Wednesday, August 19, 2020

County Public Health warns out of state travelers to quarantine

 Speculator VB July 27 2020

County Public Health warns out of state travelers to quarantine


SPECULATOR—When the Speculator Village Board of Trustees met on July 27,  Mayor Jeannette Barrett informed the board that in the last two weeks, the Hamilton County Public Health department has received notification of over 200 travelers visiting Hamilton County from states that require quarantine and how they must complete the “Traveler Health Form” upon entering New York.

Two additional cases have been reported in which both cases resulted in limited community exposure. Continuing to take personal responsibility with the Governor’s Executive Orders is still essential to keep us all healthy says the health department.

The Village has received additional hand sanitizer for businesses and Village departments. There have been two COVID complaints received: one regarding a local business and a group not adhering to COVID guidelines for social distancing and wearing masks in close proximity. One of the complaints was submitted anonymously through the online reporting system with the NYS Department of Health. Both complaints have been followed up by Mayor Barrett. Complaints and follow-up documentation are required to be kept for one year. Hamilton County Public Health have informed us that multiple complaints on a business could result in fines in addition to possible closure if an outbreak can be traced back to the establishment.


Highway Superintendent Roger Blanchard gave a written Department of Public works Report Additional commentary is as follows:

The new dump truck that was scheduled to be here in May 2020 but was delayed due to a strike and then COVID, is now expected to arrive on July 28, 2020.

Only Black Bear Run will be paved this year. Elm Lake Road from the Garage to the dirt section was on the schedule for this year but there is too much culvert work to pave it this year.

Trustee Mark Donecker asked if the sign for the dock was put back in place. Blanchard affirmed the sign was set back in place but would check it again to make sure it did not fall over.

The remainder of the sidewalk work is planned to start in early August.

Awaiting permits to begin corrective work downstream from Marion Ave Culvert due to the excessive deposits of silt following the Halloween storm. DPW is working in consultation with Hamilton County Soil & Water.


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

O’Brien informed the board she continues to have edits in the AUD report that need to be resolved before submission, but the board will receive a copy once completed.

There was a meeting at the Lake Pleasant offices, with the Building Inspector and Code Enforcer for a demonstration of a software program through Williamson regarding Building codes. O’Brien reported it was a great demo, the program is so inclusive, detailed and has so many possibilities. This would be a program that the Village should consider getting next year so that we can properly budget for it.

The Property owners of Pleasant Pines Cottages sent a letter to the Board requesting forgiveness on excessive usage for the current quarter as well as the past three quarters due to a leak found. After much discussion by the board, it was decided there would only be forgiveness for the first quarter of excess usage. This is in keeping with the past precedent of a onetime forgiveness of excess usage due to a leak.

Trustee Letty Rudes made a motion to give forgiveness of the excess usage at Pleasant Pines Cottages for only the first quarter where the leak was first noticed. Trustee Karen McComb seconded, and the motion was passed by the following vote: aye – Barrett, Crary, McComb and Rudes, Nays – Donecker.

Water Sewer billing goes out at the beginning of August. As a reminder to the board this is the second year of the increase plan. Therefore, the water base rate will go up to $88 per quarter and the sewer base rate will go up to $107 per quarter.


FEMA has approved the first of the projects, Debris Removal, from the Halloween Storm and we should be seeing those funds released through NYS DHSES in the next few weeks. The Emergency Protective Measures project is in the final review stage. The next project for submission is Donated Resources. Speculator is finalizing information for FEMA regarding Marion Avenue Culvert mitigation measures and information coming from the engineers on the exposed water main and pump station #2. Onsite visits will be required for the Beach and Osborne Point to determine damages, assessment and the proposed restoration and mitigation.

Tribal review and approval for the Verizon Small Cells is still in process; in the interim Verizon is still progressing with the permits to be able to start as soon as approval is given.

$25,000 was received from the DEC for the initial down payment of the fire tower. As it was paid out of the 2019-20 budget the reimbursement will be added into the fund balance. The invoice for the quarterly grant management costs for the fire tower has been submitted and we are awaiting reimbursement. Mayor Barrett asked the Board to approve using the $10,000 received form the ADK Foundation Grant received for the Fire tower to reduce the remaining payment owed to Mr. Vilegi.

Trustee Donecker made a motion to approve using the $10,000 received from the Adirondack Foundation Grant to pay Vilegi in the abstract approved July 27.

Trustee McComb seconded and the motion was passed unanimously.


The Speculator Volunteer Fire Department received two bids for the ladder truck deemed as excess. The bids were opened by the Mayor, the first bid was from a Mr. Squicciarini offering $3,513 and the second bid from a Mr. Shoop offering $3,500. The Board agreed to take the highest bidder.

Trustee Rudes made a motion to accept the bid presented by Squicciarini for $3,513. Trustee Donecker seconded and the motion was passed unanimously.

An inquiry made by Trustee McComb regarding the ownership and public use of the Village PA system. After researching the matter, it was found that the Village purchased the PA system in 2016 through the Parks and Recreation budget. There was discussion in the three meetings prior to the purchase of the system being bought with parade fund money, but no record of that exchange was found. After discussion between the Clerk/Treasurer, Village Attorney and Mayor Barrett it was thought best to have general guidelines and a Use Form for any Village organization or business in the area to “sign out” the system. After discussion by the board, it was decided that a $250 refundable deposit would be required. There would also be a sound check and inspection of equipment done when returned before the deposit can be returned.

Trustee McComb made a motion to approve the “Use of Village Public Address System” form with a $250 refundable deposit to be held until the system is returned without damage or lost equipment. Trustee Donecker seconded and the motion was passed unanimously.

Mayor Barrett informed the board she has started the process of exploring reimbursement through FEMA for COVID-19 expenses. There is a $3,000 minimum/project to file a request. After discussion with the Clerk/Treasurer, it has been found we may meet that minimum requirement and will try to get reimbursement. The Mayor has submitted the request for public assistance and will be attending the kickoff meeting on July 29.


A donation of $25 was given to the Village in appreciation of the Fireworks display on July 4th. The donor was an out of state visitor who noted they were impressed by the fireworks ad wanted to give something to show their appreciation.

Mayor Barrett received a response to her letter regarding the additional WWTP sampling costs since the State is no longer doing those samplings for us. Ms. Martin from DOH said any requests for an extension from EPA have been denied. She provided an alternative lab for a quote for the testing and Mr. Scharpou will be contacting the lab.

Trustee McComb had a resident ask if the lifeguards rake the goose poop on the grass at the beach, stating the grass is covered in goose poop. O’Brien responded the lifeguards are supposed to be raking as part of their opening procedures at the beach. It was noted that the geese are particularly bad this year.

Trustee McComb also asked about the cameras mounted to the Fire Station and whether they are working. O’Brien stated that before the COVID shutdown, Mr. O’Brien had been talking with Mr. Swift about the repair of the cameras and getting access to the feed. She also stated, she will again inquire about the cameras.

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

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