 2015 Page 4 of 4
Nick Palevsky – when he was supervisor he was told by the Comptroller’s Office it is the supervisor’s job to audit the court books.
Bill Klemm – what is the cutting speed of the turbines? Higher speeds save birds and bats.
Dan Sullivan – bird and bat losses contribute to agricultural losses.
Leslie Weaver – she didn’t know about the project until it was rushed through; the watershed/aquafer could be destroyed.
Richard Laurenzo – it is difficult for the public to hear the board, please speak up or consider a speaker system.
Dawn Seamon – Walt Kalina said no project should be closer than three miles to a residence.
Motion to adjourn at 7:45 PM by Enjem, second by Snyder. Bond – yes, Eckler – yes, Palumbo – yes, Snyder – yes, Enjem – yes.
Monica Harris, Clerk