Saturday, December 7, 2019

Hamilton County on APA agenda

APA Dec 12 2019

Hamilton County on APA agenda
By PETE KLEIN
RAY BROOK--The Adirondack Park Agency will hold its monthly meeting at its headquarters in Ray Brook on Thursday, December 12. Please use http://www.apa.ny.gov and click Live and Archived webcast from the News and Activities list to watch the meeting.
On Thursday at 9:30 a.m., the Full Agency will convene for Executive Director Terry Martino's monthly report. 
At 10 a.m., the Regulatory Programs Committee will consider approval for a proposed telecommunication tower to be built in Elizabethtown, Essex County.  Vertical Bridge Holdings, LLC has submitted plans to install a 90-foot-tall self-supporting monopole tower.  The tower will be concealed as a 95-foot-tall simulated tree. 
The committee will also consider a timber harvest plan submitted by the Lyme Timber Company for lands in Arietta and Lake Pleasant, Hamilton County. Lyme Timber proposes a 509-acre shelterwood overstory removal to release a fully regenerated understory. Lyme Timber also seeks approval for a 134-acre free thinning treatment to harvest mature overstory trees to concentrate sunlight and resources on crop trees. The project site is within a New York State Working Forest Conservation Easement and is certified to both Forest Stewardship Council and Sustainable Forestry Initiative standards.
At 11:45 a.m. the Local Government Services Committee will review and consider authorizing proposed amendments to the Town of Indian Lake’s Local Land Use Program. The Town of Indian Lake has administered an Agency-approved Local Land Use Program (ALLUP) since 1977. The Town adopted a new Comprehensive Plan in 2017 and following that formed a committee to look at areas in the code in need of improvement or clarification. The proposed Town Ordinance builds upon the foundation of the Indian Lake’s existing code and is intended to reflect the shared community vision outlined in its new comprehensive plan.
At 1:15 p.m., the Public Awareness and Communication Committee will be briefed by NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) staff on the 2019 Smart Growth Grant program. DEC staff will highlight Adirondack Park projects awarded in the 2019 grant fund round and update the Board on the progress of previously funded projects.
At 2 p.m., the Park Planning and Policy Committee will welcome Ms. Nicole Hylton-Patterson, the Director of the newly established Adirondack Diversity Initiative (ADI). Hylton-Patterson will provide an overview of ADI focusing on their first six-month strategies and goals.
At 3 p.m., the Full Agency will convene to take any necessary actions and hear member and Local Government Review Board comment.
To review the meeting materials please download from the APA website at: https://www.apa.ny.gov/Mailing/2019/12/index.htm
The meeting facility is wheelchair accessible. Please contact Keith McKeever for any specific requests for accommodations.
The January Agency Meeting is scheduled for January 16-17, 2019.

Friday, December 6, 2019

County employees see some promotions

Supervisors Dec 5 2019

County employees see some promotions
By PETE KLEIN
LAKE PLEASANT—When the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors met on Thursday, December 5, several county employees were promoted, and many health-related issues were approved.
PROMOTION OF DPW EMPLOYEES
“WHEREAS, the County Highway Superintendent has met with the Public Works and Internal Management Committee’s to discuss changes in the department because of retirement of the Deputy DPW Superintendent, and
“WHEREAS, this request was not previously acted upon at any of the November Session dates due to an oversight, and
“WHEREAS, the department will not be replacing the deputy superintendent position and is recommending the following promotions and Grade changes for the following employees: Lisa Johnson – Grade 11 Administrative Assistant to Grade 13 DPW Administrative Manager, effective December 1, 2019; Christopher Mitchell – Grade 17 Road Supervisor II to Grade 19 Road Supervisor III, effective December 1, 2019; Gregg Boyer – Grade 15 Road Supervisor I to Grade 17 Road Supervisor II, effective December 1, 2019
“WHEREAS, the Public Works Committee does recommend the promotions stated hereon, be it
RESOLVED, that hereby the County Highway Superintendent is authorized to promote the employees mentioned hereon at their current step effective as mentioned hereon, be it further
RESOLVED, that $408.32 be transferred from Account No. D5010.104 Deputy to Account No. D5010.102 Administrative Assistant and the County Treasurer be so authorized and the Personnel Officer, Clerk of the Board and DPW Superintendent be so notified.”
CHANGE GRADES FOR PROJECT BUILDING SUPERVISOR
“WHEREAS, Daniel Fish, Buildings Maintenance Supervisor will be retiring on January 2, 2020 and the department will not be filling this position at the time of his retirement, and
“WHEREAS, the DPW Superintendent has met with the Public Works and Internal Management Committees and the Superintendent recommends moving the current Project Building Supervisor Grade 20 to Grade 22 as there will be more responsibility for this position, and
RESOLVED, that hereby the Project Building Supervisor Grade will be moved from Grade 20 to Grade 22 effective January 1, 2020 and the Personnel Officer be so authorized and County Treasurer, Clerk of the Board and DPW Superintendent be so notified.”
AUTHORIZING PROMOTION OF DPW EMPLOYEE FROM MEO TO HEO-T
“WHEREAS, the DPW Superintendent has met with the Public Works Committee to recommend the promotion of the following employee: Darin Damphier – MEO to HEO-T and
“WHEREAS, the DPW Superintendent recommends this promotion, be it
RESOLVED, that hereby the DPW Superintendent is authorized to promote the above-mentioned employee from MEO to HEO-T at their current step effective January 1, 2020 and the Personnel Officer, County Treasurer and Clerk of the Board be so notified.”
PROVIDER SERVICES WITH ADIRONDACK HEALTH INSTITUTE
“WHEREAS, the Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service is required to perform periodic full and updated Community Health Assessments (CHA), and
“WHEREAS, the Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service supported and participated in development and implementation of a regional community health assessment, through grant funding obtained by the Adirondack Health Institute, for completion of the Community Health Assessment, and
“WHEREAS, the cost share for the Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service to remain a part of this valuable regional process is $5,000.00, which has been proposed in the 2020 Municipal Budget and is reimbursable through the State Aid process at 100%, be it
“RESOLVED, that the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors is authorized to enter into an agreement on behalf of the Public Health Nursing Service with the Adirondack Health Institute, not to exceed $5,000.00, for the period January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 upon approval of the County Attorney and the County Treasurer be so notified.”
PROVIDER UTILIZING ELECTRONIC BILLING
“WHEREAS, the Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service submits electronic claims to the State’s Medicaid Fiscal Agent, and
“WHEREAS, the agency maintains 3 programs for which one or more “Certification Statement for Provider Utilizing Electronic Billing” forms are required as follows: Preschool Special Education Program, Early Intervention Program, Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service (CHHA)
“RESOLVED, that the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors is authorized to sign each “Certification Statement for Provider Utilizing Electronic Billing” for the Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service, as needed, for the period January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.”
HOME HEALTH AIDE SERVICES
“WHEREAS, Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service proposes to contract with Fort Hudson Health System, Inc. for the provision of home health aide level services for the resident of Hamilton County, and
“WHEREAS, Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service proposes to contract at the same rate as in 2019 of $30.31 per hour for January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, now, therefore, be it
“RESOLVED, that the Chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors be and is hereby authorized to sign a contract on behalf of the County of Hamilton with Fort Hudson Health System, Inc., 319 Broadway, Fort Edward, NY 12828 to provide services of Certified Home Health Aides to the patients of the Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service at a rate of $30.31 per hour for the period of January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020.”
RABIES SPECIMEN PREPARATION AND SUBMISSION
“WHEREAS, the Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service is required under New York State Public Health Law (PHL) and 10 NYCRR 40-2.100 and 2.101 to designate and maintain a system for communicable disease control, including rabies, and
“WHEREAS, PHL sections 2140 through 2145 gives primary responsibility for control and suppression of rabies to local health departments, and
“WHEREAS, that responsibility includes provision of specimen preparation by a qualified veterinarian; provision of quarantine for un-vaccinated suspect rabid animals; as well as euthanasia and cremation as appropriate following PHL, and
“WHEREAS, the Glens Falls Animal Hospital, 66 Glenwood Avenue, Queensbury, NY 12804, is willing to provide said services for the County of Hamilton following NYS DOH guidance and directives, and
“WHEREAS, HCPHNS is supported by annual NYSDOH grant funding and NYS aid to fund these activities, and
“WHEREAS, Glens Falls Animal Hospital has agreed to collect fees for cremation, quarantine and/or subsequent required rabies vaccinations from animal owners as feasible per NYS Law, be it
“RESOLVED, that the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors is authorized to enter into an agreement with the Glens Falls Animal Hospital for provision of services as outlined above upon, for the period January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, upon approval of the County Attorney and the County Treasurer be so notified.”
HOME AIDE SERVICE OF THE CENTRAL ADIRONDACKS
“WHEREAS, Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service proposes to contract with Home Aide Service of the Central Adirondacks, Inc. (HASCA) for the provision of home health aide level services for the resident of Hamilton County, and
“WHEREAS, Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service proposes to contract at the same rate as in 2019 of $30.31 per hour for January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, now, therefore, be it
“RESOLVED, that the Chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors be and is hereby authorized to sign a contract on behalf of the County of Hamilton with Home Aide Service of the Central Adirondacks, Inc, PO Box 25, 114 S Shore Rd, Old Forge, NY 13420 to provide services of Certified Home Health Aides to the patients of the Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service at a rate of $30.31 per hour for the period of January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020.”
HOME HEALTH CARE PARTNERS
“WHEREAS, Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service proposes to contract with Home Health Care Partners, Corp. for the provision of home health aide level services for the resident of Hamilton County, and
“WHEREAS, Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service proposes to contract at the same rate as in 2019 of $30.31 per hour for January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, now, therefore, be it
“RESOLVED, that the Chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors be and is hereby authorized to sign a contract on behalf of the County of Hamilton with Home Health Care Partners, Corp., 1830 River Front Center, Amsterdam, NY 12010 to provide services of Certified Home Health Aides to the patients of the Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service at a rate of $30.31 per hour for the period of January 1, 2020 – December 31, 2020.”
PHARMACEUTICAL CONSULTANT
“WHEREAS, the Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service is required to have a Pharmaceutical Consultant to ensure compliance with all federal and state regulations relative to the storage of pharmaceuticals within the Agency, and
“WHEREAS, providers qualified to perform these services are limited within Hamilton County, and
“WHEREAS, Laura Davis, 212 Meriline Avenue, Scotia, NY 12302 has agreed to perform the services for the Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service at a charge of Two Hundred Fifty Dollars ($250.00) per visit to the County plus mileage at the prevailing county rate, and
“WHEREAS, she also agrees to provide pharmaceutical services to the County in the event of an emergency requiring large scale distribution of drugs or vaccines by the Agency at the rate of Fifty Dollars ($50.00) per hour plus mileage, and
“WHEREAS, she will maintain professional liability insurance in order to provide additional services during large scale distribution of pharmaceuticals, with the understanding that she will be reimbursed by the County for insurance premiums, not to exceed $200.00, therefore, be it
“RESOLVED, that the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors is authorized to enter into contract with Laura Davis, upon approval of the County Attorney, to perform Pharmaceutical Consultant Services for the Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service pursuant to 10NYCRR Section 752.5, as delineated above for the period of January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 and the County Treasurer be so notified.”
MEDICAL RECORD CONSULTANT AUDIT REVIEW
“WHEREAS, the Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service, as part of its Health Care Compliance Program will require a medical record audit review on its files on an annual basis, and
“WHEREAS, providers qualified to perform these services within Hamilton County are very limited, and
“WHEREAS, Patricia A. Hawley, of 1787 Call Street, Lake Luzerne, NY 12846 has agreed to perform a medical records audit review of the files at a cost of Four Hundred Twenty-Five Dollars ($425.00) per day plus mileage at the prevailing county rate, and estimates that she will be required to review and audit the medical records biannually, be it
“RESOLVED, that the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors is authorized to enter into a contract with Patricia A. Hawley to perform a medical records audit and review of the Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service Records, for the period January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020.”
SPEECH-LANGUAGE PATHOLOGISTS
“WHEREAS, the Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service contracts with individual providers of treatment for speech and language pathologies for several programs, and
“WHEREAS, Rebecca Lynn Pelton, North Creek and Patricia Wojcicki, Broadalbin are duly licensed Speech and Language Pathologists by the NYS Department of Education, Office of Professions and wish to contract with the Nursing Service, and
“WHEREAS, the term of these contracts shall be from January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020, and
“WHEREAS, provider will be compensated at a rate of $75.00 per visit plus mileage at the current county rate for services rendered through the Certified Home Health Agency, and
“WHEREAS, the provider will be compensated at the current per visit rate, with mileage included in rate, set by the New York State Department of Education for services rendered under through the Preschool Special Education Program, be it
“RESOLVED, that the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors is authorized to  enter  into  a contract with Rebecca Lynn Pelton, SLP,  and  Patricia Wojcicki  SLP  to  provide treatment for speech and language pathologies to the residents of Hamilton County, for the period January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 at the rates set above, upon approval of the County Attorney and the County Treasurer be so notified.”
PRESCHOOL SERVICE PROVISION PROVIDERS
“WHEREAS, the Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service is required to provide for special education and related services for children aged 3 – 5 who reside in Hamilton County and have a developmental delay as defined through a comprehensive evaluation through the Committee on Pre-School Special Education (CPSE) process, and
“WHEREAS, the following organizations are approved providers of special education and related services through the New York State Department of Education: Lexington Center, Gloversville, Whispering Pines Preschool, Delanson, Community Health Center of St. Mary’s and Nathan Littauer Hospital, Johnstown, and
“WHEREAS, the frequency and duration of services for each child is based on the findings of the comprehensive evaluation and rules applying to section 4410 of the New York State Education Law, as determined by the CPSE committee in preparing an Individualized Education Plan (IEP), and
“WHEREAS, the compensation for special education and related services are set at rates in conjunction with the Rate Setting Unit of the NYS Department of Education, be it
“RESOLVED, that the Chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors is hereby authorized to enter into contracts with these providers to provide the aforesaid services for the period of January 1, 2020 through December 31, 2020 pursuant to an aforesaid IEP for each eligible child, with compensation for each eligible child, with compensation for services rendered at the current approved rates set forth for Hamilton County by the Rate Setting Unit of the NYS Education Department, upon approval of the County Attorney and the County Treasurer be so notified.”
MEDICAID AND MEDICARE COST REPORTS
"WHEREAS, the Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service is required to submit the following Cost Reports annually for all services provided by the Nursing Service: Certified Home Health Agency Medicare Cost Report Certified Home Health Agency Medicaid Cost Report Diagnostic and Clinic Services Medicaid Cost Report
“WHEREAS, the current contracted provider of accounting services for the Nursing service is McCarthy and Conlon, LLP, and
“WHEREAS, Michael McCarthy, CPA will complete the reports within appropriate timeframes and review results with the Public Health Nursing Service, be it
“RESOLVED, that the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors is authorized to sign the Medicaid and Medicare Cost Reports for Year 2019.”
HIGH PEAKS HOSPICE AND PALLIATIVE CARE
“WHEREAS, by Resolution No. 169 adopted August 6, 1992, the Chairman was authorized to sign referral agreements with High Peaks Hospice, and
“WHEREAS, the Public Health Nursing Service and Department of Social Services is in receipt of an extension agreement with High Peaks Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc. for the period of November 1, 2019 through November 1, 2020, be it
“RESOLVED, that the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors be authorized to sign the extension agreement with High Peaks Hospice and Palliative Care, Inc.”
SCHOOL AND COMMUNITY PREVENTION INITIATIVE
“WHEREAS, Community Services has developed a Hamilton County School and Community Prevention Initiative that offers Hamilton County Schools Clinical Social Worker and Resource Officer services, and
“WHEREAS, the Schools will be offered these services by contact for an annual amount of $10,000 for each one day of services per week, be it
“RESOLVED, that upon approval of the County Attorney, Hamilton County Community Services is hereby authorized to contract with Hamilton County Schools that request Social Worker services for an annual amount of $10,000 for each one day of service per week effective January 1, 2020-December 31, 2020 and/or Resource Officer services for an annually amount of $10,000 for each one day of service per week effective January 1, 2020-June 30, 2020.”
AUTHORIZING OUT OF STATE TRAVEL
“WHEREAS, the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors has been named to the Upstate Cellular Task Force, and
“WHEREAS, as part of the effort to deploy improved cellular in Hamilton County the Chairman has a chance to join NYSAC in Washington, DC for a meeting with the Whitehouse, FCC, Senator Schumer’s Office, and several members of Congress, and
“WHEREAS, this Board of Supervisors continues to deem cellular coverage as critical infrastructure, now, therefore, be it
“RESOLVED, that the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors is hereby authorized to travel to Washington, DC to cover meetings on December 16 and December 17, with travel and necessary expenses potentially falling into the day before or the day after.”
AUTHORIZING PURCHASE OF GIS MAINTENANCE
“WHEREAS, Hamilton County has received a quote from ESRI, Inc. for maintenance of the Real Property Tax Service and 911 GIS systems in the amount of $12,138.35, and
“WHEREAS, the Real Property Tax Service portion of said quote is $3,000.00 and the Emergency Management portion of said quote is $9,138.35, be it
“RESOLVED, that the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors is hereby authorized to accept said quote and the Real Property Service and Emergency Management Departments are authorized to purchase said maintenance from ESRI, Inc. and the County Treasurer, Real Property Tax Service Director and Emergency Services Director be so notified.”
CALENDAR SCHEDULE OF REGULAR SESSIONS
The following resolution was approved.
“RESOLVED, that the attached calendar as submitted by the Chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors be set up through November 5, 2020 with dates for the Annual Session determined at a later date, and be it further
“RESOLVED, that Committee meetings shall be held on the Monday, eleven days prior to the regular Board meeting.
“2020 Annual Meeting Calendar presented December 5, 2019 All meetings will start at 10:30 A.M. except when otherwise stated.
“MEETING DATE - CUT OFF DATE SUBMISSION OF BILLS
“Organization Meeting 2PM - January 8, 2020 - December 30, 2019
“February Meeting February 6 - January 28, 2020
“March Meeting - March 5 - February 25
“April Meeting - April 2 - March 24
“May Meeting - May 7 - April 28
“June Meeting - June 4 - May 26
“July Meeting - July 2 - June 23
“August Meeting - August 6 - July 28
“September Meeting - September 3 - August 25
“October Meeting - October 1 - September 22
“November Meeting - November 5 - October 27
“Committee meeting shall be held on the Monday, eleven days prior to the regular Board meeting.”

Wednesday, December 4, 2019

Lake Pleasant to purchase new truck

LPTB Nov 18 2019

Lake Pleasant to purchase new truck
By PETE KLEIN
LAKE PLEASANT—The November 18 meeting of the Lake Pleasant Town Board began with Highway Superintendent Lavarnway reading the following resolution: “Resolution #81 The Town Of Lake Pleasant Budget Committee has Approved Superintendent Lavarnway to purchase a Ram 3500 Dump Truck From Robert Green Auto & Truck Inc. P.O. Box 8002, Rock Hill New York, 12775
“Whereas, the cost of the Ram is $59,455.50 Piggy Backed with the Onondaga Statewide Contract.
“Whereas, This Resolution will be entered into the town clerks’ minutes on November 18 2019 at the Town Board Meeting.”
The resolution was ADOPTED by the following vote. Ayes: Councilperson: Cristine Meixner, Robert Peck, Mike O’Connor, Nancy Seifts. Nays: None.
Lavarnway reported to the Board that the new sander he ordered has come in so it will be assembled and put on one of the pickup trucks. Roads are ok, said Lavarnway. He went on to say he will be meeting with DEC tomorrow to go over snowmobile trails and bridges, on Wednesday meeting with DOT and FEMA on roads and culverts.
Lavarnway wanted the Board to be aware of future expenses. right now, just under $20,000 for gravel that has been used and rental equipment extra $5,000-$6,000 on rental insurance. After looking over the snowmobile trails, 12 bridges were lost. Some, hopefully, can be pulled back into place. The worse area was Fish Hatchery Brook where a 30 ft. culvert was torn apart. The crew is working on rebuilding the bridge in house. DEC will pay for the wood that is needed for the rebuild. Lyme Timber will be responsible to replace bridges that are used by auto traffic. The Mossy Vly Bridge has been relocated by the storm, Lavarnway is not sure if it can be put back into place. This bridge is 92 feet long. Fawn Lake and Big Brook trails have been cleared and the crew is working on Mason Lake Trail. Lyme Timber has closed from the Tree Farm to Kunjamuck Cross to automobiles. Cave Hill is still open. The permit for the expansion for Fish Hatchery has been granted and the crew has started using what dirt is left from the big pile, some of the dirt had been donated to DOT (11 truckloads). Hopefully work will be completed in the summer.
OLD BUSINESS
The mean high-water mark has yet to be established on 175 Golf Course Road. NEW BUSINESS
Councilperson Nancy Seifts read a resolution that she proposed last year some updates made by Councilperson Cristine Meixner.
“Resolution #82 authorizing the Superintendent of Highways, when the town supervisor declares an ice emergency (or deputy town supervisor, in the absence of the supervisor), to sand the private driveways of those who call to be on the winter of 2019/2020 list.
The resolution was offered by Nancy Seifts, 2nd by Mike O’Connor as follows:
“WHEREAS, Any delay in the ambulance corps or fire department responding to an emergency due to ice on private driveways, when emergency services dispatch has to contact the Highway Superintendent to get a man and truck to sand the driveway of a patient or a burning home, is potentially deadly; and
“WHEREAS, according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 96 residents in63 households in the Town of Lake Pleasant are over the age of 65; and
“WHEREAS, a number of the winter residents of the Town of Lake Pleasant are on fixed incomes or work at low paying positions, make it difficult to pay for multiple sanding’s of their driveways by private contractors; and
“WHEREAS, the sanding of private driveways in the event of an ice emergency has been the practice in the Town of Lake Pleasant; therefore,
“BE IT RESOLVED, residents of the town outside the Village of Speculator who want their driveways sanded in an ice emergency must fill out a waiver to be put on the list; waivers are available at the Town Clerk’s office between 9 a.m. Mondays-Fridays excluding holidays; and
“BE IT ALSO RESOLVED, that after the Town Supervisor, or in his absence the Deputy Town Supervisor, or in their absence the Town Clerk, declares an ice emergency, the Superintendent of Highways will have the private driveways of those who are on the list for the winter of 2019/2020 sanded, as has been practiced in the past, at the earliest availability of man and machine from the Town of Lake Pleasant Highway Department.”
It was adopted by the following vote. Ayes: Councilperson: Nancy Seifts, Cristine Meixner, Mike O’Connor, Robert Peck Nays: None.
ADOPTION OF THE 2020 BUDGET
There are 2 major changes to be discussed on the 2020 budget that was given out by budget officer Mark Crary.
The money that was added to the Chamber of Commerce Line 6410.402 was agreed to be lowered from $2,500 to 1,500. Much discussion on moving $100,000 from General Fund A to Highway Fund DA. Councilperson Nancy Seifts contacted the Comptroller’s office and she was told that an expenditure line in the A Fund as well as a Revenue line in the DA Fund. The expenditure line that needs to be created would be A9901 Act Deputy Supervisor Robert Peck asked Budget Officer Mark Crary to contact the Comptroller’s Office to confirm this. Deputy Supervisor Peck will try and contact the audit firm that the Town has hired. Cristine Meixner will investigate the Town Law more. An emergency meeting will be called by order of the Board for Tuesday November 19, 2019 and the board adopted the revised budget at that time
Councilperson Cristine Meixner stated during the budget workshop there was no feedback from the Budget committee for cutting or capping the Animal Control officer’s salary or the Town Justices salary’s
A voucher was flagged by Councilperson Nancy Seifts it was a voucher from the President of the Lake Pleasant Senior Center Pauline Slack looking for the reimbursement of unspent money from the Adult Recreation line, this money is used for bus trips to shopping malls. It was her understanding if the money wasn’t used, they would be reimbursed. She stated this had been done before. After a discussion and question to the former Supervisor McGovern and former Councilperson Betsy Bain they are both said this was never stated. What they believed was told was that the seniors could use the budgeted money as they pleased.
PUBLIC COMMENT
Robert Hoffman stated that he remembered the Board saying that if the bus money was not used it could be used for whatever the seniors wanted to use it for. The Board will ask Account Clerk Kathleen Aird to go back to see what payments have been made to the Senior’s since 2011.
ROUNDTABLE
Councilperson Meixner wanted to thank Speculator Mayor Barrett for contacting the NYS Assistant Secretary of Economic Development as a result Speculator and Lake Pleasant have been put on Verizon’s 2020 build plan. The plan is to raise the Tower by 15 ft. and adding smaller cell towers to the area.

Editor’s note: This story is based upon the minutes Deborah O’Rourke, Town Clerk

County passes 2020 budget

County passes 2020 budget

County passes 2020 budget
By PETE KLEIN
LAKE PLEASANT—The Hamilton County Board of Supervisors met on November 22 and passed its 2020 county budget after holding a public hearing, during which no one from the public was present.
What follows is the approved budget. Last year’s budget figures are shown in (parentheses)
The General Fund is showing appropriations of $14,093,934 and estimated property taxes of $4,042,418.
The Highway Fund is divided into two sections, County Road and Machinery.
The County Road Fund shows appropriations of $5,827,947 and estimated property taxes of $3,527,922.
The Machinery Fund shows appropriations of $1,919,878 and estimated property taxes of $1,008,878.
TOTALS
With total appropriations of $21,841,759 ($20,641,891) for all funds, less estimated revenues of $11,812541 ($10,757,457), the gross tax levy is $10,029,218 ($9,884,434). This is up $144,784 or up 1.47 percent from $9,884,434 for 2019.
To this amount are added $35,000 in deferred tax revenues and $3,000 in uncollected taxes allowance (same as last year), leaving a net tax levy of $10,067,218 ($9,922,434) up $144,784 from $9,922,434 in 2019.
Cash surplus appropriated to reduce the tax levy is $1,450,000, the same as last year.
One then subtracts the appropriated cash surpluses of $1,450,000, leaving $8,617,218 ($8,472,434) to be collected in taxes before adding estimated charge backs of $114,700 ($117,894), to total $8,731,918 ($8,590,328) in taxes to be raised, up $141,590 from 2019 – a 1.65 percent increase and under the cap.

Free water testing in Speculator

Speculator VB Nov 12 2019

Free water testing in Speculator
By PETE KLEIN
SPECULATOR—When the Speculator Village Board of Trustees met on November 12,
Mayor Jeannette Barrett submitted a written report on the Emergency Halloween Storm Update. Additional commentary was made as follows: NYS authorized free water testing through December 31. Residents can sign up for this at the Disaster relief centers. This can also be accessed through the DOH website.
The Village received a delivery of 15,000 tons of road material from NYS DOT for the repair of the dirt section of Elm Lake Road and the County was providing equipment and manpower.
The Village is still waiting to hear if FEMA has declared Hamilton County a disaster area. Don Purdy, Hamilton County Emergency Management will be notifying the Village when that decision is made and when the State of Emergency will be lifted.
MINUTES
Trustee Karen McComb asked to modify the Clerk’s minutes stating that she believed the statements attributed to Attorney Smith were not accurately reflected.
Trustee Letty Rudes made a motion to approve the minutes of the October 28 regular meeting as presented. Mayor Barrett seconded and the motion was passed by the following vote: Barrett and Rudes – ayes. McComb – nay. Trustees Craven and Donecker were in absence.
DEPARTMENT OF WATER-WASTEWATER REPORT
Edward Scharpou, WWTP Chief Operator, submitted a written report and Additional commentary was made as follows: The expenditure report will be discussed at the next meeting.
Halloween Flood of 2019 was detrimental to the Wastewater department. Partially treated waste did go into the river but did not affect the wells. filed three NYS alerts for the incidents.
Lamont Engineers presented a work change order for the removal of all painting except for the new mechanical parts of the clarifiers for the WWTP. The work order included a cost decrease from $729,000 to $440,000 to be carried out by Rozell East, Inc.
Trustee McComb made a motion to approve the change order for Lamont Engineers. Trustee Rudes seconded and the motion was passed unanimously.
Scharpou presented a request by Mr. O’Brien to use a private contractor to install water and sewer lines for his house being built on Novosel Way. The charge by the Village to install sewer and water hookups is $1,000 each. This cost includes labor and equipment. In the past, Camp of the Woods was permitted to use a private company to install their sewer line with a $100 charge by the Village. It is suggested the same apply for Mr. O’Brien. The installation of a waterline would require the cost of a new meter and installation. Meter cost is approximately $160 with added Village installation.
Trustee Rudes made a motion to approve charging Mr. O’Brien $100 for a sewer hookup. Trustee McComb seconded and the motion was passed unanimously.
Trustee McComb made a motion to approve water tap charge that equals the cost of a new meter plus installation for Mr. O’Brien. Trustee Rudes seconded and the motion was passed unanimously.
CLERK’S REPORT
In Mrs. O’Brien’s absence, Mrs. Farina presented the Clerk - Treasurer report.
The financial report has been made available for review for the next two weeks and will be voted on at the next Board of Trustees meeting.
Mayor Barrett sent an e-mail to each Trustee for the NYS OSC Webinar: “Commonly Misunderstood Concepts in Budgeting” for those interested in participating.
LAND USE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER’S REPORT
David McComb submitted a written report. Additional commentary was made as follows: McComb addressed issues on signage for businesses no longer operating. He expressed concern with an abandoned sign for Village Rentals to which the owner has been advised must be removed. McComb recommended enforcement action for the business in the form of a verbal warning, followed by a written letter outlining the law of signage and specific actions required by the business owner. Some discussion ensued. Mayor Barrett noted that this procedure should be applied to all businesses within the Village for equal treatment in the laws of signage.
Trustee Rudes made a motion to have enforcement procedures for banners and abandoned signs applied to all that qualify within the Village. Trustee McComb seconded and the motion was passed unanimously.
OLD BUSINESS
Trees on the Point: Due to Halloween Storm flooding, the ground is too soft to cut the tree, but Gary Bureau will monitor the conditions. He will also provide a certificate of insurance to the Village.
LED Street Lights: The Village is still awaiting the National Grid buyout.
NEW BUSINESS
New York State Local Retirement System (NYSLRS): NYSLRS conducted a review of Standard Workday and Reporting Resolution for Elected and Appointed Officials and determined that a Village resolution was required to establish and confirm the standard workdays for Roger Blanchard and Crystal O’Brien. “Resolution for Standard Workday and Reporting for Appointed Officials” was presented by Mayor Barrett.
Trustee Rudes made a motion to approve the resolution for standard workday reporting for the two officials. Trustee McComb seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
LOSAP Transition for Fire Fighters, Legal Counsel. Mayor Barrett provided Finance Committee feedback, as requested by SVFD, on the current LOSAP design and funding health. The plan is currently funded at 85% due in part to Village contributions below that recommended by the actuary in past years, and a very conservative investment plan. There was discussion regarding the current Defined Benefit Plan versus a proposed Defined Contribution plan that would take advantage of stock market investments and offer a lump sum payment to firefighters over a 3-year period that would be NY State tax-free. The LOSAP options had been reviewed at the monthly SVFD meeting and the membership voted to affirm the DC option.
Mayor Barrett explained that to ensure the Village is compliant with IRS and NY State regulations in transitioning between plan types, it was recommended to engage a pension lawyer at a cost of approximately $2,000-$3,000, noting also that there may be some unspent SVFD monies to cover the cost. Mayor Barrett asked for a motion and Trustee McComb requested a delay until the full board was present and requested written information regarding the pros and cons of the LOSAP types of plans.
SVFD New Application. One new application for the SVFD was presented: Kyle Darlington from Piseco. It was questioned whether living in Piseco would be a disadvantage for SVFD and Chief O’Brien said this would not be an impediment to his availability. An application for Junior Firefighter was presented: Nate Greco of Lake Pleasant. Chief O’Brien stated that Lake Pleasant does not have a Junior Fire Fighter program available. As a minor, participation on calls and drills will be limited depending on the safety of operations. Junior firefighters are required to attend drills and meetings.
Trustee McComb made a motion to accept Mr. Kyle Darlington as an adult firefighter of the SVFD. Trustee Rudes seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Trustee Rudes made a motion to accept Mr. Nate Greco as a junior firefighter of the SVFD, Trustee McComb seconded and the motion was passed unanimously.
BOARD ROUND TABLE
Medical Insurance Options. Insurance Broker will be present to discuss options for 2020 at next Board Meeting. Mayor Barrett provided highlights of four plans under consideration.
Employee Handbook. Due to the urgency of the Halloween Storm, the Employee Handbook will be addressed next month.
ANCA Farm Challenge. The ANCA program is designed to increase money to food producers in the form of grants, fill in gaps in the region’s food system, and increase prosperity by bringing in entrepreneurs. Although the program is a great concept, it is not applicable to the community in Speculator due to the lack of regional farming within the area. A decision was made not to financially support the program at this time.
PUBLIC COMMENT
Dave McComb, speaking as a private citizen, thanked Trustee Rudes and Trustee McComb for their work in the community. He deferred comments to be addressed to Trustees Craven and Donecker until the next Board of Trustees meeting.
Trustee McComb read a letter she received from resident Ms. Bobbie Lyn Hoover regarding Elliot Lane. Mayor Barrett stated that in the absence of the Village Attorney and the full board, this matter could be addressed at the next board meeting if a board member wanted to put it on the agenda. Trustee McComb indicated she would do so.
Shorty Hoffman, resident commended on the SVFD, WWTP and DPW for their exemplary work during the Halloween Storm.

This report is based upon the minutes provided by Stacey Farina, Deputy Clerk - Treasurer

Monday, December 2, 2019

Highway issues dominate Benson Town Board meeting

Benson TB Nov 19 2019


Highway issues dominate Hope Town Board meeting
By PETE KLEIN
HOPE—The Hope Town Board held a Special and then a Regular Meeting on November 19.
Public Present included Mr. & Mrs. Horton, Mr. VanGorder and Ms. Peggy Booth.
The Special meeting began with Peggy Booth answering questions regarding NBT Insurance Agency and Policies.
After listening to her and after a brief discussion, Supervisor John Stortecky made a motion that he be allowed to contact Burnham Insurance Advisors to place George on their Gold policy and ask questions for the Hortons regarding out of state medical care and urgent care. It was 2nd by Doug Gregor and approved by all.
HIGHWAY/TRANSPORTATION
The Regular Meeting continued with Highway Superintendent George Blowers reporting the new truck is back and doing fine.
A resolution authorizing the Highway Superintendent to Advertise and Hire a second Highway Maintenance Worker was Tabled.
A resolution Authorization to Transfer Additional Funds of $44,226 for the Down Payment on 2020 Freightliner Truck, Statutory Installment Bond, Closing and Signature Guarantee Certificate was offered by Supervisor John Stortecky to proceed with certificate. It was 2nd by Charles Biche and approved by all.
Davide Pincombe made a motion for the Supervisor to sign the Arbitrage and Use of Proceeds Certificate. It was 2nd by Dave Rogers and approved by all.
A resolution to Amended Resolution For The Town of Benson For The Purpose of Financing A Plow Truck Through Issuance of A Statutory Installment Bond was moved by John Stortecky; 2nd Dave Rogers and approved by all.
Stortecky moved that he be allowed to sign Statutory Installment Bond US of America, State of NY, County of Hamilton. It was 2nd by Charles Biche and approved by all.
Stortecky moved that he be allowed to sign contract with the town of Hope for salt and sand mix. It was 2nd by Doug Gregor and approved by all.
BUILDINGS, GROUNDS AND EMERGENCY SERVICES
Doug feels town hall building needs serious repairs and town garage needs siding.
David wishes a grant writer would be hired to see if there are any grants available to pay for the work involved on this elderly municipal building.
LEGAL
It was suggested that Judge Feldstein needs to be on future agenda
RESIDENCY REQUIREMENT OF APPOINTED OFFICIALS
The board entered a Public Hearing on Local Law # 5 of 2019, a local concerning a Residency Requirement of Appointed Officials.
No one for the Public Present.
Without comment, the local law was moved by J. Stortecky; 2nd by D. Rogers and approved by all.
EXECUTIVE SESSION
The board held an Executive Session on current litigation of Fernandez vs. Benson. No Action was taken.

Editor’s note: This story is based upon the minutes provided by Benson Town Clerk Jeanne Cox.

Thursday, November 28, 2019

Governor gives back some of your tax dollars

Governor gives back some of your tax dollars
By Pete Klein
Governor Andrew M. Cuomo recently announced nearly $2 million in smart growth grants were awarded to 27 communities and organizations that will help identify local priorities for community development, leverage surrounding natural areas for public enjoyment and collaborate on initiatives throughout the Catskill and Adirondack Forest Preserves. This round of funding also includes a focus on projects to enhance age-friendly characteristics of Adirondack and Catskill communities by creating more livable communities for people of all ages.
What follows is give backs in Hamilton County.
Village of Speculator - $100,000 - Village of Speculator Historic Fire Tower Assembly Project.
Adirondack Hamlets to Huts, Inc. - $30,000 - Adirondack Hamlets to Huts Trails Center - Interpretive Displays and Organizational Development Projects.
Hamilton County Trails in to Prosperity - Analysis of Conditions of Priority Trails and a Plan for Activating Local Capacity for Management and Sustainability of Trails