Mayor Tim Hogue opened the meeting of the Village of Dering Harbor Board of Trustees on Saturday morning, February 15 with the announcement that weather conditions and flight cancellations made it impossible for a quorum to be present.
He and Deputy Mayor Heather Brownlie agreed to meet anyway to catch up on business since the last meeting in December.
Without a quorum, the minutes could not be approved, bills for December and January were reviewed but not adopted and no resolutions were presented for a vote.
The following agenda items were discussed by the mayor and deputy mayor during the brief 30-minute meeting.
• Water works: A couple of bids have been received for the installation of a new generator, both at a cost of approximately $25,000. Bidding will be kept open for awhile longer, the mayor said.
He noted again that power outages had not been a problem in the past; the village has a 100,000-gallon water tank and an agreement with the Shelter Island Fire Department to borrow its generator to top off the tank if needed. The Suffolk County Department of Health Services, however, has strongly recommended that the village have its own generator.
• Roads: The budget needs to be reviewed for the impact of this winter’s storms and cost of snow removal. Mr. Hogue noted that Highway Supervisor Rich Surozenski was having difficulty plowing Shore Road due to the hump in the middle of the road. Approximately $50,000 in CHIPS money is available for road work and repair in 2014, but that will only go so far, the mayor said.
• Village budget: The process of preparing the 2014-2015 budget is underway, Mr. Hogue said, and will be the subject of a public hearing in April.
Mr. Hogue had available for distribution a paper prepared by the New York Conference of Mayors regarding the state governor’s 2014-2015 executive budget proposal. It calls for a two-year property tax freeze for residents earning an adjusted gross income of $500,000 or less, providing the local government budget remains within the 2 percent tax cap. If there is a local law in place to override the cap, it has to be repealed.
NYCOM raises a number of concerns about this proposal, noting that municipalities are being told to stay within the cap without any additional state aid or the state’s previously promised relief to help local governments comply. Mr. Hogue predicted the governor’s proposal would be the subject of considerable discussion on the local and county levels.
• 2014-2015 elections: Village elections for three two-year positions — for mayor and two trustee seats — will be held on Tuesday, June 17. Nominating petitions may be submitted between May 6 and 13 at Village Hall.
Trustee Mary Walker’s position is up for election and Brandon Rose, appointed to trustee Linda Adams’ seat when she resigned this winter, is serving out the remainder of her term, which also expires on June 30.
The next meeting of the board is scheduled for Saturday, March 15 at 10 a.m.