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Minutes of the Caroga Town Board Work Session held on August 22, 2017

State of New York
County of Fulton
Town of Caroga

Minutes of the Caroga Town Board Work Session held on August 22, 2017 at Caroga Town Hall 1840 State Highway 10 Caroga Lake NY 12032. Supervisor Morris called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm. The roll was called with the results as follows. The salute to the flag followed.

Supervisor Beth Morris – Here

Council Member John Glenn – Here

Council Member Anthony Sturchio – Here

Council Member Jeremy Manning – Here

Others town officials in attendance were Steve Jennings – Golf Pro, Greens Keeper, & Manager of the Nick Stoner Municipal Golf Course, and Steve Putman - Highway Superintendent, There were 14 members of the public in attendance.

Supervisor Morris stated there was not a big agenda tonight and that meeting will be centered around renewing our insurance with NBT Mang Insurance. Mr. Bill VanGorder is here this evening.

First Mr. Jennings had some information for the board about drilling a new well. One estimate has been received from Hawk Drilling. Mr. Cataffo does not drill anymore. He is also waiting to hear back from Adirondack Drilling and Lawrence Drilling. We should have estimates by the next meeting. He noted the weather has not been very good for the golf season.

Mr. Putman sent the board a memo that he will no longer pick up the garbage at the New York State Campsite. He showed the board photos of the town garbage truck tilted in a hole at a 20 degree angle. No one told him there was an underground septic tank that is driven over to pick up the garbage. State engineers also took photos of the town truck and collapsed asphalt. This put a man at risk. He had to jump off the truck when the area caved in.

Today Mr. Putman and his Clerk – Linda Gilbert met with FEMA about the March snowstorm. Paperwork was started to recoup some of the expenses the town incurred during the snow event which the Governor declared an emergency. The town can get reimbursement for overtime - not regular hours worked during the storm. Mr. Putman can submit expenses for the total hours the equipment was used during the event. We still need information from the bookkeeper on the staff’s benefit time.

Mr. Putman asked Council Member Manning to button down the proposed insurance changes for his workers. He could not understand the voicemail Council Member Manning left him. Council Member Manning is working with an attorney in Girvin and Ferlazzo office on spousal contributions, family contributions, and lifetime benefits. Right now there is an ambiguity on it. Mr. Putman noted several men have lots of years in, Council Member Manning stated anyone who is there will get credit for their time there. His men are there working at 5 am in the bad weather, they are not just washing 2 boats a month. Council Member Manning thought he would have a resolution by early next week. The board has to set the number of years of full time service that qualify for lifetime benefits.

Mr. Putman wanted to talk about the problem with the salt in the golf course well. He noted the golf course has a softener system. That puts salt into the water. Mr. Putman is very cautions on what goes on at the town barn. “If we didn’t do it - I don’t want to be blamed for it.” If there is a bad softener system we need to know about it, Mr. Putman stated. Culligan tested the system. The water is full of salt before it enters the system. Mr. Putman requested that the well be tested. Council Member Glenn will call Jim Wilder of Culligan 518-320-4018. Supervisor Morris has the water sample test results and will get it back to Mr. Jennings tomorrow.

Mr. Putman noted the garbage truck has computer problems and is back at Gage the International dealer. The Gradall went to Vantage Equip in Albany as it went haywire. They can’t duplicate the problem. The machine is back in service. Previously Mr. Putman had discussed replacing the Gradall with a CAT.

Mr. Putman discussed putting a roof over the gas and diesel tanks with the board. Council Member Sturchio is looking to get bids to replace the ramp to the clinic. He can ask contractors to give an estimate for a roof over the tanks too.

The bids were opened today for the Nick Stock Box Culvert demolition. The results were as follows:

MCJ Construction 777 Bunker Hill Road Mayfield NY 12117 $39,000.00

BoarderLine Excavation and Fence 149 Thumb Rd. St. Johnsville NY 13452 $21,250.00

North East Highway Maintenance 42 Briggs Street Johnstown NY 12095 $7,550.00

All received the same bid specifications. Mr. Putman noted they need to have insurance. He noted he has spoken to Paul Unczur the DOT Engineer and he won’t take the culvert back - it used to be a state road. He stated once the deck is off if the headwalls are good FAB3 could build the new box culvert and put it in place.

RESOLUTION #2017-000 to Hire North East Highway to demo box Culvert on Nick Stock Road was offered by Supervisor Morris at the Tuesday August 22, 2017 Caroga Town Board work session held at Caroga Town Hall and

WHEREAS, Highway Superintendent Steve Putman put out to bid specifications to demolish the Nick Stock Road box culvert, and

WHEREAS, the appropriate legal notice was posted on August 7, 2017 in the Leader Herald Newspaper, and

WHEREAS, the town received three sealed bids back by the Friday August 18th, 2017 deadline, and

WHEREAS, MCJ Construction bid $39,000.00

BoarderLine Excavation and Fence bid $21,250.00

North East Highway Maintenance bid $7,550.00, and

WHEREAS, the non-collusion bidding certificates were signed, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Town of Caroga does hereby move to hire North East Highway Maintenance of 42 Briggs Street Johnstown NY 12095 (518) 762-2544 at a price of $7,550.00 to demo the box culvert on Nick Stock Road by November upon submission of proof of insurance, the signing of a hold harmless agreement and contract.

Council Member Sturchio seconded the motion.

Adopted by a vote of 4 Ayes; Morris, Glenn, Sturchio, Manning

Supervisor Morris announced that Council Member Sturchio will be the building liaison so she can concentrate on her office.

Mr. VanGorder stated he was bringing good news. He handed out a 24 page document containing the Town of Caroga Insurance Policy. It included buildings, vehicles, inland marine coverage, and public official’s coverage.

He gave background information on NBT- Mang Ins. Agency. New York Municipal Insurance Reciprocal (NYMIR) was started here in Fulton County and the town was a charter member. The local board representative is Jon Stead for the Fulton County region. He stated the premium is going to hold steady year after year. He noted that 70 % of the claims that come against the NYMIR subscriber are settled with no indemnification. If NYMIR settles a claim and the town is not happy there is an opportunity for it to be reviewed by a committee who would listen to the town’s point of view.

On page 19 the board reviewed the Premium Summary: 2016-2017 premium was $38,552.39 the 2017-2018 premium is $38,318.28. That is down $234.09. NYMIR hired a 3rd party independent contract to appraise the buildings of substantial value. ($50,000.00 or more) There was a separate green binder reporting this information. Sherman’s is part of it. He reviewed the blanket policy, the replacement cost if we had to rebuild. The board reviewed pages 5, 6, & 7 Commercial Property Blanket coverage is $5,594,278. Page 10 the property extensions were reviewed. This was for things like fences, or if the town had to relocate to another structure to conduct business due to loss – the policy covers the extra costs of equipment as well. Mr. VanGorder reviewed page 11 Boiler and Machinery Limits. The board noted the boiler is down. If it were worn out it would not be covered. This boiler is only a few years old. To replace it would be $29,000.00. Residential Boilers were installed instead of Commercial. Supervisor Morris will contact the insurance company about the boiler. The town has a $1,000.00 deductible. The town has contacted the town attorney about this matter. Mr. VanGorder reviewed the General Liability portion of the policy on page 12. An example he used was when the town is on another person’s property for the normal course of business and a suit ensued in regards to the work that was performed. The town would be covered.

When the town enters into a contract with contractor there should be a clause that states the contractor is responsible for any and all loss that comes against the town. (He will send up examples) Next if the town needs to be listed as the additional insured on the policy so we are not held responsible for work performed by the contractor. Council Member Manning how do you determine the correct amount of insurance coverage? He wouldn’t except less than what is in the town’s policy. If it is a large job there should be 1 million general liability, a 2 million dollars aggregate on the policy backed up by the 5 million umbrella.

If the town is performing normal operations in the New York State right of way should a claim arise the OCP Liability policy protects the state. This only costs $275.00. If we don’t have it then the town would have to sign hold harmless agreements.

Page 13 is the Automobile section of the policy. The information continues through page 16. Use of personal vehicles to go to the bank and driving to and from a board meeting you are covered. The vehicles are listed on page 13. Mr. Putman questioned why the 2015 Chevy Silverado has $500 Comprehensive and $500 Collision on it but the 2016 Chevy Silverado has APD Inland Marine on Comprehensive and APD Inland Marine on Collision. Both vehicles are identical. They do not have a fixed spreaders on either. They have small spreaders on them in the winter. He didn’t think there would be a problem as we have physical damage coverage. Inland means it is not ocean going and marine does not mean water – it means on the move. It is on the land.

Mr. Putman asked if there was glass coverage on the vehicles. Mr. VanGorder responded there isn’t any glass coverage on any vehicles. It is only available for private passenger cars. Mr. Putman stated that at a FEMA meeting today he reported damage to a windshield during a storm event. FEMA told him to report it to the insurance company first and get it refused and then it could be submitted for reimbursement. Mr. VanGorder asked Mr. Putman to send the claim in and they would issue the town a declaration of coverage letter. FEMA should accept that.

Council Member Sturchio and Mr. Putman did not see the vehicle used by the Code Officer listed in the policy. It is a Ford F150. The year was unknown. Mr. VanGorder stated that any vehicle in the town possession is covered. It should be listed in case there is any physical damage. Supervisor Morris will send the Year, Make, Model, VIN # to Betty tomorrow. Mr. Putman noted it would be easier to review if the vehicles were put in order by department.

Page 17 – Liability coverage for employees was reviewed. It has three areas for coverage. One is directors and officers, elected and appointed officials, employees and even official volunteers fall under the public official coverage. Directors and officers is under wrongful acts coverage. It is for when we are sued for a wrongful act not bodily injury of property damage claim. It is due to an error or omission. This is where people can be personally sued. The NYMIR policy covers the employee listed in the suit. The second coverage is the employee related practices. This is when the employee sues the town for employment related practices issues. Failure to hire, promote, harassment etc. The third is the land use liability line for $1 million pertaining to Planning & Zoning type of claim.

Mr. VanGorder noted most of the claims are going to surface out of general liability. He reviewed the information on page 18 with the board. Mr. Putman asked what Aggregate meant. First Occurrence was defined. That is when the policy will pay out on the towns behalf two, one million dollar claims in a policy period. The aggregate is the maximum amount that will come out of a policy – per policy period. The Utica Crime Coverage protects the theft of town money. Supervisor Morris has a question about this but wanted to discuss it in an executive session. The town Supervisor is bonded an excess of $50,000 over the employee per loss limits. The Clerk/Collector is bonded $200,000 over employee per loss limits.

Mr. VanGorder asked for questions. Council Member Glenn stated the town has had some people working as town volunteers cleaning up around Sherman’s. He asked if they would be covered. Mr. VanGorder discussed what they are covered for and what they are not covered for. He recommended if they are an official volunteer of the town he would go through the process of adopting them as official volunteers with a specific job in a resolution. If they are injured on the job – they are not covered under this policy. That is workers compensation. He strongly suggested going back to the county and to get something in writing from the county that indicates they are covered or they are not. Council Member Manning stated as it is now everyone is signing waivers, so if something happens to them it is not the towns fault. Mr. VanGorder thought we would still be getting into some workers comp. law requirements. The clerk did not think there was a list of volunteers on file with the town. Council Member Manning stated he has a list. Mr. VanGorder stated, “Make it official.” Council Member Manning stated sometimes it is just one time. The waivers are given on the spot. Mr. VanGorder stated “just because they are signing doesn’t mean….. please run this by workers comp.” He thought there may be some workers comp laws that he thinks will supersede the waiver.

Mr. VanGorder has not read the waiver but he assumes the waiver states the person will take care of their own injuries and illness that I contract on the job. “Even though they are signing a waiver you might still be obligated per statutory requirements to pick up their…”

If they are official volunteers, Mr. VanGorder noted they are covered under the general liability policy. If they injure somebody else do damage to somebody else’s property while they are working on the town’s behalf there is coverage there. They are covered under wrongful act errors/and omissions. Mr. VanGorder wanted to make it clear that workers comp. is excluded because it is a totally different policy. The county has the self-insured workers compensation package.

Council Member Manning asked if we were required by law to carry replacement cost on all of the buildings. Mr. VanGorder replied not by law no. Council Member Manning stated so we can waive some of those if we wanted to. He noted we don’t have a loan for any of these, we don’t owe any lenders. Mr. VanGorder noted to get it covered under the blanket we need to have the building of substantial value insured to value. If the town wanted it could pull some of the building out of the blanket and insure them on a standalone basis up to an agreed value or functional replacement cost – we can do that. The problem is that will end up costing the town more money. The way he wrote the policy it is a better cushion. He understands the engineering report came back. It probably outlines some repair and what it will take to bring the buildings back. The board will have to make a decision on what is to be done with the buildings. The insurance will come into play once the board decides what they are going to do.

Council Member Glenn theoretically wondered if Sherman’s became a park…. Mr. VanGorder approached this by talking about what the town is covered for and what the town is not covered for. The property is listed as a park. Not an amusement park. He recently quoted the board a price of $24,000.00 for liability coverage on amusement rides. No general liability carrier is going to put amusement rides on their policy. They would have to go to another source. We are not covered for beach, lakefront operation. If someone drown in the middle of the night our policy would defend and indemnify the scenario. However, if the town hired lifeguards and had a beach for 3 months out of the year. The town is not covered for that right now. That would be an additional cost. They do insure it for other municipalities. Once there is a long term plan then we can talk more specifically about what insurance is needed.

Council Member Sturchio asked if the town wanted to operate the carousel…have some rides there, what would that cost. Mr. VanGorder stated they would have to go out to the market place and come back with a quote for mechanical amusement rides. It is very expensive, there are a lot of risks to it. It would be an annual cost. Council Member Sturchio asked what if it was for a couple days during the summer. First it would have to be inspected by the labor department. It was asked if there could be one day coverage for a special event. Mr. VanGorder stated if an incident did occur or one didn’t occur. You ran the policy for a day and three weeks later there is a claim. You don’t have any coverage for that with a canceled policy. No coverage in place.

Supervisor Morris stated mechanical rides are a lawsuit waiting to happen. Whatever is happening down there could never generate enough money to offset the cost of insuring one ride.

Council Member Glenn asked what if people are on the property on a bicycle or skate board and are injured. Mr. VanGorder responded you are covered for the park you are covered for that right now. NYMIR gave the town a substantial list of recommendations for that particular park “All of the building are unoccupied. All of the buildings are vacant” so that triggers liability risk. The board has to come to grips with what the long term plan is down there.

Council Member Glenn asked if NYMIR has a recommendation of activities that should be avoided in a public area such as that. Mr. VanGorder stated they have some guidelines he could get for the board. It was noted there is a park across the street from town hall also.

Mr. VanGorder wanted to start with and asked what is allowed down there. The board did not have to answer but…

If skate boards are allowed will there be a skate board park? In the future if there is a skate board park it would cost around $300 to insure it.

The clerk asked if a sign was posted stating no skateboarding and someone files a claim, I understand we are covered under the blanket but… Mr. VanGorder stated it wouldn’t relieve us any liability. It doesn’t stop a lawsuit or claim.

Mr. VanGorder stated he doesn’t like to operate in the gray. He likes black or white. Otherwise it is open up to interpretation. If there is a written plan that is adopted by the board in how the facility is to be used and the activities that go with it… that helps with the risk management. It becomes easier. Premises liability is a piece of the general liability.

Mr. VanGorder stated the town should try to comply with the recommendations that NYMIR has put forth. If we are not using the Ferris wheel and they recommend the town secure the area around it. The town should do it. It has been secured.

Council Member Manning has spent a lot of time down at Sherman’s the past couple weeks. He has seen people driving their cars and motor cycles in. Vehicles that should be on the road are driving on the property. Are we covered for that? This is a gray area. Mr. VanGorder noted the board has to define the use for that piece of property. Council Member Manning stated so now they can drive in? Mr. VanGorder asked if that had been approved by the board. If he was in the boards shoes he would say no he didn’t want anybody’s vehicle on my property. It was noted there was a camper trailer there. It was to be moved today. Council Member Glenn asked for advice on the use of the property. Mr. VanGorder stated afforded for the coverage currently he would get back to the board. Council Member Glenn noted the board may want to post a sign. It can always be amended.

Council Member Sturchio asked if our coverage went up this year over last year because of Sherman’s. Mr. VanGorder stated buildings have. The cost of the insurance total has gone down. Rates didn’t go up in property value the general liability was credited. One of the contributing factors to the cost of the general liability is the budget that they use to rate your general liability.

It was noted that the property appraisal report is in the green book. Council Member Manning asked why there is a $40,000 improvement listed on the main building. Nothing has been done to it. It is for things done after the original construction of the building. The main building is valued at $1.3 million for almost 20,000 sq. ft.

At 8:14 Supervisor Morris made a motion to enter into an executive session to discuss pending litigation concerning the Morey Road. Council Member Sturchio seconded the motion. All board member were in favor of the motion. Supervisor Morris asked Mr. VanGorder to join them in the executive session.

At 8:59 pm Supervisor Morris made a motion to exit from the executive session. Council Member Sturchio seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.

Supervisor Morris stated nothing was settled as far as the pending litigation issue.

At 9:02 pm Supervisor Morris 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 board was interviewing for a new position. Council Member Sturchio seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.

At 9:25 pm Supervisor Morris made a motion to exit from the executive session. Council Member Sturchio seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.

Supervisor Morris stated the interview was conducted no decision was forthcoming as a result of the executive session.

Council Member Manning notified the board that the town received the DEC Smart Growth Grant in the amount of $6,000.00. Governor Cuomo announced this last week. We have not been officially notified yet. It is on the DEC website and Cuomo website. Council Member Manning stated what we spend on this project in its initial planning and design and assessment phase will be 100% reimburse by the state. At the March 8th board meeting the town accepted the proposal from Wilderness Property Management (WPM). The next step pending the grant being accepted which it was, is to official contract with WPM. The official contact stipulates a $1,500.00 down payment which is 25% upfront and the balance/remainder $4,500.00 will be paid at the completion of work. They estimate it will take one year to do this. Most of the work will be done in the fall. There will be meetings with the town over the winter and spring. This will give the town a plan, risk assessment, an overall full outline, detailed map we can work with down the road should we want to pursue it. Council Member Manning asked for Supervisor Morris to sign the contract. Reimbursement is from the state. Council Member Manning will get a receipt and submit it to the state. Steve Ovitts has done this before.

RESOLUTION #2017-000 to Proceed with the acceptance of Wilderness Property Management recreational assessment proposal for a mountain bike trail system at Irving Pond Park Town of Caroga Lake NY was offered by Council Member Manning at the Tuesday August 22, 2017 Caroga Town Board work session held at Caroga Town Hall and

WHEREAS, Council Member Manning has spent countless hours researching information on a bike path for the Town of Caroga, and

WHEREAS, Council Member Manning wrote and submitted an application for the Smart Growth Grant, and

WHEREAS, Council Member Manning was successfully and was awarded a $6,000.00 grant from to do a plan, risk assessment and overall full outline and detailed map for the proposed project, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board does hereby move to authorize signing the contract with Wilderness Property Management to perform a recreational assessment for a proposed mountain bike trail system on a town owned parcel behind the firehouse with the first allotment of 25% ($1,500.00) of the payment being submitted with this signed contract and the balance ($4,500.00) payable upon completion of a written plan, map, and meetings, with the town board.

The motion was seconded by Council Member Sturchio.

Adopted by a vote of 4 Ayes: Morris, Sturchio, Glenn, Manning

Supervisor Morris asked if the entire board should sign it. She felt that would look good if the entire board signed the contract.

Council Member Manning asked the clerk to scan the signed document to him and he would forward it to Wilderness Property Management

At 9:29 pm Supervisor Morris made a motion to adjourn. All board members were in favor of the motion.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Gilbert, RMC, CMC

Caroga Town Clerk

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