Village Of Sackets Harbor

May 16, 2008


MAYOR'S REPORT - May 16, 2008
by Mayor Mike Kinnie

As usual a lot is going on in the Village as we prepare for summer here in beautiful historic Sackets Harbor!

At the Village Board meeting on May 13, 2008 we had a public hearing to allow alternate members of the planning board to serve as a full member in the event of absent member.  This allows the Village more coverage at a Planning Board meeting if a member is absent.  There were no comments from the floor and the law was amended.

Summer Recreation Director Appointment - The Board unanimously appointed Ryan Tastor to be the new Summer Rec.  Director.  We had quite a few really qualified candidates and interviewed four.  Amie Cousins was chosen to be Ryan's assistant.  The Village Board thought it was a good idea to have two adults on staff.  Both will be subject to a background check and all staff hired will be trained in First Aide and CPR.  Counselor interviews will begin this week.

Lake Ontario Coastal Communities - Challenges and Opportunities - Technical Assistance and Training Workshop - an interactive event for appointed and elected officials.  The workshop focuses on water quality aspects of economic development issues.  Deputy Mayor Eric Constance, Trustee McKay and me participated with a group from USDA Rural Water the Environmental Finance Center, and the Lake Ontario Coastal Initiative to create awareness of the issues of pollution on the "near shore" of the Lake and possible funding opportunities for future Village projects including the new Sewer Treatment Plant (there was a lot of interest in making it "green") and our other future projects: Madison Barracks, Morgia's Beach, etc.

Citizen of the year - Trustee McKay recommended and we all agreed to honor Errol Flynn as Citizen of the Year.  Errol has been a very important asset to the Village.  He has served as a Village Trustee, was co-chair of the Can Am Committee, helped bring Old Fashion Baseball to the Village, helped found the Sackets Harbor Brewing Company, Good Fellos, and the Sackets Cantina and has with his family, donated countless dollars to our community.   We thank him for all his efforts and contributions in making our Village a better place.

Village Office Hours:  We have re-arranged the schedules to have more coverage during the lunch hours.  On the days when the deputy clerk is in the office we will have full coverage.  The Board and I and will try to cover the other lunch hours whenever possible.

Village Employee Picnic - Trustee McKay and the Village Clerk are working on a Village Picnic for all the Village Employees and Committee Volunteers.

Development Authority of the North Country - Trustee McKay arranged a meeting with DANC to address the concerns about how we set our water and sewer rates, why the costs are what they are, etc....DANC has prepared a proposal which we will be reviewing to breakdown analysis of exactly how much it costs to produce a gallon of water (including both short-term and long term capital costs).  Trustee McKay recommends we have a public forum, so that the public is better aware of all the costs that go into creating a gallon of drinkable water.  The Board will decide at the next meeting if they want to spend the money on the analysis.

One of the biggest costs to both the water and sewer funds is the utility bills.  For example, this past fiscal year the Village spent approximately $70,000 in utility bills on the sewer plant alone.  This is one of the many reasons why we are looking into alternative energy and sustainable energy design for the new plant.  To put it in perspective, the total costs of the utility bills for the Village government this past fiscal year was approximately $150,000.

Madison Barracks brought a proposal to the Village Board requesting permission to pursue a potential funding opportunity with USDA Rural development.  The Barracks desires (as does the NYS Health Dept) to have the old water lines replaced which will open up more waterfront and surrounding areas for development.  The Barracks hopes to connect 66 lots to this project.   Many issues would need to be worked out on how the funding program would work.  However the Village voted in support of allowing the Barracks to make an application.  As part of the funding package the Village Board would like to have a formal right of way established along the Lake and Mill Creek which would be part of the trail system that will eventually hook up with Leo Coleman's property on the other side of Mill Creek and eventually back into the Military Cemetery.  Mr. Coleman has already graciously agreed to allow for a trail system along the creek on his property.

Recreation Trail System - Jan Mass and Dave Altieri are currently working on finalizing the trail system.  The idea is to have interconnecting trails going throughout the Village including Madison Barracks, Fort Pike, Military Cemetery, General Smith Drive, Behind the School, between Dodge, East Main and County Rt. 75, to the Battlefield and back again.  The trails will be another great reason to live in Sackets Harbor and will also be part of the Sackets Harbor Green Initiative.

Town of Hounsfield and Village of Sackets Harbor Consolidation. - Throughout the years there have been many discussions on the possible merger of the two government entities.  Last year a committee was formed to begin to look into the idea, but because of various reasons has been idle.  Recently, Supervisor Jean Derioun and I have again been discussing the issue and we felt it was time to reform the committee.  Eric Constance and Larry Barone have agreed to work on the committee from the Village Board as well as Jean Derioun and Yvonne Podvin from the Town Board.  Previously, Mark Pacilio and John Deans were also involved and have agreed to participate again.  Although many issues will need to be addressed including identity, representation, taxation, etc.  The consolidation could be a huge savings for the Village and Town with less duplication in government.  Also, apparently there is grant funding available for study and implementation.  As part of this discussion Trustee Barone reminded the Board of the idea of having a joint Town and Village Administrator.  I will work closely with Supervisor Derioun and the committee to look into all the issues.  I encourage everyone in the Town and Village to feel free to contact any of us with your thoughts and/or ideas.

Emergency Management Committee - Jefferson County Emergency Management Coordinator Glenn Morrison, Fire Chief Joel Sova, Deputy Mayor Eric Constance and myself met and went over the draft of our Emergency Management Plan.  We hope to finalize it and have a table top drill in June.  During the meeting we discovered that the Board members needed to take some on-line courses in order for us to meet the State and Federal requirements.  The Board is completing the required courses.

Hospice Regatta - Is scheduled for the first weekend in August in Black River Bay and the Village.  As part of the festivities the idea of inter-tube races in the inner Harbor came up.  The Hospice Regatta Committee is looking for a volunteer to coordinate this fund-raiser.

Run for Darfur - Will be June 21, from 10am-12pm in the Village.  The event is coordinated by SHCS teacher Sonya Esposito.  The run will raise money for the disadvantaged people in Darfur.

Sackets Harbor Stampede - Will be  June 5  2:45-3:15pm in the Village.  Students from the school will be running throughout town at the close of school.  Look out and cheer them on!

Sackets Harbor Fire Department Update - The petition for dissolution of the SHFD filed by some of the members of Station 2 will be reviewed by Supreme Court Justice Hugh Gilbert on May 22.  As most people know, the Attorney General's office has filed papers against the group who wants to split and is seeking the return of the unauthorized legal fees expended from funds donated to the Sackets Harbor Fire Department.   According to our attorney the amount is now over $26,000.  The new SHFD Board is against the splitting up of the corporation and the Village has also petitioned the court to prevent the split.  Hopefully, we will have definitive answers from the Supreme Court soon.

Sackets Harbor Fire Department Beer and Wine Festival - Will be June 7 from Noon until 6 pm.  The headlining band is "THE CRITICS", who have been featured at festivals throughout the state.  Andy Taylor will also be performing.  There were will be numerous micro brewed beers and wineries participating as well as a chili and chowder fest.

Sackets Harbor Green Initiative Update - Heritage Area Director Dave Altieri and myself met with a group with the City of Kingston who want to partner with us in our Green Initiative.  Although much larger, they are very excited about what we are doing and hope both communities can work together to share our ideas.  We were also invited to a Sustainability Day Long Workshop which Dave and I attended coming away with a lot of great ideas, not only about sustainability, but also about how are two communities can work together in other ways.  As you may know, Kingston challenges us every year in our Old Fashion Baseball Game during Can Am.  They are also working on a September game in Kingston.  Other ideas included having an "invasion" of Sackets Harbor and Kingston to celebrate our mutual friendship.

The "Green Guide" public presentation was on May 17 with over 50 people in attendance.  The guide is available on-line at the Village's website   There are all sorts of ideas on how we as a community can go green.  Check it out and help us become a more self-sustaining community.  Next on our agenda is an energy fair featuring numberous vendors and presenters.

Energy Smart Community Resolution - Dave and I met with Anne Heidenrich from Energy Smart Communities, NYSERDA.  We discussed doing a Sustainability Energy Fair and presentations with the Chamber to help enlighten people as to all the incentive programs NYSERDA offers to help make your home "greener."  The long term savings of going green in your house, apartment, business or organization are huge.  At her recommendation the Village adopted a resolution at the Board meeting to be a "Energy Smart Community."  The Board also passed the  "U.S. Conference of Mayors Climate Protection Agreement." 

Recreation Forum - The next Public Forum on the Rec Trails is tentatively scheduled up for June 18.  Please plan on attending and participating in establishing a recreational trails system which will be in the Village and the Town.

RidgeviewTel Update - They hope to be on-line and begin offering services in the Village in June.

Hamilton Street Stormwater Interceptor Update - We are awaiting the final funding approval and are currently finalizing our infrastructure agreement with the neighboring developer.  Request for Bids have gone out and the lowest bid is $50,000 less than what we had budgeted.
DPW Staff Vacancy - We are still looking to fill in a part-time DPW position.  We hope to have someone hired in the very near future.
PLEASE NOTE: We have scheduled a public hearing on June 10th at 7 pm on the PROPOSED AMENDMENT TO SIDEWALK LOCAL LAW:

Section 1.  This local law repeals and supercedes the Village of Sackets Harbor Local Law No. 3 of 1985, which was adopted on June, 13, 1985.
Section 2.  Effective with the filing of this local law, the construction or repair of any sidewalk in the Village of Sackets Harbor shall be done pursuant to the direction of the Board of Trustees and under the supervision of the Department of Public Works.
Section 3.  Effective immediately, the expense of constructing or repairing any sidewalk within the Village shall be borne as follows:
a. In those areas in which there are existing homes, with no sidewalks, and the Village Board duly approves the installation of sidewalks, the Village shall pay 100% of the cost of the labor and materials.
b. In those areas in which sidewalks already exist and the Village Board duly approves repairs to those sidewalks, the property owner shall pay 100% of the cost of materials for the repairs and the Village shall pay 100% of the cost of the labor for the repairs.
c. In those areas in which a developer is constructing homes, the developer shall pay 100% of the cost of the labor and materials for new sidewalks, in accordance with the infrastructure agreement.
Section 4.  This local law shall take effect immediately upon its filing.

Proposed St. Andrews Church Parking Lot - Trustee Barone proposed completing the survey of the property to see if there was still an interest in the Village taking over the lot next to St. Andrews Church to use for Village parking and stated that improvement in signage in Sackets Harbor would assist visitors in finding adequate parking.  Trustee Barone also spoke about a sign assessment - a better way to move visitors to existing parking areas, particularly at the state historic site.  A lot of community members would like the Woolsey site to stay green.  There was general agreement to have a survey of the area and to research if any resident currently has a right of way through that property or if there is still an interest at all in it becoming a parking lot.  If you have an opinion on this matter please get back to any member of the Village Board.

Deputy Mayor Constance
  • Town of Hounsfield Public Safety Building/Third Alarm Building - Town Supervisor Derouin has approached the board about taking over the building. The Town has put $85,000 in renovations, into it and would be willing to sell it to us for that number. Deputy Mayor Eric Constance asked if there was any interest in this from the Trustees. Discussion ensued regarding the cost, the possibility of renting to the Court, and continued rehab of the building. Deputy Mayor Eric Constance will continue to look into the cost. As you may know the Village has a definite need for more office space.
  • Police - Deputy Mayor Constance put a progress report together and is working on a job description for the head of the Police Department.
  • Expressed the need for a resolution that the Planning Board must have yearly training. .
The Village Board is proposing a law to ban outdoor wood burning furnaces --Summary of law read to public (a copy is on file at the Village office). Planning Board Chairman, Gary Gibson, suggested including coal in the list of burning products.  There will be a public hearing at the next board meeting.

Trustee Frechette
  • Recreation - Trustee Frechette will be working with newly hired Summer Rec Director Ryan Tastor (guidance counselor at the high school) to interview and review applicants for youth counselors.
  • Baseball Season has started.
  • Begun work with Norm Hunneyman on a project for the senior citizen housing area.

Trustee Barone
  • Street Signs - talked to Jim Lawrence, County DPW Superintendent, and selected the area between Broad Street, East Washington and Hill Street as the area of the Village where there has been the most growth and change in traffic patterns. The County will review all traffic control signs, reflectivity and height and will review new thru streets which have changed the traffic pattern. The County engineer will also be involved in the review. Additionally they will look into parking signs.
  • TREES - met with Kelly Reinhardt from Bernier & Carr and a representative from the DEC to review the tree planting grant. Discussed strategy of funding. The Village Board needs to authorize a resolution for the Village to be the lead agency for the 50-50 matching grant. They set a goal of $10,000 that would get 50 trees for a fall planting.

Trustee McKay
  • Marketing Committee asked (and was granted) permission to spend $350 for an advertisement in the Thousand Island Tourism Counsel supplement focused on military (Fort Drum). The supplement will be 1/3 page and there is money in the budget.
  • DANC -Working with DANC and the Mayor to put on an educational presentation for both the village and the town.
  • Trustee McKay asked what the policy was regarding commercial haulers using the water tower. DPW Supervisor, Lonny Reinhardt stated that if a hauler is delivering to a village resident it was OK to use the Village tower if they are a private hauler selling water outside the Village they must use the Hounsfield tower, NOT the Village tower. The problem is enforcement.

Heritage Area Director, David Altieri
Director's Report
Another Stoodley Park work day will be scheduled.
Working on a trail grant - urge Board to stick to guns on Madison barracks trail along the water.
EDR is presenting a rough draft to the zoning revision committee on Tuesday, May 27th.
Met with ESF professor Cheryl Doble and Assistant Director of  Community Programs Maren King and two students from ESF about the internships in planning of both the LDC property and Market Square Park.  LDC president Don Dimonda and me were also at the meeting.  Again working with ESF is very exciting and a potential long term asset to the Village.
Three of the non-profit groups had their second annual joint meeting May 21st 6pm at the Battlefield.  Mr. Arnold will spoke on the war of 1812.  The groups are working on ways to work together to save time and money.

Planning Board Chair Gary Gibson recommended appointing Joanne Novak as the second Planning Board alternate.  The Village Board agreed and she was appointed.
Planning Board Minutes are now posted on the website within the 14 day limit (as unofficial) minutes.

Treasurer's Report, Jim Yuhas.
Quarterly Expense Sheet reviewed - shows 11 months through April 30th - 78% of the budget has been spent and 88% of the fiscal year is passed.  The board is 10% ahead (in our favor) of where the spending should/could be.
Quarterly sales tax came in - 10-12% ahead of schedule with revenue.  One reason we can reduce taxes next year.
Cash Analysis - Sewer fund will end the fiscal year where it started even though we absorbed the Ontario Shores proj. overages.
Projected Rates - reviewed information for the Board regarding potential rate increases in the future.
National Grid Expense - The average monthly bill is $15,000, of which $11,000 is just for electricity for the water and sewer plants.  This is one of the main reason why as part of the SACKETS HARBOR GREEN INITIATIVE we build our new plant to be self-sustaining and hopefully energy producing. 

MEMORIAL DAY PARADE and CEREMONY will be Monday, May 25 beginning at 10:30 am from the School down Broad St. to West Main Street to the Sackets Harbor Sentinel Bandstand.  Please come out an honor all those brave men and women who have served and died for our country.

The next regular Village Board meeting is Tuesday June 10th.  If you have any questions or comments feel free to call me at the Village office (315) 646-3548. 

Respectfully your Mayor,
Mike Kinnie