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State of New York

County of Fulton

Town of Caroga

Minutes of a Caroga Town Board meeting held Wednesday September 11, 2019 at the municipal building located at 1840 State Highway 10 at 7:00 pm with the following persons in attendance by roll call:

Supervisor James K. Selmser - Here

Council Member John Glenn - Here

Council Member Jeremy Manning - Here

Council Member James Long - Here

Council Member Kent Kirch - Here

In attendance were Steve Putman – Highway Superintendent, and Gene Centi of the Lakes Management program. There were 25 members of the public in attendance.

Supervisor Selmser opened the meeting to order at 7pm with the roll being called. The flag salute followed with a moment of silence in remembrance of September 11, 2001.

Public: Walter Hogan stated in the past the board would also have a public speaking session at the end of the meeting so if you heard something during the meeting you could comment on it. He wondered if there was any thought about putting that back.

Matthew Cooper stated he went to the Board of Assessment (Review) this year as he did last year. They said after you go through it you would get feedback. He did not get anything back and after he inquired about it he got feedback on the 27th of August – it was postdated. That is about 30 days after he could file with the county for a judicial review. He wondered what happened with that. Matt Cooper stated The assessor said it was our mistake – see you next year. Supervisor Selmser stated he would follow up and see what he can find out.

John Livingston wanted to answer the question. He stated he went to the County Real Property Director. From past experience this has never happened before. Mr. Livingston thought if you filed a grievance then you should get what you asked for.

The public session was closed at 7:04 pm.

NBT Insurance Agent – Bill VanGorder reviewed the town’s insurance renewal policy. Booklets were handed out to the board members. The premium summary (p26) -last year the town’s insurance was $40,851.91. That is what it renewed at the beginning of the year. This year NYMIR is asking to consider $42,872.86 about a 5% increase. The cause of the increase is #1 the buildings @ Sherman’s are being deemed by the company as vacant. They have been removed from the total blanket. So a higher rate was applied to that. They then put a vacancy clause in the coverage (it is an endorsement). The option was $1,436.00 is the vacancy clause buy back. He was not sure that was worth it for loss caused by vandalism. Supervisor Selmser noted there is a deductible on that. The town has a $1,000.00 deductible. The premium last year was $6,886.00. It would be around $7,412.00 this year.

Boiler Systems & Equipment there is a slight increase in this. The general liability went from $14,252.70 to $15,613.40. There was a 4% increase due to claims.

It was noted that there is some claim activity on the automobile liability line also. One additional vehicle was added in the middle of last year.

Council Member Kirch noted last year the general liability went up to 3 million.

Mr. VanGorder noted the changes in the sexual harassment laws. There are more changes coming this October. With that they are recommending municipalities to have 1 -2 million in layers of excess or umbrella coverage. We have already made a good move in that direction.

Mr. VanGorder asked if the town had a sexual harassment policy in place that is up to date. Supervisor Selmser stated the town used the template. He asked to be advised of any revisions of the law that we would have to implement. It was noted that the compliance officers (individuals) have to be identified. He provided a complaint form to the supervisor. It is important to know the town is required to have an acknowledgment form that everyone has to sign and they have to be kept on record. Mr. VanGorder noted by October of 2019 training has to be done. He is working on some dates to come up and conduct the training. This may be done in conjunction with the Town of Bleecker. He noted down the road EVERYBODY has to have the training, Planning Board, Zoning Board, volunteers, and any new employees has to be done. (He suggested this be done as they come on-board) NYMIR has the online university on their website. They have resources and people to help with that. Going forward if someone wants to take the class at home the computer system can recognize the class is complete and generate a certificate and sends an electronic acknowledgment. (It takes about an hour) We need to look at this for the long term. It was noted this has to be an annual training. Again noting everybody has to do it.

Supervisor Selmser asked if you are involved in another organization that is mandated to have the training could that count as your town training. Mr. VanGorder stated the authority having jurisdiction would have to make a decision, is the policy they have to follow similar to ours?

Mr. VanGorder asked if there were any other questions. Council Member Long asked what the deductible was on municipal property. The response was $1,000.00.

The Clerk asked why the insurance company was declaring the buildings at Sherman’s as vacant. The carousel building was rented out for weddings and concerts were held in the bumper car building all summer. Supervisor Selmser asked if they could be adjusted based on a seasonal issue. Mr. VanGorder stated if they are seasonal they are not vacant. If they are used for storage they are not vacant. The Clerk & Council Member Manning noted the main building is used for storage. Mr. VanGorder asked for something in writing (email) and he will see what he can do. He asked for a list of the dates events were held there. There were at least 3 weddings there.

Mr. VanGorder and Council Member Long thanked the clerk.

Department Reports:

Assessor’s Report – Revised and submitted 9/9/19 by the Assessor. Council Member Long stated unlike zoning and planning the BAR is driven by state forms. He will speak to the assessor about that. “They got turned over immediately.”

BTI – Mr. Delesky conveyed in an email that he was reviewing all paper work prior to submission to DEC in November. The golf course pesticide use will also be reported.

Clerk/Tax Collector/Registrar/RMO – In the clerk’s written report to the board last month it was stated that the public has been commenting on the personal commentary by the webmaster on the town web page. Three of the board members did respond back to the clerk and say it was inappropriate however the website site still has his personal comments posted. Council Member Long did not believe so. He stated the donation agreement from Balboaa Land Development was quoted. The donation agreement does have some provisions that we can’t ignore and is a scanned image. The clerk read from the website, “If more voters vote “yes” than vote “No” the property would be conveyed to the Caroga Arts Collective Inc. The clerk stated the website is a source for documents – give the document a name/title create the link and you are done. Supervisor Selmser stated it shouldn’t have opinions. Council Member Long did not believe that was an opinion that is how a referendum works. At least two members of the public add comment to the conversation. Supervisor Selmser stated it needs to be changed.

The clerk stated that “records are essential to the administration of local government, as records management officer I want the public to know that I have not received certain document over the course of the year. Again the board has been notified in the past. I don’t have the minutes from the Board of Assessment Review meeting on June 5th.” Council Member Long stated true. The clerk stated “I don’t have any paperwork for planning and zoning cases for this year.” Council Member Long stated he can print them out from my (the clerks) printer. The whole file is on line. The clerk noted that the legal notice states that the files are available for review in the code office. Upon checking with that department nothing was on file. There is a communication problem with the code office Council Member Long noted they were using the wrong zoning ordinance. The clerk stated there hasn’t been a smooth transition here. We need to do better.

The clerk noted the Planning Board recently changed their meeting. She asked if it was posted on the town bulletin board. Council Member Long stated it was. The clerk asked where it was because she did not remove it. Council Member Long stated Al Kozakiewicz said according to his reading of the ordinance… The Clerk argued that he wrong. When any board convenes to discuss town business it has to be documented somewhere. It was not in the newspaper.

Code Enforcement & Sanitation – No Report the code officer was on vacation.

Golf Course – Supervisor Selmser stated that Mr. Jennings is not doing well. Receipts continue to match last year.

Highway – Mr. Putman noted at the last meeting a lady asked about the paint for the stop signs on East Shore Road. He contacted the agency in the county that is contracted to do this and was informed it is not worth it for them to come up here and do our lines. He may do them in the spring but will also contact the City of Johnstown for their assistance.

Mr. Putman noted last month the board accepted the contract for snow and ice removal for the county roads yet he was not consulted. He noted salt is up $3.00 a ton and fuel has gone up too. The town may end up paying out of pocket.

Mr. Putman reported to the board that ceilings were collapsing at the town barn. He has pictures if anyone wants to see them. Nothing has been done. This has happened in his office and in the garage area. The lights are in danger of coming down. Supervisor Selmser asked if any of his people could repair the ceilings and charge it back against the account. Mr. Putman noted it is not part of their job but they are capable of doing it. The highway department will take on the repair.

Road work will be done on Vrooman Road Oct. 2nd & 3rd. The road will be closed down. Mr. Putman spoke to the fire company recently. They will post a truck across the bridge in case there is a need for fire protection. He also contacted Mr. Subik (from the trailer park) about access through his property in case of an emergency. Mr. Putman asked if the line item for bridges was still intact. Supervisor Selmser stated it is. The Highway clerk noted that all property owners will be notified.

Mr. Putman brought in the paving bids for Mussey Road for the board to look over. He noted the bill for CHIPS is a little more as he had them do the edging also. It saved the taxpayers about $12,000.00. Even with the added work the price is still less than any other bidder. There were three bids received. Mussey road had several bad spots. Mr. Putman noted that the CHIPS money was rolled over and now there is a chance the state will cut the rollover. That is why he used it. All of the money spent to pave Mussey Road will be reimburse to the town through CHIPS and the Winter Recovery Funds. Supervisor Selmser noted there was an additional charge for prep work. Mr. Putman noted the company did do the big intersections at Everson & Co. Hwy. 137 both sides. They have better- more efficient equipment. Council Member Kirch stated the road looks good. It was noted that over the course of last winter the road was closed for a total of 2 – 3 weeks because of the bad spots. Mr. Putman explained that a dirt road ices up faster than the paved roads. Supervisor Selmser asked what the thickness was on the mile and a half that was paved. Mr. Putman stated 3 inches of binder and 1 ½ inches of top was put down. Mr. Putman checked up and watched what was being put down.

Lakes Management Program – Council Member Long reported that we finally received notice that the contract for the stewards has been accepted. We got the award notice belatedly in June and we got the notice yesterday that our contract was in effect. Mr. Harazin has been in working to prepare necessary documents for after the end of this month. Council Member Glenn asked if Mr. Olm has provided any stats on the season. It was stated that the final report will be given at the meeting in October.

Mr. Centi will get together information for the next meeting. He said a damn good job was done this year. He noted a lake survey was done. Supervisor Selmser noted in prior years there has been so much stuff that has floated in on his property but this year he had very little. Mr. Centi noted pieces usually float over to the right side of the boat launch at the campsite. The area is six – eight inches thick with weeds and milfoil and there has been virtually nothing over there this year.

A new boat, motor, and trailer have been purchased for his use instead of using his own boat for the last two years. It will take away the wear and tear on his boat. The dump trailer has been put up at an angle. There should be a lock arm on it.

Mr. Eckler did the plant survey. They looked at about 170 sites. He will produce a report. The last time it was done was in 2017.

Mr. Centi still receives complaints on native weeds. Mr. Eckler does a whole seminar on non invasives and what is in a lake. He would like him to do this presentation next year for the town.

At 7:39 pm Supervisor Selmser opened the public hearing on Local Law #1 of 2019. The Local Law is for the stop signs on East Shore Road. A copy of the proposed Local Law was passed around the room. Council Member Kirch stated the law describes the physical location of each of the stop signs at the intersections. Council Member Kirch stated the purpose of the law is to reduce traffic and slow traffic. Justice Subik asked reduce or slow? Both was the response. A discussion by the public and the board on the intent of the law took place. The clerk read the purpose of the local law: “to provide for the safety, health, protection and general welfare of persons and property along East Shore Road on West Caroga Lake.” It was noted the law will be year round the fines were also noted.

Mr. Male stated speeding is still a problem.

Lora Nealon can hear the shifting of gears and estimates speeds of at least 55 mph are still being done on the road.

Mr. Horton thought it was prudent of the town board to put up the stop signs. He thought the intersections could be considered dangerous.

Council Member Kirch noted that the Dept. of Transportation did meet with the town, and the Sheriff’s Dept. He believed it was the recommendation of the DOT to put in stop signs.

Supervisor Selmser noted once the law is adopted he hopes the Sheriff’s Dept. will come back and monitor it. The public hearing remained open. The clerk noted the town attorney reviewed and made recommendations on the local law.

Town Hall Building – The new vacuum cleaner arrived. Council Member Kirch asked if the town does annual maintenance on the boilers before winter. Council Member Long stated propane gas fired boilers don’t have a serviceable firebox. There are other parts that need to be serviced. Mr. Travis, former building maintenance person, noted there are disks that need to be changed. Supervisor Selmser noted Apollo has to come back and repair one boiler. We are waiting for parts. He will contact them about additional work - the leaking steam pipe in the ceiling outside the meeting room, and checking the boilers before heating season. This would eliminate a service call if something was not working.

Youth – No report

Supervisor’s Report – Financial reports were given to the board members. Cash balances are running higher than last year. The general fund $191,000.00 over where we were last year. The highway accounts are 76 less. A budget adjustment is needed to cover the expenditures for the paving. Once the check for Callanan is cashed we can submit to CHIPS for reimbursement.

The document from NY Power Authority for the LED lighting was reviewed by the Town Attorney and the company has agreed to our changes. The supervisor has signed the document and authorized the project to move forward.

The bookkeeper has given a resolution to act on to transfer and make budget adjustments.

RESOLUTION #2019-089 to make necessary transfers was offered by Supervisor Selmser at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday September 11, 2019 at town hall.

WHEREAS, the budget director/bookkeeper has indicated the a need to make certain transfers to maintain a balanced budget, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the following transfers be made as necessary to maintain a balanced budget.

TO: A1620.41 Multi-Season Park $300.00

FROM: A1620.40 Buildings C/E $300.00

TO: A1910.4 Unallocated Insurance $1,300.00

FROM: A1990.4 Contingency Acct. $1,300.00

TO: DA5112.2 CHIPS $105,000.00

FROM: DA5110.4 General Repairs C/E $105,000.00

Seconded by Council Member Long

Discussion: It was noted the insurance is being paid now and was underfunded.

Adopted by a vote of 5 Ayes: Selmser, Glenn, Manning, Long, Kirch

Mr. Putman asked how much was going to be left in his summer fund. Supervisor Selmser responded $12,000 - $14,000.00.

RESOLUTION #2019-090 to accept the bid for paving was offered by Supervisor Selmser at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday September 11, 2019 at town hall.

WHEREAS, the Highway Superintendent went out to bid for paving three sections of the Mussey Road located in the Town of Caroga, and

WHEREAS, three bids were returned as specified at10 am on July 22, 2019, those being:

#1 Empire Paving 1900 Duanesburg Rd Duanesburg NY 12056 $227,960.92

#2 New Castle Paving LLC 1 Madison St. Suite 100 Troy NY 12180 $219,352.70

#3 Callanan Industries PO Box 15097 Albany NY 12212-5097 $209,209.00

Now therefore be it

RESOLVED that the town accepts the bid from Callanan and agrees to pay the bill in the amount of $209,209.00 and $1,500.00 for sweeping and $6,400.00 for additional work for a total of $217,109.00

Seconded by Council Member Long

Adopted by a vote of 5 Ayes: Selmser, Glenn, Manning, Long, Kirch

Old Business:

Workplace Violence Policy – the clerk stated that the previous administrator for this program removed the paperwork from the official bulletin board as his name was still listed as the contact person.

RESOLUTION #2019-091 to appoint Supervisor Selmser compliance officer was offered by Council Member Kirch at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday September 11, 2019 at town hall.

WHEREAS, the previous compliance officer noted that he was still listed as the contact person on the town bulletin board, but he is no longer a council member on the board, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that James Selmser – Town Supervisor is hereby appointed to serve as the compliance officer to be contacted to handle sexual harassment and discrimination issues in the Town of Caroga.

Seconded by Council Member Long

Adopted by a vote of 5 Ayes: Selmser, Glenn, Manning, Long, Kirch

Supervisor Selmser thought the board already reappointed the Assessor however Council Member Kirch added this item to the agenda. He stated she was reappointed based on her contract being reviewed and renewed and so he wanted to pass another resolution to make it official. He met with Vicky for about ½ hour. They talked about a number of things. He confirmed that her new office hours would be 9 am – 2 pm on Tuesdays. That is a change from 8 am – 2 pm. She stated she hardly gets anyone in that early. She does have a town laptop and does work from home quite a bit. At the budget meeting he does want to talk about her concern about doing a full assessment of town properties. He wants to explain her view is on that. They talked about her compensation. He asked her how compensation is determined for an assessor. She stated it is based on the number of properties being assessed. She shared numbers from other municipalities.

RESOLUTION #2019-092 to Re-appoint Vicki Hayner as Assessor was offered by Council Member Kirch at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday September 11, 2019 at town hall.

WHEREAS, A committee was set up to review the reappointment of the Assessor Victoria Hayner, and

WHEREAS, Council Member Kirch did discuss with the assessor the terms of here employment for the town of Caroga, comparing them to other municipalities she works for, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that Victoria Hayner is hereby reappointed to serve as the sole Assessor in the Town of Caroga beginning October 1st with her current compensation of $25,235.00.

Seconded by Council Member Long

Adopted by a vote of 5 Ayes: Selmser, Glenn, Manning, Long, Kirch

Supervisor Selmser asked if there were any questions or comments on the new business.

The clerk noted the need to approve the fireworks display.

RESOLUTION #2019-093 to approve a fireworks display at Pine Lake was offered by Council Member Long at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday September 11, 2019 at town hall.

WHEREAS, the clerk received an application and a certificate of liability insurance from Majestic Fireworks, Inc. 29 College St. Clinton NY 13323 for a display to be held on September 14, 2019 at Pine Lake Park, and

WHEREAS, they have been doing all of the shows the board has been approving, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board does hereby move to approve the 15 – 17 minute display and does authorize the supervisor to sign as the permitting authority.

Seconded by Council Member Glenn

Adopted by a vote of 5 Ayes: Selmser, Glenn, Manning, Long, Kirch

New Business:

Community Renewal Funding

Any Changes to Transfer Station Information for 2020

Approve Fireworks 9/14/19 Pine Lake (Wedding)

Linda & Paul Fredericks will submit fall foliage report to I LOVE NY for Caroga

RV permit Fee

Council Member Kirch spoke to the Code officer about the RV permit fee before he left on vacation. He asked that we update the RV permit currently $5 for nine days. (Occupied RV’s)

Unoccupied RV simply need to meet setbacks. Mr. Duesler recommended the permit fee to be $15 for 28 days. The clerk noted the $5 permit was for one 72 hour permit which the property owner could have 3 of per year. Supervisor Selmser noted it is supposed to be for a concurrent period of time. One council member wanted the rate to be higher, $30 was suggested. The board discussed the ordinance change and the change in the fee. It was determined that more information was needed.

Supervisor Selmser asked if there were any questions or actions. Council Member Glenn wanted to follow up with Appolo heating.

Correspondence:

Letter from Dave & Sandy Steele supporting Sale of Sherman’s to CAC

Letter Re: Trash Pickup (questions)

Workers Compensation Insurance for 2020

Appolo Heating Tune up time notice

Mohawk Valley Economic Develop. Dist. Meeting 9/30 5 pm Location TBA

Caroga Transfer Station Winter Hours take effect October 1st.

Resolutions:

Council Member Long discussed granting access to the wax mechanicals of Barbara McMartin’s book to Allen Farber. He received a query from the retired art history professor who was interested in taking on the onerous task of salvaging the wax mechanicals of his mother’s book. Background: She donated the book to the town but the wax mechanicals don’t have a long shelf life. If they are kept in temps over 80° the text and artwork slides on the master. He would like to have access to see what he can salvage to update it and do what he see fit. He has expertise in this area.

RESOLUTION#2019-094 to give access to the wax mechanicals was offered by Council Member Long at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday September 11, 2019 at town hall.

WHEREAS, Council Member Long discussed with the board his desire to see what shape the wax mechanicals of his mother’s book are in, and

WHEREAS, Professor Alan Farber has expertise in this area, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that access to the Caroga Book by Barbara McMartin is to be given to Professor Farber.

Discussion: Council Member Glenn stated access to not possession of. He will make a determination of what is salvageable. Council Member Long stated this is a public copyright It lost being a private copyright when it his mother’s copyright went to a government entity. He stated anyone can copy it. It was thought he might want to republish it perhaps online. Council Member Long thought the town would incur a large expense to try to build a new master for printing purposes. He noted we are out of print right now. There is no cost associated.

Seconded by Supervisor Selmser

Adopted by a vote of 5 Ayes: Selmser, Glenn, Manning, Long, Kirch

At 8:15 pm the public hearing on Local Law #1 of 2019 was closed. Supervisor Selmser asked if they was any more discussion by the board.

Council Member Glenn made a motion to pay the bills as presented for audit and accept the minutes of the August 5 and 26th meetings. Seconded by Council Member Manning. All board members were in favor of the motion.

RESOLUTION #2019-095 to Adopt Local Law #1 of 2019 A Law providing for placement of Stop Signs on East Shore Road on West Caroga Lake was offered by Council Member Long at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday September 11, 2019 at town hall.

WHEREAS, the legal notice was placed in the Leader Herald newspaper on September 5, 2019 and

WHEREAS, a public hearing was conducted on September 11, 2019 on Local Law #1 of 2019 now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the follow Local Law will take effect immediately upon its filing with the New York State Secretary of State and reads as follows:

Local Law #1 of the year 2019 A local law providing for placement of stop signs on East Shore Road on West Caroga Lake. Be it enacted by the Town Board of the Town of Caroga as follows:

Section 1: Title

The title of this Local Law is “A Local Law For Placement of Stop Signs On East Shore Road On West Caroga Lake”.

Section 2: Purpose

It is the purpose of this local law to provide for the safety, health, protection and general welfare of persons and property along East Shore Road on West Caroga Lake at the time of the adoption of this law. The provisions of this law shall apply to the town road named East Shore Road located on the East side of West Caroga Lake. This Ordinance is adopted pursuant to the authority granted the Town of Caroga in Section 10 of the Municipal Home Rule Law, as well as authorized by Section 1660-a of the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York.

Section 3: Applicability

This Local Law shall apply only to East Shore Road located on West Caroga Lake.

Section 4: Definitions

The words and phrases used in this Local Law shall, for the purposes of this law, have the meanings respectively ascribed to them by the Vehicle and Traffic Law of the State of New York.

Section 5: Stop Signs

The Town Board hereby directs the Highway Superintendent to install stop signs at the new stop intersection locations on East Shore Road (West Caroga Lake) as indicated below. Stop intersections are intersections where at least one street in the intersection has a stop sign and, for the purpose of this Local Law, they are designated as follows:

  1. The intersection of Grove Avenue with East Shore Road is hereby designated as a stop intersection and stop signs shall be erected on East Shore Road on both the North and South approaches of its intersection with Grove Avenue.

  2. The intersection of Lakeview Avenue with East Shore Road is hereby designated as a stop intersection and stop signs shall be erected on East Shore Road on both the North and South approaches of its intersection with Lakeview Avenue.

  3. The intersection of Chapel Road with East Shore Road is hereby designated as a stop intersection and stop signs shall be erected on East Shore Road on both the North and South approaches of its intersection with Chapel Road.

Section 6: Penalties for Violations

Any person violating any provisions of this Local Law may be punished upon conviction with a fine of zero ($0.00) to two hundred-fifty and no/100’s ($250.00); a period of community service; a conditional or unconditional discharge, or another appropriate remedy where a demonstration of lack of ability to pay the fine is clearly demonstrated.

Section 7: Severability

If any clause, sentence, paragraph, subdivision, section or part of this Local Law shall be adjudged by any Court of competent jurisdiction to be invalid, such judgment shall not effect, impair or invalidate the remainder thereof.

Section 8: Effective Date

This Law shall take effect immediately upon its filing with the New York Secretary of State and remain in full force until repealed or otherwise amended in accordance with the laws of the State of New York, including but not limited to the New York Municipal Home Rule Law and Statute of Local Governments.

Seconded by Council Member Kirch

Adopted by roll call vote:

Supervisor James K. Selmser - Aye

Council Member John Glenn - Aye

Council Member Jeremy Manning - Aye

Council Member James Long - Aye

Council Member Kent Kirch - Aye

Council Member Manning discussed with the board one more step in the Morey Road process. He reached out to the Town Attorney two weeks ago to find out where we were at with that. Today he produced a petition to be signed by Supervisor Selmser tonight to allow the supervisor to submit the verified petition that names every property owner involved to the Supreme Court. Council Member Manning stated this has to be done tonight to keep that going.

RESOLUTION #2019-000 TO FORMALLY COMMENCE EMINENT DOMAIN LAW PROCEEDINGS FOR THE MOREY ROAD EXTENSION TRAIL PROJECT was offered by Council Member Long at the regular meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday September 11, 2019 at town hall.

WHEREAS, the Town Board of the Town of Caroga adopted Resolution 2017-040 to Amend Morey Road Extension Project;

WHEREAS, the Town Board of the Town of Caroga later adopted Resolution 2017-066 for the Eminent Domain Procedure Law Amended Determination and Findings of the Morey Road Extension Trail Project (Formerly “Amended Morey Road Project”);

WHEREAS, a proceeding was brought before the Supreme Court, Appellate Division of the Third Judicial Department pursuant to Eminent Domain Procedure Law § 207 by Charles Johnson and Helen Johnson to annul the amended determination and findings of the Morey Road Extension Trail Project made by the Town Board of the Town of Caroga;

WHEREAS the Supreme Court, Appellate Division of the Third Judicial Department, decided and entered its Memorandum and Judgment on June 21, 2018 in the Matter of Charles F. Johnson, et al., v. Town of Caroga, Index No.: 525369, affirming the determination and findings of the Town Board of the Town of Caroga and dismissing Petitioner’s Petition.

NOW THEREFORE, be it RESOLVED by the Town Board of the Town of Caroga that the Attorneys for the Town, as expeditiously as possible, shall formally commence eminent domain condemnation proceedings in order to secure acquisition of all or any remaining portion of the approximate fifteen (15) foot wide by One Thousand Seventy-Five (1,075) foot long strip of real property to be used as a snow mobile trail commencing at the western end of Morey Road (a paved public highway maintained by the Town of Caroga) and proceeding westerly through and/or along the above referenced parcels of real property of Respondents and terminating at lands owned by the State of New York.

Be it further RESOLVED by the Town Board of the Town of Caroga that a proposed Verified Petition has been reviewed by the Town Board and that the Town Supervisor is hereby authorized to sign and verify the truth of the allegations set forth in the proposed Verified Petition on behalf of the Town Board.

Be it further RESOLVED by the Town Board of the Town of Caroga that the Town Clerk/Collector, without prior action of the Town Board, shall, excepting for services rendered, disburse funds for any mandatory or required fees and costs necessary to file, serve and process said eminent domain condemnation proceedings before the Court of proper jurisdiction; and,

Be it further RESOLVED by the Town Board of the Town of Caroga that the Town of Caroga is committed to settle this matter at any stage of the proceedings that necessarily follow the enactment of this Resolution.

This Resolution shall take effect immediately.

Seconded by Council Member Manning

Discussion: Council Member Glenn stated he received this via email yesterday it says: "I should have the petition ready tomorrow for review and approval at the meeting for Jim to sign for verification. Once signed, I will follow it and mail it with letters to each of the landowners with the various offers that I have discussed with them. I am still waiting on Chris Voss to send me an updated survey map for the 2 rod road and I have spoken with the appraiser on the phone who has mentioned that the just value for the taken land has not likely changed. Once the lawsuit is filed, I will get updated appraisals to submit to the Court and Defendants.” Council Member Glenn asked what a two Rod Road was.

Council Member Long responded we are doing eminent domain for a mere 15 ft. but for those property owners which are willing to go in on this we are willing to do a two rod road.

Council Member Manning stated we have been after 15 feet for the last almost 3 years now. That has been the goal. The Johnsons we know will not go for the full width we want which is the two rods. The two rods was to make it a seasonal road. The highway superintendent noted we normally go for three rods. That is what a normal road is with the right-of-way and everything. It is basically down to two rods right now.

Further explanations to Council Member Glenn continued. We are doing this so the town can formally proceed. Previously the town had reached out to the property owners asking them to give the town a two rod easement then the town would be able to put in a seasonal road that the town would maintain and they could have access which would increase property values. There were four owners who may be willing to give the town the land/the easement. The Johnsons we know will not. If the property owners don’t want to do that then we would have the 15 ft. pretty much all the way through.

It was noted that this has to be filed within 45 days and then it is up to the court to schedule. The town has to file to keep the ball rolling. At any point in time the four petitioners could come to the town and say they agree to give the town the easement and then we could go at least to the Johnson’s property and then only use the Johnson’s property for the eminent domain portion, unless they acquiesce.

Council Member Glenn asked if any of the defendants in the case had the ability to appeal the whole process. Council Member Manning replied no. There are other steps in the process that can be challenged. Supervisor Selmser stated it could be transferred to another attorney in the future. Council Member Kirch stated it was possible it could get decided on before the end of the year. Attorney Dunn will send out letters to the owners again and request that they acquiesce to the easement. Council Member Glenn continued to have concerns over the width of the trail.

The question of the adoption of the foregoing Resolution was duly put to a vote on roll call, which resulted as follows:

Council Member John Glenn - Aye

Council Member Jeremy Manning - Aye

Council Member James Long - Aye

Council Member Kent Kirch - Aye

Supervisor James K. Selmser - Aye

At 8:30 pm Council Member Long made a motion to adjourn. The motion was seconded by Council Member Kirch. All board members were in favor of the motion.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Gilbert, RMC, CMC

Caroga Town Clerk

General Park #’s 36 - 40 $ 2,303.30

Highway #’s 149 - 164 $225,905.42

General #’s 252 - 283 $ 59,621.83

Prepaid #’s 199 - 224 $ 23,629.37