Village of Dering Harbor
December 8th, 2018, 9am
Betsy Morgan, Mayor and Trustees Ari Benacerraf, Clora Kelly, Karen Kelsey, Patrick Parcels and Wayne Bruyn (Village Attorney) Victoria Weslek (Village Clerk)
Members of the public present: Rob Ferris and Donna Ritzzmann
- Meeting called to order
Mayor Morgan called the meeting to order at 9:08am.
- Approval of the minutes from the November 10th meeting–
Karen noted typo in section regarding records management workshop, made change from “.pdf” to “.pdfA”. Change made. Patrick suggested minutes be shorter; Wayne noted it should be a “fair summary” of what happens in the meeting.
Motion made by Karen and seconded by Ari to approve the minutes of the Board of Trustees meeting of November 10th, 2018. All Board members voted in favor.
- Motion to open the Public Hearing on revisions to the Construction law
Betsy asked for motion to open public hearing to hear additional comments on a Local Law Amending Local Law No. 4 of 2016 Regulating Construction to clarify the Definition of Construction Work. Moved by Patrick and seconded by Clora. All Board members voted in favor.
Karen asked to set the context- noting that board has been working on law with discussions that started in September. Board received feedback from (3) residents:
-Devon Cross (via email) – concerned about possible Saturday activity restriction;
-Kirk Ressler (via email) – thinks copies of laws under consideration should be sent to residents (Ari and Betsy noted that notice was sent via email and that proposed laws are available on website and provided when requested), seems proposed law is way too broad;
-John Colby (letter published in SI Reporter) – notes what our laws set out to do, not concerned about getting challenged regarding the rationale behind amending the law. Patrick asked Wayne about validity of this letter. Wayne explained what other municipalities do (usually in form of noise ordinance), many municipalities consider adopting “nuisance provisions” to address use of gas-powered equipment (particularly leaf blowers), Wayne reviewed letters before meeting and made changes to the amendment to reflect concerns that residents raised (see resolution below).
Karen- thought noise was the issue, “disturbing the peace” was the issue, who’s to say a homeowner can’t make the same noise?
Rob Ferris- noted examples of a neighbor using his own power equipment on his property on a Sat that’s very noisy.
Ari- concerned about the idea of “carving out” time for the homeowner, when the homeowner can make same amount of noise.
Betsy noted how the board is trying to be considerate of all comments sent in by residents.
Clora- not easy to figure this out; one hole gets plugged and another opens up. Noted that for many residents, this place is a haven from other stresses of life.
Patrick- does it make sense to carve out some time on Sat for residents to do work? Is a 2 hour window enough. Agreed with Clora that this is a tough one.
Karen- noted that it is the “weekend haven” that people are looking to protect.
Clora- slightly concerned about making some “quiet” property maintenance considered illegal; Wayne noted that there is a distinction made in the law, asked if Clora is specifically concerned about pool maintenance, Wayne said that could possibly be carved out if board felt it was needed, but noted that it’s probably not necessary
Patrick- at the end of the day, this is a commonsense thing
Ari- many residents are in favor of curbing noise
Betsy- wondered if the word “exterior” needed to be added regarding painting. No one thought it was necessary
Karen- understands that this is about governance, and understands the reasoning for carving out some time for homeowner on Sat for landscaping activities.
Betsy suggested carving out the window of 9:30am-11:30am on Sat for homeowners.
Wayne suggested close public meeting. Will make changes to resolution and revision sent out to all residents. Another public hearing to be held during January Trustees meeting
Betsy asked for motion to close the hearing. Moved by Patrick and seconded by Clora. All Board members voted in favor.
Betsy asked for motion to resolve for a public hearing to be held on January. Moved by Karen and seconded by Clora. All Board members voted in favor.
RESOLVED, that the Board of Trustees of the Village of Dering Harbor hereby directs that a public hearing shall be held on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. prevailing time, at the Dering Harbor Village Hall, Locust Point Road, Dering Harbor, New York, to hear any and all persons either for or against the following local law entitled: “Local Law amending Local Law No. 4 of 2016 regulating construction to clarify the definition of construction work to include property maintenance and landscaping.”
LOCAL LAW NO. ___ OF 2019
A LOCAL LAW amending Local Law No. 4 of 2016 regulating construction to clarify the definition of construction work to include property maintenance and landscaping.”
BE IT ENACTED by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Dering Harbor as follows:
Section 1. Legislative Intent. For the purpose of protecting the safety and well-being of the resident of the Village of Dering Harbor, Local Law No. 4 of 2016 sets forth regulations governing the dates and times in which construction work can be undertaken. Construction work is defined as “any work done on a building for which a building permit or demolition permit has been issued . . .” The Village, however, has experienced activities involving work that does not require a building permit that have caused noise and other impacts negatively effecting the atmosphere and peace and tranquility of the Village during the times construction work is otherwise prohibited. It is the intent and purpose of this Local Law to relabel the local law and clarify the definition of construction work to include work and activities customarily associated with construction, property maintenance and landscaping that may not require a building permit, including but not limited to any work of construction, erection, alteration, repair, addition to, excavating, grading, landscaping, hedge trimming, lawn maintenance and leaf blowing or other improvement of any realty, building or structure, which work and activities customarily produce noise or other sounds of such intensity or quality that it disturbs the peace and quiet of residents particularly during the weekends and summer season.
Section 2. Amendment. Section 1.1 (Title of Local Law) of Local Law No. 4 of 2016 is hereby amended by deleting strikethrough words and adding underlined words as follows:
1.1 Title This Local Law shall be entitled “Local Law No. 4 of 2016 of the Incorporated Village of Dering Harbor, a Local Law Adopting Regulations Regarding Permitted Construction, Property Maintenance and Landscaping in the Village of Dering Harbor.”
Section 3. Amendment. Section 1.2 (Enactment) of Local Law No. 4 of 2016 is hereby amended by deleting strikethrough words and adding underlined words as follows:
1.2 Enactment Pursuant to Section 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law and the Village Law of the State of New York, the Incorporated Village of Dering Harbor, County of Suffolk and State of New York, hereby enacts by this Local Law of 2016, a Local Law of the Village of Dering Harbor.
Section 4. Amendment. Section 1.4 (Findings) of Local Law No. 4 of 2016 is hereby amended by deleting strikethrough words and adding underlined words as follows:
1.4 Findings The Board of Trustees of the Village of Dering Harbor determines and finds that it is in the best interests of the Village, its residents, property owners and guests, and of the preservation of good order and public safety in the Village of Dering Harbor to prohibit construction, property maintenance, landscaping and related activities during certain hours of the day and week during certain times of the season. The Village of Dering Harbor is an entirely residential Village with less than 40 residences, the large majority of which are used mostly on weekends and during the summer and at other times by residents seeking peace and quiet. The quiet and calm of the Village are special attributes that residents value and wish to maintain and enhance.
Section 5. Amendment. Section 2.0 (Definition) of Local Law No. 4 of 2016 is hereby amended by deleting strikethrough words and adding underlined words as follows:
2.0 Definition. Construction work is defined as any work done on a building for which a building permit or demolition permit has been issued until the work done under such permit has been completed involving the construction, reconstruction, erection, alteration, repair, addition to, demolition or removal of buildings or structures, or the excavation, clearing, filling or grading of land, or the placement or removal of earth, stone or material of any kind, or other improvement of any realty, building or structure, whether or not the work involves the use of machinery or power tools. The term “construction work” shall not mean the performance of necessary emergency repairs.
Property maintenance and landscaping work is defined as any work involving the excavation, clearing, filling or grading of land, or the placement or removal of earth, stone or material of any kind, or the process of tending, planting, installing, maintaining, or repairing lawns, gardens, hedges, flower beds, shrubbery, trees, or vegetation of any kind, which work involves the use of machinery or power tools, including but not limited to lawn mowers, weed trimmers, leaf blowers and hedge trimmers. The term property maintenance and landscaping work shall not include swimming pool maintenance or snow plowing, snow blowing or other snow removal activities. The term “property maintenance and landscaping work” shall not mean the performance of necessary emergency repairs or clean–ups after major storms.
Section 6. Amendment. The first paragraph of Section 2.1 of Local Law No. 4 of 2016 is hereby amended by deleting strikethrough words and adding underlined words as follows:
2.1 Construction, Property Maintenance and Landscaping During designated Times Prohibited.
It shall be and hereby is prohibited for any person or party to perform construction work or make deliveries for construction, property maintenance and landscaping work on any realty, building or structure for which a building permit, demolition permit or similar municipal approval has been issued except as follows:
A. From May 1 until Columbus Day (Except Saturday, Sunday, Holidays and July 4 weekend as defined below):
Construction work, property maintenance and landscaping and deliveries for construction, property maintenance and landscaping work are permitted Monday – Thursday 8:00 a.m. – 6:00 p.m. and Friday 8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m. during this period.
All construction, property maintenance and landscaping work and deliveries for construction, property maintenance and landscaping work are prohibited on Saturday, Sunday and Holidays during this period, except that a homeowner (excluding employees or contractors) may undertake property maintenance and landscaping on a Saturday between the hours of 9:30 a.m. and 11:30 a.m.
July 4th Weekend: When July 4 falls on a Tuesday, construction, property maintenance and landscaping work and deliveries for construction, property maintenance and landscaping are prohibited on July 3. When July 4 falls on a Thursday, construction, property maintenance and landscaping work and deliveries for construction, property maintenance and landscaping are prohibited on July 5.
B. From Columbus Day until May 1 (except Sunday, holidays and Thanksgiving weekend as defined below):
Construction, property maintenance and landscaping work and deliveries for construction, property maintenance and landscaping work are permitted Monday – Saturday: 8:00 a.m. – 6 p.m. during this period.
- All construction, property maintenance and landscaping work and deliveries for construction, property maintenance and landscaping are prohibited on Sundays and the following holidays: Memorial Day, July 4, Labor Day, Columbus Day, Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year’s Day.
- The use of any music playing device such as a radio, CD player or phone during construction, property maintenance and landscaping work in a manner that the sound can be heard beyond the property line of the property being worked on is prohibited.
Section 7. Authority. The proposed local law is enacted pursuant to Village Law §4-412 and Municipal Home Rule Law §§10(1)(i), 10(1)(ii)(a)(11), 10(1)(ii)(a)(12), and 10(1)(ii)(e) (3).
Section 8. Severability. If any section or subsection, paragraph, clause, phrase, or provision of this law shall be adjudged invalid or held unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, any judgment made thereby shall not affect the validity of this law as a whole, or any part thereof other than the part or provision so adjudged to be invalid or unconstitutional.
Section 9. Effective Date. This local law shall take effect upon filing with the Secretary of State pursuant to Municipal Home Rule Law.
AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Village Clerk is hereby authorized and directed to publish the following Notice of Public Hearing:
NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING
PLEASE TAKE NOTICE, that the Board of Trustees of the Village of Dering Harbor hereby directs that a public hearing shall be held on Saturday, January 12, 2019 at 9:00 a.m. prevailing time, at the Dering Harbor Village Hall, Locust Point Road, Dering Harbor, New York, to hear any and all persons either for or against a local law entitled: “Local Law amending Local Law No. 4 of 2016 regulating construction to clarify the definition of construction work to include property maintenance and landscaping.”
Copies of the proposed law, sponsored by the entire Board of Trustees, are on file in the Village Hall, Tuesday, from 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon and Thursday 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 noon, or by appointment, and on the Village’s website.
BY ORDER OF THE BOARD OF TRUSTEES
VILLAGE OF DERING HARBOR, NEW YORK
- Old Business
- Ways and Means
- Thorough review by forensic accountant of books to correct past book keeping errors- John Spatola (new bookkeeper from Nawrocki Smith) is doing a great job. Patrick suggested having John look to see if there are back property taxes owed. John reconciles all tax payments to specific accounts. Rob Ferris suggested looking back to see if there was tax forgiveness given in the past. Betsy announced that an email will be sent out to all residents reminding them about 2nd half of taxes are due and that penalties will be applied to balances, (noted an example of a tax warrant from 2013 regarding discount and penalties). Wayne looked into this and it is allowable under state law. Karen and Betsy expressed their desire to do away with the discount. Wayne will research how board can do that and will report back in January
- Current invoices for review and approval- Patrick asked to see bank statement. Betsy asked for motion to approve payment of invoices. Moved by Karen and seconded by Clora. All Board members voted in favor.
- State audit status—expansion of audit to include years from 2012/13 to present- made budge-to-actual lists for fiscal years starting in 2013, auditors really helping village to get better with how it keeps financial records, village has been running budget deficits since 2012 (some very significant, Betsy asked Wayne about starting a “reserve fund”, asked Wayne to look into how much that can be related to the budget, looking to making past budgets and the villages past financial picture easy-to-read and understand, Patrick thinks an overview of our past history before the work on next year’s budget begins (in March), board should be able to explain what it is the board is doing to streamline the budgeting process, Rob Ferris- feels strongly that the board has a “good story to tell” regarding the positive things that are occurring, do some forecasting about historical issues that need to be addressed (regarding past budgets) and what board feels needs to be done, put a scope together that addresses what to concerns are, telling of the story better told in a public format, Patrick suggests a special meeting be held on Memorial Day, Karen- asked about the timing of this based on when budget is worked on, Wayne- board needs to have a tentative budget by March 31st and a public hearing on proposed budget in April, Betsy suggested the April meeting focuses on budgets, present and past
- Audit of 2017/18 should start ASAP- Nawrocki Smith hesitant to start audit process because of back money owed. Village has paid up to date and Betsy should have a report on this at next meeting
- Set date for public financial review from 2012 onward at upcoming Trustees’ Meeting
- Facilities update from Patrick:
- Water update- new tank was filled in late-August. Getting it online took a long time. Old tank was leaking 10,000 gallon/day or more and probably had been for a very long time. After old tank was disconnected on Dec 1st, wells were not pumping for 4 days afterwards. SCWA hesitant with going forward with long-term agreement because of current water quality (chloride levels need to improve). However, Patrick was able to extend the short-term agreement. Village needs to install new well or wells (and shed to monitor them). Not sure of costs involved. Meters will be needed to know who is using what. DEC is requiring a plan for improving chloride problem, which includes the installation of meters at each property. Installations costs for meters are estimated to be $650 per household. Equipment will be owned by SCWA. Short-term agreement does not cover capital expenditures (which includes meters). Costs for all of this is still TBD but Patrick does not believe this is going to require a tax increase. Actually thinks it’s going to reduce taxes.
Discussion: Karen asked if board should take a step back to see what the village water needs really are. Maybe wells won’t be necessary. SCWA seems to think we need wells but Patrick says we won’t know for sure until the new tank is totally installed and functioning.
Clora expressed serious concern about chlorides and believes no matter what, village needs the wells. That it is a very deeply considered topic that has been researched thoroughly.
Patrick- US geological survey has an ability to map the aquifer and where the saline layers are. What we have learned is that the depth of our freshwater lens is between 60-100 ft. (which is good and advantageous). Test well needs to be dug in the area of Manhanset and Dering woods lane. USGS is confident that based on their data that is the right site.
Rob Ferris wondered s if there will be pushback on major expenditures on new wells and a shed before June. Clora does not agree and thinks village must move forward now with new wells.
Patrick expressed confidence the village will get a long-term agreement with SCWA. That village has to have at least 2 wells. In terms of usage, last month avg. 29,000/day, not sure what pumpage comparison is yet with new tank. There’s not enough data. Betsy looking forward to next month’s pumpage comparison,
Patrick sees no reason not to go forward with new wells. Board members looked at surveys to consider best possible spots for wells on village easements.
Karen thinks notice to residents should indicate that operating costs will go down but that it shouldn’t indicate that taxes will stay the same or go down.
Patrick- this water project will not translate into an increase in taxes,
- Chris Johnson to purchase Village truck. Resolution to accept his bid and authorize the transfer of title. Village received 3 bids for the truck from Richard Surozenski, Brian Gilbride, and Christian Johnson. Mr. Surozenski disclosed issues with the truck that were not previously known after bids had been submitted.
Discussion: Patrick expressed that he thinks village should fix the truck (especially considering he bought it at a premium price).
Karen wondered if all bids should be thrown out, truck fixed, and truck put out for bid again,
Ari expressed that the integrity of the bid process needs to be upheld.
All agreed that village will not pay for repairs.
Patrick suggested checking with winning bidder and see if he understood it was “as is” and that there are defects to the truck. Wayne explained that in that case, all bidders would need to be called and told the same thing.
Wayne- from legal perspective, if village chooses to repair truck, bids need to be rejected and then out for bid again after repairs are made. But the presumption is that when the bid was put out, all bidders understood it was “as is”.
Betsy asked for motion to accept resolution to sell truck. Moved by Patrick and seconded by Karen. Motion passed by a vote of 3-2 (in favor- Patrick, Ari, Karen; opposed- Clora, Betsy)
WHEREAS, by resolution dated November 10, 2018, the Village of Dering Harbor declared the 2006 Chevrolet 3500 HD truck with plow surplus and determined to sell said truck and plow to the highest bidders and authorized a notice to bidders to be published; and
WHEREAS, the notice to bidders set forth the basic specifications of the 2006 truck and plow, and provided all parties an opportunity to inspect; and
WHEREAS, three sealed bids were received and opened by the Village Clerk on the due date on November 29, 2018; and
WHEREAS, Chris Johnson was the highest bid at $15,050.00; and
WHEREAS, the Board of Trustees reviewed said bids at its meeting on December 8, 2018.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Trustees of the Village of Dering Harbor, hereby accepts the bid of Chris Johnson in the amount of $15,050.00 as being the highest bid for the 2006 Chevrolet 3500 HD truck with plow, and upon receipt of an official bank check or cashier’s check in said amount, authorizes the Mayor to execute all documents necessary to convey and transfer title to said truck.
Rob Ferris noted that once Christian Johnson takes ownership, he will bring plates to DMV for him
- Snow removal agreement with town- village asking town to take over snow plowing the major roads in the village (Patrick and Rob Ferris have been working on this for a while). Town was at first opposed. After further review of what village taxes go towards in terms of town operating costs, the town approved proposal for the year. Cost will be determined on what kind of snowfall activity happens, Patrick predicts significant savings and also improved safety because of town capabilities
- Betsy asked Vicki to apply for other two funds for reimbursement for road improvements that CHIPS funds did not cover. Approved extra hours if needed so that it gets done next week.
- Oil tank for Village Hall- Patrick spoke to George Hoffman about delivering 50 gallons of oil and received key to basement so repairs can begin
- Codification program for laws contract. Status update from Karen. Projecting initial phase will finish by Jan/Feb, next step- editorial analysis. They need most recent laws passed (1, 2, 3, and 4, from this year).
- New FOIL request and overview. Betsy and Vicki was able to fulfill latest request in about 4 man hours because things are improving and the process is being streamlined. New form has been created to track when FOIL requests come in and are fulfilled.
- Taxes due by year end. Wayne looked into whether village can get rid of the “discount” that has been extended to residents in the past. Betsy suggested doing away with both the discount and the ability to pay in installments. Discussion about rate of penalty on unpaid taxes and letter that Betsy wants to send to residents about year-end-taxes due. Karen noted that a good case can be made for changing the law and changing payment of taxes to one payment for the year.
- ZBA meeting status. Has not been rescheduled. Wayne had an update from Ken Walker and Tim Hogue’s lawyer that dates in March or April are being looked into. Patrick concerned that this process of trying to reschedule could take too long. As chairman, Ken Walker is responsible for rescheduling the meeting.
- Discussion about changing date of elections. Update from Wayne, permissive referendum need to be approved 120 days prior to next scheduled election (which is May). Betsy asked how involved the referendum is. Karen expressed concerns about this not being the right time to do this. Betsy thinks it is, since if board does not act, it could be two election cycles before any possible changes could be enacted. Ari was in agreement with Betsy. After discussion, it was agreed that best way to move forward is have it be a proposition in the ballot at the next election. But more info is needed, which Wayne is going to look into.
- Motion to go into Executive Session to discuss litigation and personnel matters. 12:11pm
- Date for Next Meeting – Saturday, January 12th, 2018 at 9:00 a.m. Ari first, Karen 2nd to go back into session 1:17pm
- Motion to Adjourn. Betsy asked for motion to adjourn, Patrick moved and Karen seconded at 1:18pm All board members voted in favor.