TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY
SPECIAL BOARD MEETING
FRIDAY, 5/27/2022, 6:00 PM
ROBERT YATES, SUPERVISOR PRESENT
RICHARD SENA, COUNCIL PRESENT
LOUISE ORTMAN, COUNCIL PRESENT
STEVE SENSKE, COUNCIL PRESENT
MIKE PFEIL, COUNCIL PRESENT
OTHERS PRESENT: Clayton & Helen Emick; Robin Miller, Bookkeeper; Dennis Hagg
Mr. Yates opened the meeting at 6:00 PM with the Pledge of Allegiance.
- PROPOSED TRI-JAMES MINING PIT PERMIT OPEN MEADOWS AND CHENEY RD.
Mr. Yates said the town had until 6/6/22 to respond to the NYS-DEC findings on the proposed pit. He said after review of their SEQR which they took lead agency on 2 years ago, the town has found no issues with their findings. He said the DEC had allowed the town 30 days previously to study and make sure there were no historical or environmental issues. He said the town had also had a Public Meeting prior to the 5/9/22 Board Meeting to allow public comment on the proposed mine. He said this is not a decision by the town to accept the application, that will have to come by Special Use Permit. He said it will come to the board on one more occasion for a vote. He said this meeting is specifically to respond to the DEC during the allowed time frame.
- MOTION # OF 2022
MRS. ORTMAN MOTIONED TO AUTHORIZE THE SUPERVISOR TO RESPOND TO THE NYS-DEC REGION 9 WITH A FINDING OF NO ISSUES ON THE SEQR FINDINGS ON THE PROPOSED TRI-JAMES MINING PIT PERMIT AS SUBMITTED BY THE DEC AND REVIEWED BY THE TOWN BOARD. MR. SENA SECONDED. YES (5): SENA, ORTMAN, SENSKE, PFEIL, YATES. NO (0). THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
Mr. Yates said our Attorneys have reviewed this and feel it is a good plan.
Mr. Robbins said the next step will be to have the Planning Board hold a Public Hearing and then review and recommend on the application to the Town Board.
- HERBICIDE APPLICATION CONTRACT WITH SOLITUDE
Mr. Yates said this was just brought to his attention in the last few days.
Mr. Sena said they had been under the impression that we were awaiting the DEC to come up with a survey for the Eurasian Milfoil. He said there was not any pond weed to worry about. He said all the DEC and news articles were about the pond weed so when the other towns were waiting on that he assumed we were waiting also. He said this was not the case. He said the DEC had done the survey in the past 2 days and we won’t get those results prior to the necessity of signing the contract. He clarified that the contract is with Solitude for the application and is not binding. He said the town can cancel up to the day before application if it wishes. He said if we don’t enter into the contract there will be no chance for application to any of the 109.2 acres identified. He said he proposes that the town commit to 70 acres on the contract. He said if the DEC does not permit for any acreage then the town would not apply and Solitude would have to bear the herbicide cost.
Mr. Yates said this is for the purpose of Solitude purchasing the herbicides in quantities with other towns for cost effectiveness. He said currently we don’t know where they will treat; what weeds they will treat; or what herbicides they will use.
5/27/2022 (Pg. 2)
Mr. Sena said milfoil would be the only weed treated and they are looking at treatment during the first week of June so another board meeting would be necessary to vote on the DEC findings.
Mrs. Ortman said she is not comfortable with agreeing to something that she is unaware of all the parts of, but she is in favor of investigating and going forward with the application if it is non-binding. She asked if there is a cost projection for the up to 70 acres proposed.
Mr. Sena said the cost is $1,023.50/acre (70 acres = approx. $71,645). He said we have grant commitments from the CLP (not in writing, because nothing has been permitted yet) of around $50,000. He noted that just because we apply for 70 acres does not mean that we have to do that amount as the DEC could for example only permit 20 acres. It was discussed that the DEC identifies both areas that can and cannot be treated and then the town can choose what areas they wish out of those permitted.
Mr. Yates asked if Mr. Sena had any information on what the additional insurance for the one-day spray would be.
Mr. Sena said he has the figure for the coordinating and monitoring costs at $3.537.
Mrs. Ortman said the town’s obligation might be $25,000 – $28,000 with all costs.
Mr. Sena said the CLP had assured him that they would cover the balance.
Mr. Pfeil said he had concerns about the use of the herbicide Precellacor EC. He said any weeds taken from the lake on which it is used must go to a class 4 landfill and cannot be composted.
Mr. Sena said that is why they want to apply the herbicide now when the weeds are just beginning to germinate.
There was lengthy discussion about how much funding the town would be willing to commit toward this.
Mr. Pfeil said the towns approval of funding should be a “not to exceed” amount.
Mrs. Ortman asked exactly what the town is being asked to commit to right now.
Mr. Sena said basically we are being asked to tell Solitude that we are interested in them applying the herbicide “if” we decide to apply, which allows them to purchase the product. He said they are going out on a limb to purchase the product and because if we do not apply they cannot purchase the product or potentially apply it in our town. If we decide not to apply the grant funds will be divided among the other towns and the product purchase will be used elsewhere and the town will not bear any cost.
Mr. Emick asked why there hadn’t been meetings to address this earlier.
Mr. Sena said because we did not have the DEC findings on anything until today.
Mr. Senske noted that we are obligated when we sign the contract to pay the $3,537.00 and the balance would be due after.
- MOTION # OF 2022
MR. SENSKE MOTIONED TO AUTHORIZE MR. SENA TO SIGN THE HERBICIDE APPLICATION CONTRACT WITH SOLITUDE ON BEHALF OF THE TOWN OF NORTH HARMONY WITH THE UNDERSTANDING THAT THE TOWN WILL PUT IN A DOLLAR AMOUNT “NOT TO EXCEED” ONCE THE DEC HAS PROVIDED INFORMATION AS TO THE PERMITTED ACREAGE AND CONTINGENCY ON ADDITIONAL FINANCING WILL BE RESOLVED. MRS. ORTMAN SECONDED. A ROLL CALL VOTE WAS TAKEN.
MR. SENSKE YES
MR. PFEIL NO
MR. SENA YES
MRS. ORTMAN YES
MR. YATES NO
THE MOTION WAS CARRIED.
5/27/2022 (Pg. 3)
Mr. Yates expressed his opinion on spending money on the use of herbicides which he feels are for the few and last only a short time. He said every time there is a spray it brings more issues. He said everyone complains about the budget and that we are not doing our feduciary responsibility. He said basically what you folks are doing is throwing good money after bad. He feels it is a waste of money. He said if you want to invest your money, do it for something that will not cause extra problems.
Mr. Yates said Mrs. Thomas had informed him that she is resigning as Town Clerk on 6/27/2022.
There was further discussion on this as it relates to the position. He said Mrs. Thomas has requested that Mrs. Gibbs be appointed as Town Clerk and he is not sure if that is possible as it is an elected position.
Mr. Robbins said the board can appoint the Town Clerk until the next general election at which time she would have to run for the remainder of the term.
Mr. Yates said he would recommend appointing Mrs. Gibbs and she has been doing a very good job. He said she has also been appointed as a Notary for NYS.
- MOTION # OF 2022
ON A MOTION MADE BY MR. SENA, SECONDED BY MR. SENSKE AND NONE BEING OPPOSED, THE MEETING WAS ADJOURNED AT 6:26 PM.