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State of New York

County of Fulton

Town of Caroga

Minutes of a Caroga Town Board meeting held Wednesday November 18, 2020 at the municipal building located at 1840 State Highway #10 at 7:00 pm with the following persons in attendance by roll call. The flag salute followed.

Supervisor 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 and Joanne Young –Bookkeeper and Budget Officer accessed the meeting remotely. Also, in attendance as were two members of the public, there were 39 members of the public total signed in using ZOOM. Tor Shekerjian – Confidential Secretary to the Supervisor facilitated the ZOOM meeting.

Supervisor Horton wanted to say a few words about the unexpected tragedy of the burning, to the ground, of the clubhouse. It had served this town for 91 years. When you think of this you remember the people who have played and used the clubhouse. Our Golf Pro, and Course Manager watched 36 years of his life go up in smoke. It was a tough time. The Supervisor stated it was nice to get the emails from the public wishing us well and encouraging us to rebuild from the ashes.

Supervisor Horton noted the Caroga Lake Volunteer Fire Company, was assisted by the Meco Fire Company, and RGL Fire Company, they did an amazing job. Together with the Caroga Highway Department who came in on Sunday to help contain spills, to move equipment out of the way – they spent 10 hours on scene. They provided a safe secure area for the equipment that was salvaged. It was remarkable.

Supervisor Horton then thanked Council Member Sturgess and his wife Jennifer who own Campers Corners Store. They brought food, coffee, donuts and water. It was an extremely thoughtful gesture. Whenever there is a problem, they are there to help out. Council Members Glenn and Travis were there and gave help and support during the fire. They immediately began rallying the wagons around discussing which direction they should go in. Gene Centi Chairman of the Parks, Lakes, Recreation, and Tourism Commission PLRT was there taking photos and he also has a vested interest to see the town recoup from what was a horrible tragedy. People worked together for the public, in difficult times that is when you see the best. Council Member Travis noted the Town Clerk was there and assisted in getting insurance papers together. Supervisor Horton stated she was amazing. The clerk stated she learned a lot during the morning and afternoon of this tragedy. She noted you have to be prepared and ready. The clerk is planning to put together Information for the departments about their records.

Supervisor Horton stated they got organized in what they are going to do about expenses, how they will be handled, assign duties, and responsibilities to different individuals.

At 7:06 PM the public hearing on the 2021 budget was opened by Supervisor Horton. He anticipates it being brief as the board has already voted and accepted the amended preliminary budget. They forgot to go back after the amended preliminary budget, which basically used more of the fund balance. The public was insistent they wanted to see taxes kept as low as possible. They wanted more fund balance to be used to help reduce the increase in taxes. The budget went from $1.00 to $1.04 on the general fund line and there was an increase in the fund balance used to offset the amount to be raised by taxes by $49,378.00. That has been accepted and passed.

ZOOM participants were reminded by Mr. Shekerjian to send him a private chat message if they wanted to speak.

Through chat Kim Hart asked what the insurance coverage was on the pro shop. Supervisor Horton asked her to email him.

Doug Purcell was sorry he missed the earlier session. He sent comments in. He was concerned about the transfers to reserve accounts. He stated there was $55,000 from general and $40,000 from highway, he thought it was in the best interest of the town to add those reserves into the budget and take it from the anticipated fund balance. That way you would not have to increase the tax burden on the taxpayer. He stated the increase in the celebrations line item put a lot of people on edge. The money was not detailed as to what it would go towards. He suggested putting that $14,000.00 on the contingent line item until such time the PLRT identifies the projects they will be working on. Then money can be transferred after there are discussions.

Supervisor Horton thought some of this was a little late. There has been a lot of talk about fund balance. The Budget Officer did try to describe the Fund Balance better at the last meeting. There was a recognition at that time by the board to put more money into the reserve but there was a lot of uncertainty. The board wanted to have a plan first. Right now, the Supervisor was glad to have some unreserved fund balance money due to the major disaster that needs to be addressed. But that is no excuse not to have a plan. A more detailed capital plan will be developed.

Supervisor Horton spoke to an architect today at no cost to the town to discuss some of the needs of the town. He generously shared his time freely with him.

The Supervisor noted the budget has to be approved by November 20th. Supervisor Horton stated the raise for the town clerk will just be added to her salary. It will not be longevity as people have pointed out the town does not even have a policy set up. This will not have any effect on the budget. Supervisor Horton appreciated Mr. Purcell’s comments and hard work that he did on the budget. He gave the board a lot of thought.

Deb Price thanked the board for voting to resume ZOOM. She was concerned for the health of the board. She commented on their distance apart from each other and how they wore their masks.

The clerk stated that this is a budget meeting. She noted that four correspondence had come in on the budget for this evenings meeting. They were from Courtney Young, Jon Mueller, Genia Meinhold, and Amanda Young Ward. She noted each board member also received these emails.

At 7:20 the budget hearing was kept open in case someone comes in late.

Supervisor Horton noted the need to pay a bill. It is in regard to rental equipment for the bike trail project. A vendor rented the equipment to the town. He billed the town $4,500.00 for a couple of months’ rents. During the time he was operating the equipment he had a breakdown. He asked permission to use the town’s account to get hydraulic hoses. The supervisor approved the charge. This made it possible for him to continue working and not have to stop and go to Syracuse for parts. The one charge was for $214.85, the other was for $190.02 totaling $404.87.

RESOLUTION #2020-144 to approve payment of a voucher was offered by Supervisor Horton at a budget public hearing meeting held on Wednesday November 18, 2020 at 7 pm at town hall.

WHEREAS, Elias Glesmann of 9732 Starr Hill Road Remsen NY submitted a bill in the amount of $4,500.00 for the rental of a Kuboto U17 Excavator for work being done on the Wheelerville Bike Trail, and

WHEREAS, Supervisor Horton approved Mr. Glesmann to charge parts for his equipment to the Town of Caroga General Hydraulics account in the amount of $404.87 to expedite repairs to the machinery, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town board does hereby move to approve the payment of the voucher submitted for $4,500.00 less the $404.87.

Seconded by Council Member Sturgess

Discussion: The clerk stated the reason we are paying the bill tonight is so the town can expedite the paperwork for reimbursement of the grant money. Supervisor Horton noted they need copies of canceled checks for reimbursement back to the town.

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

Supervisor Horton stated the town has over spent in the A7145.4 Trails C/E equipment line and underspent in the labor line. So, a budget modification was necessary.

RESOLUTION #2020-145 to transfer funds was offered by Supervisor Horton at a budget public hearing meeting held on Wednesday November 18, 2020 at 7 pm at town hall.

WHEREAS, the Bookkeeper Joanne Young has identified a need to make a budget transfer, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the Caroga Town Board desires to make the following necessary transfers to maintain a balanced budget as follows: ©J.Long

FROM: A7145.1 Trials P. S. $6000.00

TO: A7145.4 Trails C/E $6,000.00

Seconded by Council Member Glenn

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

At this time there were no more comments on the budget. At 7:41 the public hearing on the 2021 Budget was closed.

Supervisor Horton made a resolution to adopt the amended preliminary budget.

RESOLUTION #2020-146 to Adopt the 2021Budget was offered by Supervisor Horton at a budget public hearing meeting held on Wednesday November 18, 2020 at 7 pm at town hall.

WHEREAS, the Town Supervisor, the Budget Officer Joanne Young, the Town Board and some members of the public have spent countless hours working on the 2021 Budget, and

WHEREAS, there was an increase in the use of reserve funds from $230,000 to $279,308 in the general fund which was approved as an amendment at the November 4th meeting, now therefore be it

RESOLVED, that the 2021 Budget is hereby approved as the final budget.

Seconded by Council Member Glenn

Discussion – Council Member Long wanted to state for the record that according to the projections of your/our bookkeeper that there is a significant fund balance more than the appropriate guidelines of the Office of State Comptroller and we should be deploying those – that fund balance so to avoid a tax increase. There is no reason not to do that. The overwhelming sentiment of voters’ communications the board have received is consistent with that, this includes ex Supervisor Jim Selmser and Doug Purcell. He stated this is not a wise budget. “I cannot endorse it.”

The clerk stated that the titles in the budget need to be updated to reflect Tentative, Preliminary and now Adopted Budget. Supervisor Horton stated he will have the Budget Officer do that. He stated she was tardy on that last year.

Adopted by a roll call vote as follows:

Council Member James Long - Nay

Council Member Richard Sturgess - Yes

Council Member Donald Travis - Yes

Supervisor Scott Horton - Yes

Council Member John Glenn – Yes

Council Member Long asked for verification on the upcoming monthly meeting. He has been given ZOOM meeting ID from Tor. (He was thanked) Council Member Long wanted to confirm that this was a normal ZOOM meeting – with ZOOM fully active, “Is that correct?” Supervisor Horton stated we may even have a TV set here by that time. Council Member Long asked how that would affect things…. He was not following about having a TV set.

Supervisor Horton wanted to have a large screen TV so that the board can see what you, (Council Member Long) are seeing and what Tor is seeing so the board members can see the public as they speak to them. The Supervisor thought that would be very helpful. Council Member Long stated “Agreed.” Supervisor Horton thought the TV cold be used après COVID for presentations. The Supervisor stated there was lots of thing he wished the public could see like paving the roads, fighting the fires, the sewer system presentation, the street lighting program. The Supervisor and Council Member Travis spent three hours on this today.

At 7:26 pm Council Member Glenn made a motion to adjourn. The motion was seconded by Council Member Travis. All board members were in favor of the motion.

Respectfully Submitted,

Linda M. Gilbert, RMC, CMC

Caroga Town Clerk

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