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Village of Dering Harbor looks ahead on budget, new wells

The Dering Harbor Trustees voted on Jan. 18 to move $8,000 that had been over-budgeted for debt service into a capital reserve fund for future improvements. 

Trustee Patrick Parcells said the Board would discuss a preliminary 2021 budget at its March meeting. A formal hearing on the budget would be held at the April meeting, with a vote on the budget in May. Board meetings are held on the second Saturday of each month at 9 a.m. There will be no meeting in February.

The board discussed plans to pass a law in March that would authorize exceeding the tax limit increase of 2% under state law. Mr. Parcells said the preliminary budget would possibly come in under the limit, but it would be wise to pass the law to ensure compliance.

In an update on the water system, Mr. Parcells said that applications for two new wells that were awaiting approval by the Department of Environmental Conservation were moving forward after some delays. “I’m not entirely confident, but there’s a decent chance that we can get the wells in by summer,” he said. 

Village Attorney Wayne D. Bruyn updated the board on outstanding court cases. A challenge to the 2017 decision in the Goldfarb/Paredes “living fence” case was dismissed as “moot” by the Supreme Court subsequent to an adjustment to the village code. The plaintiffs, Tim Hogue and Marian Brownlie, appealed in December. Mr. Bruyn filed a response.

A ruling is awaited from the court, he said, on Tim Hogue’s challenge to the Zoning Board of Appeals on their Parking Order to Remedy Violation. With regard to a possible claim of trespass announced by Dan Calabro against the village for encroaching on his property when installing the new water equipment, Mr. Bruyn said Mr. Calabro would have three years from the date he first became aware of the condition to actually file a claim. To the extent that the new water tank may have extended over the Calabro property line, the village is withholding final payment to Statewide, the installing company, until further investigation on the placement is completed, Mr. Parcells said.

Mayor Betsy Morgan led a discussion on updating the street lights in the Village, some of which have had glass fixtures blown out in wind storms and others that have drawn complaints from homeowners where bright light is shining in their windows. The board will ask resident Alfredo Paredes about updating the designs, possibly to have a downward shield to deflect light away from windows and not interfere with dark skies.

With the change of the village’s Election Day to May 22 following a vote in 2019, the village clerk was advised to send notices to all residents on the new date, as well as the dates when nominating petitions must be filed, during the week of April 10 to 17.