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SEPTEMBER 18, 2008

Selectboard: Gary Katz, Jeff Gouger, Joe Mandell, Piet van Loon, Guy Wachtel
Also Present: Virginia Grabowski, Vincent Schuck, Brin Tucker, Michael Whigham, Barbara Reeves, Gunther Garbe, Richard Hickey, Dan Dewalt, Ed Druke, David Palmer, Bea MacFarland, Adele Graham, Peter Vaenlik, Judy Egan, Fred Lawrence, Steve Levine, John Feifel, Edwin Gray, Marc D. Gray, Steve Jones, Dan Kinoy, Sally Kinoy

The meeting was called to order at 6:30 p.m. by Gary Katz, Chair. Gary mentioned that he’d be out, or late at the next meeting. Guy stated he would be available to chair the meeting in his absence.


The minutes of the September 4, 2008 meeting were reviewed. Motion was made by Piet van Loon and seconded by Jeff Gouger to approve the minutes. The minutes were approved unanimously.

Gary mentioned that the board will have to go into Executive session to respond to a question that one of the Attorneys has asked. It wasn’t received in time to put on the agenda.


Road Foreman/Road Commissioner’s Report: See attached report.

Town Highway Garage Roof: The board agreed to have Guy Wachtel look at the roof on the Town Garage to see if he can fix it. He does hold liability insurance.

Consensus of the board was to go with Todd’s suggestion of getting a camera for the Town Garage due to the recent break-ins.

Christopher Williams mentioned that there is a culvert on Parish Hill Road, which was cut off, leaving sharp edges. The consensus of the board was to draw up a letter for Gary to sign. Christopher will give Shannon the information.

Access Permits: Discussion regarding access permit received. Applicant was present to discuss the situation. Site visit was discussed and scheduled for 9:00 a.m. on Monday, September 22, 2008. Shannon will post the warning.

Motion was made by Piet van Loon to enter Executive Session to discuss a legal matter. The motion was seconded by Jeff Gouger. Piet van Loon requested that the Administrative Assistant be present for the Executive Session. Vote was unanimous. Board entered Executive Session at 7:05 p.m.

Piet van Loon made a motion to return to regular session at 7:30 p.m. Guy Wachtel seconded the motion. The vote was unanimous.

Piet van Loon made a motion to engage Attorney Elana Baron to continue to work with the board on her suggested changes to the agreement with Mr. Mercede. Guy Wachtel seconded the motion. Vote was unanimous.

The amendment to the traffic ordinance was discussed. The board signed the Intent to Amend, and Shannon will post them. If no petitions are received against amending the ordinance, the amendment becomes effective, and the stop sign can be removed.

Motion was made by Piet van Loon to recess the regular meeting to reconvene the Zoning Bylaw hearing. Second by Joe Mandell. The vote was unanimous.


Barbara Reeves was present to discuss a drainage issue on her property, on the corner of Parish Hill Road and Deer Hill Road. The board scheduled a site visit on Monday, September 22, 2008 at 10:00 a.m., following the site visit on Grimes Hill Road earlier that morning. Shannon will warn it.

Vince Schuck inquired as to whether winter maintenance on Steepway Hill was a possibility. Discussion ensued. No action was taken.


Adelle Graham made mention of a letter she received regarding a hole in front of her property, left by removed sidewalks. The Town was not involved in the letter. No action was taken.


Phones in the Town Office: Gary mentioned that he’d received complaints about the phones in the Town Office not being answered. There was a motion by Joe Mandell to find a system to answer the phones, with Jeff to be the consultant on the matter. Seconded by Guy Wachtel. The vote was unanimous.


A motion was made by Piet van Loon to amend the agenda to take up Williamsville Hall next on the agenda. Seconded by Guy Wachtel. The vote was unanimous.

Williamsville Hall Fire Safety Inspection: Lengthy discussion regarding fire inspections, April, and July. It is unknown who ordered the follow-up inspection in July.

A motion was made by Guy Wachtel that the board communicate with the Fire Marshall, requesting that anytime there’s a request for an inspection on town property that the board be appropriately notified. The board will then take proper steps to notify the correct people. Jeff Gouger seconded. Vote was 4-1.

Piet van Loon noted that the first communication should be an indication of how the town expects to address the issues found in the April inspection.

Jeff Gouger noted that perhaps the town should add to the letter that we don’t have a record of the July 30 report. Who requested, who was involved, make a note that there is displeasure in that not being given.

Gary suggested a motion to send an interim response, indicating that we apologize for taking so long, we’ve started to look into it, we will follow up with a more detailed report, with estimated time frame. In addition, we’ve contacted a licensed electrician, and are awaiting a report.

Piet van Loon made a motion to have the Selectboard write letter to the DRB, stating that new information is now available, and request that they reopen the evidentiary portion of the hearing. J. Mandell seconded. The vote was unanimous. A motion was made by G. Wachtel to have Piet sign the letter, and seconded by Joe Mandell. 4-1 vote. Piet van Loon abstained.

A discussion ensued regarding the Williamsville Hall Committee and its role with the Selectboard. Piet noted that the Selectboard can delegate authority, but not responsibility. As the constructive discussion continued, it was suggested that the board and the Committee hold a joint meeting to continue the discussion.

Guy Wachtel made a motion to warn a special Selectboard Meeting in conjunction with the Williamsville Hall Committee, to consider level of autonomy the Selectboard is comfortable with allowing, and to consider what charge the committee should have, and what the board would like to have the committee coming back to the board with. Joe Mandell seconded.
The vote was unanimous.

Cost Saving Options: The consensus of the board was to put the cost saving options on the next agenda.

Traffic Ordinance Amendment: The board signed the notice of amendment to the Traffic Ordinance. It will become effective November 3, if no petitions are received.

Oil Contract: Jeff Gouger reported that Cota and Cota’s price was $3.99, and if paid within 10 days, there is a 10 cent discount. Jeff’s recommendation was to top off the tanks with Cota and Cota’s price and continue to monitor the prices, and make decisions based on price. Motion by Guy Wachtel, seconded by Piet van Loon to accept Jeff’s recommendation. Discussion: Jeff agreed to be Oil coordinator. 4-1 vote. Gary Katz abstained.

Piet van Loon made a motion for the board to specifically direct the treasurer to pay the oil delivery bills within 10 days, because it may more than 10 days between Selectboard meetings. The motion was seconded by Guy Wachtel. The vote was unanimous.

Junk Ordinance: Joe Mandell made a motion to authorize Piet van Loon to call Elana Baron. The motion was seconded by Guy Wachtel. Unanimous.


A motion was made by Guy Wachtel and seconded by Piet van Loon to enter Executive Session for discussion of legal issues at 10:43 p.m.. The vote was unanimous.

Motion by J. Mandell to come out of Executive Session at 11:22 p.m.. Motion was seconded by Guy Wachtel. The vote was unanimous.

A motion was made by Guy Wachtel to authorize Gary to contact the attorney and ask what options the town has. Seconded by Joe Mandell. 3-1. Piet van Loon abstained.


Letter received from Rescue, Inc. requesting support for their loan application for a new ambulance. Motion by Guy Wachtel to endorse Rescue, Inc.’s loan idea, as long as there is no additional cost to the town. Seconded by Piet van Loon. Unanimous.

Letter received from Martin and Susan Saylor regarding a zoning issue. No action was taken.

9. PAY ORDERS: – Guy Wachtel made a motion to approve the pay orders. Jeff Gouger seconded the motion. Motion passed unanimously.


Motion was made by Guy Wachtel and seconded by Jeff Gouger to adjourn the meeting at 11:37 p.m. Unanimous.

Respectfully Submitted,
Shannon Meckle

Posted: Town Clerk's Office, Newfane Store, W.W. Building Supply,
S. Newfane/Williamsville Post Office and the South Newfane General Store & Deli. (after approval)

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