Home  Calendar  Departments  Directory  Gallery  Documents  History

State of New York

County of Fulton

Town of Caroga

Minutes of the Caroga Town Board meeting held Wednesday April 15, 2020 held via conference call only. Attendees dialed toll free 1(866)899-4679 and entered access code 870205333#, or went to the town website TownOfCaroga.com, for video plus best audio, join via web at GoToMeeting.com The meeting beginning at 7:06 pm with the following board members calling in by roll call.

Supervisor Scott Horton - Here

Council Member John Glenn - Here

Council Member James Long - Here

Council Member Richard Sturgess - Here

Council Member Donald Travis - Here

Town Attorney - Sal Ferlazzo, Weed Harvesting Coordinator/Parks, Lakes, Recreation and Tourism Commission (PLRT) Chairman – Gene Centi, Highway Superintendent – Larry Voght and Tor Shekerjian confidential secretary to the supervisor were logged in to the meeting. There were approximately 27 others on line for the meeting.

Supervisor Horton asked for a moment of silence for resident Bill Knapp who recently passed away and for all of the people in our community who are suffering through this terrible epidemic.

At 7:08 pm Supervisor Horton opened the public hearing on Proposed Local Law #1 of 2020 to Rescind Local Law #1 of 1977, and to enact a Local Law to provide written notification of defects and obstructions on Town highways, bridges, streets, sidewalks, crosswalks, and culverts. There were no speakers for or against the local law. The public hearing remained open.

Resident Dan McIvor suggested muting all others who were not speaking as there was tremendous feedback.

Department Reports:

Assessor – No Report

BTI – Mrs. Delesky read the written report submitted by John Delesky. The team has been out monitoring and treating streams since the first week in March. They work alone and do not meet so there is very little virus risk. All of the streams in the town have been done at least once this spring. The streams on the golf course have been done three (3) times so far. Supplies and forms are kept at Mr. Delesky’s home for the technicians to pick up as needed. So far this year they have put in over 350 hours.

Clerk/Tax Collector/Registrar/RMO – The clerk thanked the board for the added security measures put in place in the office. Secretary Long was thanked for sending some decision notices via email. However, all of the 2020 Planning & Zoning files are incomplete as all documents have not been turned over to the municipal clerk. The March monthly report was given to the board.

Tax Collection - to date $2,688,869.00 has been collected, leaving $531,363.42 uncollected. We have surpassed last year. The office will continue to collect taxes until May 15th by order of the County Treasurer. We are the only county in the state to extend the tax collection period. This means more work for the clerk and deputy.

The clerk reported a change in the March abstract. Two checks were returned to the town. A check in the amount of $71.91 from the Crown Plaza in Lake Placid was returned due to the cancelation of the Local Government Days Conference and a check for $604.95 from the process server on the Morey Road case. The General Fund Abstract from March will be adjusted $676.86.

Golf Course – Tor Shekerjian reported on the delivery of the fairway mower and for the reduced cost in leasing. The mower arrived at 10:15 this morning. It is a state of the art piece of equipment. Mr. Shekerjian completed the details to put the three mowers up for auction on Auctions International. He was able to get the one fairway mower running. He is the contact person for the active bidders. The auction closes on April 20th at 6:45 pm. The 2001 Toro Z-Master is at $616 with 656 views and 23 bids, the 2009 Toro Z- Master is at $170.00 with 551 views and 8 bids, and the Jacobson Fairway Mower is at $510 with 396 views and 32 bids. The “two Toro’s have been used hard, don’t run and need a lot of unknown work,” the Jacobson needs some parts and is 21 years old. He recommended the board take whatever we can for this worn out equipment. Council Member Sturgess and Long agreed about selling them for what we can get. Supervisor Horton agreed with the board members on getting what is offered. The equipment will not be used again. The clerk noted the board would have to get together to accept the bid. Supervisor Horton suggested having a resolution to authorize him to accept the bids.

RESOLUTION #2020-056 to authorize the Supervisor to accept bids at his discretion was offered by Council Member Long at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday April 15, 2020.

WHEREAS, the board authorized the sale of three mowers from the golf course on Auctions International, and

WHEREAS, the auction will end in five days, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that Supervisor Horton is hereby authorized to accept the bids for the three mowers at his discretion.

Adopted by a vote of 5 Ayes by roll call vote

Council Member Donald Travis - yes

Supervisor Scott Horton - yes

Council Member John Glenn - yes

Council Member James Long – yes

Council Member Richard Sturgess - yes

At 7:20 pm the public hearing on proposed Local Law # 1 for the year 2020 was closed.

Attorney Ferlazzo noted a SEQR proceeding was necessary. Then a resolution can be made. He will prepare this for the next meeting. We can’t do this tonight.

Lakes Management Program – Council Member Glenn reported that he received a call the other day from Marcus Harazin regarding the lake stewards and boat wash station. The former employees are willing and ready to come back on this year. They may be able to start earlier this year. Money is needed to get the compressor running. The estimated cost was $200.

RESOLUTION #2020-057 to hire lake stewards and authorize spending up to $200 to get equipment running and other necessary equipment was offered by Council Member Glenn at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday April 15, 2020.

WHEREAS, Council Member Glenn discussed with Mr. Harazin various aspects of starting up the lake steward program, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board authorizes the hiring of staff and authorize spending up to $200 to get equipment running and other necessary equipment

Adopted by a vote of 5 Ayes by roll call vote

Council Member Richard Sturgess - yes

Council Member Donald Travis - yes

Supervisor Scott Horton - yes

Council Member John Glenn - yes

Council Member James Long – yes

Gene Centi received a couple of emails in the last couple of days one from DEC and the other from NYS Economic Development. They are in conflict. Economic Development said all marinas and boat launches are closed until further notice. DEC said boat launches are still open and they are putting docks in. He has not been able to get in touch with either one for clarification. As far as the weed program, they are in pretty good shape. He can get the harvester in the water. There are no restrictions on the town. He has seven (7) crew members. He needs one more diver. He wondered if the program was included in the pause program. He wondered if social distancing will still be in effect the end of May when they start.

Council Member Glenn noted this whole thing is contingent on DEC and APA and any other government agency allowing them to start earlier.

Mr. Centi reported that the PLRT had a brief meeting last week just to test out the Go to Meetings system. It worked fairly well. They quickly discussed – no decisions were made about having a parade. Since it was unknown what was to come, the parade was put back to the July 4th weekend. This could be done in conjunction with other events in town that weekend. They talked about a Father’s Day fishing tournament. Maybe the recreation department would take that over. The last thing they talked about was the welcome book that was published. Kent Kirch and Jen Sturgess were involved with this. They wondered if the town was going to make a donation to help publish it or whether or not the town could pay for the publication this year. The supervisor will comment on this going forward. Council Member Sturgess stated July 4th is already an extremely busy weekend in this town. He suggested another weekend for a parade.

Mr. Purcell noted he was instrumental in the commission getting started on using the

Gotomeetings.com he thought they were using the session as a test. He brought to attention that they should be following open meetings law and putting up notice so the public can participate. He noted that minutes should be posted on the town website too. The PLRT committee will hold regular meetings on the fourth Wednesday of the month at 7 pm starting in May. The calendar is linked to the PLRT page.

Supervisor’s Comments/Report:

There will be resolutions for Computer Equipment, a Sewer Study, and for well monitoring by CT Male.

Supervisor Horton gave his report. “What a difference five weeks have made,” in reference to the COVID -19 Virus. He thanked the first responders, essential business workers, and town employees who come in to keep government running and wished them luck and good health. Supervisor Horton encouraged each of us to reach out to our neighbors and fellow citizens in this time of need.

Spending and revenues for March are in budget but we must be careful. He is proposing two in budget spending proposals this month one to continue work on our sewer study and the second to update our computers, data storage and security. He asked for the public and board’s support.

Town business does not stop. Roads are being rebuilt and the golf course is ready and just waiting for the Governor to say “FORE.”

Code enforcement is using the time to catch up on years of file maintenance and is issuing permits and reviewing plans.

Linda Gilbert goes to the transfer station to issue permits instead of having visitors come to town hall.

Supervisor Horton continues to meet regularly with the highway department. It is amazing how they are getting things done with half-staff.

On March 25 & 26 there was emergency action to clear out debris from under the Outlet Bridge on route 10. Coordinated efforts of the fire company, the highway department, and Brookfield Energy resulted in a safe and successful cleanout of debris which had the levels of the lake up 1 ½ ’. Tor Shekerjian was able to get it covered by our previous FEMA request.

This past Monday evening the highway dept. was out past 9 pm clearing roads from the wind storm.

On April 3rd Council Member Glenn and the Supervisor met with Fulton County Planning on the limited sewer service for Caroga. This was done via teleconference. He believes they have found many cost savings in this new approach.

Steve Jennings and his crew have been working on cleaning up the course. Storm damage this winter was very bad. They chipped up over 8 dump truck loads of limbs and brush. Resident Rick Gilmour helped in the cleanup.

Sub-committee meetings on the county level were cancelled this last month. The monthly meeting was via teleconferencing.

In closing even if it is not business as usual, we keep moving forward. There is light at the end of the tunnel and we will come out of this a better community.

Supervisor Horton asked Jeremy Manning for an update on the Wheelerville Bike Trail Project.

Mr. Manning reported that he is working with Fulton County Personnel to establish the positions with the county. They are working slowly right now so he is still waiting to hear back from them. He hopes to have this information in the next couple of days. He has been in contact with the two lead builders for an inventory of things he will need on day one. He is also working with AFTA along with our local resources, to see what we can pull together, and, hopefully, not have to purchase. Mr. Manning has discussed with DEC, as I know you have, as well, about the trail funding, and the guarantee of whether that's going to be in place. It sounds like this is, a fully funded, fully funded project, which is guaranteed by the state's budget this year, and next year. Those funds have been encumbered for the year so we are going to definitely be reimbursed for this project. We don't have to worry about that. He is still waiting to hear back from DEC regarding the survey of the northern boundary on that property, so we make sure that we're not going to encroach upon the APA boundary. The biggest question for us is: When can we start? What will be allowed to begin, that's going to come down to John Duesler – what he thinks given the work restrictions they have in the State right now. Mr. Manning asked if anyone had any questions.

Supervisor Horton noted that funding has been a concern among some of the Council Members. The Supervisor spoke with Dylan Walrath of DEC today and those funds are encumbered by the state so we should not be worried at this time about getting reimbursed. Mr. Manning was thanked for his work.

Public Speaking – Lynne Delesky thanked the highway workers painting the plow and for displaying the flag. She thinks it looks really nice and enjoys seeing it every time she drives by. So thank you to all the highway workers who made that happen and second of all since we're not going to be having an organized highway cleanup this year, she would just ask everyone if they could go out and clean up the trash and the roads near where they live. It'll help, every little bit helps. So if everyone could just do a little bit the Town will look better.

Kimberly Hart read a letter that had been submitted to the Board this afternoon. She stated she is aware of the board's unqualified motion to remove and replace her in her position on the Caroga Town Planning Board before her term is up at the end of the year. She let it be known that this action was put into place without any formal notification and using false criteria stating that she is not a resident. She stated she became aware of the situation when her request for mandatory education payment was denied publicly, for no apparent reason. She stated she has several forms of documentation to substantiate residency along with the qualifications, experience, and proven commitment to the town. She was thanked for her comments.

Supervisor Horton has contacted the town attorney about what residency and domicile mean.

Attorney Ferlazzo sent an opinion letter to the board today. It's a public document. Basically, the public officer’s law requires that Planning Board Members be town residents. There was a resolution on the agenda for tonight. He hopes that is withdrawn because basically, what we need to do is establish a standard and then apply that standard. Kim would be entitled to due process in an opportunity to put her position on the record. Attorney Ferlazzo noted there's a difference between a resident and residence. You can have more than one residence. You can even vote at either of those. But that's not determinative and that's been determined by the state courts, as well as the education department. The real standard is under the public offices law is domiciled.

Domiciled means “Living in a locality, with the intent to make it a fixed and permanent home.”

If someone leaves this meeting tonight and goes home, or goes to sleep, in a different community on a regular basis, that is the strongest evidence of what they're intended, where they stay. Attorney Ferlazzo’s recommendation, because he didn’t believe he had ever met Kim, would be to seek some information from her, and request redacted numbers. He didn’t want to violate anybody's personal privacy, and then he can make a recommendation to the board. The Attorney noted the town could pass a local law, and it has actually, in another instance, it was for Budget Director. Many times an affidavit is used so there’s certain proof. But it should be made for all residents. That is the process that Attorney Ferlazzo recommends based on the law and what is done on a regular basis with school districts. He noted residency can change yearly.

Council Member Long questioned if school district and public officers law shared the same criteria. Attorney Ferlazzo noted case law demonstrates that the word is domicile. The reason Attorney Ferlazzo uses the school experiences is he has had a lot of experience gathering information and making the determination of domicile based on that. So, they could be different, but the methodology the state standard is the same. You have to live in the locality with the intention to make a fixed and permanent home. He points out, later in the memo, the crucial factor determined by the courts in determining individuals' domiciled is, “whether he or she has manifested an intent to adopt that residence as a permanent and principal place a home, coupled by her, or his physical presence there, without any aura of shame.” So, there has to be physical presence plus intent. He stated voting is not relevant because you can choose where you vote, and voting is not determinative, even though it's certainly part of the puzzle and all the pieces have to fit together.

Council Member Long today forwarded communication from the General Counsel of New York Association of Towns, and it seemed, from his reading, as a lay person, not as an attorney, the focus was not on domiciled. The focus was on qualified elector. This is going to require a little more investigation so that we don't accidentally make the requirements tighter then the case law currently requires. Council Member Long stated making it tighter than that case law puts us at legal risk, and that's the concern he has.

Attorney Ferlazzo stated he has dealt with the Association of Towns forever, since he’s been a town attorney in the early nineties. He knows Laurie Mithen, and would be happy to chat with her. He stands on our research. We're not creating a new standard. He would hope that as town board members, everybody, including James Long would keep an open mind rather than advocating for a position, which has not even occurred yet. To say it's politically motivated, Attorney Ferlazzo thought it's not appropriate considering there hasn't been any action taken. Attorney Ferlazzo thought Council Member Long should be careful with the phraseology, because it taints the process unnecessarily.

Linda Clark entered the discussion by saying legal minds have differed over this standard.

Permanency does not require a year round resident. We're talking about a town with a very substantial part of the taxpayer base in the population that would fall into that category with two homes and other residences. So what you're talking about practically is the potential disenfranchising of a very substantial part of the town and the tax base and the residents from participation in public life. She would join James in cautioning the board in walking into this murky territory. That is the subject of massive litigation statewide that keeps lawyers very busy because the standards can be murky. Council Member Long thanked Linda.

Supervisor Horton asked if there were any other comments from the other board members. Council Member Glenn stated when Kim was appointed to serve on the Planning Board he asked where exactly did she live. To this date he does not feel that her domicile is here.

(Technical difficulty@8:01 pm)

Supervisor Horton asked the board to follow our attorney’s advice and pull the resolution, and ask Kim Hart to provide the documentation to make this determination. It is the only fair thing. There is a disagreement among the board on residency. The only standard that we have is the state standard, and to apply it uniformly, is probably the only way we can do this fairly. He would not want to take somebody off a board for any other reason than not being domiciled. It may turn out to be that domiciled is proven. Supervisor Horton thought it best go forward in that fashion, than to continue to go down the road that we have been going down and trying to make this decision, on our own.

The Town clerk asked if she could change the topic – regarding the computers….

Linda Clark just wanted to add that as a member of the legal committee of the Canada Lake Conservation Association (CLCA), you can imagine their interest in this issue. It might be important, to solicit input from the lake associations as well on this important issue.

Council Member Glenn stated when you (town attorney) talked earlier about a political motivation, I think you just heard it.

Attorney Ferlazzo stated the comments were certainly relevant and can be reviewed when the board makes the decision. The lake association is important but it doesn't have jurisdiction over this issue. If it wants to submit an amicus brief or some other submission they are certainly welcome to. He didn’t think the town wanted to preclude anyone from helping solve a puzzle. Statements can be submitted by neighbors.

Council Member Long stated this is not something that has been asked before. This is unprecedented and highly unusual. It may be reasonable.

Supervisor Horton noted most of the appointees everybody knows who they are, they see you there all of all the time. This was unique and it has to be resolved in case there's something that comes up, that would make a decision on the Planning Board challengeable. This came up when the board was talking about members of the Parks, Lakes, Recreation, and Tourism committee (PLRT). Supervisor Horton thought that we should get to the bottom of it, and let the chips fall where they may.

Dan MacIvor asked if he heard Kim say that, as a sitting member, she was denied reimbursement for her training fees, while every other board member was reimbursed for their training fees.

Council Member Long responded “you've heard correctly.”

Mr. MacIvor stated as a citizen, he has a big challenge with that.

Supervisor Horton stated that is not accurate.

Council Member Sturgess believed there was another class that coming up and this issue was supposed to be resolved by then. Council Member Sturgess stated that Council Member Long was asked to provide the criteria that the board wanted to set as a standard. Council Member Long denied this statement saying the criteria comes from the state. Council Member Sturgess and Supervisor Horton stated he offered to do it.

Discussion continued on paying for training. Supervisor Horton stated no voucher was ever submitted. The clerk asked Ms. Hart if she had submitted a voucher. Council Member Long interjected that was not relevant. Council Member Long stated his motion for payment was denied. He stated people ask for permission to attend ahead of those meetings. Several other attendees were granted approval.

Council Member Sturgess stated once we take Attorney Ferlazzo’s advice, and Kim Heart gets a chance to justify, to the attorney, and we take the advice of him I'm sure that there's not going to be a problem whatsoever once we decide if she is a resident of this town per New York State Law to reimburse the fee if necessary. Council Member Glenn stated at the time of this training there was still a question if she was a sitting member.

Council Member Long and Mr. MacIvor state that is not due process.

Town Clerk Linda Gilbert stated in regards to the computer purchase, I would urge the board to follow General Municipal Law Section 103, as well as our own procurement policy. We have not received quotes except from one company. We haven’t looked at state contract. Because we're using public dollars, those guidelines have to be adhered to.

Council Member Long stated he strongly supports what the clerk just said. He was not certain that we even need, at this time, to make this purchase. Supervisor Horton shared with Council Member Long projections of perhaps, a 10% shortfall in sales tax revenue, and they speculated that it might, by the end of the year be well more than that. Council Member Long stated we cannot run a deficit. If there is a technically viable way to bring these computers up to Windows 10, he would support that.

Council Member Long did not see where the quote said, the proprietary software and all of its data would be moved over an installation. Would it be taken care of? So, there are costs beyond what was in that quote. He doesn’t know if those computers are technically capable of running Windows 10. Those computers are functional. They are not out of hard drive space.

Supervisor Horton stated going out for bids is very difficult. He turned this over to Brian McIntosh to talk about the difference between computers. It is not apples to apples all the time.

The Clerk stated he already gave this presentation.

Supervisor Horton stated we have to be careful, and he is going to suggest to the town board, at some point in time, that we may have to go into that mode of very, very quickly but we have saved. “Right now, we are ahead of the curve, budget wise.”

Brian McIntosh of Canada Lake Computers chatted a little bit about the computers that are at the town hall. They're older, the technology use is dated and bringing them up to Windows 10 is well into at least half the cost, if not, maybe a little bit more, of updating them to new machines. The problem is the amount of time that it takes to do that. When he looks at systems, he looks at them at their value. The most common way of doing that is he goes to e-bay and looks to see what he could buy that computer for. The town computers are going to come in at a value of about $150 - 200 at best. The upgrade to Windows 10 isn't a direct, that you can't just always do it, with the software still being run. The Business Automation Services (BAS) package will not transfer through, if you upgrade from a Windows seven machine to a Windows 10 machine you still have to do the re-install of the BAS software. It won't convert automatically.

Council Member Long asked, “Does your quote include that labor to upgrade BAS? Mr. McIntosh responded “no” it did not. Council Member Long stated, so, we have a cost that's not even documented. Mr. McIntosh stated there's no way to know that cost other than to do it. That is what he uses the contracted time for. Each machine is going to be completely different. He can estimate it. He would have to estimate it high; it'd be a ridiculous price and wouldn't feel right charging the town for it. Mr. McIntosh spends the town’s money the way he would spend his own money, and he is cheap.

Council Member Glenn remembered when Mr. McIntosh gave the presentation to the board a couple of months ago. Mr. McIntosh said any labor he gives us was at a discounted rate. Mr. McIntosh replied, “Yes, actually, we have a contract.” Anything, over three hours with a single month, he does a discount. This was kind of a support thing for all the systems. The installation of my monitoring software is included. Mr. McIntosh will try to do his best to keep those costs down to the town.

(Technical difficulty – unable to hear Mr. McIntosh for 3 min 15 sec.)

The clerk’s computer is 10 years old. The newest is probably 5 years old. Mr. McIntosh stated the technology of those computers is older technology. Some had the Pentium processor that's a 10 year old technology.

Mr. MacIvor has sold technology to your state government entities for 20 years, “Brian is 100% right.” It is a no-brainer to update these PCs to new. That's not the question. To Linda's point, however, you really should be following in New York State procurement law.

Attorney Ferlazzo was consulted. Supervisor Horton asked him to tell us what the New York State procurement policy is, he believed that is over $10,000 where you have to go out and get two bids or more. Attorney Ferlazzo thought it was less, and also, the town has its own procurement policy, it can be even stronger. If you're getting a professional service, you don't have to bid. But it sounds like its hardware versus professional services. Supervisor Horton noted the cost is over $8,600.00. Attorney Ferlazzo stated he believes you've got to follow both the state law and your local procurement policies. Supervisor Horton thought the town policy was in the $2,000 - $2,500 range. Attorney Ferlazzo recommend not making the purchase until we check the procurement policy.

Supervisor Horton stated the problem is being able to quote apples to apples. The only way that we could really bid this would be to use the specs on his computers by that manufacture with the same quality. Then we would have something to base this on. The Supervisor didn't know how we're going to do what it is that we wanted to do at the very beginning, which is to upgrade our stuff. We have an expert that lives in the town. He would be able to provide service to us, we can trust and rely upon him and he has credentials up the kazoo. He works for banks and large and small companies.

Attorney Ferlazzo stated you can do it, you'd do it by getting, following the policy, getting the number of quotes. If this gentleman's quote is a little bit higher, but he has a comfort level, and you know, a track record of being responsive, then you can make a decision based on objective criteria. But to begin with, you have to follow the rules.

Mr. MacIvor stated Attorney Ferlazzo is right. Mr. MacIvor wanted Brian to get this business he is a local person. “He's awesome. I bring this up only because of my knowledge of state procurement law.” What the town does is write a simple bid, offer New York State contract for a particular spec. then you put your best value criteria in there. It's just a question of protecting the town by going through that procurement process and awarding based on best value. Attorney Ferlazzo agreed 100%. It's a due process. Other vendors have the right to throw in their bids, but you have the right to pick the best value. Based on experience, it sounds like it's going to be difficult to beat Brian's value, but you still have to go through the process.

Council Member Glenn asked if this was something that could be laid out over a 2 to 3 year period. Mr. McIntosh responded normally, he would say yes, but at this point, no. This has been put off and you are up against the wall. Normally he has his customers rotate purchasing one a year, and that spreads that cost over time and nobody has a computer that's over five years old.

Mr. MacIvor stated the cybersecurity attacks are unbelievable. We are at risk every day with this old equipment. He stated the reality is on New York State Procurement Law you could buy this under what's called discretionary spending. No question under Office of General Services (OGS) guidelines. Linda's point was, and I think what Attorney Ferlazzo’s point was, does the town have their own policy? And it sounds like the town its own policy. That's more strict than New York State OGS procurement. It may be faster for you guys to redo the town policy and revert to OGS Procurement.

Council Member Sturgess wondered if we would be under the threshold, if we just got one computer, so that you can do what it is that you have to do to continue working. Then put out to bid the other four computers and take care of it next month. Supervisor Horton was sorry that he missed this thing. He thought it was professional services. Council Member Sturgess reads from material he obtained at the NYS Assoc. of Towns School for newly elected officials.

Mr. McIvor noted if the town has passed their own procurement guidelines, the town's procurement guidelines supersede that.

Supervisor Horton stated it is getting late. If he could get board approval for one computer and get this thing rolling then what we'll do, we'll either change our rules or follow our rules and then deal with this next month. Also, we're talking about cloud backups as well as hard drive backup. The supervisor has received emails on the urgency of security since coming into office.

Mr. McIvor stated he was happy to be a resource to the board.

RESOLUTION #2020-058 to purchase one computer from Brian McIntosh was offered by Council Member Glenn at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday April 15, 2020.

WHEREAS, Supervisor Horton is in need of a computer on which to conduct town business, and

WHEREAS, the other four can be looked into and determined how they can be purchased at the meeting next month, and

WHEREAS, the Town of Caroga procurement policy will be reviewed, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the town shall purchase a computer $972.70 and the software to support it - $259.99, along with a wireless mouse and keyboard for a cost of $39.99 for a total of $1272.68, and be it further RESOLVED, provided it is less than our threshold in our procurement policy.

Seconded by Council Member Sturgess

Adopted by a vote of 5 Ayes by roll call vote

Council Member James Long – yes

Council Member Richard Sturgess - yes

Council Member Donald Travis - yes

Supervisor Scott Horton - yes

Council Member John Glenn – yes

Mr. Livingston was asked to mute his audio.

RESOLUTION #2020-059 to transfer funds was offered by Supervisor Horton at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday April 15, 2020.

WHEREAS, bookkeeper Joanne Young has indicated that a budget transfer is necessary due to the purchase of equipment for the golf course, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board does hereby move to make the following transfer as necessary to maintain a balanced budget:

From: A7180.1 Personal Services $650.00

To: A7180.2 Special Facilities Equipment $650.00

Seconded by Council Member Glenn

Adopted by a vote of 5 Ayes by roll call vote

Council Member John Glenn – yes

Supervisor Scott Horton – yes

Council Member James Long – yes

Council Member Richard Sturgess - yes

Council Member Donald Travis - yes

RESOLUTION #2020-060 to accept the calendar of Larry Voght – Highway Superintendent was offered by Supervisor Horton at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday April 15, 2020.

WHEREAS, a three month calendar was submitted to all board members by the Highway Superintendent – Larry Voght, and

WHEREAS, based on the submitted calendar, and a standard work day of 8 hrs. per day, that the monthly report to the State Retirement System shall be at the rate of 21.7 days per month, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, hat the Caroga Town Board does hereby move to accept the three (3) month calendar submitted by Larry Voght, the elected Highway Superintendent for determination of his monthly days reported to the State Retirement System.

Title

Last Name

First Name

Standard Day

Last 4

SS#

Term Begins/ends

Employee time keeping Y/N

Days /Months

Highway Superintendent

Voght

Larry

8

1/1/2020 -12/31/20201

Y

21.7

Seconded by Council Member Glenn

Adopted by a vote of 5 Ayes by roll call vote

Council Member John Glenn – yes

Supervisor Scott Horton – yes

Council Member Donald Travis - yes

Council Member Richard Sturgess - yes

Council Member James Long – yes

RESOLUTION #2020-061 to extend the State of Emergency was offered by Supervisor Horton at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday April 15, 2020.

WHEREAS, the Caroga Town Board held a meeting on March 16, 2020, and

WHEREAS, on that date the board created resolution #2020-055 which declared a state of emergency until April 30, 2020 and

WHEREAS, the board desires to extend the State of Emergency, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board does hereby move to extend the State of Emergency until May 15, 2020

Seconded by Council Member Sturgess

Adopted by a vote of 5 Ayes by roll call vote

Council Member Donald Travis - yes

Council Member Richard Sturgess - yes

Council Member Long cannot hear the clerk calling the roll. He stated having the three people in the room is creating a problem.

Council Member James Long – yes

Council Member John Glenn – yes

Supervisor Scott Horton – yes

Supervisor Horton asked if there was any new business. Council Member Glenn noted the correspondence from Attorney Ferlazzo about the sanctuary for second amendment dated April 1st 2020. Attorney Ferlazzo highly recommend that the board not execute or pass a resolution on this. Sanctuaries are, in effect ignoring laws that exist, and you can be a Second Amendment fan, and you can firmly believe that the Second Amendment gives certain rights, but to make a declaration as a town, that you will decide that you're now the judicial branch, as opposed to the executive branch, is simply inappropriate, and it's a very soft legal ground. He stated “you can have your own opinions on the Second Amendment for and against it. We're stuck with the law. It's our Constitution. It supersedes without any doubt your, mine, or anybody's interpretation individually.” He does not like that resolution in the sense that, he doesn't like any sanctuary resolution. The Attorney stated it is illegal, and the town doesn't have authority to really deviate from what are the laws of the state and county. If they're unconstitutional they can be challenged, and there is a way to challenge them. Not by making resolutions, which really are words on a piece of paper, which have no force or effect? Attorney Ferlazzo highly recommended that the board not go forward with this type of resolution.

Council Member Long agreed with the town attorney.

Council Member Sturgess has had a lot of contact with these guys back and forth. What they're looking for us to do is basically make it so that we're a group at the county level. That they have Caroga Lake support at the county level to basically state that the county will not use their funds to abide by the laws.

Attorney Ferlazzo understood that they have strong feelings. It's like a petition you can sign a petition at your house. But this is the power of the Town Board by resolution, which will last forever, unless it's overturned and there has to be some legalities some rational basis in determining it. We have to abide by the court. If the board wants to submit a resolution in support of the Second Amendment and have it be determined as strongly as it should be, that's fine. To say, that we're a sanctuary and that within the boundaries of the Town of Caroga, the laws be suspended. Is no different than the freedom fighters the freedom group that says, I don't want to pay my taxes. The town should not try to usurp the power of the courts. You have the First Amendment, right to make that proclamation, but to formalize it into a resolution and to give it the stamp of the town is just inappropriate and beyond your scope. Attorney Ferlazzo suggested giving your personal opinion and your support, if you want, to that group in a different context.


Supervisor Horton did speak with the Sheriff for Fulton County extensively about this. He sent the board members an article that was written in the Schenectady Gazette of his opinion as well as the opinion of the Montgomery County Sheriff. They both concur with Attorney Ferlazzo on this thing. They're both been rights act supporters, and they're not happy with the Safe Act. The Supervisor thought we were overstepping. Perhaps the board may make a resolution in the future. The Supervisor thought the matter should be tabled.

RESOLUTION 2020-062 to contract with Steve Jennings for his services as the Nick Stoner Municipal Golf Course Greenkeeper, Course Manager, and Golf Pro was offered by Council Member Travis at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday April 15, 2020.

WHEREAS, Council Members Travis and Sturgess have worked for several weeks to update and revise the contract with Steve Jennings for his services as the Nick Stoner Municipal Golf Course greenkeeper, Course Manager, and Golf Pro, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Town Board of the Town of Caroga desires to enter into an agreement with Stephen Jennings to act as the Golf pro, Greenkeeper, Course Manager of the Nick Stoner Municipal Golf Course for the year 2020 as follows:

This Agreement made the day of April 15, 2020 by and between the Town and Stephen Jennings:

WHEREAS, The Town of Caroga, a duly incorporated municipality existing in the County of Fulton, New York State owns and operates a golf course, including a pro shop, a summer residential apartment and attendant rooms and buildings, and

WHEREAS, the Town Board of the Town of Caroga (hereinafter the Town) desires to have its municipal golf course professionally managed, its greens and fairways capably maintained and the services of a qualified golf professional available to its customers, and

WHEREAS, Stephen Jennings (hereafter Mr. Jennings) possesses the prerequisite qualifications to perform all the above services, and

WHEREAS, Mr. Jennings desires to enter into an agreement with the Town to act as the Manager of the municipal golf course, its Greenkeeper and golf pro, for hire, and

WHEREAS, Mr. Jennings wishes to use the summer residence and space in the attendant real estate to place vending machines, retail golf –related merchandise, and store and rent golf carts,

THEREFORE

That, in return for the use of these premises and other good and valuable considerations and compensations, the receipt of which is hereby mutually acknowledged by the parties, who agrees as follows:

1. That the Town agrees to pay Stephen Jennings for his services as Course manager, Greenkeeper, and Golf Pro the sum of forty six thousand six hundred eighty eight dollars, ($46,688.00) to be paid from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 in twenty-six installments.

2. Stephen Jennings agrees to his employment in this capacity for this amount, paid under these terms, and the other considerations extended to him.

3. Stephen Jennings agrees to keep all necessary licenses and certifications updated and that he will notify the Town Board of any additional instruction or training, the need of which might arise, whether required for his position or as voluntary enhancement to it.

4. The Town agrees to pay Stephen Jennings New York State retirement contribution and family health insurance coverage, the carrier of which is at the town’s discretion.

5. The Town will allow Mr. Jennings son the use of the residential apartment above the pro shop, during the 2020 golf season, for a rental fee of $500.00.

6. The town agrees to allocate to Stephen Jennings the space in and around the clubhouse for vending machines, the storage and maintenance of golf carts and the display of retail golf-related items. The town will receive $2.00 for each time that a golf cart, owned by Jennings, is rented.

7. Mr. Jennings agrees to provide the Town Supervisor with a copy of his comprehensive Liability Insurance policy, naming the Town as additional insured.

8. Mr. Jennings agrees to provide the Town Board with a list of proposed new hires each year, to become Town employees, when applicable.

9. Mr. Jennings agrees to execute his duties as course manager, Greenkeeper, and resident golf pro in a capable and professional manner; those duties shall include, but are not limited to:

a. the sale of memberships and tickets (supplied by the Town), a report of memberships will be summarized at the end of each month and copies given to Supervisor and Golf Course Committee members.

b. to record said memberships and any tournaments, that record to be broken down into the number of members and non-members playing.

c. to record all locker rentals

d. to make available a starter, when required

e. to give a minimum of two seminars for students at the Wheelerville School each spring. The Supervisor is to be notified of the date and time of the golf seminars.

f. to submit a weekly sales reconciliation form to the supervisor, the form to be supplied by the Town of Caroga. The weekly sale reconciliation form shall also have the Year to Date sale information and prior year comparison.

g. to provide and maintain a non-member log of players. A register of cash tickets and sales

(Log Book) will be maintained daily and reviewed with the Golf Course Committee Monthly.

10. The Town agrees to provide maintenance and custodial services to the course.

11. The town assumes no liability, nor responsibility for the condition of or potential damage to the golf carts.

12. Any and all existing or future concessions are the responsibility of Mr. Jennings with the prior approval of the Town Board.

13. Conditions identified by insurance inspector needed correction action must be done within 7 days of notification.

14. Required Department Monthly Updated to the Town Board forms will be submitted to the town clerk before monthly town board meetings.

Seconded by Council Member Sturgess

Discussion: Council Member Long asked if Mr. Jennings was happy with the contract. Council Member Travis assured him that he was.

Supervisor Horton & Council member Long thanked Councilmen Sturgess and Travis, for working on this.

Adopted by a vote of 5 Ayes by roll call vote

Council Member James Long – yes

Council Member Richard Sturgess - yes

Council Member Donald Travis - yes

Supervisor Scott Horton – yes

Council Member John Glenn – yes

Council Member Glenn stated the next thing we need to talk about is our wastewater. He asked if Travis Mitchell was still participating in the meeting. His icon is there but muted.

Council Member Glenn made a motion to approve $10,000 to go for a wastewater study.

RESOLUTION #2020-063 to spend $10,000 on a wastewater study was offered by Council Member Glenn at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday April 15, 2020.

WHEREAS, Supervisor Horton and Council Member Glenn have been working with the Fulton County Planning Department, and meeting monthly for several months, now therefore be it

RESOLVED that the Board does hereby move to authorize spending of $10,000.00 for the environmental wastewaters study for Travis Mitchell to complete his preliminary findings, and put in a presentation so we can go out for grants.

Seconded by Council Member Sturgess & Travis

Discussion: Council Member Long stated he knows how desperately we need a sewer district and we need a sewage treatment plant downstream of the dam at East Caroga. But he knows that the current funding situation and the likely funding situation next year, the year after the year after, with the crisis we are just beginning to endure, which will probably be on the order of at least as bad as the 2007-08 financial crisis, and maybe more comparable to the Great Depression. He was skeptical that we're going to find any source of funding in the next few years, and knows we're likely to run a shortfall in our own town budget. So while he campaigned for this very thing that's being presented he felt that this year is not the year to do this.

Council Member Sturgess agreed that this was going to be a tough year but the work we are getting done won’t expire right?

Supervisor Horton stated they have had four meetings with these people. It is a lot of money. But also, it takes us one step further if other communities don't do it and funding opens up, we will be at the top of the heap and this is extremely important. He thought by going down that road, you know, sometimes you've still have to have nerve. He is concerned about the budget but didn't think this is a budget breaker. We have plenty of areas… At our next meeting we are going to have much more clarity. We can look at those other areas that we may have to cut. Supervisor Horton thought that we've got to start to go into austerity mode fairly soon. If nothing changes, it will become quite apparent. But, this program, this is the reason that we have discussions like this. Some of us are going to say yes, some are going to say no. It is important. As he said in his supervisor report protecting these lakes is important. It's also a step forward in economic development, and people will know that we are investing in our community. It also will help define, or better define the cost of the system. We found ways we think that we can reduce the per user fee. The Supervisor thought it's anybody's guess about future funding

Supervisor Horton was surprised to hear from the DEC that they had not cut the smart growth, although it's possible that smart growth funding may be cut next which wouldn't affect the Wheelerville Trail but it would affect new applications.

Council Member Glenn stated we've already budgeted $6000 for this last year for this particular project. We're just asking for an additional $4000.

Council Member Sturgess thinks that the early bird gets the worm on us and we still have to get the ball rolling with everything else that's going on.

Council Member Travis thought we should take and do this study for us. It is only $4000 more than the $6000 we’ve budgeted.

Adopted by a vote of 4 Ayes and 1Nay by roll call vote

Supervisor Scott Horton – yes

Council Member John Glenn – yes

Council Member James Long – no

(Technical problems) Council Member Long thought it was because there were multiple simultaneous connections within town hall.

Council Member Donald Travis - yes

Council Member Richard Sturgess - yes

Supervisor Horton stated that three council members came in at three separate times to review the abstracts being presented for audit.

Supervisor Horton made a motion to approve the minutes of the 3/11 & 3/16 Town Board minutes and to pay the bills as presented for audit. Council Member Glenn seconded the motion. Council Member Long voted nay as he had not seen the minutes marked final from the clerk. Council Members Travis and Sturgess voted aye.

At 9:05 pm Council Member Glenn made a motion to adjourn. The motion was seconded by Council Member Long. All board members were in favor of the motion.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Gilbert RMC, CMC

Caroga Town Clerk

General #’s 113 – 144 $11,460.33

Prepaid #’s 61 -86 $38,932.78

Highway #’s 42 – 50 47,450.72

General Park #’s 4 – 11 $ 2,825.75