Thursday, August 29, 2019

Speculator concerned about septic tanks

Speculator VB August 12 2019

Speculator concerned about septic tanks
By Pete Klein
SPECULATOR—When the Speculator Village Board of Trustees met on August 12, Town of Lake Pleasant Supervisor Dan Wilt and Mayor Jeannette Barrett presented a LPSA letter received regarding Harmful Algae Bloom and Faulty Septic Tanks, and the importance of being proactive in protecting our lakes. They provided an Inlet Local Law regarding certification of preexisting septic systems
At the last meeting of the Town of Lake Pleasant Board it was proposed the Town adopt a similar local Law to Inlet that outlines the specifics for homeowner upkeep and inspection of their septic systems as a preventative measure in protecting our lakes.
Supervisor Wilt came to the Village Board Meeting requesting the Village also adopt the Law.
Trustee Eric Craven stated it was his understanding the village is under the town and those laws that are adopted by the town must also be enforced within the village unless the village chooses to put in place a law stricter in scope.
Bob Benkovich stated that in our zoning laws there is verbiage for septic systems, and we should look at the zoning law as well.
Mayor Barrett and Supervisor Wilt explained that in adopting a similar local law as Lake Pleasant, this will allow us to take corrective and preventative actions to protect our lakes.
Edward Scharpou, WWTP Chief Operator, submitted a written report as follows.
The monthly reports for June are done. Correspondence with DEC regarding SPDES technical review.
Flows to the plant have begun to slow down. We will take the outside plant offline shortly and prepare for construction.
We have continued pumping biosolids to the bays with a borrowed polymer machine. Once ours is built it will be installed however it will most likely not be used until next year.
Mid-summer plant smells have been questioned and we have done our best to eliminate the problem.
The biosolids have been applied to the Land Application site.
Sampling for the SPDES technical review will occur the week of the 19th.
We are on track for our September 9th deadline for bidding agreement. This is a resolution that must be made at the meeting. Plant design is nearly finished and will be sent to EFC for approval prior to bidding.
DASNY has what has been asked from us for grant funds of $500,000 to be released. It is being sent in for financial review currently.
The Monthly report has been sent out. August samples have been sent out.
Sampling for Nitrate, Secondary Inorganic Chemicals, and Disinfection Byproducts/Stage 2 will occur on the week of the 19th as required by DOH.
All R900s but two have been installed in the Village they should be done this week.
Meters will begin to come out shortly some have to be checked for inaccurate readings. Once they are removed, we will send them to be tested as they are still under warranty.
Quotes for the Pump to be replaced have come in slightly higher than anticipated. I have budgeted 25,000 for replacement. Layne (27,995.00), Hawk (26,741.50).
Mayor Barrett commented there is no interest on the current EFC sewer bond.
Scharpou stated the pump presented by Slack is slightly more expensive than expected but that it is of better quality and will be a better investment. With this company you buy the polymer then they give you the machine. The projected date for replacement of the well pump is the end of September.
Claire Craven submitted a written Transition Report and reviewed it with the Board. Additional commentary was made as follows:
Craven reviewed an excel spreadsheet comparing the written ledger accounts and the former software program’s balance sheet in order to come up with approximations for End of Year Closing discussions.
As best as can be determined, funds for the 4th of July Parade Committee were held within the Village General Fund account. An excel spreadsheet was found noting $8,829 as the amount held.
Craven asked for Board confirmation as to the accuracy of the amount and intent of funds and then recommended a separate designated checking account for 4th of July Parade Committee or explore the creation a 4th of July Parade Committee under the auspices of the Chamber of Commerce, separate from the Village. Trustee Letty Rudes asked, and all agreed, to have the Office of General Services or the New York State Accounting Services consulted prior to any decision on transfer of funds to ensure correct processes and procedures be taken.
In last year’s Audit, it states that no reserves have been designated for any specific accounts.
It was noted that the 2018 Audit report stated that the Village would make a resolution for a minimum unrestricted fund balance of at 10% of the general fund operating budget After looking back at previous years board meeting minutes, there is no documentation that the decision to do so was agreed upon by the board. In researching the validly of this statement, the Office of the State Comptroller recommends two (2) months spending.
Trustee Eric Craven made a motion to move the water bond interest funds presently in the General Fund to the Water fund. Trustee Mark Donecker seconded, and the motion was passed unanimously.
Trustee Craven presented a finalized draft for the new Vendor Law.
Trustee Donecker made a motion to approve the vendor law as presented, pending a final meeting with attorney Katie Smith confirming language.
Trustee Rudes seconded and the motion was passed unanimously.
A comment from the last meeting regarding the responsibility of the Kiosk was retracted due to its inaccuracy.
Claire Craven suggested we contact the Lake Pleasant School about the Kiosk being an 8th grade project.
Crystal O’Brien, Clerk-Treasurer, will meet with the Chamber and school to work out a plan.
Mayor Barrett commented that she has applied for a Grant for a map with local points of interest. If the Village is awarded the grant, the map will be added to one side of the Kiosk, leaving the other side open for local news, events and updates.
Trustee Craven made a motion to approve the Firefighter Application for Mr. Eric Knowlton-Page. Trustee Rudes seconded and the motion was passed unanimously.
Mayor Barrett reported that she received information on a grant for historical markers. She has handed over the information to Mr. Hoffman as historical markers should be investigated by the Historical Society. Therefore, the Village itself will not be looking further into the grant but left it to the discretion of the Historical Society.
Mayor Barrett reported two grants the Village has applied for have been turned down; however, there were others still in play and we would continue to apply for any eligible grant possibilities that could benefit our Village and its residents.
Robert Hoffman asked what other public events might be exempt from the new vendor local law, as the Historical Society hosts the Apple Festival in the fall and Scharpou mentioned Family Fun Day sponsored by Hamilton County. It was noted the verbiage states public events approved by the board to allow for these and other special events.
Mayor Barrett publicly thanked all of those who stepped up and filled in for her in her absence, in which she is extremely grateful.

Editor Note: Story based on the minutes from Crystal O’Brien, Village Clerk - Treasurer

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