June 16, 2020 Regular Meeting Minutes

REGULAR MEETING – VILLAGE OF NORTHVILLE

Tuesday, June 16, 2020

The Village Board met Tuesday, June 16, 2020 at 7:37 PM via Zoom

 

Present:            John Spaeth, Mayor

Steve Collins, Trustee

Sue Eckert, Trustee

John Markiewicz, Trustee

Sue Sedon, Trustee

                                               

Absent:

 

Wendy Reu, Village Clerk

Nathan Matthews, Treasurer

 

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

 

Motion to approve the minutes of the May 19, 2020 Organizational Meeting was made by Trustee Sedon, seconded by Trustee Eckert, and passed by voice vote as follows:

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

Nay:                  0

Abstain:           0

 

Motion to approve the minutes of the May 19, 2020 Regular Meeting was made by Trustee Markiewicz, seconded by Trustee Eckert, and passed by voice vote as follows:

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

Nay:                  0

Abstain:           0

 

PUBLIC COMMENTS – There no members of the public that participated in the Zoom meeting.

 

REPORT OF COMMITTEES:

Streets The DPW report was read by Trustee Eckert and is on file at the Clerk’s office. It was reported that brush and leaf pickup would be conducted every other Wednesday.

 

Water – It was reported that usage decreased from 3,059,000 gallons in May 2019 to 2,286,7000 this year. Water testing and operations were normal.

Mayor Spaeth stated that Allen and Palmer was given the green light to begin installation of water meters in homes as long as the residents were comfortable given the current Covid situation. He indicated that if residents had concerns, Allen and Palmer was instructed to schedule those installations at a later date.

 

Fire– No report was filed.

 

A request was received from Holly Downing asking for permission to the Fire Department to conduct their annual coin drop on July 4th. Mayor Spaeth stated that the request should have come from the Fireman’s Association as the Fire Department is not an entity that can fund raise. That being said, the request was considered as coming from the Fireman’s Association. Trustee Collins stated he didn’t believe they could do a coin drop once they become a Fire District, but the Association members could still do a coin drop. Mayor Spaeth stated the only concern he has with the request is that the firemen have been the least observant of social distancing and mask wearing while outside the firehouse. He stated that if the coin drop is approved, they need to be aware that they must wear masks, as they indicated they would in their request. After discussion, Trustee Markiewicz made a motion to approve the coin drop for the Fireman’s Association on July 4th, with the stipulation that they must wear masks. The motion was seconded by Trustee Collins and carried by voice vote as follows:

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

Nay:                  0

Abstain:           0

 

Code Enforcement- The Code Enforcements Officers report indicated that there were seven permits issued for April.

 

Dog Control – The report issued by Dog Control Officer Duesler indicated there were two barking dog complaints and one loose dog during May.

Mayor Spaeth reported he spoke with Vern about his reappointment as dog control officer and the issues with responding to calls. He indicated that Vern realizes that he can’t be completely unreachable, yet at a salary of $ 3,000.00 per year, we can’t expect 365/24/7 coverage from him either. Mayor Spaeth stated there are basically two periods of time during the year that make it difficult to get in touch with Vern, syrup season and hunting season. He spoke with Vern and they agreed that is there is an issue that needs more urgent response, in a more reasonable time, the Clerk can be contacted, and she will text Vern. Mayor Spaeth stated they worked the most recent complaint that way and the issue was resolved in a timely manner.

 

Joint Youth – Trustee Sedon reported that new protocols came out for day camps which were very lengthy. She stated that Ken reviewed the regulations and the Commission members feel they cannot run the day camp for a variety of reasons related to Covid.

Mayor Spaeth asked about the beach as there were questions from the public as to whether the gate was going to be opened or not. Trustee Sedon stated there is a concern of littering and liability if the gate is opened. Mayor Spaeth stated that right now, people are parking on the highway but he also noted that both sides of Route 30 are designated as no parking zones. He stated that as that area is outside of the Village of Northville, our police cannot issue parking tickets but the State Police and Sheriff’s Department can. He agreed that by opening the gate, it would create a littering issue but also an issue with people camping down on the beach area. Mayor Spaeth stated he had received calls from several people concerned that boats are pulling up onto the beach area and asked if the Commission could put the buoys out to keep boats off the shore. Mayor Spaeth stated that with the gate closed and the signage indicating that the beach is closed, there is no liability. He stated that we would have more issue with opening the gate as opposed to leaving it closed. Ultimately, he said it is a Commission decision.

 

LWRP- Mayor Spaeth stated he has had a couple of meetings with Elan Planning and the DOS and they have made a lot of progress. They have a draft of all the seven main sections, some of which are under review by the DOS legal team. He indicated he would be scheduling a Zoom meeting for the advisory committee soon. He stated that by the fall, we should be having something to forward to the DOS for approval. Trustee Sedon asked if that included the spillway area and Mayor Spaeth stated it did.

 

Park Use Requests – It was reported that the Masons asked to use the Waterfront park on June 27th from 2-6 p.m. to conduct a picnic. The Masons indicated there would be less than 25 people present which meets the current gathering restrictions. It was reported there would be no tents put up and that there would be no alcohol served. The Clerk reported that the Farmers’ Market starts the same day but would be concluded by the time the Masons want to use the park. It was noted that a certificate of insurance would be provided. After discussion, Trustee Markiewicz made a motion to allow the Masons to use the Waterfront Park on June 27th for a picnic from 2-6 p.m., waiving any fees. The motion was seconded by Trustee Eckert 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 Board should consider reviewing their park use request policy to see if we can ease up the requirement for groups that want to do simple picnics in the park.

 

PAYMENT OF BILLS

The monthly financial report was reviewed and bills to be paid from the General Fund in the amount of $ 38853.13, from the Water Fund in the amount of $ 4,5463.45, and from the Joint Youth Fund in the amount of $ 250.90 were presented for payment. Motion to approve payment was made by Trustee Markiewicz, seconded by Trustee Eckert, and carried by voice vote as follows:

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

Nay:                  0

Abstain:           0

 

OLD BUSINESS:     

Mayor Spaeth presented a request from Mr. Ding A Ling regarding issuance of a vendor permit for the summer. Mayor Spaeth stated that the Board had previously issued a moratorium on issuance of vendor permits and now that things are starting to open up through the phases for our region, he felt the Board should have a discussion on the moratorium for vendor permits. Mayor Spaeth stated that we have a whole bunch of businesses that have struggled in our community and are just starting to get their feet back under them, and he was concerned about issuing vendor permits to outside businesses. He stated that our local business owners live and work in this community and many are taxpayers here. Trustee Eckert stated that from a health and safety standpoint, she felt mobile vendors introduced increased risks in our community at this time. Trustee Collins stated that we only had one request from a mobile ice cream vendor and did not see it as great competition for our restaurants. The Clerk pointed out that if the moratorium was released, we would have to issue vendor permits to any mobile vendor that applied, we can’t pick and choose who gets a permit. Trustee Sedon stated she felt we needed to support our local businesses at this time. After brief discussion, the Board agreed to maintain the moratorium on issuance of vendor permits through the summer, with the issue to be revisited in the fall.

 

Mayor Spaeth reported a request was received from members of the community for the Village to conduct Garage Sale Weekend. Mayor Spaeth stated that the information from the Governor’s office allows individuals to conduct garage sales with limits of 10 or fewer people but makes no mention of municipal sponsored events. Trustee Sedon stated that she felt if individuals wanted to have their own garage sale they could. She stated she did not feel the Village should sponsor an event of that type at this time. Trustee Eckert agreed and stated that individuals could get together and have their own sales. Trustee Sedon stated if it was an event that the Village sponsored, we would be responsible for getting porta johns and advertising, and the liability would be on the Village. Mayor Spaeth stated that merchants in the Village do not see much economic benefit from garage sale weekend as it is. Trustee Markiewicz stated he felt we should exercise an abundance of caution with an event of this type. Mayor Spaeth stated that whether we sponsor it or not, we have to enforce the rules issued by the Governor. After continued discussion, the Board decided that the Village will not sponsor garage sale weekend this year.

 

Mayor Spaeth gave an update on the cell tower buyout. He indicated that he, along with Trustee Eckert, went though the memo from Attorney Greco and the contract documents. Mayor Spaeth indicated that Attorney Greco feels the areas of concern the Village Board had have been addressed and that we can proceed with moving the contract forward as it stands.

 

NEW BUSINESS:      

Mayor Spaeth reported that NCS will be conducting an outdoor graduation ceremony on June 26th. NCS has requested Third Street be barricaded from Bridge to Washington and assistance from the Village PD. Mayor Spaeth stated that our police department will be on hand at the school in case some one has issues with mask wearing or the restriction of public being able to attend the ceremony. Mayor Spaeth reported there will be a car parade immediately following the ceremony that will be led by our officer and the fire department. Mayor Spaeth stated that Chief VanValkenburg will also be in the Village assisting with traffic control along Bridge Street. It was also reported there would be a farewell parade of students on June 25th at 11:00 a.m. on Third Street. After discussion, Trustee Sedon made a motion to approve the request of NCS to block Third Street and provide officers for the graduation ceremony on June 26th. 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 reported that during a recent daily briefing by Governor Cuomo, it was made extremely clear that local municipalities must enforce the controls that the state has put in place regarding the phased reopening plan, social distancing, crowd restriction, and mask wearing. He stated that we, as a municipality, have to figure out what we are doing to enforce the orders. Mayor Spaeth stated that yesterday he received a formal complaint, from a resident of Benson, that various merchants in the Village are not adhering to the mask requirement. Mayor Spaeth stated that if we do nothing to act on this complaint, the individual will take the complaint higher to the Department of Health. Mayor Spaeth stated that the State has issued warnings that businesses that fail to follow the protocol could have their liquor licenses and business licenses pulled. He indicated the Governor has also stated that entire regions could drop back in phases if protocol isn’t followed. Trustee Eckert stated that it is not a real law, indicating that you can’t give a ticket to someone for not wearing a mask. Mayor Spaeth stated the question was whether an executive order is an actual law. He stated that in the Governor’s mind, it is a law. That being said, for a municipality to enforce any law, we need to know what the penalties are. We can’t enforce a law if we don’t have that information. Mayor Spaeth stated he felt the Village should put something out on their FB page as to what the rules are for each phase and the protocol that was expected to be followed.   Mayor Spaeth stated that every business that opened in the phased reopening should have a written business plan. He stated that in terms of enforcement, he doesn’t feel it falls onto the Code Enforcement Officer if complaints are received. He stated he felt it should be the police that enforce the Governor’s orders. Mayor Spaeth stated he felt it was important for business owners to understand that we, as a region, could be forced back a phase or two if compliance is not maintained.

 

Mayor Spaeth reported that Governor Cuomo has issued an order that all police departments are to review their department procedures. He indicated that he would be contacting the County and working with the Sheriff’s Department, as we fall under their jurisdiction, to see if we could coordinate with the plan they are developing.

 

Mayor Spaeth reported that the July meeting of the Board of Trustees would be conducted in the Bradt Building but will be closed to the public attending. Mayor Spaeth stated that we would establish a time for people to call or email their questions to the Board so that they could be addressed at the meeting.

 

ADJOURNMENT:

There being no further business before the Board, motion was made to adjourn by Trustee Eckert, seconded by Trustee Collins and passed by voice vote with no one dissenting. The meeting was adjourned at 9:00 p.m.

 

Respectfully submitted,

 

 

Wendy L. Reu, Clerk