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State of New York

County of Fulton

Town of Caroga

Minutes of a Caroga Town Board meeting held Wednesday October 14, 2020 at the municipal building located at 1840 State Highway #10 at 7:00 pm with the following persons in attendance 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

Supervisor Horton, Council Members Glenn, Sturgess, and Travis were in the meeting room Council Member Long was accessing the meeting remotely. Town Attorney Sal Ferlazzo was in attendance as were Gene Centi – Weed Harvesting Coordinator and Parks, Lakes, Recreation, and Tourism Chairman, and Highway Superintendent – Larry Voght. There were eight members of the public in attendance. There were 56 members of the public signed in using ZOOM.

The pledge of allegiance was conducted followed by a moment of silence for D. Pete Welker. He served on the Zoning Board of Appeals and the Board of Assessment Review. The Town boards’ thoughts go out to his wife Judy, and sons Dan and Bill.

At 7:05 the public hearing on proposed Local Law #3 Bike Trail was opened. Supervisor Horton explained a public hearing is different from the public portion of a meeting as there is dialog with the public.

Paul Pavlus is in attendance on behalf of the Beer, Buck, and Beagle Club. He was concerned about the clubs access they have to cross town and state property which they have maintained via a right-of-way for the past 42 years. The bike trail has been put on part of their right-of-way. They are asking to be able to cross it at a 90° or 45° angle. They have no intention of riding on the bike path itself. Council Member Glenn asked how much of the bike path is in the right-of-way? Mr. Pavlus responded 20 – 25 foot stretches at 5 – 6 places at least. Moving forward, according to the proposed law, the town has the right to alter the law without a public hearing. Another concern was maybe in the future the area would be a no hunting zone because of the bike trail. At the first hearing on the bike trail it was stated the trail would be closed during hunting season. There are guys up there hunting now and there are people on the bike trail too. They do not want to have any accidents. The club has been hunting the area for over 50 years and want to continue to do so safely.

Council Member Sturgess remembers hearing, during the public hearing on the bike path, that it would be closed during rifle season. The board is concerned about public safety. Supervisor Horton referred to Section 7, Rules and Regulations of the Proposed Local Law #3. He thought it would come under there. One of the things we discussed before was making sure the Beer, Buck, and Beagle Club (BB& B Club) would have forever the right to cross that property and having it exclusive to the club helping to protect the property further up. He wondered if the hunting should be in the regulations rather than the law and asked the attorney about that.

John Allen stated at the public hearing there was a power point presentation. The person was a retired forest ranger and stated that he hunted. He stated as a rule all the trails he worked on were closed during hunting season. Mr. Allen has been up there and met people biking. They were not from the Town of Caroga. He didn’t think the town should be responsible for the maintenance of the trail when people from out of town are using the trails. He understands it is a double edge sword. He believed the length of hunting season is six weeks. The last time he was up there, there were two people hunting bear. He suggested that people should wear reflective clothing. He did not want to see the BB & B Club not have access.

Council Member Sturgess noted it is a double edge sword. The foliage is beautiful and the more people who come to enjoy it the better no matter where they are from. He thought wearing an orange vest was a great idea when riding the bike trial. Maybe they could be required to do so.

Mr. Allen stated there is nothing in the copy of the Local Law he received about hunting. He was also told that there would be signage at the parking area. He didn’t believe a sign was up yet. It was to have rules and regulations and a map.

Supervisor Horton stated we have sample signage from other trails. Nothing has been printed yet. That will be done. What the board does now my change some of the wording. He is concerned about the safety.

Mr. Allen noted it is not just the club members who hunt back in there. Council Member Glenn who is not a hunter wanted to know when hunting season is. Council Member Long noted and stated the dates for muzzle, archery, and regular season are on the calendar at townofcaroga.com.

Early bear begins the first week in September and rifle ends December 6th this year in the north. The dates change yearly. It is a complicated formula. It was noted firearms never end there is spring and fall turkey. Supervisor Horton stated the middle of October to the first week in December… but the dates change.

Tor Shekerjian facilitating the zoom meeting had a message from Rachael Simonds, a snow mobile club member, who stated the trails are closed until hunting season ends.

Craig Ivancic President of the Nick Stoner Trailers Snowmobile Club noted as far as the club officers and board of directors are concerned that if the bike trail law is amended that there is no language that would stop existing snowmobile trails on town property from being designated as a bike trail. Their concern is that the bike trail law could be used in the future to prevent motorized use existing established snowmobile trails. They specifically listed Irving Pond Road, the cell tower property, the golf course, and the Morey Road trail. The club is requesting that the existing trails be grandfathered in as multi use trials and not be designated as a bike trail.

Supervisor Horton reiterated what Mr. Ivancic said. He stated it was not the intent of the law to

prevent snowmobile trails from their intended use by designating it a bike trail. He did not believe it was even addressed. Mr. Ivancic stated that is exactly what their point is.

Council Member Sturgess asked what the reason for this law was. Supervisor Horton responded the primary reason of the law is to stop people from trespassing on the bike trail and ruining it. Council Member Sturgess asked who was going to enforce it if they trespass anyway. We shouldn’t have the law if we don’t have the issue yet. Supervisor Horton stated we don’t want to have an issue. It gives us recourse. Council Member Sturgess stated, a law is not going to stop the issue. We can still go back after them if it is a town law or not a law. It is town property. If someone takes a four-wheeler on the golf course right now and destroys the greens and fairways we can go back on them for destroying town property. Correct was the Supervisor’s response. Council Member Sturgess asked, what difference does it make if it is the golf course or the bike trail? This should be thrown out. It is a waste of time.

Council Member Long as far as enforcement goes once there is a law on the books then Fulton County Sheriff’s must respond. “But they can’t respond unless there is a law.” He thought it was important to get this on the books because we are vulnerable. In all due respect Council Member Sturgess stated that Jeremy Manning stated that snowmobiles couldn’t fit on the bike trail.

The attorney was asked to explain why we need this law to protect this trail. Attorney Ferlazzo stated it gives specific protection. Right now if you trespass on the golf course the town can sue for damages. Here there are additional fines. The intent is to protect the public. We do have to harmonize the snowmobiles and the hunting. In Section 3 Prohibited Action Attorney Ferlazzo said he would add permitted actions. He would add any entity that has a right-of-way over said path shall have the town’s consent to cross the path to access its rights. To the other aspect the gentlemen who were concerned about the town board passing rules and regulations by simple resolution without a public hearing. If you have a public hearing it give the public a second chance to comment. He thought that would be a good recommendation. The only inconsistency he sees, and it can be changed, the legislative intent says that it will apply to the users of trails currently owned by the town for recreational purposes and any extensions that may occur. If there are extensions it may jump into the snowmobile areas. We can make is so if you are going to extend the bike path to an area of outside where it is you have to have a modification of the local law and the fears of interfering with the snowmobiles would be gone. You would have to have a whole new Local Law to do that.

Council Member Sturgess asked if the BB&B Club have a cabin 2/12 miles back in the woods, if a person uses our town bike trail and goes in and vandalizes their property does that fall back on the town? “No,” was Attorney Ferlazzo’s response. He thought the signage should identify it. The town path should be pretty obvious. It is narrow and if you veer off it you are on your own risk. Beware of crossings, they should be indicated as private property on the map. The town should have the crossing signs made up. Mr. Allen stated they know where the trail is but it is difficult to see. In some areas the people making the trail threw debris on the BB&B Club trail because they did not know it was there. Mr. Allen also thought a barricade should be put up at the trail head so the only thing that fits through is a bicycle. Right now there is a blue four-wheeler riding on the trails. It was noted that it is one of the workforce and it was on a service trail to the top of the hill.

Mr. Pavlus suggested that the Local Law be specifically for that parcel (SBL), for that trail.

The Supervisor referred to Section 7 again and wanted to have any changes, would have to go to a public hearing.

The Board discussed how emergency personnel would obtain access to the trail. Fire Department Member Ralph Palcovic noted there is a side service trail. Not all members of the department are yet familiar with the options.

The clerk asked for clarification, was the bike trail open right now? Supervisor Horton responded partially. Mr. Palcovic stated it is in use. How can that be the clerk asked when there is no signage, or sign in? Not everything is done at one time was the supervisors response. He understood the clerk’s point. The clerk stated that she and the attorney had different versions of the proposed law. Attorney Ferlazzo stated on his copy under Town Owned Bike/Hike Path Property his copy did not have the words “and including but not limited to Tax ID Number 53.-1-14. He was going to put the SBL # back in. Attorney Ferlazzo also stated he would add any extension to said path shall be by Local Law. That way hunters and snowmobilers are comfortable. He would also delete under legislative intent “and any extensions thereof that may occur.” There are obvious concerns over the future of things that may not happen. It was stated that the town cannot interfere with the deeded right-if-way.

There was a discussion on who can access the right-of way. It was stated there are 28 members of the BB&B Club. Mr. Allen stated there is one particular trail that starts on their property. He intends to put up posted signs. There is a written filed easement. It can’t be changed. It was noted that the BB&B Club members who use four-wheelers have one page of the deed with them.

Mr. Palcovic stated the next phase of the bike trail may encompass some snowmobile trails in the future. In that instance, Council Member Glenn stated, they have to come back here. That sounded reasonable to Mr. Ivancic, he again stated that their main concern was that existing trails couldn’t be designated as bike only.

Supervisor Horton brought up the hunting issue. Did the public want to ban hunting? NO, was the response, by public and council members. Closing the bike trail during big game was suggested. Mr. Busch sees lots of people up there with bow and black powder. With the money that has been spent on the trail the fall time is the most beautiful time of the year to do something like that. There has to be a happy medium Council Member Sturgess stated. In his opinion, the trail can’t be completely closed during all of hunting season. Mr. Busch noted the first weekend in October the leaves are pretty.

Deb Correll stated that the forest is not closed to anyone just because it is hunting season. Fisherman use snowmobile trials to access ponds. She is still able to hike on snowmobile trials during the entire hunting season. You have to protect yourself with bright clothing. Mr. Palcovic stated Nine Corner Lake, or Kane Mountain trails are not closed to if you want to hike or hunt.

The bike trail land is about 100 acres. Attorney Ferlazzo noted this law has nothing to do with state land. The restriction is only on town owned land. Any land off this one parcel has nothing to do with this proposed local law. Council Member Sturgess suggested leaving hunting out of the local law. Supervisor Horton asked if there was any new information to present. Council Member Glenn made a motion to table this. Attorney Ferlazzo stated there were two options. Think about these minor modifications or the town can republish and have another public hearing if the changes are substantial. He thought the changes were minor. He could give the board new language so the proposed local law could be passed at the next meeting. He can give the board a red line version for the next meeting. Council Member Glenn wanted to see a final version. Council Member Sturgess wanted to see the proposed law thrown out.

At 7:40 pm the public hearing on proposed Local Law #3 was closed.

Council Member Long made a motion to pass proposed Local Law #3 as amended. Supervisor Horton asked for a second. Hearing none, the motion did not move forward.

Attorney Ferlazzo will red line proposed Local Law #3 and present it to the board for the next meeting which is Tuesday November 10. Council Member Glenn wanted to see the final markup and he wanted the snowmobile club and others to see it too. Council Member Sturgess wanted to see something in there about hunting season. Larry Voght asked if the bike trail would be closed to hikers it is the same danger.

Council Member Sturgess stated it was sold to us that it would be closed during hunting season. The previous board was selling us something that wasn’t quite true

Attorney Ferlazzo needed to know if the hunting issue was to be included in the next version of the proposed local law. You can think about it until you schedule the next public hearing.

Supervisor Horton wanted to try it out with everyone sharing the same piece of property. If it found to be a danger then we would have to address it. The major objection from the public was guaranteeing the access for their passage and not being prevented through this legislation from crossing the trail. That part is settled.

Council Member Long would rather avoid another public hearing and make whatever changes Attorney Ferlazzo thinks keeps this within the scope of minor changes so we can vote on it. He did not think hunting or other uses need be addressed by this particular law. It is parkland.

Council Member Sturgess asked to table this until the December meeting. Winter is coming the trail won’t be open for that much longer. He did not like the fact that it was sold to him with the fact that it would be closed during hunting season. Council Member Glenn replied that is exactly where he is coming from.

Supervisor Horton wanted to get this done sooner rather than later just to protect the trail. Council Member Long agreed. Council Member Sturgess noted there isn’t a problem yet.

Supervisor Horton made a motion that we come back and look at the resolution for passing this law at the November 10th meeting. If we have problems at that time another motion could be entertained to take it up in December. It would not be a hearing but the public can address the board before the meeting. The Supervisor stated the new legislation would be available to all interested parties and go from there. Council Member Long seconded the motion.

Discussion: Council Member Sturgess stated the hunting issued would be discussed at the next meeting. Council Member Glenn stated and come to a final resolution at the next meeting. The law is not going to address the hunting issue the Supervisor stated. If it becomes a problem…then the board will bring it back up. Council Member Sturgess wants to see the rules and regulations figured out by the next board meeting from Jeremy Manning. Then the board can discuss it. Supervisor Horton stated there were some restrictions on the non-motorized grant. The Supervisor stated it makes sense to have whatever signage at the next meeting for the board.

Council Member Sturgess asked if there was a law about riding a four wheeler on town property. The clerk thought so but was unsure.

The board voted on a motion to wait until the next meeting where we will have the revised draft of the proposed legislation. Jeremy Manning will be asked for the kinds of signage he is thinking up putting up there so the board can deliberate on it. The board will have 30 days to get more information. Attorney Ferlazzo noted this can’t be passed until SEQR is reviewed. Until it is in its final form you should not go through SEQR.

Supervisor Scott Horton - Aye

Council Member John Glenn - Aye

Council Member James Long - Aye

Council Member Richard Sturgess - Aye

Council Member Donald Travis – Aye

The Supervisor appreciated everyone coming out tonight.

Loren Lozier began to speak and stated she just received a message on a chat that the board is not going to be discussing the budget tonight, and that the public comment is shut down. If we were interested in the budget she could get on at 10 am on Friday a work day. She stated she is absolutely appalled that the public comment was shut down without discussing the budget. Supervisor Horton asked where she got that information from. Council Member Long stated she was muted. The supervisor asked the speakers to be respectful. He had no idea where the caller got the information from. The public comment is not closed. He did note that the Local Law would be addressed first this evening. The speaker was in error there. Since it is a regular meeting he appreciated comments being brief but that the public could talk to the town board about anything. He could not change the meeting at this point.

At 7::54 pm public comments session was open. (Five people leave the meeting.)

Tony Sturchio stated he was on the previous board. They voted not to give themselves pay increases. It is unconscionable this board would take a raise at times like this. The only one that he can see remotely deserves a raise is Linda Gilbert. She has been deserving of a raise for the past ten years. The board knew what the salary was when they ran for office. Any increases should be made for the next administration not for theirs.

John Alexander of 152 Green Lake Road agreed with Mr. Sturchio’s comments. He thought the board was going to be discussing the budget shortfall for the lack of revenues, and how it effects the taxpayers in the town. He stated this has not been discussed yet.

The Supervisor noted the budget meetings are very lengthy and you can’t do a budget meeting the same time as a general board meeting. We are going to be here quite late. Once the preliminary budget is decided upon then it becomes a tentative budget on which there is a public hearing. People get to voice their opinion again. He appreciated the participation of the public.

Council Member Glenn stated the preliminary budget is just a wish list from each department. It is not a final budget in any way, shape, or form.

Andy Healey of Kasson Drive stated the general concept of small business or family you have tough finances. Revenues are less in business or salary in your job. You have to cut everything that you can that is not locked in. He felt there were a number of discretionary items in the budget that have significant increases that can be moved to later years. Now is the time to close things down as tight as you can. If the economy is tough and there are things that have to get done that is understandable but the discretionary raises don’t make sense.

Supervisor Horton noted on the town Facebook page he has put a letter explaining the budget. He encouraged people to read it over there has been a lot of misinformation already out there. He did not know why it would be put out there in the fashion it was. It got a lot of town people excited about a proposed tax hike. For most of the people the increase would be between $50 and $100 a year. When large increases are put in percentages… yes it looks irresponsible. You have to look at the dollar amount. The supervisor did not want the people to go down the road thinking the budget is totally irresponsible when the spending levels on the general fund is $1,000.00 less than they were budgeted for this year. The Highway budget is extremely less than what was projected this year.

Council Member Long stated Facebook is not something everybody has access to. He noted there is a website of record. Council Member Sturgess stated James Long has a website of record we don’t. Council Member Long asked that the letter be passed on to him. Supervisor Horton also placed copies of the letter at the post office. This has been talked about in the past. Supervisor Horton stated every time information is shared with Council Member Long he takes it and goes out to the public and sort of misrepresent things. He talks about a line item that hasn’t even been discussed by the board. The Supervisor asked again nicely if he wants to be part of this board, and wants the board to use this website of record that you try not to incite the public. A woman called the supervisor today and said her taxes were going to go up $1,000.00. The Supervisor responded that would only happen if she had a two million dollar home.

Council Member Long state the supervisor is making points about his action and the website and he is asking for a chance to respond. Mr. Palcovic stated this needs to go into an executive session. The Supervisor stated he was disappointed, there is no reason to upset the public in the fashion it was done intentionally.

Andy Healey wanted to speak again but Deborah Price was next.

Supervisor Horton stated this would be the last speaker.

Deborah Price didn’t think it was appropriate for her to be the last person to speak. She thought there were others who would like to speak and they should have the right to do so. She was concerned with the youth cuts being made so drastically. She hopes they will reconsider that. She has worked for a non for profit her entire career. Public service is not self-service. She is disappoint that this is being discussed. She stated she has huge respect for the town board and highway dept. is doing a fabulous job and they deserve to be paid better. But right now we are in a terrible situation in this world. She did not think the board should be considering raises or taking away from our youth. Supervisor Horton asked where Mrs. Price got the idea the board was taking away from the youth. How much are we taking away? Council Member Long stated you are trying to trap her – this is ridiculous. Supervisor Horton noted the board has not even discussed that part of the budget. Yet people are complaining about it. He asked for accuracy and where she gets her information from, when that information does not come from the town board.

Council Member Long stated when the spread sheets are released to the town board it instantly become a public document. “That’s how open government works.” Yes, this is a preliminary budget, the numbers are out there, but what is behind the numbers has not been discussed. People are upset about the numbers yet they do not know what the certain line items are and why they are the way they are. There has been no information relayed to the public about it. Council Member Long disagreed. Not only were the percentages, but the dollar amounts, were made available. Supervisor Horton ends the discussion on the budget.

Deborah Price stated “Scott you are a much smarter person than this, please. We need you to be a leader right now.” He appreciated the compliments and apologized for his passion on the subject. He has spent the last three days putting out a lot of fires and trying to get a town budget together. He did believe there was misinformation out there.

At 8:13 pm the public portion of the meeting was closed.

Department Reports:

Assessor’s Report – No report from Victoria Hayner. Supervisor Horton wanted the people to know that the assessed value, despite all of the construction going on in town, has not increased. He needs to talk more to our assessor to find out what is going on. The value in the town is going down and wondered if something was wrong. We need to get into this in the next month or two.

Supervisor Horton announced good news – the town sales tax money was up for the third quarter almost 9.5% over last year. An increase of $19,142.00. The Supervisor receives monthly reports from the County Treasurer.

BTI – the program is done for the year

Clerk/Tax Collector/Registrar/RMO – The clerk stated the records room need some work to be done by the bookkeeper. Files need to be destroyed per the retention schedule after the budget work is done. The handset on the clerk’s phone is beginning to fail. We are getting close to having quotes for the board on the phone system. On April 15 a check for over payment of taxes was issued. The check in the amount of $27.20 has not been cashed. As of tomorrow the check will be dead. Council Member Glenn suggested sending a letter via certified mail. The Clerk will reach out to the taxpayer again. Lastly the clerk stated that the minutes of the meetings are only a record of what was said at the town board meeting and are not always factually correct.

Code Enforcement & Sanitation – Supervisor Horton sated he was very busy. Mr. Fancher thought the board should be looking at code and sanitation fees again. The clerk noted there was one specific fee the code officer wanted the board to consider enacting. Supervisor Horton stated it will be discussed later in the meeting.

Dog Control – No report from Mr. Dutcher.

Golf Course – Supervisor Horton stated the course was doing terrific. Gene Centi and Council Member Sturgess have been analyzing the golf course. Council Member Sturgess thought it would be a good idea to have someone else know the winterization process of the golf course. Mike Voght was thanked for working over there a few hours today. Council Member Sturgess wanted to make sure the highway budget was reimburse for the highway workers time on the golf course. Supervisor Horton did check with Joanne, the bookkeeper and could not get an answer on how to reimburse the labor. The Highway Supervisor stated it will be noted on the timecard. He noted the garbage labor comes out of the general fund. Council Member Sturgess wants to have an accurate accounting of expenses on the course.

The Highway Superintendent asked how he gets reimburse for all of the gas and diesel the golf course uses. Mr. Centi stated in prior years when he needed fuel for the boats it was logged in a book of how many gallons he took. He didn’t think a log was kept on the golf course. Council Member Sturgess wanted to invest in something to better track fuel.

Supervisor Horton thanked the Highway Department for their cooperation with the golf course.

Highway – Mr. Voght stated they will have all the sand in for winter use tomorrow. They did it out of our own pit. So it only cost our man hours. The box on the dump truck was rotted. The steel was replaced at a cost of $800 instead of $11,000.00. A new snow plow was purchased for $1,500.00 new it would have been $8,600.00. He was thanked.

Lakes Management Program – Council Member Glenn had a close out meeting last week. They discussed boat launches on East and West Caroga Lakes. It was noted that some people launch boats on private property. Mr. Harazin came up with a draft letter. The final numbers will be ready in November. Fish stocking was discussed. One application will be made to the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) for a permit. This will go through lakes management. He hopes that a member of each lake association will join together as a committee. They will work with a biologist at DEC to determine the best species to put in the lakes based on their studies. Everyone on the committee was thanked by Supervisor Horton for their time on the program. Having the program consolidated has made more cooperation.

Town Hall Building – Council Member Travis stated that the sewer pumps will have to be replaced. They are both down now. This has to be done.

The Nathan Littauer Hospital building project is moving along.

Youth – Cancelled for the year. Mr. Centi reported that contrary to belief the youth program has not been canceled for next year because of the budget. The budget is half of what it was last year because the school has elected not to fund the program next year. The town will be taking over the whole thing. It will be an abbreviated program. He is trying to find a couple of individuals who are talented and interested in working with kids and putting together a summer program based on cultural and some recreational. He has some great ideas for story days, music programs. It is a work in progress. Get in touch with Mr. Centi if you are interested in working on this program.

Historian – Supervisor Horton stated he appreciates the work of Mr. Nilsen.

Wheelerville Bike Trail – Jeremy Manning was asked for an update. He stated he was not given an opportunity to speak during the public hearing. He had a lot to comment on. To close out the year there are five trails completed. They are looking to do a sixth this year. Originally it was thought that only three trails would be built. They are high quality trails beyond what he thought would be built. They are seeing massive interest. A lot of people are coming from out of town. People from town are walking the trails. They should be wrapping up construction on the 30th. They do hope to ride the trail throughout the fall. He thought Council Member Sturgess’s comment about wearing blaze orange was a good idea. He stated there are no town rules out there, but most bikers understand about hunting and do know to wear bright clothes. For next year they are looking to do 4 – 5 more trails. They are looking to do an area for kids and a skills park.

Mr. Manning wanted an opportunity to answer any questions earlier during the public hearing. The Supervisor asked to reopen the public hearing on Proposed Local Law #3. Council Member Long said “Sure,” Supervisor Horton seconded the motion. Supervisor Horton apologized that he was not given an opportunity to talk. The grant the trails are being funded by does dictate that they be non-motorized. We have to have a way to verify with New York State that we have made an effort to make them non-motorized. He thinks a barrier at the front is a good idea but it won’t stop dirt bikes. As far as hunting goes it is something we have to spend time on. Doing a hybrid approach with clothes and open it … Council Member Sturgess again raised the point earlier that when this was first proposed hunting it was with hunting being to be allowed. The trail would be closed. Mr. Manning remembers Steve Ovitt talking about this. His point was that the best time to hunt is the worst time to bike. Riders won’t be in there when it is dark in the morning, days with rain, or snow. Those times are good for the hunters. When it is a nice bright warm day it is not good to hunt. The overlap would only be for a couple of weeks. Bikers would understand the trail being closed on opening day. He noted this is park land as defined by New York State that the town does own. If we closed it down Mr. Manning thought we might be in trouble with the state. He is not anti-hunting. He stated a balance has to be found for both users. Supervisor Horton asked for clarification on what was said initially that was of concern whether the town would close it or it wasn’t going to be closed? Mr. Manning did not recall them saying it was going to be closed. He thought it was discussed that during hunting season you would see bikers the later the season goes.

Council Member Sturgess asked if there were other trails that were closed down during hunting season that he knew of. Mr. Manning did not know of any bike trails across the entire country that close down for hunting season. Bikers and hunter have to be smart. They should wear blaze orange it could be a regulation. Over in Saratoga and down in Newburg it is posted to be smart wear orange.

Council Member Glenn has a place in Killington VT where there are premiere bike trails. They close the trails the end of October and open again on Memorial Day. Mr. Manning has ridden the trails in Killington and our trails are just as good. They have the earliest ski season. Council Member Sturgess was concerned about people not being able to cross country skiing, or snowshoe on our trails.

Mr. Manning noted the one thing about the law is that the intent is to protect the trails. We have spent a lot of money and time in man-hours. He knows we have not had an issue yet with someone going up there with a dirt bike or four wheeler, but we don’t want it to happen. It is a common thing for motorized vehicles to be prohibited not only for the impact on the trails but so you don’t meet them on a trail. It could be dangerous. Without that law in place we have no way of telling people they can’t be there.

Supervisor Horton stated we are back to the regular agenda. He asked Council Member Long to report on the parking situation on Green Lake Road. He stated that the Town cannot accelerate the dialog between APA and DEC. They know and knew of the need before the town got involved. They are rewriting the management unit plan now. This will take a long time. In the interim we have a serious problem on Green Lake Road. Council Member Long suggested passing a no parking law. Attorney Ferlazzo was given information on the number of cars parked there daily and how dangerous it is because emergency vehicles sometimes can’t get past the vehicles parked on the road. The Attorney stated it is a violation of the State’s Vehicle and Traffic Law – parking on the pavement. Highway Superintendent Voght stated the sheriff’s department would not write a ticket until the town passed a law. The Attorney will get a copy of the state law. He is familiar with the law as it is used to reduce tickets issued for moving violations. He will check to see what towns can do. Supervisor Horton noted the road is 0.08 long. Where would the legislation designate parking? Attorney Ferlazzo stated the law could maybe say you can’t park in the right-of-way. Council Member Sturgess did not want to ruin tourism. He hopes once the state improves the parking that the law would only be temporary. Mr. Voght noted the people ignore you and walk away when asked to move a vehicle. Council Member Long did not know how many more parking spots would be created. He thought maybe six. Council Member Long was in favor of some sort of regulation by the town. He stated it was urgent and essential.

PLRT Commission – Mr. Centi noted on the budget people are getting upset about a line item with a 600% increase. That celebrations is a line item that encompasses the Parks, Lakes, Recreation, and Tourism (PLRT) Commission. Next year the PLRT will have outhouse races on Feb. 20th 2021 on West Caroga Lake. They are planning a summer parade. This line item is paying for new flags and banners. Also on the 25th of October the PLRT is planning a Trunk or Treat event. It will be held at the Glenn Harris Memorial Park from noon to 2 pm. It is being run in conjunction with two gals who ran it over at the school.

Sewer Study – Glenn

The Supervisor Reported:

The street light project is going along. The financing is pretty much in place. One document has still to be signed. It is taking longer than he would have like to have seen.

There is FEMA Flood Plan Management meeting September 10, 2020.

He met with Peggy Booth and reviewed the Health Insurance policy. The premium went up just under 9%. The general liability insurance went up just under 5%.

The lease contract with NLH was signed. The ground breaking ceremony was 9/24/ 2020.

The first meeting on the personnel study with Pinnacle Human Resources was 10/ 2/ 2020. They are information gathering right now. A report should come out in the next four weeks.

The Supervisor met on 10/2/2020 with Gene Centi and Denny Fincke. His grandfather was the founder of the Nick Stoner Golf Course. He is excited to see that the town is paying attention to the golf course. Mr. Fincke is interested in having the town recognize his family. It was noted there is an exhibit at the Caroga Historical Museum. The history of the golf course goes back to 1830. Our course was built during the golden age of golf courses. Mr. Fincke has contacted the National Golfing Association.

The first Budget planning meeting was on October 5, 2020.

Morey Road was decided last week on October 6, 2020. The paperwork is on the judge’s desk. The town is waiting for him to sign it. Council Member Glenn asked if the snowmobile club can start working on the trail. In a day or two was the supervisor’s response. Mr. Centi thought there was a work day set up for Saturday. Attorney Ferlazzo didn’t see why they couldn’t start if everyone has signed off. He stated the order was still effective unsigned.

The Town has a septic tank pump failure.

There is an Emergency Management Meeting 10/22/ 2020. It involves a lot of things including evacuation routes and what people are supposed to do when and where countywide. The Code Officer, and Council Member Travis he hopes will join him.

The Supervisor attended the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board (APLGRB) meeting in Long Lake on 09/30/ 2020. The discussions were on Solar Panels, boat dock approvals in Saranac Lake (it took 6 years) road salt risks, terrestrial invasive species.

Old Business:

Franchise Agreement with Time Warner - No new information.

From August Agenda, Cyber Recommendations for town by NYMIR. The town is still working on computer systems. We still have to conduct training.

Phone System bids. Mr. Travis stated we are waiting on one more bid from Spectrum. The Town Clerk, Mr. Travis, Tor Shekerjian, and Dave Falvo met yesterday.

Records Room Retention Clean up by Bookkeeper needed. The revised Records Retention Schedule is 242 pages.

The clerk announced the Town Website is very close to going live very soon.

New Business:

The codes department thinks there should be a $50 research fee for property search requests.

A typical request asks that the Town send a letter verifying if there are any known code violations, a copy of the certificate of occupancy, and any public services provided such as street plowing.

The Supervisor received a correspondence from a constituent who thought this would come under the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL). Attorney Ferlazzo understood what was being asked for. He wondered how much time it took. Supervisor Horton responded a minimum of 20 minutes to a half hour to forty five minutes. Under FOIL you cannot charge for time. If they say they are making a FOIL request for any certificate of occupancy or any code violations it is harder to charge for that. But he will see if it fits into something else. It is reasonable. You don’t have to make up a record under FOIL so the request to determine if there are any known code violations in essence is making up a record. The $50 fee has to have some relationship to reality. The requests are coming from title search companies. They can pass off the cost.

The Red Cross desires to hold Blood Drive @ Town Hall on 12/7/2020

The Supervisor discussed having key pads installed with the town clerk. The clerk offered to get quotes for a key pad on the door at Town Hall. The Sheriff’s Department has asked to have access to the building. The cost for the basic system with an audit trail is $1,827.00. That includes the lock, software and labor. The supervisor is not sure he wants to spend the money right now. It would give the town the ability to track on who comes in and out of the building and when.

Council Member Long asked what would happen at the north end of the building. Because of cost maybe only one door would get the lock, though the supervisor would like to have both ends done. You don’t have to worry about lost or duplicated keys. It would still leave an issue on access with the south end of the building. This would allow us to start to secure the building now. Mr. Cent thought it would be cheaper to install a lock box with a key and a camera.


RESOLUTION 2020-120 to Set a Trunk or Treat and Trick or Treat events in the Town of Caroga was offered by Council Member Sturgess at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday October 14, 2020 at Caroga Town Hall.

WHEREAS, the Parks, Lakes, Recreation, Tourism Commission has organized a Trunk or Treat event in the Town of Caroga for Sunday October 25, 2020 from Noon to 2 pm at the Glenn Harris Memorial Park, and

WHEREAS, the Town Board in conjunction with the Wheelerville Union Free School desire to hold a door to door Trick or Treat event on Saturday October 31st from 6 – 8 pm in the town,

Now therefore be it RESOLVED that the Caroga Town board does hereby move to hold both a Trunk or Treat event and Trick or Treat in the town.

Seconded by Council Member Travis

Adopted by a roll call vote as follows:

Council Member John Glenn - Yes

Council Member James Long - Yes

Council Member Richard Sturgess - Yes

Council Member Donald Travis - Yes

Supervisor Scott Horton - Yes

Correspondence: Supervisor Horton mentioned the first and fifth items.

Fulton County Board of Elections Fee and Reimbursement Schedule

Fulton County Transfer Station asked Town for any changes in 2021

Workers Compensation 3rd Quarter Assessment

One Application for Part Time Custodian Position

Allen Farber request to change name of South Shore Road Canada Lake

Non – Structural Conditions Observed 9/29/2020 by DOT on North Bush Road Caroga Creek

FC Solid Waste Schedule for Veteran’s Day 11/11 Caroga Station Closed open Thurs noon – 4

Supervisor Horton stated the Allen Farber has made a request to change the name of the South Shore Road on Canada Lake to Sand Point Road. A draft resolution was sent to the town supervisor. This was the high road according to Council Member Long. This is due to confusion over having three South Shore Roads in Caroga. Supervisor Horton did not receive a copy of the petition. Council Member Long stated Mr. Farber was able to get well over the majority going door to door this summer. The number conveyed to the supervisor was 18. It will effect 28 parcels some owners have multiple parcels.

RESOLUTION #2020-121 to change the name of South Shore Road on Canada Lake to Sand Point Road was offered by Council Member Long at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday October 14, 2020 at Caroga Town Hall.

WHEREAS, there are three South Shore Roads in the Town of Caroga and

WHEREAS, there has been for many years confusion effecting both visitors and timely delivery of parcels, and

WHEREAS, there is a risk to the safety of the public in response to 911 calls and

WHEREAS, eighteen property owners constituting a majority of the property owners are in favor of changing the name of the road, and

WHEREAS, the terminus of the road is a geographic feature known as Sand Point, and

WHEREAS, the opposing shore there is a road named for another local geographic feature Pt. Breeze Road, and

WHEREAS, a majority of the property owners favor changing the name to Sand Point Road, now therefore be it

RESOLVED that the official name of South Shore Road on Canada Lake be changed to Sand Point Road and that the Town of Caroga Town hereby notifies the Fulton County 911 Coordinator of this change.

Seconded by Council Member Sturgess

Discussion: Council Member Sturgess stated this is a big step. Attorney Ferlazzo noted everyone on the road has a license that is going to require them to get updated. Obviously 911. The town has the authority to rename their roads. Supervisor Horton stated a lot of people who live on the road are seasonal, so drivers licenses would not apply. The Attorney noted this effects deeds which will have to be modified and that costs money. The property owner has do the changes. Council Member Sturgess wondered if homeowners should be given a packet to tell them what they are going to have to do because of that. Council Member Long stated it was “pretty simple and pretty automatic because it happens so frequently.” “Once we notify the 911 Coordinator of Fulton County. He notifies the state and then it is propagated to there so title companies everybody is going to know about that change. Google will know.” He stated there is a process to disseminate this information electronically through a database. He didn’t think it was a big deal. Council Member Sturgess asked if there was any negative feedback on people who did not sign. Council Member Long stated, “Nobody opposed the changing of the name. Two people wanted the name to be something different. But they are in favor of this change.” Council Member Sturgess wanted to have everybody on the road sign off before we…

Supervisor Horton asked to suspend the rules to see if there was anybody in the audience that lives on that road would like to address this. Karen Dutcher of Morey Road. Her question was is there a petition before the board “Can you see the names?” Council Member Long stated a photo was sent to the supervisor but he was unable to print it. She thought this was a problem because anyone can get a petition together to change the name of their road. Council Member Long noted his road Kasson Drive was changed from Old State Road by petition. Supervisor Horton noted in all seriousness that she would have to go through the same process. Council Member Sturgess has a business that delivers food and he runs into this problem every day. The suspension of the rules was closed.

Adopted by a roll call vote as follows:

Council Member James Long - Yes

Council Member Richard Sturgess - Yes

Council Member Donald Travis - Yes

Supervisor Scott Horton - Yes

Council Member John Glenn - Yes

Supervisor Horton wanted it noted for the record that the Town Attorney has cautioned that the owners of the properties may have to do work that their deeds and other vital information has been changed after the name of the road has been changed. Council Member Long stated he will publish this on the website.

Supervisor Horton explained the next resolution. An additional $2,500.00 was needed to fund the personnel study. Because of costs on the Morey Road litigation additional funds were needed to pay attorney fees. The disability line item was short of funds. Central printing went over budget. The roadwork done was expensive and only 80% of the CHIPS money will be reimburse. Since we are not doing bridge work this year money was transferred out of that line item.

Resolution #2020-122 to modify the 2020 Budget was offered by Superivsor Horton at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday October 14, 2020 at Caroga Town Hall.

WHEREAS, the Bookkeeper has identified a need to make certain transfers to balance the 2020 budget, now therefore be it RESOLVED that the Caroga Town board does hereby move to make the following budget adjustments via transfers as follows:

FROM: A1620.4 Buildings C/E $2,500.00

TO: A1430.4 Personnel Study $2,500.00

FROM: A1990.4 Contingency $7,500.00

TO: A1420.4 Attorney C/E $7,500.00

FROM: DA 9060.81 Drug Testing $ 20.00

TO: DA 9055.8 Disability $ 20.00

FROM: A1620.4 Buildings $ 500.00

TO: A1670.4 Central Printing $ 500.00

FROM: DA5120.4 Bridges $25,000

TO: DA5112.2 CHIPS $25,000

Seconded by Council Member Long

Adopted by a roll call vote as follows:

Council Member Richard Sturgess - Yes

Council Member Donald Travis - Yes

Supervisor Scott Horton - Yes

Council Member John Glenn - Yes

Council Member James Long - Yes

The clerk noted one of the bills being approved tonight was for the printing of the tax bills. The town pays the county to print and send out the bills. The cost is $237 less than the cost for the clerk to use first class postage just to mail out the bills. The county provides the paper, printing, envelopes, labor, by machine to stuff the envelopes, and the postage.

Resolution 2020-123 to Support the Randy Preston Road Salt Reduction Act was offered by Council Member Long at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday October 14, 2020 at Caroga Town Hall.

WHEREAS, Supervisor Horton attends the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board meetings, and

WHEREAS, the Town received a correspondence from Ronald Moore Chairman of the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board asking for support of the Randy Preston Road Salt Reduction Act, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that Supervisor Horton is hereby authorized to sign a letter of support for the Randy Preston Road Salt Reduction Act, it is a study/pilot project in 2021 to 2024, which is urgently needed but is being held up by the Governor.

Seconded by Council Member Glenn

Discussion: Supervisor Horton has signed individually. Each Council Member was encouraged to sign a letter of support individually. Both the Assemblyman and the Senate representative are supporting this legislation.

Adopted by a roll call vote as follows:

Council Member Donald Travis - Yes

Supervisor Scott Horton - Yes

Council Member John Glenn - Yes

Council Member James Long - Yes

Council Member Richard Sturgess - Yes

Resolution 2020-124 to set the Parks, Lakes, Recreation, and Tourism Commission meeting date was offered by Council Member Long at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday October 14, 2020 at Caroga Town Hall.

WHEREAS, Council Member Long informed the board that at the time the Parks, Lakes, Recreation, and Tourism Commission was created the minutes stated the meetings were the fourth Wednesday, and

WHEREAS, it is the preference of the Chairman, Gene Centi, to hold the meetings on the last Wednesday of the month, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Parks, Lakes, Recreation, and Tourism Commission official meeting date shall be the last Wednesday of the month.

Seconded by Council Member Sturgess

Adopted by a roll call vote as follows:

Supervisor Scott Horton - Yes

Council Member John Glenn - Yes

Council Member James Long - Yes

Council Member Richard Sturgess - Yes

Council Member Donald Travis - Yes

Resolution 2020-125 to Authorize the Supervisor to contract with Adirondack Septic for repairs was offered by Supervisor Horton at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday October 14, 2020 at Caroga Town Hall.

WHEREAS, the two septic tank pumps that have serviced the Town Hall building for 35 years are no longer working, and

WHEREAS, Adirondack Septic was contacted about the problem, and

WHEREAS, one of the pumps died about 20 years ago, and was not replace thus we are in an emergency situation, and

WHEREAS, the quote from Adirondack Septic is $5045.00, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Supervisor is hereby authorized to contract with Adirondack Septic 4720 Route 30 Amsterdam NY 12010, for an amount not to exceed $6,500.00 to replace the two septic tank pumps, clean out the access to the pump chamber, re-pipe the pumps into the existing system, replacing the floats, and the conduit & elbow which had exposed wires, and be it further

RESOLVED, the Supervisor authorized an expenditure of $955.00 for digging to determine what needed to be repaired.

Seconded by Council Member Long

Adopted by a roll call vote as follows:

Council Member John Glenn - Yes

Council Member James Long - Yes

Council Member Richard Sturgess - Yes

Council Member Donald Travis – Yes

Supervisor Scott Horton - Yes

Resolution 2020-126 to Authorize the Supervisor to enter into a one year agreement with the Adirondack Local Government Review Board was offered by Supervisor Horton at the regular monthly meeting of the Caroga Town Board held on Wednesday October 14, 2020 at Caroga Town Hall.

WHEREAS, Adirondack Local Government Review Board consists of members appointed by the governing bodies of the twelve counties wholly or partly in the Adirondack Park, and

WHEREAS, the Adirondack Local Government Review Board works to insure that the interests of the people of the Adirondack Park and their local governments are protected, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that Supervisor Horton is hereby authorized enter into an agreement for the Adirondack Local Government Review Board to provide services to the town for the year 2021 at a cost of $300.00.

Seconded by Council Member Long

Discussion: Supervisor Horton stated if the town gets into issues with the Adirondack Park Agency they will come and help the town through land questions at no additional charge.

Adopted by a roll call vote as follows:

Council Member James Long - Yes

Council Member Richard Sturgess - Yes

Council Member Donald Travis - Yes

Supervisor Scott Horton - Yes

Council Member John Glenn - Yes

Supervisor Horton made a motion to approve the minutes of the 9/9/20 and 9/25/2020 meetings. The 9/25 meeting was a special meeting that Doug Purcell was kind enough to be the secretary at. The motion was seconded by Council Member Travis. Council Member Long thanked the Supervisor for separating the approval of the minutes and approving the audit of vouchers. Council Member Long thought he had the final minutes from Doug Purcell. Council Member Long was surprised to see the minutes were heavily edited. Mr. Purcell should have submitted the final minutes. Mr. Purcell never saw the changes the Supervisor made. Supervisor Horton noted both the Town Clerk and the deputy Town Clerk had a previous commitments. The meeting was on short notice. The 9/25/2020 will be sent back to Mr. Purcell. The motion was amended by Supervisor Horton to approve the minutes of the 9/9/ 2020 meeting. Council Member Glenn seconded the motion.

Adopted by a roll call vote as follows:

Council Member Richard Sturgess - Yes

Council Member Donald Travis - Yes

Supervisor Scott Horton - Yes

Council Member John Glenn - Yes

Council Member James Long - Yes

Supervisor Horton made a motion to pay the bills as presented for audit. The motion was seconded by Council Member Sturgess.

Adopted by a roll call vote as follows:

Council Member Donald Travis - Yes

Supervisor Scott Horton - Yes

Council Member John Glenn - Yes

Council Member James Long – abstained as he did not review the bills

Council Member Richard Sturgess – Yes

At 9:31 pm Supervisor Horton made a motion to adjourn. The motion was seconded by Council Member Sturgess. All board members were in favor of the motion.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Gilbert RMC, CMC

Caroga Town Clerk

Copyright © James McMartin Long 2017-2020