Saturday, May 30, 2020

Fourth of July in doubt in Speculator

Speculator VB May 11 2020

Fourth of July in doubt in Speculator
SPECULATOR—At the May 11 meeting of the Speculator Village Bord of Trustees and with the restrictions COVID-19 has brought on, including prohibiting large social gatherings, requiring social distancing, and wearing masks in public, a discussion of different possibilities for our areas Fourth of July celebration was conducted.
Mayor Barrett invited Richelle Martz and Donna Benkovich to speak about the parade. At this point, having a traditional parade is improbable, so the Parade Committee has come up with a few ideas to continue to have a festive Fourth of July but still stay safe and healthy and well within the Governor’s orders. The first idea is to have a reverse parade where floats are lines up on the road and people drive by to view them. The second idea is to have a pop-up parade where people sign up to make floats, construct and show them on their property and a map would be provided for people who want to drive around to view them. Both options have been brought to the public for comment and will be discussed at the next parade committee meeting. Additionally, the Speculator fireworks scheduled for the evening of July fourth is also being discussed to try to find a way to conduct the fireworks but stay within the Governor’s orders to social distance and wear masks. Thoughts of having people view the fireworks from various points on and around the lake while staying in their vehicle or boat was discussed as well as the idea of having the fireworks set off from the top of Oak Mountain. The matter was tabled to a next meeting to better gather ideas and information.
In conversation with Barry Baker, Hamilton County Real Property Tax department, to process the 2020 Tax Levy, an error was found in the amount for the 2019 Tax Levy. It was confirmed the approved and adopted budget for 2019-20 had increased the amount to be levied from $865,962 to $876,294, an increase of $10,332. The Real Property Tax department received correspondence from the former Clerk – Treasurer incorrectly providing the 2018-2019 budget summary, leaving the amount to be raised by taxes the same as 2018 and resulting in a shortfall of $10,332. Additionally, after looking through paper documents, binders and electronic files, no documentation certifying the tax levy could be found. Knowing the year will be completed with a fund balance in excess of the $10,332 shortfall, FEMA reimbursement expected in the next few months and increased revenues from Verizon small cell tower, we remain in good standing to keep the tax levy at a zero percent increase.
Two resolutions were presented to correct this mistake; 1) Resolution to amend the 2019-2020 Budget to reduce A1001 – Real Property Tax collected from $876,294 to $865,962 and decrease A8160.4 – Refuse Collection and Disposal from $24,650 to $14,318; 2) Resolution to amend the 2020-2021 budget to reduce A1001 – Real Property Tax from $876,294 to $865,962 and increase the appropriated fund balance from $31,316.76 to $41,648.76 and to take corrective actions to ensure the timely and accurate execution of tax warrants in the future.
Trustee Donecker made a motion to accept the resolution to amend 2019-2020 Budget to correct tax levy error. Trustee Crary seconded and the motion was passed by the following vote: aye – Barrett, Crary, Donecker and Rudes nays – none. Trustee McComb absent.
Trustee Rudes made a motion to accept the resolution to amend 2020-2021 Budget to correct tax levy error. Trustee Donecker seconded and the motion was passed by the following vote: aye – Barrett, Crary, Donecker and Rudes nays – none. Trustee McComb absent.
Verizon has sent documentation to complete the agreement between the Village and Verizon Wireless for several small cell towers. The documentation received is as follows: Verizon Lease agreement indicating that Verizon will be paying a total annual rental fee of $2,400 to be paid in advance on the commencement date and on each anniversary.
Trustee Rudes made a motion to authorize Mayor Barrett to sign the agreement on behalf of the Village. Trustee Crary seconded and the motion was passed with the following vote: aye – Barrett, Crary, Donecker and Rudes nays – none. Trustee McComb absent.
Trustee Crary made a motion to approve the resolution for the Verizon Lease Agreement. Trustee Donecker seconded and the motion passed with the following vote: aye – Barrett, Crary, Donecker and Rudes nays – none. Trustee McComb absent.
A Memorandum of lease agreement providing the recording of the agreement to the County Clerk.
Trustee Donecker made a motion to authorize Mayor Barrett to sign the memorandum on behalf of the Village. Trustee Rudes seconded and the motion was passed with the following vote: aye – Barrett, Crary, Donecker and Rudes nays – none. Trustee McComb absent.
A Resolution form the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) was needed to confirm the declaration the project will not result in any significant environmental impact and hereby issues a negative declaration pursuant to SEQRA with reasons supporting the negative declaration.
Trustee Rudes made a motion to approve the resolution for the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) as provided. Trustee Crary seconded and the motion was passed with the following vote: aye – Barrett, Crary, Donecker and Rudes nays – none. Trustee McComb absent.
A tax return form as Grantor to be filed with Verizon containing information about the Village including its EIN number.
The final draft of the Speculator Employee Handbook was distributed in the previous week containing all edits, additions, corrections, policies, and forms referenced in the document. Mayor Barrett asked for any additional comments on the employee handbook, and without any further discussion the handbook was approved and to become effective May 12, 2020.
Trustee Rudes made a motion to approve and accept the Speculator Employee Handbook final draft for implementation effective May 12, 2020. Trustee Donecker seconded and the motion was passed by the following vote: aye – Barrett, Crary, Donecker and Rudes nays – none. Trustee McComb absent.
Edward Scharpou, WWTP Chief Operator, submitted a written report. Additional commentary was made as follows:
There was a break at the Wolfe complex on May 11. The issue was resolved but at some point, the line will need to be replaced according to current standards and guidelines; originally it was installed with insufficient materials. Scharpou is still trying to confirm ownership.
Hydrants will be flushed this week and many calls are coming for meter installations, the water department is attempting to do this when the homeowners are not present, if this is not possible then they wear their masks.
After Mayor Jeannette Barrett spoke to Garry Gifford with OSC office in Glens Falls about the potential impact of the COVID-19 restrictions on water and sewer revenues, Mayor Barrett, Scharpou and Clerk Crystal O’Brien had a meeting to discuss the potential impact. Scharpou and O’Brien are in the process of putting together calculations for the past two years to try to estimate those potential losses and be able to present different scenarios to the Board.
Progress continues on the wastewater treatment plant upgrade project and is coming close to being completed. Scharpou has been working with Lamont Engineers to potentially combine the next two phases into one project. There is some hesitancy from the Board on combining these phases, so a meeting will be scheduled to discuss this with Mayor Barrett, Trustee Donecker, Scharpou and Becker from Lamont.
O’Brien presented the Clerk Report. Additional commentary was made as follows:
Elections for the Village have been postponed to September 15, 2020. Current terms of office will continue until elections are held and certified when the newly elected officials can take office. Additional Absentee ballot guidance has yet to be given. Notices will again have to be posted to the paper and locally. Voter registration is extended. The Village’s official year does not change, it still began in April. The organizational meeting will take place after elections have been certified.
The website will continue to be updated regularly with only slight delays with required recordings and the transcriptions of meetings needing to be posted.
Conversations with the Hamilton County Real Property Tax Department to begin the process for the 2020 Taxes.
Like Scharpou said in his report, Stacey Farina and O’Brien got together and mailed out the quarterly water and sewer bills with the annual water quality report last week.
COVID-19 update included new temporary signs with a sturdy backing have been posted at the Village Parks with a big thank you to Heather Philo and Lake Pleasant School for printing and laminating those signs for us. We have currently 4 confirmed cases in the county, three are isolated and one is at a nursing home. We are still waiting for guidance from the state on camps, beaches, and resorts. Farmers markets are considered essential with social distancing and Campgrounds will be opening in June with limited resources while many summer events are left in limbo or canceled due to the amount of people or the ability to social distance.
All the FEMA workforce, resource, and equipment documentation for CAT A – debris removal and CAT B – emergency protective measures have been submitted; donated resources are the next to be submitted then administrative costs. A public thank you to Monique Simmons from FEMA and George Shongar from NYSDHES for all their help in this process.
Mayor Barrett is waiting to hear back from NYPA.
Trustee Donecker commented on the impact the fireworks may have on the community and businesses in our area.
Mayor Barrett advised the Board the Department of Transportation is beginning repair of the sink holes by drainage gates on Route 30 Tuesday May 12, 2020. Mayor Barrett also stated she is in the process of identifying grants that the Village can apply for that will support the Wastewater Treatment Plant upgrades as they relate to the required updates to the SPEDES Permit. She will also be having a meeting with the Department of Environmental Conservation, Lake Pleasant Supervisor Bain and Oak Mountain to discuss a Recreational Management Plan relating to trails in our area with much interest to revitalize and create more family friendly recreational opportunities for locals and visitors.

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

Indian Lake authorizes purchase of property

ILTB May 19 2020

Indian Lake authorizes purchase of property
INDIAN LAKE—The Indian Lake Town Board held a special meeting on May 19 and during the meeting towards the end of the meeting, the board passed the following resolution to purchase real property:
“WHEREAS, the Town of Indian Lake owns a certain dam along the Indian River.
“WHEREAS the Town wishes to increase its ability to access the dam for purposes ofpolentialfuturemaintenanceandreparractivtliesandfurtherwishestoprotectthedam and to regulate access to the dam; and
“WHEREAS, the dam is surrounded by privately owned land located off Chain Lakes Road and identified by tax map parcel number57.-1-25.110 (Property) and
“WHEREAS, Town ownership of the Property would ensure the Town's ability to access, maintain, repair, and rebuild the dam if ever such need arises; and
“WHEREAS, grant funding is available to reimburse the Town for the cost
associated with Property purchase; and
“WHEREAS, based upon Town assessment records, the Property is appropriately valued at $145,000, which is reflected as the purchase price of the Property in the proposed purchase contract presented to and reviewed by the Town Board; and
“WHEREAS, Property purchase would further resolve pending litigation involving
the Town of Indian Lake.
“NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Ile Town Board of the Town of Indian Lake here by finds that there is a public need and benefit associated with purchase of the Property for the protection of the Town dam and to ensure greater access to the dam for purposes of any future maintenance, repair or other associated activities that may someday become necessary and to increase the Town's ability to regulate access to the dam; and be it further
“RESOLVED, that no aspect of Property purchase constitutes an "Action• for
purposes of the State Environmental Quality Review Act (SEQRA) review because no physical alteration to land is currently anticipated and because purchase is not being undertaken with any intention to change the use, appearance or condition of any natural resource or structure; and be it further
“RESOLVED, that even if purchase were part of an "Action" pursuant to SEQRA, that Action would be appropriately classified as a Type II Action pursuant to 6 NYCRR 617.5(c)(1) and 617.5(c){21); and be it further
“RESOLVED, that if any purely speculative alterations to the dam ever advance, which are of such nature as to require SEQRA review, such review will be required prior to undertaking, funding, or approving such alterations; and be it further
“RESOLVED, that the Supervisor is hereby authorized to execute the proposed contract as presented to the Town Board, subject to minor. non-substantive alterations and/or corrections; and be it further
“RESOLVED, that the Town Supervisor is further authorized to undertake all action necessary to seek and obtain grant funding for Property purchase on the Town's behalf; and be it further
“RESOLVED, that Town Counsel is hereby authorized and directed to retain the services of an Appraiser and Title Agent for purposes of obtaining an Appraisal Report and Fee title Insurance Policy on behalf of the Town; and be it further
“RESOLVED. that the Town Supervisor and Town Counsel are hereby authorized
to undertake any other action necessary to effectuate the intentions of this Resolution.”
OTHER BUSINESS conducted included the following:
Supervisor Wells told the Board that they would need to discuss whether to open the beaches this season. He stated that we are not prepared to do this. He told all present that he had the requirements from the State for them to look over. He stated that a few of the requirements, such as: the bath house had to remain closed, there can be no picnic tables, the playground has to remain closed and there would be a limit to the amount of people allowed on the beach. He stated that to manage that they would need to hire someone to police these policies. Therefore, in his opinion he feels that they should remain closed for the season.
Supervisor Wells reported to the Board that he had received a request concerning the annual 90-Miler. This event is held in September. This will be discussed closer to the time of the event depending on what phase we are in at that time.
Supervisor Wells told the Board he would be contacting Ken Cannan to discuss the Memorial Day Parade. He stated he is assuming that it will not be happening.
Supervisor Wells reported to the Board that the "5 Towns" has set up a Facebook page. Supervisor Wells stated he is looking for someone to manage the page for Indian Lake. This Facebook page would be used to attract visitors to Indian Lake such as pictures, events, and news.
Councilwoman Curry approached the Board with Weed District information. She stated that herself and the Weed Board of Commissioners have been meeting regularly. She told the Board that they are looking to hire Lance Pierson to remove bogs at a price of $500 - $600 per day, stating that this would take approximately 10 days to finish.
Supervisor Wells stated that he has told the Commissioners they need to write up a proposal for Board. He told Councilwoman Curry to have Lance write up a proposal he stated the Town will need a copy of Lance Pierson' s Business Insurance, Comp. Insurance, and Employee names on his letter head. Supervisor Wells also stated that this may have to go out to bid if it is over the procurement policy. It was decided by the Board when the bid comes in, if under the procurement policy, they will vote over email to expedite the removal of the bogs.
Councilwoman Stanton asked the Board if the Town would once again purchase the soil and fertilizer for the flower barrels at the monument site. She stated that the CDC would purchase the flowers.
Dam project is complete. It was decided that Councilman Rathbun would put up the ribbons after Memorial Day.

This article is based upon minutes provided by Julie Clawson, Town Clerk.

Tuesday, May 26, 2020

Inlet plans for a Wuhan China Virus summer

Inlet TB May 12 2020

Inlet plans for a Wuhan China Virus summer
INLET—The Inlet Town board meeting began with Supervisor Frey asking for a moment of silence for Chris Risley, Bruce Gribneau and Dan Carmichael. All had a huge impact on the town and will be missed. He spoke fondly of the memory of Dan Carmichael and Mrs. Hasmaier at the town board meetings often.
Supervisor Frey stated that the Public Hearing currently open to research and hear discussion regarding selling a small portion of land to the Townsend family that currently separates two of the parcel’s owned by the Estate of John Townsend remains open. There is nothing new to report or share at this time, however, the public hearing will remain open for opportunity to research this transaction completely.
Karl Marsh spoke on behalf of the Hospitality Group that formed to advocate for different restaurants/businesses in the Town of Inlet. He read a list of questions and Supervisor Frey addressed each question as best as possible. Benches will not be put out yet because of the maintenance to keep them clean and sanitized. Some trash receptacles will be placed throughout town, however, not all.
Mitch Lee spoke to the danger for his employees to be emptying a large amount of public garbage and cleaning benches and receptacles. The picnic tables will also not be put out at this point. Recreation is not part of initial opening phase.
The question of whether public restrooms will open soon was an important topic. Adele Burnett posed some questions if bathrooms are really to be lumped into phase 4 or if they are in an earlier phase for reopening. The Board was asked if they can apply 6 ft markers on sidewalks and throughout town. Mitch answered that there were plans to do so and Adele added that the IABA are working on a universal symbol and signage for reminders of the social distancing.
Discussion regarding possibly getting a fogger to help sanitize all the public surfaces followed. Mitch explained that it would take a tremendous amount of produce to disinfect everything with these and there is a huge amount of work in wiping everything down after they are sprayed. There was mention that some cleaning agents do not work well together and often these applications require someone to be licensed. Adele mentioned that the unified message being created will carry the message that if you are not feeling well, do not enter the business and when entering a business, you must have a mask and practice social distancing. Karl asked if the town was able to supply businesses with sanitizer and masks. Supervisor Frey said he did supply some sanitizer but did not feel the town could continue to supply each business. He thought maybe there was a possibility of piggybacking with Town of Webb to possibly have greater purchasing power.
Dave Scranton questioned why there are so many restrictions on outside activities and equipment. He mentioned that the virus in sunlight can only live about 1 minute. Mitch expressed again his concern for his employees and needs to protect them. Supervisor Frey added that we need to err on the side of caution. Supervisor Frey also added that we need to strictly follow the guidelines in each phase of reopening.
There will be testing for Wuhan China Virus (COVID) held for Inlet employees and all EMS.
Mary Catalino questioned who was included in the testing and which test it was. Supervisor Frey clarified that Police, EMS and Town Employees are included in the testing and it was only the COVID test, not the antibody. Connie Perry asked if any testing would be offered for the people coming to their second homes.
Supervisor Frey said there is not enough tests at this time to do that.
Greg Rudd asked when he will be able to open his cabin rentals and at the time of the meeting, it was too soon to give a firm answer. He stated that he has a friend that is in the business of sanitizing, cleaning, or disinfecting. He will get John Frey the name and number. He added how his friend reiterated that the most important thing is to just clean, nothing fancy, just clean.
Supervisor Frey mentioned that the County requirement of reopening will be that every business have a plan that they can submit to the County Health Department. At this time Arts in the Park will not be cancelled, it is too early to make this decision. Supervisor Frey added that some real tough decisions will need to be made during this reopening and summer.
Supervisor Frey brought the subject of the 4th of July fireworks to discussion. He had heard that Town of Webb just cancelled theirs. Robin Hill thought that had not cancelled yet and Connie Perry heard they are waiting to consult with Inlet to make the decision.
On a MOTION made by Supervisor Frey to cancel this year’s July 4th Firework display due to the amount of people it would draw, especially with surrounding towns having cancelled their displays. Motion was SECONDED by Councilman Levi. Clerk called a vote and the MOTION CARRIED UNANIMOUSLY.
Councilman Townsend AYE Councilman Brownsell AYE
The discussion on how to handle the Cottage rentals at Arrowhead Park this summer followed. At the very least, it was recommended that we cut the rental week short and have weekly rentals check out at Noon on Friday. This would allow more time for cleaning and “natural” disinfecting with time.
Supervisor Frey discussed what will be the shared use of the tower, first promoting Herkimer County 911, however, Hamilton County welcome. The Town of Inlet had signed a memorandum of understanding with Peter Funk for the use of his property for the communication tower before a lease can be put in place. The town has been using his land for some time and already started progress on his land. Peter Funk has graciously allowed the town to do so without any compensation. Supervisor Frey felt it is time to start paying the $2400/year for rental of his property. Councilman Schmid and Councilman Levi had some questions. Supervisor Frey made a MOTION to amend the MOU to include the $2400/year payment prior to any formal lease signing. Councilman Townsend SECONDED the motion and a vote was called by the Town Clerk:
The motion carried unanimously
The Broadband map project has been passed to Adirondack research.
Robin Hill gave a relief fund update. The relief fund was set up to help anyone from Woodgate to Raquette Lake that has needs due to COVID- 19. You would need to apply with CAP21.
Park’s Supervisor, Mitch Lee provided a monthly report. In addition, John Townsend mentioned that Mitch is interviewing candidates for the open Park’s department position. Mitch spoke that that he would like to hire a candidate if one fits their needs. He spoke as to why he would still need to fulfill the position, even now with everything going on.
Superintendent Shawn Hansen’s report was follows: All roads have been swept and most all sand has been picked up. Hauled garbage and recyclables. Patrolled roads after numerous windstorms. Worked on office and break room in storage facility. Cleaned up the yard around the storage facility. Raked the Uncas Rd to try to get it to dry up. Sides of the road remain soft. Patrolled the Moose River Plains Rd. Cleared downed trees, picked up trash, and blew leaves off the road surface. Started to rake road. Cleaned up the Townsend Trail from the winter runoff. Put up “Clean up after your Dog” signs. Haul garbage and recyclables
Coming up: Finish getting Moose River Plains ready to open. As of right now it looks like we are on schedule to open the gates on time. The scheduled opening is 5-21-2020 by the end of the day. Things may change between now and then. Feel free to call my office to find out the latest. I plan on speaking with the forester this week to make sure were still on track.
Fill in washouts on Townsend Trail. Keep picking away at building our new facility. Power line needs to be dug and buried. Electric inspection. Going to be Chip sealing a section of the blacktop portion of Uncas Rd. Not 100% sure of that schedule yet.
In June, the week of June 8-11, we are doing a town wide storm damage brush pickup as we have in the past. All brush is to be brought out to the roadsides. To get on our list please call the highway department at 315-357-4541 and leave a message
We are also doing a scrap metal pick-up during the same week as the brush pick- up. Call the highway Department to get on the list, 315-357-4541 and leave a message.
Install culverts and spread gravel on the Uncas Rd.
Superintendent Hansen offered the following monthly report: Open 4 days a week - Mon, Thursday, Saturday, and Sunday from 8AM-7PM. Closed from 12-1 daily for lunch.
Things are well caught up. The building is clean and orderly. They have been continuously disinfecting the whole building, as necessary.
Supervisor Frey stressed his belief that we need to keep limited hours at this time only because of COVID-19. This area is a huge avenue of exposure. Connie mentioned that she spoke with Tina and recommended possibly large places putting plastics in their own sheds, etc. for a possible de-contamination time.
Supervisor Frey said he is only recommending keeping hours as is until the June meeting. Lengthy discussion followed about the need for more hours, risks and potential problems Memorial Day Weekend could pose.
The group has been meeting regularly to discuss ideas, in addition to their current project of starting a community garden.
Supervisor Frey mentioned that his wife, Sarah Frey, and John Deming are looking at donating land to the Town as a “no cost gift” to develop a handicap trail. The provision would offer that the Town would have a certain amount of time to develop this hopeful trail.
Supervisor Frey emphasized the need for social distancing on the trails, even though you are outside. If you cannot socially distance, wear a mask. He has seen evidence of people hiking the trails without masks.
Dave Scranton asked why current employees of the town would be permitted/invited into the interview of a prospective candidate. Mitch explained that the employees know the job better than anyone and he feels that the employees must work closely everyday with the person and would be a better judge of personality fits.
Bill Faro asked if the Transfer Station could extend the hours in time for Memorial Day Weekend, if they could move the fireworks display until Labor Day weekend and if they could set up sanitizing stations at picnic tables for public use. There were many that felt these were great ideas, however, did not agree with the sanitizing stations. Mitch added that it would be too much of a liability.
Connie Perry thanked the Board and community for the support in Climate Smart and the community garden.
Next regular meeting will be held June 9, 2020 at 7:30.

This article is based upon minutes proved by Yvonne Lutz, Town Clerk.

Monday, May 25, 2020

Town of Indian Lake to help One Stop

ILTB May 11 2020

Town of Indian Lake to help One Stop
INDIAN LAKE—When the Indian Lake Town Board met on May 11 and after holding an Executive Session to discuss legal issues, Supervisor Brian Wells made a motion to use the Towns revolving loan fund to accept Adirondack One Stop's application for $325,000 for installing fuel pumps and tanks. The interest rate to be set at the current US (Federal) Prime Rate of 3.25%. Seconded by Councilwoman Stanton. All were in favor and the motion carried.
Councilwoman Stanton made a motion for the Town Supervisor and the Principal Account Clerk to develop and offer a deferred payment option on all loans presently held through the Town's Revolving Loan Fund to eligible borrowers. Seconded by, Councilwoman Curry. All were in favor and the motion carried.
Supervisor Wells made a motion to allow the Indian Lake Chamber of Commerce to move into the Byron Park Building temporarily to help facilitate a smooth transition for Colleen Delcore to relocate to existing Chamber building. Seconded by, Councilman Rathbun.
Councilman Mahoney made a motion to have the Supervisor write a letter, denying Bark Eater Designs exclusive rights to Town Logo. Seconded by, Councilwoman Stanton. All were in favor and the motion carried.
The Executive Session took place at the end of the meeting. What follows took place before the Executive Session.
Councilwoman Stanton asked Bill Laprairie, Department Head of Building and Maintenance, if it would be possible to improve the signage that is put on the snowmobile trials for next year using the new Town Logo. While certain signs must remain as is, per State requirements, others can be changed, and Bill and Councilman Mahoney will work on this for next year. Councilwoman Curry also asked them to put Town destinations on the signs.
Councilwoman Stanton questioned if the Community Action's food pantry was solvent. Supervisor Wells stated that although there was an increase in participants, he thought all was good. He stated that he would be speaking with Debbie, Community Action Director, to make sure and to check to see if there were any difficulties with funding. He also reported to the Board that they would only have the freezer that was loaned to them until July. This may be something that will need to be discussed in the future. Councilman Rathbun questioned the annual "Trash Day". Supervisor Wells stated he would need to speak with the County first, he stated we may need to reschedule.
Glen VanNorstrem told the Board about a GPS AP for mobile phones that could enhance rescue calls. He feels this could be a great tool and now it cannot be used. Supervisor Wells asked Glen to email the AP to him. Supervisor Wells questioned if this was part of the Hamilton County's snowmobile Ap through Regional Office of Sustainable Tourism (ROOST) Darrin stated that this Ap is similar. Supervisor Wells also stated that we are working on a GPS map with CAP 21 at this time.
Brenda Valentine, President of the CDC (Community Development Corporation) reported to the Board that there are going to be numerous Webinars coming up for business owners that North Country Chamber of Commerce is offering. These webinars will help walk business owners through, what to do, how to do it and when to do it concerning the new guidelines to reopening. She stated that they would be getting this out to all businesses. Brenda also stated that the CDC and the Blue Mt. Center would be sending out another bulk mailing of business services. She stated that we have increased the number of services in the Town from 15 to 25. She stated that the free mask giveaway is going well. Brenda thanked the North Country Crafters for spear heading this. They have utilized their members and those that are not members to come together and make masks.
Supervisor Wells asked if those webinars were a requirement to reopen businesses.
Her answer was as far as she knows, yes.
Councilman Curry questioned the Chamber Minutes concerning the Chamber building. Supervisor Wells clarified that the Town owns the property, but the Chamber owns the building.
Andy Coney let the Board know that the annual Canoe Race and the SK Race may not be happening this year. He stated that they were hoping the climate improves, but if it needed to be decided today, both races would be canceled. Supervisor Wells stated that recreational activities are falling under the 4th phase of reopening. He also stated that beaches are being held to a higher standard as well.
Supervisor Wells reported that he had done the Tax Collector's Audit and found it to be all good.
Supervisor Wells reported to the Board that he had a request from the Blue Mt. Lake Association to put in a light in the bathrooms in Blue Mt. The cost of the electric bill, which is about $70 a year, would be paid for by the Blue Mt. Lake Fire District 2. Supervisor Wells stated that at this time all restrooms and beaches were closed therefore no work could be done on it at this time.
Supervisor Wells reported to the Board that he had received a letter of thanks from the Adirondack Lakes Center for the Arts.
Supervisor Wells reported to all that Debbie Ameden, Director of Community Action, had sent an update. He stated that the amount of supplied services doubled through March and April. He thanked Debbie and Darci and all the volunteers for their help. He also stated that a freezer was loaned to them and they had until July.
Supervisor Wells also reported to the Board that Susan had submitted a draft plan for reopening the library when possible.
Supervisor Wells reported he had purchased more masks and was handing them out to employees when needed.
Supervisor Wells explained to the Board that he had only received one bid for the groomer but heard after the fact that more bids had been sent out, but we did not receive them. He stated for that reason he would like to reject the bid and go back out to bid. The Board supported going back out to bid.
Supervisor Wells made a motion to go back out to bid for the Groom and the Water and Sewer Department truck, changing it from a 2020 truck to a 2021truck. Seconded by, Councilman Rathbun.
Roll Call: Councilman Mahoney Councilwoman Stanton Councilwoman Curry Councilman Rathbun Supervisor Wells approved.
Supervisor Wells reported to the Board that he had held a meeting with the Department Heads and discussed this year and preparing for next year. He stated that we will be watching what is being spent this year.
Supervisor Wells told all that rafting season is currently on hold. They are hoping to start up end of June beginning of July depending on the Governors directives.
Supervisor Wells reported to all that due to the public health crises "Our Mart" has been removed from the transfer station. He stated that we could not take the risk of transferring anything. Reopening this will be discussed later.
Supervisor Wells stated that at this time the annual "Trash Day" will be postponed and we can do it later in the fall.
Supervisor Wells stated he had been going through the Events Coordinators contracts and has only found one for Bad Chaperones. This will be researched more.
Discussion concerning Memorial Day. This is something that will need to be thought about and discussed. Beach houses and youth programs are closed right now. One application was received for the Lifeguard position.
Supervisor Wells also reported to the Board that he had opened the Byron Park Pavilion for basketball with social distancing in place.
Supervisor Wells reported that the 2019 Adirondack Park's annual report was in. He told all that they he had concerns that they are down three Commissioners.
Supervisor Wells stated that he had received information from the US Dept. of Commerce, Beth Gillis, stating that they have 1.5 billion dollars available for communities that have been affected by the pandemic. He stated he would send on to Brenda Valentine, CDC, to look over.
Discussion held on opening the Town Hall. We will be going by what our Insurance Company and the Governor tell us.
Discussion held on the Census program and the importance of everyone filing. Discussion was held on getting the information out to everyone again.
Councilwoman Stanton suggested looking for volunteers to dig up the daffodils that were planted along the Adirondack Dam by the school many years ago. She stated this cannot be done until they are done blooming. She stated that once the work begins on the Dam these will be dug up and removed. She stated she hates to see them be taken away as they can be dug up and the bulbs placed in storage until they can be replanted.
Councilwoman Curry stated that the Snowarriors have offered their help with any events being held in the future.
Councilwoman Curry stated the Weed District has Bogs that need to be removed and that the Bogs had done some damage to a property. Supervisor Wells stated he was aware of this and has told those involved to write up a proposal and have all Wee District Board Members sign it and the Board can move on from there. This was regarding Bog removal as well as damaged property.
Councilwoman Curry questioned the Stewarts project. Supervisor Wells stated that it is still moving forward.
Councilwoman Curry stated that she had been told by some constituents that they were feeling left out, or that not enough information was coming out of the County concerning this pandemic. Supervisor Wells will take this concern to the County. Councilwoman Curry also asked Supervisor Wells if he could let the County know that their phone Ap is not mobile friendly and needs an update.
Councilwoman Curry also questioned testing in Hamilton County as we need a certain number of tests done before we can open. Supervisor Wells stated this is being worked on and will speak to Erica Mahoney, Director of the Hamilton County Public Health Department.

This article is based upon minutes provided by Town Clerk, Julie Clawson.

Arietta seeks virus aid

Arietta TB May 5 2020

Arietta seeks virus aid
ARIETTA—At the May 5 meeting of the Arietta Town Board, the board passed a resolution seeking Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act at Piseco Airport.
The resolution reads as follows: “WHEREAS: the U.S. Department of Transportation Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) has developed the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act (CARES Act) including Public Law 166-136 Airport Grants; and
“WHEREAS: the FAA has made funds available to eligible U.S. airports to prevent, prepare for, and respond to coronavirus impacts, including support for continuing airport operations; and
“WHEREAS: the FAA has made available $20,000 for the Piseco Airport (K09), owned and operated by the Town of Arietta; and
“WHEREAS: the Town of Arietta has agreed CARES Act grant funds will be utilized for operational costs.
“THEREFORE, LET IT BE RESOLVED: that the Town Board, Town of Arietta approves the application for the CARES Act grant funds for the Piseco Airport.
Supervisor Rick Wilt informed the board this money can only be used for operational purposes, not new equipment.”
The board also passed a resolution authorizing to accept the IFE and hire the Consultant for the Piseco Airport Airfield Lighting Rehabilitation Contract.
It reads as follows: “WHEREAS: the Town of Arietta has an agreement with the FAA and NYSDOT to continue with the scheduled projects outlined in the Airport Capital Improvement Plan for Piseco Airport, and
“WHEREAS: the scheduled project for 2020 is the Airfield Lighting Rehabilitation and have received from our Engineers, McFarland and Johnson, Inc an application for Federal Aviation Administration Grant funding and has applied for said funding, and
“WHEREAS: the Town of Arietta having applied for the Rehabilitation grant had to have an independent engineer the MRB Group to prepare an Independent Fee Estimate (IFE) for the completion of the Construction Observation and Administration Services for the project, and
“WHEREAS: the Town of Arietta has reviewed the IFE submitted from MRB Group and have selected to award the contract to McFarland and Johnson, Inc in the amount of $164,273 in accordance with the conditions of award stipulated in their Task Order, and
“NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Town Board, Town of Arietta approves the Construction Observation and Administration Services for the Airfield Lighting Rehabilitation and accepts the engineering firm McFarland and Johnson, Inc in the amount of $164,273, and
“FURTHER RESOLVED: that the Town Board, Town of Arietta does authorize the Town Supervisor to execute all necessary documents and contracts on behalf of the Town of Arietta with the above contractor, FAA and NYSDOT for the Piseco Airport Airfield Lighting Rehabilitation.”
Authorize to Accept and Hire the Consultant for the Piseco Airport OBSTRUCTION EVALUATION STUDY
The board approved the following resolution: “WHEREAS: the Town of Arietta has an agreement with the FAA and NYSDOT to continue with the scheduled projects outlined in the Airport Capital Improvement Plan for Piseco Airport, and
“WHEREAS: the scheduled project for 2020 is the Obstruction Evaluation Study and have received from our Engineers, McFarland and Johnson, Inc an application for Federal Aviation Administration Grant funding and has applied for said funding, and
“WHEREAS: the Town of Arietta having applied for the Study grant now authorizes the Obstruction Evaluation Study, and
“WHEREAS: the Town of Arietta has received from McFarland and Johnson, Inc I a task order for the Obstruction Evaluation Study in the amount of $92,500 in accordance with the conditions of award stipulated in their Task Order, and
“NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED: that the Town Board, Town of Arietta approves the Obstruction Evaluation Study and accepts the engineering firm McFarland and Johnson, Inc in the amount of $92,500, and
“FURTHER RESOLVED: that the Town Board, Town of Arietta does authorize the Town Supervisor to execute all necessary documents and contracts on behalf of the Town of Arietta with McFarland and Johnson, Inc., FAA and NYSDOT for the Piseco Airport Obstruction Evaluation Study.”
Supervisor Wilt reported the engineers looked at the salt shed site on Route 10 with the Highway Superintendent, and they put stakes in the ground to show where the building would be located. Doug Stobo reported that the SRE building at the airport needs to have the siding replaced as it is really deteriorating.
Wilt will ask if the money from the coronavirus aid money in resolution #20-05-13.
Sarah Rudes asked if that could be used to put finer stone material on the access road at the airport. Wilt will ask and Craig Small will measure to see how much material it would take.
Supervisor Wilt reported that the swimming instructors/life guards the Town uses are having a hard time finding a course to get recertified. We will have to see what happens next month. Wilt does not feel it will be able to be done this year.
Supervisor Wilt reported the water is still too high for the engineers to do their work. He talked to David today and he wants the water level to be down to 5” of water running over the dam. He will try to schedule to come up on Friday this week, because Wilt feels the level will be down to that level by then. He also talked to him about the fence and it is in kind of limbo as the adjacent property owner has not signed the release to allow for the fence construction. Rudes will try to contact William Parslow to have him sign it. After that is done, Wilt will get back to David to get specifications for the fence so he can send it out for bids.
The board passed a resolution to allow the Supervisor to go out to bid for purchase and installation of safety fencing at the Piseco Lake Dam area. If quotes come in at $10,000 or more it will go out to bid. If quotes are lower than $10,000, he will use the quoting process.
Wilt reported he had trouble getting the replacement beam for the Piseco Lake Dam. It will be delivered Thursday and the Highway Superintendent will cut it to length. He will order new board as well and if the engineer comes this week the boards will go in next week. They will continue to put the boards in at 0” and take them out at 4”.
The board told the highway superintendent the boat launch at Poplar Point Campsite looked good as the highway men repaired the washouts.
Supervisor Wilt reported he talked to the Highway Superintendent to only doing one large trash day this year as the highway men will be busy on the Powley road fixing washouts this summer. It was decided to be held on the third Thursday in June. Rudes will look at last year’s yearly letter and see when it was done in June and if it is different than the 3rd Thursday, they will use that day.
Rudes asked about the Route 10 large brush pile. Small said it is open and he would like to get what is there chipped up and then he would like to move it back to the pit where the leaves are dumped. That way it can be held at the same place instead of having to haul the chips back to the Town pit from Route 10. The board agreed.
Wilt reported there are not very many email addresses to use for the Town to use as an email where constituents from the Town of Arietta can receive a monthly letter from the Town board. The board will use Rudes will draft a short note on the Supervisor’s letterhead to invite people to contact that email address to go out in the annual letter.
Small reported he would like to purchase a stainless-steel box for the single axle truck that has the sander mounted directly to the frame so he can use it year-round.
The board passed a resolution to allow the Highway Superintendent to go out to bid for a box with installation for the single axle truck. The price will be around $34,930.
Wilt will talk to the Piseco School superintendent to see if the meeting next month can be held at the Town offices as normal.
The next regular meeting will be June 1, 2020.

This article is based upon minutes provided by Kenneth Parslow, Town Clerk.

Sunday, May 24, 2020

Lake Pleasant Highway catching up with work

LPTB May 4 2020

Lake Pleasant Highway catching up with work
LAKE PLEASANT—The May 4 meeting of the Lake Pleasant Town Board began with Supervisor Betsy Bain asking for a moment of silence in memory of The Town Historian, Annie Weaver.
This was followed by Highway Superintendent Rand Lavarnway reporting he has brought his entire crew back as of today. There is so much work that must be done. He was just using 2 men a day: Garbage pickup on Monday and Thursday and recyclable on Tuesday. Trying to keep same crew in trucks and in same equipment, and at the end of the day all trucks will be cleaned out. No germs being passed by steering wheels etc.
The crew has been cleaning roads, removing debris, putting in driveway culverts, raking Gilmantown Rd. and Perkins Clearing Road. Men are required to keep a social distance, wear the disposable masks which are supplied by the Town and rubber gloves. Councilperson Nancy Seifts is concerned that if the weather turns bad and the crew must work inside that keeping a social distance will not be easy. One truck has the snowplow still on it as there was snow in the forecast.
Lavarnway has gotten many calls on when Perkins Clearing is going to open, he is trying to get it open but will have to barricade the road at the bottom of Hardwood Hill and just south of Jessup River Bridge. There is still so much damage from the Halloween storm. Lyme Timber is very happy that the gates are not open until maybe the end of the month as their roads are still in rough shape too.
Lavarnway is working extremely hard with FEMA to get our roads repaired. Because of COVID-19, FEMA has changed on-site inspections. In the past, FEMA sent someone out to do the inspections now they want Lavarnway to do all detailed virtual inspections. They are asking for GPS coordinates of every site and for Lavarnway to have videos and pictures of culvert width, depths and water flowing. This will be quite a job to be completed as the Town has at least 12 roads that were damaged. Once this information is gathered it is sent to an outside company that gives their estimate of what the repairs would cost. FEMA then issues a check and that is the only check issued. There will be no additional money if the cost goes over.
Councilperson Neil McGovern is surprised that the FEMA crews cannot came out and do the inspections wearing masks and the proper protection. Councilperson Braunius complemented the Highway crew for the repairs that were done on the Pathway. Superintendent Lavarnway has Andy Perkins getting ready to do the work on the new set of stairs at the Library. He hopes to be started this Wednesday. The crew has also painted the lines in the parking lots and the bumpers have been put out also. There is another problem with the springs on the garage doors on the Truck Wash Building, Lavarnway has contacted Colonial Overhead Door from Johnstown as the Company from Glens Falls was very costly. Councilperson Braunius asked about contacting the Company that put up the barn originally maybe they would be cheaper.
Lavarnway reported that NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation Natural Resources Planner Allison Buckley is working on 2 new kiosks for the bicycle trails and wants a pdf of the Town’s logo that is on the trucks which he is was able to provide. Lavarnway has ordered 6 bike path signs from K.C. Morrison. There is no time frame as to when they will be done. Councilperson McGovern asked about lunch breaks and Randy said they will start staggering the time at 11 and 11:30 a.m.
County Superintendent of Highways Tracy Eldridge and Town Superintendent of Highway Randy Lavarnway have signed an Agreement for the Expenditure of Highway Moneys.
Supervisor Bain asked the Board to sign this agreement also. Copies to Town Clerk and County Highway Superintendent.
Supervisor Bain reported that the 2/3 of the BTI project has been completed. The Team of Vi Wickes, Bill Waller and Mark Crary started to treat the streams earlier, but the cold weather did slow things down. The Town still needs to hire 2 more people for next year.
Councilperson Seifts said she has been working with Linda Smith from BST sending information by email which would be cheaper than on the phone on the Town’s 2019 AUD and hope to be done soon.
Supervisor Bain has been in touch with the Chairman of the County Board Bill Farber and County Treasurer Beth Hunt about taking over the Town’s payroll and reports. The County Treasurer’s office is still not at full capacity yet so as soon as that happens, we can take all this off Nancy Seifts plate. We have been trying to do this since March.
Town Clerk Deborah O’Rourke read the Local Law as follows: Whereas, a Town Employee has been the victim of a serious medical condition leaving our Municipal offices short staffed.
Whereas, the Town Board has determined that the unique experience of a former employee makes him/her the proper person to fill this immediate position regardless of his/her current elected position.
Be it resolved, that the full knowledge of these duties, and the general view that those positions may be seen as incompatible, it is in the best interest of the Town of Lake Pleasant to so appoint the former employee effective Friday March 13, 2020.
Supervisor Bain let 2 people in at a time with masks.
Public Comment: Stephen Whiting asked if every effort was made to find someone to fill Account Clerk’s position. Councilperson McGovern and Town Clerk contacted the Association of Towns and were told to pass a Local Law in case this happens again. Mr. Whiting is not happy with this proposal and asked of all other avenues have been taken. He felt this position should have been posted on website. This is just a temporary position. Kathy could be coming back. Mr. Whiting asked if the county could take over now, Supervisor Bain said she is waiting to hear from Chairman William Farber and Treasurer Beth Hunt as to when her office is coming back full swing. He asked if there is a reason for this Local Law and Supervisor Bain said yes. Councilperson McGovern stressed it was an emergency and we went by the guidelines of the Association of Towns and the Local Law is being passed, as this could happen in the future. Councilperson Seifts asked what he would do under these circumstances to do payroll? On record on not agreeable on this Local Law.
Speculator Village Mayor Barrett stated that there is incompatibility issue that is not adequately addressed by the Local Law and under Article 18 of NYS Municipal Law it is a conflict of interest with Councilperson Seifts being hired. She feels there was no need for a Local Law there are others who could operate the payroll program KVS.
Jim Swanson stated the Local Law was inappropriate and the Town should investigate shared services. During this pandemic there are lots of people that are not getting paychecks and that we did not need to rush into getting payroll done so quickly. There are so many trying to get unemployment and not be able to. He feels the Town has missed the mark. Supervisor Bain told Mr. Swanson that the County was informed as this happened and because of the pandemic they were unable to handle the Town’s work. He feels the Town should still pursue the County Supervisor Bain said she is.
Councilperson Seifts wanted everyone to know that Kathy Aird still holds the position, and this is still a temporary position. Councilperson McGovern stated the Town is doing the right thing.
Councilperson Cristine Meixner did not feel is should be a local law and as Nancy Seifts is already a Consultant for the Town. Councilperson McGovern feels that the Town took the advice for a Lawyer with the Association of Towns.
Adopted by the following vote. Ayes Supervisor Bain, Councilpersons: McGovern, Don Braunius Councilperson Seifts (abstained) Nays: Councilperson Meixner.
Out of respect for the Weaver family the replacement of the Town Historian well be discussed at the next Town Board meeting.
OFFERED BY Don Braunius 2nd by Nancy Seifts and was ADOPTED by the following vote. Ayes: Supervisor Bain, Councilperson: Cristine Meixner, Don Braunius, Neil McGovern, Nancy Seifts. Nays None
Supervisor Bain reported she had a nice conversation with President of the Lake Pleasant Sacandaga Association Lyn Van Druff and was asked to serve on the Board as Town Supervisor and Betsy agreed.
OFFERED BY Neil McGovern 2nd by Don Braunius
RESOLVED, that the Board approved the hiring of Lake Stewards done by the LPSA and supervised by them. Payment made from the $5,000 budget line and LPSA will reimburse if payment goes over the amount for the year 2020
ADOPTED, by the following vote. Ayes: Supervisor Bain, Councilperson: Nancy Seifts, Cristine Meixner, Neil McGovern, Don Braunius. Nays: None.
Councilperson McGovern asked Superintendent Lavarnway if the front walkway of the Municipal Center going to be repaired Lavarnway said it was on the project list.
The Burn pit is open. Councilperson Braunius does not agree with the fixed hours at the Transfer station he thinks maybe it causes more of a social scene.
Superintendent Lavarnway asked the Board what they want him to do about the Town’s Tennis Courts. After getting prices last year to re-do the courts the Courts at the County Building needs to be repainted and striping these would be around $30,000 the Courts on Elm Lake Road are in bad shape need to be redone at a cost of about $50,000. The Budget Committee did start a capital project line with $5,000. Councilperson Meixner is concerned about the danger of the Courts on Elm Lake Rd. The Recreation Committee will investigate whether to open them or not.
The Village Election will be held on September 15.
Supervisor Bain wanted to thank all Town employees, County Supervisor’s and the County Nursing Dept. who have worked so hard dealing with the COVID-19.
Councilperson Meixner expressed her concern that the Lake Pleasant Fire required to submit a list to the Town Board identifying all volunteers who earned at least 50 points during the preceding year which would give the Volunteers on the list one year of LOSAP service credit. The Town of Lake Pleasant is the sponsor of the Lake Pleasant Volunteer Fire Dept. LOSP Program. No-one had heard of this, so Supervisor Bain will contact LPVFD President Andy Weaver.

This article is based on minutes provided by Deborah O’Rourke, Town Clerk.

Tuesday, May 19, 2020

Long Lake Central begins testing for the Wuhan China Virus

LLCS BOE May 12 2020

Long Lake Central begins testing for the Wuhan China Virus
LONG LAKE—At the Long Lake Central School Board of Education meeting held on May 12, Noelle Short, Principal/Superintendent, began the meeting by reporting the Wuhan China Virus (COVID-19) pop up testing site was at the Town of Long Lake Office Building today. Hamilton County Public Health operated the testing. Twelve Long Lake CSD employees were tested. The County is working hard to increase their testing so that the North Country can enter phase 1 of reopening. Future testing sites have been shared on our Facebook page.
Short reported that the school has received a $5,000 grant from the Adirondack Foundation SUN Funds – Sudden and Urgent Needs Funds. She said, “We are concentrating on hygiene, nutrition, cleaning, and wellness products for families.  We have also purchased products for our meal deliveries. Next week we will deliver meals with instructions for reheating.
Teachers are scheduling time to come into the building to get their rooms ready for summer cleaning. All student supplies are also being gathered to be delivered home.
The custodial crew will increase their work schedule starting next week. They will start their summer cleaning, painting, and outdoor projects.
There is no explicit guidance on when the school year will end. It may be a local decision depending on the required 180 instructional days. If it is a local decision, the last day of school will be Monday, June 15, 2020. The Board agrees that Noelle Short needs to announce this as soon as the guidance is received, even though they may not have adopted a revised 2019- 2020 school calendar yet.
Graduation will still take place on Friday, June 26, 2020 at 7 p.m. The ceremony itself is still unknown. Different virtual platforms are being looked at, as well as planning for a limited in- person audience. End of the year award ceremonies are being discussed as these are special moments for students.
Short said, “We are awaiting guidance on whether summer school will be allowed and what the protocols will be. It is unknown whether the summer Newcomb Youth Program sponsored by the Town of Newcomb will be held. If it is, the Town of Long Lake and Long Lake Central School have decided they will not be providing bus transportation this summer due to social distancing rules on a bus.
“The Town of Long Lake has canceled the annual Quilt Camp held the end of June.
“There have been multiple changes to the upcoming Budget Vote and Board of Education Election. We have been following the lawyer’s guidance as well as the multitude of emails received on the subject. The Governor’s Executive Order gave the option for the CVW Long Lake Library to run their vote and elections with the school’s if they so choose. The Library Board met and voted to run their own budget vote and election.
Approved: On Motion by Michael Farrell, seconded by Trisha Hosley, with all in favor, the resignation of Bridget O’Leary as 7-12 Spanish Teacher effective immediately.
Approved: On Motion by Alexandria Harris, seconded by Michael Farrell, with all in favor, Carol Turner as Election Inspector at $11.80 per hour and Victoria Snide as Election Inspector, no stipend.
Approved: On Motion by Michael Farrell, seconded by Alexandria Harris, with all in favor, Be It Resolved that the Long Lake Central School Board of Education re-establishes a Tax Certiorari Reserve Fund in the amount of $33,744.12 effective May 12, 2020.
Approved: On Motion by Trisha Hosley, seconded by Alexandria Harris, with all in favor, the resignation of Megan Nevins as General Special Education Teacher effective June 30, 2020.
Approved: On Motion by Alexandria Harris, seconded by Trisha Hosley, with all in favor, Noelle Short as Data Protection Officer.
Approved: On Motion by Michael Farrell, seconded by Alexandria Harris, with all in favor, Be It Resolved that the Board of Education of the Long Lake Central School District hereby accepts the recommendation of the Superintendent to appoint Hannah Klossner for a four (4) year probationary appointment as a teacher of PK-12 Physical Education/Health in the Physical Education and Recreation tenure area, commencing September 1, 2020 and ending August 31, 2024 contingent upon achievement of effective or highly effective APPR ratings necessary to receive tenure throughout her probationary period consistent with the requirements of Education Law Sections 30122, 3012-c, and/or 3012-d. This offer is pending Initial Certification in Physical Education.
Approved: On Motion by Alexandria Harris, seconded by Michael Farrell, with all in favor, the resignation of Aimee Harkness as Elementary Teacher effective August 31, 2020.
Brian Penrose and Joan Paula will help review the proposals for our capital project Clerk of the Works.
The bus maintenance contract with Tupper Lake CSD with the Town for review with their lawyers. We hope to make the change for July 1, 2020 however we may need Tupper Lake CSD on a month by month contract until such time as we can switch.
Michael Farrell asked about cuts to State Aid. As of yet, we have not received any information on the amount of the cuts.
POLICY 1ST READINGS: A first reading of Policy #3221 Social Service Dogs, #5676 Privacy and Security for Student Data and Teacher and Principal Data, #7512 Student Physicals and #7530 Child Abuse and Maltreatment was held. Noelle Short will speak with lawyers regarding Michael Farrell’s questions on Policy #7530.
On Motion by Trisha Hosley, seconded by Brian Penrose, with all in favor, to enter Executive Session at 7:06 p.m. to discuss the employment of two particular persons and to discuss a matter relating to personal and financial issues of a particular person(s) and/or which is made confidential by state or federal law.
Approved: On Motion by Alexandria Harris, seconded by Michael Farrell, with all in favor, to come out of Executive Session at 7:34 p.m.
No action was taken
The next regular meeting date is Thursday, June 11 at 6 p.m. in the cafeteria. The budget vote, proposition vote and board of education election will be Tuesday, June 9, 2020. The Budget Hearing will be Monday, June 1, 2020.

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

Friday, May 15, 2020

Speculator Town Board updated on Wuhan Virus

Speculator VB April 27 2020

Speculator Town Board updated on Wuhan Virus
SPECULATOR—When the Speculator Village Board of Trustees met on April 27, it received the following report on the Wuhan China Virus (COVID-19).
Plans to reopen regions on New York will be determined over the next few weeks as announced by Governor Cuomo. Hamilton County was ranked the most vulnerable from a demographic perspective, in relation to age of citizens, number of generations and the number of people in each household. However, they rank 28th in the state for medical risk factors. There are currently no quarantines in the County.
Hamilton County Chairman of the Board of Supervisors, Bill Farber, has been meeting with the NYS DOH committee to devise an agreement that would be regionally viable for our businesses and municipalities that would be approved by the State.
Erica Mahoney, Hamilton County DOH, sent a message to second homeowners as a reminder to self-isolate when coming into the area and suggested long term stays rather than overnight for rental units.
Mayor Jeannette Barrett spoke with Susie Lupert, Executive Director NYS Camp Association, to discuss the upcoming summer camp season. They are waiting for guidance from the CDC and NYS DOH regarding childcare guidelines to move forward with recommendations. Lupert believes the decision for summer camp will be within the next 2 weeks and urged camps to not make any decisions until they hear from the NYS DOH.
FEMA assistance will be available due to the impact of COVID-19. There is the potential loss of Village revenues with decreased business activity, camps, and tourists in the area this summer.
NYCOM is leading efforts for obtaining Federal funding at the local government level. There is currently no local funding provided for the federal stimulus package, however, there may be an opportunity in round 4 for state and local aid. Under Governor Cuomo’s updated Financial plan, there is a projected 16%-20% drop in sales tax revenue and $8.2 billion in cuts to all the state’s local aid programs, if there is no additional federal assistance received from the state. We are currently working on getting our name on petitions asking for aid and assistance.
Speculator has completed its submission for FEMA on schedule. There was a discrepancy in the calculation of wages/fringe benefits that has since been corrected. The projected reimbursement was slightly lower than previously thought. These figures have been adjusted in the 2020-2021 budget numbers.
Roger Blanchard, DPW Highway Superintendent, submitted a written report Blanchard’s report was presented by Trustee Donecker as Blanchard was not present due to COVID- 19 virus procedures. Additional commentary was made as follows: Spring cleanup has begun on the roads, parks and buildings and will continue over the next 60 days. There will be planning and evaluation for roads to be paved under the CHIPS program. Most specifically hauling in Item 4 stockpile culverts. A Hydrologic and Hydraulic (H&H) study was suggested by FEMA and NYSDHSES to see if there is need for a larger culvert by Letters Creek that would be supported, in part, under FEMA corrective measures. This will be done in collaboration with Hamilton County Soil and Water and supplement the engineering report as a safety check in the event of a future flood.
There have been delays on acquiring the 5500-pickup truck for DPW and there is a possibility that the new truck will be moved to the 2020-2021 budget. The dealer will be contacted to evaluate the matter.
Trustee Karen McComb commented on the great job that has been done with the “Welcome to Speculator” sign. Mayor Barrett also expressed gratitude towards all Village workers during PAUSE NY.
Mayor Barrett suggested the need for more permanent signs to be posted for COVID 19 awareness on keeping distance. However, it is too early to tell for the upcoming season.
Crystal O’Brien presented the Clerk Report. Additional commentary was made as follows: O’Brien attended the webinar for elections on the postponement due to COVID 19. Currently, the Board of Elections is pushing for a June 16 election date to avoid interfering with the primaries. No change to the ballots will or can be made, and the postponement will not interfere with term dates. Those elected will be in office until their end date of April 2022. Those currently in office will extend their position until the new election has taken place. An executive order by Governor Cuomo will allow anyone to fill out an absentee ballot for those who are or fear becoming sick. Absentee ballots will be accepted up until the day before election day, however requests for mailed ballots must still be made 7 days prior to election day. No new resolutions are required. The Organizational meeting will be at the next regular scheduled meeting. Terms can start once everything has been finalized.
To comply with Executive orders on Open Meeting Law, O’Brien has worked with the web developer to create an addition to the website to include recording and transcriptions of the Board Meetings. This can be located on the Meetings tab. This will be carried out until NY PAUSE is over. As usual, meeting recordings are also be available on Dackland Radio on the Thursday following a Board Meeting.
Trustee McComb made a motion to approve Financial Report #8. Trustee Mark Donecker seconded, and the motion passed unanimously.
Trustee Letty Rudes made a motion to approve and pay Abstract #21 for $21,748.49. Trustee Donecker seconded and the motion was passed unanimously.
There has been a delay in the application for APA. A presentation to the community from Fire Tower historians and experts is planned for Thursday August 20th at the Pavilion. The Village is looking for interested persons to lead fundraising efforts for the Makomis Fire Tower project.
Speculator is awaiting the final plans for the small cell tower from Verizon.
After an error in the National Grid buyout calculations was corrected, the cost for LED’s would be $4,000 more than previously thought. Discussion with NYPA and ANCA are in effect to consider potential savings with bulk purchases with other towns. Mayor Barrett, Trustee Donecker and Nancy Bernstein from ANCA will hold a meeting with NYPA, to be addressed at the next Board of Trustees meeting.
2020-2021 BUDGET
No further input from the public was made except for the modifications for the FEMA reimbursement.
Trustee Mark Crary made a motion to approve the 2020-2021 Budget. Trustee Donecker seconded and the motion passed unanimously.
Electronic Sign - Ryan Marshall from the SVFD asked for permission to write a grant proposal to cover the cost for an electronic sign to be placed over the new garage. He met with Dave McComb, Zoning Director, and there appears to be no zoning issues at this point. The sign would be used for community service, announcements, recreational events, and emergency information. No cost to the Village would be incurred as the grant would be a 90/10 split, the 10% cost would be covered under the SVFD budget allowance. Permission was granted to Marshall to write the proposal. Should the grant be awarded, further discussion and approval by the Board would be required.
Discussion on the employee handbook was continued with Section 8.5. Highlights included: Clarification that part -time hours are less than 40 hours per week; Health insurance covering dependent children up to the age of 26; Medical Insurance begins on the day of employment for those eligible as well as an insurance buyout for employees who decline coverage ($70 per pay period). Under Section 8.7 Retiree medical coverage: a change has been made to apply a premium to those who leave Hamilton County that will be due each month. This will allow retirees to take their coverage anywhere in the US. Other issues in the handbook, including sexual harassment, drug testing, smoking safety and workplace violence were addressed. This concluded the review of the Employee handbook. A revised handbook will be available for final review and approval at the next Board of Trustees meeting.
Speculator Fly-in - If PAUSE NY has been lifted in time, the 48th annual Speculator Fly-In will be held May 29th, 30th and 31st. The turnout for the event is not usually overwhelming in number and social distancing will be implemented.
NBRC Grant – We are exploring opportunities to acquire additional grant monies for the WWTP to improve testing and modifications to the plant.
A meeting with the DEC is planned to discuss opening bike paths and multi-use trails as well as applying for grants to their restoration, maintenance, and improvement.
Insurance payment was received for reimbursement for Moose Creek Holding legal fees to date.

This article is based upon minutes provided by Stacey Farina, Deputy Village Clerk – Treasurer.

Wells hires disaster consultant

Wells TB April 13 2020

Wells hires disaster consultant
WELLS—When the Wells Town Board met on April 13, Councilperson Andrew Lauria asked if the board could review the FEMA Consultant contract prior to voting on the Resolution.
Supervisor Nick Mauro forwarded the contract to each board member for review. Councilperson Lauria asked if this was the only proposal submitted. Yes, Municipal Disaster Consultants was the only firm that answered the Request for Proposals that ran in the Leader Herald.
Councilperson Vanessa Saltis asked where will the upfront costs to the Consultant come from as we wait for reimbursement from FEMA?
Supervisor Mauro suggested using the contingent fund.
Councilperson Rebekah Crewell added, the approximate cost for the Consultant would be $3,000 to $5,000, but not cast in stone.
Supervisor Mauro explained that FEMA will reimburse the Town the cost for a Consultant up to a maximum of 5% of the total project. Municipal Disaster Consultant, Ryan is aware of the policy and has never exceeded the 5% rule with municipalities he has represented in the past. Supervisor reiterated it is in the Town’s best interest to contract with a well-qualified professional to guide us and maximize the amount of funds we are entitled to through FEMA. Highway Superintendent Clay Earley feels confident in Ryan’s professionalism and experience especially having dealt with many of the FEMA staff on prior projects.
On a motion of Councilperson Saltis, seconded by Councilperson Tim Hunt, the following was APPROVED Ayes 5 - Mauro, Crewell, Hunt, Lauria, Saltis; Nays 0.
WHEREAS, the Town of Wells suffered devastating damage because of the storm and flooding that occurred on October 31, 2019 and thereafter (FEMA-DR-4472-NY), and
WHEREAS, the Town Board is currently planning and executing a massive recovery program to repair such damage caused by this storm and to mitigate future damage in the event of similar storms in the future, and
WHEREAS, the Town Board believes it would be beneficial to the Town to hire a professional consultant to advise the Town Board how best to maximize financial recovery from FEMA and New York State, and
WHEREAS, the Town Board published a Request for Proposals seeking candidates for said consulting position, and
WHEREAS, the Town Board has received and reviewed such proposals, and
WHEREAS, the Town Board has determined that Municipal Disaster Consultants, 45 Exchange Boulevard, Suite 530, Rochester, NY 14614 is the best candidate for the consulting position, NOW THEREFORE BE IT
RESOLVED, that the Town Board is authorized to enter into a contract with Municipal Disaster Consultants as a consultant to assist the Town Board in working with FEMA and New York State to maximize financial recovery for damages sustained as a result of the October 31, 2019 storm.
On a motion of Councilperson Lauria, seconded by Councilperson Hunt, the following was APPROVED Ayes 5 - Mauro, Crewell, Hunt, Lauria, Saltis; Nays 0.
WHEREAS, The Town of Wells desires to conserve valuable town resources and taxpayer dollars by using contract labor instead of town employees for the maintenance of three (3) active cemeteries that exist within the Town of Wells, in part on private lands with the permission of such private land owners, and
WHEREAS, The Town Board believes that such action is in the best interest of the residents and taxpayers of the Town of Wells, NOW THEREFORE BE IT
RESOLVED, that the Town Clerk of the Town of Wells is hereby authorized to advertise for bids for mowing and lawn maintenance of three cemeteries during the 2020 season according to specifications on file at the Office of the Town Clerk, and BE IT FURTHER
RESOLVED, that sealed bids will be received until May 8 at 12 noon and will be publicly opened on May 11 at 7:10 p.m., at which time the Town Board may award a contract but reserves the right to reject any or all bids.
Supervisor Nick Mauro reported on the Lake Algonquin Hydroelectric Plant for March 2020. Revenues totaled $4,503.19; expenditures totaled $326.57.
Superintendent Earley asked the Board to consider paying their outstanding bill of $101,103 for equipment, gravel, dump trucks. While they have been laid back but now due to COVID-19 and things slowing down for them it shows good faith as we will need to use them soon as we begin more projects. He suggested taking the funds out of the Money Market and replenish it when a FEMA reimbursement is received. Councilperson Hunt asked if they are charging interest. No not yet. Councilperson Lauria suggested paying half the bill now and the balance when FEMA reimbursement is received. Supervisor Mauro feels it is in our best interest to pay in full, clean slate as we will be reimbursed. Also, there are only a few contractors in the area, we will need Carver as projects begin. He will form a Resolution and email the Board for each of their acceptance and vote.
The Board reviewed the Building Code Enforcement Officer’s report for March 2020. Kevin Helm asked the Board to what level do you want him to enforce the 2017 Abandoned Vehicle Law as he feels it quite strict and many residents are in violation. He suggested putting something in the newspaper to reeducate residents and asked the Board to review the Law. He also asked about the oil spill on Luella Rd. and Superintendent Earley confirmed that the company needed to wait until the roads are unposted to remove the decontaminated soil. Kevin Helm also offered to assist with removing the white picket fence by the dam. Superintendent Earley thanked him and will let him know the date for removal.
The Board reviewed the Town of Wells Water Department for March 2020.
None received.
The Board reviewed the Highway Superintendent’s Report for March 2020.
Councilperson Saltis reported to the Board that the Summer Rec Program is currently on hold and all paperwork has been filed with the NYS Department of Health.
Councilperson Crewell asked if we have advertised or should advertise for lifeguards as other neighboring Towns have.
Councilperson Saltis thought last year’s lifeguards were returning and Supervisor Mauro suggested waiting until the May board meeting to hopefully have a better idea of when things will open.
Councilperson Lauria asked for a copy of the 2019 AUD. Supervisor Mauro will coordinate with him a date and time to pick his Board packet up and the AUD. One will be left in the Town Clerk’s office for filing as required.
Supervisor Mauro updated the Board on building repairs. Due to high winds earlier in the year, there was damage to the metal roof at the hydro plant which has been repaired with a new metal roof section screwed down. Also, the bandshell roof has been repaired. Installed the electric door on the back bay of the Highway Garage for the fly car. Kevin Helm offered to bring scaffolding in so the ceiling in Community Hall can be painted a bright white. All computers at the office now have high speed internet and high speed internet at the Highway Garage which eliminates the need to use the Bus Garage’s internet service. The office computers now can scan through the copier which is essential particularly with the FERC re licensing documents and communication with FEMA reimbursements. He thanked everyone for participating in the meeting as he did have some residents unhappy about holding a closed meeting but did not want to incur the $200 cost to bring the meeting online. He may reconsider if things must continue this way for months but hopes things will be back to normal soon.
Supervisor Mauro brought up the fact that Councilperson Crewell has been assisting Highway Superintendent Earley with his department’s paperwork with FEMA. Superintendent Earley then explained the scope of work she is doing and the fact by putting her on the Highway payroll is reimbursable up to $90 per hour. She will be compensated at $30 per hour. Councilperson Lauria expressed a concern about a Councilperson being hired/compensated as a Town employee as it may appear to be a conflict of interest. Superintendent Earley explained that, under Town Highway Law he did not need Board approval as it is like when he hires part time summer laborers.
Supervisor Mauro said Jen Woodward would be receiving overtime for the work she is doing under the General Fund FEMA reimbursement which is over and above her normal business hours as bookkeeper. Again, that portion of payroll is reimbursable from FEMA.

This article is based upon the minutes of Maryellen Stofelano Town Clerk.

Americans do not like museums Not TRUE

Americans do not like museums Not TRUE
By Craig Gilborn
DORSET, VT--‘Americans don’t like museums’ puts blame where it doesn’t belong. Made on behalf of trustees of the Adirondack Museum, in April, 2017, it explained changes necessitated by poor attendance. The museum’s former director says the canard is a false rumor: 850 million Americans went to museums compared to 483 million fans that attended professional sporting events. Craig Gilborn, at the museum for 20 years, cites the web page of the American Alliance of Museums. He says visits in 1985-1992 averaged 97,000 each year for eight years. 1992, his last year at the museum, saw 100,968 counted, or about 800 a day, in Hamilton County, America’ most rural county east of the Mississippi. Decline came when trustees were in charge and counts were no longer released to the press.
The disclosures above are among others in “Disclosures and Allegations,” Gilborn’s animadversion of 2020, which was preceded by “Afterword” and Whose History: A Museum Memoir, in 2019 and 2007, respectively.
No trustee had a demonstrated interest in Adirondack history, as did the museum’s founder Harold K. Hochschild. Trustees are city folks, and other peoples’ stories are not theirs. However, a “forever wild” Adirondack Park is where trustees have a personal stake. History takes time and has rules. Practitioners find no pro quid quo in it. No independent voices have made policy on the board since 1993.  The Shelburne Museum’s board had four active museum professionals on it in 1985-1993, when Gilborn was a member. A whistleblower, he requests a retraction about Americans not liking museums and the return of an exhibit on mines and mining communities to the building that was erected in 1982 in memory of the founder of the Adirondack Museum, Harold K. Hochschild.

This release may be circulated.  “Disclosures and Allegations” sources the quotation in the first line and is available as an attachment from the provider address shown above.  Craig Gilborn lives at 93 Pleasant St., East Dorset, Vt. 05253.  His credits will be sent if requested. He carries a cell phone by day but seldom answers it or checks for message: 1- 802-779-4994

Wednesday, May 13, 2020

Ranger Report May 13 2020 Vehicle plunges into West Stony Creek

Ranger Report May 13 2020

Town of Benson-- On May 4 at 12:30 p.m., while conducting a fly-over patrol, New York State Police (NYSP) Aviation noticed a vehicle in West Stony Creek and notified Forest Ranger Lt. Dave Kallen. Ranger Kallen responded to the location and found a 61-year-old man from Northville trapped in a vehicle about 25 feet from shore down a 15-foot embankment. The Hamilton County Sheriff's Office, NYSP Troop G, Mayfield, Northville, Edinburg, and Hope fire departments responded to the scene along with Forest Rangers Melissa Milano and David Nally, who brought cold water gear and a small inflatable watercraft to help rescue the trapped motorist from swift water conditions. Forest Rangers and fire department personnel secured the vehicle to shore as Lt. Kallen, a deputy from the Sheriff's Office, and fire department members waded out to the motorist to bring him back to shore using an inflatable kayak. Once on shore, emergency personnel put high angle rescue rigging in place to get the man up the steep embankment to a waiting ambulance. The ambulance then transported the man to a helicopter bound for a nearby hospital. At 1:40 p.m., the incident concluded, and ECO Jason Hilliard checked for any environmental hazards such as debris and possible leaks from the damaged vehicle.

Vehicle plunges into West Stony Creek, trapping driver (Photo courtesy of Bill Mahan)

Town of Long Lake--On May 6 at 12:01 a.m., Hamilton County 911 contacted DEC's Central Dispatch following an alert from a Garmin Emergency Beacon from two men camping on Forked Lake. One of the men was experiencing dizziness and loss of equilibrium. Coordinates provided by 911 indicated the men were in a lean-to on the southwestern side of the lake. Forest Rangers Melissa Milano and Jason Scott responded to the location and provided first aid to the ailing man. Rangers then walked the 65-year-old man from Averill Park and the 66-year-old man from Delanson out of the woods to a road where the ill man was transported to a local hospital for additional medical treatment. Rangers were cleared of the scene at 2:22 a.m.

Monday, May 11, 2020

Speculator VB April 13 2020

Speculator holds public hearing on budget
SPECULATOR at the April 13 meeting of the Speculator Village Board of Trustees, Trustee Letty Rudes made a motion to open the public hearing on the 2020-21 budget. Trustee Mark Donecker seconded, and the motion was passed unanimously.
Mayor Jeannette Barrett summarized the 2020-21 budget, the highlights include no increase to property taxes this year, the redistribution of DPW personnel salaries based on averages calculated from the 2018-19 PERMA Payroll Audit, a 2% raise for all employees except water and sewer employees who will receive a $1/hr. raise per agreement made in 2018, water and sewer budgeted revenue has been re-estimated based on the number of users, average usage and the expected increase to the base rate this August, and water and sewer expenditures were greatly reduced to more closely reflect the budgeted revenues.
Matt O’Brien commented that, as both a resident and business owner in Speculator, he was appreciative of the Board for being able to have no raise in taxes this year.
Due to the COVID-19 pandemic and having to hold the public meeting through video conference, all materials regarding the budget were to be available on the Village of Speculator website.
Trustee Karen McComb made a motion to close the public hearing. Trustee Rudes seconded and the motion was passed unanimously. Mayor Barrett closed the Public Hearing and opened the Regular Board meeting.
Ed Scharpou, WWTP Chief Operator, submitted a written report. Additional commentary was made as follows:
In the water department; first, they have been able to replace a 4” high/low flow meter at Camp of the Wood; second, Mr. Scharpou found that Pump #1 is not functioning at this time and plans to have someone come assess it to find the problem, but the hope is to wait to do any repair/replacement until June when it is budgeted; third, two breaks in the Wolfe complex have been fixed and with the amount of breaks this pipe has had, and the expectation that there will continue to be breaks in the future, the entire pipe should be replaced (ownership of the line will be confirmed); lastly, they will continue to maintain and check for water leaks and proceed with the annual cleaning and maintenance of the chlorine system.
In the Sewer department; first, the DEC WTC form and the annual withdrawal report have been completed and submitted ; second, daily operations at the sewer plant consisted of, replacement of clarifier #2, digester #2 and effluent tank #2 valves in the blower room took place while construction was in progress, cleaning of effluent tank #2 and removal of buildup of rags from digester #2, outside tank #2 is in operation while awaiting diffusers to replace those in Aeration #2 that are bad, pump #2 at pump station #2 had to be pulled because it was lodged with “flushable wipes,” and spring cleaning; third, once the weather begins to cooperate they will begin preventative measures on pump stations and continue to inspection of manholes; fourth, an update on Phase 1 of the upgrade project, at this time new drives have been replaced in both plants, concrete patchwork has been done to the tanks, the valves, bypass and check valve at pump station #1 have been completed, awaiting the delivery of the pumps for the final steps in contract #1. Originally there were going to be two more contracts, but Mr. Scharpou would like to combine this into one project which he has Lamont already working on. There was a question raised by Trustee Donecker as to whether this would speed up or slow down the project. This questions will be put to Mr. Scharpou. Lastly, the new SPEDES permit will go into effect May 1st, and at this time Mr. Scharpou is modifying his reporting to comply with the new limits.
Crystal O’Brien presented the Clerk Report. Additional commentary was made as follows:
NYCOM has planned several webinars for reference and guidance through the COVID-19 pandemic. Mrs. O’Brien attended the webinar on Open Meeting Law & Public Hearings during the COVID-19 pandemic on Friday April 10th and plans to attend the webinar on the postponement of the General Elections for March, April, and May. The webinar on Open Meeting Law and Public Hearings during the pandemic was very informative, it explained the specifics of the Governor’s Executive Order 202.1 and highlighted the facts that the executive order authorizes public bodies to meet remotely by conference call or similar service and explained that if a public body is restricting in-person access to its meeting or conducts a meeting remotely by conference call or similar service they must: 1) allow the public to view or listen to the meeting live, 2) the meeting must be recorded and transcribed and 3) the recording and the transcription need to be made available to the public. The webinar also explained that with the law on holding a public hearing, the public must be given reasonable, meaningful opportunity to be heard. Giving the public a reasonable opportunity to submit meaningful comment via online videoconferencing technology and in writing by email, local officials are likely to have a strong case should their actions be challenged, so allowing the public to comment by April 27 should be sufficient.
O’Brien and Mrs. Farina are wearing masks while at the village hall to comply with the governor’s recommendation to wear masks in a public building.
O’Brien and Mrs. Farina are waiting out the PAUSE NY and any future executive orders from Governor Cuomo, there are many projects at the Village Hall that can be completed, like organizing the storage room and filing cabinets in the waiting area, putting together the 5 year report of revenues for the water and sewer department and getting ready for summer activities.
Budget 2020-21 was to be approved on April 27 and the public was encouraged to review the documents on the website and remit any comments to the Mayor before then. As stated earlier, an article soliciting feedback on the budget will be submitted to the Hamilton County Express.
Mayor Barrett met with Scharpou, Lamont Engineers and representatives from FEMA and NYS Department of Homeland Security and Emergency Services to review engineering reports, confirm information that was needed and find out what the next steps are for FEMA reimbursement for the Halloween Storm. The finalization and submission of spreadsheets for debris, emergency actions, contracting, management and donated resources was a big step in the process and is to be completed by April 25.
Mayor Barrett reported that Verizon has decided against having a master license agreement that addresses right of ways since the Village does not have any poles within Village right of ways. They have decided to do a site-specific agreement that has been reviewed by the lawyer, Mrs. Smith, and will be submitted tonight if there are no objections. After some discussion, no objections were raised Board members voiced objections.
We are awaiting the MWBE waiver to progress with the Makomis Fire Tower Project. Mayor Barrett was contacted by Laurie Rankin, who is the NY Director of Forest Lookout Association, to confirm a planned program by Marty Podskoch that was tentatively scheduled for June 30th. After some discussion on the longevity of the PAUSE NY, it was decided to reschedule that event for late August.
Despite reaching out to National Grid several time there is still no response on a buyout for LED Street Lights.
The Employee Handbook review will be postponed to the next regular board meeting.
Covid-19 Update: Mayor Barrett presented an update on COVID-19 in our area; there are presently three confirmed cases in Hamilton County. PAUSE NY has been extended to April 29 and a recent Executive order by Gov. Cuomo is to fly the flags at half-mast for the duration of the PAUSE NY. Procedures for the Primary Care in Speculator have been updated and posted to the website. The Village website is updated with notices on COVID-19 as we receive them. All essential employees in Speculator have been provided with masks and about 55-60 Fabric Masks were made by ladies in our community and distributed to seniors & infirmed residents, Charlie Johns employees, Sunrise employees, DPW, WWTP, Village office staff, employees at the state home, SVFD, children in our community and Dr. Parslow. A big thank you to Pat Sorbello, Lorie Whiting, Kelly Hayes, Kelly Toogood, and Marcia Beuhner for making these masks.
The SVFD was able to hold their annual elections for officers through a silent ballot and televote. Chief O’Brien and Mr. Marshall provided a letter to the Board for approval. Chief O’Brien was present to speak with the board about the Fire Department’s thinking behind their rotation of people and creating a deputy treasurer position. Having Mr. Underwood shadow Mr. Peck in his duties will prepare the Fire Department for when Mr. Peck retires. Additionally, Mr. Marshall is still committed to grant writing for the Fire Department and will keep the Village Board apprised of grants he is applying for and whether the Village will need to budget for any items.
Trustee Rudes made a motion to approve the slate of the Volunteer Fire Department Officers. Trustee McComb seconded and the motion was passed unanimously.
Mr. O’Brien  commented  on  the  PPP, paycheck  protection  plan,  and the  small  business  loan/grant that  are being offered, stating that he has applied for the small business loan about two weeks ago with no response and has contacted the bank regarding the PPP, and have been told that no bank is willing to take that risk right now.

This article is based on minutes provided by Crystal O’Brien, Village Clerk – Treasurer.