Saturday, October 19, 2019

People have a right to farm in Hamilton County

Speculator VB September 23 2019

People have a right to farm in Hamilton County
SPECULATOR—At the September 23 meeting of the Speculator Village Board of Trustees, resident Ken Bailey presented a proposed ordinance for removal of “rubbish” for the board to take into consideration.
It was at the September 9 meeting of the board that Ken and Peggy Bailey addressed the board regarding a pile of metal containers, rubber and plastic located on 231 Elm Lake Rd, owned by Dave and Karen McComb, that is very close to their property line and visible from the street, stating the material is “rubbish.”
The Fire & Building Code Inspector has been to the property and has not found any violations given the property is classified as a farm and the items noted could be categorized as “for future use.”
The Baileys had requested the Village investigate adopting a new ordinance to include a time limit on the designation of “for future use” so that requests could be made to discard materials.
Trustee Karen McComb, who had been absent from the September 9 meeting, now asked the Board, speaking as a voting resident in Speculator, to address the Bailey comment made at the September 9 meeting.
McComb said the materials are used in the process of making Maple Syrup for their business, “McComb’s Oak Hill Farm,” and their farm has been an asset to the community for 20 years. She said Hamilton County is a “Right to Farm” County, enacted by County Law No. 2 of 2012. She said it states agricultural practices shall not be found to be a public nuisance and therefore the materials in question are not in violation of any zoning code.
Mayor Jeannette Barrett noted that this law provides for resolution of disputes.
The meeting was notable, made so by a visit from Robert Smullen, NYS Assemblyman for District 118.
Smullen commented he was pleased to attend the board meeting and would be happy to listen to what is going on in the village. He said rural communities are important to him and with the budget season coming up, he is making his way around to introduce himself and gather information on what is needed in our communities. He attended the rural broadband meeting to help promote better service here in the Adirondacks and believes emergency services need his support as well.
Highway Superintendent Roger Blanchard Jr. submitted the following written report.
Last 30 day Activities: Sidewalks paved, New playground toys set, Mowed and weed eat, Marion Avenue and Elliott Lane paved, Paved with the Town, Garbage and recyclables picked up, Closed beach, Raked dirt section Elm Lake Road, Bear garbage can with base set, Road side mowing complete.
Next 30 days Planned Activities: Continue sidewalk work, Haul sand for Winter, Mow and weed eat, Fix shoulders and driveways on Marion and Elliott, Garbage and recyclables, Haul crusher run to Wells to replace what we used for Shuttleworth Road, Rake dirt section Elm Lake Road, Wood chips at playground, Guardrails on Marion Avenue.
CHIPS Planned Activities next 6-months: Order replacement culverts, Get Marion Avenue culvert in and pave, Chip seal Shuttleworth Road, Pave Marion Avenue and Elliott Lane, 5500 truck has been ordered, Install guardrails on Marion Avenue, Haul item 4 for roads as needed, Paper work for Marion Avenue has been sent
The garbage truck has been out of commission due to the regen system needing repairs.
Winter Schedule for Trash and Recycle pickup went into effect on September 26. Notices were posted in the paper, on the website and around the village to inform as many residences as possible of the change.
Trustee Eric Craven thanked DPW for paving the sidewalks on Route 8.
Clerk Crystal O’Brien presented the transition report.
Claire Craven updated the board of the delays with the AUD Report and stated she is working closely with the Office of the State Comptroller through these delays.
Trustee Craven made a motion to approve the financial report as presented at the September 9 meeting. Trustee McComb seconded and the motion was passed unanimously.
Because the Town of Lake Pleasant has already supported the Adirondack Park Local Government Review Board (APLGRB) with a $300 donation, and Speculator taxpayers also pay Town property taxes on their assessments,
the board was presented with the following alternative donation idea presented by Mayor Barrett.
“The Court Decision on Tree Cutting in the Adirondacks, stating all saplings are considered timber and in turn cannot be removed threatens all Recreation in the Adirondacks. This decision prevents the DEC, local communities and local businesses who promote the beauty of the Adirondacks from maintaining recreational trails causing harm to our tourism. The case was presented as an example of where APLGRB can help. With that in mind, the Village would like to donate $150 dollars to fighting this decision.”
Trustee Craven made a motion to approve the one-time donation of $150 to the APLGRB. Trustee Rudes seconded and the motion was passed unanimously.
Trustee Mark Donecker is in the process of acquiring estimates for the pruning of the tree on the Point, will have a complete list by next meeting and plans to start right after.
Mayor Barrett continues to gather information on the LED Street Lighting project. There is a shared service meeting next Monday for NYPA she plans to attend.
In consideration of Robert Benkovich’s presentation last month on street addressing and driveway width for emergency vehicle codes and the safety concerns for our emergency personnel and residents, the board has discussed sending out a joint letter from the Village, Fire Department and the Ambulance Corp. to residence informing them of these codes and the safety issues. A grace period of six months will be given for compliance, those who are still noncompliant will be sent a warning letter. If after one-year any residents remain noncompliant then enforcement measures may be taken.
After careful consideration and research done regarding our past salt use in Speculator, currently using very little salt on the roads in the winter and mainly only during ice storms to help prevent accidents, the board decided not to sign the agreement presented by ADK Action requesting the Village to pledge to reduce road salt, which also included onerous and unreasonable reporting and administrative demands.
The following resolution for administrative changes to correct classifications based on usage in the 2019-2020 budget was presented to the board.
“WHEREAS, this resolution shall be known as the "Administrative Changes to Correct Classifications Based on Usage to 2019-2020 Budget";
“WHEREAS, there are classifications within the budget that do not adequately reflect usage as they are presently coded;
“WHEREAS, these corrections are administrative in nature;
“WHEREAS the Village Attorney is a 1099 Vendor and not a Village employee as indicated by the code A1420.1 Law Personnel Services;
“WHEREAS A7550.4 Celebrations Contractual refers to Fourth of July parade activities, which are under the purview of the Chamber of Commerce, and the fireworks should be captured under the Fire Department;
“WHEREAS A8160.1 Refuse Personnel Services is a lump sum categorization rather than an actual estimate;
“WHEREAS a portion of F8310.1 Water Personnel Services does not account for Water Administrative duties performed by the Chief Water/Wastewater Operator;
“WHEREAS a portion of G8130.1 Sewer Personnel Services does not account for Sewer Administrative duties performed by the Chief Water/Wastewater Operator;
“THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the following administrative changes will be made to the 2019-2020 Budget as follows: Move $5000 from A1420.1 Law Personnel Services to Al420.4 Contractual Services given that the Village Attorney is a 1099 Vendor and not an employee. Move $11,000 from A7550.4 Celebrations Contractual to A3410.4 Fire Department Contractual as the Chamber of Commerce will be responsible for July 4th Parade Committee & Expenses. Move $20,000 from A8160.l Refuse Personnel Services to reflect Actual Estimate vs Lump Sum Categorization with End of Year Transfers: $5,000 to A1640.1 Central Garage Personnel Services; $5,000 to A5110.1 Street Personnel Services; $10,000 to A7140.1 Play/Recreation Personnel Services; Move $17,600 from F8310.l Water Personnel Services to F8310.l Water Administration to reflect the Administrative Duties performed by Chief Water/Waste Water Operator; Move $17,600 from 08130.1 Sewer Personnel Services to 08110.1 Sewer Administration to reflect Administrative Duties performed by Chief Water/Waste Water Operator.”
Trustee Craven made a motion to approve the resolution as presented. Trustee McComb second and the motion was passed unanimously.
In the past few organizational meetings, Speculator Volunteer Fire Department’s appointment of Officers were inadvertently omitted. The Mayor invited Chief O’Brien to present the appointment of Officers, which occurred the first Tuesday of April, to the Board for final approval. Additionally, a letter from Assistant Chief Marshall was presented. The letter presented the Board an update on the Fire Department and several grants they had applied for. To date, the SVFD has secured $857,463 over the last 16 years, with one or more grants awarded nearly every year. Chief O’Brien was able to give clarifying information on the necessities of each grant and their corresponding equipment.
Trustee McComb made a motion to accept the appointment of officers for the Fire Department. Trustee Craven second and the motion was passed unanimously.
On April 2, 2019 the department held its annual meeting. In this meeting the slate of officers for 2019 was presented and voted upon. Here is the outcome of the vote for the 2019 year: President - Ryan Marshall, Vice President - Dylan Doneker Treasurer - Robert Peck, Secretary - Mark Hughes, Chief - Matt O'Brien, First Assistant - Ryan Marshall, Second Assistant - Robert Peck, First Captain - Paul Strain Sr., Second Captain - Tim Underwood, Chaplain - Wilbert Gamble, Safety Officer - Robert Peck.
A donation was received from Deerfoot in the amount of $2,200 in appreciation of Village services.
There was a Pre-bid meeting at the WWTP. They had one vendor arrive but are confident they will have two or more before their two-week cut off.
Lake Pleasant Supervisor Dan Wilt commented the Town of Lake Pleasant and Hamilton County were not in support of the pledge to reduce road salt proposed by ADK action. They felt if the state would be responsive to reducing road salt and reducing the tree canopy over the roads then the County and Town would also. The temperature monitoring and the edging equipment is not something that would be a benefit our area.

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

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