Board Meeting Minutes – April 3rd, 2023

  April 3, 2023

The regular semi-monthly meeting of the Board of Trustees of the Village of Menands held on Monday, April 3rd, 2023, was called to order by Mayor Megan Grenier at 6:00 P.M.

PRESENT:
Megan Grenier, Mayor

Seth H. Harris, Trustee
Timothy Lane, Trustee
Brian Marsh, Trustee
Donald Handerhan, Village Clerk
William T. Smith, Jr., Village Treasurer
Stephen Rehfuss, Village Attorney
Ryan St. Gelais, Police Chief
David Ognan, Fire Chief

ABSENT:

Diane Foley, Trustee

Also attending: Bill Garvey, Nicole Ognan, Steve Boulet, Charles Ansert, Nicholas Kalogridis, Mike Mackay, Rob Stark, Kevin Schwebke, Dan Braden, and Jennifer Nechamen.

The mayor led the Pledge of Allegiance.

The mayor opened the 2023-2024 Budget Public Hearing

The Clerk read the following notice:

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that, pursuant to the Village Law, the Preliminary Budget of the Village of Menands for the fiscal year beginning June 1, 2023, and ending May 31, 2024, has been duly filed.
FURTHER, TAKE NOTICE that a public hearing will be conducted at 250 Broadway, Menands, NY for the said Village on Monday, April 3, 2023, at 6:00 P.M. by the Board of Trustees of the Village of Menands to consider the Preliminary Budget, at which time comments and suggestions of residents of the Village relative to such budget to be enacted will be received. You may attend the Public Hearing in person in the Village Hall second floor of 250 Broadway or via the Google Meets link: meet.google.com/mre-txbp-btk or Join by phone ‪(US) +1 401-646-0768 PIN: ‪541 841 494#‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬‬
The Preliminary Budget is on file in the office of the Clerk and may be inspected during office hours and is available on the Menands Village Website, www.villageofmenands.com.
The maximum compensation to be paid to the Mayor is $16,063 and to each of the four trustees, $9369.50.
The Treasurer presented the 2023-2024 Annual Budget and Answered questions.
After hearing no further questions or comments the mayor closed the public hearing at 6:16 P.M.

Open Forum:

Resident Bill Garvey:

1) He would like to see playground equipment installed in Hutton Street Park.
2) He observed to road signs down on Menands Road & Railroad Ave due to strong winds.
3) He is hearing freight train whistles blowing between 10 PM and 7 AM in the northern part of the Village.
4) He is concerned with oil/chemical cars running through the Village, what procedures does the Village have?
5) He observed a door open at 27 Brookside Avenue and reported it to the police.
6) He observed a vehicle parked on Clifford Rd 13’ from a fire hydrant he reported it to the police.
7) He supports replacing rooftop units at the firehouse.
8) He is supportive of replacing lighting with LED lights for buildings, and street lighting. How many metal street light markers does the Village have?

Resolution Number 230178

A motion was made by Trustee Marsh to approve the minutes of the March 20th, 2023, Board Meeting, seconded by Trustee Lane.

ADOPTED:

Trustee Harris voting AYE
Trustee Lane voting AYE
Trustee Marsh voting AYE
Mayor Grenier voting AYE

Resolution Number 230179

Trustee Marsh made a motion to approve payment for the following, seconded by Trustee Harris.

WARRANT #21:
GENERAL totaling $ 52,099.29
WATER totaling $ 27,936.06
SEWER totaling $202,755.63
TOTALS $282,790.98

PAYROLL # 22: totaling $112,079.87
(03/10/23-03/23/23)

ADOPTED:

Trustee Harris voting AYE
Trustee Lane voting AYE
Trustee Marsh voting AYE
Mayor Grenier voting AYE

Deputy Clerk/Treasurer Nicole Ognan led a discussion on imposing Utility Gross Receipts Tax.

Utility Gross Receipts Tax (generates revenue for the village as a tax passed to utility companies, NOT to our residents)

Imposing a tax that would collect 1% of the gross operating income of regulated power utilities and telephone companies (local calls – not cellular). Utility companies pass up to 3.5% onto consumers’ bills regardless of if the municipality collects or not. This is only available for cities and villages.

I spoke to NYCOM’s Barbara Van Epps, and she advised we need to tell the utility companies the timing of the collections (semi-annually, quarterly) and what, if any, backup documentation they will need to submit with their payment. When we get a check from the utility company, others said to make sure it’s with their supporting financial records to ensure we are getting a check for the correct amount.

I reached out to the Treasurer of the Village of Colonie, and she told me they receive around $200,000 annually from it, with a population of 7,700. I spoke with the Clerk of Voorheesville; they collect about $29,000 with a population of 2,800. East Aurora’s Clerk got back to me saying with a population of roughly 6,000, they received about $60,000.

Resolution Number 230180

Trustee Lane made a motion to hold a public hearing on May 1, 2023, regarding the imposition of Utility Gross Receipts Tax seconded by Trustee Marsh.

ADOPTED:
Trustee Harris voting AYE
Trustee Lane voting AYE
Trustee Marsh voting AYE
Mayor Grenier voting AYE

Resolution Number 230181

Chief Ryan St Gelais led a discussion regarding the Police Department promotions. He would like to promote Detective Sergeant Kevin Schwebke to the position of Lieutenant, Sergeant Daniel Braden to the position of Detective Sergeant, and Officer Robert Stark to the position of Sergeant. Chief St Gelais advised the Board that with the promotions the department is still at full force.

After the discussion, Mayor Grenier appointed Detective Sergeant Kevin Schwebke to the position of Lieutenant, Daniel Braden to the position of Detective Sergeant, and Robert Stark to the position of Sergeant.

Trustee Lane made a motion to promote Kevin Schwebke to the position of Lieutenant, Daniel Braden to the position of Detective Sergeant, and Robert Stark to the position of Sergeant, seconded by Trustee Marsh.

ADOPTED:

Trustee Harris voting AYE
Trustee Lane voting AYE
Trustee Marsh voting AYE
Mayor Grenier voting AYE

Chief St. Gelais advised the Board that Officer Robert Stark will be receiving an award from MADD for writing over 800 tickets.

There was a discussion regarding the Treasurer’s request to raise the Water and Sewer Rates as we will need to bond the costs of the South End Project. We have received grants from the Environmental Facilities Corporation so the bond amount will be less than the project. The treasurer recommends an increase in the water rates of 5% and an increase of 5% in the sewer rates. This will equate to about an increase in the minimum bill for 6 months of $27.70 or about 15 cents per day. Discussion followed.

Resolution Number 230182

After a discussion Trustee Marsh made a motion to hold a Public Hearing on increasing the Water and Sewer rates for the Village, on April 17, 2023, at 6 P.M., seconded by Trustee Harris.

ADOPTED:

Trustee Harris voting AYE
Trustee Lane voting AYE
Trustee Marsh voting AYE
Mayor Grenier voting AYE

Resolution Number 230183

Trustee Marsh made a motion to Approve the 2023-2024 Village Budget, seconded by Trustee Lane.

ADOPTED:
Trustee Harris voting AYE
Trustee Lane voting AYE
Trustee Marsh voting AYE
Mayor Grenier voting AYE

Jennifer Nechamen of LaBella Associates led a discussion regarding the 37 Simmons Lane project.

Resolution Number 230184

After a discussion, Trustee Harris read the following resolution:

Whereas, the Applicant, Two Girls, and a Guy II, LLC, is requesting site plan approval from the Village Board of Menands to construct two new 28-foot-tall office/warehouse buildings (Building 1, 45,500± square feet (sf) and Building 2, 35,100± sf) on a 24.1-acre property, located at 37 Simmons Lane (Tax Map ID 55.17-3-4.1); and

Whereas, the proposed project also includes associated parking, utilities, and landscaping and will physically disturb 7.9± acres; and

Whereas, the project includes construction of Building 1 to be occupied by a single building construction services user and Building 2 to be occupied by multiple warehouses for light industrial use, light manufacturing/assembly use, construction materials and distribution of parts or finished products; and

Whereas, the proposed buildings will be one-story, steel frame metal buildings that are approximately 28 FT high and will also include truck docks and at grade overhead doors on the south side of the buildings with a total of 99 surface parking spaces. The hours of operation, including loading dock operations, are expected to be 7 am to 7 pm, seven days a week; and

Whereas, the project site is bordered on the north by Simmons Lane, on the west and south by existing wetlands, and on the east by Interstate 787 and is located in the Heavy Industrial (HI) Zoning District where the proposed use is permitted; and

Whereas, the project entails filling in a portion of a flood zone, and a portion of the 100-foot regulated adjacent area of a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) regulated wetland; and

Whereas, water and sewer services are available on Simmons Lane and the Village of Menands and Albany County Wastewater Treatment Plant have capacity to serve the project; and

Whereas, an extension of the waterline will be made for both domestic use and fire protection, two new hydrants will be installed near the buildings per the proposed site plan; and

Whereas, the proposed action has been determined to be an Unlisted Action, pursuant to the New York State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) 6 NYCRR Part 617;

Whereas, the Village Board declared Lead Agency for the SEQR review of the project on January 16, 2023, and circulated the site plan application and associated materials to the other Involved and Interested Agencies and received consent from the Involved Agencies; and

Whereas, the Village Board has reviewed Parts 1, 2, and 3 of the Full Environmental Assessment Form, as required for SEQRA review; and

Whereas, the Village Board has determined that no significant adverse environmental impacts are anticipated as a result of the proposed site plan and issues a Determination of Non-Significance (Negative Declaration); and

Now, Therefore Be It Resolved that the Menands Village Board hereby issues preliminary site plan approval with the following conditions:

  • The applicant shall submit documentation from NYSDEC permitting work within the 100-ft wetland adjacent area.
  • The applicant shall resolve pedestrian accommodation on site to the satisfaction of the Village Board.
  • The applicant shall execution of a long-term stormwater maintenance agreement.
  • The applicant shall resolve all comments received from the Albany County Planning Board at their December 15, 2023, meeting.

    Seconded by Trustee Marsh.

ADOPTED:
Trustee Harris voting AYE
Trustee Lane voting AYE
Trustee Marsh voting AYE
Mayor Grenier voting AYE

The Clerk gave an update on the LED lights project. The following has been completed:

  • Police Department
  • Fire Department (except for hallways near elevator)
  • Court
  • Main Pump Station and Record Room
  • Sage Hill Pump Station
  • DPW Garage
  • Park (except for lights on the poles)

The Clerk advised the Board that he is still working on streetlights. He has been unable to contact the National Grid representative.

The residents who sign up for Solar Power will receive a cost saving on their electric bill. The Solar Power Company will come to the second Board Meeting in May.

Fire Chief David Ognan advised that today after a fire call on I 787 Rescue 6 would not go into gear. The department was able to fix the problem. Rescue 6 is now at Firematic to be repaired. Chief Ognan received a quote for $27,000.00 to complete all the repairs needed for Rescue 6. A discussion followed.

After a discussion, Trustee Lane made a motion to approve Firematic to repair Rescue 6 at a cost of $27,000.00, seconded by Trustee Marsh.

ADOPTED:

Trustee Harris voting AYE
Trustee Lane voting AYE
Trustee Marsh voting AYE
Mayor Grenier voting AYE

Mayor Grenier advised the Board that last week during the power outage the generator wouldn’t start. Milton Cat came and got the generator started. Mayor Grenier asked the clerk to set up a meeting with Milton Cat.

Trustee Harris advised the Board he met with Supervisor Crummy from the Town of Colonie to discuss cell towers that would help with cell coverage in the Village. A discussion followed.

Trustee Harris asked the clerk the status of the stop signs. The clerk advised they have been ordered.

Mayor Grenier advised the Board that bids to repair the high-service reservoir have been sent out. The Bid Opening will be on April 11th, 2023.

Trustees Marsh and Lane led a discussion regarding holding a Village Wide Clean-up Day on Saturday, April 22nd, Earth Day

At 6:47 P.M. Trustee Marsh made a motion to enter into Executive Session to discuss a legal/contractual matter, seconded by Trustee Harris.

ADOPTED:

Trustee Harris voting AYE
Trustee Lane voting AYE
Trustee Marsh voting AYE
Mayor Grenier voting AYE

The regular meeting reconvened at 7:57 P.M.

Trustee Marsh made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Trustee Harris.

ADOPTED:

Trustee Harris voting AYE
Trustee Lane voting AYE
Trustee Marsh voting AYE
Mayor Grenier voting AYE

The meeting was duly adjourned at 7:57 P.M.

________________________
Donald Handerhan
Village Clerk