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State of New York

County of Fulton

Town of Caroga

Minutes of the regular monthly Caroga Town Board meeting held Wednesday December 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. The flag salute followed.

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

Other town department representatives in attendance were: Steve Putman – Highway Superintendent, BTI Coordinator John Delesky, Supervisor Elect Scott Horton, Council Members Elect Ricky Sturgess and Donald Travis, Highway Superintendent Elect Larry Voght and 51 members of the public.

Public Speaking John Delesky wanted the public to know that on November 23rd there was a call out for the fire department. A 30 year old was a cardiac arrest. Ralph Palcovic responded with the fire department along with Fulton County Sheriff Dept. and State Police. CPR was performed by bystanders and very strenuous. After two shocks and breathing for the patient he responded with a heartbeat and was breathing on his own. He was medevaced out to Albany Medical Center. On December 9th the individuals at the scene were recognized by the Fulton County Board of Supervisors. Next year the fire department will be sponsoring CPR classes. Mr. Delesky said if you see Mr. Palcovic say thanks. (Applause)

Supervisor Selmser noted the first responders give of themselves more than we realize. He noted we have a lot of great volunteers locally.

The public hearing on Proposed Local Law #2 Re: Short Term Rental Ordinance Town of Caroga NY was opened at 7:04 pm. The supervisor stated it was not a guarantee that it would be voted upon it is a process to go through.

Trish Isabella has a summer home she rents out. She stated there were a lot of strong words in the proposal she did not like. She stated the ones doing the weekly rentals keep their properties in nice shape. She was not in favor of another tax along with the bed tax the county has implemented. Her question is why? Do you need money? Have things been happening? In the short term rental document there now is a noise ordinance. Mrs. Isabella stated she called once to find out if there was one. She does not want to see anymore additional taxes or fees put on her. She brings in people from out of the area to spend money at restaurants, and renting boats. If there are safety and health concerns maybe the town should send out a packet to the 40 people who rent in Caroga. The town has no lodging for people to come and enjoy Caroga Lake. She asked the board to think about how much these rentals bring to the community. She suggested if there was a problem to talk to the wonderful code officer. She is offended and opposed to it.

Merryn Byrnes is a resident, business owner and also does short term rentals. She is missing her daughter’s Christmas Concert to be here to make sure this doesn’t happen tonight without proper research, discussions, and input from all parties involved. She stated we have to establish what the real problem is. She wants the town to come up with real solutions that will fix the problem but not create problems. The short term rentals are more beneficial to the town than the problems they create. They bring more business to the town. We don’t have lodging to bring people in for more than a day. The town receives sales tax revenue from this and the 4% bed tax goes to promote tourism for our area. She noted the cost in implementing the proposal. Another Code Officer would have to be hired to deal with this. She asked if the town had done a survey of how may short term rentals there are in town. She noted the homes in Caroga are old and some situations may not be fixable. She did not know what the town was going to benefit by doing this. She wanted to know what the permit fee was going to be. If this is because other Adirondack towns are doing this she feels that Caroga Lake is completely different from say Lake Placid. There may be some reasons for the regulations but want the board to have properly researched it and to get the input of the town before they do.

Ricky Sturgess a convenience store owner and just purchased a house to Airbnb in town. He felt that without the Airbnb’s in town it makes it hard for businesses in town to survive. It has opened up the doors to give them business in the winter time. These people buy vacation homes which are tough to afford in the first place let alone come up every weekend of the year. Here is their opportunity to make a little cash to justify the expense of having the home. He feels this is being rushed through. He thought it should be tabled until the next board takes over. (Applause)

Al Kozakiewicz a resident of the town would like to see this sort of activity encouraged. There is no reason to discourage short term rentals. It is good for the health of the community and economic development in town. He thought whatever is ultimately proposed and adopted be the least restrictive way of accomplishing some legitimate government interest. He also suggested doing this at the last meeting of this incarnation of the board is probably a mistake. Let the next board deal with it because they are the ones going to have to deal with the law of unintended consequences which no one here has the power to appeal. (Applause)

John DonVito bought a house on East Shore Road three years ago and is buying two more houses to rehabilitate. He just sold a house on Second Ave. to people from Maryland who will be coming back to enjoy their summers here. He has college bills for two kids and being able to rent to Airbnb has been good. His first year he had 25% occupancy with Airbnb and was there most of the summer himself. He noted from looking at the county budget that the hotel tax went from $130,000 in 2017 to $220,000 in 2019. He is assuming that is where the Airbnb money went. That is a 57% increase. One of the concerns of the ordinance was that it was going to go into full force he thought the procedure should be slower. There aren’t the resources (contractors) to do some of the necessary work done on the spot. Most of his rentals were from out of state. In college he learned about the importance of interstate commerce. He noted the lack of hotel to support tourism in Caroga. He asked that this not be approved right away. “You don’t put people out of business.” (Applause)

Danny Omara is on the opposite end of the spectrum. He rents sporadically. In reading through the proposed ordinance he will just stop renting. He does it to offset taxes and this would not be worth his effort in the future.

Cheryl Hockey owns Southern Adirondack Pines Campground a lot of this doesn’t even apply to us. but agrees with everything that everybody has said here. It's important to look at health and safety and make sure people are safe. This seems very restrictive. Why today? She stated a lot of people who own vacation homes don't live up here and are not being represented tonight. They have found over the years the more the merrier. She stated there were great opportunities for tourism here our lakes are beautiful our hiking is beautiful. They have customers that come from foreign countries, other states, because it’s beautiful here. There's no reason to move forward in such a way to discourage that. They’ve gotten feedback from local stores and restaurants and how much business they brought their way and we need to encourage more of that. Not less. Yes this is important but this is an expensive and difficult. Let's slow it down and make sure it's done in the least restrictive way. (Applause)

Kelly Irwin has had a rental house for 5 years. She lives in New York City and she is pro-regulation. She wants things done for her by the government that she doesn't want to do. Some things the town is asking are ambiguous. The thing about not parking on your own grass is a little over the top. She asked the board what they would do with the money. Would that be used to promote tourism? She thought it was a good idea to have smoke detectors in every bedroom and a fire extinguisher at the front and back door. She will do that. (Applause)

Mr. Carnicelli asked who proposed this legislation. Supervisor Selmser responded that is legislation that is basically copied after other municipality’s regulations that have been established. Mr. Selmser noted he attended a local government conference and this was one of the sessions. Issues regarding the need for it or the problems that occurred that they hope to solve through some regulation and inspections. This was modeled after Lake George, Lake Placid, Warrensburg, and the Town of Mayfield. Mr. Selmser noted there are 22 active rental properties. He thought that might have increased. Mr. Carnicelli said this template, which is pages long, is going to be applied to 22 properties? Tony Carnicelli and his wife Joyce own two properties here one of which they use for an Airbnb. They just rehabilitated the property. It's been unoccupied for 10 years. There's no reason in the world to over-regulate everything. This is prohibitive. He noted they have brought their property up to codes. He doesn't have any issues but you're talking about the safety of 22 people who rent. The normal building code is in effect for every property and Caroga. Why would you take these 22 properties and add this restriction to them which by law are there already supposed to be to code. What makes the safety of these renters any different from the safety of the regular residents of Caroga Lake? You have a part-time building inspector who works till 2 three times a week he's hard to get ahold of. He stated that there has been a history of discrimination against people who own lake front property. He referred to a reassessment that was done a couple of years ago and they reassessed the lakefront property but didn't do the rest of the town for the next three years before they implemented it. He talked to the state technically it can be done this way but nobody else in the state does it like that. This is really government overkill. He stated the law is absolutely ridiculous. (Applause) Mrs. Carnicelli noted that many people have rehabbed rundown properties and made beautiful homes. This increases property values, it brings tourism here. She wants to bring attention to the quality of life in Caroga.

Janet Lasher of Kasson Drive fell in love with Caroga in 2017 it took them until April of this year to find something they could buy. When they bought their property it had two rentals already set up one man was coming from Ohio for 2 weeks another person was coming from Kentucky. She noted the demand for people looking to stay in Caroga Lake. She went through the process of listing her property on the Airbnb site. They ask so many questions before you can advertise on the site. They ask if you have smoke alarms, do you have a fire extinguisher do you have a railing for your steps, how many bedrooms, how many bathrooms. She was stressed to make sure that this cottage was acceptable to even rent to anybody. There are so many guidelines before you can advertise with them. She was not sure if the board was aware of that. This is upsetting news to her because she felt she's done everything right. She stated she took a 20-foot roll-off of garbage just to make her property what she thought was acceptable. She has to turn people down because she wants to be there. She thinks the board should do more research before jumping into this. (Applause)

Shirley Holliday stated from what she's hearing from everybody she thought we are not Lake Placid or Saranac Lake and the people are doing what they are supposed to be doing. She thinks it is terrible the board is rushing this short-term rental thing. It should be up to the next board. She does not believe it should be implemented. This is bringing business into town. She noted the five to six businesses that have recently closed in town. You're not going to get them back with all these regulations.

Tricia Isabella asked how the board would feel if these 22 people said we are not feeling welcomed in this community we are we are feeling targeted so let's sell our property.

Mr. Selmser stated that the rental properties are a way to get people that haven't been here before to come. The majority of those people come back and a lot of them want to buy property. It's not something we want to discourage but we want to make sure they have a good experience here they are safe and the other residents are also safe. We have a lot of narrow roads and especially in the winter time it's hard to get around. We don't want to have an instance where capacity of certain structures can only accommodate a few people. We don't want to have more than what they can accommodate and have extra cars and problems that could be a life-and-death situation.

Ricky Sturgess asked how many incidents has have we had so far? Mr. Selmser responded we haven't that I know of but a lot of other communities... Mr. Sturgess stated we only care about this community. Mr. Selmser stated the intent of this is to establish a foundation and allow the future board to implement it and established the criteria they want for the property owners and to set fees. No fees have been proposed. He noted a lot of the wording is based on State Fire Regulations. Mr. Sturgess noted the people in this room have accepted that foundation and there have been zero incidences. Mrs. Isabella asked is the reason you started this was to set fees. No was the response from Mr. Selmser that would be the future board. There may be some recommendations from what other communities do. Mrs. Isabella stated if you really wanted to help people you could put something in the paper or mail something out with the taxes. The town could have Mr. Duesler doing inspection for $55 to have a certification to send to your insurance company. Maybe it will help reduce your costs. She stated she has a second layer of insurance for the three months that she rents. It cost her $200. Her insurance company comes out and does the inspection. You are not reaching your hand out to help people who are renting. You're reaching your hand out to get a piece of it. We already pay 4%. To add one more fee every 3 years is unacceptable.

Mr. Sturgess asked how we are going to police this? Are we going to have a code officer on duty 7 days a week. Council Member Long stated to Mr. Sturgess ,who is going to be a part of this board in a few days, that the code office budget has doubled. This board has budgeted for a two people: essentially a clone of John Duesler. Council Member Long stated it is possible to have other officers paid or unpaid. The dog control officer is on call: these are solvable problems. To address a comment made by a couple people, this is not intended in any way to be a general revenue source for the town. All of our fees that we set for building permits don't quite cover our costs. We intended they cover our costs, but they don't. When you go for a zoning variance, the postage alone and posting in the Leader Herald and you’ve blown the cost right out of the water.

Mr. Sturgess asked how you were going to cover his fees at his store. His store puts food in his kid’s mouths and will put his kids through college if everybody in this room is going to stop doing short-term rentals like this man here.

Council Member Long stated another comment that was made saying that all of these buildings were up to code. All of us know that's not true. He noted there was no code prior to 1977. There are many, many buildings far from being up to code. If the homeowner is fine with that that's their prerogative but as soon as there is a transaction that involves a member of the public coming into that building we have a responsibility, as of town, to protect that person coming into that building that we can address any other way.

Scott Horton stated we're talking about a local law here. First there hasn't even been a reason to do this. It's all speculation. I've been here for many years and I've never come to a town board meeting where someone has come in to complain about renters. There are not a large number of incidences that warrant the town to consider a law as onerous as this is. It over steps the reach of government. I disagree with Council Member Long I think that we have to make sure government does their job properly which is making sure that we know what's residential and what's commercial. If somebody rents for a weekend or two we put them in a commercial class. If you do that you better go back to the Planning Board and re-zone. We are a residential community. What goes on in a residential seasonal community people rent their places out they have parties they make some extra noise. But people come and enjoy our community. He did not think that we should discourage that. We should be encouraging that. Mr. Horton noted that enforcement is going to be an issue. Even if we have more money in the budget the code office is getting more and more building permit applications. They are overworked. He applauds what the board has done in this budget for that department. Mr. Horton suggested slowing this down and take a look at it from a different perspective. If we find out that there is a need we can do something else. Like the packet that was suggested. He noted that the town was not involved in the Airbnb. That is between the property owner, and the renter. They are responsible for having health and safety issues addressed. Mr. Horton noted the grandfathering, which is for the existing, doesn't comply any longer. We're going to have a lot of that in this town because our buildings are older. When you go to replace windows and they have to be a means of egress that can get onerous and expensive when you have to tear out a wall. He suggested that we hold off on this wait until it's a real problem. He thought maybe the code officer could make suggestions to people who are offering Airbnb’s. (Applause)

Council Member Glenn was interested in the guidelines posted on the Airbnb website. Mrs. Lasher responded it was on the VRBO website. She has put a lot of money into her place. It took her 2 hours to review the guideline and set up everything. He thought that might solve our problems.

Mrs. Hockey added that anyone who is on the Airbnb lives by their reviews. That it is a self- policing thing. If you have a septic problem, a noise problem, or a neighbor problem, or a parking problem it is going to come up on the review and then you are sunk. Anybody who rents goes above and beyond to makes sure every single thing is spotless and clean safe and in good working order.

Mr. Carnicelli stated that this year the Airbnb is going to start self-policing because of some disaster or big parties in San Francisco of over use - management by crisis. They will be doing their own inspections maybe not physical but to make sure that what you are advertising on Airbnb is in fact what you ‘re getting. He also noted there was going to be a million dollar liability polity attached to the rental. He agreed this was a self –policing program you live by your reviews if you get a bad one nobody comes back. Short term rentals are advantageous to this town.

Council Member Kirch complimented this crowd. Tonight has been one of the best open public sessions we’ve had. He thought we needed some basic standards for rental properties in town. He thought the law everybody’s been looking at is not in the condition it needs to be and may not be exactly what it should be for us to vote on and pass it tonight. He agreed with most of the comments that were made by the public tonight. He thinks they’re all very good comments . He also thinks that probably most of the properties we are talking about are some of the best in town as far as condition of the buildings and so on and probably don’t need a lot of this. But some basic standards would be good. When he has talked to people about this he hears stories about septic problems on the lakefront that sound bad. He thought it was a very small percentage of these properties. He did not think this law, in its current form, is ready to go. As a board we are not intending to reduce rental property activity. He thinks his board should be doing everything it can to promote tourism to promote visitors. We need Airbnb and VRBO in this town. The fees are not for the money but it is to kind of cover the cover of the code office operations. He shares the concerns that the code office has already stretched and this will make it even more so. If anything is implemented by the next board it should be phased in overtime to give people time if they need it to comply. Most already comply. We need to do things to encourage this kind of activity not discourage it.

Council Member Glenn noted that Mr. Duesler could not be here tonight. He will be incorporated more into this process. The observation he had was that Airbnb’s are basically self-regulating. He wondered if some sort of group or committee could be formed to sit down and talk with the board / Planning Board to come up with some guidelines. Mr. Dan Vito responded that he supports that. The best policy is developed by the people in the trenches doing the work

Council Member Glenn agrees with Council Member Kirch that this should be discussed by the new board. He was also interested in having the speakers this evening help out with this process to come up with some good guidelines. (Applause)

The Clerk noted that correspondence was also received from Dale Going, Virginia Mackey, and Tor Shekerjian. They had questions on the proposed legislation – the same concerns that were presented here this evening.

At 7:52 p.m. the public hearing on the proposed local law what's closed.

Supervisor Selmser stated that the intent was to start someplace it didn't mean that we were going to take action tonight to finalize something. It is a process that may take other meetings and that was the intent to start someplace and work through the conclusion. Some of this process may not have included all of the board members and definitely it has not included our code enforcement officer who has to have input because he will be enforcing the regulations and doing the inspections if this was adopted in the future. Supervisor Selmser thought the consensus is it can be discussed further but it is premature to move forward on it. This is a starting point and can evolve to something else. But it is mirrored after 4 communities and requirements that usual commercial businesses have to abide by. Maybe I can be worked around so it's more of a recommendation instead of a law.

Council Member Manning stated he didn't feel we were at a point where we can move forward either there are issues. He stated this law was prepared by our attorney and there are things that can be added or removed from it. Again the intent of this was not to discourage rentals whatsoever the intent is to protect people in the homes and the neighborhoods. These are primarily residential zoning districts that were talking about so the intent there is to find a way to balance what’s now becoming a commercial use in a residential district. Future boards can take this as a recommendation and go from there.

Council Member Glenn made a motion to table this entire discussion. (Light Applause) the motion was seconded by Council Member Kirch. All board members were in favor of the motion.

Several attendees leave the meeting.

Department Reports:

Assessor’s Report – No Report

Code Enforcement & Sanitation – Supervisor Selmser noted Mr. Duesler reported he was compiling a list of suggested zoning changes pertaining to dock issues, and allowing or prohibiting shipping containers to be used for storage. Annual code training will be in Lake Placid the cost is $922.00

RESOLUTION #2019-120 to authorize the code officer to attend annual training was offered by Council Member Long at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday December 11, 2019 at town hall.

WHEREAS, the Code Officer John Duesler reported in his monthly report the need to attend annual required training, and

WHEREAS, the training will be in Lake Placid again this year, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Code officer is authorized to travel to Lake Placid with the cost of the training at $922.00.

Seconded by Council Member Kirch

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

Sixteen building permits were issued for the month of November; he collected $1,375.00 in permit fees with a valuation of the construction at $213,500.00

Council Member Glen thought the dock issue should be taken care of by the Zoning Board or Planning Board. Allowing shipping containers – he’s never thought about that. Supervisor Selmser read an article in the Gazette newspaper recently about another municipality banning them. This has popped up. There is one in town center. The clerk noted this was prohibited in the previous ordinance but did not get transferred over. An example was the back of a school bus could not be used for storage. The supervisor stated some of the wording the APA told us it had to be.

BTI – Mr. Delesky reported that the 2019 usage was reported to the Warrensburg office as required. Five applicator licenses have been renewed. BTI is stored and labeled for next year. The supervisor has signed the 5 year renewal application. The Town of Stratford wants to hold a 30 hr. class here in Caroga in January.

Clerk/Tax Collector/Registrar/RMO – Monthly report submitted to the board. The clerk apologized for not forwarding the agenda packet to the board members. The clerk noted in her report that The Comptroller’s Office has been notified that the Secretary James Long has not supplied the required BAR minutes and documents. Since completed files for the ZBA and Planning Boards have not been given to the clerk a voucher will be submitted at a rate of $30 per hour for time spent doing the work of the Secretary if the documents are not submitted to her by noon on Dec. 13th. The clerk is working to purge records in the records room – department head will be notified prior to disposal. The clerk also noted in the monthly report that the proposed Local Law was not properly introduced. The Tax Collector – Linda Gilbert noted the need to establish a petty cash fund for Tax Collection

RESOLUTION #2019-121 to establish a petty cash fund for Tax Collection was offered by Council Member Long at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on

WHEREAS, the tax collector noted the need to establish a petty cash fund for Tax Collection for the purpose of making change in the amount of $300.00, and

WHEREAS, the fund shall be available for the period of time between December 1st and April 30th each year, now therefore be it

RESOLVED that the Caroga Town Board does hereby move to establish a petty cash fund for Tax Collection with the funds coming from A0210.00, and does further RESOLVE to authorize the supervisor to pay the audit of claims via the prepaid account.

Seconded by Council Member Kirch

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

Dog Control – Mr. Dutcher reported 3 calls for the month to the clerk. Supervisor Selmser wondered if they were reoccurring the clerk believed one of them was.

Golf Course – The clerk received email quote from Grassland for a Reelmaster 3550D and a Greensmaster 3150-Q – new equipment. This will be reviewed next year. The supervisor stated there was money in the budget for next year. Mr. Jennings will have to justify the proposed purchase prior to any action being taken by the future board.

Highway – Mr. Putman – Highway Superintendent reported the furnace in the barn was acting up again. The belts are acting up. It is barely a year old. Council Member Glenn will follow up on this.

Mr. Putman noted there is still an OSHA violation with the eye wash station. Everything is there for a plumber to install.

Mr. Putman received a notice to appear on January 23, 2020 for an ongoing court case regarding the stop sign. He stated he would no longer be an employee of the town. He will if the board wants him to go but they will have to pay him for his time. Nothing is free. Mr. Putman did not believe this was a summons. Supervisor Selmser will call the insurance company on this matter and let the new supervisor know about this matter.

Mr. Putman stated a locksmith has to be called about a problem with the lock on the main entrance door on highway barn. Sometimes you can come in sometimes you can’t. Sometimes it won’t let you out. Supervisor Selmser will contact Stewart and Bergen tomorrow. It is a fire hazard.

The Highway Superintendent stated the new truck is working great. The 2013 is not working well. Cummings diesel is coming to look at it. Even though it is not the oldest truck he recommends dumping it. It has been a problem from day one. Mohawk Freightliner can’t even fix it. The new plow system has been phenomenal. It takes less time to do the work.

As outgoing Highway Superintendent Mr. Putman thanked the Clerk Linda Gilbert and Deputy Clerk Judy Aldinger for helping him get things done and getting things accomplished. He thought his track record speaks for itself. Along with their help he has done as good as the last five ahead of him. Try to prove differently if you can. He has bought this department a long ways. To this day guys who have 30 years on him in still ask him for help on equipment they’ve worked on all that time. He hopes they won’t’ be left out in the cold on that. There is a lot to the job than just getting in the truck.

Mr. Putman stated he got ragged on about the golf course. He wished Steve Jennings was here. There has never ever, ever been a time that if Mr. Jennings asked for help on the golf course that they did not supply it. He took down monster trees for him, dug rocks for him, and delivered stuff. There is a lot of BS out there on this. Also he was a fire and safety officer with the stated. He saw a variety of safety violation there. He did not want anyone to get hurt. After three incidents involving the chipper being left running unattended, all that needed to be done was to hit a button and turn the key off, Mr. Putman refused to let them use it anymore. He did speak to Mr. Jennings on the side about this.

Mr. Putman noted he had to fire a guy this year and one quit but he had enough on him to fire him. He wished he did because all he did was chirp and bash the town unfortunately. Mr. Putman noted when he regulates the roads and post weight limits it is basically because the work done on the road

before he took the job were not done right. When people park on the roads in the winter the big plow trucks can’t get around them on the side roads. It is a safety issue for the people plowing. Plowing across the road notices were sent out last year. He will make sure a copy of the law is on the desk of the new highway superintendent. South Shore Rd of East Caroga got so bad the school bus couldn’t go through. That is why he said something, unfortunately. That is the real deal for new people coming into office.

Last but not least during the voting there were signs against him about nepotism. That never happened. It is a shame to see how that went. So this is where you are at now. Mr. Putman thanked Linda and Judy again.

Lakes Management Program – No report, Council Member Glenn asked if there was information on the lake steward program. Supervisor Selmser will give him information on the grant tomorrow. He expects reimbursement checks soon. Today the clerk was able to obtain hour by hour breakdown of usage from Paul Smiths College and also by number of boats inspected at each location. Council Member Long asked for the reports to be sent to the board. He didn’t think that information would be ready until January.

Town Hall Building – The furnace is working. The Supervisor called asking for the bill.

Youth – No report

Historian – No report

Supervisor’s Report

Supervisor Selmser stated he is putting in an invoice for a survey. Some basic information he asked for was collected. He needed placement of wells and will receive updated information at no additional charge.

Monthly financial reports were given to the board members. There are some budget adjustments.

RESOLUTION #2019-122 to make necessary transfers to maintain a balanced budget was offered by Council Member Long at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday December 11, 2019 at town hall.

WHEREAS, the Bookkeeper Joanne Young has indicated a need to make the following necessary transfers in order to maintain a balance budget now therefore be it RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board does hereby move to make the following transfers:

To: A1420.4 Attorney CE $10,000.00

From: A1990.4 Contingency Acct. $10,000.00

To: 7180.2 Golf Course Equip. $ 7,150.00

From: A7180.4 Golf Course CE $ 7,150.00

To: A1450.4 Elections CE $ 150.00

From: A1620.4 Building CE $ 150.00

To: DA9060.8 Health Insurance $ 8,000.00

From: DA9050.8 Unemployment $4,000.00

From: DA9089.8 Uniforms $4,000.00

Seconded by Council Member Kirch

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

RESOLUTION #2019-123 to make the following money transfers to fund the reserves as determined in the 2019 budget was offered by Supervisor Selmser at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday December 11, 2019 at town hall.

WHEREAS, the Caroga Town board desires to fund reserves in four various accounts, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the following money is to be transferred to reserves listed below as determined in the 2019 budget:

To: A9950.9 Capital Reserve $10,000.00

To: A9950.91 Weed Harvester Reserve $15,000.00

To: A9950.92 Garbage Truck Reserve $10,000.00

To: DA9901.9 Equipment Reserve $10,000.00

Seconded by Council Member Long

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

Supervisor Selmser was notified by NBT Mang Insurance regarding removing the Sherman’s Property off our insurance as of the end of November. The town will receive a credit of $2,809.75. The insurance company received the information on the new plow truck which created a debit of $481.80, and to insure the new golf equipment the cost will be $354.70. The town will receive a net of $1,973.25.

The supervisor noted it is the end of the year and he has calculated a history from the bills from the Fulton County Department of Solid Waste. The town was charged $16,566.28 for transfer station usage. The town collected $17,955.00 in permit fees to offset the expense. He noted we have one more month of expenses. Next year the tipping fees will be going up on some of the recycling materials.

Supervisor Selmser received notification from the state that the town can expect a check for the AIM related payments in the amount of $5,369.00. This is what is budgeted.

Update on LED lighting: Council Member Long has a copy and is in the loop on this. We are trying to move forward on the buyout of our current equipment. He received a positive email back dated November 27. They will send the PSC agreement and attach agreements for the town to sign. Once the agreements are duly signed National Grid then PSC reviews the request for sale and move forward with a revised quote. They have dragged their feet on this since the town passed this resolution on 5/29/19.

A review of the computer systems was done. We received a quote back locally. The supervisor also contacted the County IT department. If we want to purchase new equipment with windows 10 on state contract the cost is $560.00. Another vendor gave a feedback on buying new equipment. We are moving forward on this. The recommendation from the county director is if it is old equipment – the county is not replacing everything because in most cases you don’t need to.

The clerk gave the supervisor information from the APA on review of emergency projects. The supervisor thought the town had been notified previously (a few years ago) on this. The clerk passed this information on to the highway superintendent.

Old Business:

DEC Smart Growth Grant – Council Member Manning announced from a preliminary announcement in September then that the town was awarded the 2019 DEC Smart Growth Grant in the amount of $64,367.56 for the Wheelerville Bike Trail Project. (Applause) This is in the budget for next year. He has been working with the Adirondack Foothills Trail Association out of Utica. They have some projects up in Old Forge. We would use some of their builders and additionally overseeing it long term through marketing, advertising it, and also using the volunteers long term as well. At the next meeting – the organizational we have to establish three new positions in the town a trail director who oversees the entire process, and also does the grant administration, a lead trail builder, and also there are labor positions. He has people lined up. These positions are mentioned in the grant. Supervisor Selmser noted those positions would be reimbursable next year. Council Member Manning confirmed this. He noted the way the grant was written we would be hiring people on. We can start building as soon as the snow melts. Council Member Manning was thanked by the supervisor and congratulated by Council Member Kirch.

New Business:

The clerk noted the need to place an ad for the deadline to pay all claims against the town for the year 2019.

RESOLUTION #2019-124 to set a deadline for claims against the town for the year 2019 and to place an ad was offered by Council Member Long at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday December 11, 2019 at town hall.

WHEREAS, the clerk noted the need to set a deadline for all claims to be submitted against the town for the year 2019 and to advertise the notice in the Leader Herald newspaper, and

WHEREAS, the Caroga Town Board discussed and agreed that the deadline to submit claims against the town should be December 27, 2019, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that all claims against the Town of Caroga for the year 2019 shall be submitted to the town by December 27, 2019 and be it further RESOLVED that the supervisor is hereby authorized to pay and settle all claims.

Seconded by Council Member Glenn

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

Supervisor Selmser asked if there were any questions on correspondence - there were none.


Association of Towns Webinar “Just Elected -What do you Do Now?” 12/12 and

New Town Officials Schools January 15 – 17 in Albany NY info on www.nytowns.org

AOT annual meeting Feb. 16 – 19 2020 New York City

Caroga Transfer Station Closed 12/25 and 1/1 But will be open 12/26 & Jan 2nd 9 am – Noon

2020 Rabies Clinics Jan. 15, Free must pre-register, May 20 Free, Sept 16 Free, ($10 donation suggested) & Nov 18th must pre-register cost is $10 per Dog or Cat or Ferret cash only, 5:30 – 7:30 pm at 2714 State Hwy 29 Johnstown to register call 518-735-5720 two weeks prior and until 4pm day before clinic. Non- Register line begins at 6 pm.


The clerk received a notice dated November 15, from NYS Local Retirement regarding missing information on Steve Jennings and Joanne Young on the resolution submitted last month. The notice also stated that information for Victoria Hayner was not submitted. Also needed in the resolution is the designation of the employee for a 6 or 8 hour work day.

RESOLUTION #2019- 125 to amend Resolution #2019-119 was offered by Council Member Long at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday December 11, 2019 at town hall.

WHEREAS, the clerk received a notice dated November 15, from NYS Local Retirement regarding missing information on resolution #2019-119 dated November 13, 2019, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that resolution # 2019- 119 is hereby amended to include Victoria Hayner on the reporting to New York State Local Retirement System based on a 6 hour work day and to amend said resolution to have Steve Jennings reported on an 8 hour work day and to have Joanne Young reported on a 6 hour work day, and be it further noted that calendars are on file with the clerk for each employee listed on the resolution below:




Standard Day

Last 4 SS#

Term Begins/ Ends

Emp. Time Kept


Golf Pro





1/1/19 -12/31/19




Budget Dir.





1/1/18 -12/31/19








11/9/16 -9/30/19



Seconded by Council Member Manning

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

The clerk noted that the letter was also looking for retirement reporting information for the DEC Officer from London Bridge Rd in the town. When the clerk called to make the correction they told her he was listed on the town directory.

Supervisor Selmser asked for any other old business – hearing none Council Member Long made the following resolution.

RESOLUTION #2019-126 to accept the minutes as presented was offered by Council Member Long at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday December 11, 2019 at town hall.

WHEREAS, the clerk and Council Member Long had worked to finalize the minutes of several meetings, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board does hereby move to accept the minutes as presented by the town clerk and published for April 22, July 10, July 22, August 5, August 14, August 26, October 2, October 16, October 23, October 25, and November 13.

Seconded by Council Member Kirch

It was asked why the backlog. Council Member Long responded: it was due to a process we are slowly perfecting. We have a good system. The minutes are circulated and track changes are done by the board members. We are now serializing the file names to easily identify the version. Once they are marked final by the clerk, then the board has something to accept.

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

Supervisor Selmser asked for a motion to pay the bills as presented for audit. The motion was made by Council Member Kirch with the exception of general fund bill #355. Supervisor Selmser stated he signed off on this bill number. Other board members wanted additional information. Council Member Long could not authorize payment. Mr. Putman wanted the board to review the minutes from September. In the minutes the clerk stated the highway department would take on the repair. He said the highway department would not take on the repair. He said nothing was a freebee anymore. Mr. Putman said he was asked to do the work. It noted this was not bid out. Council Member Glenn remembered the conversation for him to do the work. Council Member Kirch wanted to see the corrected minutes. He recalled that Mr. Putman agreed that he and the crew would do the work. He did not hear anything about payment. If the minutes reflect such then it will be OK. The clerk stated the minutes are not verbatim. The board wanted to have the tape replayed before making a decision.

Supervisor Selmser stated he asked if any of his people could repair the ceiling and charge it back against the general account. Mr. Putman stated in the minutes it was not part of their job but they are capable of doing it. The highway department will take on the repair. The supervisor stated the intent was to try to have the employees we are paying in house to do the work…. Mr. Putman interrupted by saying that is not their job. Supervisor Selmser stated he signed off on approving that it was going to cost the town. “We wanted to have the work done maybe there was a misunderstanding but this is where the board is at presently.” The board will come to a conclusion by Friday.

RESOLUTION #2019-127 to authorize the supervisor to make payment to Mr. Putman contingent upon hearing the recording was offered by Council Member Kirch at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday December 11, 2019 at town hall.

WHEREAS, there was a motion made to pay the bills as presented for audit this evening with the exclusion of general fund bill # 355, and

WHEREAS, the Claimant Steve Putman discussed with the board his understanding of payment for the work done to repair the ceiling in the highway barn, and

WHEREAS, the board could not come to a decision on the payment of this voucher until after the tape of the September meeting is played back with the Town Supervisor and the Highway Superintendent being present on Friday December 13, 2019 now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that contingent upon hearing what the recording says, and what the understanding is by both parties will depend on and give authority to the Town Supervisor to pay this claim.

Seconded by Council Member Glenn

Adopted by a vote of 4 Ayes: Selmser, Glenn, Manning, Kirch Opposed: Long

Mr. Putman reiterated that the town barn office is a mess. As he mentioned before he wants the pictures taken on his property when he was being harassed this summer. He has not received this yet per his written request. The supervisor responded back to Mr. Putman that he does not have them and has never seen them.

Supervisor Selmser stated in conclusion it’s been a progressive year. The past few years... it has been a privilege to serve as your supervisor. He tried to do the right thing in all cases and work for the citizens of the town to advance the town and be upfront and be available to listen and tried to respond to every body’s needs.

Council Member Long stated he felt privileged to serve with him.

Joyce Barrett thanked Supervisor Selmser for a thankless job of being on the board. She stated he had integrity and worked hard. “You did this for the love of your own town.” She wanted to thank him for that. (Applause)

Supervisor Selmser thanked the other board members. It was a pleasure to work together with them. He wished everyone a Happy Holiday and the best in the future year.

At 8:45 pm Council Member Long made a motion to adjourn. Council Member Glenn seconded the motion. All board members were in favor of the motion.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Gilbert, RMC, CMC

Caroga Town Clerk

General #’s 349 - 378 paid $18,638.26

Highway #’s 185-193 paid $14,549.52

General Park #’s 49 – 49 paid $17,188.72

Prepaid #’s 271 – 294 paid $231,954.21

Copyright © James McMartin Long 2017–2021