The Village of Baxter Estates established a permit fee of $2,000 for T-Mobile Wednesday night in anticipation of a public hearing next month to consider its application to renew its contract with the village.
Mayor Nora Haagenson said the telephone service provider is intending to renew its original contract with the village.
Village Clerk-Treasurer Meghan Kelly said that as of Thursday, T-Mobile has not submitted its application yet.
In 2010, the last time the contract was established, the village implemented a permit fee for T-Mobile at $900.
Trustee Maria Branco suggested increasing the fee according to inflation rates since 2010, but Kelly said that it “doesn’t raise it as much as you think.”
Village attorney Christopher Prior said the telecommunications law restricts municipalities from implementing excessive fees.
“When you’re a landlord, you can do whatever you want. That’s the market,” Prior said. “Fees have to be reasonable and proportional.”
A public hearing will be held next month for T-Mobile’s application for a new permit with the village.
The board also voted to make changes to its employee handbook in order to add additional components and update it to be compliant with the State of New York.
Haagenson said that when she took office, there was no employee handbook. She said she wrote one in 2016 which was only five pages long.
Over time, Haagenson said the handbook has expanded as the village has faced new circumstances and the state has implemented new policies.
“It’s just expanded,” Haagenson said. “It’s gotten a little bit bigger.”
Additions include policies for remote work, which are in response to the increased relevancy of working from home due to the pandemic.
The board also discussed its road evaluation and its approach to updating roads in need of work.
Haagenson said the roads are “not in bad condition” at the moment, so the board opted to delay discussion to a later date.
She said the village is still waiting on grants to help fund the road improvement projects, which the board agreed would be better to have before starting work.
Branco said delaying conversations about the projects may also be beneficial in the case of a bad winter that affects the quality of the roads.
The board also voted to withdraw from the Nassau County Shared Services Agreement, contingent on no fees being placed upon the village to withdraw from the agreement.
“We are not paying a dime to the county, not a dime,” Haagenson said.
The resolution to withdraw was met by cheers from board members.
The Village of Baxter Estates will be holding its next Board of Trustees meeting at 7:30 p.m. on Oct. 4. At that meeting the village will hold a public hearing for T-Mobile’s application, as well as a public hearing for a new local law that would prohibit public urination and defecation.