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Minutes of the regular monthly Caroga Town Board meeting held Wednesday November 8, 2017

State of New York
County of Fulton
Town of Caroga

Minutes of the regular monthly Caroga Town Board meeting held Wednesday November 8, 2017 at the municipal building located at 1840 State Highway #10 at 7:00 pm with the following persons in attendance by Roll Call:

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 and John Delesky – BTI. There were 27 members of the public in attendance.

Supervisor Morris opened the public hearing on 2018 Town of Caroga budget. The public hearing will remain open until 7:30 pm. The supervisor asked for questions or comments.

Kent Kirch was concerned about the line item for the Nick Stoner Trailers. It was cut in half. He stated they have some challenges with the state reimbursements and equipment needed to maintain the trails. Supervisor Morris explained to Craig Ivancic today why the amount was reduced. “We don’t know what our fund balance is yet.” Across the board things were slashed. He did request that they be contacted directly in the future so they would know for their budget.

John Ivancic President of the Nick Stoner Trailer thanked Mr. Kirch for his question. He stated the club has been hammered lately that they are costing the town money due to the Morey Road situation. He stated the club is just a small piece of this puzzle. He stated it is a road by use. There are others namely Garlock Road. This could happen on other roads. This has negatively impacted the club.

Shirley Holliday questioned the salary of the DCO. It was set the same as last year at the last meeting. Public Health BTI A4050.4 was increased by $2,000. Supervisor Morris noted the cost of the BTI went up.

Supervisor Morris stated department heads are supposed to stick to the budget. In previous years there have been transfers made all over the place. It took her and the bookkeeper 2 ½ hours to figure out an $85,000.00 transfer. This is not the way the town should be run. The Supervisor stated town law says if a department head goes over budget they themselves are personally responsible for that amount of money. Not that a town would ever enforce that. This is why we have a budget. She hopes moving forward that will happen from here on out. Mr. Delesky stated he used 24% more product this year due to the wet spring.

It was noted that amendment to the budget may be necessary during the year. But not to the extent that has been done for the last 30 years.

Mrs. Holliday asked what Refuse and Garbage A8160.1 includes. That is the salary line time to pick up the garbage. There are 3 people on that job.


Bill Bishop congratulated all of the people who were elected. (Applause)

Kathy Ellerby also congratulated everyone who won last night. It was a learning experience for her. She thanked everyone that supported and helped her along the way. (Applause)

Kent Kirch had a comment and a question. He thanked the town for allowing the volunteers to work on the information booth at Sherman’s. He stated now that all of the work is done on the building they would like to put an artificial Christmas tree in it with some LED lights. The tree would be lit from 4 pm to midnight. He stated it is considered a secular decoration.

Assessor – No Report

BTI – Mr. Delesky reported in 2014 59 gallons of BTI was used, in 2015 – 47 gal., in 2016 54 gal., and in 2017- 67 gallons. It was a wet spring and stuff that usually dried up did not dry up. He sent in the BTI report to the state this month. There is one more due by February. That one will include the Golf Course Pesticide Report.

Clerk – Mrs. Gilbert submitted the monthly report. There is a tax collection seminar for the BAS software program in December. I did not attend last year but would like to attend this year. It is a morning meeting in Clifton Park.

I spoke with Bob Murray who works for a grant writing company that a resident used to work for in Glens Falls. They stated you have to pay to play. Over the course of 3 years the town would spend maybe $12,000.00 and may get $700,000.00 back in grant money. He would be happy to come and talk to the board at a future date.

RESOLUTION 2017-103 to allow Tax Collector to attend software meeting was offered by Supervisor Morris at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday November 8, 2017 at Town Hall 1840 State Highway 10.

WHEREAS, Business Automation Services will hold their Annual software training for the Tax Collection program on December 6, 2017 in Clifton Park NY, and

WHEREAS, the Tax collector desires to attend this meeting, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board does hereby move to allow the tax Collector Linda M. Gilbert to attend the training and does authorize mileage to be reimburse to her from A1410.4.

Council Member Sturchio seconded the motion.

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

Code Enforcement & Sanitation – Mr. Duesler submitted the monthly report from 10/1/17 to 10/31/17. There were 34 permits issued – 4 of them were sanitation permits. Mr. Duesler conducted 27 inspections in the month of October. A total of $2251.40 was collected. Supervisor Morris noted at the meet the candidates there was a lot of talk about blight. Mr. Duesler has done a lot with blight. He has taken care of some dangerous buildings. His time is limited. The board discussed getting a second code officer in to help specifically with blight. It cannot happen next year due to the financial strain we are under. Council Member Glenn suggested looking at licenses and fee that are discharged through the code office. Maybe rental properties inspections should be done through a license. “We need to get more creative.” The town may be able to develop enough income from the code office to be self-sustaining. The clerk noted a resident came in for a dump sticker today stating he had to clean up his yard. I am surmising that he was contacted by the code officer.

Blight – to be worked on after the first of the year

Dog Control – No Report

Golf Course – No Report

Highway – Mr. Putman noted a year ago he notified the board that the signs at the entrance to town were in need of repair. The sign on Route 10 is in pieces.

Mr. Putman asked about the well. The supervisor will go over this after he finishes his report.

He noted the board would be talking about a couple of things in executive session.

Last year Mr. Putman talked to the board about people plowing across the roads. He noted some municipalities are dealing with the problem with the homeowner. This is a public safety issue. If the town has to clean it up the homeowner would be charged by the hour, machine, and by the man. He could use the FEMA rates. He would strongly suggest moving forward with this with the town attorney to see about making a local law. Last year in one day he counted 61 locations where snow was moved across the town road. He did try to talk to the people to get them to stop – they didn’t. It jeopardized the school bus coming through on one road. This needs to be looked at.

Council Member Glenn suggested a public relations something….. For different seasons. It could include public parking areas for snowmobilers. The plowing situation could be mentioned. Mr. Putman noted he does advertise no parking on town roads in the winter. He does this closer to the season.

The salt shed has gone to the wayside. While listening to other department reports he noticed that the Supervisor said we had to hold the line on the budget. But in the meantime there is talk about the weed program getting added funds. We really need a salt shed. During the winter we get a giant block of ice down there we can’t dig into to sand the roads. We have a problem. It is bad/dangerous because as we dig into it a tunnel is made. A lot of people come to get salt and sand and go underneath it and scoop sand. He is afraid there is going to be a death. The area is blocked with tape but this doesn’t seem to detour it. Salt is in the barn were we used to store °Mr. Putman. The place has been designated.

Lake Steward Program – No Report

Town Hall Building – Mr. Travis stated that Apollo was here on Monday to install the new boiler. Larry Smith can’t do the sewer pipe right now. The manhole repair is on hold.

The supervisor asked if the heat in the hallway is being taken care of. The town clerk responded, “NO.” The part they put in today was defective. The part is for the fill line making sure the boiler does not run dry. I spoke to the person working on the boiler today and explained that the hall temperature is still in the low 60’s. The boiler installed is not heating the whole half of the building. I checked with Mr. Duesler this morning. The thermostat on boiler #1 was turned up to 72° to try to heat the hall. The temperature in the hall got up to 66°. That is still below the acceptable level for habitation in office space. There used to be two more registers in the building when the oil boiler was used.

Mr. Putman interjected into the conversation on furnaces. He noted the furnace at the highway barn is not up to code. That was pointed out by our insurance company. This is another thing the town has to look into.

Supervisor Morris noted the bookkeeper did not create an expenditure report. One will be ready tomorrow for the board. They are in the process of switching all the records over with Harris Computer. She will get the information to the board.

Weeds – Mr. Centi handed out the annual reports for 2016 and 2017. They were submitted to the APA and DEC. Mr. Centi spoke to Sheriff Giardino and one of his men is on board to be a diver next year. There may be 2 or 3 more divers. He also spoke to the people at the marina. They are on board with putting in a steward there next summer. Mr. Centi is talking with DEC and Paul Smiths about this program. They have a steward at the Northampton campsite.

Youth - No Report

Before the Supervisor gave her report a gentleman arrived who wanted to introduce himself. Jason B. Hilliard his is new to Caroga Lake but has been living in Fulton County since December. He is an Environmental Conservation Officer for Region 5. He hopes he is here for the long haul in Caroga. He bought the former Arnst farm. He works around the clock 24/7. His contact information is available on his business card. 1115 NYS Route 86 Ray Brook NY 12977-0296P (518) 897-1326 C (518) 774-4517 24/7 (844) DEC-ECOS or jason.hilliard@dec.ny.gov . He can be reached to answer general questions and respond to police matter too. He is on the water in the summer and on the snow in the winter. He was welcomed with a round of applause.

At 7:36 pm the public hearing on the 2018 Budget was closed.

RESOLUTION #2017-104 to adopt the 2018 Budget was offered by Supervisor Morris at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday November 8, 2017 at Town Hall 1840 State Highway 10 at 7 :00 pm

WHEREAS, the budget process began on October of 2017, and

WHEREAS, a series of meetings was held over the course of the last month on the budget, and

WHEREAS, the public hearing on the budget was announced in the Leader Herald newspaper on Saturday October 28, 2017, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town board does hereby move to adopt the 2018 with the amount to be raised by taxes in the general fund $154,675.15, in the highway fund $601,514.75, and for the fire contract $134,085.00 this is an increase of $0.07 over 2017.

A roll call vote was taken:

Council Member Glenn – I approve

Council member Sturchio – I approve

Council Member Manning – I approve

Supervisor Morris – I approve

The resolution for the budget was so carried.

Supervisor’s Report

3rd Quarter Sales Tax Distribution was down $12,033.70 from last year’s third quarter number. She believed that had to do with the campsite being closed. The weather was not the best this past summer. So that is where the deficit came from.

The supervisor thought it was a good idea to have the Christmas tree at the information center. It would be welcoming for the holiday season. Supervisor Morris offered a resolution to have it lit 7 days a week from 4 – midnight from December 1st through Jan. 2nd 2018.

RESOLUTION #2017-105 To have a Christmas tree inside the information booth at Sherman’s was offered by Supervisor Morris at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday November 8, 2017 at Town Hall 1840 State Highway 10 at

7:00 pm.

WHEREAS, Kent Kirch suggested placing a Christmas tree in the information booth at Sherman to be lit 7 days a week from 4pm – midnight from December 1st through Jan. 2nd 2018, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the board does hereby move to approve the holiday decoration on the Sherman’s property.

The motion was seconded by Council Member Manning

The clerk stated the building is not up to code. When I was there at the meet the candidate’s forum the wiring was not stapled to the 2 X 4’s and there were no plates covering the outlets and light switch. A previous code officer who was also there that Saturday was consulted and he concurred with my observation. An electrician will be contacted. The board will review this at their next work session.

Supervisor Morris stated she has recovered nearly $35,000.00 in her office. She sees a few different faces here – no one is saying the money was stolen. This is about insurance premiums, double billing, and finding checks that were never cashed. The 2015 Annual report to the comptroller was accepted. They are still working on the 2016 report. They hope to submit it by the last week in November. Once submitted and accepted hopefully by the end of December then the town is in compliance with New York State and on schedule. It is a huge thing then we will know what our fund balance is moving forward. This will help the board next year at budget time. It has bothered the board that they could not give raises, donations and had to cut where they didn’t want to. Supervisor Morris will work with the incoming supervisor to show him where we are at. The supervisor noted she has papers in her office from 1989. This is not the way it is supposed to be done. There is a filing mess. The supervisor stated she found about $60,000.00 in fines the town had to pay. She wants everything to be transparent.

The Board reviewed the contract with Hawk Drilling. The bid will be locked in until 2018. The resolution that was made at the work session was not done correctly – it was not seconded. The contract is for $16,017.94. It is for federal prevailing wage. The cost will be equally divided between the golf course and the garage. Mr. Putman asked where it would be placed. He did not want it near the septic field. He was asked to be there next year to discuss placement.

RESOLUTION #2017-106 to contract with Hawk Drilling was offered by Supervisor Morris at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday November 8, 2017 at Town Hall 1840 State Highway 10 at 7 :00 pm.

WHEREAS, the town solicited quotes from well drilling companies over the course of the last several months, and

WHEREAS, the board reviewed and compared the quotes from Hanson Well Drilling & Pump Co. Inc. PO Box 463 Nassau NY 12123, Adirondack Drilling 988 Lotville Road Dolgeville NY 13329, Hawk Drilling Co. Inc. 354 Stone Church Road Ballston Spay NY 12020, and Rosick Well Drilling 1175 Farley Road Hudson Falls NY 12839, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board does hereby move to authorize Supervisor Morris to to sign the well contract with Hawk Drilling Company Inc. which will hold to the price until March or April of 2018.

Council Member Sturchio seconded the motion.

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

Old Business:

Pine Lake Street Light - John Ciko of 195 Pine Lake Road addressed the board. He has owned the property since 1978. The street light has been in front of his house since the inception of street lights were put on that road. One day the bulb went out so he called National Grid. National Grid told him the light had been removed by the town. The former Town Supervisor had it done because another neighbor was complaining it was shining in her camp. Mr. Ciko stated the former supervisor never returned his calls or responded to the certified letter he sent him. Mr. Ciko stated there are 4’ diameter holes – ruts full of water. It is pitch black. After much time and effort he got the light back. Then the light was shut off a month later because the complainant said it was too bright. Mr. Ciko stated this is a matter of safety, security and sanctity. This is his third time at a board meeting. He did not know about the red capping of the light back in July of 2016. Mr. Ciko reads the minutes from the meeting last year and claimed they were untrue. He wants this light back on.

Council Member Sturchio addressed this issue. When Council Member Sturchio spoke to Mr. Ciko he said he had contacted all the people on the road (Mr. Ciko spoke over Council Member Sturchio and was asked to be called to order) they all agreed that yes they wanted the light turned back on. Council Member Sturchio took his word on this. The light was turned on. Mrs. White came to a meeting with one or two others neighbors on either side at a meeting. She said the light was right in her window. All the other people agreed they never wanted the light on. Council Member Sturchio went to Mrs. White’s house and stated she does have to stand in the road to use her front door. Mr. Ciko stated she uses the side door. The light is right in the window. Council Member Sturchio stated Mr. Ciko did not tell him the truth when he was told him that everyone had agreed they wanted the light back on. Council Member Sturchio went with the consensus and the light was red capped. Mr. Ciko disputed what Council Member Sturchio said. Mr. Ciko said Council Member Sturchio hung up on him. They did not agree on several points. Mr. Ciko stated several times the town is here for the security, safety and sanctity of the residents. Mr. Ciko stated the light was removed based on a frivolous complaint.

The board discussed options to remediate this situation. Council Member Sturchio will pole the residents of the road. Mr. Ciko asked how this addressed the safety issue. He noted in June it is still light at 9 pm. Supervisor Morris stated the board will look into it.


1) The town received a letter dated November 11, 17- a notice from NYS Supreme Court re: Johnson v Town filing procedure.

2) 3rd Quarter Workers Comp. Report is available.

3) There is a request for two certified copies of the budget for the County. Supervisor Morris stated the bookkeeper would be taking care of that tomorrow. The clerk stated she certifies the budget.

4) Army Corp of Engineers sent notification of two permits they reviewed one for Linda Fisher Smith and the other for Nicholas Gale.

Supervisor Morris stated the correspondence is available for anyone who would like to see them.

There were two estimates for a generator at town hall. A third estimate will be sought.

At 8:02 pm Supervisor Morris made a motion to enter into an executive session regarding proposed, pending, or current litigation.

Mrs. Holliday asked if the board discussed the Bleecker Garbage Contract. The town is waiting to hear from them. The Town of Caroga is asking for a $3,000.00 increase. They have a meeting tonight. The town can amend the budget on the revenue side.

Mrs. Holliday stated there were no comma’s in part of the budget.

At 8:03 pm Supervisor Morris made a motion 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. Both Council Members Glenn and Sturchio seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.

At 8:48 pm Supervisor Morris came back into the board room to retrieve three vouchers from Girvin and Ferlazzo scheduled to be audited tonight.

At 9:07 pm Supervisor Morris made a motion to exit from the executive session Council Member Manning seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.

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

Supervisor Morris made a motion to pay the bills as presented for audit, accept the minutes of the October 11, meeting October 15th, 17th and 24th work sessions. Council Member Glenn seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.

It was noted that town hall would be closed on Friday November 10th and Saturday November 11 in observance of Veterans Day. The transfer station will be closed on Saturday also.

At 9:10 pm Supervisor Morris made a motion to adjourn. Council Member Manning seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Gilbert, RMC, CMC

Town Clerk

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