Muttontown Mayor Richard Murcott introduced the newest member of the board, William Floyd-Jones at the Sept. 10 Village Board meeting. Mr. Floyd-Jones took the place vacated by Trustee Tom Treacy, who recently retired from the board.
Mr. Floyd-Jones resigned from the Zoning Board to accept the appointment. He will run for election next year, said the mayor.
The mayor appointed ZBA member Gordon Ziegler as the new chair of the ZBA, to replace Mr. Floyd-Jones. Ellen Manoff, a ZBA alternate will fill the unexpired term of Mr. Floyd-Jones. A new alternate, Brian Hassel, the president of the Pond's Edge Association was appointed. The Planning Board earlier approved to become a seven-member board, added two new positions: Lawrence Smiley and Faith Kanen, an alternate will take over the other position. The mayor appointed Roya Obedien as the new alternate.
As the board listened to the report of the building inspector and the problems he is dealing with, the mayor said, "The building department is a very busy place. There is a lot of construction going on."
Trustee Perry Welch said the location of the proposed Old Brookville Police station has hit a snag. The mayor of one village is holding approval up. The police commissioners were scheduled to meet again in September.
Mayor Murcott said the OBPD has been responding to three false alarms a day in the village. "We are making the police crazy," he said. He reminded the listeners of the boy falsely crying "wolf" and when it was true, not getting any help.
Trustee Bert Spitz reported on the fire department and it was on the same subject. He had a letter from East Norwich Fire Chief Rob Aasheim that mentioned two problems. The first was responding to automatic fire alarms as a result of negligence: they are from cooking smoke or from construction work being done.
The second issue is that when they respond to a house, there are no numbers posted and they can't find the building.
Chief Aasheim wrote, "All too often we respond to automatic fire alarms and the residents are not familiar with their system, don't know their password, their central station phone number or their code to shut off the alarm."
Chronic alarms they respond to are from cooking. In those cases Chief Aasheim recommends residents contact their central station, the phone number for which is often on the main alarm panel.
Another chronic case of alarms going off is construction work being done.
"Not only does smoke cause alarms to sound, but any type of construction work causing dust sets off alarms. Examples are floor sanding, plumbing work or heavy construction."
His recommendation is whenever any type of construction is being done, to notify your central station and tell them what is being done on the premise. This will keep the fire department from responding to unnecessary alarms.
The problem the fire company, made up of volunteers, is that the responders have to leave their jobs, assemble at the firehouse and head out for the house.
The whole response takes a long time and when it turns out they are not needed, it is a waste of time.
Another problem the fire department faces in the village is street numbers. Chief Aasheim said often there are no house numbers posted or they are in a location that is hard to find. He recommends that the house numbers be a minimum of 3" in height and located in a place which will not delay the response of the fire department. The number should be in a place free of brush and be seen clearly from the roadway or posted close to the roadway.
"When responding to any type of alarm at night, we find it would be helpful if the house number has a light focused on it. This will avoid unnecessary delays in our response," he wrote.
Trustee Spitz suggested the village add the requirement for a number in their building code.
Mayor Murcott said the board has tried, but said only two houses on his street have numbers, his and one next door neighbor, he added that "It's the sequence of the numbers that is important." He said Oyster Bay Cove residents were upset at Mayor Michael Peragine when he tried to address the house number issue. It means stationery changes and documents have to be changed if the numbers are changed.
Trustee Laura Shapiro suggested numbers on mail boxes. Mr. Spitz said at night they can't see the numbers on the mailbox and said they needed a light on the porch or terrace. Bushes can hide the numbers.
Mayor Murcott said, "Often, you can't see the houses."
Mr. Spitz said residents are putting themselves at risk and making the fire department waste time just finding the houses.
The mayor added that "Every letter I send out says we need house numbers."
The police need the numbers too, said Raz Tafuro, highway commissioner.
Peter Weiler (standing in for Village Attorney Peter MacKinnon,) said Centre Island and Cove Neck initiated a solution. The village paid for the numbers on the mailboxes or on posts outside the houses.
Trustee Shapiro suggested that if people don't put up their own numbers, the village should put them on the mail boxes.
The discussion ended with the comment that the police and fire departments might be able to use information on residents' section, block and lot numbers as a solution to the problem.
At the September board meeting several residents mentioned Highway Commissioner Raz Tafuro and one publicly thanked him for his work with the Village of Muttontown. "He's there every day, his son too.
The board discussed a new local law to authorize the planning board to use NYS Village law, as an alternate development plan for the Hamlet Estates at Kirby Hill, the former Byam Stevens property. It allows them to use smaller and larger lots as long as they add no more houses to be built on the site, than the original zoning allows. Mayor Murcott said, because of the reduction of sites to 80 houses, as they try to conserve as much open space as they can to preserve the existing greenery, they have created smaller lots in an area zoned for larger lots. They voted unanimously to approve the resolution.
The next board meeting is on Oct. 15, it was changed from Oct. 8, the second Monday of the month, as expected. The January 2002 meeting will be on Jan. 7 and not on the 14. The mayor asked if it would be a hassle. The board agreed. The rest of the year the meetings will be on Nov. 12 and Dec. 10.
Village Clerk Vivian Van Wagner announced the receipt of a NYS Grant for almost $3,000, to upgrade their building department computer system.
Commissioner Tafuro brought up the condition of the village's roads. They were built 20 to 30 years ago and now are wearing down and need work. "The value people put on roads, reflects on the value of their houses," he said.
Trustee Russel Corker asked if they should have an overall road maintenance plan.
The mayor said the Village of Brookville took out a $2 million bond, 10 to 15 years ago to repave all their village roads. Muttontown has a two-acre lot they could sell for $6,000 but he said, "I don't know if that is right. Nassau County has been selling land to make their budget balance."
He appointed a committee of "Bert, Russ and Raz to look at the road problems."
Trustee Ed Henn reported on the work of the planning board saying they had a very good meeting recently, with the Kirby Hill developers, but were waiting for information from them.
Village Clerk/Treasurer Vivian Van Wagner reported that the bid packages are out for more signs for the village. They are expected to be exactly the same as the original ones purchased. They need about 175 signs.
As to their village tax payments, she said, "Fewer people have paid on time this year."
There is a 7 percent fee for non-payment of taxes, as of September, "but, we (just) want the cash," said the mayor.
The village is offering flu shots for any senior citizen, 60 years or over on Nov. 5, from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. They have to register by Oct. 22. Please call the village at 364-3476 for more information.