December 15, 2020 Regular Meeting Minutes


Tuesday, December 15, 2020

The Village Board met Tuesday, December 15, 2020 at 7:00 PM via Zoom


Present:            John Spaeth, Mayor

Steve Collins, Trustee

Sue Eckert, Trustee

John Markiewicz, Trustee

Sue Sedon, Trustee                



Wendy Reu, Village Clerk

Nathan Matthews, Treasurer

Dan Reidell, Highway Superintendent


Mayor Spaeth called the meeting to order at 7:00 p.m.


Motion to approve the minutes of the November 17, 2020 Regular Meeting was made by Trustee Eckert, seconded by Trustee Markiewicz, and passed by voice vote as follows:

Aye:                  Trustee Collins, Trustee Eckert, Trustee Markiewicz, Trustee Sedon

Nay:                  0

Abstain:            0


PUBLIC COMMENTS – Mayor Spaeth reported that prior to the meeting, it was advertised that the Board meeting would be conducted via Zoom and communication could be submitted via email to the Village.  No communication from the public arrived.



Police – No Report.


Streets The DPW report was read and is on file at the Clerk’s office.


Water – It was reported that usage decreased from 1,921,000 gallons in November 2019 to 1,623,000 this year. Water testing and operations were normal.

Mayor Spaeth stated that there are approximately 15 customers who have not responded to notices from Allen and Palmer to arrange for meter conversion but he added that all the customers in the Village were billed for the $ 90 meter replacement charge.  He stated he felt that would be a catalyst to get the customers to make arrangements to get the meters swapped out.  Mayor Spaeth stated that goal will be to have the remaining customers transferred over prior to the next reading in April.

Mayor Spaeth reported he attended a virtual meeting with Ti Sales, along with members of the water departments from both the Village and the Town, the treasurer, and Supervisor Groff to discuss the potential for a collector system to read meters from the office for the Village and the Town.  Mayor Spaeth stated there are a series of steps to the path of a central collector system.  The first step is a new reader.  He explained that our old reader is antiquated and has been having some issues despite system upgrades, and regardless of whether we move forward with a full collector system, upgrading the reader is an absolute necessity.  He indicated that Darryl was getting that ordered and the cost would be split between the Village and the Town.  The second step to the process would be software that would allow the data to go directly from the reader to the computer.  He stated that would give us better monitoring capability.  Mayor Spaeth stated the third step to be on a fully automated collector system would be a 10 ft. whip antenna that would allow the system to read on an hourly basis and immediately download into the software.  He stated that the cost of the antenna and installation would be $ 25,000.00.  Mayor Spaeth stated that by being able to read on an hourly basis, we would get quicker response to leak detection and we would be notified of issues with water running continuously at a vacant residence or if there are issue with meters not reading properly.  He stated there have been several incidences where snowbirds or vacationers have left their homes and sustained significant damage and increased costs due to burst pipes.  He stated the software cost is $ 6,000 annually which includes maintenance and upgrades and the installation fee for the antenna would be a one time fee.  Trustee Collins asked if it could read the entire Village.  Mayor Spaeth stated that Ti Sales did a propagation study using the top of the Masonic building as their target and it collected information from over 95% of the meters in the Village.  Trustee Collins asked if anyone had considered the tower behind the CDL building.  Mayor Spaeth stated that Dean Shepard owns the tower and has been contacted and was open to allowing the antenna to be put on that tower.  He indicated there would need to be power and internet for the antenna to work so that spot would have to be given additional thought.  Mayor Spaeth stated that Ti Sales is going to be running a test from that tower and also from the Village highway garage on High Rock Road.  He stated the goal was to try and capture both the Town and the Village with one antenna.  He stated he anticipated hearing from Ti Sales in the next week and would keep the Board addressed of progress on potential location for the antenna.


 Fire –  Fire Department Report for November  2020

Village of Northville              (1) EMS Assist                        1
Town of Northampton           (4 ) Hazardous Condition          1

MVA/PI                              1

Fire                                     2

Town of Edinburg                  (6) MVA                                   1

Hazardous Condition          1

Alarm                                  1

LZ                                       1

Cancelled enroute               2

Town of Hope                        (0)
Town of Benson                     (1) EMS Assist                         1
Mutual Aid Given                  (4)

Mutual Aid Received             (4)

Total Man-hours reported were – 9.40


Trustee Collins asked if the paperwork for the Rescue truck that the Board declared non-necessity at last month’s meeting was turned over to the Fireman’s Association.  Mayor Spaeth stated his understanding was that the truck was to be listed by Auctions International by the Village.  Trustee Collins reported that the rescue truck was currently listed for $ 50,000.00 on a used firetruck website based out of Syracuse.  Mayor Spaeth indicated this was the first he had heard about it but verified that the actions taken by the Board last month did not authorize the Fireman’s Association to sell the vehicle.  Trustee Collins stated he was not happy with the direction this has taken and with the request for transfer for funds to purchase pagers, it appears that the Fireman’s Association is trying to get all the money they can from the Village before the District takes effect January 1st.  Mayor Spaeth stated the Northville Joint Fire District conducted a vote on December 8th to establish Capital Reserves and that the Village Fire Reserves would move into their Reserves on January 1st.    He stated that he had a meeting a while back with Tom Groff and Heidi Colson about the budget, specifically the operational budget under the Village.  Treasurer Matthews stated that the money for the pagers they are purchasing was not in the Equipment line but it was in their Operational budget.  Trustee Markiewicz stated they did get permission in early fall, he discussed it with them.  Treasurer Matthews stated no quotes were every received, there was a lot of talk about pagers but nothing came forward.  He stated that purchases without an appropriation to support it should not be made.  Treasurer Matthews stated that no single Board member has authority to transfer funds, it has to be an entire Board decision.  Trustee Eckert asked what can the Board do if it wasn’t done properly.  Treasurer Matthews stated that the Board has the authority to not pay for the pagers if they desire. Treasurer Matthews also stated that some of the confusion is coming from the transfer of funds.  He stated that yes, they are supposed to not purchase outside their line item but if there are items they need and there is not enough to substantiate the purchase in the line item, they are supposed to request a transfer of funds from their operating budget to the particular line item before making the purchase.  He stated that this did not occur in this instance but that the transfer is from operating funds to equipment to cover the cost of the pagers. Trustee Collins stated that we have authorized the reserves be turned over to the District on January 1st and asked if that included any unspent money in the Operating budget.  Treasurer Matthews stated that unspent funds in the Operating budget will go back into the General Fund.  Trustee Eckert stated that the money for the pagers came out of the fire budget, they just didn’t follow the procedure properly.


Code Enforcement- Mayor Spaeth reported that DPW Superintendent Reidell approached him with the idea of adding Code Enforcement under his job description.  Mayor Spaeth stated he has done some investigating and there is nothing legally keeping us from doing this.  He indicated we are waiting for the official word from FC Civil Service office.  Mayor Spaeth stated that appointed positions have to retain residence in the County.  He stated that Dan is a hired employee and as such, does not have to live in the County.  Trustee Collins asked what would happen when water becomes a bigger part of Dan’s responsibility.  DPW Superintendent Reidell stated that he feels there is enough time to handle all the positions.  DPW Superintendent Reidell also stated that he is now certified in water.


Joint Youth – Trustee Sedon stated they have not had a meeting but that they are working on a Zoom session for Santa for the children of the community.



             Treasurer Matthews presented the following:

Amount:          $3560

From:               A3410.4          -Fire – Contractual

To:                   A3410.2          -Fire – Equipment

Reason:            Purchase of pagers


Trustee Markiewicz made a motion to approve the Transfer as presented.  The motion was seconded by voice vote as follows:

Aye:                  Trustee Collins (with protest), Trustee Eckert, Trustee Markiewicz, Trustee Sedon

Nay:                  0

Abstain:            0






PAYMENT OF BILLS                                                           

The monthly financial report was reviewed and bills to be paid from the General Fund in the amount of $ 228,291.07, from the Water Fund in the amount of $ 8,605.11 were presented for payment. Motion to approve payment was made by Trustee Markiewicz, seconded by Trustee Collins and carried by voice vote as follows:

Aye:                  Trustee Collins, Trustee Eckert, Trustee Markiewicz, Trustee Sedon

Nay:                  0

Abstain:            0



Mayor Spaeth gave an update on the lighting project and the need to establish a line of credit for the disconnect process that is a requirement of the National Grid/NYPA project.  He presented Resolution #17 of 2020 that was drafted by Pioneer Bank, authorizing Mayor Spaeth to establish a line of credit for the Village of Northville.  After review, Trustee Eckert made a motion to approve Resolution #17 of 2020.  The motion was seconded by Trustee Markiewicz and carried by voice vote as follows:

Aye:                  Trustee Collins, Trustee Eckert, Trustee Markiewicz, Trustee Sedon

Nay:                  0

Abstain:            0


Mayor Spaeth gave an update on the cell tower buyout process.  He indicated SBA towers was requiring unanimous written consent of the Board of Trustees to finalize the sale.  He presented Resolution #18 of 2020, drafted by SBA Towers, entitled Unanimous Written Consent of the Board of Trustees of Village of Northville.  Trustee Sedon made a motion to approve Resolution # 18 of 2020 as presented.  The motion was seconded by Trustee Markiewicz and carried by voice vote as follows:

Aye:                  Trustee Collins, Trustee Eckert, Trustee Markiewicz, Trustee Sedon

Nay:                  0

Abstain:            0



Mayor Spaeth stated that the search for a new Code Enforcement Officer has initiated the idea of opening up the residency requirement to abutting counties which would include Herkimer, Hamilton, Montgomery, and Saratoga.  He stated there is a process involved and he has reached out to the offices of Assemblyman Smullen and Congressman Tonko and they are starting to look at it.  He stated that home rule legislation usually starts at the end of session which is June.



There being no further business before the Board, motion was made to adjourn by Trustee Collins, seconded by Trustee Eckert and passed by voice vote with no one dissenting.  The meeting was adjourned at 8:12 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,



Wendy L. Reu, Clerk