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Town of Rosendale                                                         DRAFT

Special Town Board Meeting

July 6, 2011


The meeting was called to order by Supervisor McDonough at 6:05 pm at the Rosendale Community Center with the Pledge to the Flag.


            PRESENT:         Councilman Robert Gallagher

                                    Councilwoman Manna Jo Greene

                                    Councilman Kenneth Hassett

                                    Councilman Richard Minissali

                                    Supervisor Patrick McDonough

ALSO PRESENT: Ann Citron, Asst. to Supervisor; Jennifer Metzger, Deputy Supervisor; Brian Cafferty, HRVR.


Supervisor McDonough announced that this meeting was being held strictly to determine whether the Town should hire Hudsonia as a consultant for the Williams Lake Project (HRVR) to specifically review portions of the DEIS related to “terrestrial and aquatic ecology and intermittent woodland pools reports”.


Supervisor McDonough made a motion to close the public hearing on proposed Local Law #2 of 2011, Town Sign Regulations; seconded by Councilman Minissali.  Roll Vote:  5 Yes.



Councilwoman Greene stated her reasons for requesting the Town to hire Hudsonia to review the DEIS; she related that Hudsonia did a bio-diversity study and training of this very sensitive area prior to the HRVR project; she took the training but does not feel she has the level of expertise they have on this very sensitive area or that the Environmental Commission has that expertise either.   Councilwoman Greene stated that she read 600 of the 700+ pages of the DEIS and has formulated comments on the material (she has not provided the comments at this time); she found the document to be very good, not perfect, it needs some minor tweaks; she feels that for a relatively small cost ($1500)compared to other costs we would have more information to make an informed decisions; she stated that she  has observed DEC in many prior projects over the last 15 years where the community has come up with additional information that DEC did not have.  

Supervisor McDonough questioned what areas does DEC have that Hudsonia has that might overlay; his big concern is the $1500 that we don’t have; Hudsonia really knows that area but what more can we glean.

Councilman Minissali asked if there was any way that we can determine what information DEC and RCCE have.

Councilman Hassett stated to Councilwoman Greene that she had articulated concerns did she have any preliminary comments to present; she responded that she did not; he responded that her expressed concerns were not enough to sway him to vote tonight to hire Hudsonia.

Supervisor McDonough suggested that Councilwoman Greene get information to the Board members in a few days; this would put a time constraint on the vote though.

Councilwoman Greene verbally addressed a few of her concerns related to : construction, blasting, central water/sewer not septic, what the affect would be on the 2 lakes where the clustered housing (single family, not townhouses) is to be constructed as this has been previously undeveloped land, what would be the impact on the forest area north and northwest; she would like to have an extra pair of eyes on DEC and the developer; she wants the project to be a “model” where 10-15 years from now we will not be wishing we did something differently; her comments are due by July 12th to the Town Board.

Brian Cafferty asked Councilwoman Greene if she has been privy to any of the DEC comments to date; her response was “no”; he referred to Michael Fishman, a certified wetlands scientist and wildlife biologist, as being the best in country, he has already submitted comments/reports.

Jennifer Metzger clarified the difference between the DEC approach to DEIS review as that the state focuses on state and federal species and RCCE is looking at habitat not so much as at species (looking at communities within the town); Hudsonia may do more local review.

Councilman Minissali asked if there would be more comments forthcoming; Supervisor McDonough responded that Carl Hornbeck would have traffic data, the Planning Board would be providing comments, the Environmental Commission among others.

Councilwoman Greene addressed the wastewater/sewage review and said that they (HRVR) were comparing “apples to oranges”; she prefers the use plant treatment systems; the Town of Wappingers Falls just received the grant for which we had applied to NYSERDA for the innovative use of a flocculated treatment system for which she advocated, she admitted she was wrong on this matter.

Councilman Hassett stated that the project should look at different systems than are currently suggested by the developer; he thinks that Crawford did a competent analysis; Councilwoman Greene stated that they were all competent at most.    

Councilman Hassett asked Councilwoman Greene “what can Hudsonia do in 10 hours that hasn’t been looked at already”; Supervisor McDonough added that already covered materials have been properly addressed; we don’t have the money at this time.

Councilwoman Greene responded that they (Hudsonia) did their work from a bio-diversity training standpoint not the developers; she feels we will something additional when they (Hudsonia) are done.

Councilwoman Hassett asked Brian Cafferty (HRVR representative) how he felt about Hudsonia doing a review; Mr. Cafferty responded that he felt a rigorous review has already been done but he has no problem but with only 10 hours allocated it’s not likely an on-site visit will be done; he has a lot of respect for Councilwoman Greene but feels a lot of time has already been spent on these reports/reviews; DEC has quite a bit of expertise reviewing these reports.

Councilman Hassett asked if there have been any other terrestrial and aquatic investigations or comments; a response was that Save the Lakes has a hydrologist and a lawyer.

Supervisor McDonough stated that perhaps DEC could be encouraged to consult with Hudsonia on “their dime”.

Councilman Gallagher commented that it took 2 years for Hudsonia to complete the Bio-Diversity study and the RCCE wrote the report; he had problems reading the report which had some major discrepancies; he does not want to see just another report to be picked apart by someone else; we don’t have the money.

Councilman Minissali said he felt he should comment; if Councilwoman Greene feels the need for more review he would go along as from his point of view he has no expertise; he would feel bad about making a mistake for lack of verifying.

Councilman Gallagher added that 20 years from now technology will change; Shannon LaFrance (Counsel to the Town) often refers to the 2007 Comprehensive Plan; this is a document which will changed/reviewed through time just as the 1969 Plan did.

Councilman Hassett responded that people refer to the 2007 Comprehensive Plan to serve their own purposes.


Discussion ended at this point.


RESOLUTION 07-2011-#1 Authorizing Agreement with Hudsonia for HRVR DEIS Consulting.

The resolution would authorize 10 hours of consulting work/report reviewing portions of the HRVR Draft DEIS at a cost not to exceed $1,500.

A motion was made by Supervisor McDonough to adopt the resolution authorizing agreement with Hudsonia; seconded by Councilman Minissali.  Roll Vote:

                        Councilman Gallagher                        No

                        Councilwoman Greene           Yes

                        Councilman Hassett                No

                        Councilman Minissali             Yes

                        Supervisor McDonough          No


Councilwoman Greene asked if she could hire Hudsonia on her own to advise the Town Board; Supervisor McDonough stated that he would get a legal opinion;  he also stated that he has a good relationship with DEC, he will try to see if they could work with Hudsonia.  Brian Cafferty asked the Board to reach out to Rebecca Crist at DEC.



            GENERAL FUND VOUCHER’S #546-620 TOTALING $31,427.13

            HIGHWAY FUND        “            #161-163         “          $     648.13

            SEWER FUND             “            #   98-105         “          $ 1,866.97

            WATER FUND            “             #103-109         “           $ 2,837.87


A motion was made by Councilman Gallagher to pay the vouchers; seconded by Councilman Minissali.  Roll Vote: 5 Yes.


A motion was made by Councilwoman Greene to adjourn at 7:15 pm; seconded by Councilman Hassett.  Roll Vote: 5 Yes.


                                                                                    Respectfully submitted,