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State of New York

County of Fulton

Town of Caroga

Minutes of a Caroga Town Board work session held on Wednesday May 18,2016 at 7:30 pm at Caroga Town hall 1840 State Highway 10 Caroga Lake NY.

Supervisor Robert Sullivan – Here

Deputy Supervisor Sturchio – Here

Council Member Glenn – Here

Council Member Morris – Here

Council Member Manning – here

Supervisor Sullivan called the meeting to order at 7 pm. The roll was called and the salute to the flag was conducted.

Highway Superintendent Putman was in attendance. There were 30 members of the public in attendance.

Supervisor Sullivan stated a work session is not necessarily a public meeting thought he believes in having some feedback. Some order will need to be maintained.

Mr. Putman reported that Nick Stock Road was shut down. Part of the deck collapsed into the creek. He spoke to the DOT Engineer Paul Uncer out of Fultonville. The options are to close the bridge indefinitely, or get it checked to see what needs to be done to repair it. A basketball size hole appeared in the structure. There are three residences on the road and the Sheriff’s Dept. has been notified that the road can be accessed from the south end.

There are several properties in town where (hwy) drainage pipes go across private property. In the highway manual it states the town board needs to be in agreement with the Highway Superintendent so he can access them. All three have to be in agreement – the Highway Superintendent, the Town Board, and the property owner. Supervisor Sullivan thought it should be done on a case by case basis. “Perhaps there could be some agreement ahead of time, and then pass it officially at our board meeting.” Council Member Glenn agreed with this plan.

Mr. Putman again noted his desire to hire part timers.

Mr. Putman received a couple of bids for a trailer. He would like to have a full deck tilt for the paver and the roller. He stated it could be paid for with CHIPS money.

Supervisor Sullivan discussed the ice cream stand at Sherman’s. Fulton County Glass gave him a price of $690.00 to remove the glass and framing. The Highway Superintendent was asked if he wanted to remove the structure with the glass in or removed.

RESOLUTION #2016-000 to hire Fulton County Glass was offered by Supervisor Sullivan at the Wednesday May 18, 2016 work session held at the municipal building, and WHEREAS, at the regular monthly May meeting the board discussed with Mr. Ruby the condition of the glass in the ice cream stand building on the Sherman’s property, and WHEREAS, several pieces of the glass are cracked and the framework is not square, now therefore be it RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board does hereby move to hire Fulton County Glass to remove all of the glass and framework supporting it, at the Ice Cream stand located on the Sherman’s property prior to the demolition of the building at a cost of $680.00. The motion was seconded by Council Member Sturchio.

Adopted by a vote of 5 Ayes; Sullivan, Sturchio, Glenn, Morris, Manning

The resolution was for when and if they demo the building Supervisor Sullivan noted. Supervisor Sullivan believes the building is rotted. The structure requires safety glass. Saving the signs was discussed.

Supervisor Sullivan asked for a motion to take down the ice cream stand at Sherman’s. Council Member Morris made the motion. Highway Superintendent Putman asked if the attached building (cotton candy stand) was included in the proposed demolition project. The roofs are attached. The matter was tabled.

Supervisor Sullivan stated that Canada Lake Computer can put an additional filter on the Town Board’s emails for an additional $5.00 per month so they can stop using their own. The cost is for all of the email addresses. The board was in favor of the additional cost.

Supervisor Sullivan stated he needed to order some compliance signs for the beach to read – No Swimming – No Lifeguard on Duty. They are 14x10 and cost $18.00 each. The board suggested ordering 6 signs. Council Member Morris noted with Memorial Day ahead the board should discuss how to keep people off the beach. She noted they had talked about a fence along the road. Supervisor Sullivan stated we are covered by insurance if we make the appropriate signage.

The kids doing the skateboarding have been addressed with Mang Insurance. “We should have a discussion with the Sheriff’s Office to increase patrols and to let them know they should not be in there.” The clerk stated the Sheriff’s Department spoke to the kids recently. The wood on site should be removed so they can’t construct ramps. “Take it down when you find them.”

An orange snow fence is to be placed around the Ferris Wheel along with signage to restrict access to it. Council Member Manning asked if someone jumped the fence the ride does not have coverage on it would the town be held liable. Supervisor Sullivan thought the individual would be liable as they were trespassing.

The Bilko Doors at the end of the building will cost $900.00. Supervisor Sullivan does not know if the price includes instillation.

Cochetella – the model shoot. Per the e-mail they want to go onto the Sherman’s Property and take photographs with the Ferris Wheel. They cannot go in the buildings. It was noted they have their own insurance.

Jim Scerra of Specialized Environmental Monitoring was contacted to conduct testing at the landfill. He has been busy in Hoosick Falls for the last several months. This has not been done since 2011 and is supposed to be done annually. DEC sent a letter stating that this must be done by June 1st. Supervisor Sullivan is reasonably sure he can do it next week. The estimate is $3,125.00.

Cell Tower Contract - The board has discussed this previously. They offered a buyout for 10 years. They will not renew the contract. The two options are a lump sum payment of $230,000.00 at closing in lieu of any future rent or monthly installments after executive easement agreement. Or the town would receive 120 monthly payments of $2,290.00 for a total over the ten year period of $274,795.00. American tower requires an exclusive perpetual easement on the existing land. American Tower obtains the right to operate the tower until such time it provides notice of termination or abandons the site. The town attorney negotiated on behalf of the town. Council Member Manning stated Mr. Ferlazzo tried to re-negotiate the payment options and also to put into the agreement if they ceased using the tower – they would forgo the perpetual easement. Supervisor Sullivan wanted to take the lump sum and put it into a capitol project fund – the roof has no insulation and it leaks.

There are two other companies, Landmark Dividend and Unisom, also interested in the Town’s Tower. The public asked some questions of the board. Some were concerned with the reversion clause. There is no timeframe deadline to act on the offer. As the contract is written the town would not receive additional revenue if a second provider went on the tower. The board discussed their options. Council Member Manning thought if the property were abandoned in the future that the perpetual easement should end. The clerk was asked to look for information from the other companies.

Supervisor Sullivan stated the next item on the agenda is a proposal from a professional consulting service for a project for the Caroga Lake Waste Water Treatment Facility Preliminary Engineering Valuation. Supervisor Sullivan stated he was going to make a resolution and reads the contract as follows:

Dear Mr. Sullivan: We are pleased to provide the following proposal for professional services related to the development of a wastewater treatment system in the Town of Caroga. The scope of services has been established based on our understanding of the project through discussions with Mr. Jim Mraz.

We understand that the town is interested in exploring the possibility of a wastewater treatment facility to serve an area along NYS Route 10 and 29A. We understand that the area initially considered for service includes approx. 300 acres primarily along NYS Route 10 and 29A from County Road 112 south to 1st Avenue. We further understand that the Town owns approx. 3 acres on the north side of NYS Route 10 adjacent to Mead Creek, where the wastewater treatment facility would potentially be located.

The Environmental Design Partnership (EDP) will work with Adirondack Mountain Engineering to provide the follow scope of services related to a preliminary engineering evaluation of a potential wastewater treatment system for the Town of Caroga.

The scope of services presented herein is intended to provide the Town with preliminary sizing requirements, solicit comments from the NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation relative to the ability to utilize Mead Creek as a receiving water, and providing budget cost estimates associated with the project. The following specific tasks are proposed.

Service Area Identification and Wastewater Projections:

Identify and classify all existing developed properties that would be included in the Service Area.

Identify all vacant parcels and their development potential within the Service Area.

Prepare map showing all developed and vacant parcels with development potential within the Service Area.

Project total wastewater flow based upon existing developed and vacant parcels with development potential per Town Zoning.

Recommend package treatment plant sizing based on the projected wastewater flows.

Confirm Availability of Mead Creek as a Discharge Point

Measure or estimate stream flow within Mead Creek.

Contact the NYSDEC to discuss the Town’s plan for providing wastewater treatment at this location and request preliminary comments on the same.

Provide Budget Estimate of anticipated Construction Costs.

Prepare budget level cost estimate for design, permitting, and construction of a proposed package WWTP and trunk sewer line from the package plant location to NYS Route 10/29A.


Letter report summarizing finding including mapping of the proposed Service Area, wastewater flow projections, correspondence with the NYS DEC, and budget cost estimates.

Meet with the town to review the preliminary engineering evaluation.

Please note that the preliminary design wok outlined herein is to be based on information available through the County GIS and USGS Topographic information unless specifically noted otherwise within the scope of services.


The total maximum not to exceed cost for the scope of services identified above is $7,000. We anticipate a timeframe of 2 to 3 months necessary to complete this work.

Services will be billed hourly in accordance with the attached rate schedule on a thirty day billing cycle; individual Tasks will not be tracked and billed separately. The estimated fees for professional consulting services may be adjusted by deletions or additions to the Scope of Service at your request.

Billing statements will be mailed on a monthly basis for work completed during the previous calendar month. Payment is requested within thirty (30) days of the billing date. A finance fee of 1.5 percent per month will be assessed on any balance not paid within thirty (30) days. Any disputed billing must be brought to the attention of the Envir. Design Partnership LLP, in writing within fourteen (14) days of billing otherwise it will be assumed that the billing statement is accurate and acceptable. Please do not hesitate to contact our office if you have any questions or require additional information.

Supervisor Sullivan stated this is very preliminary – it is like a first step. We are not designing a system per say or funding a system.

Supervisor Sullivan asked for a second to his motion. Council Member Glenn seconded the motion.

Discussion: Council Member Morris spoke to Jim Mraz this afternoon – there is no deadline to make this decision. Her concern is she needs time to absorb all this. She wants to make sure everyone in town knows about this. She would like the engineers to come up to educate the board and the public that way we can all make a thoughtful and well educated decisions and move forward. She said the board has to define where this is going also. Supervisor Sullivan stated they are telling us, they will estimate the flow which determines the size of the plant. The flow in Mead Creek determines the size of the plant.

Council Member Sturchio “to me, I think we need a study to know what it is we can present to the people.”

Council Member Morris wanted the engineers to come and explain it personally to the board so they can understand it. She noted the first thing to do is to set up a sewer district. She just found this out today. There is a lot we don’t know. She agreed a study should be done for the $7,000.00 but not before an engineer comes up.

Council Member Manning spoke to Mr. Travis from EDP and also Mr. Hernandez from Adirondack Mountain Engineering. They have not looked at anything yet or seen Mead Creek or the flow rates. Council Member Manning believes this site was looked at in the past and DEC did say that the spot was not feasible. Supervisor Sullivan questioned that statement. Council Member Manning noted the need to have the town 100% behind a project of this nature. The public will have a chance to vote on the creation of the district. He pointed out potential negative impacts on the proposed site.

1) possibility of a failure

2) smell bad

3) look bad

Do we want to take these risks Council Member Manning asked? Supervisor Sullivan is depending upon the professionals telling the board how it will work. Since they haven’t done the study he didn’t think they could answer any questions.

Council Member Morris wanted to slow down and make sure the board does this the right way.

A member of the public asked if the town put out an RFP. Supervisor Sullivan noted for this amount that was not necessary. She stated by law they were not required to but if you talk to different engineering firms they break it all down for you. You can do a comparison of the conglomeration of the information. If you don’t understand it then it is a good idea to get different proposals which are free.

In 2001 the town had a plan designed in three different sections. At the time it would have cost 10 million. There were no funds at the time even for one section. The point of this is to look for funds. If there is something started we can go from that point. The county is doing a lot with Smart Waters.

The location was questioned. Supervisor Sullivan stated this is a possible location – it may not work. If that is the case then they will look elsewhere. “We are not going to know unless we look at it. It has to be looked at from an engineering standpoint.”

Council Member Manning noted the first step has to be in the right direction and everyone has to be on board with the direction we are heading in. The engineers told him you want to go into areas that have problems. The state funding is geared toward fixing those problem areas.

Supervisor Sullivan state there is one business that was purchased this year that is out of business. “I can tell you a couple of businesses in that strip where there is a lot of midnight work that goes on.”

Council Member Manning noted the need to know where the failing systems are. He stated that the county drew up the map but the board did not give them any feedback. He believes the map needs to be reviewed to see if it fits with our goals. He wanted to see the map amended to pick up the areas on the lakefront and down route 10. Currently it is mostly about the business district.

Mr. Fielding stated the board needs to really slow down and set your goals and realize what the people want. Do the people on Caroga Lake want treated sewage going into the lake? He remembers when the state campsite was polluting East Caroga Lake. The nitrates and phosphates were going into the lake. He agreed the need for a sewage plant. Move it down by the school to the outlet of Caroga Lake.

Supervisor Sullivan stated the campsite problem was years ago.

Mr. Toskas - we have no idea at this point what we are talking about. The only way we will know is if we have professionals tell us what is possible we are spinning our wheels.

Council Member Manning gave some information and facts on phosphates and nitrogen.

Supervisor Sullivan stated Mr. Mraz has been working in this town for 5 years and looking at the possibilities are and right now there are none.

Council Member Manning stated the reason the site was selected was because the town recently obtained ownership of it.

Supervisor Sullivan wanted to call for a vote as he thinks the subject has been discussed enough.

Mr. Fielding wanted to talk about this more as did Council Member Morris.

A resolution and second was made, Supervisor Sullivan stated and called for a vote.

Mr. Fielding stated you are doing the same thing Ralph Ottuso did. The public continued to talk.

Council Member Manning suggested having Mr. Mraz from the county come up. Supervisor Sullivan thought DEC should be here too.

Council Member Morris reiterated that Mr. Mraz thought this was a wonderful thing that we have someone come up to educate the board. “To have to make a knee jerk decision when there is no deadline is reckless and irresponsible.” We want to hear from the experts and make sure we are doing this the right way. She did not want this crammed down the public’s throat again. She will not let it happen.

Mr. Fielding thought we needed to clean up the messes of the past. Not just the main corridor. He said this almost reeks of the RV Park. This needs to encompass the avenues and needs to do the things the people in Caroga Lake really want and not what the special interest want.

It was asked without business how can we afford this?

Supervisor Sullivan stated there is one potential site, anything else and we are going to have to purchase land. The area being looked at is where the Sherman’s property septic tanks are.

Supervisor Sullivan stated this is the first step. “It has nothing to do with designing a system. They are going to look at the system that might work. If it doesn’t work it doesn’t work.” Council Member Sturchio asked what if it works and the people don’t want it. Then what?

Council Member Manning stated whatever is designed people have to want. They have to get benefits from it and affect people individually in their lives. The board makes the decision – this street or that street.

Supervisor Sullivan called order in the room, “we are not getting second opinions on engineers.”

Mr. McLain thought the only way to get information was to have the study done, and then have the engineers come up and tell us what they see and what they don’t see.

Mr. Fielding noted the town board has to tell the professionals what they want and what the ultimate goal is. Not just to put a sewer plant down to take care of a few businesses along the corridor. Maybe there is a stage one and stage two.

Council Member Sturchio asked what happens if Sherman’s gets sold? There are two parcels there. It is separate.

The clerk asked do we know what systems have failed or who has a newer system or older systems. Before people spend a lot of money we need to know if there really is a problem. We need to look at our own records to see what is going on. Supervisor Sullivan thought the postage size lots would be in need of a system. The clerk noted the large amount of holding tanks in the town already. She has a list of them.

Council Member Glenn noted we are looking at a feasibility study. He thought this was a perfect place to start. It is no commitment to the town. They do the evaluation and the presentation for us and then we decide.

Council Member Manning stated at this point we don’t know where we want to go exactly. This is coming from the county on this. We as a board have never discussed this – what we really envision. The board was given this information last week.

Council Member Morris asked to have the engineer come up to speak to the board. It was not known if they would charge the town. This is a big deal. She will contact Mr. Mraz to ask for someone to explain this to the board. She also noted that the board has not discussed this.

Council Member Manning thought there should be some diverse opinions. Engineers, the County, someone from Paul Smiths – a variety of people to help with this process. He is not ready to go forward with this by looking at a map.

With a Motion on the floor to spend $7,000.00 for professional consulting services from Environmental Design partnership, LLP the motion was made by Supervisor Sullivan and seconded by Council Member Glenn.

All in favor – Supervisor Sullivan and Council Member Glenn

Opposed – Council Member Sturchio, Morris, and Manning

The motion was not carried

RESOLUTION #2016-000 to Donated Golf Package to the Nathan Littauer Hospital annual Adirondack Challenge was offered by Supervisor Sullivan at the Wednesday May 18, 2016 work session held at the municipal building, and WHEREAS, the clerk received a letter from Kelly Colby the Foundation Coordinator dated asking the board to donate to their annual golf tournament on July 8, 2016, WHEREAS, Steve Jennings, Golf Pro, Manage was notified of the request, Now therefore be it RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board does hereby move to donate four passes for 18 holes of golf at the Nick Stoner Municipal Golf Course and Mr. Jennings is donating 2 carts to be donated to the Nathan Littauer Foundation which supports their clinic in Speculator NY. The motion was seconded by Council Member Manning.

Adopted by a vote of 5 Ayes; Sullivan, Sturchio, Glenn, Morris, Manning

Dave Egert will meet with Supervisor Sullivan at 8 am tomorrow to review some grant paperwork.

Mr. Egert has 10 days before the season starts and the harvester needs work. Council Member Sturchio asked if there was a need to purchase new pontoons for the craft. He did not think so. He believed it can be repaired for just fewer than 10K. A new harvester is around $120,000.00. He has a list of things that need to be done on the machine. The three areas of concern are safety, efficiency, and maintenance. Nonskid footing is needed for the tenders, the deck needs to be lowered it is at an angle, anchor lights, and wenches, and a dive ladder. Now they pull on the hoses. Efficiency – a discharge strainer is needed to narrow it down from ¼ to less than 1/8, an equipment locker. Maintenance - the platform needs to be replaced, the dive regulator service maintained, and the pontoon straps are rusted, it needs to be painted, a new air filter, and new discharge hoses. Supervisor Sullivan stated there is already $5,000.00 in an account. Some of the money will come back as part of the grant. The cost to do all this will be less than $10,000.00. He will do all of the work himself but he won’t do the work for free. He is alright with someone else doing the work.

RESOLUTION #2016-000 to do the necessary repairs to the Weed Harvester was offered by Supervisor Sullivan at the Wednesday May 18, 2016 work session held at the municipal building, and WHEREAS, Dave Egert – Weed Harvesting coordinator discussed with the board the need to do necessary repairs to the Weed Harvester, and WHEREAS, the main issues are safety, efficiency, and maintenance of the harvester, and WHEREAS, the town has already designated $5,000.00 to make these repairs with money also available from a grant the town received, now therefore be it RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board does hereby move to authorize spending up to $10,000.00 to make necessary repairs to the harvester. The motion was seconded by Council Member Glenn.

Adopted by a vote of 5 Ayes; Sullivan, Sturchio, Glenn, Morris, Manning

John Pawlows of Kasson Drive hopes to move here permanently. To do that he needs some sort of storage area. He bought a lot on London Bridge Road. Before he bought it he asked the Code Officer – Shelia Yates if he could build a garage there. She said yes but at the time he did not own the lot so he did not get a permit. He went south for the winter. He came back this spring and applied for a permit and was denied two different enforcers reading the zoning two different ways. He wanted the board to know about this situation. Supervisor Sullivan will talk to the current Code Officer. The APA has been contacted. This may require a zoning appeal.

Trish Isabella is holding a Black Fly Festival June 4 & 5. It will be from 120 London bridge Road to Vrooman’s Restaurant. They have 30 vendors and hope to have more artisans and crafters. She wants to make a Festival for Caroga Lake. It is family focus. No food vendors were allowed to come in so local restaurants can benefit from the crowds that will hopefully come. They have volunteers from the fire dept. and local boy’s scouts. Parking may be utilized at town hall.

Supervisor Sullivan noted the flower sale is Saturday May 28 at Vrooman’s hotel 8 – 2 to benefit the Caroga Lake Volunteer Fire Department.

At 8:45 pm Supervisor Sullivan made a motion to enter into an executive session to discuss a current legal matter. Council Member Morris seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.

At 9:14 pm Council Member Manning made a motion to exit from the executive session. Council Member Morris seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.

There were no decisions made as a result of the executive session.

It was noted that additional keys were made for the Sherman’s property.

At 9:16 pm Council Member Glenn made a motion to adjourn. Council Member Morris seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Gilbert, RMC, CMC

Caroga Town Clerk

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