Posted by: Dawn Powell | July 22, 2011

Putnam Valley Town Board July Work Session

Town Board Irregular Meeting – July 13, 2011

Bob added amendments to the agenda –  Steve Axinn talking about Lake Oscawana, an executive session on litigation and employment issues, improperly announced as always, and the Barger Pond geese.

Remember when we were told that there wouldn’t be decisions at work sessions unless
there was a pressing issue.  Well, after two years of non-attendance, the Town Board accepted Tom Patterson’s resignation, with regrets expressed, and no mention that he hasn’t been there for years.  I wish Tommy well, but why are we pretending?  And, of course, after all these long months of only three Planning Board members, it was an emergency to appoint new ones at the irregular meeting.

Joseph Raetzer was the ad hoc, and is now a full member.   Adam Babbitt is a new member.   And
Lake Peekskill’s own Ruari Gribbons is the ad hoc.

Mr. Axinn says that Lake Oscawana is the worst it has ever been.   Hmmmmm……
Seems like hit or miss isn’t working.  You remember the $400,000 that they have to spend by September 30.  Well, it was decided that there would be 82 phosphate filters installed in the catch basin filters.  Except for the fact that 50 or so of the filters are not deep enough for the phosphate filters to be installed.   Shouldn’t someone have known that?  Shouldn’t someone have some idea of the way to proceed and the most effective way to spend money on lake improvement?

So Mr. Axinn thinks that the money should be spent deepening the filters that are in place,
and some blasting might be involved in that. Perhaps the district should be hiring that lake manager, and their own laborers, if this is indeed the right way to proceed.  After years of delay, hurtling headlong into money spending doesn’t seem to be working either.

Mr. Axinn complained about the horse stables, which he doesn’t believe to be an agricultural use.  The stables had already started using dumpsters to collect the manure.  So he complained about the old manure.  John Landi said something about the county dumping water on those fields.  What is that about?

And someone needs to mike John Landi.

Mr. Axinn translated a Latin legal phrase as “The thing speaks for itself.” Regarding
manure.   But I don’t find that everyone has the same idea of what is common sense.  Indeed, it
seems that logic and common sense are widely divergent, depending who you talk to.

So, the Lake Oscawana plan was done by Fred Lubnow of Princeton Hydro at great expense.  And it recommended aeration.  Mr. Axinn tells us that every limnologist (lake expert) who has studied Lake Oscawana has said that aeration is part of the solution.  Then the Town board authorized a payment to Princeton Hydro to determine the feasibility of aeration.  And now, Princeton Hydro has
told us that it will cost $265K to aerate Lake Oscawana.  Bob says it will cost $400K.

The lake overflowed this Spring, and Mr. Axinn’s proposal is to deepen and dam the Cayuga Road outlet for the lake.  And that would cost maybe 400K or 500K….

Now, if all these k’s don’t have your head spinning, Bob has proposed that part of the Lake
Oscawana money, $250K, should be spent on a vacuum truck that would be essentially dedicated to Lake Oscawana.  But with all the difficulty created by using town employees to work on one district, this proposal crystallizes the dilemma that has not been addressed.  These funds are for Lake Oscawana.  The highway department is a town entity, and is supposed to be apportioned to work on the whole town.  Lake Oscawana has 82 catch basins that need to be cleaned out, and is getting a lot of the highway work.  Possibly
Lake Oscawana needs its own vacuum truck, but then, it needs its own employees.  With 17% of the assessed
value of the town, Lake Oscawana is getting more than its share of town work.  But then, that is where Bob lives, and the political support has been invaluable to him.

Mr. Axinn pointed out that the vacuum trucks that the highway department has were paid in
part by DEC grants for stormwater, something for which Sam Davis should be credited.  He suggested that we try that route again.

It is distressing to me that these guys are throwing k’s around with such vigor, when this is not an economy that supports all these k’s even if it does for these guys.  Bob actually believes that if we get grants, it is not taxpayer money, so I guess, it doesn’t need to be spent with any care.

Gene pointed out that the significant Lake Oscawana surplus that is being tossed about
includes the 25% that Lake Oscawana must pay toward the state funding for the lake.

There are other water bodies in Putnam Valley.  Barger Pond was closed on the 4th of July due to coliform counts.  The geese are being blamed, and Barger Pond has less dense housing than the other lakes, but coliform can come from septic tanks too.  Bill Zutt has decided to register with the EPA and find out what can be done about the geese.   They are talking addling or other things.  Someone said they are resident geese which makes addling the long term solution.

This meeting was not an impressive commercial for re-election.

Adopt cats.  Buy bagels.  Save sea turtles.

DP


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