Read the meeting minutes from the August 11 meeting
By Andrew Harris, photo of the town hall by Fion Maccrea
Town of Alfred officials will gather this Thursday at the town headquarters on the Shaw Road. These meetings are hybridized for the public convenience; the town welcomes in-person attendance and facilitates public participation via Zoom.
The agenda provided lacks enough detail to warrant publishing but town clerk Janice Burdick has provided the meeting minutes from last month. Taxpayers and readers can get lots of insight into what has been on the town officials plate by reading that posted below. Past is prologue they say…
You can also keep up on Town of Alfred news with Supervisor Dan Acton’s monthly report, “Alfred Town Talk.” Acton is perhaps the only local town supervisor who provides these regular reports to the public on the work of the government which he serves. Click here to read Dan’s last report from Alfred.
Zoom link for the Thursday September 8th, Alfred Town Board Meeting.
Residents may attend in person at the Town Building on Shaw Road, or via Zoom:
Meeting ID: 811 4936 5557
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REGULAR MONTHLY MEETING
August 11, 2022
TheRegular Monthly Meetingwas opened at 7:00 pm by Supervisor Dan Acton with the pledge to the flag.
All Board members were present in person. Also present representing the Village of Alfred was Jim Ninos. Others were Mary and Jud Stearns. Also present were Highway Superintendent Bob Halsey and Town Clerk Jan Burdick. Via Zoom was Fred Sinclair, and Mark Klingensmith.
Approval of Minutes: The minutes of July 14, 2022 regular monthly meeting were approved with a motion by Kenn Burdick, seconded by Fion MacCrea and carried 5-0.
Police Report – Wendy Dailey questioned what the 11 visits to the Alfred Station Fire Department, as reported on the monthly report, were for. Mrs. Dailey also did a summary of incidents and noted there had been a decline from 2021 to present.
Code Enforcement: Rescinded Crown Castle Building permit at the direction of the Town Board. The Town failed to make a declaration of Significant for SEQR and that will now need to be done before a new permit can be issued.
Correspondence – A letter will be sent to Governor Hochul regarding the ambulance reimbursement change. Correspondence regarding cannabis management and how it can be regulated through Zoning Laws. Kenn Burdick suggested it should be similar to a Liquor store or bar and wondered if the State Liquor Authority regulations could be used. Matthew Snyder stated he feels there should be regulations in regards to closeness to residents. Supervisor Acton asked the Planning Board to work on this and Kenn Burdick suggested the County Planning Board may be able to help. Young Sommer – attorneys for Northland Power requesting and current or proposed land uses within a 5-mile study area of the Facility. Matthew Snyder mentioned that they should be made award of the DRS Solar project and Alfred University’s plans for Jericho Hill. It was suggested that Dwight Kanyuck be asked about this.
General Abstract #8-2022 Vouchers #78-85 in the amount of $3600.10 in the General A Fund; Voucher #8 in the amount of $3394.75 in the B Fund, #8 in the SF Fund in the amount of $3581.58 approved with a motion by Matthew Snyder, seconded by Wendy Dailey and carried 5-0.
Highway Abstract #8 -2022 Vouchers #87-90 in the DA Highway Fund in the amount of $641.77 and Vouchers #26–33 in the DB Fund in the amount of $76508.51 approved with a motion by Dan Acton, seconded by Fion MacCrea and carried 5-0. $64,466.40 was CHIPS.
Highway Report: The written Highway report was reviewed and is on file. Worked on CHIPS projects with oil and stoning.
- Charging Stations -Fion MacCrea reported that the NYS Power Authority assessed our building, Almond and the Village Hall. Liked the Village best due to can park for a long period of time and do other things. The Power Authority will be in touch with the Village. The Town does not qualify for a Level 3 station, could possibly be able to get a grant from NYSERDA for a Level 2. A regular residential charger has to be contracted with a provider.
- Sidewalk Update – Supervisor Acton met again with the DOT and Clark Patterson. It appears that the DOT is going to sign off on the update design. Mr. Acton stated that he would like the DOT and Clark Patterson to come to the September meeting and present the updated project. Jud Stearns stated that they were talking about going through his front lawn. Mr. Acton responded that they have marked it out and are staying within the Right of Way. Wendy Dailey added that the tree line will be in front of Stearns’. Matthew Snyder asked if there are redesigned renderings and Mr. Acton replied there are. Mr. Acton added that he has spoken with Tom Costello of the Village and they are willing to maintain the sidewalks. The updated design will not have any trees, will have lighting and lights at the pedestrian crosswalks. Mr. Stearns asked if they are going to widen the culvert near his property and was told no. and Mr. Stearns stated there is going to be a lot of snow on the sidewalk.
- MACE- Kenn Burdick reported that he spoke with a contractor that has worked with MACE and informed the board that he was very satisfied with them. Building fees will probably increase and Mr. Burdick suggested the public be made aware of why. Matthew Snyder also would like something put out of what kind of activities require a permit and contact them if you are concerned that someone is building without a permit.
- Reported that Mr. and Acton and Fion MacCrea met with the NYS Teamsters regarding the negotiations for the new contract.
- Escrow Agreement with Town to establish an escrow agreement – $2000/ megawatt for 3rd party engineering studies. Permit Fee Schedule – Dan Acton and Wendy Dailey felt this was already done. Motion to adopt fee schedule at $2750/megawatt was made by Wendy Dailey, seconded by Dan Acton and carried 5-0.
- The following Resolution was adopted with a motion by Matthew Snyder, seconded by Kenn Burdick and carried 5-0:
RESOLUTION APPOINTING SHAWN GRASBY AS SOLAR CEO WITH OFFICIAL DUTIES AS A CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
WHEREAS, Shawn Grasby was appointed as Code Enforcement Officer, for review of solar energy system projects (Solar CEO”) proposed and constructed in the Town of Alfred by the Town Board with a motion by Dan Acton, seconded by Wendy Dailey and carried 4-0 on January 4, 2022.
RESOLVED, theTown Board confirms that Mr. Grasby’s appointment as Solar CEO provided him with all the authority granted to aCode Enforcement Officer under New York State law and Town of Alfred local laws with regard to his jurisdiction over solar energy system projects in the Town.
- Crown Castle – last Board meeting it was agreed to issue the permit to Crown Castle. Steve Kilmer issued the permit but it was determined that the Town failed to make a Declaration of Significance for SEQR. Mr. Acton contacted Mr. Kilmer and informed him to rescind the permit. The Planning Board then reviewed the SEQR and the application and found that an updated letter from the FAA was needed. The letter submitted was from 2019. It was also noted that the SEQR identified a threatened bird species in the area of the tower so that needs to be addressed. Mr. Acton will send Crown Castle asking them to address these issues before the permit can be reissued. Mr. Sinclair felt the DEC should be invited to address the threatened bird and Town needs to name the Town lead agency for SEQR. Felt insurance issues still not resolved – need liability insurance. A motion was made by Wendy Dailey, seconded by Kenn Burdick and carried 5-0 to name the Town as lead agency on the SEQR for Crown Castle. Kenn Burdick asked if liability insurance is required and what the basis is for requiring this? Fred Sinclair stated that the Town has the right to ask them for it but would need to be in a local law. Mr. Acton stated that the Town doesn’t have that authority right now. Kenn Burdick asked if the FCC requires insurance. Fion MacCrea commented that he wondered the same thing and asked if we were sure that that isn’t included in the FCC regulations. Fred Sinclair stated no not sure. After further discussion Mr. Acton asked what the next step in the SEQR process was. Bill Dailey responded that the Planning Board will contact the various parties that are involved and that would be included in the Public Comment Period. Fred Sinclair stated that T-Mobile is implementing 4G LTE and 5G that has a range of 5 miles he thinks. Bill Dailey added that most of the equipment is adjustable and they can turn down the wattage. Kenn Burdick stated that there is already 4G on the tower on Pine Hill Drive. Mr. Burdick also asked if the Village is planning on doing a similar law? (Moratorium on Cell Towers.) Mr. Ninos stated that the Village has not discussed it yet. Mr. Sinclair stated that he would like permission from the Town Board to have the Planning Board begin conversations with the Colleges in regard to this topic. Matthew Snyder stated that he feels the Town needs to have a law in place before that happens. Bill Dailey stated that the Planning Board has 4 other Local Laws they have been reviewing. Need to know what the Town Board wants in the law. Would like to have this done before the 6-month Moratorium is up. Dan Acton stated that before the Town goes out other parties needs to know more making it a law. Fred Sinclair stated that there are 7 antennas in our area. Need to use what authority we have left. Bill Dailey added they need to show why a new tower is needed. Fred Sinclair requested the Town spend $8500 to hire a law firm (Campanelli) to write the local law for the Town. Dan Acton stated there is so much to the technology that he doesn’t understand and feels need more knowledge. Matthew Snyder stated he feels this is a reasonable fee to get this done and wondered if there is anything in the budget to cover this cost. (No). Kenn Burdick wondered if Northland Power could be asked for funding for this since it is an environmental concern. Mr. Acton stated that he will contact our Solar Attorney and ask if this is possible. Wendy Dailey stated that she would like a baseline of how many towers in our area, where they are and what they emit. Fion MacCrea stated that the County has that information and added that feels the Board doesn’t have enough understanding and need an accredited professional.
Committee Reports – Kenn Burdick presented information on new chairs.
Motion by Supervisor Dan Acton to go to Executive Session to discuss Union Contract Negotiations and personnel at 9:00 pm, seconded by Kenn Burdick and carried 5-0. Executive Session ended at 9:30 with a motion by Dan Acton, seconded by Matthew Snyder and carried 5-0.
A motion was made by Dan Acton to hire the Municipal Association for Code Enforcement effective January 1, 2023. The motion was seconded by Kenn Burdick and carried 5-0. Kenn Burdick stated that he would like to have a public informational meeting for contractors with MACE and a public service release to inform the general public of the benefits of getting a permit.
Updating NYS Building and Fire Code – Wendy Dailey went through the current law and compared it to the new law so the Board can decide what to include.
A motion to adjourn at 9:43 pm was made by Dan Acton, seconded by Fion MacCrea and carried 5-0.
Janice L. Burdick