Town of Fishkill
New York

Public Hearing
2013-4

VII.1 Dutchess Park Sewer District Revised Rates

Information

Department:Town BoardSponsors:Supervisor Robert LaColla
Category:Hearing Notice

Body

NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that the Town Board of the Town of Fishkill, Dutchess County, New York, will meet at the Town Hall, in Fishkill, New York, in said Town, on August 07, 2013, at 7:00 o'clock P.M., Prevailing Time, for the purpose of conducting a public hearing in relation to the proposed revised rates to defray costs of operating the Dutchess Park Sewer District. The increases would be in the minimum charge, for 1,000 cubic feet of sewage, from the current $41.40 to $97.29. The rate for flows above the minimum would go from $0.04140 to $0.09729.
At said public hearing said Town Board will hear all persons interested in the subject matter thereof.

Dated: Fishkill, New York,
July 29, 2013.

Meeting History

Aug 7, 2013 7:00 PM Video Town Board Regular Meeting

Supervisor LaColla made his presentation of the Dutchess Park Sewer District revised rates for everyone to view; explaining that there are many people who worked on this presentation in the audience and is available for questions afterward. Supervisor LaColla read a statement explaining the situation, how it came about, and how the Town must fix the situation. The debt to the City of Beacon and replacement of the Siscar Sewer monies must be taken care of. He explained that DPSD residents have not been being charged enough to pay the bills over the years. Supervisor LaColla fielded questions from several residents. The City of Beacon Mayor answered questions and explained that 3 years to repay the debt is more than fair; there is no room for compromise. The interest rate was questioned about regarding the debt owed Beacon (answer was 2%). Supervisor LaColla stated that this will be on the website and available in town hall. He thanked the audience for their interest and participation here this evening

Jacqueline Vogel

had many questions regarding the infrastructure; baby districts; why some baby districts are in the black and some are in the red; Town looking for state assistance; is there a better rate than the 2% to pay back Beacon's money

Supervisor LaColla answered all baby districts are in red; there is EFC grant money to do studies but cannot use to pay off bills; current bond rating would be a higher rate than the City of Beacon rate; Town's rating is BAA3, negative outlook, it is not a good rating.

Linda Radnain

Did not understand exactly was being said and the area of DPSD

Mike Tremper answered - DPS extends from Salem Road, Dutchess Park Subdivision; Elmcrest; Deer Crossing; Avenonis; to baby districts; explains the flows of sewage which runs to other baby districts; and there are approximately 1900 users

Pat Lewis

Directed her comment to Mr. Curry regarding the credibility of the numbers; monies borrowed and never repaid, money used for general town bills for tax payers outside specific districts; again the credibility of numbers is her concern; met with State Comptrollers auditors in 2013, was money used for wrong things; she received a letter from James Miccio's desk to the town board regarding rates for other water districts that were increased and the village were being the scapegoat; she again was questioning the numbers and wanted to know the true numbers; asked if the numbers shown this evening the true numbers

Supervisor LaColla

Answered the numbers are correct; are unable to identify where the money went and was spent

Pat Lewis

asked if any consequences will be taken to those who allowed this go on

Supervisor LaColla

stated there is no finding of any criminal wrong doing, still looking, as a town we are not an investigative entity

Alicia Alfred

stated she shares concerns that they are being hit with an increase salaries not going up

Roseann Montalbano

Asked why it took so long to find this out; she understands there are a lot of problems; but as a businessman this should have been caught before now; the 1st increase is when this should have been caught; these rate increases are going to be very difficult and does not know if they can afford this and live; $50 every quarter is a lot to put out; this is a bad scene for everyone; she asked if the Village of Fishkill owes the town

Supervisor LaColla

answered that the town does not take this lightly; and yes the Village owes the town but are in negotiations; special districts are paid down by residents of special districts; a lot of negotiations with the City of Beacon, Village of Fishkill were/are taken place

you are paying down debt; when this gets paid down - rate will go down

(absolutely)

Roseann Montalbano

stated the rate is a spike; salaries are not going up; wanted to know in five years will she be able to live here; understands there is no money; this has been going on for a long time; snow removal is not the same as it was in years past; starting to get depressing and everything is going up and not seeing any improvements

Alicia Alfred

asked is there any way to pay back Dutchess Park first and then Beacon

Danny Oberhauser

Commended all individuals who put many hours of hard work into seeing the financial disaster the town is in; state comptroller did an audit over two years ago; water rates went up in beacon hills which was a big increase; and asked where is the money going?

Supervisor LaColla

stated the monthly budget reports are online and you can see exactly where the money goes.

Bonnie - Salem Road

not everyone has computer access, newspapers, or television; the options to get meetings are not available to everyone

Jacqueline Vogel

asked if there were businesses incorporated in sewer district?

Supervisor LaColla answered Home Depot is in village; IBM not part of town's district

Jacqueline Vogel asked how are they paying these increases, are the getting same increase

Supervisor LaColla answered yes, they are paying the same rates as the individual resident

Jacqueline Vogel commented on the process of negotiating with village and would like to see them pay 2% like what the town is paying the City of Beacon

(so does the supervisor); asked why does the town not have their own sewage treatment plant; (the town does but not for Dutchess Park Sewer - there is one for Rombout Sewer District); why does the Dutchess Park Sewer District have their own sewer treatment plant

Supervisor LaColla answered the study will cost more to opening a separate plant along Fishkill Creek; is difficult to negotiate deals with no money; and there are no accurate lines for sewer districts map

Jacqueline Vogel

asked how do you have accurate cost when you don't have accurate maps; you should be able to come up with these district maps; is there any reason it could not go on tax bills under sewers (it is considered an operating cost not capital improvement cost)

Alicia Alfred asked again about the time frame that the Village will be paying off their debt (answer - three years); she asked if the money from the Village goes to DPSD and if so will it decrease the amount; (answer - yes)

Danny Oberhauser

talked about the Brinckerhoff Sewer plant

Gloria Thorne

she lives in the Siscar Development; her pump runs 24/7; water runs down the road like a river; she cannot understand why the town cannot put drainage in; where is the money to repair the roads and drainage; used to be a nice neighborhood; she understands the town has no money but they have water problems and it is a swamp all the time.

Chris Kasimer

1900 users in DPSD; numbers went back to 2010; what are the number of increased users since 2010; (answer was more users the deficit gets bigger faster); asked if new comers could pick up increase instead of the long time residents (answer - no, by law the town cannot do that; not putting load on system except for increase in flows); 135% increase to pay this back is a spike and that is why everyone is here

Bill Jessup

stated that what he hears is the $758,000 was put in a general fund instead of the Siscar District - (answer - the $758,000 was taken and dumped into the DPSD facilities and not the general fund)

Patty Moranski

stated she has a very simplistic question; she paid water bill on time for years; depended on town to do things right; roads needing fixed; everyone in Town of Fishkill helps together, then why is just people in Dutchess Park having this problem (answer - financial problems have gotten in way of getting things done); commented that her school taxes paid but children went to private schools, it would be cheaper if whole town paid

Anthony Cardinale

commented that the financial problems did not start three years ago; asked what the current actual uses vs. What is being paid towards debt reduction (answer - stated it is posted monthly on the website, and they are not trying to hide anything)

Jay Mosher

stated the ones who went to meetings who tried to fight the Rocky Glen situation, were talked down to, shouted down at, ram rod through, promised to get sewer district put in, Siscar Development over 50 years and is a tremendous expense to maintain, the roads are crumbling, and the money needs to be repaid.

Bonnie

asked that once the town starts getting money, it this going to be a permanent thing; how much is being paid off of the deficit; sewer bill will not go down; and she does not want a permanent deficit.

Supervisor LaColla replied that by law towns cannot move money from district to district

Jacqueline Vogel

stated she overheard people in the audience say it is impossible to break down payments showing the deficit pay down. She finds that hard to believe; the board knows how many are in a district; there should be one more line on the sewer bill; and it should be complete visibility and she knows the town can do that for the residents.

Supervisor LaColla explained the town is dealing with software that makes the bills; they would have to reprogram the billing and not sure whether the town can do that.

Jacqueline Vogel stated she was an IT professional; there is no program that cannot be changed; and maybe it would be worth the cost to do so; asked if

the town's books are independently audited every year; she feels an auditor should have been picked this up and should be held liable that it was not picked up

Supervisor LaColla stated the auditing firm is working very diligently on the books; there must have been some misunderstanding in what the auditor said; they did an excellent job the first year and came with a new team the second year

Jacqueline Vogel asked if the auditor has been asked to look at past audits

(answer - no); she stated that it might be a good idea

Dominick Consalo, Auditor

stated his firm audited the town for the last two years; the previous auditors disclosed deficits. He also stated that he has not seen the management letter.

Tom Knips

spoke about bill usage breakdown; and recommended a scenario of lowering the minimum usage charge to help about half of the DPSD users.

Nicole

stated she is a new resident of this district; asked if there is another way to pay back the deficit; is there a going back to drawing board to pay deficit off

Michael Donnelly, Town Attorney

responded that this is the result of a lengthy negotiation with the City of Beacon and there is no going back to negotiations

Nicole asked if the town is willing to try to do another deal; she only heard one way to pay it back; is the board willing to present another way

Supervisor LaColla stated there were a couple presented this evening and again reiterated the situation

Councilman Callahan motioned to close the public hearing

Councilman Buck seconded the motion

Board unanimously voted to close the public hearing

Public hearing closed at 8:42pm

RESULT:ADOPTED [UNANIMOUS]
MOVER:Robert LaColla, Supervisor
SECONDER:Kurt Buck, Councilman
AYES:Timothy Tuttle, Robert LaColla, Brian Callahan, Kurt Buck, Tony Curry