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State of New York

County of Fulton

Town of Caroga

Minutes of a Caroga Town Board emergency meeting held Saturday October 24, 2020 at the municipal building located at 1840 State Highway #10 at 9:00 am 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, and Travis were in the meeting room Council Members Long and Sturgess were accessing the meeting remotely. Also in attendance were Gene Centi – Weed Harvesting Coordinator and Parks, Lakes, Recreation, and Tourism Chairman. There were 4 members of the public signed in using ZOOM.

Supervisor Horton stated there were changes to be made from the October 21st meeting. The Supervisor noted the need to change the name of the budget the board was working on, on Wednesday October 21st 2020.

RESOLUTION #2020-130 to change the wording of the budget that they were working on, on Wednesday October 21st 2020 they had determined to call the preliminary budget not the tentative budget was offered by Supervisor Horton at an emergency meeting held on Saturday October 24, 2020 at 9:00 am at 1840 State Highway 10.

WHEREAS, the Supervisor, Budget Officer and Town Board have been referring to the budget they have been working on during the month of October 2020 as preliminary and

WHEREAS, the Supervisor was notified that the budget terminology was not correct, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the town board does hereby move call the budget being worked on the preliminary Budget.

The motion was seconded by Council Member Long.

Adopted by a roll call vote as follows:

Supervisor Scott Horton - Aye

Council Member John Glenn - Yes

Council Member James Long - Yes

Council Member Richard Sturgess - Yes

Council Member Donald Travis - Yes

Supervisor Horton explained that immediately after the meeting on Wednesday the Town Clerk notified the Leader Herald, the official newspaper for the town, of the date of the next public hearing for Local Law #4. Late Thursday the clerk found out that they would not publish the notice in a timely fashion. The public needed to have the proper notification. The Supervisor applauded Gene Centi, Tor, Linda and James Long for their hard work to get this organized for this emergency meeting today so the board could modify the resolution for Local Law #4. The second resolution is to adopt local law #4. Council Member Glenn remembered another occasion where timely notification was a problem. Council Member Long noted that was different it had to be five days and it could not include weekends. The Clerk noted as a buffer the board should make sure when there is a need to have a public hearing that two days are necessary to get it in the newspaper then the clock would start running. The Supervisor noted scheduling out seven (7) days out minimum. The Supervisor noted this was an emergency meeting “in order for us (the board) to keep on the time schedule of the State Comptroller’s office has for certain notifications and time frames.”

RESOLUTION 2020-131 amending Resolution #2020-128 - Proposed Local Law #4 for the year 2020 a Local Law to override the 2021 tax cap was offered by Supervisor Horton at an emergency session meeting held on October 24, 2020 at 9:00 am at 1840 State Highway 10.

WHEREAS, the year 2020 has been an extraordinarily challenging year for local municipalities in Upstate New York, which has not seen a significant outbreak of COVID-19 but, like all other local governments throughout New York State, the region was forced to shut down for an extended period of time, while maintaining day-to-day operations necessary to keep a town functioning and serving the people most closely impacted by the sudden shuttering of businesses, job loss, and the added stress living in a period of uncertainty creates; and

WHEREAS, amongst the backdrop of COVID-19, and the multitude of challenges this pandemic continues to cause society, the New York State Comptroller recently released the “2 Percent Tax Cap” figures for the budget year 2021, and advised the Town of Caroga that the tax cap, in actuality, will be 1.60%; and

WHEREAS, the State of New York’s declaration that the tax increase for the 2021 budget for the Town of Caroga must remain under 1.60% of the tax rate adopted in 2020 is unrealistic, and threatens to force town boards across the State to choose between maintaining services or curtailing services and thereby increasing the potential for public safety to be sacrificed; and

WHEREAS, the Town Board for the Town of Caroga believes it to be in the best interest of the citizens and taxpayers of the town to craft a financially prudent, but reasonable and realistic town budget for 2021, without being restricted by an artificial and unworkable 1.60% tax cap limitation; and

WHEREAS, Local Law No. 4 of the Year 2020 is a Local Law to Override the Tax Levy Limit for Fiscal Year 2021 Established by General Municipal Law §3-c, and to allow the Town of Caroga to adopt a Town Budget for town purposes, fire protection districts, and other special or improvement districts governed by the Town Board for the Fiscal Year 2021 that requires a real property tax levy in excess of the tax levy limit as defined by GML §3-c; and

WHEREAS, the Local Law expressly authorizes the Town Board to override the tax levy limit by the adoption of a Local Law by a vote of 60% of the Town Board; and

WHEREAS, the Town Board desires to hold a public hearing on October 31, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. at the Town Offices and also via Zoom per executive order 202.67, for the purpose of hearing public comments on the adoption of Local Law No. 4 of 2020; and

WHEREAS, the Town Board has considered the application of the State Environmental Quality Review Act and hereby determines that the proposed Local Law constitutes a Type II action for which an environmental assessment form shall not be required;

NOW, THEREFORE, upon motion made by Town Supervisor Horton and seconded by Council Member Long, be it resolved as follows:

RESOLVED, that Local Law No. 4 of the Year 2020 of the Town of Caroga, A Local Law to Override the Tax Levy Limit Established in General Municipal Law §3-c is hereby introduced; and be it is further

RESOLVED, that the Town Clerk shall advertise the holding of a public hearing by the Town Board on Saturday, October 31, 2020 at 10:00 a.m. via Zoom and at the Town Hall, located at 1840 State Highway 10, Town of Caroga to hear any comments related to the proposed Local Law No. 4 of 2020.

Adopted by a roll call vote as follows:

Council Member John Glenn - Yes

Council Member James Long - Aye

Council Member Richard Sturgess - Yes

Council Member Donald Travis – Yes

Supervisor Scott Horton - Aye

Supervisor Horton thanked everyone for their hard work. Council Member Glenn noted this resolution is unanimously adopted by those town board members present and those on Zoom pursuant to a roll call vote.

The Clerk wanted to announce to the board that recently the Highway Superintendent was having a problem with his radios. During the executive session he came looking for the board or Supervisor. Later in the day the Clerk met up with him again and asked if he found the board member he needed. No he had not. I asked if there was anything I could help him with. He stated that his radios were not working. I told him I would make a phone call for him. I contacted the company the town purchased the radios from. I spoke to a representative who told me to check the repeater in the gym to see if it had failed. I called him back to report my findings. The representative was then connected to the Highway Superintendent. The problem was at the highway barn base unit. Within 24 hours I had the situation resolved. That is what I do. I reiterated to the Highway Superintendent that if there is anything he needs to contact me. I am happy to give him any information I can and help him out the best I can.

Supervisor Horton wanted this brought to the boards attention. The public doesn’t always understand how people work together in this town and how they are willing to help others even if this wasn’t part of the Town Clerk’s duty to assist in fixing a broken communication system which is so critical for the highway department. He sees this happen over and over again. Inter- department cooperation this year has been extraordinary.

At 9:16 Council Member Glenn made a motion to close the meeting. Seconded by Council Member Travis. All board members were heard to be in favor of the motion. No one was opposed.


Linda Gilbert, RMC, CMC

Caroga Town Clerk

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