Friday, December 13, 2019

Speculator village board meetings to be broadcast

Speculator VB Nov 25 2019


Speculator village board meetings to be broadcast
By PETE KLEIN
SPECULATOR—When the Speculator Village Board of Trustees met on November 25, Trustee Karen McComb asked for the board to revisit the option of having Dackland Radio record and broadcast Village Board Meetings. Although she was opposed in the beginning, she has spoken to many people in Lake Pleasant who feel broadcasting the Town meetings is beneficial to them and many people from Speculator feel it would also be beneficial for the Village Board to do the same.
Gary Rhinehart charges a fee of $39.99 per month with an additional charge of $9.99 for special meetings. He records the meetings and broadcasts them a few days later. For the Town this is the Thursday after the Board Meeting at 7 pm. Rhinehart will then add the recording to YouTube as a method of archiving. After a lengthy discussion the board approved Rhinehart recording the meetings and broadcasting on Dackland Radio.
McComb made a motion to have Dackland Radio record Board of Trustee meetings at a cost of $39.99 per month starting December 9, 2019 with broadcasting of the meetings on the following Thursday at 7 pm and a copy of the recording to be provided to the Clerk – Treasurer. Trustee Donecker seconded and the motion was passed unanimously.
HEALTH INSURANCE
Mayor Jeannette Barrett asked Bryan Moldt to present options for Employee Insurance.
Moldt presented three Employee Insurance options for the Village. All options are offered by MVP Health Care, which is the current provider for the Village. The current health care offered for employees is going up 5.8% and will cost the Village in the coming year a total of $101,283.24. The presented plans are all EPO (exclusive provider organization) plans with an embedded deductible. The individual employee deductible and 85% of the family deductible will be funded by the Village through an HRA (health reimbursement arrangement). Of the three options presented, the MVP EPO 2 w/ HRA is the proposed option for the Village with a savings of $4,377.28 after funding the HRA. This is a national coverage plan with a $800/$1,600 embedded deductible. The employees’ out of pocket expenses begin after the $800 deductible is met. The Village will also be looking to fund a POP plan through Upstate Agency for $99 dollars per year. This plan will allow all deductions to be taken out pretax and will not be subject to tax at the end of the year. There are many other benefits with the MVP Health coverage, and employees will be made aware of these benefits during the open enrollment meeting on November 26, 2019. MVP Gold coverage will stay the same.
Trustee Eric Craven made a motion to approve the MVP EPO 2 plan with a fully funded deductible with the option of a 20% buyout distributed through the year in each pay period and buying a POP plan. Trustee Karen McComb seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
DEPARTMENT PUBLIC WORKS REPORT
Roger Blanchard, DPW Superintendent, submitted a written report and made the following comments.
Garbage pickup for businesses will be moved to Thursday for the winter months due to the Transfer station closing Fridays. The transfer station has had a few issues from the public and does not want any employee working alone. To prevent anyone working alone, they are closing Fridays and will be open on Saturdays.
Trustee McComb asked if the DPW could use sandbags for the skating rink.
Blanchard agreed using sandbags could work and advised he would order them this week so they can get the skating rink at the Pavilion finished as soon as possible.
The Winter banners for the Village have been damaged by winter storms and need replacement. Blanchard would like to replace all five to keep them unified and the board agreed.
The tree has been put up at the four corners and is ready for the Tree Lighting on Black Friday.
CLERK - TREASURER’S REPORT
Crystal O’Brien presented the Clerk - Treasurer report and commented as follows:
Three out of the four artist’s work are displayed at the Village Hall. The fourth artist had considerable storm damage from the Halloween Storm and will hopefully be bringing their artwork in the next week. As soon as we have all artwork displayed, we will put a notice in the paper and on our website.
O’Brien completed two webinars last week one for Enhanced reporting with the NYS retirement system and another through OSC for Commonly Misunderstood Concepts of Budgeting. The Enhanced reporting webinar was the first step in the transition to enhanced reporting for New York State Retirement. The changeover is expected to be completed by the end of 2022. After completing the webinar, there was a survey and a phone conversation to establish when would be best time for the Village to start with the transition. It is O’Brien’s hope to start the transition as soon as possible.
The Budgeting webinar was helpful in preparing for next year’s budget and understanding the dos and don’ts of municipal budgeting. Additionally, O’Brien has signed up for two election webinars, scheduled in December; as these webinars will give her valuable information to help in the coming election.
O’Brien reported on November 12 that she received an annual Notice of Premium Due in the amount of $100 from CNA Surety for a NY Road Opening Bond for a 1997 project. After talking with Roger Blanchard and asking both CNA Surety and NYS DOT, there were no specifics found on the bond. Additionally, NYS DOT had no record in their archives for this bond. NYS DOT has sent the Village a letter stating this Bond is no longer needed and can be released.
OLD BUSINESS:
EFC approved the removal of the painting from the Rozell contract for the WWTP Upgrade Project 1 Contract 1. Mayor Barrett has signed an acceptance of contract and it has been sent to Rozell for approval. Once everything is signed, we can start on the project.
Trustee Donecker reported the middle tree on the Point was removed last week.
Mayor Barrett sent a letter to National Grid a few weeks ago, we are still waiting on the National Grid Buyout for the LED Street light project.
An update of the Halloween Storm was given by Mayor Barrett. In the last two weeks, representatives from NYS Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services, FEMA and the Small Business Association have visited to assess damages to residential, business and public property. If FEMA declares Hamilton County a disaster area, qualifying projects may receive a 75/25 match for damages with an additional 12.5% from New York State. Documented volunteer hours related to the Halloween storm (SVFD and Mayor) would be used towards the Village’s portion. At present that amount is over $18,000. If FEMA does not declare a disaster area, then there are other possible grant opportunities available.
The Speculator Volunteer Fire Department asked the finance committee to look at the LOSAP pension to assess the design and funding. The plan is funded at about 85% as the Village contributions have been lower than recommended by the actuary. We are looking to change the program from a Defined Benefit (DB) plan to ad Defined Contribution (DC) plan to take advantage of a more aggressive investment mix, involving the stock market which is up 28% this year. In addition, this was discussed with the SVFD to which they agree to move forward with the DC option. It is recommended to consult a pension lawyer before making any changes. Any changes must be made by January 1, 2020.
Trustee McComb made a motion to engage a pension lawyer with up to $3,000 in Fees to advise on the viability of moving the SVFD LOSAP fund from a Defined Benefit to a Defined Contribution program, and to conduct necessary financial due diligence with the fund’s actuary. After this full review the finance committee will seek final Board approval to move to a DC plan or remain in the DB plan effective June 1, 2020. Trustee Craven seconded and the motion was passed unanimously.
NEW BUSINESS
Mayor Barrett presented a letter received from the attorney representing Mr. Samson regarding Elliot Lane. Upon advice by Counsel, this will be discussed during Executive Session at the next board meeting when Mrs. Smith can be present. Mrs. Smith provided a memo summarizing public documents of Board of Trustee Meeting Minutes which included: the Board declared Elliot Lane a public road (12/1/97): Elliot Lane was intended to be reserved from the sale of property to the Lemon tree (8/17/98) but was not; the Board could not sell a public road without abandoning or discontinuing the road (Highway Law §205), which was never done, therefore Elliot Lane remains a public road.; and the Board again declared Elliot Lane a public road on 9/28/17 . In addition, DPW has continued to maintain the road, and the Village confirmed to NYS DOT that Elliot Lane is a Village public road each year since 1998 and Elliot Lane is on the CHIPSs list to date and has not been removed.
BOARD ROUND TABLE:
Trustee Donecker brought to the Board a conversation he had with Anthony Alfieri regarding the snowmobile trail across from Mountain Market. Property owner of this section has discontinued access for personal reasons. Alfieri has created a petition for snowmobiles to have access to the sidewalk from the Speculator Fire Department to Mountain Market. Access to the sidewalks is needed because the River Trail is not always accessible at the beginning and end of the snowmobile season, therefore Mountain Market is not easily accessible without the access across the street. This would reduce the number of snowmobilers through the village and potentially hurt businesses like Mountain Market, Sunrise Diner and Village Motorsports. After much discussion about why the sidewalk has been closed to snowmobiles, the impact of snowmobiles on the sidewalk for the Sunmount Adult Daycare Facility, and the potential hinderance of access for pedestrian residents, the Board agreed to invite Mr. Alfieri to the next board meeting to discuss this matter and any alternatives.
PUBLIC COMMENT
Robert Hoffman made a comment on changing employee insurance; in his experience with the Village MVP Health Care has always been the best provider for the employees.
Bobby Lyn Hoover made a comment to again state she has always known Elliot Lane to be private past the Morrisons.
Hoffman asked if there would be storm damage repairs to the Point and the Jetty near the Beach. Mayor Barrett affirmed that these areas were highlighted to the FEMA and NYS State assessors for repairs.

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

Wells adopts 2020 budget

Wells TB November 18 2019

Wells adopts 2020 budget
By PETE KLEIN
WELLS—When the Wells Town Board met on November 18, it adopted its 2020 budget as follows.
On a motion of Councilperson Saltis, seconded by Councilperson Hunt, the following was APPROVED by all: WHEREAS, heretofore the Budget Officer has filed with the Town Clerk the Tentative Budget for the fiscal year beginning 1 January 2020 with his recommendations and statement, and WHEREAS, the Tentative Budget of the fiscal year 2020, as filed by the Budget Officer with the Town Clerk, respectfully reports that in his opinion the amounts in the columns headed “Appropriations” will be necessary to meet the expenditures of the Town for the ensuing year as follows: And,  Contributions required by law made by tax upon this town for State Employees’ Retirement Contributions. Salaries of officers and employees heretofore authorized by this Board and the amounts necessary to pay for the equipment, supplies, materials and other expenses for each department. Amount necessary to carry out the contract with the County of Hamilton for snow removal on county roads. Town indebtedness maturing and interest payable as shown by the Budget Officer. Appropriations for snow removal on town roads and machinery fund.
Appropriations for a contingent fund. Appropriations for other specific purposes as stated in the tentative budget by the Budget Officer.
WHEREAS, the Town Board has reviewed the Tentative Budget and adopted a Preliminary Budget as required by Town Law, and WHEREAS, a Public Hearing on the Preliminary Budget was held on October 30, 2019 at 7:00 p.m. at the Wells Senior Meal Site, Wells, New York, and the Town Clerk had published a notice of Public Hearing in accordance with Section 108 of Town Law, NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that after further review and deliberation the 2020 Town Budget be adopted as follows contingent upon submittal to the State Comptroller’s Office, in a form or manner as prescribed containing necessary calculations to determine the tax limit for the coming fiscal year:
What follows is the Adopted Budget for 2020. Figures in (parenthesis) are from the 2019 budget.
THE GENERAL FUND shows appropriations of $1,092,491 ($1,085,343) minus estimated revenues of $246,379 ($283,965) (including fund balance), leaves $806,112 ($801,378) to be raised by taxes.
THE HIGHWAY FUND shows appropriations of $689,398 ($677,020) minus estimated revenues of $203,100 ($253,100) (including fund balance), leaves $446,298 ($423,920) to be raised by taxes.
FIRE DISTRICT shows appropriations of $157,653 ($154,900), less $15,000 from fund balance this year and last year, leaves $142,653 ($139,900) to be raised by taxes.
WATER DIST RICT shows appropriations of $175,468 ($174,340) minus estimated revenues of $36,590 ($44,590) and $5,000 from fund balance, leaves $133,878 ($129,750) to be raised by taxes.
MONTHLY HYDROELECTRIC REPORT
Supervisor Beach reported on the Lake Algonquin Hydroelectric Plant for October 2019. Revenues totaled zero at this time; expenditures totaled $342.69.
ADVERTISE FOR HEATING OIL, GASOLINE & DIESEL FUEL FOR 2020
On a motion of Councilperson Saltis, seconded by Councilperson Stuart, the following was APPROVED by all: RESOLVED, that the Town Clerk be authorized to publish notice to Dealers for bids for heating fuel, Over-the-Road Diesel fuel and Regular Grade gasoline for the year 2020, according to specifications on file in the Town Clerk’s Office, AND BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that bids must be received by 12:00 noon on Friday, December 6, 2019 and will be publicly opened at the Town Board meeting on Monday, December 9th, 2019 at 7:10 p.m. at the Wells Meal Site/Ambulance Building, Buttermilk Hill Road, Wells, NY.
AGREEMENT WITH MVP FOR HEALTH INSURANCE
On a motion of Councilperson Hunt, seconded by Councilperson Saltis, the following was APPROVED by all: WHEREAS, the town provides a Medicare Health Insurance Plan to its Retired Full-Time employees through a contract with Mohawk Valley Partners (MVP), and WHEREAS, the Town Board has reviewed rates effective January 1, 2020, NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT
RESOLVED, that the Town Supervisor is hereby authorized to sign an agreement with Mohawk Valley Partners (MVP) to provide Medicare supplemental coverage described in the attached agreement.
AGREEMENT WITH EXCELLUS BLUE CROSS/BLUE SHIELD
On a motion of Councilperson Hunt, seconded by Councilperson Stuart, the following was APPROVED by all: WHEREAS, the town currently provides a Medical Health Insurance plan to its Full-Time employees and to its Under-65 Retired employees under a contract with Mohawk Valley Partners (MVP), and WHEREAS, the Town Board has reviewed options and rates for said health insurance effective December 1, 2019, NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT
RESOLVED, that the Town Supervisor is hereby authorized to sign an agreement with Excellus Blue Cross/Blue Shield to provide health insurance coverage under its PPO SimplyBlue Plus Standard Gold Plan to said employees.
ANIMAL SHELTER CONTRACT
On a motion of Councilperson Saltis, seconded by Councilperson Hunt, the following was APPROVED by all WHEREAS, the James A. Brennan Memorial Humane Society provides Animal Shelter services to the Town of Wells,
NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that after due consideration, the Wells Town Board agrees to the terms of the attached Contract Agreement and hereby authorizes the Town Supervisor to execute such document on behalf of the Town of Wells
NORTH COUNTRY PUBLIC RADIO LEASE
Supervisor Beach reviewed a draft lease agreement between the Town of Wells Water District and North Country Public Radio. The draft does include that NCPR agreed to pay back rent of $200 per year for the years 2017, 2018 and 2019 and the new lease when executed would carry a five year term. Councilperson Saltis agreed with a 5 year lease rather than 10 year. The Board will adopt the new lease at the December board meeting.
BUILDING INSPECTOR REPORT
Kevin Helm reported to the Board for the month of October, he received building applications for one car port, six septic systems and 3 CO’s.
COMMITTEES ROUNDTABLE
Highway Superintendent Clay Earley reported all roads are now passable. Still addressing a culvert at Griffin Gorge.
Councilperson Hunt thanked all those who helped the Town and residents during and after the flood.
Councilperson Saltis especially thanked the teenagers for their help during and after the flood. They are our hope for the future!
Councilperson Saltis announced a letter writing campaign to our State and Federal elected officials as it is important that we continue communications and ask for their help and support in the aftermath of the flood. Letters and pre-addressed envelopes were made available as well as a link to the Town’s website and Town Crier Facebook page. All full time and seasonal residents are encouraged to mail or email our officials.
Town Clerk Maryellen Stofelano reported after speaking with the Association of Towns and Villages attorney that it was not protocol or advisable to post on the website the Abstract or vouchers paid for the prior month. This was suggested by a resident at the October meeting.
Councilperson Stuart thanked Tim Hunt and Clay for their hard work during the flood. Also, Jesse Stuart, Brett and Bonnie Turnbull and Jerry Wright for their hard work. The Transfer Station will remain open. He also thanked Supervisor Beach for the long hours and hard work he put in.
Supervisor Beach reported that the wiring has been repaired at the Hydro Plant. The gear box and turbine are in good shape and the generator is being looked at. Wiring has been run for the second gate and additional wiring will be done this Friday. He is seeking three proposals to repair the water line at the bridge. He also thanked everyone for what they did during the flood, especially the Fire Department, WVAC, Tim and Clay using the front loader to evacuate people, the Car Race drivers who helped over the weekend and Becky for her assistance with the Red Cross and FEMA. He also brought up the possibility of a need for a siren to alert people when something serious is taking place i.e., at the dam.
PUBLIC ACCESS
Dee Parker asked if the Blue Cross/Blue Shield insurance plan included active employees, yes it does. She also asked about communicating an emergency plan. As an example, the recent boil advisory. She didn’t know about and assume others didn’t, maybe a sign at the post office.
Marlene Rust thought the siren was a good idea and could be used for other emergencies such as a forest fire or an active shooter at the school.
Supervisor Beach said GAZ Engineering suggested different sirens for each type of emergency event.
Michael Waterhouse from Adirondack Motorist Enthusiast Club (A.M.E.C.) presented the Town with a $1,000 donation from their club and an individual donation of $40 to help with the costs of rebuilding after the flood. They have appreciated sharing the lake in the winter months for the last 25 years.
Holly Hite thanked them for their donation and the physical help they provided particularly to the Senior Citizens the weekend following the flood. The Senior Group is planning a “thank you” dinner and will certainly be extending an invitation to them.
Rebekah Crewell gave an overview and update on recovery efforts. She and Supervisor Beach will be meeting with representatives from FEMA, SBA and NYS Homeland Security tomorrow to tour the devastated properties and infrastructure in the Town. 58 properties in the County, 39 of those are in Wells. She is working closely with Don Purdy, Hamilton County Emergency Services Director. As Vice President of the Speculator Chamber of Commerce she will be planning a Legislative Breakfast soon. As an Insurance Broker she encouraged anyone who sustained damage to contact your agent and/or insurance carrier to file a claim. If FEMA can provide any monetary assistance this step needs to be taken.
Roy Grisenthwaite asked if seasonal homeowners were impacted should they be writing to the elected officials. Yes, everyone even if they were not personally impacted should taking part in the letter writing campaign.
Holly Hite made everyone aware that Rick the owner of Ruby & Quiri is offering a 20% discount on furniture, substantial discounts on flooring and free delivery to anyone who was a victim of the flood.
Kevin Helm asked if anyone has inspected the rip-rap at the dam. Hamilton County Water & Soil Conservation District has looked at it and documenting information. Supervisor Beach reported the engineering firm has looked at the dam and feels it has not been compromised and is in good shape.
John Menke doesn’t understand that if he or anyone can come into the Town Office to review the Abstract why can’t it be published online.
John Margies asked if there was a station north of the Town to alert us of high water levels. No, only a station south of Town.
Supervisor Beach on behalf of his family thanked Councilperson Hunt for his insistence to have him get off the catwalk of the dam during the evening of the flood.
Steve Stofelano Jr. thanked the community and neighbors for the outpouring of support Maryellen, and he received in the aftermath of the flood.

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

Wednesday, December 11, 2019

Trooper attacked in Arietta

Police Report Dec 11 2019


Trooper attacked in Arietta

ARIETTA--At approximately 8:48 p.m., December 10, State Police from the Mayfield barracks were dispatched to a single-family residence on Old Piseco Road in the Town of Arietta for a person experiencing mental health issues.
Upon arrival, Trooper Ryan Mousaw began interviewing the resident, 55-year-old Daniel E. Condon, who was exhibiting signs of instability. When Trooper Mousaw tried to transport him to the hospital for evaluation, Condon began to struggle with the him.
Trooper Mousaw attempted deploy his Division issued Taser but was unsuccessful. Condon subsequently struck Trooper Mousaw in the head with a hatchet, causing a laceration.
After Condon ignored verbal commands to drop the hatchet, Trooper Mousaw discharged his Division issued pistol, striking him.
Trooper Mousaw, while injured himself, immediately rendered first aid to Condon and attached an Automatic Electronic Defibrillator but was unable to resuscitate him.
When assistance arrived on scene, Trooper Mousaw was transported to Nathan Littauer Hospital in Gloversville. He was treated for a head laceration and a sprained right arm, and right wrist. He has since been released.
Major Robert Patnaude, Troop G Commander, will be available at Troop G headquarters at 1:30 p.m. today, December 11, to answer questions on the preliminary investigation.

Hope Town Board remembers Stephen Tomlinson

Hope TB Dec 9 2019

Hope Town Board remembers Stephen Tomlinson
By PETE KLEIN
HOPE—At the December 9 meeting of the Hope Town Board, the board noted the passing of Stephen Tomlinson, father of current Town Supervisor Steven Tomlinson, with the following proclamation: “On behalf of the Town of Hope Town Board and community members, we all would like to offer our condolences to the Tomlinson Family, now and in the days ahead, on the loss of Stephen Tomlinson.
“Mr. Tomlinson served as a Town of Hope Town Supervisor from 1993 thru 1995. One of his biggest accomplishments was the closing of the old town dump and creating what has been transformed as the current Transfer Station. This project took a lot of time, money, energy and manpower, and Mr. Tomlinson led the mandatory project all while continuing to balance the town’s financial structure. This took a lot of personal time and emotion to complete it with success as well. He did so with grace, knowing the benefit it would have for the Town of Hope’s future. He was a dedicated member of the Town of Hope community, never missing an event and always being part of what was going on. He was always willing to lend a hand and offer advice. The Town of Hope thanks Mr. Tomlinson for his dedication to his family, the military and his community. Our thoughts and prayers remain with his family during this difficult time.”
HIRE A THIRD EMPLOYEE FOR THE HIGHWAY DEPARTMENT
Supervisor Tomlinson stated the town board had earlier in the year approved the highway department to hire a third employee. Due to the retirement of an employee that position was never filled. He asked the town board, at the request of Superintendent Colson, to fill that vacancy.
Superintendent Colson went on to add that this position is needed for plowing, assisting in garbage pickup and brush cutting and removal. He added that there is also major roadwork ahead for the highway department in the spring and another person is needed to assist with that.
Supervisor Tomlinson also stated that this individual would be used at the Transfer Station to fill in any days off or if a vacancy became open there as well. The added position would allow for more reimbursement and would be a benefit to the highway department.
Town board members asked Superintendent when he would want this person to start. He responded that it would likely be after the first of the year. Since interviews just took place for an open position and that this is not a newly created position, Superintendent Colson will choose from that current list.
On a motion by Councilperson Mark Stuart, seconded by Councilperson William Witts, the following resolution was ADOPTED - Resolved was the approval for Superintendent to hire another employee to fill the current vacancy. The start time would be at his discretion.
PURCHASE OF A NEW TRUCK
Superintendent Colson explained why he feels he needs a new truck for the highway department. He stated that in the winter months when he must do garbage pickup, he uses his pickup truck because the truck used for the garbage has a sander on it. In order to use it, the sander must be removed each time. Many times, so far, it has been snowing enough to need that truck to sand roads, therefore the crew is using the Highway Superintendent pickup truck, which was designed for that use.
In talking with Supervisor Tomlinson, it was discovered that a dump insert can be purchased for the pickup truck. With this idea, Superintendent Colson would like to see the current Superintendent truck have one of these inserts put in and that truck would become a truck for the Transfer Station. Supervisor Tomlinson stated all maintenance and cost for that truck would then be moved over to the General side of the budget and the Highway Department would purchase a new Superintendent pickup truck.
Superintendent Colson presented the board with three quotes for both the insert and the new truck. This led to a discussion on the options available for both items and cost.
Councilperson Stuart asked that this discussion be continued next month. He added that over the next few weeks he would like to see other options available, such as a live box.
Superintendent Colson will look at obtaining information on these other options and present those to the board next month.
HGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT’S REPORT
Highway Superintendent Zachery Colson presented the town board with the following report, “We have been busy this month fixing up roads from the flood event that we had. We have a large stockpile of crusher run, light stone fill and heavy stone fill that was hauled in and paid for by the State of New York. In the spring, we will be using this material to finish fixing the roads.
“We had our first major snowstorm. Most of our equipment performed perfectly. One piece of equipment did not. The sander on the Ram 5500 had a motor blow. It has since been replaced.
“We are currently in the process of putting a new 200-amp service at the pole barn.
Over the summer we lost power from the panel at the transfer station, so we decided to put a main service on this building.
“We received the new dumpster for the transfer station. We took the worst dumpster that we had and made it the new metal dumpster and put the new one into use as a garbage dumpster.
“All of the CHIPS paperwork was submitted before the deadline for the December
be seeing a check for the reimbursement sometime this month.”
TOWN CLERK’S COMMENTS
Jill states Jason Berry from Derby Office Equipment came and did an annual service on the copier. There were no concerns with it. She also advises her office will be closed the week of Christmas and New Year’s and then she will be posting her new hours for tax season.
TOWN SUPERVISOR’S REPORT
Supervisor Tomlinson states that Councilperson Dianna Downing updated the Employee Handbook. He thanked her for her efforts in doing so.
He also states that the payment due for 2020 to the NYS Retirement System has been paid in full.
Supervisor Tomlinson states the he signed the agreement with Hamilton County Treasurer’s Office to continue their role in handling the finances such as accounts payable and payroll.
COUNCILPERSON’S COMMENTS
Councilperson Mark Stuart asked what the mess with the bottles and cans is. It was reported that the Redemption Center has not been able to pick them up at this time. After some discussion on how to stop this mess from being made, it was agreed upon with Superintendent Colson that he would have a crew deliver the bottle and cans to the Redemption Center biweekly. As he states, this is a benefit for the Fire Department.
Councilperson William Witts thanks all for their efforts and hard work. He adds that he would all board members to donate for flowers and a card for the Tomlinson family on their loss of past Town Supervisor Stephen Tomlinson. All agreed.
Councilperson John Stuart Jr: Nothing new to add. Agrees with all said by other councilpersons.
Councilperson Dianna Downing: Will reach out to the owners of the Redemption Center with what was discussed.

Editor’s note: This story is based upon meeting minutes provided by Town Clerk Jill Dunham.

Monday, December 9, 2019

Hamilton County Sheriff arrests in Lake Pleasant and Indian Lake

Police Report Dec 9 2019

Hamilton County Sheriff arrests in Lake Pleasant and Indian Lake

LAKE PLEASANT--Joseph M. McCarthy, 34 of Speculator was arrested by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office on November 26, 2019 for Menacing 2nd in the Town of Lake Pleasant. McCarthy was arraigned in Arietta Town Court and remanded to the Hamilton County Jail in lieu of $10,000 cash bail. McCarthy is to appear in Lake Pleasant Town Court on December 17, 2019 at 2:00 pm.

INDIAN LAKE--Amber R. Crowe, 38 of Hague, New York was arrested by the Hamilton County Sheriff’s Office on November 27, 2019 for Criminal Mischief 4th in the Town of Indian Lake.  Crowe was released with an appearance ticket. Crowe is to appear in Indian Lake Town Court on December 17, 2019 at 7:00 pm.

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

Wednesday, November 27, 2019

Long Lake Town Board holds short meeting
By PETE KLEIN
LONG LAKE—The Long Lake Town Board held a short monthly meeting on November 20, during which they took up the following resolutions.
The board award the 2020 Shelter Service Contract to Tri – Lakes Humane Society.
Homenergy Services, Saranac Lake, was awarded the 2020 Propane Contract.
There were no fixed price bids for Fuel Oil Contract, so the Board directed that the fuel be rebid with both fluctuating and fixed price bids being accepted.
Award Furnace Service Contract
Raquette Lake Supply was awarded the Furnace Service Bid Contract.

Tuesday, November 26, 2019

Arietta TB November 15 2019

Arietta TB November 15 2019

Arietta holds special meeting on storm and budget
By PETE KLEIN
PISECO—The special meeting of the Arietta Town board, held on November 15, Halloween storm and the public hearing on the 2020 budget were discussed and resolutions were passed.
Supervisor Rick Wilt asked for an update on the storm damage to the Powley Road.
Highway Superintendent Craig Small reported the men are working very hard to get the road passable because Hamilton County Highway will be putting a temporary Baily bridge at the Powley Place. Then town can haul machines and material across to the river and down the road to even more damaged areas and the Bray house sleuth. The County will put a new bridge replacing the sleuth next summer, the town will just make it passable for this snowmobile season.
Small is also working with Lenny Croote from Soil and Water to measure all the culverts in the town, Lenny is looking into a grant to replace culverts to eliminate flooding in the future.
Supervisor Wilt said the priority at this time is the Powley Road, Fall Stream bridge needs tweaking and rails, Piseco Lake Lodge bridge needs to be moved about 25’ back in place. The bridge to the lake near Piseco Lake lodge needs to be jacked up and could work ok for this season.
DEC wanted to know if the snowmobile clubs could check out trails, they have no manpower, and DEC is handing out lumber for repairs.
Supervisor Wilt said he will be putting line items in the budget to keep track of the monies for the storm damage. He would also like to keep the insurance bill for the rental equipment as a line item.
AUTHORIZE ONE TIME BUY OUT FOR VACATION AND PERSONAL
The board approved the following resolution:
“WHEREAS both the Town of Arietta and Hamilton County called a State of Emergency due to the storm on October 31, 2019 which caused major damages to roads, and WHEREAS the Town of Arietta Highway Employees have had to work overtime on weekends and during regular business hours to repair the damages to the roads and have been unable to take time off, and WHEREAS the Town Board, Town of Arietta after consideration have decided to allow the Arietta Highway Employees to receive a onetime benefit of compensation for vacation and personal time that is unused by December 20, 2019 payable in their last regular check in 2019, and WHEREAS the one time buy out will not be recognized as timed worked for regular and overtime purposes, and
“THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED the Town Board of Arietta authorizes a one-time buy out for unused vacation and personal time for the Arietta Highway Employees in 2019 payable in the last check issued in December 2019.
TEMPORARY HIGHWAY HEAVY EQUIPMENT OPERATOR
The board passed the following resolution:
“WHEREAS both the Town of Arietta and Hamilton County called a State of Emergency due to the storm on October 31, 2019 which caused major damages to roads, and WHEREAS the Town of Arietta Highway Employees have had to work overtime on weekends and during regular business hours to repair the damages to the roads, and WHEREAS there is a need to hire a temporary heavy equipment operator to help elevate the time crunch in repairing the roads for winter conditions, and WHEREAS the Arietta Highway Superintendent, Craig Small will hire Kenneth Parslow as an HEO retroactive November 12, 2019 with the compensation of $21.05 per hour, and
“THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED the Town Board of Arietta the Highway Superintendent to hire Kenneth Parslow as a temporary HEO at $21.05 per hour due to the need to repair the roads for winter from the storm on October 31, 2019.
OFFICIAL CLOSE OF THE PUBLIC HEARING THE 2020 BUDGET
The board passed the following resolution:
“WHEREAS it was noted that the opening and closing of the Public Hearing was not officially done at the November 4, 2019 meeting. The notice for the public hearing was advertised and the resolution noted public hearing for comments before the budget was voted on.  There were no public comments made during the meeting, and WHEREAS: the Town Board, Town of Arietta after review have made the decision to reschedule a Public Hearing for comments to be heard on the Budget for 2020, and WHEREAS: public comment was heard at the Public Hearing held during the special Town Board Meeting at 5 p.m. on Friday, November 15, 2019 at the Piseco Common School, 1722 State Route 8 Piseco, NY, and
“THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED: the Town Board of Arietta after hearing all public comment will uphold resolution #19-11-37 to adopt the Town Budget for the year 2020 passed at the meeting on November 4, 2019.

Editor’s note: This story is based upon the minutes of Kenneth Parslow, Town Clerk.

Arietta 2020 budget passed under the cap.

Arietta TB November 4 2019


Arietta 2020 budget passed under the cap.
By PETE KLEIN
PISECO—The Arietta Town Board met on November 4 and passed the following resolutions to formally approve the 2020 town budget.
The board approved the following resolution:
“WHEREAS: the Town of Arietta Town Board has accepted the 2020 Preliminary Budget at the October Town Board Meeting, and WHEREAS: at the October workshop meeting’s, there was discussion of the Town Board, and a motion made to bring to resolution an increase in the amounts of the following accounts: A0-7450.400 Museum from $1,000 to $3,000, A0-2410 Rental Real Property from $403 to $5,600
THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED: that the Town Board, Town of Arietta increase the above amounts in the 2020 Budget.”
Supervisor Rick Wilt then reported they just stayed under the Tax Cap. He gave a copy of the budget summary to the Town Board members.
The board then passed the following resolution.
“WHEREAS: the Town Board, Town of Arietta held a Public Hearing for public comment on the Budget for 2020, and WHEREAS: public comment was heard at the Public Hearing held during the regular Town Board Meeting at 5 p.m. on Monday, November 4, 2019 at the Piseco Common School, 1722 State Route 8 Piseco, NY, and
“THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED: the Town Board of Arietta will adopt the Town Budget for the year 2020.”
RESCIND LOCAL LAW OVERRIDING THE TAX LEVY LIMIT
With the budget under the cap, the board passed the following resolution:
“WHEREAS: the Town of Arietta Town Board at the October 7, 2019 board meeting passed resolution #19-10-32 for Local Law No. 1 of 2019 authorizing the overriding of the Tax Cap Levy for the 2020 Budget, and WHEREAS: the Arietta Town Board after several budget workshops and with the adoption of the 2020 Budget came in under the state tax cap levy, and
“THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED: that the Town Board, Town of Arietta rescinds Resolution #19-10-32 and Local Law #1 authorizing the overriding of the 2020 Tax Cap Levy.”
SNOWMOBILE COMMITTEE
Supervisor Wilt reported: the snowmobile trails are on the bottom of the list after the storm damage to that was significant.
The Powley Road is gone reported by Highway Superintendent Small, cannot estimate when it will be repaired. Bridges and washouts are extreme. Has pictures on computer if anyone would like to see them.
He reported the Town Roads held up pretty well. Bridge on Haskell Road is gone. The County is responsible for that one.
Supervisor Wilt wanted to thank the highway men who were out all weekend they did a great job. Highway Superintendent, Small also said when he called the men out to help, they were right there ready to help.
DAM
Supervisor Wilt reported the lake is very high during the storm it was 43” above zero and right now it looks like 46” above level, it looks like it is the highest it got Sunday morning. It went down very quickly. The boards are out of the dam.
Sarah Rudes reported Popular Point Campsite needs a lot of repair work after the storm.
ZONING
Zoning Officer Mel Lascola reported the JIF for the town garage was done and sent to the APA. We are in special use district and it will have to go in front of the ZBA and Planning Board. It will have to be put in the paper to do in December.
Supervisor Wilt said because this was a major project in Town it has to go before the Lake George. Lake Champlain Regional Planning Board.
Lascola asked if there has been anything done on the Septic Law, Supervisor Wilt said it was sent to the Town Attorney.

Editor’s note: This story is based upon the minutes of Kenneth Parslow, Town Clerk.

Monday, November 25, 2019

Halloween storm caused damage to WCS

WCS BOE Nov 20 2019

Halloween storm caused damage to WCS
By PETE KLEIN
WELLS—At the November 20 meeting of the Wells Central School Board of Education meeting, Superintendent Thomas D. Sincavage reported the Halloween storm caused an electrical surge and damaged the milk cooler. The school is looking to replace the cooler with another unit. The school had investigated filing an insurance claim and decided against filing a claim due to the age of the unit and the deductible.
Sincavage said the current generator only runs a portion of the school which requires the head custodian to make several trips to the school during a power outage.
The board suggested looking into a few different possibilities of getting another small backup generator for the refrigeration units not powered by the current generator. Ken Hoffman suggested getting a usage estimate from Niagara Mohawk before a decision on a new unit is made.
Sincavage reported the school received a letter of support from Karl Abrams regarding the school zone. A letter was also sent to the New York Department of Transportation requesting a designated school zone.
Sincavage said the school hosted a Veteran’s Day Breakfast this year. The attendance was low, and the school will send out personal invitations next year to boost attendance.
Sincavage and Mrs. Richardson attended the first 2-day Harvard Proving Ground Conference. The next conference will be in Albany in February.
The recommendation for contractors based on the bids for the Capital Project are in. Sincavage noted that the district has a healthy contingency budget regarding the Capital Project.
SENIOR TRIP
Senior Class Advisor, Laura Kraebel presented the senior trip details to the Board of Education. The Class of 2020 has requested a four-day trip to Florida on April 3-6, 2020. Currently 11 seniors plan on participating, with two adult chaperones attending. The senior class would like to have the school provide transportation to and from Albany International Airport.
The board approved.
INFORMATION AND CORRESPONDENCE
The Board reviewed the November Enrollment Report by Jessica Damphier. The current enrollment is at 146.
The Board of Education received a thank you from the Creative Writing Club for allowing them to attend a trip to Maine. The Board of Education also received a thank you note from Tax Collector, Kathy Simons, thanking Steve Welch, Head Custodian and Board President, Cathie Rust for always thinking of her and for going above and beyond.
DONATION
The board accepted an anonymous donation in the amount of $8,072.43 which will be used to offset the cost to WCS (cost minus BOCES aid for the program) for an Arts in Education program held at WCS on November 14-15, 2019.
ATHLETIC DIRECTOR’S REPORT
Jeremy J. Siddon, Building Principal, reported basketball practice has started. The girls’ varsity has 7 players and the boys varsity team has 15-16 players. The first game is scheduled for girls’ varsity on December 6th. They have 10 non-league games scheduled. The most current game and practice schedule can be found online.
PUBLIC ACCESS
A guest mentioned that at the most recent town board meeting it was suggested that the sirens be replaced at the fire station to alert those of an emergency. The suggestion included 1 ring for a fire, 2 for a flood, and 3 for a school related emergency.
APPROVALS
The District Wide School Safety Plan was updated with verbiage to include the new school resource officer. New Education Law requires this plan to be updated yearly.
The Board of Education approved the classifications, recommendations and programs for the following students:982420497, 982420398, 982420499, 982420172, and 982420436 on a motion made by Ken Hoffman, seconded by William Stuart, and carried 4-0.
The Board approved the request by the Wells senior citizens to use a WCS bus and driver for a trip to Colonie Center Mall, Colonie on Wednesday, November 20, 2019. The Wells Seniors will pay for the fuel used and the salary of the Bus Driver on a motion made by Ken Hoffman, seconded by Dorman Reese, and carried 4-0.
The Board adopted the updated Board of Education policy 2.610 Policy Development and Review on a motion made by Ken Hoffman, seconded by William Stuart, and carried 4-0.
Upon the recommendation of the Superintendent of Schools a motion was made by Dorman Reese, seconded by Ken Hoffman, and carried 4-0 to adopt the following resolution:
“WHEREAS, the Board of Education, in accordance with General Municipal Law, has invited sealed bids to furnish materials and labor to complete the Capital Improvement Project, which bids were opened publicly on October 30, 2019; and WHEREAS, the lowest responsible bidder(s) for the Capital Improvement Project has been identified as per the conditions stated in the bid report;
“THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Board of Education hereby awards the bids for the Capital Improvement Project to: General Construction – Aktor Corporation, Plumbing Construction – Tri-Valley Plumbing & Heating Inc., Mechanical Construction – RF Gordon Mechanical, LLC Electrical Construction – Hewitt Young Electric, LLC Roofing Construction – Titan Roofing, Inc. according to the Bid Report, as presented, a copy of which is incorporated by reference within the Board of Education meeting minutes (this meeting); and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Board of Education President and Superintendent of Schools are authorized to execute any documents necessary to effectuate the purposes of this resolution, as required.
After holding an Executive Session, the board approved the addition of the name of Susan Frick to the 2019/2020 Substitute List as an uncertified substitute teacher pending fingerprint clearance on a motion made by Dorman Reese, seconded by Ken Hoffman, and carried 4-0.
The board approved the addition of the name of Chelsea Kennedy to the 2019/2020 Substitute List as an uncertified substitute teacher on a motion made by Dorman Reese, seconded by William Stuart, and carried 4-0.
The board appointed the following coaches for the winter sports season: Tammy Stankes as Modified Girls Basketball Coach and Elise Russell as Girls Time/Score Keepers on a motion made by William Stuart, seconded by Ken Hoffman, and carried 4-0.

Editor’s note: This story is based upon the minutes as provided by District Clerk Rachelle Dwyer.

Supervisors continue work on 2020 budget

Supervisors Nov 22 2019


Supervisors continue work on 2020 budget
By PETE KLEIN
LAKE PLEASANT—The Hamilton County Board of Supervisors held a Public Hearing on the 2020 Tentative Budget when they met on November 22. Additions and subtractions to the budget were adopted and work on finalizing the budget will continue before it is officially adopted.
In addition to working on the 2020 budget, the supervisors did pass the following resolutions.
FUNDING FOR DAMAGE REPAIR FROM HALLOWEEN STORM 2019
“WHEREAS, on October 31 and November 1, 2019 Hamilton County was hit by torrential rain, and WHEREAS, Hamilton County owned infrastructure of road and bridges received major damage from the torrential rain, and WHEREAS, the County DPW department has begun repairing the damages to get roads and bridges reopened, and WHEREAS, the DPW has needed to purchase materials such as crushed stone and crusher run gravel along with rental of equipment and has a contractor in place to begin repairing bridge abutment scouring, and WHEREAS, the DPW needs to have funding available for these resources while state and federal government agencies complete damage assessments to possibly declare a disaster for Hamilton County for the related storm damage, and WHEREAS, in the first instance the DPW Superintendent recommends the transfer of $250,000 from the County Road Fund balance to fund the temporary repairs, be it
“RESOLVED, that the County Treasurer is hereby authorized to create Capital Project Halloween Storm 2019 Account No. H7.8760.402 and fund it by transferring $250,000 from the Unappropriated County Road Fund Balance in accordance with Section 366 Subdivision 1 of the County Law and the Clerk of the Board and County DPW Superintendent be so notified.”
COURT HOUSE ENTRANCE REPAIRS PROJECT
“WHEREAS, the courthouse in Lake Pleasant need repairs to both east and west entrances, and WHEREAS, Hamilton County bid out these repairs and the bid was duly adopted on September 23, 2019 by Resolution No. 267-19, and WHEREAS, the awarded bid is as follows: A. East Entrance Repairs - $38,000, B. West Entrance Repairs - $18,000. Total - $56,000. And WHEREAS, because of weather related issues only the west entrance will be completed in 2019, and WHEREAS, an Appropriation Account needs to be created to fund these repairs, and WHEREAS, there are funds available in the Building Reserve Account, and WHEREAS, the Office of Court Administration will reimburse 54% of this project, be it
“RESOLVED, that the County Treasurer be here by authorized to create Account No. A1620.0205 Buildings Court Improvements and transfer of $25,760 from the Building Reserve to Account No. 1620.0205 Buildings Court Improvements, and be it further RESOLVED, that Revenue Account No. A3021 State Aid –Court Facilities be increased by $30,240 to be totally offset by increasing Account No. A1620.0205 Buildings Court Improvements by $30,240 and the Clerk of the Board and County DPW Superintendent be so notified.
PURCHASE OF CAB AND CHASSIS, DUMP BODY AND PLOW
“WHEREAS, the DPW owns a 2012 single axle truck with a dump body and front plow that needs to be replaced, and WHEREAS, this replacement was going to be budgeted for 2020 but the DPW has remaining funds in CHIP’s that can be used for this purpose, and WHEREAS, the County DPW Superintendent has received a written quote for a 2021 Peterbuilt 348 Single Axle Cab & Chassis from Utica General Truck under the Onondaga County Bid Contract with associated options for $88,270, and WHEREAS, the Superintendent has received a written quote from Viking Cives (USA) for a dump body and front plow installed on the said cab & chassis under Onondaga County Contract in the amount of $52,491.90, be it
“RESOLVED, that hereby the County DPW Superintendent is authorized to order said cab & chassis from Utica General Truck under Onondaga County Contract pricing at a cost of $88,270 and Dump Body and Plow Equipment from Viking Cives (USA) under Onondaga County Contract pricing in the amount of 52,491.90 for a total cost of $140,761.90, be it further RESOLVED, the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors is hereby authorized to enter into a contract for the purchase of the said truck and equipment with Utica General Truck of Utica, NY and Viking Cives (USA) of Harrisville, NY with the approval of the County Attorney, be it further RESOLVED, that hereby the County Treasurer is authorized to transfer $140,761.90 from Account No. D5112.202 Capital Projects (CHIP’s) to Account No. DM5130.201 Equipment and the County DPW Superintendent and Clerk of the Board be so advised.
AUTHORIZING DPW TO HIRE LABORERS – LAKE PLEASANT
“WHEREAS, the Buildings Division of the DPW has one full time opening for a Laborer position due to retirement, and WHEREAS, Daniel Fish, Buildings Maintenance Supervisor will also be retiring on January 2, 2020, and WHEREAS, the DPW has advertised for a Full-Time Laborer for Buildings in Lake Pleasant, and WHEREAS, the DPW interviewed five applicants for this position, and WHEREAS, after the interviews, the interview committee had two very strong candidates and the committee feels that either of the candidates could be trained to eventually fill the vacancy created by Dan Fish’s retirement and could be moved to Custodian in the future, and WHEREAS, the Superintendent feels that the candidates having an opportunity to work with both the Project Supervisor and Maintenance Supervisor would be in the best interest of the Buildings Division before the retirement of the Maintenance Supervisor, and WHEREAS, the DPW Superintendent recommends that Andrew Wilt of Lake Pleasant and James Rust of Wells be hired at Laborer Step Hire for forty (40) hours per week, be it
“RESOLVED, that hereby the DPW Superintendent is authorized to hire Andrew Wilt and James Rust at Laborer Step Hire effective immediately and the Personnel Officer and County Treasurer be so notified.
RESCINDING RESOLUTION NO. 326-19 AUTHORIZING OPT OUT OF OPIOID LITIGATION NEGOTIATING CLASS
“WHEREAS, the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors pursuant to Resolution No. 326- 19 duly adopted on November 18, 2019 authorized an opt out of the negotiating class of the MDL (multi district litigation) per recommendation of NY litigation counsel, namely. Napoli Shkolnik, PLLC, and WHEREAS, said litigation counsel has advised of a change in circumstances necessitating an altering of strategy to permit greater strength in potential settlement negotiations, and WHEREAS, said litigation counsel has per Updated Memorandum advised Hamilton County to rescind its prior authorized opt out and instead remain within the negotiating class of the MDL,
“NOW THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that in accordance with the recommendation of NY litigation counsel, and the recommendation of the Hamilton County Attorney, the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors hereby rescinds Resolution No. 326-19 adopted November 18, 2019.
AUTHORIZATION TO ATTEND 2020 NACO CONFERENCE
“WHEREAS, the National Association of Counties is conducting their Legislative Conference from February 29 – March 4, 2020 in Washington, DC, and WHEREAS, the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors has determined it to be in the best interest of the County to participate, now, therefore, be it
“RESOLVED, that the members of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors are hereby authorized to attend said conference on behalf of the County, and be it further RESOLVED, that the actual and reasonable expenses of the members attending shall be a County charge exempt from the per meal cap for receipted meals, and be audited by this Board in the same manner as other County charges.”
COMP TIME OVERAGE – BOARD OF ELECTIONS
“WHEREAS, Republican Election Commissioner Marie Buanno has put in Comp time in excess of 80 hours, and WHEREAS, due to regular election duties and Early Voting duties plus the overtime comp hours she is over the threshold of 80 (102.5) on form #13, and WHEREAS, 5.5 more comp time hours will be added due to more after hour election duties (counting of absentees) on form #1, and WHEREAS, her regular schedule of a 35-hour work week will resume now that election is over, be it
“RESOLVED, that the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors does hereby authorize the Election Commissioner to keep the comp time accumulated with the understanding it be used as soon as possible, but in no instance is the accumulation of more than 110 hours of comp time authorized, and the total comp time must be back under 80 hours by December 31, 2019.”
APPROVAL TO AMEND PATRICE JOAN HICK’S 2019 CONTRACT
“WHEREAS, the County of Hamilton has approved the contract with Patrice Joan Hicks to provide clinical social work services to the residents of Hamilton County, and WHEREAS, due to unanticipated demand the utilization of services provided by Ms. Hicks will exceed the cap of $12,500 for clinical counseling and the overall cap of $14,500 for clinical counseling and mental health evaluations combined as specified in the contract during the past year, and WHEREAS, services projected to be provided by Patrice Joan Hicks will require additional funding through the end of the current year, be it
“RESOLVED, that the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors hereby approves amending the County’s 2019 contract for Patrice Joan Hicks to a cap of $14,000 for clinical counseling and an overall cap of 16,000 and the Treasurer be so advised.”