September 22, 2020 Regular Meeting Minutes


Tuesday, September 22, 2020

The Village Board met Tuesday, September 22, 2020 at 7:00 PM


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 August 18, 2020 Regular Meeting was made by Trustee Markiewicz, seconded by Trustee Collins, 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 would take public comment via phone calls or emails between 7:00 and 7:20 p.m.  During that period, no communication from the public arrived.



Police – No report was provided.  Mayor Spaeth reported that a complaint was filed against one of our police officers which after investigation proved to be unfounded.  He stated that an individual complained that another person was being harassed by the officer.  Mayor Spaeth spoke with the individual who was said to have been harassed and she stated the entire thing was bogus and that she and the officer are on friendly terms.  Per the person said to have been harassed, her neighbors do not like the police being in the neighborhood.  As there was no merit to the complaint, it was dismissed.  Mayor Spaeth reported that he met with the officer after the investigation and a document of the investigation is in his file.


Streets The DPW report was read and is on file at the Clerk’s office.  It was reported that brush and leaf pickup would continue the first and third Wednesdays of the month and that would continue to be the policy next summer as well.


Highway Superintendent Reidell is proposing continuing the four, 10-hour day shifts for the time being.  He stated he would see how it would work in the winter.  He stated he would monitor the schedule and if there is too much overtime during the winter, the crew can go back to the five day a week schedule.  The Board was in favor of his proposal.


Mayor Spaeth reported that Mike Warner would be retiring October 16th.  He stated that Mike is a very private person and would be difficult to capture to have any type of celebration, but he felt that his 27 years working for the Village should be acknowledged.  He stated that NYCOM will be providing a certificate for the Village to present to Mike and Dan was working on some ideas for a gift.  Mayor Spaeth suggested perhaps just cake in the conference room one afternoon prior to his retirement could be arranged.


Water – It was reported that usage increased from 3,013,000 gallons in August 2019 to 3,414,000 this year. Water testing and operations were normal.


Trustee Eckert asked for an update on the status of getting Highway Superintendent Reidell certified.  Mayor Spaeth reported that he met with Darryl and gave him until the end of October to get Dan certified.  Dan reported that he has not heard anything from Darryl yet.


Mayor Spaeth presented a letter from NCS regarding their plan for watering the soccer field.  He indicated they were asking for a response back from the Board agreeing to the procedures they adopted.  It was reported that their use would be staggered to not overwhelm the system at a constant daily time.


Mayor Spaeth reported that Trustee Sedon and Trustee Eckert were working with the Clerk to develop a Tap Application Policy.  It was agreed that the paperwork should drive the process and be completed prior to any taps being installed.


 Fire –  Fire Department Report for August 2020

Village of Northville              (2) EMS Assist                          1

Standby                                1


Town of Northampton           (6) Hazardous Condition          2

EMS Assist                         1

Structure Fire                      1

Drowning                            1

Vehicle Fire                        1

Town of Edinburg                  (2) Alarm Activation                1

MVA                                   1

Town of Hope                        (2) Alarm Activation                1

Stand By                              1

Town of Benson                     (0)  
Mutual Aid Given                  (4)

Mutual Aid Received             (3)


Total Man-hours reported were – 16


Code Enforcement- Mayor Spaeth reported that Interim Code Enforcement Officer Todd Unislawski was working Wednesday, 8 a.m.-4 p.m.  Mayor Spaeth stated that the Code office has been dealing with complaints that we receive in the office and there are three complaints in the folder tonight.

Mayor Spaeth reported that the fence complaint was resolved.  He stated that a valid building permit was issued by the previous Code Enforcement Officer.  Shortly after the fence install was starting, complaints started coming in regarding the height of the fence in a front yard.  It was determined that the height of the fence in the front yard was grandfathered in, but only if the fence was put in the same fence line as the original fence, which it was not.  The new fence was 8 feet back from the street.  There was a complaint that part of a sidewalk was removed and not replaced.  Mayor Spaeth stated that he confirmed with Highway Superintendent Reidell that it was an unused piece of driveway that was removed, not a piece of sidewalk.  He stated that Highway Superintendent Reidell indicated that during the curbing process, when there are unused driveways, the crew removes them during the process so that they do not have to do curb cuts.  After working with the Code Enforcement Officer, the property owner took the fence apart and moved it back to the original fence line.


Mayor Spaeth reported that there was a complaint of a rooster at a property on Main Street that was crowing.  It was determined that the rooster was obtained after the new Zoning went into effect which does not allow roosters in the Village.  Mayor Spaeth reported a letter was sent to the homeowner.


A complaint was received from Mark Sakadolsky regarding the Inn at the Bridge.  Mayor Spaeth stated that this issue has been going on for over four years and that four different Code Enforcement Officers have reviewed the ZBA file containing the variance for the property and the audio tapes, and all determined that the Inn is operating within the law as per their interpretation of the variance.  Mayor Spaeth stated that effective February 2020, we have a definition of a marina in our code.  He stated that prior to that, there was no definition.  Mayor Spaeth stated that the Inn at the Bridge had been operating as a marina prior to the adoption of the new zoning and as such, the marina is grandfathered in as preexisting, non-conforming.  Mayor Spaeth pointed out that if the Inn was to attempt to increase the dock slips in upcoming seasons, that would be increasing a preexisting non conformancy and would need to go back to the Zoning Board.  Mayor Spaeth stated the complaint also mentioned that the HRBRRD permit for the Inn had expired.  He explained that there are two types of HRBRRD permits; Use permits and Work permits.  He stated that a work permit was like a building permit and that the Inn had gotten a work permit to expand the docks.  He stated the Inn expanded their dock slips to 40 docks last summer and the work was completed.  Mayor Spaeth stated that he verified that HRBRRD billed the Inn for 40 dock slips.  Trustee Eckert asked where the people are parking that utilize the docks.  Mayor Spaeth stated that parking is an issue.  He stated it is worse on the weekends when parking is an issue around the whole village.  Mayor Spaeth stated the Board should explore parking restrictions.  Trustee Sedon asked if a fire truck could get through the end of Division Street if there was parking on both sides of the street and the answer was no.  Trustee Eckert stated she feels there needs to be enforcement of parking violations.  She stated the Board should explore options, such as one-sided parking on Division Street to alleviate some of the congestion.  Mayor Spaeth stated he would draft a letter to be sent to the residents in the western end of Division Street to open the dialogue on potential parking restrictions in the area.


Trustee Eckert asked if we will be able to get a Code Enforcement Officer to work part time with the Village.  Mayor Spaeth stated he has an interested party for employment two days a week if the Board feels that is how they want to fill the position.  He stated he was still waiting to confirm with the Town on whether the position was going to be shared.


Dog Control – The Dog Control Officer report was filed with the Clerk.  It was reported that two loose dog issues were resolved.  DCO Duesler indicated that the Rager is still awaiting legal action.


Joint Youth – Director Ken Adamczyk discussed his ideas for Halloween.  He stated that in the past, they had done a Halloween carnival.  He stated that the current plan was to try and do a Trunk or Treat in the parking lot at the school.  He suggested that residents could also have a table at the event if they desired.  He stated that the JY Committee was having a meeting on Thursday to discuss decorating contest for Halloween and Christmas.  Mayor Spaeth stated that the Village had received a letter from NCS stating that due to their guidelines for Covid 19, they would not be conducting their annual Halloween parade and would have no part of any planning for Halloween events that do not enforce and supervise the wearing of masks and social distancing on school grounds.  With regard to Trick or Treat, Mayor Spaeth stated that if the Village Board were to say they prohibit it, we all know it will still happen.  He stated it was best of try and offer some safe ways to participate in the event if families wanted to do it.  Trustee Sedon stated that she felt that if NCS was shut down due to Covid exposures, then Trick or Treat should not happen.  Trustee Collins stated that in the past, Trick or Treat was limited to 5-7 p.m. and he felt this year should be no different.  Ken Adamczyk stated the JY committee would discuss this at their upcoming meeting but based on the NCS letter and State guidelines, he did not feel as if the event they were planning could happen.


Marketing – Ken Adamczyk presented a draft Marketing Plan proposed by CRG and reviewed the document with the Board.


Park Use Requests– Todd Payne, from Scout Troop 55 requested use of the Waterfront Park bandshell on Saturday, October 24th from 1-4 p.m. to conduct their annual Pinewood Derby.  It was noted they would observe protocol of mask wearing and social distancing.  Trustee Markiewicz made a motion to approve the use of the Waterfront Park bandshell for the Pinewood Derby.  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


Laurie Frederick requested use of either the Village Green or the Waterfront Park on a Saturday in October to set up a table for a fundraising raffle for her granddaughter who was recently diagnosed with cancer.  Trustee Sedon made a motion to allow Laurie Frederick to set up a table on the Village Green or in the Waterfront Park to conduct a fund-raising raffle.  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


PAYMENT OF BILLS                                                           

The monthly financial report was reviewed and bills to be paid from the General Fund in the amount of $ 77,554.49, from the Water Fund in the amount of $ 30,243.63, and from the Joint Youth Fund in the amount of $ 1,283.77 were presented for payment. Motion to approve payment was made by Trustee Eckert, seconded by Trustee Markiewicz and carried by voice vote as follows:

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

Nay:                  0

Abstain:            0



            Treasurer Matthews requested the following transfers:



From:   A1990.4          Contingent – Contractual

To:       A1325.2          Clerk/Treasurer – Equipment

Reason- to cover purchase of laptops


Trustee Sedon made a motion to approve the transfers as requested.  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 presented a DPW salary sheet and proposed changes for the Board to utilize during the discussion on Compensation review.  He stated that the DPW was the largest department, so it was the best place to begin.  He stated that a salary comparison between surrounding municipalities was done and the Village was low.  Mayor Spaeth stated that it was hard to determine the dollar value of health care cost share for surrounding municipalities, adding that currently, Village employees do not contribute to the cost of their insurance which is an additional benefit.  He stated that the current family policy is $ 2500.00 per month and an individual is $ 1000.00/month.


Mayor Spaeth stated that in terms of health incentives, as workers get closer to retirement age, that benefit means zero to them. As of right now, he stated we provide free individual coverage at 20 years of service and free family coverage at 30 years.  He stated there is no option to buy into any of our plans if a worker is retiring earlier than those milestones. Mayor Spaeth stated that sometimes workers come to employment with the Village at a later age, after spending considerable time with another employer, and it would be good to offer them the option of buying in as an incentive to keep good workers.


Mayor Spaeth stated that the salaries presented are only for the highway crew as there are defined job descriptions for those titles.   He stated the positions of Highway Superintendent, Treasurer, and Clerk need to be examined for salary adjustment, but he was working on defining job descriptions for those positions.


Mayor Spaeth stated he would like to see the salary increases effective as soon as possible as we have a new employee staring November 1st for the highway department.  After discussion, Trustee Eckert made a motion to increase the highway laborer/operator positions and the compensation changes for full time employees 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


A request was received from Search Team 5-1 to conduct their annual coin drop on October 24th from 9-noon on South Main Street, in front of Encon.  Trustee Sedon made a motion to approve the coin drop for Search Team 5-1.  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 reported an email was received from Laurie Gritsavage regarding the Garage Sale Weekend that was conducted this year and a request to have next year’s sale in the summer instead of the first weekend in May.  The Board felt it was too early to entertain discussion on this and tabled the request for discussion in February or March of 2021.


Mayor Spaeth presented an additional email from Laurie Gritsavage that expressed concerns about three specific items around the Village.  Her first concern was the intersection of Bridge and Main and her belief that a three way stop sign was needed at the intersection.  Mayor Spaeth stated this has been discussed in the past and it was determined that it would cause traffic back up along Main and Bridge Street which would prevent cars from exiting Water Street and also create an issue for shoppers utilizing street parking in the business district from entering the roadway.  The current Board members agreed and felt it would create more of a hazard to have a three way stop at that intersection.


Mrs. Gritsavage’ s second concern was the Stewarts exit onto Bridge Street and she cited that she felt it should be a right turn only.  Trustee Collins stated he did not feel that getting out of the Stewarts parking lot onto Bridge Street created a traffic issue.  It was also pointed out that the Zoning and Planning Boards evaluated the design plans for Stewarts before it was built, and it was not deemed an issue at that time.  Trustee Sedon stated she felt Water Street was a more dangerous spot.  Trustee Eckert agreed and stated that there needs to be more enforcement of not only Village laws but Vehicle and Traffic laws around the Village.  It was agreed by the Board that speeding along Water Street was an issue that our PD should monitor.  Highway Superintendent Reidell stated that also trucks are continuing to use Water Street despite the road being marked at No Trucks and truck route signs directing drivers down South Main Street.


Mrs. Gritsavage’ s third concern was the message board on the Village Green.  She indicated it was not being kept up and was an eyesore.  Mayor Spaeth stated that he agrees with her concern on this item, as did the entire Board.  He stated they have tried to work with the Palmateers in the past.  Mayor Spaeth stated the project was to have been turned over to the Village after a specific amount of time per the agreement for the Eagle Scout project, but that transition never occurred.  The Clerk was instructed to review past minutes to determine the length of time the Eagle Scout was to manage the project and Mayor Spaeth stated he would send a letter to the Palmateers letting them know the Village would be assuming responsibility for the message board.  After discussion, Mayor Spaeth stated he would communicate the Board’s discussion on the above matters to Mrs. Gritsavage.




There was no new business to be discussed.



There being no further business before the Board, motion was made to adjourn by Trustee Markiewicz, seconded by Trustee Collins and passed by voice vote with no one dissenting.  The meeting was adjourned at 9:33 p.m.


Respectfully submitted,



Wendy L. Reu, Clerk