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Minutes of the regular monthly Caroga Town Board meeting held Wednesday September 13, 2017

State of New York
County of Fulton
Town of Caroga

Minutes of the regular monthly Caroga Town Board meeting held Wednesday September 13, 2017 at the municipal building located at 1840 State Highway #10 at 7:00 pm.

Supervisor Morris called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm by asking for the roll to be called. The flag salute followed.

Supervisor Beth Y. Morris - Here

Council Member John Glenn - Here

Council Member Anthony Sturchio - Here

Council Member Jeremy Manning - Here

Other town department representatives in attendance were Steve Putman – Highway Superintendent, Steve Jennings –Golf Course, and Don Travis – janitor. There were approximately 47 members of the public in attendance.

Supervisor Morris made a motion to waive the reading of the minutes of the August meeting. Council Member Sturchio seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.

Public Speaking:

Joseph Thomas – lives on the avenues and sent a packet to each board member about a dog problem. He has been bitten twice since 2012. He would like the town do something about dangerous dogs in town. Last year he sent information to the supervisor about towns that charge $500.00 to license a dangerous dog. People cannot walk in the area without a fear of being bitten or attacked by a dog.

John Delesky - Thanked everyone that came to the pig roast and the pancake breakfast sponsored by the Caroga Lake Volunteer Fire Company. They raised $4,000 - $5,000.

Mary Lou Patterson asked what was going on with Morey Road. Supervisor Morris stated she would report on that later.

Mr. Putman Highway Superintendent spoke as a resident this evening. He listened to the candidates’ debate last week. On the topic of a sewer system he thinks everyone should get on board with this. Recently he had a situation and he checked 12 areas of water going into the lake. Every one of them came up with e. coli and cholera. Do you want to swim in this water?

Public speaking was closed.

Deputy Supervisor Glenn read a statement. He thanked all the republican voters that voted for him. He stated your vote would not be amiss. “I will stick up for you people with everything I got.”

Department Reports:

Assessor’s Report – Victoria Hayner submitted a written report. She continues to update and maintain the 2018 Assessment Roll. The 2017 school tax bills have been sent out and received. Some questions have been coming in. Sales continue to be entered as they are received from the county. During the month of August there were 8 valid sales, 9 non-valid sales and 3 vacant land sales. Building permits have been entered on the computer and have been coming in regularly. This will assist greatly in making sure we assess appropriately for new construction happening in town. She is in the office on Tuesday 8 am – 2 pm. Her email address is value411@nycap.rr.com please feel free to contact her.

BTI – Mr. Delesky is in the middle of reviewing about 500 stream worksheets from the six applicators. He will review the calculations before the reports are sent to the DEC.

Supervisor Morris noted that budget sheets are available for each department head. She would like them back by September 27th (or earlier) so the budget director can begin working on the budget.

Clerk/Registrar – Mrs. Gilbert submitted the monthly report to the board. The annual church calendar dates for 2018 have been filled in as far as proposed Town Board and Planning Board meetings, Garage Sale Day, and Grievance Day - These may be subject to change for incoming boards.

There is a workshop on document scanning available. The clerk records are contained in 6 boxes. There are a volume of records in the supervisor’s office which they may decide they what to scan in the future.

The county will allow the town to hire their IT person @ a rate of $40 per hours. Supervisor Morris needs her computer set up and I need the DECALS program transferred to a new computer.

The county has asked the town if they anticipate any change in the hours for the transfer station hours for 2018. The clerk has been contacted by the staff that work there because they do not get paid any overtime to open or close the station. Residents are asked to make sure they have their items unloaded 10 minutes prior to closing time so the attendants can close the station at the designated time.

The credit card company I use now accepts PayPal as an option for payment; I do not anticipate accepting that format for payment at this time.

Supervisor Morris discussed scanning due to the issue in her office right now. Her filing has been a disaster for a long, long time. She thinks scanning is something the town should think about due to the volume of records.

Code Enforcement & Sanitation – Mr. Duesler submitted a written report. He did 35 inspections with eight of them being blight inspections. He collected $2512.35 in permit fees.

Blight no report from Council Member Glenn. He should have something after the first of the year.

Dog Control – No report from the DCO Howard Dutcher. Council Member Sturchio stated dangerous dogs should not be allowed. Supervisor Morris stated we are following AG. & Markets Law. It is up to the town board to change the law. She stated Ag & Market Laws trump town law. She sympathizes with their situation. “You should not have to live in fear.” Every time they see that the dog is not kenneled they have to get in touch with the DCO and have him come down. He can issue a ticket. She stated “the town board does not have any precedent over the court.” She will check with Mr. Dutcher on the situation tomorrow. If the town adopts a new law the town attorney will be consulted. This could be avoided if the dog owner complied with the judge’s ruling. Council Member Manning stated they have to be ticketed. He wondered if they should be taking video of the dog not being kenneled. Council Member Sturchio asked if this dog had bitten twice – that opens up a different can of worms. Mr. Putman is the former DCO in Caroga. He was asked about this situation. He stated the first time a dog bites it has to be quarantined for ten days minimum. The town has to keep the supporting documentation. Every time the dog is out a supporting deposition must be filled out or it won’t go anyplace. Complaint forms are available in the Town Clerk’s office.

Golf Course – Mr. Jennings reported he was still gathering estimates from well drillers. By next month this time we should have an idea of who to go with.

Mr. Jennings was approached by people to form a golf course advisory committee. They want to participate and help out when they can. They want a long term vision for the course. They want to discuss improvements over time for the course.

Mr. Jennings will aerify the T’s now. Around October 2nd they will aerify the greens. It will take 3 -4 days. They will get the compressor the first week of October to blow out the lines.

The fall special is running. It began after Labor Day. The rate is Monday through Friday $25 for greens fees and a cart from $34.

Highway – Mr. Putman stated he is glad the golf course needs a well. Supervisor Morris stated it is even better that the Highway Dept. can also tie into it.

Recently Mr. Putman was approached by two board members about grant money that was available. He does not write grants - he is the Highway Superintendent. He noted a grant was received for a bike path.

Mr. Putman asked the board if they were going to meet with the highway employees later regarding the insurance issue. Supervisor Morris would like to do this in a work session as soon as possible. Possible dates were discussed. Council Member Manning wanted to discuss the insurance as a board prior to the meeting. He noted there is a lot of background on this to be discussed. One of Mr. Putman’s concerns was a previous supervisor hit the guys hard on insurance which hadn’t been done before. “A lot of people seem to be getting freebee insurance around here. Non Essentials.” These guys are here 24 /7. Mr. Putman stated there is a board member discussing this with the public – saying the benefit “can be taken from them. This is wrong.” He did not think this was good for moral or business. (The public applauded)

Council Member Manning noted this is a non-union shop. He tried to make the point that he followed up on the insurance issue. There are going to be discussions. The board will not just say they have made a decision on their own. Mr. Putman asked why he said the benefit would be taken away from the highway employees. Council Member Manning stated the board has the right to set the policy. He noted currently the employees pay 0% of the individual coverage. He stated there isn’t a policy on the books right now for individual, family or spousal coverage. That is a problem. The attorney has told Council Member Manning that the town should not be paying for these guys spouse or family insurance. The policy was poorly written years ago. “We are not going to take that away obviously because we have been paying that.” “We have a crap policy on the books that we have to fix. That is why we are here.” Council Member Manning checked the county and cities and “we are the only place that is currently paying 100% of any employee’s health insurance in this entire state right now.” The attorney was shocked. Council Member Manning is not saying they don’t work hard and don’t deserve to be compensated for that. We should be looking at some percentage to be paid by the employee. It used to be a % based on salary. Some of the highway employees stated these county and city employees are paid a higher hourly rate than they are. Council Member Manning reiterated that the board has to discuss this. The board is not going to bargain in front of the public. Council Member Manning stated he will look at the pay other highway departments are getting.

Supervisor Morris noted these guys depend on every dollar they make.

Council Member Manning noted he offered to write a NYS CFA Grant for a salt shed. He had ½ of it done already. There were 5 questions the Highway Superintendent had to answer. The paperwork was given to Council Member Sturchio to give to Mr. Putman. He never got the information back. It got back too late Council Member Sturchio stated.

The board set Wednesday September 20th at 8 am for the meeting with the highway employees.

Mr. Putman noticed on his report there is a zero balance on the Garbage Truck Reserve Account A9950.92 and in the DA5130.2 Machinery. He cautioned this administration that previous administration had the equipment going down the tubes. He did not want

situation to happen again.

Lake Steward Program – No Report

Town Hall Building – Mr. Travis noted the need to connect the two septic pipes together.

The parking lot will not have to be excavated. He wondered if the town received any more estimates for the clinic deck. He noted there isn’t any heat in ½ of the building. Supervisor Morris has not heard anything back from Attorney Ferlazzo on this.

Supervisor Morris stated we are throwing money around here dollars here dollars there. This building is falling apart. This building has not seen any money put into it in a long, long time. The money that was put in wasn’t put in to it the right way. The heating system is only 3 years old. It wasn’t ordered right. We are trying to recoup some money – which seems to be what the supervisor is trying to do most of the time here as supervisor. She will bring this up again at the work session. There is nothing the insurance company can do about the heating issue.

Mr. Putman will fix the parking lot by the winter. Mr. Smith will put a collar on the pipe so there will be access to snake the pipe. Mr. Putman can move forward on this.

An estimate from Ron’s General Contracting 8 Crouse Street Ft. Plain NY 13339 (518) 993-4135 for the ramp was reviewed. One more estimate was needed.

Weeds –Mr. Centi reported that the program ended due to the cold water temperatures. He stated that West Caroga Lake has dramatically improved. There is not a lot of milfoil. Most of the weeds are native. Many people do not know the difference between native weeds and the invasive weeds. Next year he will bring people in and have a seminar. East Caroga Lake has a major problem. The majority of time was spent on East Caroga Lake and progress was made. They have more to do until it is under control. He wanted to look at some other methods and address this next year.

Two weeks ago Steve Lamere who is a certified lake manager did all kinds of analysis on the lake. He was recommended by APA. He will have a substantial report in the next two or three weeks. Mr. Centi would like to have him at the October town board meeting.

Today a lake assessment was done by Lawrence Eichler. He looks to see what type of weeds are out there. He will also provide the town with a report. These reports need to be done every three to five years.

To date 4489 bushels of milfoil have been taken out of the lake. Compared to previous years it is at least doubled or tripled it was a little over 21 tons of milfoil. They also began tracking fragments. They took out just shy of 800 lbs. We are in line with APA standards. The divers have put 1794 hours in the water. They were scheduled for 2448 hours – they lost about 15 days. This was due to mechanical problems or personnel matters.

Repairs will be made to the exhaust system. The steel retention baskets seams are separating and the corners need to be welded. Some railings need to be moved for easier access in removing weeds. The ladder is not safe. The fastenings for the wenches are screwed into the decking instead of bolted on for the anchors also need to be replaced. He has contacted Matt Cooper. He has been absolutely incredible all year. He has helped with adjustments to the compressor. He will put a throttle on the engine.

Youth – There wasn’t a report from Colleen. Supervisor Morris stated that this past year there were 70 kids registered to come to the program. On average 29 kids showed up. The town and the school pay for a certain number of counselors. At budget time she would like to discuss cutting off the number of enrollees to 50. That way we can be fiscally responsible. Council Member Manning asked how much would this save. Supervisor Morris thought a savings of two counselors. She knows it is not an expensive program but when everyone is being asked to cut budgets. If 70 kids signed up and showed up that would be great. We are not even getting half. This is just something for discussion.

Supervisor’s Report

Supervisor Morris acknowledged that the ECLEA is celebrating its 100 Anniversary this year. It is a big milestone and congratulations to them.

Supervisor Morris has an invoice for $2,500 that she did not submit this month from the Johnstown Library. She wanted to discuss this with the board. She stated that Caroga is the only town around here that donates. Council Member Glenn heard the library was going to be partnering with the Johnstown school system. This would be similar to what was done in Gloversville. Supervisor Morris wanted to knock this down significantly. The board asked for the annual report submitted from the library for their next meeting.

Bike path – Supervisor Morris had a lot of phone calls on this after the article was in the newspaper. Just to clarify the grant is just for a study not to build the path.

Supervisor Morris was very happy report that the 2015 Annual report is ready to be submitted on Friday. She has begun auditing the 2016 report last week. She hopes to have that done in about 3 weeks. Once this is done the town will be in compliance with their annual reports. Progress is being made in her office.

Supervisor Morris also noted she has recouped just under $23,000.00 for the town. (Applause)

Supervisor Morris stated she was not running for Supervisor. For the next 4 months she will work to get as much fine money back for the taxpayers that she possibly can. There is a lot of filing to be done. She noted the new bookkeeper Joanne Young is a municipal bookkeeper and very good for our town.

Old Business:

Council Member Manning noted the DEC Smart Growth Grant mentioned by the Supervisor and by Steve Putman was accepted by the DEC and APA. He wrote it this past March. It is a 100% reimbursement grant for mountain bike and multi-use non-motorized use for lands between Route 29A and Irving Pond for the possible development of a trail facility in that area and possibly expands into some areas behind the golf course. A deposit of $1,500.00 was made to ???????. Their report will be completed most likely in the middle of the spring. The report can be used to apply for the next round of funding next year. Council Member Manning is optimistic as the Smart Growth Grants tend to build off previous planning. The hamlet 3 plan was mentioned in the grant as was the Comprehensive Plan.

Supervisor Morris read a letter to satisfy the ABC board that the town board is aware of and permits the use of the outside deck for the services of dining and alcohol beverage consumption at the Boathouse Restaurant located at 2090 State highway 10 Caroga lake. The board approved the original application to the ABC Board at their June meeting.

New Business:

The Annual Budget will be available on the Supervisor’s desk for the board to look at. Council Member Sturchio suggested having more money for grant writing. He thought the board should be taken out of grant writing. Council Member Manning stated he is willing to take on whatever he can do for grant writing and maybe other people would be willing to do so as well. He stated it costs $6-7000 to have a grant written. Council Member Sturchio knows a Mayor down near Corning (Homer) NY and he hears about all of the different things the town is getting through grants. He thinks we would benefit if the grant writers “went after this stuff.”

Supervisor Morris stated she is working with the Budget Director to begin reviewing the budget. She is looking to see what funds are not being utilized and could be moved to another line item next year.

RESOLUTION 2017-000 to Set Trick or Treat was offered by Supervisor Morris at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town board held on Wednesday September 13, 2017 at Caroga town hall.

WHEREAS, the town desires to hold Trick or Treating in the Town of Caroga, and

WHEREAS, the town consults with the Wheelerville Union Free School to set the date for Trick or Treating in the Town of Caroga, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board does hereby set Tuesday October 31, 2017 from 6 – 8 pm for Trick or Treating in the town.

Council Member Sturchio seconded the motion.

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

There have been commercial vehicles parking on the Sherman’s Property between the lake shore Road and the State Highway for the last few weeks. Council Member Manning wanted to move forward to establish no unauthorized overnight parking policy there. Calls have been made to these companies.

RESOLUTION #2017-000 to be no unauthorized overnight parking on the Shamans Property was offered by Council Member Manning at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town board held on Wednesday September 13, 2017 at Caroga town hall.

WHEREAS, the town desires to restrict overnight parking on the Sherman’s Property on the land between Routs 10 & 29A and East Shore Road, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that there shall be no overnight parking on the Sherman’s Property on the land between Routs 10 & 29A and East Shore Road.

Supervisor Morris seconded the motion.

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

Council member Sturchio suggested having some signs made up.

Council member Manning continued by stating he sees vehicles driving on the midway on the Sherman’s property. He suggested taking a step to establish no unauthorized vehicles on the property. He stated there are trucks, cars and motorcycles –street legal vehicles on town property.

Council Member Glenn suggested making a resolution that no unauthorized vehicles will be parked on the Sherman’s Property period. Council Member Manning noted there is day use in the parking lot. Council Member Glenn wanted it to be all one resolution.

The clerk suggested restricting the access area to the midway so vehicles cannot drive in there. Council Member Manning thought that was something they could do as well.

Resolution 2017-000 to rescind the previous resolution #2017-000 was offered by Supervisor Morris at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town board held on Wednesday September 13, 2017 at Caroga town hall.

WHEREAS, the town desires to combine the issue of no unauthorized overnight parking at Sherman’s property and no unauthorized use of the quote unquote midway. Now therefore be it

RESOLVED that the Caroga town board does hereby move to rescind the previous resolution #2017-000.

The motion was seconded by both Council Members Manning and Glenn.

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

RESOLUTION 2017-000 to regulate parking on the Sherman’s Property was offered by Council Member Manning at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town board held on Wednesday September 13, 2017 at Caroga town hall.

WHEREAS, the Caroga Town Board had a discussion on two parking issues on the Sherman’s Property, and

WHEREAS, it is the boards desire to have no unauthorized overnight parking at the Sherman’s Property and no unauthorized vehicles on the west side of East Shore Road in the area commonly known as the midway, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board does hereby move to stipulated that there shall be no unauthorized overnight parking on the Sherman’s Property and no unauthorized vehicles on the west side of East Shore Road in the area commonly known as the midway.

The motion was seconded by Supervisor Morris.

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

At 8:15 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. Council Member Manning seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.

Supervisor Morris stated and made a motion on the second reason to go into the executive session is for the Morey Road. Because the town is in pending litigation the Supervisor cannot talk about it until a decision on what we are going to do is made. Council Member Glenn seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.

At 9:12 pm Council Member Manning made a motion to exit from the executive session. Supervisor Morris seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.

There were 14 members of the public in attendance when the meeting reconvened.

Supervisor Morris stated as far as the Morey Road issue goes – as you know we are still in litigation. She will contact Attorney Ferlazzo to have a meeting with him before the next monthly board meeting. This is an ongoing issue and the board felt they needed him here to explain to the town and the snowmobile club exactly where we are at. There is a tentative court date in November. She did not think the board would hear anything until January. This is into the snowmobile season. So this needs to be discussed with the Attorney. Looking at alternate root, just in case for the season, was mentioned.

RESOLUTION 2017-000 to hire County IT person was offered by Supervisor Morris

at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town board held on Wednesday September 13, 2017 at Caroga town hall.

WHEREAS, the Caroga Town Board recently purchased three used surplus computers from the county, and

WHEREAS, two of the computers need to be set up and software added, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board does hereby move to hire Heather Smith at a rate of $40.00 per hour to set up and install software on two computers in the Town of Caroga.

Council Member Manning seconded the motion.

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

RESOLUTION 2017-000 to allow Clerk to attend a workshop on Scanning was offered by Supervisor Morris at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town board held on Wednesday September 13, 2017 at Caroga town hall.

WHEREAS, the Caroga Town Supervisor has a volume of records in her office, and

WHEREAS, space in the records room is not unlimited thus in the future a scanning project may be something the town decides to undertake, and

WHEREAS, New York State Archives offers workshops on various topics with one being offered on October 24, 2017 in Montgomery County for scanning, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board does hereby move to allow the Town Clerk Linda Gilbert to attend the workshop to gather information for potentially future use.

Council Member Glenn seconded the motion.

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

RESOLUTION #2017-000 to accept the 2017-2018 Snow and Ice Contract was offered by Supervisor Morris at regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday September 13, 2017 at Caroga Town Hall.

WHEREAS, the Fulton County Highway Department sent over a proposal to undertake the Snow removal and ice control contract for two roads in the Town of Caroga, and

WHEREAS, the town will maintain 5.15 miles of county roads those roads being County Highway 111 and 137 for the amount of $25,550.00 and

WHEREAS, Steve Putman Highway Superintendent was in favor of accepting the agreement, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board does hereby move to accept the proposal to undertake the snow removal and ice control for the winter of 2017-2018.

The motion was seconded by Council Member Glenn

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

The clerk noted the contract has to be signed in triplicate by all board members.

Supervisor Morris read the items listed under Correspondence:

  1. Fulton County Solid Waste – Winter Hours at the Transfer Station begin Oct. 1st – April 1st 2018. The station will be open Monday & Saturday’s 8 am – noon and Wednesday’s Noon to 4 pm.

  2. The Supervisor received a letter from the US Census. This is another thing for her to work on.

  3. The town was cc’d on letter to John Duesler from Ernest Gagnon.

  4. The town received notice from NYS Supreme Court – Decision and order on Motion Johnson v Town.

  5. Fulton Co. Board of Supervisors notice for 2018 Workers’ Comp Ins. will be $12,604.72

  6. Fulton Co. Board of Elections – Estimated chargeback for 2018 would be $4,087.22

  7. Council Member Manning received a letter from Paul Fredericks in support of the Wheelerville Trail System,

Resolutions:

RESOLUTION #2017-000 to Reappoint Board of Assessment Review Member was offered by Supervisor Morris at regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday September 13, 2017 at Caroga Town Hall.

WHEREAS, Supervisor Morris noted the seat of D Peter Welker on the Board of Assessment Review (BAR) expires on 9/30/2017, and

WHEREAS, D Peter Welker of 700 S. Shore Road PO Box 485 Caroga Lake NY 12032 has served for the past five years is interested in serving another term, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board does hereby move to re-appoint D Peter Welker to serve a 5 year term on the Board of Assessment Review and whose term shall run until September 30, 2022.

Council Member Sturchio seconded the motion.

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

Supervisor Morris made a motion to pay the bills as presented for audit, accept the minutes of the August 9th and August 22 Work Session meetings. Council Member Glenn seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.

At 9:20 pm Council Member Glen made a motion to adjourn. Supervisor Morris seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Gilbert, RMC, CMC

Caroga Town Clerk