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State of New York
County of Fulton
Town of Caroga
Minutes of a Caroga Town Board Budget meeting held Wednesday September 25, 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 - Absent
Council Member James Long - Here
Council Member Kent Kirch - Here
There were 9 members of the public in attendance along with the Highway Superintendent - Steve Putman.
Supervisor Selmser opened the meeting with the pledge of allegiance. The public was invited to discuss any issues or concerns they wanted to bring to the boards attention.
Joyce Barrett thanked the highway department for the white lines painted at the stop signs at Chapel Road. She has noticed many more cars stopping at the intersection. There are not as many flying through. Secondly she requested that the women’s bathroom have a high rise toilet and grab bar installed. Access to the accessible facility is not always easy to use. It was noted that the stalls and doorways may not be wide enough. Council Member Long wondered if we were legally required to do this under ADA. The board thought they needed to do it. Supervisor Selmser will contact Tom Baird for a quote.
Scott Horton has been thinking about a few things for the board to consider during budget deliberations.
1) The highway garage needs to be painted
2) The gymnasium needs to be cleaned up and painted
3) Fund Golf course improvements (5 year plan) cart paths, fairways, equipment
4) Continue funding at same level for Lakes Management Program -It is making an impact
5) If the sale of Sherman’s is voted down there should be funding for signs (open – clean up after dog, carry in carry out) docks, BBQ grills, have more engineering evaluations done, & beach restoration. Budget for the cost to evaluate septic system/know capacity
6) Use planning services to define Town Center - create a vision
7) Support funding for Bike Trail
8) Salt Shed should be postponed for a year or so until funding is available
BUDGET: It was noted that the highway contract stipulates a 3% wage increase for the coming year. Certain numbers like pension, insurance, and medical coverage are hard numbers. The final deadline to adopt the budget is November 20th. A public hearing must be conducted on the salaries of the elected officials by the Thursday following Election Day and may be adjourned but not beyond November 15th.
Budget Director Joanne Young reviewed the document which had actual 2017 & 2018 and the 2019 actual YTD figures. The budget director based the budget on what was submitted by the department heads. The highlighted areas, for the most part, are changes from the 2019 budget. She explained PS is personal services (salaries). These can be discussed later.
Changes page 3 A1420.4 CE Attorney was discussed -remained @ $30,000.00
A1440.41 Sewage Study $36,000.00 in anticipation of a grant
A1450.4 Election per Fulton Co. BOE
A1620.1 Buildings P.S. increased by $10,000 to $25,000.00 currently can only work 20 hours a week, discussed hiring additional personnel. It was noted the salaries do not include any encumbered costs like FICA.
Changes page 4 A1910.4 Unallocated Ins. Decreased to $43,000.00
A1910.41 Golf Course Unallocated increased to $2,000.00 Discussion: noted she & supervisor never figured out the formula how to break it out to just the golf course
No changes to page 5
No Changes to page 6 major changes are personnel, demo unsafe bldg. highlighted Discussion:
It was noted the town has to own the property to demo it. Mr. Horton took down a small bldg. which cost $4,000 for asbestos removal plus $4,000 in other costs.
Changes to page 7 A4540.4 Ambulance new line item added Discussion: County may charge back to the towns for self-funding to provide gap coverage. The budget director stated for each call the town may have to incur a $150 - $200 cost. This would be administered by county.
Council Member Kirch reminded the board that last year the board agreed 3% increases to get back to where it should have been. We are making up for zero two years ago.
No changes made to page 8 Discussed: renovations to the highway garage, insulation, wiring, A5182.4 Street lighting will incur some cost for upgrade
Changes made to page 9 A7145.4 Recreation Trail was changed to $68,000. Discussions: The town will be reimburse for this. The budget has to reflect the income and expense. Mr. Jennings may still purchase a new piece of equipment this year – there is money still in the budget. A7180.4 fund is under used, no recent renovations to the building. This line item pays for electricity, phone and cable.
No changes to page 10 Discussion: A7550.4 Celebrations was used in the past for fireworks. Suggested use of funds was for new brackets for flags on poles and/or new flags.
Changes to page 11 A8020.41 Comprehensive Plan line amount added $2,000. Discussion: Supervisor Selmser though funds should be available for county support services perhaps for work on a sewer system, bike trail or to update Comprehensive Plan. It was noted the town gets 10 hours of free planning services. Gene Centi reviewed his budgetary needs for salaries, equipment, and parts. Boats have been winterized but payment will be made in January as the line item is out of money. Council Member Kirch made the observation that all of the money on the diver line item A8090.12 has never been used. There is at least $20,000.00 tied up. Next year if we were short you can make a transfer from it. Next year there will be some education programs, one is planned for the school. Council Member Long encouraged Mr. Centi to use the services of Mike Durkee and Marcus Harazin on any grant work. The town has an existing weed program. This year grant money went to about 100 towns that didn’t have any program.
Changes page 12 A8810.4 budget increased to $300 due to an invoice submitted this year for mowing. It was thought the church did not want to do the mowing. The town used to do it in house. Mr. Centi noted there is a trailer that can be used to transport mowers. A stipend could be made for maintenance to mow.
Refuse and Garbage was discussed: The county may make a minor increase in some recycling rates next year. Council Member Kirch wanted to reduce the line item A8160.4 but that is where repairs on the garbage truck are paid from. The supervisor suggested an offset of the reserve on the garbage truck. The cost to replace the garbage truck was $170,000 something. The warranty is off the vehicle. Mr. Putman noted the cost of truck tires are expensive.
The main increase in the Landfill testing was because of the catch up of testing that had to be done.
Fish & Game A8720.2 line item added $500 for stocking based on a request. Council Member Long stated Canada Lakes Conservation Assoc. was also going to ask for consideration. ECLPA spends about $2000. WCLA also contributes. The clerk remembered in the past fund raising was done by the associations to stock the lakes. The game club raffles off guns to fund fish stocking. Working collectively with all three lakes was suggested. Mr. Centi questioned how the money would be divvied up. It was noted West Lake may want to be included.
No changes to page 13 Discussed: Undistributed there is nothing in A9010.8 YTD because we make the payment in December. Worker Compensation figure were obtained from the County - no change in what was paid this previous year. The golf course was split out on A9040.81. The unemployment line item was reduced from the previous year. There will be a minimal change in health insurance next year. Golf Course health insurance was reduced because the number was high only one person gets the insurance. The HRA part of the insurance plan is a variable.
The bookkeeper asked if the board wanted to fund reserves before the end of the year. Supervisor Selmser stated it would be considered after they are done with this budget in early December.
Revenues were not reviewed at this time. The board skipped over to page 17.
The budget director noted the increases in DA5110.1 due to contract negotiations. DA5110.4 was amended this year because of the expenditure of CHIPS money. A change in DA5120.4 Bridges contractual was increased by $10,000. The money for this year will be spent in the next two weeks. The clerk noted the paperwork for reimbursement from all three funds CHIPS, Winter Recovery, and Pave NY was submitted yesterday.
Changes to page 18 reviewed as submitted by the Budget Director, Discussion: about health insurance, uniforms/safety equipment DA9089.8 changed to $6,500.00. DA9720.6 reflects that 2020 will be the first payment of the truck for the bond principal and interest.
Revenues: Changes to page 14 Real Property Taxes A1001 was skipped over. Interest keep as proposed. Cable Franchise Fee A1170 was increased to $29,000.00 in anticipation of rates going up the town received a percentage. Zoning Fees A2110 was reduced to $500.00. Garbage Disposal fees raised to $17,000.00. The Budget director noted that A2401 Interest & Earnings will go up due to negotiated new rates on a CD line item kept as proposed.
Changes to page 15 Discussion: Rental of Real Property A2410 was reduced to $7200.00. It was noted that we haven’t had a contract for about five years with the clinic. Rental of Equipment is a three year contract for garbage pickup in Bleecker. (They pay the tipping fees). Building Permits A2555 remained as proposed. Fines, Forfeits of bail A2610 is consistently over what is budgeted for was reduced to $13,000 from the proposed $14,000.
Changes to page 16 Discussed: State Aid A3001 amount to come in was in question but the supervisor thinks it will happen next year toward the end of the year. The amount put on the line was $4,000.00. Mortgage Tax A3005 was reduced to $20,000.00. Under Other Culture & recreation Grant A4889 was reduced to $68,000.00.
It was noted that revenue could be incurred if the town sells the 2004 truck. Supervisor Selmser will call about the delivery date for the new truck.
At 9:02 pm Council Member Long made a motion to adjourn. Supervisor Selmser stated there was a conflict with the next budget meeting on October 2nd. The clerk noted the conflict has been resolved – the planning board is meeting on Thursday October 3rd. Council Member Kirch stated there was a personnel matter to be discussed with the other board members this evening.
At 9:03 pm Supervisor Selmser made a motion to enter into an executive session for hopefully a short... Council Member Kirch seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.
At 9:13 pm Supervisor Selmser made a motion to exit from the executive session. Council Member Long seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion. The clerk asked if there were any decisions or action taken as a result of the executive session. Several board members responded no; another stated we never do. There may be at the next meeting.
Council Member Kirch discussed with the board the open question with the phone system. He asked if money needed to be budgeted for that. His second concern was in speaking with the assessor she strongly encouraging the board to do a full re-evaluation of the town. The amount was about $23,000.00 per year for two years. Council Member Long noted the state wants the town to be a 100%. Mathematically he stated it doesn’t make any difference. Council Member Kirch stated the benefits to residents is that when everybody is fully assessed 100% everybody is paying their fair share of taxes. The impact according to the assessor is that generally 1/3 will stay the same, 1/3 will pay less than they have been paying, and a 1/3 will pay more because they haven’t been paying their fair share. It is all about equity Council Member Kirch stated. Council Member Long stated we have a mechanism for addressing inequity right now: BAR. The assessor showed Council Member Kirch some good examples of when it was done the last time – it was not fully completed and there was some bad collection of information – like drawings submitted.
Council Member Glenn asked what exactly would she do if the board wanted to have a re- evaluation done. She would herself along with some additional people she would hire would go to every single property in the town and do a physical review of the property on the exterior. They would use that to update the records. She has an outside consultant that does some analysis of information through computer systems. The board wondered what the number of parcels were in the town. It was noted that there are a lot of vacant parcels and lots of state land. Council Member Glenn stated he hears she is not terribly busy when she comes up here. He thought she could use part of her time to do the preliminary work. Council Member Kirch asked her about that she could do some but not a lot. In 2020 the cost would be $26,500.00 and in 2021 $24,500.00. Supervisor Selmser stated it is an investment and the return is zero. Council Member Kirch stated it is just about equity.
Supervisor Selmser note the total amount we can raise the budget by is $32,000.00. Last year it was $22,000.00. Council Member Kirch stated given the other priorities we have this is probably not a good time to do it.
At 9:21 Council Member Long made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Council Member Kirch. All board members were in favor of the motion.
Linda M. Gilbert – RMC, CMC
Caroga Town Clerk
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