Village of Dering Harbor
Trustees’ Meeting Minutes
December 14th, 2019, 9am
● Attendance- Karen Kelsey (Deputy Mayor), and Trustees Patrick Parcells, Clora Kelly,and Ari Benacerraf; absent- Betsy Morgan; Wayne Bruyn (Village Attorney), Victoria Weslek (Village Clerk & Treasurer), Donna Ritzzmann
● Karen called the meeting to order at 9:03 am.
● Patrick moved and Clora seconded to accept the minutes as prepared by the clerk from the November 2nd Trustees meeting. 3 votes in favor, 1 abstention (Ari), motion passed.
● Old Business
○ Water Update: Patrick wanted to remind people that the village did enter in the long-term agreement with SCWA. Wayne delivered the fully signed agreement to village hall this morning. With regard to water-meter readings, the Modica residence had a sizeable leak that has been mostly fixed. SCWA thinks there must be a leak at the Smith residence because the water usage is still as high as it was in summer. Ari asked Patrick how long it takes the SCWA to respond when they detect a leak. Patrick said it is not the SCWA job to fix leaks. It is the homeowner’s responsibility. Patrick also reported that the water quality continues to be very good.
○ Ways and Means
A. A resolution to approve the abstract/bills to be paid was moved by Ari and seconded by Patrick. All Board members present voted in favor. Karen pointed out the outlier of high legal expenses this month. Wayne’s office broke down the fees (contractual versus litigation) so that the village can get partially reimbursed by insurance.
B. Budget Update- so far village is running under budget. Patrick asked Charlene to make sure the P&L accurately reflects what’s going on with expenditures. He explained that some housekeeping needs to be done in terms of line items. But all the numbers correspond.
○ Status of Litigation and FOIL requests: Vicki reported that she had fulfilled a couple of FOIL requests since the last meeting, still waiting to here from Lee Snead on when he would like to come in to review records related to one of his FOIL requests; Wayne reported on the Goldfarb/Baker litigation. There was a conference with the court. The status is that Goldfarb’s lawyer is apparently close to filing a motion, the response will come from that; Hogue vs Village Board (re: Goldfarb hedge) was dismissed by the court and there is a notice of appeal on that; Hogue vs Village Board (re: fence law)- there was an injunction. The landowners made a motion to dismiss- the court granted that motion. There was a motion to reargue that but was denied by the court. There is a notice of appeal and Wayne put together a motion for summary judgement on this case. Wayne is hoping for a court decision that is favorable for the village, reflecting the court’s original decision;
Hogue vs ZBA (re: parking Order to Remedy Violation), Mr. Hogue’s attorneys have filed an article 78. Wayne’s office has filed the answer and as of the previous week, there hadn’t been a judge assigned to the case. Wayne expects a decision in 3 months or so.
○ Insurance Update- submitted by Rob Ferris (see attached). Patrick is talking with SCWA about whether the village needs to carry any additional insurance for the water distribution system. Ideally will know by the next Trustees meeting.
○ Public Works: Rob Ferris in an active conversation with Brian Sherman (from the town) about storm drains. A dead tree was identified on Manhanset that Christian Johnson thinks need to be taken down. He needs approval from the mayor to do so.
Paving and lining of village roads will need to wait until warmer weather. Ari brought up the precarious nature of the turn onto Dinah Rock Road off Manhanset (when heading east). Patrick is in agreement and all agreed should be looked into making more safe. Vicki confirmed that she fielded a call in the summer from someone concerned about that turn.
○ General Code Status: Clora and Karen reviewed what General Code had sent thus far and then sent to Wayne. Some of the biggest issues have to do with the water works law (out of date). In terms of this completing this task, it comes down to timing and staying on the schedule that General Code has laid out.
● New Business
Status of ARB working group: update from Clora since the November 3rd ARB meeting. She was impressed by how knowledgeable and thoughtful the ARB members are and wanted to go on record to say how grateful the Trustees are for their excellent work. Two areas the ARB is looking at- (1) streamlining the process and procedures applicants can follow when going before the ARB and (2) design guidelines. They also want to look at the demolition permit process, including how it relates to historical preservation. Karen asked Wayne what other villages and towns have adopted. He explained that the starting point is to do an inventory of the existing buildings in the village. One thing that was brought up was whether to tie approval to demolition with approval of what is planned to be constructed in its place. Wayne didn’t see the nexus of connection and explained that historical preservation is a different issue. Clora asked if the village should send out a survey regarding this issue. Ari responded that the village would need to be careful about how the question is asked. Karen commented that it would be hard to get anything meaningful to come out of conducting a survey. Of course the village wants to get input from residents and Wayne suggested that Clora get back to the ARB to help them formulate the process for how best to do so.
● Patrick: another item of new business- filing the annual municipal MS4 compliance. The county mishandled the paperwork that Patrick submitted to them last year so that village could be exempt from this annual filing. They asked him to submit the paperwork by simply amending the dates to reflect this current year and he did so.
● Ari made a motion and Clora seconded to go into Executive Session to discuss litigation matters at 10:05 am. All Board members present voted in favor.
● Meeting was called back into session at 11:25 am.
● Date for Next Meeting – Saturday, January 11th, 2020 at 9:00 am.
● Motion to Adjourn was moved by Ari and seconded by Clora at 11:26 am. All Board
members present voted in favor.