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State of New York
County of Fulton
Town of Caroga
Minutes of the regular monthly Caroga Town Board meeting held on Wednesday October 12, 2016 at 7:00 pm at the Caroga Municipal Building 1840 State Highway 10 Caroga Lake NY . Deputy Supervisor Sturchio called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm. The roll was called with the following results. The salute to the flag followed.
Deputy Supervisor Sturchio – Here
Council Member Glenn – Here
Council Member Morris – Here
Council Member Manning – Here
Other Department heads in attendance were Steve Putman – Highway Superintendent, Don Travis- Building maintenance, John Duesler- Code Officer. There were about 61 members of the public in attendance. Sal Ferlazzo Town Attorney was also in attendance along with Laura A. Couch - Court Reporter.
John Duesler- Code Officer announced that the room is not equipped to handle the number of people and would have to be moved the next time.
Deputy Supervisor Sturchio made a motion to waive the reading of the minutes. Council Member Morris seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.
Deputy Supervisor Sturchio announced that Attorney Sal Ferlazzo would run the meeting for the next ½ hour for the public hearing on eminent domain having to deal with Morey Road – the snowmobile road.
Attorney Ferlazzo announced that this hearing is being recorded and a transcript is being prepared. There will be opportunity for public comment at the end of the presentation. At that time please write your name and town for the record. The purpose of this hearing is to meet the legal requirements of Article 2 of the Eminent Domain Procedural Law. Notice of the hearing was published in the Leader Herald on September 29, 30, Oct 1, 3, & 4 per the affidavit. Exhibit 2 the Notice of Public Hearing was read into the minutes. Attorney Ferlazzo next reviewed and referenced Exhibit 4 the survey map. He noted the area has been used pretty much forever to access into the state park for snowmobiling and recreational purposes. An area adjacent to the Johnson’s property has been marked as do not trespass and blocked off for use. The town was sued by the Johnson’s and their Attorney is here, claiming that his clients, the Johnson’s own this land. The town considers this road and this area – the access road as town property. Attorney Ferlazzo spoke to their council and tried to avoid the dispute but it could not be avoided. After the hearing the Town if it so chooses and after more investigation work as part of this process of determining whether to take this land by eminent domain and then obviously pay the Johnson’s the fair value, if they own the property. Another title search will be done. To keep this process rolling on this valuable piece of land which has been used by the town and its citizens for so many years for access to the state park, this process unfortunately has to be followed. Attorney Ferlazzo noted the main use is in the winter by snowmobilers. The town is not trying to change the apple cart but trying to put back what has been in place and shown on maps and documents both on the state, county, and town level as town property. Attorney Ferlazzo noted the road exists currently the intended project is to literally continue using the area that has been used historically without objection by any property owners. The area in question in yellow will be taken. The parcels this effects are 67-1-13, 67-1-4, and 67-1-5.
Mr. Putman – Caroga Highway Superintendent noted this road has been used for year and years. It referred to as a road on the maps. Historically there was a property referred to as Young’s Clearing which accessed this road. There was a sawmill back there back in the 1800’s. Mr. Putman is a lifelong resident and the road has been in use as far back as he can remember. Medleys had a farm back there. He has hunted, snowmobiled, and hiked back there. As kids he rode bikes back there.
In the future Mr. Putman would do a little upgrade on it. But other than that it would be a seasonal highway use road. The footprint would not be expanded or widened. He will grade it out and make it leveler, passable. When this all came about with the Johnson’s they were logging the property. The log trucks tore up the area beyond the gate area. That would need to be graded in.
Next was a presentation from the Nick Stoner Trailers by John and Craig Ivancic. Craig is the President of the Nick Stoner Trailers. He noted they have had operating agreements with the county with that portion of the Morey Road. They also have a Stewardship Agreement with the Dept. of Environmental Conservation to do work on the state land past the Morey Road. The contracts were made a part of the record. They also have a record of the hours spent maintaining that over the years. They showed the importance of this trail and how it comes into the town. Anything orange is a corridor trail. They are designed for more traffic and to connect communities. With the trail shut off there is no way to get into our town. There are secondary trails. They are not designed for as much traffic. They are narrower more curvy. He noted the secondary trails end up crossing lakes and roads. So if there is low snow or thin ice our town is blocked off from this section of the state. He noted the corridor trail is close to 7 food stops and 2 gas stops. The purple trails are club trails and they don’t get funded for them. He noted the area beyond the state land is controlled by Stratford. It was stated that hundreds of feet separate the trails. Attorney Ferlazzo asked for a copy of the presentation by the club. Attorney Ferlazzo estimated 1600 feet are interfering with the entire system.
Mark Yost has been the Fulton County Highway Superintendent since 2007. He noted the contract with the club. He brought a map from 2009-2010 (exhibit 6) and it describes Morey Road as a corridor trail. A primary trail – it is like a thruway road – Mr. Ivancic stated. He has personally signed these agreements with the town and other clubs. He has brought these agreements to the Fulton County Board of Supervisors who have passed resolutions authorizing and endorsing this effort to stimulate the economy of the county. It is great for tourism, restaurants, gas stations, and hotels. It is very, very, important to Fulton County. He noted the trailers spend hours upon hours in the woods trimming brush, and grooming trails. They buy equipment and the state reimburses them for this program. He noted that NYS Parks and Recreation started this program in 1986 and every year since it’s inception the Board of Supervisors has endorsed this and signed contracts with the clubs. Exhibit #7 & #8 entered and marked.
Attorney Ferlazzo noted the SEQR Process will determine the impact if any which it is keeping the status quo as it was before this area was blocked off.
Attorney Ferlazzo noted since this was an access point for snowmobile riders there is no concern for cars or motorized vehicles, and noise pollution is not expected to increase due to this measure. Eventually the town will undertake a SEQR determination based on impacts determined here there is another investigation.
The project acquisition process - Prior to this the town was in communication with the Johnson’s and affected parties and tried to resolve this without the need to start eminent domain. Due to the failure of negations with that party, the town has decided that this is an option to pursue. This is assuming the town passes a resolution to that effect. The process would go as follows: following this hearing the record will be available for reviewing and copying. The town will issue a determination of finding and findings within 90 days – No later than January 10, 2017 he anticipated it would be done will before that) The town will offer fair market value determined at the time of the offer for the land. The effected property owners will have the right to challenge the findings and determinations of the town as well as the sufficiency of the offer. Exhibits 9 & 10 read into the minutes.
It was noted that written materials can be submitted after the meeting until the close of business on October 19th.
Public Comment is to be limited to 3 minutes. Speakers were asked to sign in.
Dave Briot of Caroga Lake noted he is the past president of the Nick Stoner Trailers. Being that that portion of the trail is closed, it also affects Stratford’s Snowmobile Club. So that club has lost 3 miles of funded trails. He noted the club also cut trees and maintain bridges. They have spent money on the trail then never got to use it.
Jamie Ward – Mayor of the Village of Mayfield noted the loss of revenue and the impact on the businesses due to the closure of the trial. He noted that this is the thruway that connects the rest of the trial system throughout our area.
Ralph Palcovic -Caroga Lake thanked the mayor for attending he noted the economic impact and thanked everyone for attending to support this mission.
Gail Fisher of Pleasant Lake Noted the trail was very important to her business the Pleasant Lake Inn in Stratford. She is working on putting in a gas tank with 91 premium at that location.
Howard Dutcher of Caroga Lake has lived on Morey Road for over 40 years. He is a past Nick Stoner Trailer President. He enjoys listening to the snowmobilers going up and down the road. He has ridden the trail since 1973. It has always been a trail everyone has respected it – not littered. He has walked the trail and inspected it at the end of the season. It would be a shame for it not to reopen.
MaryAnn Nickloy Connaire – started riding in the mid 70’s on Morey Road with the club. She stated her property has been her summer home and winter home. It broke her heart when they were contacted because this guy was not going to let them use the corridor trail. She noted this effects even the snowmobilers in Duanesburg. She stated she has over 500 feet that the trail goes through.
Mr. Kenneth Ayers – Attorney from Palatine Bridge NY. He is appearing here tonight on behalf of three different individuals, Charles J Augusto Jr. & wife Mercedes, the estate of Suzanne L. Walsh, and Charles F. and Helen Johnson. He understands from tonight’s meeting that the only thing the town is proposing to take is the area in yellow. He noted the Johnson’s don’t own two parcels it is two separate families. They dispute the town’s claim that they own the land that forms the bed of this road all the way from where the pavement ends to the state lands. This has been going on for two years. He was interested to hear that the Historian, Town Attorney, County highway superintendent and the Highway Superintendent has documents. He stated he has been waiting for two years to receive any proof any documentation from the town about their claim of ownership. He stated the town did not know when the notice was sent what land they would be taking. Attorney Ayres stated he would be submitting maps and charts that show the location of each of his client’s property and how it relates to the location of the land was proposed by the town to be taken by eminent domain. The Augusto’s own approx. 152 acres of land that would be affected by the proposed taking of a portion of their property. The Estate of Suzanne Walsh is the title owner of a 40 acre parcel of land in the town. Charles F. & Helen Johnson have an equitable interest in a 40 acre parcel as a beneficiary under the will of the late Suzanne Walsh. Charles F. & Helen are the owners of another 45 acre parcel. The attorney stated the map submitted is incomplete. Together they own 68% of the private land to be taken by the Town under the eminent domain proceeding. Attorney Ayres stated the distance from the end of the payment to the state land is roughly 3000 ft.
Attorney Ayres reviewed the purpose of the public hearing. He stated the town needs to outline the public need to be addressed, and the nature and scope of the proposed public benefit to be served by the proposed taking of the private property. The second purpose of this public hearing is for the members of the public to express their support or opposition. He stated the estate of Walsh never received notice. He noted the public hearing was being held on the Jewish Holiday Yom Kippur. He stated his clients were put in the position tonight to absorb, the information the town is using for a basis to support this decision to take this private property and synthesize it and to come forward with their comments and objections.
On behalf of his clients they have prepared some specific written comments, observations and objections to the towns proposed taking of their private property based upon what they understood prior to the public hearing to be the claimed public interest to be served by the taking. The exhibit #11 was recorded and entered.
Attorney Ayres stated the town has not submitted any data to support the claim of an economic benefit to the town for the public access. Attorney Ayres stated there was not a trail on the 2016 State map showing designated snowmobile trails. It will not connect to anything. He claims eminent domain should never be used to acquire private land to develop snowmobile trails. He noted the town has not considered or shown alternatives.
Attorney Ayres heard the town Highway Superintendent say it would be used as is as a seasonal limited use road to be used by motor vehicle off the street all year long without being maintained between Dec. 1 and April 15. There is an issue here where do people turn around in a 15-foot wide right of way without getting on private property. He felt this was a serious public issue. He did not know if the town would take title ownership or an easement or some other limited interest in the land. Attorney Ayers stated Morey Road was a private road. He stated when a house is built on a seasonal limited use highway the town is required to open it to a full 49 ½ foot road. He questioned the parking for access to the state land. Attorney Ayres wondered what it would cost to the town to acquire the property, to improve, maintain, install signage and regulate the use of the trail.
It was noted to Attorney Ayers that his three minutes were up. He continued with a concern for the environmental impact. He stated there hasn’t been any coordination with the Fulton County Planning and Economic Development Agency, DEC, APA or Parks and Recreation. A concern about water lines and the right to draw water was also brought up.
Exhibit 11 was recorded and entered.
Mr. Capparella asked what has changed that they blocked off the road like that, what event?
Attorney Ferlazzo noted the town is making this as minimal an impact as possible. The town did not want to touch anybody’s land or bother anybody at all. In fact they don’t believe they are. The board believes that this land belongs to the town. He stated that since the Augusto’s are now through counsel seeking to interfere with the access Attorney Ferlazzo asks the town board to now include the entire area shown on the map as part of this application. The yellow was intended to be the minimal amount of land and take the least impact.
Steve Putman – Highway Superintendent stated that Mr. Ayers has misspoke or lied about him. Mr. Putman wanted it know that he never stated he had any official documents. Also these people have owned the property since the 60’s why didn’t they have any grief about it before. Why weren’t there any "No Trespassing" signs put up etc. The gate - what gives them the right to put up a gate with property they don’t even own? Are they an agent for the owner? Was this in writing? If it was a seasonal use it would be posted as no turn around.
Exhibits #12 & 4A were recorded and entered. Attorney Ferlazzo thanked everyone for their comments. He stated additional comments and any documents will be received by the town clerk’s office up till the close of business on October 19th. They will become part of the record. Once completed copies of the record will be available for inspection or copies during business hours at the town clerk’s office and the Fulton County Clerk’s office in Johnstown. Determination of findings will be published in the Leader Herald within 90 days or no later than January 10 2017. The public hearing was concluded at 8:18 pm.
Exhibit 1 legal notice published in the Leader Herald
Exhibit 2 Notice of Public Hearing pursuant to the eminent Domain Procedure Law
Exhibit 3 Notice of Public Hearing – Town of Caroga sent to property owners via certified mail Return receipt requested
Exhibit 4 Morey Road map created by Ferguson and Foss 24 X 36 stamped and sealed
Exhibit 4A Morey Road map created by Ferguson and Foss 11 X 17
Exhibit 5 New York State Trail System map showing Morey Road Trail from the Nick Stoner Trailer presentation approx. 24 x 36
Exhibit 6 2009-2010 Fulton & Montgomery Counties Snowmobile Trails Map- Fulton county Regional Chamber of commerce & Industry
Exhibit 7 operating agreement between the County of Fulton and the nick Stoner Trailers April 1, 2016—March 31, 2018
Exhibit 8 Volunteer Stewardship agreement VSA between New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation and the nick Stoner Trailers agreement # 15-05-NO-05 terms to run from May 30 2015 to May 30 2016
Exhibit 9 Letter from Angela Meredith Landowner
Exhibit 10 letter from Richard Nilsen – Town Historian
Exhibit 11 the Ayers Law Firm PLLC (The document about 4 inches high)
Exhibit 12 Fulton County I love NY Route 29A Chain of Lakes
(The 89 page transcript will be part of this record)
The meeting continued with Rob Casella from Marshal Sterling. He was the benefit broker for the town for the past 4 – 5 years. They were notified a week or two ago that the town decided to go with another broker. He is here this evening to ask for our business back. He has done an excellent job for the town, saved them money, and given exemplary service to educate the employees about the plan when asked. He was shocked the town went with someone else because they were closer. To his knowledge there are no better health plans. He has presented everything in the market. He stated the agent the town signed with does not offer any services. He did not do anything wrong and would appreciate the town’s business back. He would present plans that would maximize the town’s saving going forward. He asked if the board had any questions or unresolved issues. Deputy Supervisor Sturchio thanked him for his time and service and stated he could come back next year and speak with them again. He noted that in New York State with groups of less than 100 employees are considered to be community rated. The rates are the rates and will be the same as what others have proposed. He would do a spreadsheet if that would get our business back. It is important for him to be here. This is how he makes his living. Mrs. Hillier knows how to reach him.
At 8:25 pm Deputy Supervisor Sturchio made a motion to enter into an executive session with Attorney Ferlazzo to discuss pending litigation with the Johnson’s, and other legal issues. Council Member Morris seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.
At 8:46 pm Deputy Supervisor Sturchio made a motion to exit from the executive session with Attorney Ferlazzo. Council Member Morris seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion. At 8:49 pm the meeting resumed.
Assessor – Deputy Supervisor Sturchio announced there was a special franchise corrected tax roll for Niagara Mohawk Power. The Enhanced Star applications will be sent out on 10/13/16. The due date is March 1st. Since she is leaving in December a reminder may not go out. Please bring them in early with 2015 income statements. The clerk was asked to put a reminder on the agenda for the next couple of months to remind everyone.
Mrs. Parker received a letter from Mrs. Maloney accepting her grievance. The form was not signed that the town was 100%. Mr. Moon from another department stated we are at 63.5. She did not feel she should have received the unsigned form. Deputy Supervisor Sturchio stated he did not know what she was talking about.
Deputy Supervisor Sturchio stated that the Wheelerville Union Free School District was notified from the county that national grid overpaid the school by $10,282.00 because they thought we were assessed at 100% when we are actually assessed at 63.5. The school will be sending them a check.
BTI – Mr. Delesky reported that one of the applicators has dropped out for next year. He is 75 and has been doing the program for 15 – 20 years. He will be holding a 30 hour mandatory class in December. He will advertise in the newspaper and on the town bulletin board. Next year the town will have to renew 5 pesticide licenses. That will cost over $2,000.00.
Mr. Delesky spoke to the Budget Director about using funds from the labor (Personal Services) into the Contractual to buy chemicals ahead of next year’s budget. Council Member Glenn asked him to put it in his budget request. The Town Clerk noted the request for the transfer was for this year. The clerk stated currently there is $2,418.53 left in the Personal Services line item. He wanted it moved over. Mrs. Hillier will be consulted.
RESOLUTION #2016-115 to ratify a Vote by the Town Board was offered by Deputy Supervisor Sturchio at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on October 12, 216 at Caroga Town hall. WHEREAS, the board was under a time restriction to place the referendum relating to the enactment of Local Law #2 of 2016 to be placed on the November 8, 2016 ballot, and WHEREAS, the board authorized the Supervisor by voice vote for the submission of the specific question for the referendum vote on a timely manner to the Board of Elections, now therefore be it RESOLVED, that the town board hereby ratifies the action of the Deputy Town Supervisor to submit a timely question to the Board of Elections to be included on the November 8, 2016 ballot for the referendum issued of whether Local Law #2 of 2016 increasing the salary of the Town Clerk should be increased for 2016. Council Member Morris seconded the motion.
Adopted by a vote of 4 AYES, Sturchio, Glenn, Morris, Manning
Mr. Altizio had a question – he was going to bring this up during the public section. He asked how we got to that point for the resolution for that raise. He is 100% for Linda’s raise but he is not sure how it got on the ballot. Is that the normal process? I never voted for a raise before in my life. Deputy Supervisor Sturchio stated that within 45 days if a certain percentage of the people who voted in the gubernatorial race signed a petition stating that they really didn’t want Linda to have that raise that they could bring it before the board and then it would be opened up to a public referendum which means it would go on the ballot on November 8th. He and Beth did everything needed to do to get it on the ballot.
Mr. Altizio stated he has a problem with that. “I signed that petition, and I was basically lied to on that petition.” I did not understand, and Valerie was the one I signed for. I told her right up front when she asked me to sign it I said NO, I will not sign cause I believe Linda deserves it. She said Oh no it’s got to do it that way because of the process. He thought it seemed funny; he did not have his glasses and did not read anything. I will sign it but did you talk to Linda? And she (Valerie) said yes Linda is aware of it and she is OK with it. Deputy Supervisor Sturchio stated, “That was deceitful.” Mr. Altizio does not know how many other people signed it with that same situation. Mr. Altizio – stated, “If that is the way it was presented to people it was wrong. That’s not right.” The board explained how the law was adopted that the public has 45 days to bring it (certain laws) to a permissive referendum. Mr. Altizio stated that if nobody did a petition it would have been enacted after the 45 days. Mr. Altizio stated the petition for him was under false pretenses. He did not want that to happen. It was not explained to him that way at all. He is not sure if anyone else signed it with the same understanding. Attorney Ferlazzo stated if there were a minimum number of people that signed it with the belief it should be done, that would not invalidate it. Mr. Altizio stated what he was presented with was something different than what he believed was the case. Mr. Altizio noted the Valerie stated to him that she believed the Clerk should get the raise. He stated that he did sign it based on what she told him. He wanted this on record. Attorney Ferlazzo stated he should contact the person who presented the petition to him. He will.
Mr. Capparella asked the board how they can vote for something for themselves; particularly the insurance buy back how did that happen. You just voted it in. In the future when you can get benefits for yourself is it going to be a referendum. Council Member Morris stated this was different. He thought it was a conflict. She stated this happens on all levels of government. He thought this was wrong too.
At this time Attorney Ferlazzo left.
Code – Mr. Duesler reported that he has issued over 200 permits so far this year. He has taken care of some blight through the complaint process. He noted a lot of new codes will take effect October 3rd most of the changes are in the energy code. Another change which will coincide with blight is due process. Unsafe or uninhabitable buildings will have due process prior to him taking action and posting them. Copies were given to the board.
Blight – Council Member Glenn reported that a meeting was held on October 7, 2016. It was a brainstorming session. They changed the name to Caroga Plus Pride.
Suggestions were made to: 1) Work on curb appeal and to start the efforts at a central location. 2) Bring in some dumpsters for a month at a time at various locations. The code officer and his helper can watch- proctor to make sure people are not coming from other towns to dump. 3) Have a volunteer committee to help do the cleanup. 4) Have consistent enforcement. 5) Use a town truck on weekly pickups.
Copies of the newly proposed Junk Law #3 2016 were distributed. The next meeting will be on November 16th 2016 at 7:30 pm.
Highway – Mr. Putnam noted they have been out cutting brush. The garbage truck was brought into the shop again to be fixed. The new one is expected for delivery at any time. He is starting to stockpile sand for the road. They are swapping out the trucks getting ready for the winter. Two other things that concern him personally is the gate on Morey Road. He hopes the board gets an injunction to get it down. He wondered what gives that person the right to gate property he doesn’t own. He also noted this is a logging community. He stated that logging town property would offset expenses. We need a salt shed – the town of Johnstown is putting one up for $237,000.00. If we can get some logging done the trees will come back. There is property behind the golf course, or the tower, which could be harvested.
Council Member Manning noted the property behind the firehouse was obtained with 75% of funding from the State. The logging revenue would have to fund projects that are recreational. He noted the restrictions for the use of the property. Any changes in use would have to go through the alienation process. Council Member Manning stated you cannot use recreational lands that are meant to be recreational that were purchased with state funding as a cash crop. In the past this may have been overlooked – that does not make it right.
Mr. Putman stated he was in the people business for 26 years. They were not good people. He recommended a book called “Games Criminals Play.” “You just got played just by what you signed,” in reference to Mr. Altizio. He left the meeting.
Town Clerk/Collector- Mrs. Gilbert presented the monthly report from September. She noted at a work session that the inventory of Caroga Books is almost depleted. She was not sure what the board wanted to do. We do have the original slides to reprint from the printer in the records room. The department of Solid Waste asked if the board was going to make any changes to the fees or times of the station. The board agreed everything would stay the same.
Dog Control – The clerk received a note from him that he received 8 calls for the month and he had one ticket that went to court. The Clerk noted in the vouchers there was a bill from the Brennan Humane Society for the dog that was taken to the shelter. A copy was given to the Judge.
Golf Course – the Clerk was given a note from Mr. Jennings – he is winterizing the pump and watering system. He will get a compressor tomorrow from the Town of Johnstown. It will take 3 - 4 days to blow out the lines. He has airified and top dressed the greens the course will remain open based on the weather.
Lake Steward Program – Mike Durkee submitted a written report via email. During the 2016 season they inspected 1048 boats at West Lake and 218 boats at the boat wash station of which 30 required decontamination. They collected and analyzed four samples. Two were found to be native weeds and two were Eurasian Water Milfoil. The CLCA Lake Inspectors completed their annual shoreline survey and fond no evidence of invasive species in the Canada Lake system. They continue to encourage DEC and the Town of Stratford to close off the unauthorized boat launch at Stewart’s Landing Dam. The stewards completed work at West Lake on Sept. 25th and the boat wash station was closed on Sept. 30th following winterization of the pressure washer and well pump. Reflectors were recommended to be put on the building for safety. They had earlier submitted the necessary financial documentation for reimbursement of the equipment costs of the boat wash station they are waiting for payment by the NY Dept. of State who manages the grant. They thanked the town staff and residents for their support and cooperation, and look forward to continuing these important efforts to stop the spread of invasive species in our region in 2017.
Town Hall Building – Don Travis - Deputy Supervisor Sturchio read the agreement with Custom Woodcrafter & Stoves LLC of Mayfield. The Contractor shall furnish necessary labor, material, tools, and equipment to demolish, remove and dispose of current ramp outside the clinic at 1840 State Highway 10 Caroga Lake NY aka Town Hall, and to construct a 13’ X 8’ deck build on Sonotubes, 18” from blacktop to deck floor with a 36” high railing and a 36” wide fiberglass door, 6” x 6” beams 4 of these are to hold up the roof that runs over deck and an approximately 180” ramp with railings and ballesters. The cost for material and labor shall be $10,700.00. Listing the town as policy holder was questioned. This wording came from the Code Officer. The public thought they should be listed as the insured. This will be reviewed with NBT Mang Insurance. Mr. Duesler noted on the insurance forms he gets they list the town of Caroga as policy holder.
Weeds – Council Member Glenn had a comment about the weeds. There was an excellent presentation last month at the meeting. It was noted how labor intensive it is to remove the weeds from the lake. The program and harvester is 35 years old (the machine was just overhauled) the program started in 1992. He has been doing some research on alternative ways to harvest. There are only two lakes in the Adirondacks that continue to use manual labor to do this. Others use pesticides and there is other equipment out there. He thinks we should look at it. Dennis Torricelli noted other lakes used chemicals which killed off fish or drained the lake down to nothing in the winter then filled it up in the spring. Also when you pull one weed two shoots come up. After some chemicals are applied it takes 2-3 hours before swimmers can go in the water. Mr. Altizio asked what the number of baskets was that were taken out of West Caroga. Mr. Egert claimed at the last meeting that 55% more were taken out this year as compared to last year. Many did not believe that.
Sherman’s Advisory Committee - Council Member Manning did not have a lot to report He wondered if the town wanted to go forward with having the real estate broker go forward with marketing the property. Deputy Supervisor Sturchio stated there were too many loose ends right now to tie up before making a commitment to Cushman Wakefield. The other two board members agreed with Deputy Supervisor Sturchio. Council Member Manning wanted to know what he could report back to the company. The board thought that after the RFP’s time frame expires some decision will be made.
Deputy Supervisors Report - Deputy Supervisor Sturchio noted the Town Clerk’s Salary adjustment is going to be on the ballot in November.
The Fulton County Board of Supervisor approved the waiver on the Sherman’s property taxes.
Mrs. Parker is leaving in December. The board received a letter and resume from Jerry Groom for the assessor opening. He meets the education requirements but does not have the experience in an occupation involving the evaluation of real property. In speaking to the Fulton County Real Property Director he suggested applying as the Acting Assessor with the understanding that with the completion of 6 months in the position of Acting Assessor along with the completion of recommended courses and training he would be qualified to be considered for the appointment as Town of Caroga Assessor. It was again noted that the Town Clerk sent out over 60 letters to adjacent counties in the Assessor search. The clerk tried to get a course list but the site was down.
Old Business – Kyle Price of the Caroga Lake Music Festival asked the board to read a letter he wrote as a follow up about the Revival Series which he discussed with them at a previous meeting. If the board agrees he would like to hold 4 or 5 concerts at Sherman’s next summer. The proceeds would be split with the town. In the letter he responded to the town’s concerns about liability insurance. He also thanked the board for their time and feedback at the September board meeting. In response to the boards comments on liability insurance Mr. Price was notified by his board of directors, who consulted with their insurance agency, that they would add the Town of Caroga on their certificate as an additional insured for each proposed Sherman’s Revival Series event. Additionally they understand the concerns regarding the venue availability due to future decisions still under review. Mr. Price stated they would simply move the series and re-adjust its design and donation spilt to the Caroga Arts “Shine Estate” They would like to know as soon as possible so they can book artists. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org m or by phone. Council Member Glenn thought it was a great idea that they come and use our venue. He was glad to hear the liability issue has been resolved. He is concerned about the profit sharing arrangement. Deputy Supervisor Sturchio spoke to Assoc. of Towns and they said it was no problem to accept the money from them. “It is not an issue.” It was noted that they would clean the place up prior to the event.
RESOLUTION #2016-116 to allow the Caroga Arts Collective to host the Sherman’s Revival Series summer of 2017 was offered by Council Member Manning at the October 12, 2016 regular monthly Caroga Town Board meeting held at Caroga Town hall, WHEREAS, Kyle Price director of the Caroga Music Festival attended the September Town board meeting and proposed the Sherman’s Revival Series concept, and WHEREAS, the board had some questions about liability insurance while they were on the property, and WHEREAS, a correspondence was received via email on September 30, 2016 from Kyle Price to the board in which the insurance concerns were addressed, now therefore be it RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board does hereby move to allow up to 6 (six) concerts to be held on the Sherman’s Property with the time and date to be determined. The motion was seconded by Deputy Supervisor Sturchio.
Adopted by a vote of 4 Ayes, Sturchio, Glenn, Morris, Manning
Council Member Glenn asked if the number of people attending was known. Council Member Manning stated right now “No.” It was believed that these groups would have their own followers and fan bases. Thousands were not expected, a hundred maybe. Council Member Glenn wondered about security, health/ambulance on standby. A list of concerns can be given to the group.
The e-mail addresses through Canada Lake Computer are not usable. It was noted that this has created problems at least twice. The board cannot access the email accounts. Deputy Supervisor Sturchio will talk Brian MacIntosh about a remedy for this situation.
There is a beaver dam underneath Route 10 near the outlet. The State DOT will be called to take care of it.
Mountain Bike Trail update – Council Member Manning reported in the last month he met with Steven Ovitt who is the President of Property Management- he did the Queensbury system. It is a well-designed, marked, fun trail. He walked the town property and thought it was an amazing spot. He plans to give the town a preliminary proposal to identify the services he could provide with the cost up front. He is busy now and will get back to us. He noted quite a few grants that might be available through DOT, DEC, and others. There is a possibility of connecting this area with downtown Caroga Lake and maybe some additional trails behind the golf course. Council Member Manning was asked if he would be the one to stay on top of the grants. Others who do trail development may be contacted.
The James A Brennan Humane Society contract is the same as last year. The clerk noted quarterly payments are $525.00.
RESOLUTION #2016-117 to sign the James A. Brennan Memorial Humane Society Contract was offered by Council Member Glenn at the October 12, 2016 regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board. WHEREAS, a contract listing Articles 1 through 3 was sent to the town for their review and approval of terms stated within the annual agreement between the town and the shelter, and WHEREAS, the cost is $525.00 per quarter, and WHEREAS, the entire contract is on file in the Town Clerk’s office, Now therefore be it RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board does hereby move to enter into contract with the James Brennan Memorial Humane Society for services in 2017. The motion was seconded by Deputy Supervisor Sturchio.
Adopted by a vote of 4 Ayes, Sturchio, Glenn, Morris, Manning
Deputy Supervisor Sturchio noted a couple of weeks ago Mrs. Cannizzo's daughter and friends were given permission to create art work on the Sherman’s Property they donated a water color to the town which hangs in the Clerk’s office.
Fulton County memo Workers Comp 3rd quarter assessment report
Deputy Supervisor Sturchio noted the correspondence from the Wheelerville School about setting Trick or Treat in the Town. He asked about a clause stating no Clowns. Council Member Morris stated clowns were OK.
RESOLUTION #2016-118 to set Trick or Treat was offered by Deputy Supervisor Sturchio at the October 12, 2016 regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board, WHEREAS, Nancy Insogna - Administrative Assistant for the Wheelerville Union Free School contacted the Town Clerk to discuss the date and time for trick or treating in the Town of Caroga and, WHEREAS, the board desires to hold the yearly event in the town, now therefore be it RESOLVED, that the Town Board does hereby move to set Trick or Treating in the Town of Caroga to be on Monday October 31, 2016 from 6-8 pm. Council Member Glenn seconded the motion.
Adopted by a vote of 4 Ayes, Sturchio, Glenn, Morris, Manning
Assoc. of Towns 2016 Personnel Management School Agenda is Nov. 18 in Albany NY.
Johnstown Public Library sent a letter to request continued financial support in 2017.
Mrs. Holliday asked what the status of the Cell Tower was. Deputy Supervisor Sturchio stated they just discussed this with Attorney Ferlazzo more information will be available at the next meeting.
At 9:40 pm Deputy Supervisor Sturchio made a motion to enter into an executive session to discuss the medical, financial, credit or employment history of a particular person or corporation, or matters leading to the appointment, employment, promotion, demotion, discipline, suspension, dismissal or removal of a particular person or corporation; The motion was seconded by Council Member Morris. All board members were in favor of the motion.
At 9:58 pm Council Member Glenn made a motion to exit from the executive session. The motion was seconded by Deputy Supervisor Sturchio. All board members were in favor of the motion. There were no decisions as a result of the executive session.
Council Member Morris made a motion to pay the bills as presented for audit and to accept the minutes of the Sept. 7th and October 3 work session, and the September 14 town board meeting. The motion was seconded by Council Member Manning. All board members were in favor of the motion.
Council Member Manning then made a motion to adjourn. Council Member Morris seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.
Linda M. Gilbert RMC, CMC
Caroga Town Clerk
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