Tuesday, September 22, 2020

County schools receive COVID grants.

 Supervisors September 21 2020



County schools receive COVID grants.

By PETE KLEIN

LAKE PLEASANT—During committee meetings held on September 21, the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors passed several resolutions including the following.

DISBURSEMENT OF FLEXIBLE SPENDING FOR RURALLY BASED LOCAL HEALTH DEPARTMENTS TO FUND COVID-19 EMERGENCY 

WHEREAS the New York state Association of County Health Officials (NYSACHO) has offered Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service a flexible funding grant to assist Hamilton County School Districts in COVID-19 Emergency Response efforts, and

WHEREAS Resolution No. 219-20 created the Appropriation Account No. A4050.447 NYSACHO COVID-19 in the amount of $6,785.00, and

WHEREAS the funding will be split between the four school districts in Hamilton County, be it

RESOLVED, that the County Treasurer be so authorized to write a check to the following schools in the amount of $1,696.25 to the following school districts:

Indian Lake Central School District 6345 NYS Rt. 30, Indian Lake, NY 12842

Long Lake Central School District 20 School Road, Long Lake, NY 12847

Lake Pleasant Central School District 120 Elm Lake Road, Speculator, NY 12164

Wells Central School District 1571 NYS Rt.30, Wells, NY 12190.

ACCEPTANCE OF BID FOR TRANSPORTATION FOR CHILDREN

WHEREAS Hamilton County Public Health Nursing Service heretofore solicited bids for the Transport for Children with Disabilities pursuant to invitation to bidders and in accordance with all applicable state regulations, and

WHEREAS one (1) bid was received in response to the said invitation to bidders, as follows: Blueline Commuter, Inc. PO Box 775, Indian Lake, NY 12842 and  

$425.00 flat rate per day.

WHEREAS, Blueline Commuter, Inc.'s bid does meet specifications for the above­ mentioned invitation to bidders, be it

RESOLVED, that hereby the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors is authorized to sign a contract with Blueline Commuter, Inc. of Indian Lake, NY at the daily rate listed above, upon approval of the County Attorney and the County Treasurer and Clerk of the Board be so notified.

HOMELAND SECURITY AND EMERGENCY SERVICES GRANT

WHEREAS, the Hamilton County Emergency Management Department has been awarded a NYS 2020 SHSP grant through the FY2020 State Homeland Security Program (SHSP) in the amount of $47,731, therefore, be it

RESOLVED, that the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors is hereby authorized to sign said FY2020 SHSP grant and the Director of Emergency Management, Sheriff, and County Treasurer be so notified, and be it further

RESOLVED, that Account No. A3645.0423 SH20-1037-D00 be created and funded at $47,731 to be totally offset by creating and funding Revenue Account No. A3389.0127 SH20- 1037-D00 at $47,731.00 and the County Treasurer be so 

PAYMENT TO B&H PHOTO-VIDEO – DHSES SH17-1003-D00

WHEREAS Hamilton County received SHSP grant SH17-1003-D00 from New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) in the amount of $49,985, contract T970870, and

WHEREAS all purchases for this grant must be made by August 31, 2020 and paid for by September 30, 2020, and

WHEREAS one of the purchases for Sheriff’s Office Surveillance equipment was delayed in shipment and not invoiced until after the cut-off for August 2020 bill submission and must be paid for before the next regular County Board Meeting, be it

RESOLVED, that the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors authorizes the Hamilton County Treasurer to issue a check for payment of Invoice No. 17729336 from B&H Photo-Video to be paid for before September 30, 2020, in the amount of $1,529.12, charged to Account No. A3645.0416 SH17-1003-D00.

AUTHORIZING PAYMENT TO LAPG, INC.

WHEREAS Hamilton County received SHSP grant SH17-1003-D00 from New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) in the amount of $49,985, contract T970870, and

WHEREAS all purchases for this grant must be made by August 31, 2020 and paid for by September 30, 2020, and

WHEREAS, one of the purchases for medical supplies for the Multiple Casualty (MCI) trailer was back ordered due to Covid-19 and not invoiced until after the cut-off for August 2020 bill submission and must be paid for before the next regular County Board Meeting, be it

RESOLVED, that the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors authorizes the Hamilton County Treasurer to issue a check for payment of Invoice No. IV00973216 from Los Angeles Police Gear (LAPG) to be paid for before September 30, 2020, in the amount of $272.02, charged to Account No. A3645.0416 SH17-1003-D00.

AUTHORIZING PAYMENT TO DELL

WHEREAS Hamilton County received SHSP grant SH17-1003-D00 from New York State Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services (DHSES) in the amount of $49,985, contract T970870, and

WHEREAS all purchases for this grant must be made by August 31, 2020 and paid for by September 30, 2020, and

WHEREAS one of the purchases from Dell was delayed in shipment and not invoiced until after the cut-off for August 2020 bill submission and must be paid for before the next regular County Board Meeting, be it

RESOLVED, that the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors authorizes the Hamilton County Treasurer to issue a check for payment of Invoice #10423974714 from Dell to be paid for before September 30, 2020, in the amount of $1,769.42, charged to Account No. A3645.0416 SH17-1003-D00.


Monday, September 21, 2020

Wells Central capital project almost completed

 WCS BOE September 16 2020



Wells Central capital project almost completed

By PETE KLEIN

WELLS—When the Wells Central Board of Education met on September 16, Superintendent Thomas D. Sincavage reported the Capital Project is almost complete. A contracting firm came in to powerwash and clean up the sidewalks in front of the building. The contractors are working on finishing the final punch list. The district will file the certificate of substantial completion for state aid. Enrollment is currently at 142 and we have 3 new students expected to register this week. Mr. Sincavage reviewed the fund balance report as well as the future debt service and building aid revenues. The district maintains a very healthy financial position and intends to pay for the current capital project in full by utilizing the 2 capital reserve funds established by the voters. The district was awarded a cafeteria equipment grant in the amount of $10,396. The district will use the grant money to purchase a new stove for the kitchen.  Mr. Sincavage gave an update on Wells Reopening. The first 6 days of school have been amazing, and we have had 100% of students and staff wearing masks.

PRINCIPAL’S REPORT

Principal Jeremy J. Siddon reported on the resiliency of the students and staff all adhering to the protocols. He has been fine tuning some of procedures in place like the morning bus pick up times and the morning breakfast. All students in grades 3-12 have received a Chromebook from the district. The district will be getting another shipment of Chromebooks within the next 2 weeks and plans on distributing them to students in grades K-2.

The Harvard Proving Ground Grant continues and starting on September 25 students in grades 1, 3, & 5 will receive weekly attendance postcards. The rest of the grades will receive weekly attendance postcards starting in January. Finally, Mr. Siddon spoke about Section VII sports. Currently the only school districts who are having sports are Willsboro and Chazy.

They are the 2 farthest schools that we can compete against. Mr. Siddon made a recommendation to the Board that we not participate in league sanctioned sports this fall. Safety of our students is our number one priority. He said the school could offer an in house intramurals soccer program. The program would be a 3 week skills based program for students in grades 7-12. The district is also looking into the possibility of an afterschool art program for students in grades 3-6.

APPROVALS

The Board of Education approved the Annual CSE report on a motion by Ken Hoffman, seconded by Dorman Reese, and carried 4-0.

The Wells Central School Board of Education approved the classifications, recommendations, and programs for the following student: 982420555 on a motion by Dorman Reese, seconded by Rachel Lauria, and carried 4-0.

Under New Business the Board approved transfer of funds.

The Board of Education of the Wells Central School District appropriates $566,287.79 of the 2019/20 unassigned fund balance toward the Capital Project that was brought before the taxpayers and approved in May 2018. The $566,287.79 shall be transferred to the Capital Fund.

A9950900003- INTERFUND TRANSFER TO CAPITAL

The Wells Central School District Board of Education authorizes a General Fund budget increase of $566,287.79 with appropriated 2019/20 fund balance for use toward the Capital Project approved by the voters in May 2018.

On a motion made by Ken Hoffman, seconded by Dorman Reese, and carried 4-0.

The Wells Central School Board of Education approved an increase to the employee benefit accrued liability reserve for the fiscal year ended June 30, 2020 by $45,742.00 to reflect the actual accrued liability on a motion made by Rachel Lauria, seconded by Ken Hoffman, and carried 4-0.

The WCS BOE approved the Emergency Response Plan, as presented on a motion made by Dorman Reese, seconded by Ken Hoffman, and carried 4-0.

There was one comment during Public Access. Mr. Steve Stofelano wanted to commend the district administration for their hard work on the reopening plan and for their work on the capital project.

EXECUTIVE SESSION

The Wells Central School Board of Education recessed to Executive Session at 6:23p.m. for the purpose of discussing specific personnel matters and/or negotiations on a motion made by Rachel Lauria, seconded by Dorman Reese, and carried 4-0.

The Wells Central School Board of Education returned to Open Session at 7:05p.m. on a motion by Dorman Reese, seconded by Ken Hoffman, and carried 4-0.

Resolved that the Board of Education of the Wells Central School District hereby approved the amendment to the employment agreement of Thomas D. Sincavage, as Superintendent, dated September 16, 2020 setting forth the revised terms and conditions of his employment and approved the payment of money provided therein on a motion made by Dorman Reese, seconded by Rachel Lauria, and carried 4-0.

This article was based upon minutes provided by Rachelle Dwyer, District Clerk.


Sunday, September 20, 2020

Vandalism at Indian Lake beach

 ILTB September 14 2020



Vandalism at Indian Lake beach

By PETE KLEIN

INDIAN LAKE—When the Indian Lake Town Board met on September 14, Councilwoman Sally Stanton questioned Bill Laprairie, Department Head of Buildings and Grounds, concerning the vandalism that has been happening all summer at the Chain Lakes beach.

Laprairie said he, the State Police and the Sheriff's Department have been patrolling, however it happens extremely late at night and they have not been able to catch the perpetrators. He did state that since the beach has closed there have been no further incidents.

Councilman Rathbun thanked all the departments for their work on Trash Day. He stated this is a good service to the Town and appreciates the crews doing such a good job.

SET BUDGET MEETING DATES

Supervisor Brian Wells asked the Boards preference on holding the Budget Workshops in person. He stated his preference would be to hold them in person but with scheduled appointments for each person, therefore limiting the amount of people in the room. He stated he is working on that schedule. He also stated that the individual participants could either come in in person or give a written request.

Department Heads will have a set time to present their budget. The Board agreed with this. Supervisor Wells reported to the Board that the Sewer/water truck has been ordered.

OPEN CLEANER CONTRACT BIDS

Supervisor Wells reported that only one (1) bid was received for the Cleaning Contract. The bid was from John C. Hall in the amount of $90,000. Councilwoman Stanton made a motion to accept the bid from John C. Hall in the amount of $90,000. Seconded by, Councilman Rathbun. After holding a discussion, the board approved signing the contract with Hall.

SUPERVISOR COMMENTS

Supervisor Brian Wells reported to the Board that the Garbage/Recyclable Bid request is in the paper. These bids need to be in by October 9.

Supervisor Wells told all that the Board had received a thank you letter from Ellen Collins, thanking the Board for their donation to the Invasive Species program.

Supervisor Wells reported to the Board that himself and Deputy Supervisor Meade Hutchins had meet with the Chazen Company regarding the Adirondack Dam. He stated that the questionable specs were agreed upon and he is hoping to go out to bid on the project in the Spring. He stated that there are some things the Board will need to discuss during the Budget Workshops.

Supervisor Wells reported to the Board that he had the new TRP for the Weed District. He also stated that we had the barge that has been in storage for some time.

Supervisor Wells reported to the Board that he has a meeting on September 16 with Cedarwood and Hydro Source concerning the Blue Mt. Lake project. He told all that Adirondack Experience has offered a different piece of property if this one does not work out. He stated this new source is on the right side of the road and one that he and Kevin had looked at previously, but Adirondack Experience had not offered that piece until now.

Supervisor Wells told all that 22,760 lbs. of trash were picked up on trash day.

Supervisor Wells reported that no Bids were received for the emergency generator or the bog relocation. He stated that we will have to try something else. He said we may need to write up a proposal and put it out to bid.

Supervisor Wells reported that The 5 Towns (consisting of, Indian Lake, Newcomb, Minerva, North Hudson and Long Lake) which also makes up the Upper Hudson Recreation Club, passed a Resolution of support to DEC for making changes in to the Essex Chain Unit Management Complex, now allowing for camp fires along the shore and adding additional parking to increase the equestrian opportunities in hopes to increase tourism.

Supervisor Wells stated that the rafting numbers are down around 50% due to the pandemic, however Supervisor Wells feels like it has been busy this year. Councilman Mahoney stated that there have been a lot of people around looking for things to do. Supervisor Wells reported to the Board that he and the rafting association have modified the rafting contract, and this will be finalized by the next season.

PUBLIC COMMENTS AND CONCERNS

Andy Coney reported to the Board there has been an invasive species found on Marion River. He stated that Divers have been working on this and to eliminate it and it would take about five (5) days to complete.

OTHER TOWN BUSINESS

Councilman Rathbun questioned how we were doing with our Grants. Supervisor Wells stated that we were doing okay. He told all that we had been moving ahead and were under contract for some of them already, so hopefully they will still go through. Supervisor Wells also stated that the Website Grant was done, and we are now just waiting for the money.

Supervisor Wells also reported to the Board that the newly hired Account Clerk, Suzanne Walrath, has begun her training with Pam Howard, Senior Account Clerk, and as soon as she gets acclimated he will be working with her to review all the Grants.

Councilman Mahoney, who has been working with Trampoline on the Town's new website, stated that all was going well. He is hoping to have something to present to the Board by the next meeting.

Councilwoman Stanton reported to that the Comprehensive Committee are working diligently on the Commons Area.


Friday, September 18, 2020

Speculator stays vigilant on COVID

 Speculator VB August 24 2020



Speculator stays vigilant on COVID

By PETE KLEIN

SPECULATOR—When the Speculator Village Board of Trustees met on August 24, Mayor Jeannette Barrett advised the board that currently in our region, COVID-19 cases continue to increase, Hamilton County stays low with only sixteen (16) cases while other counties around us, including Herkimer, Fulton and Warren counties continue to increase. Hamilton County currently has 10-11 quarantined from direct contact with someone that tested positive and approximately 150 quarantined travelers. In the coming weeks there are several scheduled testing sites, including one at Lake Pleasant school on September 9 to test teachers, staff, and students.

All our categories for FEMA from the Halloween Storm have been submitted. The Village has been reimbursed for debris, and all virtual sight inspections have been completed. FEMA has also accepted the submitted project for COVID-19 expenses, which will allow the Village to receive reimbursement of 75% for extra expenses exceeding a total of $3,500 due to COVID-19. This includes any extra supplies, PPE, extra expenses for COVID, management time for the Clerk – Treasurer, extra personnel related to COVID-19, etc. As of right now, the disaster period remains open ended, so we will keep a running tally of all potential expenses.

DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS REPORT

Roger Blanchard gave a written Department of Public works report. Additional commentary is as follows:

In the last month the DPW activities have included: roadside clean up, shoulder work, mowing and trimming grass as needed, garbage and recyclables, prepare sidewalks for paving, work on paving Black Bear Run, replace a culvert on Elm Lake Road, fix pot holes and maintain the dirt section of Elm Lake Road.

In the next 30 days, the beach will be closing, sidewalks will be paved, roadside ditches will be cleaned out, Black Bear Run will be paved, finish playground work, ready the trucks for winter, pick up benches and trash cans, cut hanging brush along roadsides, garbage and recyclables.

Additional items discussed were the missing road sign for Chalet Drive has been ordered. Blanchard will be contacting the State DOT to get an estimated time for the repair of the shoulder on Route 8.

Trustee Karen McComb mentioned the problem of goose excrement at the Point and suggested we contemplate ways of keeping the geese off the Point next year. Trustee Crary asked if there could be any repairs done to the road to the brush pit. As this is a Lake Pleasant road, Mr. Blanchard would contact Mr. Randy Lavarnway.

CLERK’S REPORT

Crystal O’Brien gave a verbal Clerk-Treasurer Report as follows:

Village Elections are just three (3) weeks away and as of today, there have been no change, postponement, or additional executive orders regarding the Village Elections. A reminder has been sent out by email to the election inspectors and the candidates. A NYCOM webinar for clarification on the processes for the September Elections was to be held that Wednesday.

NYCOM’s Fall Training School has gone to an all virtual platform this year with a reduced registration cost. With the reduced price and the online platform, it will allow the Deputy Clerk – Treasurer to also attend. Since the Spring conference for Mayors was canceled, Mayor Barrett has also expressed her interest in attending the fall training school. Additionally, the Office of the State Comptroller has moved their Accounting schools online, Mrs. O’Brien hopes to take advantage of this online schooling and attend both the basic and advanced government accounting schools.

The Beach inspection occurred on August 11, violations for Beach Closed signage was addressed within the following week and a violation on the buoys will be addressed in the next year. The beach had to close on Sunday, August 23. Lifeguards have put equipment away for winter. DPW will put away any remaining items for the winter was.

OLD BUSINESS:

A correction was made to the agreed upon water fees. The charge for the road crossing using the Boring machine was increased to $750 due to improperly omitting some of the expenses to pick up and drop off the machine.

Trustee Rudes made a motion to correct the cost of the road crossing fee when using the boring machine to $750. Trustee McComb seconded and the motion passed with the following vote: aye – Barrett, Crary, McComb and Rudes; nays – none; Donecker - Absent.

The Village is still awaiting regulatory tribal approval for the Verizon Small Cell Towers

Grant expenses are being submitted to DEC for the Fire Tower. There is a remaining $35,000 owed to Mr. Vilegi, but the DEC has informed us we must pay out the remaining expense before being reimbursed. At this time, the Village is waiting for an estimated timeframe for reimbursement to pay the remaining amount owed to Mr. Vilegi. Mayor Barrett expressed she has had a couple of people interested in helping with fund raising of the remaining monies needed for the fire tower. Mr. Vilegi and Lori Ranken have expressed their interest in holding the kickoff meeting soon through Zoom.

Over the last two weeks Mayor Barrett was able to contact National Grid about the LED Street Light conversion. At this time, it would cost about $2,300 to $2,400 to convert to LED light bulbs, but we would get back about $5,200. The LEDs will shine straighter down and have the capabilities of attaching a shield preventing the light from shining into homes. More information on the conversion is being sent to the Mayor.

NEW BUSINESS:

A resolution allowing certain municipal officials and village employees to attend one or more NYCOM Fall Training School for cities and villages and/or OSC government accounting schools was presented to the Board. This resolution is normally apart of the Organizational Meeting, but with the postponed election the organizational meeting will not happen until after Fall training school.

Trustee McComb made a motion to approve Resolution Number 14 of 2020 - Resolution to Approve Attendance at Schools and Conferences. Trustee Rudes seconded and the motion was passed with the following vote: aye – Barrett, Crary, McComb and Rudes; nays – none; Donecker - Absent.

BOARD ROUND TABLE:

Mayor Barrett attended the yearly Consolidated Health District meeting for Speculator and Lake Pleasant. This meeting was to go over the budget for the Consolidated Health District including the Health Center. Items covered under this budget include, the GAVAC contract, Nathan Littauer annual fee, BTI treatment for the rivers and streams, and health activities within Lake Pleasant and Speculator. Lake Pleasant also received a donation of $10,000 over the past two years for the CHD which they will be using to refurbish the floors in the Health Center.

Lake Pleasant currently has a Job Posting for the administration of BTI treatment for the rivers and streams. Interested parties should contact the Town of Lake Pleasant.

The NBRC Grant Application regarding the water department was rejected again. We will continue to apply since we are in a different situation now. Additionally, NBRC has grants for recreation and bike trails Mayor Barrett would like to apply for. Oak Mountain has created a Mountain Bike Trail which is growing in public interest. The Brister Brook trail was explored a few months ago but determined to be to be too extensively damaged from logging to revitalize. With that in mind, and collaboration with DEC, Mountain Bike Trail experts, Oak Mountain, the Town of Lake Pleasant and Volunteers, other potential trails were explored, and ideas of creating a potential trail route connecting the pathway, the Speculator Bike Loop, Oak Mountain and Moffitt Beach as well as connecting the Fawn Lake Trail and Piseco Airport. The Trail systems like these will draw many to the area and benefit the community in multiple ways.

PUBLIC COMMENT:

Bobbi. Hoover commented testing for COVID at Lake Pleasant School is not mandatory for teachers or students at this time.

EXECUTIVE SESSION:

Trustee Rudes made a motion to enter executive session at 7:45 PM to discuss the notice of claim from Moose Creek Holding LLC. Trustee McComb seconded and the motion passed with the following vote: aye – Barrett, Crary, McComb and Rudes; nays – none; Donecker - Absent. Trustees McComb, Rudes and Crary, Mayor Barrett and Village Attorney Smith entered executive session.

Trustee Rudes made a motion to exit executive session at 7:58. Trustee Crary seconded and the motion passed with the following vote: aye – Barrett, Crary, McComb and Rudes; nays – none; Donecker - Absent.

Trustee Rudes made a motion to refer the Moose Creek Holdings LLC matter to our insurance company and will terminate the services of Mr. Schopf. Trustee McComb seconded and the motion passed with the following vote: aye – Barrett, Crary, McComb and Rudes; nays – none; Donecker - Absent.

This article is based upon minutes provided by Crystal O’Brien, Clerk – Treasurer


ILCS cancels travel club this year

 ILCS BOE August 18 2020



ILCS cancels travel club this year

By PETE KLEIN

INDIAN LAKE—When the Indian Lake Central School Board of Education met on August 18, Superintendent Dave Snide reported there would not be a travel club trip this year, but the clay target fall league is a go at the Fish and Game Club with Greg George supervising.

The Board retreat will be held in the school cafeteria Thursday, October 1 at 5 pm.

Recommendations for Approval

The board approved a tax rate resolution for 2020-21.

The board approved the bus maintenance agreement with Minerva CSD.

The board approved the AIS (Academic Interventional Services). Carried.

The board approved fund raisers.

The board approve the claims audit for July 1, 31.

The board approved Carissa Lance and Greyson Knight as out of district students for 2020-2 l.

The board approved Indian Lake CSD Building Level Emergency Response Plan for 2020-21.

The board approved Bryan Dunbar as night cleaner at a rate of $13 per hour.

The board approved Robin Witz as a substitute nurse.

The board approved waiving parenting and personal finance graduation requirements for the 9th and I0th grade for the 2020-21 school year.

This article is based upon minutes provided by Dianna Wilder, District Clerk.


Wednesday, September 16, 2020

Long Lake Central working on safety plan

 LLCS BOE September 10 2020



Long Lake Central working on safety plan

By PETE KLEIN

LONG LAKE—When the Long Lake Central Board of Education met on September 10, the board held off adopting a District Wide Safety Plan.

The District Wide Safety Plan was on the agenda to approve, but since there needs to be a public comment period on the plan, the board agreed to hold approval until next month.

Superintendent Noelle Short reported that that day was the first day with students in the building. All students were mask compliant. Staff and students are completing a daily health screening. Some busing logistics are still being worked out.

Two Superintendent’s Conference Days were held this week for staff. Time was allotted for the standard mandatory trainings. Christine Campeau from the Adirondack Experience held a virtual diversity training for all.

The custodial team has done a great job setting up classrooms, including our outdoor learning centers.

No visitors will be allowed in the building at this time. Anyone coming in must have an appointment and complete a health screening.

RECOMMENDATIONS FOR APPROVAL

Approved: On Motion by Michael Farrell, seconded by Alexandria Harris, with all in favor, Mary Phillips-LeBlanc as a ½ Year Mentor for the 2020-2021 school year.

Approved: On Motion by Trisha Hosley, seconded by Alexandria Harris, with all in favor, the Budget Planning Dates for the 2021-2022 School Budget.

Approved: On Motion by Michael Farrell, seconded by Brian Penrose, with all in favor, Annalisa Berns, Benjamin Conboy, Ethan Cooke, and Laura Moore as Substitutes.

Approved: On Motion by Alexandria Harris, seconded by Joan Paula, with all in favor, Noelle Short as APPR Lead Evaluator.

Approved: On Motion by Trisha Hosley, seconded by Alexandria Harris, with all in favor, Margaret Smith as Long-Term Science Substitute.

Approved: On Motion by Michael Farrell, seconded by Trisha Hosley, with all in favor, the Permanent Civil Service Appointment of Joseph Parent as Custodian.

The District Wide Safety Plan was tabled until next month.

GENERAL DISCUSSION

The Board discussed the 20% State Aid Reductions. Fund Balance and recent staffing changes should allow us to financially absorb the withholdings for this year if they become permanent.

Policy 1st Readings: A first reading of Policy #6550 Leaves of Absence and *8241 Patriotism, Citizenship and Human Rights Education was held.

2nd Public Participation: Michael Farrell asked about Interscholastic Sports.

The next meeting date is Thursday, October 8, 2020 at 6 p.m.

This article is based upon minutes provided by Clerk of the Board, Victoria J. Snide.


Tuesday, September 15, 2020

Wells seeks funds to compensate for Halloween storm

 Wells TB August 10 2020



Wells seeks funds to compensate for Halloween storm

By PETE KLEIN

WELLS—When the Wells Town Board met on August 10, Ryan Frykholm, Municipal Disaster Consultants, updated the board on the FEMA process, saying it continues to go well and most projects, except for those needing engineering assistance, are entered into the system.

FEMA is doing virtual site inspections in other Towns where they have accepted ours with the status of the various damage inventory sites within the Town.

No response to the RFP log removal project. We will re advertise immediately. Also, Ryan will rewrite the RFP for the engineering project and advertise once completed. He then explained that FEMA Public Assistance is a reimbursement process, therefore the Town needs to pay for damages first then request reimbursement. This will entail the need to borrow money as discussed last month. Further information regarding a Revenue Anticipation Note was discussed later in this meeting.

Councilperson Hunt asked if we are 100% guaranteed that FEMA will reimburse us? No guarantee can be made, it is a Federal program and there are no guarantees. Having said that, the projects that the Town is claiming are straight forward and are not anticipated to have issues. The permits and technical details are not complex. There are no indications that the funds related to the Halloween Disaster are at risk of being rescinded by FEMA. He does not see how New York State will have the funds available for their 25% reimbursement due to COVID.

Councilperson Lauria asked how it works to pay for damages first from this year’s budget. Supervisor Mauro has been working on this for the past two weeks preparing to explain the process to the Board at this meeting and turned it over to Councilperson Crewell who also has been working with him.

Councilperson Crewell explained that obviously the Disaster was not planned for in this year’s budget and has researched and consulted with the Town Attorney regarding a Revenue Anticipation Note (RAN). Councilperson Crewell spoke with a few banks including NBT where rates fluctuate between .09% and 1.50%. $705,000 is the amount we feel sufficient to cover the damages before FEMA reimburses the Town. Tonight, we can pass a resolution to enter a RAN. Separate bank accounts have been opened, where the funds from FEMA reimbursement will be deposited, and checks written to keep the monies clean and separate from our regular operating accounts.

Councilperson Lauria shared concerns that new bank accounts were opened without prior approval from the Board. Councilperson Crewell added, there are no funds in the account and further explained that the Finance Committee acted as a committee responsible for what needed to be done on these big milestones.

Supervisor Mauro said, point well taken. Councilperson Crewell also said this has been a grueling process, taking several hours away from her primary job and it was never the committee’s intention to keep the Board members out of the loop.

Councilperson Lauria is not implying that anyone is keeping information from the Board but would appreciate such information be shared prior to the meeting. Supervisor Mauro explained this only came together in the last 48 hours. Councilperson Saltis thought it is a good idea that we are keeping finances separate for reporting purposes. Town Attorney Joseph Walsh was available via conference call to confirm the Revenue Anticipation Note process.

Councilperson Crewell asked if there were any questions for Mr. Walsh. There were none.

A RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE ISSUANCE OF REVENUE ANTICIPATION NOTES OF THE TOWN OF WELLS, HAMILTON COUNTY, NEW YORK IN AN AGGREGATE PRINCIPAL AMOUNT NOT TO EXCEED $705,000 PURSUANT TO THE LOCAL FINANCE LAW.

BE IT RESOLVED, by the Town Board of the Town of Wells, Hamilton County, New York (the “Town”) as follows:

SECTION 1. The revenue anticipation notes of the Town in an aggregate principal amount not to exceed $705,000 are hereby authorized to be issued in anticipation of the collection by the Town of moneys from the Federal Emergency Management Agency (“FEMA”) to finance expenses incurred as a result of the Halloween flood of 2019.  Such moneys are due and payable in fiscal year 2020 and are revenues other than real estate taxes or assessments.

SECTION 2. The amount of moneys to be collected from FEMA against which said revenue anticipation notes are authorized to be issued is $705,000.

SECTION 3. Said revenue anticipation notes shall mature within one (1) year from the date of their issuance.

SECTION 4. The proceeds of the notes authorized by this resolution may be applied to reimburse the Town for expenditures made after the effective date of this resolution for the specific purpose set forth herein.  This resolution shall constitute a statement of official intent for purposes of Treasury Regulation Section 1.150-2 of the United States Treasury Department.

SECTION 5. Each of the notes authorized by this resolution shall contain the recital of validity prescribed by Section 52.00 of the Local Finance Law.  The faith and credit of the Town are hereby irrevocably pledged for the punctual payment of the principal of and interest on said revenue anticipation notes as the same respectively become due and payable.

SECTION 6. Subject to the terms and contents of this resolution and the Local Finance Law, and pursuant to the provisions of Sections 30.00, 50.00 and 56.00 to 63.00, inclusive, of said Law, the power to authorize the issuance of the revenue anticipation notes authorized by this resolution and the renewals of said notes (including, without limitation, dates, denominations, maturities, interest payment dates, consolidation with other issues, manner of execution and redemption rights), and the power to sell and deliver said revenue anticipation notes, is hereby delegated to the Town Supervisor, the Chief Fiscal Officer of the Town.  The Town Supervisor is hereby authorized to sign the revenue anticipation notes issued pursuant to this resolution, and the Town Clerk is hereby authorized to affix the corporate seal of the Town to said revenue anticipation notes and to attest such seal.

SECTION 7. The Town Supervisor is further authorized to take such actions and execute such documents as may be necessary to ensure the continued status of the interest on the revenue anticipation notes authorized by this resolution as excludable from gross income for federal income tax purposes pursuant to Section 103 of the Internal Revenue Code of 1986, as amended (the “Code”) and to designate the revenue anticipation notes authorized by this resolution as “qualified tax-exempt obligations” in accordance with Section 265(b)(3) of the Code.

SECTION 8. The validity of said revenue anticipation notes may be contested only if:

(a) Such obligations are authorized for an object or purpose for which the Town is not authorized to expend money, or

(b) The provisions of law which should be complied with at the date of the publication of this resolution, or a summary thereof, are not substantially complied with, and an action, suit or proceeding contesting such validity is commenced within twenty (20) days after the date of such publication, or

(c) Such obligations are authorized in violation of the provisions of the constitution.

SECTION 9 The Town Clerk is hereby authorized and directed to publish this resolution, or a summary thereof, together with a notice in substantially the form provided by Section 81.00 of the Local Finance Law, in The Leader-Herald, a newspaper having a general circulation in the Town and hereby designated as the official newspaper of the Town for such publication.

SECTION 10. This resolution shall take effect immediately upon its adoption.

The foregoing resolution was declared duly adopted.

AUTHORIZING THE TOWN SUPERVISOR AND THE TOWN BOARD TO PUBLISH A REQUEST FOR PROPOSALS (RFP REQUEST) FOR REMOVAL OF 2019 FLOOD GENERATED VEGETATIVE DEBRIS FROM WITHIN LAKE ALGONQUIN

On a motion of Councilperson Hunt, seconded by Councilperson Saltis, the following was APPROVED

WHEREAS, the Town of Wells has recently been suffered the effects of a severe storm, and 

WHEREAS the Town anticipates undertaking a significant vegetative debris removal work project that will require the use of heavy equipment that is not currently owned by the Town, and

WHEREAS the project will be managed and directed by the Town of Wells Supervisor and undertaken by a contracted provider of heavy equipment, with an operator, selected through this Request for Bid process, 

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT

RESOLVED, that the Town Supervisor and the Town Board are authorized to publish a Request for Proposals (RFP Request) to obtain bids from qualified contractors to provide heavy equipment with operators and a general laborer to the Town of Wells on an as-needed basis for a period of six months or other such agreed upon term as stated in a contract executed by the selected bidder and the Town of Wells.

The Board agreed to expand the circulation of this second RFP to include a legal ad in the Leader Herald and Times Union in hopes of receiving a minimum of 2 bids.

AUTHORIZING THE TOWN SUPERVISOR AND THE TOWN BOARD TO MODIFY THE CONTRACT WITH MUNICIPAL DISASTER CONSLUTANTS

On a motion of Councilperson Hunt, seconded by Councilperson Saltis, the following was APPROVED.

WHEREAS, THE Town of Wells hired Municipal Disaster Consultants, Inc. (MDC) to represent the Town it its dealing with NYS and FEMA as it recovers from the damages caused by the Halloween Flood event of 2019.  Damages exceed two million dollars ($2,000,000), AND

WHEREAS The Town and MDC entered a contract with a not-to-exceed amount of Twenty-Five Thousand Dollars ($25,000) based upon a limited identification of the damages to MDC.  After undertaking an extensive inventory of damages with the assistance of the Town of Wells Highway Department, the initial ten (10) sites identified to MDC has now grown to over sixty (60) sites.  To accommodate the additional workload represented by these additional damage sites, MDC has requested a contract modification.  This contract modification will increase the not-to-exceed amount to sixty-thousand dollars ($60,000), THEREFORE, BE IT NOW

RESOLVED, that the existing contract with Municipal Disaster Consultants (“MDC”), dated April 6, 2020 is hereby amended by increasing the remuneration to be paid as a result of the additional and expanded scope of the FEMA reimbursable projects to $45,260, covering services rendered through August 7, 2020, and that said contract, as amended is completed and terminated with MDC’s consent, subject to payment of the remaining amount due to MDC by the Town.

AUTHORIZING THE BOARD TO ENTER INTO A NEW AGREEMENT FOR SERVICES WITH MUNICIPAL DISASTER CONSULTANTS TO ASSIST AND ADVISE WITH FINANCIAL RECOVERY TO BE RECEIVED FROM FEMA AND NEW YORK STATE AS A RESULT OF THE STORM ON OCTOBER 31, 2019

On a motion of Councilperson Lauria, seconded by Councilperson Crewell, the following was APPROVED

WHEREAS the Town of Wells suffered devastating damage because of the storm and flooding that occurred on October 31, 2019 and thereafter (FEMA-DR-4472-NY), and

WHEREAS the Town Board is currently planning and executing a massive recovery program to repair such damage caused by this storm and to mitigate future damage in the event of similar storms in the future, and

WHEREAS the Town Supervisor and Town Board entered a contract with Municipal Disaster Consultants (MDC) on April 6, 2020 for assistance and advice regarding financial recovery and dealing with FEMA and New York State because of the storm on October 31, 2019, and

WHEREAS, the Town Supervisor and Town Board have determined that it is in the best interest of all parties to terminate said contract with MDC and enter a new contract with MDC, NOW THEREFORE BE IT

RESOLVED, that the Town Board desires to enter into a new agreement for the services of Municipal Disaster Consultants (“MDC”) to continue to assist the Town in preparing FEMA Reimbursement funding applications for numerous repair and reconstruction projects necessitated by the flooding caused by the October 2019 storm events, such services to begin on August 11, 2020, such new contract to contain essentially the same terms and conditions as the prior contract, and to provide remuneration to MDC in a sum not to exceed $15,000 for such services, and it is also resolved that the Town Supervisor is authorized to execute and deliver such contract on behalf of the Town once the contract is approved as to form and content by the Attorneys for the Town, Walsh & Walsh, LLP.

MONTHLY HYDROELECTRIC REPORT

Supervisor Nick Mauro reported on the Lake Algonquin Hydroelectric Plant for July 2020. Revenues totaled $562.03; expenditures totaled $391.58. Year to date, revenues $85,244.66, expenditures $72,436.22.

DISCUSSION ITEMS

TOWN PICNIC

Supervisor Mauro announced unfortunately that we will not have a Town Picnic this year as it usually draws over 100 residents.

BUILDING INSPECTOR VACANCY

Position was advertised in the Hamilton County Express for two consecutive weeks and received interest from 2 applicants. Councilperson Lauria recalled holding interviews in the past with a Special Meeting, then going into Executive Session. This will take place on Wednesday, August 19, 2020 at 6pm. Required Open Meeting Law will be followed with placement of a legal ad, posted on the Town Website and the Clerk’s bulletin board.

LETTERS TO THE SUPERVISOR

Supervisor Mauro read four letters of thanks. Resident, Dee Parker; Wells Garden Club for Town donation; Wells Historical Society for Town donation and resident Neil Higgins. Another letter received from Pricilla McBride regarding Verizon’s interest in modifying its tower on Ranger Road and AT&T’s interest to construct a tower on the same lot. AT&T is currently doing survey work and in discussion with the APA. She wanted to make sure Supervisor Mauro was aware of this and will forward via email any updates.  

WVAC REPORT

The Board reviewed the WVAC report for July 2020.

BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT

The Board reviewed the Building Code Enforcement Officer’s report for July 2020.  

WATER DEPARTMENT REPORT

The Board reviewed the Water Department Report for July 2020.

George Paige reported work is complete at the Garth Weiss residence. Also, cleaning being done at the Hydro Plant. 

HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT

The Board reviewed the Highway Superintendent’s Report for July 2020.

COMMITTEES ROUND TABLE

Councilperson Saltis thanked the Virginia Hosley Library for their donation to the Summer Rec program. Also asked if the Town was still on water restrictions, yes. 

Councilperson Lauria, Buildings and Grounds Committee reported he has researched what grants there may be regarding ways to reduce electric costs. It appears all related grants are dried up, He asked Supervisor Mauro if he knew on a County level if any Town’s or the County are using solar panels. On behalf of Friends of Lake Algonquin, he asked the status of the 16 ft. dock at the boat launch. Supervisor Mauro explained that the contractor interested in removing the flood generated debris from the lake had access to a dock we might be interested in. He did not submit a bid when the first RFP was advertised. Therefore, status is unclear at this point.

Councilperson Crewell has been working with Jen Woodward, Bookkeeper and has a new appreciation of what her job entails.

Supervisor Mauro appreciated Highway Superintendent Earley and his crew for spreading new chips at the playground. Three loads were spread at $130 per load and it has really cleaned up the playground area.

PUBLIC ACCESS

John Higgins brought to the Boards attention confusion regarding the street signs on the Park Rd horseshoe and asked that they be changed clearly marking Park Rd. East and Park Rd. West where they intersect Algonquin Dr. And suggested that the street sign for Montaigne Dr. be removed as there is no such road.

John Margies commented that there was supposed to be a road called Montaigne Rd. at one time. He also asked if there was a timetable for repairs on Griffin Rd. Not currently and the Counties responsibility. 

Supervisor Mauro added, Gilmantown Rd. probably will be completed sometime this fall.

Councilperson Crewell asked about our stance on watering vegetable gardens due to the restrictions. Supervisor Mauro asked everyone to be frugal and water in the evening. 

This article is based upon minutes provided by Maryellen Stofelano, Town Clerk.