Minutes – May 12, 2018

12 May, 2018, 9:00 AM

In Attendance: Deputy Mayor Betsy Morgan; Trustees: Ari Benacerraf, Patrick Parcells, Karen Kelsey.
Village Attorney: Wayne D. Bruyn.
Village Residents: Eric Deutsch, Alfredo Paredes, Bradley Goldfarb, Robert Ruttenberg, Annbeth Eschbach.
Also Present: Attorney representing Timothy Hogue and Marian Brownlie – Michelle Feldman – Lamb & Barnosky; Court Reporter Donna L. Ritzmann

I. Meeting called to order

Deputy Mayor’s Opening Comments

II. Review and Approval of the Minutes of the 14 April 2018 meeting

Motion to adopt minutes by: Patrick Parcells
Motion seconded by: Ari Benacerraf
Motion Carried Unanimously

Question was discussed as to whether or not we were required to purchase a copy of the stenographer’s transcript of the meeting. Mayor Colby has requested copies of the transcripts to be on file during litigation. Wayne stated that by law we are not required to purchase the transcripts nor hire a stenographer. Wayne would defer to John’s Judgement but stated that a properly saved voice recording should be sufficient. Patrick stated that we could always purchase a copy of the transcript at a later date. Betsy pointed out that purchasing transcripts for each meeting would be extremely costly and that she is against doing so.

III. Old Business (Motion to Open Old Business)

Motion to adopt by: Karen Kelsey
Motion seconded by: Patrick Parcells
Motion Carried Unanimously

IV. Ways and Means (Financial Report and Review of Invoices) 10:30 AM

(1) Water Quality Improvement Committee Application.
(2) Invoices for review and approval.
Motion to approve the bills: Patrick Parcells
Motion seconded by: Ari Benacerraf
Motion carried unanimously with the caveat of further discussion requested by Karen to find out what our responsibilities are with regard to sanding and snow removal and clarify our practice with stenographer copy of the minutes.
(3) State Comptroller’s Audit Letter. Audit requested by Trustees.

Karen spoke about the committee of residents who were appointed to take a look at the village finances, controls and audits. Members of the committee are Rob Ferris, Eric Deutsch, Jonathan Cary and Meredith Jenkins. The committee reviewed the past 3 years of audits, looking for what are best practices. They reached out to the State Comptroller’s office to discover that the village has not had an audit for 26 years. The State Comptroller was concerned that the Mayor had resigned simultaneously with the Clerk and Treasurer and scheduled the audit. Karen stated that the audit was welcomed. We need to find out what it is we are doing right, what we need to do better, that it was unfortunate that the auditors would not go backwards and get more information about what transpired before the current administration’s tenure. Karen stated, we are determining what we are doing what we should be doing differently, what best practices are. The audit will be for the fiscal year 2017-2018. Betsy stated that we have a sincere desire to do things using best practices. Starting a new chapter in best practices and transparency. Lisa will come in extra days to prepare for the audit. She expects the preparation to take about two weeks. Rob stated that he sent the State Comptroller’s office the last 5 years of audits so they should have a good idea of where we stand when they get here. Wayne offered to reach out to the State Comptroller’s office to ask about logistics, timing, to explain the part time status of the village, to determine how much time is required to assemble the documents.

Betsy asked that invoices be scanned and sent along with the agenda. Lisa stated that they were available for review before the meeting as well. The invoices will be scanned and sent along with the agenda.

V. Water Works Report (Current System Usage and Tank Upgrade Status)

(1) Water tank project progress report.
(2) No pool fills. No irrigation. Well #1 progress.
(3) DEC approval procedure for a third well. John Collins, H2M.

Patrick gave an update on his meetings with Suffolk County Water Authority. In summary; Patrick anticipates another difficult summer with water due to the fact that we have only one working well. Recently we had a day where we were using 20,000 gallons of water a day when we should have been using only a few thousand gallons a day. This is suspected to be as a result of pool(s) fillings. Hard to tell as we do not have meters on any of our properties. We are now significantly above the allowable chloride maximum level of 250, we are around 600. Well #1 has been offline all winter. The attempts to get it up and running to date have failed. There is a problem with bacteria with well #1that is being worked on. Patrick spoke to SCWA and the DOH (Jason Hine) to see what corrections need to be made. Patrick asked Jason if he thought the village was taking proper steps toward remedy of the problem. Jason dodged the question but stated that as long as he saw progress, he was ok with it. Hap is currently working on the problem and getting help from the SCWA. Apparently, the cause of the bacteria is due to a leak in the well that the bacteria is coming from a source outside the well. SCWA told Hap to create an epoxy slurry that can be injected to stop the leak. Because Hap does not report to Patrick, Patrick cannot update the audience with information to see where that process is but knows it is being worked on. Patrick mentioned that Betsy had sent out email messages telling residents to not irrigate or fill pools with village water. It’s likely that the village has to operate off of one well for the summer if Well #1 cannot be brought back to service. Joe Prokorny at SCWA advised Patrick that the village should apply immediately to the DEC for two smaller wells to replace well #1 as Joe stated that SCWA was unlikely to be able to rehabilitate well #1. That it takes a year to get a DEC approval for a new well. Betsy asked if there was an emergency route for expedited approval in the case of the village to get a permit sooner. Patrick does not know. Patrick asked Joe if SCWA could take that on as they have expertise that we do not have in terms of applying for the well. Patrick mentioned that we have a test well which surprised Joe as he has been here several times and was unaware of the test well. Joe will send his engineer and several other operators out next week to see if it is possible to get the test well online for the summer. Two weeks ago SCWA came to inspect the current water system, they used ground penetrating radar to inspect mains and test for leaks, looked at fire hydrant, performed flow testing, mechanics of the wells. Joe said that the test well will answer many questions about the natural state of village water as it is ambient (undisturbed). The well is located across the street from village hall on the top of the hill on the north side of the tank. It is expected that the breaking of ground for the new tank will begin next week. It is being shipped in pieces from Illinois and constructed onsite. Patrick stated that the process of getting the water issue solved will cost a lot of money that residents will be paying for mistakes that have occurred over many years. A question was raised about the condition of well #2. Well #2 appears to be ok with the exception that it was placed right next to the old well that had issues with salt intrusion. And according to the DOH it was dug too deep. It is pulling in salt water from underneath. Changing that would be very expensive. Patrick met last week with Shelter Island Town Supervisor Gary Gerth and Engineer John Cronin and Town Attorney Bob DeStefano Jr. to describe to them steps the village is taking with respect to SCWA as there is some concern within the larger community of SCWA promoting additional development. The Town seemed to be quite encouraging and understood that SCWA has nothing to do with development which is the purview of the municipal zoning code. Patrick will provide them with a copy of the draft agreement and thinks that perhaps they are considering the same for West Neck as they have similar kinds of issues. Patrick has asked Joe to expedite his proposal so that it can be submitted at the next Trustee’s meeting. Patrick stated that there needs to be a resolution giving Patrick the authority to negotiate with SCWA as they will not produce a proposal without official sanction. Multiple points of contact lead to chaos. Approval of the proposal belongs with the board. The question was whether or not we could truck in water – according to Jason, the village could not truck in enough and it is cost prohibitive. According to Jason, even with elevated chloride levels, the water is safe for bathing, doing dishes, washing clothes, it will not kill you to drink it just does not taste very good and that we should be using bottled water for drinking while the problem exists. The question was raised about the cost of a new well. Well #2 cost $120,000 three years ago plus $69,000 for piping. Wells should run slower and longer so that the fresh water can backfill and we aren’t pulling salt water up. If SCWA takes over, they will take care of replacing the well and include it in their capital charge to be amortized over 25 years. If they take over our water system they take over our current costs in excess of $100,000 per year and problems going forward with the water system are not billed to the village, SCWA will absorb those costs. Patrick estimates the costs to the residents to be a capital charge, Patrick has asked if that capital charge could be treated as a tax for deduction purposes; per thousand gallon charge of about $2.00. Projections are around $480/year for water not including capital charges. Capital charges are estimated to be a fraction of what it costs to run the water operation currently. Patrick stressed that risk going forward is enormous. SCWA has crews that come out and do nothing but look for leaks, install meters, take care of and install water mains. SCWA is the largest supplier of groundwater in the nation serving 1.2 million households and that the water from the aquifer they pull from is polluted with sewage, a testament to their technical expertise. They are also a handful water authorities in the nation with an AA rating. They are also in the top 10 for lowest rates for water per gallon in the country. They have 24/7 computer monitoring for irregularities. Water is a regulated entity, SCWA must regulate it properly. Karen expressed frustration with the lack of knowledge regarding where the water is being used. She cited the example of 78,000 gallons of water having been used on May 9. We don’t currently know what is happening and why it is happening. Last year it took 4 weeks to find a massive leak and 2 weeks to fix it due to the lack of meters. In the process of trying to find the leak, Patrick spoke to the manager of SCWA who came in to assist Hap in finding the leak. Patrick had googled leak detection to find NY Leak Detector who found the leak in a half a day. 2 weeks later the problem was resolved. Betsy stated that if SCWA ran our system, that would not reoccur. That there would be a team of people working on problems. Meters would be installed using Wi-Fi so that residents can access that information remotely. At each curb would be installed a small box that goes into the ground with a valve to turn off water house by house. Betsy suggested we reach out to other villages who are using SCWA for references. Other than Hap there are only 3 other water operators on Shelter Island. John Holman who will not return to the village and the Heights has requested that we not poach their people or even approach them for part time work. SCWA had a conversation with the Heights to submit a proposal but they were unreceptive and SCWA has not returned. The draft agreement is a 4 year agreement that can be cancelled at any time for any reason or for no reason. The village would simply have to pay back the non-depreciated portion of the capital expenditures. Betsy pointed out that SCWA would have a financial incentive to remedy problems quickly as they are responsible for maintaining the equipment and they are responsible for any subsequent capital improvements that need to be made. Patrick stated that there is plenty of water on this end of the island of very good quality. It is the infrastructure that is impaired. Patrick reiterated that it would be wiser to have several smaller wells scattered than two large wells. In an executive session meeting with Trustee’s on April 14th Hap stated that he expected problems to occur as early as June. Karen spoke to the history over the years of SCDOH sending letters to the village stating that there are issues with the water and that the tank needed to be replaced no later than 2012. In 2011 a letter was received by county executive Steve Bellone’s office stating that the village water system had serious deficiencies from respect to cleanliness and wrote a letter every year after that through 2016 which appear to have been ignored. SCWA has volunteered to be a resource for the village as the tank is being installed whether or not we have an agreement with them. If a resident has a problem with water they would call SCWA to come fix the problem. A question was raised about the discoloration (brown) of the water. Patrick stated that it could have been from SCWA tinkering with the hydrants and Betsy stated that it is a problem with older houses and that high chlorides will increase the problem in the pipes. Regarding the third well, Patrick spoke to John Collins last week who confirmed that he had spoken to Mayor Colby regarding DEC approval procedure for a third well. Patrick believes that SCWA would do the permitting work for the third well as a courtesy if we have to apply for permits rather than pay H2M a huge sum. Wayne suggested that a proposal be requested from H2M for a third well. Karen asked Lisa if she had seen any correspondence between John Collins and John Colby regarding a third well. John Colby went to John Collins to ask the question, can we use our test well as a production well.


WHEREAS, the Village of Dering Harbor owns, maintains and operates a water distribution system for the benefit of its residents; and
WHEREAS, the Village of Dering Harbor has been experiencing issues with the water distribution system, which include the replacement of the water tank and other maintenance and management related issues; and
WHEREAS, the Suffolk County Water Authority (“SCWA”) is a public benefit corporation whose powers and duties are in all respects for the benefit of the people of Suffolk County for the purpose of providing its customers the highest quality water at the lowest possible cost; and
WHEREAS, based upon preliminary discussions with its representatives, the SCWA is interesting in assisting the Village in the management and operation of its water distribution system; and
WHEREAS, to assure that the Village has considered all available cost effective options in managing its water distribution system and determine if the lease and management of the water distribution system to the SCWA is feasible, both the Village and the SCWA need to undergo further investigation and due diligence requiring a point of contact and cooperation of the Village and its employees.
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Trustees of the Village of Dering Harbor hereby designates and authorizes Trustee Patrick Parcells as the representative of the Village to further investigate and negotiate on behalf of the Board of Trustees and to report back as to the feasibility of a lease and management of the Village’s water distribution system to the SCWA.

Motion to accept resolution by: Ari Benacerraf
Motion seconded by: Karen Kelsey
Motion Carried Unanimously

VI. Village Roads and Maintenance Report

Motion to open discussion on Village Roads and Maintenance Report by: Patrick Parcells
Motion seconded by: No Second

Repairs needed for GBCC road section. $13k, 250 feet, $27k whole section.
Karen asked the question to Lisa – Does CHIPS funding cover the entire cost, 100% regardless of which alternative? Lisa responded, No. CHIPS gives the village money each year to use towards roads. Lisa Billed CHIPS $51,619 this past week. If CHIPS pays it would use all 18-19 apportionment for CHIPS with the exception of about $300. At present monies available from CHIPS is – $15,963, PAVE NY – $3.643, EWR – $2.957. The majority of the $51,619 submission was from the work done by Corrazini Asphalt estimate offset by CHIPS on Manhanset and Yoco Road. Grant John the authority to enter into a contract with Corrazini.

Further discussion tabled Until Mayor Colby’s return.

VII. Report from MS4 committee and annual DEC filing update.

May 2018 meeting with Kristin Kraseski, DEC, to discuss Village’s MS4 designation.
Tabled until Mayor Colby’s return.

IX. Planning Board Review (Future Scheduled Agenda)

(1) Gordon Gooding’s application for Manhanset Road curb cut plan, parking, trailhead signage, hunting signage on the east side of Manhanset Road accessing Mildred Flower Hird Preserve.
(2) Alex Jackson’s application for curb cut on 4 Nicoll Road.Martha Baker will propose a design for planting of the blubber pot outside of Village Hall. Betsy has taken photos for John of items around Village Hall and the Village that need repair from Richie.

Planning Board Review – Absent Kirk issues tabled.

X. Zoning Board of Appeals (ZBA) Review

No report

XI. Architectural Review Board (ARB) Review

(1) George Butts’ review of Sunshine approved plans. March 2018 letter sent to Mr. Sunshine. Recommend ARB meeting to educate ARB members on certificate of occupancy requirements and hearing.

No response from Mr. Sunshine as of 14 April.

(2) Charles Modica’s preliminary plans for remodeling of 27 Shore Road house.

XII. Community Reports

(1) Shore Road Naming Committee.

Clora and Betsy have been working on the renaming of Shore Road over the past two weeks. Arthur Bloom provided Betsy with a list of names of all roads on Shelter Island. Dering Harbor Road was rejected as there are other roads with the word Dering, It is imperative that first responders have road name confusion eliminated on their way to an emergency. Harbor Lane is now the front runner for a name. Wayne said we could make a resolution to change the name now. Betsy would like to wait until more summer residents are in attendance at the meeting. Wayne suggested communicating that a name has been chosen and put it on the next month’s agenda having notified residents beforehand. Filing will need to be done with the Assessor’s Office. Wayne will prepare a list of who needs to be notified. Ms. Brownlie wrote in stating that she is against renaming as it will be a nuisance with notifying utility companies and an expense to change stationary. Betsy agreed with the inconvenience however not as inconvenient as a first responder going to the wrong place or the liability associated with a first responder getting lost knowing that there are duplicative names and that there have been two incidents where responders went to the wrong location. Betsy asked Wayne to come to the next meeting with a list of everything that needs to be done to change the name and Wayne agreed to do so.

Resolution authorizing Betsy to send notice to all property owners and residents giving notice to the renaming of Shore Road to Harbor Lane and to announce the name at the next meeting.

Motion to adopt by: Karen Kelsey
Motion seconded by Ari Benacerraf
Motion carried unanimously

(2) Shelter Island 10K, Saturday June 16, 2018. Need resolution to approve. See letter.

Lisa has reached out to MaryEllen Adipietro for proof of insurance.

Resolution to allow the 2018 Shelter Island 10K run to pass through Dering Harbor Village subject to proof of insurance from MaryEllen Adipietro.

Motion to adopt by: Karen Kelsey
Motion seconded by: Ari Benacerraf
Motion carried unanimously.

(3) FOIA Request.

Lisa reported that she responded to the most recent FOIA request with a notice to complete and submit a form with the information requested on the form and informing the requester that she is only in the office one and a half days a week. To date, the form has not been received.

(4) Resident Comments.

XIII. New Business (Motion to Open New Business)

Motion to adopt by: Patrick Parcells
Motion seconded by: Karen Kelsey
Motion carried unanimously

Patrick spoke to New York Warn. Established after 911 allowing one water district to respond to another in emergency. Clears legal barriers, is free to become a member. Patrick met with Phil Thompson last year who is the Emergency Manager for SCWA also the SC Chair for NY Warn. Mayor Colby has been authorized to enroll in NY Warn and Suffolk Share which allows sharing of procurement administrative services. Part of what needs to be done might be done through one of those agencies. Patrick does not think we have been enrolled in either and that now is the time to do so. Wayne suggested that the board have a resolution authorizing Betsy execute any and all applications and documents to enroll the village in New York Warn.

Motion to adopt by: Patrick Parcells
Motion seconded by: Betsy Morgan
Motion carried unanimously

Lisa has requested that the board meetings be moved to the second Saturday of the month allowing time to prepare and present month end reconciliations to the board for review prior to the meeting. Lisa has also requested that her Friday hours be changed from 9-12 to 2-5 for the summer, a more optimal time for weekend residents to take care of business in the village.

Resolution to change next meeting to Saturday June 9 at 9:00 am. (NOTE: this date was subsequently changed to 6/16/18 at 9:00 am.)

Motion to adopt by: Ari Benacerraf
Motion seconded by: Karen Kelsey
Motion carried unanimously

(1) Executive Session, litigation matters.

Motion to adjourn to Executive Session by: Ari Benacerraf
Motion seconded by: Karen Kelsey
Motion carried unanimously

Exact language to follow: Resolution to allow the village law authorizes the operation and management of the water system by the village and currently there are extreme conditions and also emergency conditions regarding salt water intrusion issues and that based on current flow records there is an increase in flow believed to be due to filling of pools and use of irrigation that we need to monitor and thus under the village law jurisdiction board would authorize prohibition on the next six months of filling in pools or irrigation using village water.

Motion to adopt by: Patrick Parcells
Motion seconded by: Ari Benacerraf
Motion carried Unanimously

Betsy will send out a notice to residents alerting them to the adoption of the resolution.

XIV. Date for Next Meeting – Saturday, 9 June 2018 at 9:00 a.m.

XV. Motion to Adjourn

Motion to Adjourn by: Patrick Parcells
Motion seconded by: Karen Kelsey
Motion carried unanimously