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State of New York
County of Fulton
Town of Caroga
Minutes of a Caroga Town Board meeting held Saturday December 21, 2019 at the municipal building located at 1840 State Highway #10 at11:00 am 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 - Absent
Council Member James Long - Here
Council Member Kent Kirch - Here
Other town department representatives in attendance were: Council Members Elect, Donald Travis, and Highway Superintendent Elect Larry Voght and 22 members of the public.
The Supervisor stated this was a special meeting mainly for the intent to address issues of the Morey Road trail. A resolution was passed at the regular September meeting to commence eminent domain law proceedings and this is part of those proceedings now that we have appraised value of the property we would need authority to authorize the payment to those property owners for that portion of the land they would be giving up to the town.
The floor was opened for comments before action was taken.
Council Member Kirch noted it is a 15 foot wide – 7½ from the center line a quarter mile of area the board is discussing. Council Member Long stated if they accept those monies the board is proposing to authorize the Supervisor to pay that would be it. “If they accept the checks, we are done. If they will not accept the check, which the Johnson’s might not but hopefully they will, then we will negotiate that. We have the court behind us already.”
Supervisor Selmser stated the majority of the property owner would like to see improvements and have available use of the area as it had been many years ago. Yesterday the Supervisor received a phone call from NYS Ranger Thompson asking what our status was on it. He believed the town was moving forward but the ranger noted the gate was locked there are a lot of damaged trees. They would like to get in there and clean things up to make it usable in the future.
Mr. Briot asked what the time frame was. The Supervisor replied there is some possibility something could happen fast but what we have experienced over the past 3, 4, 5 years it may be 6 or 8 months. Hopefully, by taking this action it will advance this forward. If it is not used this year, it pretty much would guarantee the possibility of use toward the end of 2020.
Mr. Briot asked if the Supervisor thought we were going to have a problem with Charlie Johnson. We know what has happened previously so….the majority of time he doesn’t want to talk about it. Council Member Long stated if he cashes the check we are done. The Supervisor noted the attitude is that if everybody else is in favor of it maybe he would go along with it. We will have to see. Council Member Kirch stated we understand his attorney has advising him it is a done deal: there is no point in fighting it. If he does, our attorney seems to feel like it could be resolved in the matter of a month or so. It was again noted they have to cash the check.
Shirley Holliday asked what the dollar amount was. Supervisor Selmser stated it is a total of $5,000.00. It goes in a range from $400 to $1,400. It is based on appraisals. Council Member Kirch noted one reason this has taken so long was an update had to be done on the appraisals. Each property owner is getting a very comprehensive appraisal with that check. The Supervisor stated the resolution will list the six names and the amount of money. One is an estate.
The Clerk asked for to refresh her memory. The properties are on both sides of the road so if everybody on one side of the road goes for it are we going to be able to circumvent and use the trail? Council Member Long stated the Johnsons own and the estate for which they are legally connected to both sides. The Clerk stated “the executor for that estate is somebody different the Johnsons – is that still the case?” Council Member Long stated, the Johnson’s probably have influence on that. So it is unlikely we will enter into a situation you’ve described. The owners who are closer are all in agreement. Not only to do the 15 foot wide but they have orally agreed, as a separate issue, not to confuse things to do – have the town build, a two rod road. What we are doing today is 15 foot for the snowmobiles. Council Member Kirch liked how the Clerk thought. The Clerk tries to be optimistic.
Council Member Glenn wanted to know when this whole process initiated. Supervisor Selmser stated the newspaper article referred back to two actions in 2017. The president of the snowmobile club noted they closed off the property in October of 2014. Council Member Glenn wondered why did we wait until the 11th hour. Council Member Long stated Sal said it would be done in four months and in the end he was dragging his heals so we took it away from Sal and turned it over to Gregg Dunn and it has picked up the pace considerably.
Supervisor Selmser stated part of the delay was the eminent domain filing previously. There were some errors, the court made some decisions which he think were challenged and were kicked out. Council Member Glenn remembers the problem with the publication. Council Member Long thought that was another case – Demkiw not the snowmobile case. The delay in 2018 was waiting for a decision from a court. We have been on hold for a period of 6, 9, 12 months. After that we had to make some decisions. The decisions were either to go with a 15 foot trail or to get it resurveyed…. Some of that lead into other actions like having it reappraised.
The result of today is based on the reappraisal. It this is delayed and you have someone else do it then there is more cost. It will probably not change the appraised value. It is done by a certified person.
Council Member Kirch stated to answer Jack’s question the real reason we are here today is to get this finished and done so the town doesn’t have a third attorney work on this. We are at the final stage let’s get it done. He didn’t think we would have any litigation if this is done.
Council Member Glenn stated Council Member Long was incorrect about the Demkiw property. It was in fact the snowmobile trail. Secondly going forward they may be another attorney involved in this, hopefully not. Council Member Glenn stated he was in favor of the action being taken today.
Mr. Ivancic was concern as to what would happen after January 1st when there is a changeover in the board members. He asked what the transition plan was. Council Member Long noted he and Council Member Glenn would be here “we’ll keep going.” Supervisor Selmser stated if we move forward with this it gives us the possibility that the trails could be open in a month or 9 months. This moves us forward to attaining that goal. Council Member Elect Travis concurred that this matter would continue to move forward during his tenure. Council Member Glenn agreed.
RESOLUTION #2019- 128 to recommend that based on revised appraised values submitted by Attorney Gregory Dunn that the board draw checks to six land owners of Morey Road was offered by Supervisor Selmser at a special meeting held on Saturday December 21, 2019 at 11 am at Town Hall.
WHEREAS, the town received a correspondence from Attorney Dunn on December 18 with new/updated appraisals for the Morey Road Extension properties, and
WHEREAS, the Town accepts those appraised values for the six properties on the Morey Road Extension, and
WHEREAS, Attorney Dunn planned on filing the case on Friday and needed checks cut to each defendant, now therefor be it
RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board does hereby authorize payment to the following six property owners of Morey Road Extension per the prepared appraisal report by Stropp Appraisal – Real Estate Appraisal & Consulting 9535 Money Rd, Brewerton, NY 13029.
Charles J. and Mercedes Augusto, Jr. $ 400.00
Christian Simonds $ 600.00
Justin Brandt $ 600.00
Kevin M. & David M. Johnson $ 700.00
Estate of Suzanne Walsh $1,300.00
Charles F. and Helen Johnson $1,400.00
Seconded by Council Member Long
Adopted by a roll call vote:
Council Member John Glenn - Aye
Council Member James Long - Aye
Council Member Kent Kirch - Aye
Supervisor James K. Selmser - Aye
Supervisor Selmser noted the need to make budget transfers to balance the budget due to payment that are being made today and for services rendered.
RESOLUTION #2019-129 to make the following Budget Transfers was offered by Supervisor Selmser at a special meeting held on Saturday December 21, 2019 at 11 am at Town Hall.
WHEREAS, the Bookkeeper and town Supervisor have indicated a need to make three transfers to maintain a balanced budget now therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the following transfers be made to maintain a balanced 2019 budget:
TO: DA5130.4 Machinery C.E. $1,800.00
From: DA 5110.4 General Repairs CE $1,800.00
To: A8160.41 Landfill Testing $5,000.00
From A3650.4 Demolition of Unsafe Bldg. $5,000.00
To: A1990.4 Contingent $8,000.00
From A1620.43 Sherman’s Bldg. $8,000.00
Seconded by Council Member Long
Supervisor Selmser explained the need to transfer funds for the checks being cut to the Morey Road Ext. landowners. There will be a bill for the appraisal which will be charged against contingency. There is $15,000.00 in there so there is more than enough to cover anticipated year end expenses.
Adopted by a vote of 4 Ayes, Selmser, Glenn, Long, Kirch
Council Member offered a appoint Daniel T. MacIvor to the Board of Assessment Review. He noted there was a letter of resignation from Peter Welker so the vacancy exists.
RESOLUTION #2019-130 to Appoint a Board of Assessment Review Member was offered by Council Member James Long at a special meeting held on Saturday December 21, 2019 at 11 am at Town Hall.
WHEREAS, D. Peter Welker submitted a resignation letter to the town back in October of 2019 stating he was unable to continue to serve on the Board of Assessment Review, and
WHEREAS, Council Member Long desires to appoint Daniel T. MacIvor of 216 South Shore Road, East Caroga Lake to fill the vacancy on the Board of Assessment review created by the resignation of D. Peter Welker for the term ending on September 30, 2022, now therefor be it
RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board does hereby move to appoint Mr. MacIvor to fill out the term of D. Peter Welker.
Seconded by Council Member Kirch
Council Member Glenn asked if there were any other candidates. Council Member Long stated he queried board chairs on Zoning and Planning and members of the Board of Assessment Review. He stated it was hard to get people to donate time. “And we are lucky to have someone who is a certified real estate agent and can hit the ground running.” He stated he is in a similar position as current board member Karen Wheeler is certified. Council Member Kirch has generally shared his concern about only looking at one person. He is an excellent candidate. He was not concerned with this. Council Member Glenn wanted to advertise in the newspaper. The Supervisor noted issues before in filling some positions on other boards. The Clerk stated there was just an ad in the paper from the incoming supervisor saying he was looking for people to fill vacancies. That is his intent the Clerk stated. The Clerk thought she should put it on the town Facebook page. Council Member Glenn wanted to table this until then next board meeting.
Council Member Long said he had to table this before the second was made.
Adopted by a vote of 3 Ayes, Selmser, Long, Kirch Opposed 1 - Glenn
Council Member Long made a motion to adjourn at 11:22 am seconded by Council Member Glenn. All board members were in favor of the motion.
Mr. Travis asked if there was any of the town property down at Sherman’s like folding chairs. They would say Town of Caroga or Gloversville Housing underneath. Supervisor Selmser stated Rick Ruby will work with the town.
Mrs. Holliday asked what happened to the Ferris wheel chairs. Council Member Long and his wife moved them back to Sherman’s.
Adjourned at 11:24 am.
Linda M. Gilbert, RMC, CMC
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