April 19, 2004
Planning Board Minutes
Oswego Town Hall
Chair: Judy Sabin-Watson
Town Board Members: Francis Dellamano, Kenneth Kern,
Lee Phillips, Barry Pritchard, John Pritchard, Robert Smith
Attorney To The Board: Stephen Greene, Jr.
The Planning Board Meeting for April 19, 2004 was called to order by Judy Sabin-Watson at approximately 7:00 PM.

Those in attendance were:
Judy Sabin-Watson
Francis Dellamano
Kenneth Kern
John Pritchard
Barry Pritchard
Stephen Greene, Jr
Marjorie Best
Those absent were:
Alternate Member
Lee Phillips
Robert Smith
Old Business:

Judy Watson asked for a motion to approve the March 15, 2004 minutes. John Pritchard entertained a motion to approve the minutes, and it was seconded b Kenneth Kern. All ayes, Motion carried.

Application #2003-01 - VIP Structures:

At approximately 7:10 PM, Judy Watson opened discussion of Empire Fresh Cuts, LLC, and the problems with the neighbors, John and Michaelene Slattery. Jeff Wallace and Sam Zappala were in attendance for Empire Fresh Cuts, LLC. Mr. & Mrs. Frank Slattery, as well as Frank's parents, Mr. & Mrs. John Slattery appeared to give their concerns. Channel 10 News also appeared to do a news segment on the issues. There were also people in attendance from the Sterling area, regarding another business the Zappala's own in that area.

Judy Watson addressed the floor that there are issues concerning noise, sand and odors coming from the processing plant. She stated we also should talk about the fence and trees. She believes these issues have been resolved, as we have a signed Agreement among the parties dated March 15, 2004.

Jeff Wallace stated that the ventilators were being tested because they were brand new. It was discovered they were left on. There is an on and off switch in the dry storage. It was a mistake they were left on for two days. Normally they are turned off and on during the course of a given day. After 4:30 pm, the plant is closed, so they are not on at all. He apologized that it was an oversight on their part, and it hasn't happened since. On the same day, the ventilation on the roof was just completed within the last few weeks. The circulation inside the facility on that end of the building, when the system was left on for two days, it was a rather warm day, they did not smell anything. The only thing they could come up with is the fact that the same day the ventilators were left on, apparently what Frank Slattery smelled was disturbing to him. Jeff stated there hasn't been a problem since, as he went outside to purposely check. If he thought there was an odor, he would have definitely addressed it immediately.

Michaelene Slattery explained that she went outside her home on Friday, the 16th, and there was an offensive odor, and that it stunk.

Fran Dellamano stated that the Board needs to go and stand outside the building, and see for ourselves. Sam Zappala invited anyone to come and stand outside any time of the day, and if someone smells something, to please let him know. Fran Dellamano stated there has been an onion packing business, Oswego Growers and Shippers there for some 25 years, and from time to time, a smell would come from it. He stated it is a commercial area. Being a business area, there is going to be some noise. That's one of the problems we have with zoning. People come into a residential area where you can put businesses. He wondered why people want to build homes on Route 104. He thinks there is a blend that we have to come up with.

John Pritchard stated that at the new plant, they are not just packing onions, they are slicing them. Sam Zappala said part of it is the discharge from the refrigeration. There is circulation when the ventilators are running. John Pritchard said "At the last meeting, you said there would be no smell". The problems John Pritchard has, as he mentioned it to Sam earlier, the Plan for the building shows, the East, West, and South elevations, giving exteriors. There are 3 ventilators, one through the roof. There is an office door, and an overhead door here. (John Pritchard and Sam Zappala had the plan in front of them. The secretary could not see what they were pointing at). John Pritchard stated "We never approved this. We have never seen this drawing. Now it looks like this is VIP's problem. I don't know why they put these ventilators in. I don't know why these ventilators couldn't have been set back by the onion storage, as the odor might be too strong for their employees. When you brought the plan in originally, it did not have this window, did not have this door. I don't know why the ventilators could not have been put on the North side of the building".

Sam Zappala said they are strictly for the dry storage area, for air circulation. They are not really ventilators, they are for the dry warehouse exhaust system. John Pritchard asked "When you slice a tractor trailer load of onions, where are you getting rid of the gasses" Sam Zappala explained the discharge is on the other side of the building, the North side. John Pritchard said that is not shown either on the plan, that all it shows is an overhead door. Sam explained there is an exhaust fan above this door (pointing to the plan). John then asked how big the exhaust fan is, and Sam stated it is a 36 inch high velocity fan. John Pritchard asked what about these fans here. (pointing to the drawing). Sam said they are 18 inch fans. John could not find a date on the particular plans he had in hand, that it says VIP Structures, 2003. Sam stated there are numerous copies of various plans. John said the Zappala's should have come back with revised plans. Sam said the plan shown here may not be the final revision.

Fran Dellamano stated it sounds like the Zappala's want to work to alleviate the problem. He thinks we should let it run for another month. Judy Watson said she went out there one evening, but by the time she got there, the plant was closed, and she could not smell a thing. Jeff Wallace said if there was something coming out of the building, and up over the hill, the wind would push it toward the city. The ventilators are strictly for air. The ventilators are in the dry storage area. It's not even close to where the peelings are, or where the onions are being kept. The onions are in cold storage. Until the onions are shipped out on the truck, it is 34 degrees. The only thing he can smell in the building at the time is cold air. He has yet to smell an odor coming from the building. He again apologized for leaving the ventilators on for two days, which created the noise. Jeff stated he definitely wants to work out whatever problem there may be. John Pritchard said we had approved what was originally submitted to us, but now we don't have the recent revisions.

Attorney Steve Greene said we should find the latest revision that the Board was given, and look at the floor plan, and make a determination then. Fran Dellamano said a Site Plan Review was submitted, and that is what we worked on. John Pritchard said that the Agreement is fine, and Mr. Slattery signed it. He stated Mr. Slattery didn't cause any of the hazard. Although the Agreement was signed, no dates are mentioned as to when the work is to be completed. What we have now is an 8 foot drop off from Slattery's property. He stated his mother-in-law lives across the road. He asked the Zappala's when it would be done, as Mr. Slattery talked about the priority here. Jeff Wallace said what he meant by priority, is in line with what they are doing with the business. They are waiting for the weather to change, get the site work done, and everything else they are trying to plot out. They worked out the fence installation with Butler. Sam Zappala said they called Butler, got the figures, put down the 25% which was necessary, sent the check in the mail, and scheduled a date. They have a tentative date for Thursday, the 22nd. They have a survey scheduled for the boundary line. John Pritchard asked, now that the fence is going up, when are the trees going in. Jeff Wallace said he gave Mr. Slattery the opportunity to design the tree line himself. John Pritchard said "This sounds fine, but when is it going to be done, December sometime?" Jeff stated two weeks ago, he, Sam Zappala and Mr. Slattery went onto Slattery's property and discussed what kind of trees, how far away from the line, and how far apart. John Pritchard said "I want a date tonight. I want a date for the fence, the trees and the blacktop. The Slattery's could walk off that lawn, and fall off the 8-1/2 foot wall. I don't want to hear tentative dates".

Jeff Wallace said "I cannot give you a date on the trees or the blacktop, as we are not prepared, as we have to deal with the underground cable, and the survey. The trees are to be planted professionally as this contract says, by the 15th of May". John asked "How about the blacktop. I get the drift from my pool. I'm 500 feet over, and my mother-in-law is across the road. I want to follow through with this. I live there". Sam Zappala stated Mother Nature is going to determine part of that. He said he cannot see why by the end of June, everything should be completely finished.

Michaelene Slattery brought up the subject of the trees. She wants the trees professionally installed, because if in 3 months something happens to them, she does not want to be stuck with replacing them. She said Sam wants to buy the trees and have them installed. She wants them done by a landscape company, which she feels is reasonable. Sam Zappala said he will have the trees professionally done to satisfy the Slattery's. He stated he has the facilities, and personnel, and could have had it done by their farm works, but if the Slattery's want landscapers, it will be done. Jeff Wallace stated he doesn't particularly like voices spoken for us, as the discussion was between Frank Slattery and himself. Fran Dellamano asked if the trees are going to be on Slattery's property, to which Sam answered they will, and they will have them installed.

John Pritchard stated the dates would be May 15th for the trees, May 21st for the fence, and June 30th for the blacktop. Sam Zappala explained that Russ Getman should do the surveying this week, and the fence should be installed Thursday, the 22nd. If not, we will wait one more week.

Fran Dellamano said he personally thinks that May 15th, with the weather we get with rain, with his horticultural background to say June 1st would be a good date to put the trees in. John Pritchard said he especially wants to meet the fence deadline as a safety issue. If someone is cutting the grass, they could drop off that 8í2î wall. So the fence should go up first.

John Pritchard referred back to the problem of the smell. He said it is cool now, but what happens if it turns 85 or 90. If there is a smell, something must be done about the fans. Jeff Wallace said every board meeting they have attended, they have tried to agree to do it right. If there is an issue that needs to be addressed, they will address it. They are a new business starting out, and it is being tweaked. They appreciate the interests of the Town of Oswego, and they are trying to keep everyone satisfied.

Michaelene Slattery again brought up the subject of smelling the odor on Friday. She said her eyes started watering, as well as her little boy's. She thinks when the trees are between them, it will help a lot. Jeff Wallace said whoever installs the trees, they will be cared for. Mrs. Slattery asked if they continue to get the smell, what exactly will they do about it. Sam Zappala said he has no idea as he doesn't anticipate it being a problem, but they will have to address it.

Fran Dellamano made a motion that we table the onion smell issue until the next meeting. We may even have to table it from next month to get all these issues resolved. He said the Zappala's have been good, trying to work with us, and feels that they will continue trying to settle the matter. Ken Kern seconded the motion. All ayes. Motion carried.

Comprehensive Plan:

At approximately 7:40 PM, Fran Dellamano said he spoke with Vickie Mullen, the Supervisor at the Town Board meeting about the Comprehensive Plan. She stated she would bring it up at the next meeting, and the Town Board would have a Public Hearing on it. Fran Dellamano said he didn't bring a complete map to the meeting. He had worked on it with Karen Noyes of the County Planning Department. He needs to explain the colors with more detail. We must make a commitment with the County Planning Department to do the map, as it was just general. Barry Pritchard asked Steve Greene if he knew anymore about the plan with his dad. Judy Watson said she would get in touch with Vickie. Fran said our gears are a little slow moving. We need to work on a completed professional map. Judy wants to make sure we go over it, and make sure it is what we agree to.

Applicants - None

Public Comment:

Hal Hanson was in the room as an interested town resident, inquiring as the workings of the Zoning and Planning Boards. He wondered what the time frame was in getting revised maps for zoning and planning. Barry Pritchard explained that the Comprehensive Plan and Zoning are separate. Mr. Hanson asked if there was ever a public hearing so people could comment. Fran stated there was one about a year ago. Barry Pritchard said he understands that the Zoning Board is talking of hiring someone to re-enact the zoning. Fran said he thinks the zoning enactment should be done by the Planning Board, according to State rules. If someone is hired, they have to work with the Town Board Members.

Fran Dellamano brought up the subject of keeping the town clean. There is a lot of junk around. Maybe sometime, the Town Board could get a volunteer who would drive around the various roads, and see what places need dressing up, and getting rid of junk in the yard.
Hal Hanson said it would be a good idea to mail out flyers or a letter regarding information that is going on in the Town. Judy thought it was a good idea.

Fran Dellamano stated we should write a letter to the Town Board to address the issue. Judy instructed the Secretary to write a letter to the Town Board, approved by her, that our suggestion would be, since we have a nice town and nice homes, that some of the properties need cleaning up. Perhaps a volunteer could go down the road. If they see a problem, give a warning to the property owner. We won't get everyone to clean up, but if we talk nice to the people, it may bring results. If they need help, we could get them hooked up with someone. It doesn't cost much to do it, it is just doing it.

At approximately 8:05 PM, John Pritchard made a motion to adjourn the meeting. Barry Pritchard seconded the motion. All ayes. Motion carried.

Respectfully submitted,

Marjorie Best,
Secretary to Planning Board.

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