Village of Dering Harbor
August 18th, 2018, 9am
Betsy Morgan, Karen Kelsey, Patrick Parcells, Ari Benacerraf, Clora Kelly, Lisa Modica, Brad Goldfarb, Alfredo Paredes, Rob Ferris, Mary Walker, Meredith Jenkins, Jim Goldman, Stuart Goldman, Ben Jenkins, John Cronin, Joe Pokorny, Tim Hogue’s Stenographer
II. Mayor Morgan called the meeting to order at 9:06 AM.
III. The minutes for the July 14th regular meeting and the July 27th special meeting were approved unanimously.
IV. Suffolk County Water Authority presentation:
Patrick Parcells introduced Joe Pokorny, Deputy CEO for Operations at the SCWA. Patrick explained that the SCWA took over operations of the water system on June 15th under an interim operating agreement.
• Joe summarized the challenges including high chloride levels, overuse of wells, leaks, and reliance on Well #2 due to sanitary issues that necessitated the shutdown of Well #1. He distributed graphs that tracked usage and chloride levels for each well, explaining that well-pumping draws in chlorides, and there is a reduction when they are resting.
• He stated that it is a major challenge to optimize well run times in order to minimize chloride levels. Most of Suffolk County has chlorides around 30 and the Forks are around 100. He stated that Shelter Island has a very sensitive aquifer and requires close management. Well #2 had to run during the absence of Well #1, resulting in extremely high chlorides, but they were unavoidable since only one well could be used.
• The sanitary seal for Well #1 has been repaired and the Health Dept. approved the return of operation for this well. Well #1 went back to service on July 13th. The operation of both wells decreased the chloride levels dramatically. Wells alternate usage now.
• The tank construction is completed and the tank now needs to be filled. SCWA is awaiting Health Dept. approval. The tank construction contractors will disinfect the interior of the tank on Monday. Water will be pushed into the tank from the wells. The tank will be filled very slowly in order not to exacerbate chloride levels. This will take more than one week.
• Clora asked if we should have a 3rd well. Joe responded that Well #1 is a “vintage” well from the 1930s, with an unsanitary soil cuff, which allows bacterial contamination, as well as corrosion on the top. He stated that it needs to be replaced. A repair would be almost as costly as replacement, and new construction methods (modern concrete cuff) provide for far better seals. In addition the new well would be submersible and not require a building. There is also much greater flexibility in siting these smaller wells. Joe stated that the Village needs at least two replacement wells of smaller capacity, drawing water from the aquifer at a much lower rate. There is a very thin layer of fresh water, and pumpage can be refined more specifically with smaller wells that are spaced well apart.
• Ari raised the issue of consumption. Joe explained that the Village uses over 1,000 gallons per household on a peak day, versus a more typical 300 gallons per household. Betsy asked if there was evidence of leaks. Joe responded that the SCWA tested and found none.
• Jim Goldman asked about selling the system to the SCWA. Joe replied that they own most of Suffolk County systems, but that sales are more difficult and require extensive documentation, while leases are easier. Patrick explained that we are operating under a short-term agreement with SCWA and will enter into a 40-year lease. The Village will not have to manage this very complicated infrastructure, and will not be responsible for the administrative and regulatory burdens. (This year the SCWA filed a mandatory report for the Village that had not been completed.)
• There was a discussion about the timeline for permitting new wells and construction. Joe believes that the DEC will grant permits faster than the usual one-year timeframe, due to the situation in the Village. Construction generally takes about two months.
• Betsy Morgan stated that we should install individual household meters as soon as possible in order to track usage and manage water consumption. There was general consensus that this is a priority, and should be done by next summer.
• Rob Ferris suggested that it might be optimal to pump from the wells to the new tank only during the week when consumption is less. Joe said yes, they probably would have decided to do this.
V. A Resolution to appoint Doug Ryder to fill the Planning Board position of Clora Kelly (term ending June 2022) was passed unanimously.
VI. A Resolution to appoint Robert Ruttenberg Treasurer of the Village passed unanimously.
VII. A Resolution to appoint Nawrocki Smith as VDH bookkeepers passed unanimously.
VIII. A Resolution to open old business passed unanimously.
IX. Ways and Means (Financial Report and Review of Invoices)
A. Invoices for review and approval were presented. Payments for all, with the exception of NYSHIP, were approved unanimously. Betsy informed the group that money had been moved from the checking account to the money market account in order to accrue interest on the balance.
B. State audit status: Clora and Betsy met with State Auditors. Our contracted bookkeeper from Nawrocki Smith, Lauren Stenslands, is working on this. The auditors will return on Tuesday and meet with Patrick to talk about water expenditures. The audit covers the period from calendar year 2017 thru the first half of 2018.
X. Village Roads and Maintenance Report
A. Continued efforts to get Corazzini to repave Dina Rock Road have been ongoing, and Betsy explained that Corrazzini has been unresponsive. Richie has a contact there and discussions have recently moved forward.
B. NY State Department of Transportation: our contact, Nicolaus Woodroffe, says that we have $25,074 available for road work for any project that started April 1st and finishes October 1st. Repaving the full road is $27,500. The smaller portion (250 feet) would be $13,000. In addition it was noted that a drywell is needed to avoid water accumulation at the low-point of this road. Discussion took place regarding the merits and tradeoffs related to completing all paving work/a smaller portion/ addition of the drywell. A Resolution was unanimously approved to contract for the entire road at $27,500. Betsy will try to negotiate the price down to the available CHIP amount ($25,074). Clora Kelly volunteered to get an additional estimate from East End Asphalt.
C. Betsy read a resignation letter from Richard Surozenski. His letter states that he is retiring as of October 15, 2018. A Resolution was passed unanimously to accept his resignation. Richie has worked for the Village for 37+ years, and all agreed that his service should be formally recognized with a tribute in the paper. Patrick is working on a transition plan with Richie. Job specifications are needed for functions that were his responsibility (e.g. grass cutting, routine repairs, snow plowing) in order to outsource this work.
The Board and residents discussed trash pickup going forward. Shelter Island Environmental is one possible vendor. Weekly trash pickup has been proposed at a cost of $50 per month, per household. Betsy will survey residents regarding this issue. Betsy mentioned during this discussion that contracts/services under $35,000 do not require a public bidding process.
D. Renaming of Shore Road: This was tabled until next month’s meeting.
XI. Community Reports
A. Citation of Tim Hogue for building a parking lot without proper approval and ignoring a stop work order: Betsy explained that a citation including multiple zoning law violations had been formally delivered to Tim Hogue. She had a copy of the citation available for residents to review.
B. Reminder of Village movie night Sunday, August 19th and of a Village cocktail party on Saturday, September 1st
XII. New Business
A. A Resolution declaring the snow plow, old mower, and buoys surplus, miscellaneous small tools and equipment passed unanimously.
B. A Resolution to discuss the Noise Law and construction law passed unanimously. The consensus was to work on this and enact a law promptly.
C. A Resolution to discuss a codification program for laws passed unanimously. Karen is working on a process to codify all of our laws and develop a document that is available and can be readily referenced. She is working with our attorney and has initiated discussions with the company General Code. Wayne has procured copies of our effective laws from NY State. General Code provides a service that organizes and updates online municipal codes. An estimate for the Village and further explanation will be provided at the next meeting when Wayne is available to attend.
D. A Resolution to update fees for permits and rental applications was discussed. Specifically it was proposed that the fee for seasonal rentals be eliminated. The majority of the Trustees wanted to look at fees and fines in a comprehensive manner, rather than eliminating a specific fee. The Resolution was defeated.
XIII. A Resolution to go into Executive Session to discuss litigation matters and personnel matters was passed unanimously.
Upon return from executive session, the Board unanimously agreed to offer the Clerk position to a candidate and hire at market rate.
XIV. Date for Next Meeting – Saturday, September 8th 2018 at 9:00 a.m.
XV. Motion to Adjourn – passed unanimously.