September 11, 2018

September 11, 2018 by
Filed under: minutes 

 

PUBLIC HEARING and TOWN BOARD MEETING
TOWN OF COXSACKIE
September 11, 2018

 

PRESENT:
Richard Hanse, Supervisor
Patrick Kennedy, Councilman
Michael Veeder, Councilman
Bambi Hotaling, Town Clerk

ABSENT:
Thomas Burke, Councilman
Linda Wilkinson, Councilwoman

GUESTS:
Mary Lou Zimmerman, Joseph Zanchelli, Diane & Frank Oringer, Lloyd Zimmerman, ? Richard Roberg, ? Mark Flach, Hank Digeser, Patrick Doyle, Carter Hodgkins, Jeff Rose, Gabe Wapner, Tom Konrad, Seth Frame, Carol S. Metz, Claudine Serazio-West, Linda Deubert, David Levey, Mary K. Garvey, Kaaren Kiernan, Susan Zimet, Kim Rose, Joe Berlin, Evan Ulscht, Tessa Partridge, Giuseppina Agovino, Christopher Steinke, Catherine Benson,
Warren Mueller, Aaron Flach

Supervisor opened the meeting at 7:00 pm with the Pledge of Allegiance and asked that we remain standing for a moment of silence in remembrance of the victims and families of the September 11 terror attacks.

A motion to accept the minutes of August 14, 2018 was made by Michael Veeder seconded by Richard Hanse and duly carried.

The public hearing on proposed Local Law #2-2018 A Local Law to Amend the Code of the Town of Coxsackie, Chapter 167 Titled “Regulation and Approval Standards For Solar Collection Systems” was opened and proof of legal notices/mailings presented by the Clerk. Supervisor stated that due to the large amount of people he would be limiting comments to three minutes. Rick also clarified that this local law has no bearing on the Village of Coxsackie residents as the Village has their own board, and planning/zoning and codes. Town Clerk noted that written comments were received from the Town of Coxsackie Planning Board, the Greene County Planning Board, Mr. & Mrs. Drewello, Frank & Diane Oringer, and Gabe Wapner. Many members of the pubic were afforded an opportunity to voice their concerns in opposition to and in favor of the proposed local law. Written statements were accepted.

Patrick Doyle of Flint Mine Solar submitted comments from their attorney Young/Sommer LLC. He spoke about the decline in the hay market and how difficult farming has become stating that there may be a better suited purpose for the soil. The new law does not allow utility solar in RA-2 zone. Solar use has minor impact on environment and many economic benefits to community.

Tom Konrad provided the board with a copy of the Town of Marbletown’s Local Law #6-2017 on solar. He suggested allowing solar in agriculture and rural residential districts subject to provision that not located on prime soil types as defined by USDA; allow roof mounted and parking lot structures. Consider 6 foot fencing rather than 8 foot.

Evan Ulscht Town resident, and prior Village of Catskill Trustee, spoke about resale values; and impact on views. Town officials have a duty to protect taxpayers/homeowners investments. He feels that Athens Generation plant is a massive eyesore. Thanked board for the law and their efforts.

Mark Flach read and submitted a prepared statement. Feels that the new law is unreasonable and asked the board to reconsider.

Chris Garvey is a realtor lives in Sleepy Hollow Lake moved from Westchester, she pays 25% more taxes here. Not able to sell farm property for over 3 years. Concerned about tax foreclosures.

Hank Digeser lives ½ mile from proposed site very few houses on that road and not much traffic. Due to climate change, solar is needed and would be good for the community and economy.

Kim Rose spoke on behalf of 10 people from group Saving Greene thanked board for their work, read a statement which she submitted.

Jeff Rose commended the board on their efforts. He is very concerned about change in character of the community; not against solar, asking for responsible siting.

Joe Berlin, Ely Street no problem with solar on personal property but takes issue with industrial size, grand scale makes no sense.

Lloyd Zimmerman stated there are many aspects of solar, he is in favor of all solar, something that the County needs.

Diane & Frank Oringer 25 years ago tried farming but never made a living. They are all for green renewable energy. They would ask the board to take farmers into consideration and allow solar in RA-2.

Giuseppina Agovino, Route 9W sheep farm, read statement declined to submit. Laws are strict and prohibitive. Powerlines smack in the middle of her property. Can’t farm but large farms/landowners are a big part of the community, are there any other options; taxes are more than property is worth.

MaryLou Zimmerman stated they plan to keep the store and 3-1/2 acres that will continue to be farmed.

Chris Steinke referred to page 16 E of the law, feels 20% too low asked that the board consider making higher.

Susan Zimet, prior Supervisor from New Paltz talked about tax abatements. She offered to assist the Town Board to negotiate PILOT.

Laura – attorney for Flint Mine (written comments were submitted) stated that land use regulations should be about balance and flexibility; she would be happy to answer questions.

Joseph Zanchelli stated this project should not divide the community; find a respectful balance that is fair to all.

Carol Metz Sleepy Hollow resident also from the Westchester area worried that this area is being overwhelmed with solar. Town needs to set limits.

Tracy Kellog, attorney for various land owners in negotiations with Hudson Energy stated they are heavily vetted in the community and have made concessions. Greater flexibility in the law is needed and asked for amendment to incorporate RA-2 district.

Seth Frame is a Village resident, thinks law is short sighted, keep in mind renewable and removable. Stated there is quite a bit of misinformation being given. It is duty of the Town to make the best decision for all.

David Levy questioned where the Hecate site will be located.

Claudine Serazio-West asked for more proactive ways for the Government to share information. She has concerns about the effects on well water.

Gabriel Wapner sees new faces and positive support. Solar is good for the community, little or no impact on municipal resources, improve revenues. He will be happy to answer questions after the meeting.

Supervisor stated that the board would be taking comments received under advisement as the Town moves forward.

At 8:10 pm a motion to close the public hearing and move on with the regular board meeting was made by Michael Veeder seconded by Patrick Kennedy and duly carried.

Linda Deubert presented the 2019 proposed library budget and director’s report. Budget is up 2.72%, mostly due to salary and benefits increase. A copy is on file with the Clerk. Library budget will take place Tuesday, October 16 from 10:00 am – 9:00 pm at the Library. This will be Linda’s last presentation as she is retiring. She welcomed Catherine Benson who will be taking her place as Library Director. The board thanked her for her many years of service to the community.

Supervisor opened the meeting to the public.

Carol Metz asked about the status of the Senior Center parking lot. Rick reported that the Town has applied for a grant. The paperwork is cumbersome; paving will probably not take place this year.

Correspondence was reviewed and acted upon if necessary:
–Resignation of Richard Bruno from Planning Board
–Letter from Community Action of Greene County re free weatherization program
–Letter from Mr. & Mrs. Drewello re solar
–Letter from Frank and Diane Oringer re solar
–Letter from Gabe Wapner, Hecate Energy re solar
–Sponsor letter/ticket Owl Hoot Committee

A motion to accept the resignation of Richard Bruno from the Town Planning Board was made by Michael Veeder seconded by Patrick Kennedy and duly carried.
Ayes: 3 – Hanse, Kennedy, Veeder Absent: 2 – Burke, Wilkinson

Gordon Bennett asked that he be considered as a candidate to serve on the planning board.

Judge Roberg indicated his interest in filling Rich Bruno’s spot on the planning board.

Supervisor stated that it has been the policy of the Town Board not to have more than one member on the planning board that resides in the Village of Coxsackie; Gordon’s indication to serve was noted.

EMS Chief Myrdycz was not present but provided a written report indicating that they responded to 89 calls. She also reported that they have several students in EMT class between Green County, Columbia Greene Community College and Questar.

General Fund and Highway bills in the amount of $386,211.48 were audited on abstract #15, voucher numbers 2018-632 through 2018-705 (minus voucher 2018-692).

Special District SS Fund payment approved in the amount of $4,211.80 check number 241-243.

Richard Hanse made a motion to enter into executive session for the purpose of discussing pending litigation. Michael Veeder seconded the motion which was duly carried. Attorney Tailleur and Assessor Bennett were present.

Richard Hanse made a motion to come out of executive session and reopen the board meeting. Patrick Kennedy seconded the motion which was duly carried.

Patrick Kennedy made a motion to retain Barry Herbold to prepare a preliminary appraisal in connection with the SAL Asset Holdings, LLC tax certiorari case. The cost for the preliminary appraisal is $9,600 and a court ready report, if necessary would be an additional $5,300. The costs to be split between the Town and the School ($7,450 each). The motion was seconded by Michael Veeder and duly carried.
Ayes: 3 – Hanse, Kennedy, Veeder Absent: 2 – Burke, Wilkinson

A motion was made by Patrick Kennedy seconded by Michael Veeder and duly carried authorizing the supervisor to sign the intermunicipal agreement with the Coxsackie-Athens Central School District for costs associated with appraisal in the SAL Asset Holdings, LLC, Inc. for the 2018-2019 school year as outline above.
Ayes: 3 – Hanse, Kennedy, Veeder Absent: 2 – Burke, Wilkinson

A motion to accept the budget transfers as presented was made by Patrick Kennedy seconded by Michael Veeder and duly carried.
Ayes: 3 – Hanse, Kennedy, Veeder Absent: 2 – Burke, Wilkinson

At 8:58 pm a motion to adjourn the meeting was made by Thomas Burke, seconded by Michael Veeder and duly carried.


 

Bambi Hotaling, Town Clerk

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