Board Meeting Minutes – February 16th, 2021

  February 16, 2021

At 6:00 PM on Monday, February 16th, 2021 Mayor Meg Grenier read the following statement: this is the Village of Menands Board of Trustees, semi-monthly meeting. I am Mayor Meg Grenier and as it is 6:00 o’clock, I will call this meeting to order. For anyone outside the village staff who is attending this video conference, I would ask if you would please identify yourselves, Steve Boulet, Renee Lequire, Bill Nevins, Tom Harvie, Lisa Neuman, John Stangle, Eric Johnson. The Mayor asked them to mute their microphones.

Mayor Grenier then did a roll call of Village staff: Deputy Mayor Aileen Nicoll, present, Trustee Seth Harris, present, Trustee Diane Foley, present, Trustee Brian Marsh, present, Clerk Don Handerhan, present, Village Attorney Steve Rehfuss, Absent, Village Treasurer William T. Smith, Jr., present, Fire Chief Michael Steurer, present, Police Chief Frank Lacosse, present. On behalf of the Village Board, I would ask all residents that we please keep our First Responders, all essential workers and those affected by this pandemic in our thoughts and prayers.

Pursuant to Governor Cuomo’s executive order number 202.1 issued on March 13th, 2020: Suspending article 7 of the public officer’s law, to the extent necessary to permit any Public body to meet, and take such actions authorized by law that allowed the public to not be physically present at the meeting, but allow the public to listen to or view such meetings via teleconference call or video conference, while recording and later transcribing of the meeting. Village of Menands Board of Trustees semi-monthly meeting is being held via Google Meets video conference to protect Public Safety and Welfare during this COVID-19 pandemic. In an effort to conduct this meeting effectively we asked those in attendance to please mute your microphone during the meeting. As we are conducting only essential business during tonight’s meeting, there will be no public comment. Any comments previously submitted to Clerk Handerhan prior to the meeting and deemed essential will be read into the record. Governor Cuomo has extended executive order number 202.1 through February 22th, 2021.

A motion was made by Trustee Foley to accept the minutes of the February 1, 2021 Board Meeting, seconded by Trustee Harris.

ADOPTED:

Trustee Foley voting AYE
Trustee Harris voting AYE
Trustee Marsh voting AYE
Trustee Nicoll voting AYE
Mayor Grenier voting AYE

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

WARRANT # 18:

GENERAL totaling $61,164.90
WATER totaling $ 4,373.48
SEWER totaling 926.45
TOTALS $66,464.83

PAYROLL # 19: totaling $91,935.45
(01/29/21 – 02/11/21)

ADOPTED:

Trustee Foley voting AYE
Trustee Harris voting AYE
Trustee Marsh voting AYE
Trustee Nicoll voting AYE
Mayor Grenier voting AYE

 

The Clerk advised the Board that at the request of NYS Retirement the Standard Work Week resolution needs to be reintroduced for Mayor, Trustee Nicoll and Trustee Foley.

Trustee Harris made a motion to approve the Standard Work Week resolution for Mayor Grenier, Trustee Nicoll and Trustee Foley seconded by Trustee Marsh.

ADOPTED:

Trustee Foley voting AYE
Trustee Harris voting AYE
Trustee Marsh voting AYE
Trustee Nicoll voting AYE
Mayor Grenier voting AYE

The Clerk advised the Board that the Chief Steurer has submitted the 2020 Service Award Program Firefighter Records for the 30-day posting.

Trustee Marsh made a motion to approve the 2020 LOSAP posting, seconded by Trustee Harris.

ADOPTED:

Trustee Foley voting AYE
Trustee Harris voting AYE
Trustee Marsh voting AYE
Trustee Nicoll voting AYE
Mayor Grenier voting AYE

Mayor Grenier led discussion regarding Menands Police Reform Report that needs to be completed by April 1st, 2021. The report and the comment form are now posted on the Website and will be on the Website until March 12th, 2021.

Trustee Harris read the Referendum to increase the Service Award Program contributions from $700 to $1,200 per year.

Village of Menands
of the Board of Trustees
———————————————-
In the matter of amending the Service
Award Programs for active volunteer firefighter members
of the Village of Menands Fire Department
———————————————

WHEREAS; In accordance with Article 11-A of the New York State General Municipal Law, eligible voters of the Village of Menands approved a proposition to establish a Defined Contribution Service Award Program, effective January 1, 1990 for active volunteer firefighter members of the Menands Fire Department, and

WHEREAS; such Service Award Program is administered by the Village of Menands/ Board of Trustees of the Village of Menands and currently provides that an active volunteer firefighter earns a $700 Service Award contribution for each calendar year during which the volunteer firefighter earns a year of Service Credit under the Service Award Program Point System; and,

WHEREAS; Article 11-A currently allows annual Service Award contributions to be as much as $1,200; and,

WHEREAS; Article 11-A authorizes the Board of Trustees of the Village of Menands to seek voter approval of amendments to the Service Award Programs that will improve Service Award Program benefits and thereby are intended to help the Village of Menands Fire Department recruit and retain active volunteer firefighters; and

WHEREAS; Article 11-A authorizes the Board of Trustees of the Village of Menands to provide optional forms of payment; and,

WHEREAS; The Board of Trustees of the Village of Menands wishes to allow Eligible participants, upon reaching Entitlement Age of Sixty Years Old to have the option to defer payments of their service award benefit in compliance with applicable Federal Laws.

Now, Therefore, BE IT RESOLVED, That:

The Board of Trustees of the Village of Menands, as authorized by Article 11-A of the New York State General Municipal Law §216, directs that there shall be a public referendum of eligible voters at the 2021 Village election to be held on June 15, 2021 to determine whether the Village of Menands Service Award Program shall be amended effective January 1, 2022 to increase the annual Service Award contribution from $700 to $1,200 for each calendar year beginning after December 31, 2021 during which an active volunteer firefighter earns a year of service credit under the Point System.

Based on the current active volunteer firefighter roster, the cost of funding the current Programs could be as much as $12,600 or $700 per volunteer if all current active volunteers earn a year of service credit under the Point System. Should voters approve this amendment, the annual cost could increase to as much as $30,000 or $1,200 for each participating volunteer. The annual cost of administration of the program would not change as a result of the adoption of this amendment. The current program administration cost is about $3,700 per year.

BE IT ALSO RESOLVED, That:

The Board of Trustees of the Village of Menands, will allow Eligible Participants, upon reaching Entitlement Age of Sixty Years Old to have the option to defer payments of their service award benefit in compliance with applicable Federal Laws. This will take effect for any participant who has reached Entitlement Age of Sixty Years Old and is eligible for a payment on or after 1/1/2022. This change will have no effect on the funding cost of the program.

All other provisions of the Village of Menands Service Award Program which required voter approval shall not change and the program shall continue to be administered by the Village of Menands in accordance with Article 11-A of the New York State General Municipal Law as such law is amended from time to time.

Trustee Harris moved to approve resolution, as presented and Trustee Nicoll seconded the motion to approve Resolution, and the Board of Trustees voted as follows:

ADOPTED:

Trustee Foley voting AYE
Trustee Harris voting AYE
Trustee Marsh voting AYE
Trustee Nicoll voting AYE
Mayor Grenier voting AYE

 

Trustee Marsh led a discuss regarding sale of 32 Wolfert Avenue. After the discussion Trustee Marsh made a motion to place the property at 32 Wolfert up for public bid, seconded by Trustee Harris.

ADOPTED:

Trustee Foley voting AYE
Trustee Harris voting AYE
Trustee Marsh voting AYE
Trustee Nicoll voting AYE
Mayor Grenier voting AYE

Department Heads presented their Budget Proposals to the Board and answered all questions.

Chief Mike Steurer gave the Board his budget requests and answered all questions.

Chief Frank Lacosse gave the Board his budget requests and answered all questions.

Clerk Handerhan gave the Board his budget requests and answered all questions.

Treasurer Smith gave the Board his budget requests for DPW, Village, Court and answered all questions.

The Clerk gave the Board a reminder of the Budget Workshop scheduled for Monday, March 8th 2021 at 5:30 P.M.

Treasurer Smith led a discussion regarding Key Banks Lockbox for receiving tax, and water/sewer bills. Online payments were also discussed. A discussion followed.

Trustee Harris led a discussion regarding a story book walk on Trails Story Walk is reading a book while walking the trail. Lisa Newman stated she is willing to help Trustee Harris with the story book walk. A discussion followed.

Trustee Harris stated he is working on a survey for businesses regarding COVID. A discussion followed.

Treasurer Smith advised the Board that minimum wage has increased to $12.50 per hour.

Memorandum 2/5/21

TO: Clerk D Handerhan
FROM: Bill Garvey Jr.
TOPIC: Complaints about freight trains blowing whistles in our Village between 10 PM and 7 AM

I need to bring my complaints on this important issue to your attention. Almost each night, some freight trains which go through Menands are blowing whistles between 10 PM and 7 AM in spite of the fact that train are forbidden to blow whistle during that time of night under the Quiet Zone Railway Project agreement between our Village and Canadian Pacific Railway who owns D and H Railway and I’m not happy to see and hear this problem happening. Un the Quiet Zone Railway Project Agreement, freight trains are not supposed to blow whistles within the Village of Menands between 10 PM and 7 AM at all except in emergencies. Since some freight trains going through our Village blowing whistles during late night and early morning of each day. I like to know the reasons why some freight trains are still blowing their whistles between 10 PM and 7 AM each day when they are not supposed to do so during this time. The other day I spoke to 1 resident who lives on North Lyons Avenue about this issue and she informs me that she and other residents in our Village who live along the D and H Railway line hearing train whistles blowing between 10 PM and 7 AM plus those village residents are very unhappy about this problem happening. All Village residents of Menands who live along the D and H Railway line should not need to hear freight trains blowing whistles between 10 PM and 7 AM within our Village. While I understand that railroads still go to operation 24/7 every single day of the year but not at the cost of Health, Welfare, Public Safety and Well Being of all Village residents of Menands. I would like to know what action the Village of Menands will take in dealing with this important subject.

I wish to thank our Village Board to authorize Treasurer Mr. W. Smith to transfer $365,500.00 from Equipment Savings Account to General Fund Operating Account to pay for 2 plow trucks that our DPW Crew need in order to do their job to remove snow and ice during and after snow or ice storms the best to their ability efficiently. Once again, I thank our Village for authorizing our Village to use $365,000.00 to pay for 2 new snow plow trucks need by our DPW Crew.

It has been since late January of 2017 that Menands has been without any supermarket store plus Menands badly needs 1 supermarket store. As you remember that Price Chopper Supermarket Store closed on Broadway here in Menands during that time and it still remains inconvenient for our Village Residents to shop at other super markets elsewhere. This is a great deal of hardship for some of Village residents who do not have cars to travel to supermarkets outside our Village. I like to know what the Village of Menands is doing to work on getting 1 supermarket store to come to our Village?

Thank you for your time and consideration

Yours sincerely
Bill Garvey Jr.

At 7:10 P.M. Trustee Nicoll made a motion to enter into Executive Session to discuss a Personnel matter, seconded by Trustee Harris.

ADOPTED:

Trustee Foley voting AYE
Trustee Harris voting AYE
Trustee Marsh voting AYE
Trustee Nicoll voting AYE
Mayor Grenier voting AYE

After Executive Session Trustee Harris made a motion to appoint Daniel Braden as a Full Time Police Officer effective 1/1/21 and to appoint Robert Stark as a Part Time Police Officer, seconded by Trustee Foley.

ADOPTED:

Trustee Foley voting AYE
Trustee Harris voting AYE
Trustee Marsh voting AYE
Trustee Nicoll voting AYE
Mayor Grenier voting AYE

The regular meeting reconvened at 7:34 P.M.

A motion was made by Trustee Marsh to adjourn, seconded by Trustee Harris.

ADOPTED:

Trustee Foley voting AYE
Trustee Harris voting AYE
Trustee Marsh voting AYE
Trustee Nicoll voting AYE
Mayor Grenier voting AYE

The meeting was duly adjourned at 7:36 P.M.

_________________
Donald Handerhan
Village Clerk