Tuesday, October 22, 2019

Assemblyman Robert Smullen visits Hope Town Board

Hope TB Oct 14 2019

Assemblyman Robert Smullen visits Hope Town Board
HOPE—Town of Hope Supervisor Tomlinson introduced NYS Assemblyman Robert Smullen to the October 14 meeting of the Town Board.
Assemblyman Smullen gave a brief summary of his past work that led him to running for Assemblyman. He has been in office since January of this year. Some of his focuses as Assemblyman is Rural EMS and the need for it to be an essential service and rural broadband. These effects the Town of Hope due to not having a good, and many times, any line of communication amongst emergency services. He states that things are continuing to go forward with the Cathead Mountain Tower Project. He stated that two good resources that have a voice in government, NYS Police and DEC, are supporters of the project. As of right now, the project still requires Legislative Approval. Funding is available and Assemblyman Smullen is supportive with helping to find various places for the funding.
Supervisor Tomlinson also discussed the firehouse project and the plans to tun it into a complete municipal community center. Assemblyman Smullen listened to the ideas, looked at some plans and concluded that he supports this project. He took some notes and will investigate ways to find the grants and funding to help with the process.
On a motion by Councilperson Dianna Downing, seconded by Councilperson Mark Stuart, the public meeting regarding the cable franchise agreement was opened.
Supervisor Steven Tomlinson led the discussion by informing the public that as of now, we already have a phone and internet franchise agreement with Spectrum. The next step is for them to bring cable to the town. They are still working on adding phone and internet to customers who have already placed orders for that and once this agreement is approved by the FCC, work will begin to add the cable service to those interested. The town will not be asking for a finance fee as it is the wish of the town board to have customers receive that savings.
Joanne Robinson inquired as if everyone must change to an 863 number if they choose Spectrum.
Supervisor Tomlinson advises they do.
Fire Chief Peter Robinson stated at this time the firehouse would not be switching as the emergency line rings both at his home and the firehouse and Spectrum can’t give him that service.
Harry Downing asked if there is any word on adding the service to Hope Falls.
Supervisor Tomlinson said not yet, but he is still working on it and remains hopeful to make it happen. Supervisor Tomlinson stated he would keep everyone aware of any changes in the future.
The public hearing was kept open for most of the meeting before the board closed the public hearing near the ed of the meeting and then accepted the cable television franchise agreement with Spectrum.
Supervisor Tomlinson shared the 2020 Transfer Station Agreement with the town board and asked for approval to accept it.
On a motion by Councilperson Mark Stuart, seconded by Councilperson William Witts, the agreement was adopted
Supervisor Tomlinson presented the town board with the 2020 agreement between the Town of Hope and Town of Benson for sand and salt storage, fuel storage and loader usage. The were no changes noted from 2019. Everything is working out well according to Supervisor Tomlinson and Superintendent Colson.
On a motion by Councilperson Mark Stuart, seconded by Councilperson William Witts, the board approved of the 2020 Agreement between the Town of Hope and the Town of Benson for sand and salt storage, fuel storage and loader usage.
Supervisor Tomlinson presented the board with a contract that would occur between the Town of Hope and the Adirondack Park Local Review Board. There would also be a fee attached with the contract. All board members present reviewed the contract and after discussion amongst each other, they advised Supervisor Tomlinson that they were rejecting such contract and fee. Supervisor Tomlinson will note this in the contract and return it.
EXPENDITURES FOR THE TOWN OF HOPE ROAD PROJECTS FOR 2019 Discussion and approval through resolution was adopted for the Town of Hope road projects for 2019. The project, #1-2019-Creek Road included full depth reclamation with Calcium Chloride Additive on Creek Road. The cost of the project was $41.097.20. The area covered was approximately a ½ mile.
On a motion by Councilperson William Witts, seconded by Councilperson John Stuart Jr., the board approved the expenditures for the Town of Hope road projects for 2019.
Supervisor Tomlinson asked for the board’s approval to appoint the current assessor, James Abbott, to another 6-year term that will end on September 30, 2025. Along with this topic, Supervisor Tomlinson noted that the cost for a reassessment of the entire town would be $12,000. He advises the town board that this needs to be looked at for the 2021 budget. He added that due to having a shared assessor with the towns of Benson and Wells, there needs to be a mutual agreement to do the reassessment.
On a motion by Councilperson Dianna Downing, seconded by Councilperson Mark Stuart, the board approved James Abbott as the Town of Hope assessor, with a term ending September 30, 2025.
Highway Superintendent Zachery Colson states that the highway department cuts approximately 3-4 miles of brush per season. This year they rented a man-lift for two months at a cost of $4,000. For a cost of $36,000, the town can buy this lift. Superintendent Colson distributed the specs on this man-lift. He said there were low hours on it and no mechanical issues with it. He continued to add that this would save the town money over time. Supervisor Tomlinson asked what the annual reimbursement rate from the county was for cutting the brush. Superintendent Colson believed it to be around $1,500 to $2,000 annually. Councilperson Mark Stuart asked if there were any special requirements for safety and use by crews to own it. Superintendent Colson will investigate this. Superintendent Colson stated that he would not need the man lift anymore this year, but if not purchased this year, the town would lose the rental reimbursement from this year. The board asked Superintendent Colson to get specs on two other similar machines and present that to the town board at next month’s meeting.
Supervisor Tomlinson states that he received a complaint about the locks being changed at the transfer station gate and the redemption center owner was unable to get in to empty the bottle bin. Supervisor Tomlinson stated that Superintendent Colson had changed the locks and that he was aware. He states that Superintendent Colson had concern about someone being in the transfer station after hours.
Councilperson Dianna Downing stated that the town board has had an agreement with the redemption center owner for several years to be able to go in and empty the bottle bin. The reason it is done after hours is because of where it is located it is difficult to get the bottle bin emptied if cars are trying to go to the dumpsters.
After further discussion on this, it was decided that first Superintendent Colson would look for a spot to move the bin so that it doesn’t impede on traffic. If this cannot be accomplished, then an agreement would be drawn up between the redemption company and the Town of Hope.
Supervisor Tomlinson distributed the 2020 Tentative Budget at last month’s board meeting, giving the council a month to review it. Per councilperson’s present there were no concerns, and everything looked good. Supervisor Tomlinson stated the public hearing for the Preliminary Budget will be set for November 11 at 7 p.m.
At this time, he asked for the board’s approval on the Tentative Budget.
On a motion by Councilperson Mark Stuart, seconded by Councilperson Dianna Downing, the board approved the 2020 Tentative Budget.
Supervisor Tomlinson handed out a report given to him by Code Enforcer Mike Stewart. It read as follows: “I issued a permit for new trusses over an existing roof at 512 Maple Grove Road (Simpson) and a permit for an accessory building at 431 Hope Falls Road (Fay).
“I completed 19 credits of my required 24 for 2019 at a training conference in Albany. Topics included engineered floor systems, energy code, code changes, documentation, and fire rated assemblies.”
Supervisor Tomlinson added that it has been brought to his attention that there are two houses (new builds) under construction on the Old Northville Road. This is all being done without building, demo or APA permits. Possible more permits will be necessary too. He is going with Mr. Stewart on October 15 to inspect the situation and will follow up with the board to his findings.
Highway Superintendent Zachery Colson distributed his monthly report. It read as follows; “We continue to cut brush on the county roads, and we were able to complete just over a mile of brush on CR 15. We hauled in sand for the winter. Hopefully there is enough in our stockpile that we won’t have to haul any in the middle of winter. We did some dirt work at the transfer station. We cleaned up all the concrete that has been dumped over the years as well as cleaned out the ditch and culvert so the water will run off the road instead of down it. We also removed some of the bank that was pushing the side walls in on the pole barn that we keep our dumpsters in. With the area that we cleaned out next to the pole barn I would like to put up a shed roof so we can pile the tires under it, and they won’t be in front of the dumpsters.”
Superintendent Colson advises he is hopeful to hear back from the state with approval for the welcome signs so the order for them should be able to go in very soon.
Jill Dunham said she worked with Supervisor Tomlinson on the sale of two cemetery plots to Denny Harrington. She also reached out to Barbara Horton regarding the town buying back two plots from her. She believes she will sell them elsewhere. Jill advised her to the town would need a copy of the new deeds to be able to file them.
Councilperson William Witts states he has no concerns at the transfer station. He stated roads look good. He added that he thought the picnic was a great success for the town and its members.
Supervisor Tomlinson stated that he received a complaint about something wrong with Tannery Road. He drove there and checked it out and said he has no concerns.
Harry Downing added that Creek Road is in rough shape where they are logging. He thought it should be addressed. Superintendent Colson will evaluate it tomorrow.

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

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