There were two (2) fairly important issues addressed in this meeting.
It was interesting to see how the Town of Wellington is using its funds, applying for Grants, and prioritizing projects. The list in the meeting packet (page 7) clearly outlines what the board and other town departments are working on with main street Cleveland Avenue taking priority.
A new state regulation, HB21-1110, is driving compliance issues for ADA accessibility to online information with ease of access and transparency. This will be something to watch and follow up on in October.
Read and search the transcript of meeting at this link, or scroll below. To keyword search all content on this page hit the "control" or "command" button and "F"
The purpose of this board is to provide outstanding municipal services for the community of Wellington both today and tomorrow. The May 23, 2023, meeting was less than one (1) hour.
There was one (1) Public comment by a resident from The Knolls. Karen reminded the board that streets in her neighborhood have still not been taken care of, and she wanted to bring awareness of bushes blocking the view at a stop sign in town. Karen and I were the only residents present.
One (1) proclamation was made by Mayor Chaussee for 2023:
National Public Works week: May 21, 2023 – May 27, 2023, to recognize public works professionals.
Kelly Houghteling, Deputy Town Administrator gave two (2) presentations:
Town Grant Updates:
The town is currently working on nine (9) projects with 5 in-progress and 4 starting soon (page 7 of the meeting packet).
Revitalizing Main Street is taking priority for downtown improvements including ADA compliance, repairing sidewalks, and correcting drainage issues.
The town is starting some gardening and display sign projects such as installing a lift station to pump water from low to high ground which should help with the water rates, and an AARP grant will provide Adirondack chairs and umbrellas for outside the Leeper Senior Center.
The town has been trying to get a Parks & Trail grant from the State but has been denied three (3) times. The state wants to see potential jobs attached for the youth in Wellington along with projects already completed. Kelly asked the board to consider if they want to either continue applying for these grants each year or use already appropriated funds of $80,000 from the general fund to complete the projects before resubmitting a grant request.
Trustee Gaiter: are there other street/water/sewer grants available?
Kelly: they are always looking for other grants, but main street Cleveland Avenue is the priority before tackling other areas.
Trustee Tietz: the master plan for Parks & Rec: can it show part time jobs for anyone or just youth?
Kelly: the application needs to show tangible progress, and it doesn’t.
Trustee Tietz: what determines tangible?
Kelly: the application must show that projects are done and have a ribbon cutting planned.
Trustee Mason: if money is already budgeted ($80,000) let’s use that.
Website Design presentation:
Website Accessibility Law – from page 8 of the meeting packet State HB21-1110 makes it a state civil rights violation for a government agency to exclude people with disabilities from receiving services or benefits because of lack of accessibility to digital content. All state agencies and local governments must be compliant with state standards by July 1, 2024.
The Town of Wellington has contracted with a web designer who will update the website according to HB21-1110 standards and will maintain continuing compliance. They plan to roll out the new website in October 2023.
Trustee Daily comment: thinks the town should consolidate all costs of the redesign after completion in October and submit it to the State, hoping the state will help fund the cost to comply with their new state statute.
There was unanimous consent to approve the May 9, 2023, regular meeting minutes.
The regular meeting closed at 6:56PM.
A Special Meeting opened, and another roll call was taken to address Liquor License Renewals. All board members remained present. Ethan Muhs, Town Clerk, presented three (3) requests.
Mini Mart dba Loaf’N Jug: application complied with all town regulations. Yay – 7
Brewfest Special Event: application complied with all town regulations. Yay – 7
DONJON LLC dba Wellington Grill: application complied with all town regulations. Yay – 7
Special Meeting was adjourned at 7:03PM.
Regular Session resumed immediately.
Town Attorney Reports:
Dan Sapienza, Town Attorney, wanted the board to be aware that the Website Accessibility Law comes with fines for non-compliance: $3500 for each type of non-compliance (only once, not per page).
Also, to prepare for 75 pages of campaign finance changes currently being reviewed and which will be discussed later in the year.
Trustee Gaiter had a question for the Sheriff, Sergeant Cherry, about his presentation at the May 9 meeting. The Sheriff mentioned March Sex Offenses were up and April vehicle thefts were up. Was there a potential problem starting that the board should be aware of?
Sergeant Cherry: sex offenses were teenagers sharing nude photos, nothing the officers are concerned about, and the few vehicle thefts are in the nothing unusual or excessive range.
The regular meeting adjourned at 7:16PM