Friday, September 4, 2020

Few virus cases in Hamilton County

 Speculator VB August 10 2020

Few virus cases in Hamilton County


SPECULATOR—At the August 10 meeting of the Speculator Village Board of Trustees, Mayor Jeannette Barrett shared data provided by Hamilton County Public Health showing the number of positive cases over the last twelve weeks within Hamilton and surrounding counties. There has been a gradual increase in all counties. Within Hamilton County we have six (6) new cases in that timeframe when the surrounding counties have had much larger increases within that period such as Herkimer (154 new cases) and Fulton (103 new cases). According to the Persons Under Investigation numbers received today, there are currently three patients under quarantine, 160 travelers quarantined, 1,419 COVID tests have been performed to date and a total of 10 positive cases.


Ed Scharpou, WWTP Chief Operator, submitted a written report. Additional commentary was made as follows:

Water Department: All monthly reporting has been sent in. Samples for POCs, PICs and SOCs, normally sampled and paid for by NYS DOH are currently on hold, Mr. Scharpou has been speaking with the Department of Health and they are trying to get us back on the sampling list. Quarterly readings are done.

The property damaged on Route 8 after a water main break this past spring was cleaned up and seeded.

Still attempting to locate a water service on Oak Mountain Drive, no records found even though the original property owner stated there is a connection. Mr. Scharpou will be digging to try to locate that connection but if none is found they will need to connect a new service.

A water leak was located at 106 Elm Lake Road, it was found to be the responsibility of the homeowner and it is likely to be the cause of the flooded basement at 108 Elm Lake Road.

With the help of Lamont, FEMA coordinates and information about the River crossing have been determined. Sewer Department:

all monthly sampling has been done, requirements met, and the copper monitoring report has been approved and passed but is still awaiting approval on the QAPP.

The inside plant has been pumped and waiting for Adirondack Septic to pump the final foot of sludge and grit that has settled; once completed, the blown diffusers will be installed.

The land use application site has been tested for pH, Mr. Scharpou did this in their own lab and received a pH of 6.83, but they are still waiting for official results.

Concerns mentioned last month, regarding the blowers have been resolved, there is a slow leak in a gasket in Blower #1 that will need to be replaced and the high amps in the original inspection were due to valving issues.

The sewer connection for the lots for sale on Oak Mountain Drive were found.

A sewer issue at 2826 State Route 8 has been resolved, there was concern the main was causing the issue but that is not the case and information on the property was provided.

Contract #1 of the upgrade project has been completed; however, despite requesting a continuous flow system., the same system as before has been installed The system in supposed to correct itself but has not after three weeks. Funds are being held until the issue is resolved. Contract #2 of the upgrade project should be going to bid in August or September.

Scharpou brought water and sewer service connection fees to the board with an analysis of actual costs compared to what we are charging to propose an increase. These fees have not been increased since 2009 despite the increase of costs in parts, labor, and machinery. Mayor Barrett provided an updated hourly wage with fringe benefits amount based on an updated calculation used in FEMA calculations. This brought down some of the total cost, but in discussion it was obvious these service fees needed to be raised a reasonable amount to cover all costs including possible increases in cost of parts or machinery in the next year. It was also suggested that these fees be assessed yearly.

Trustee Mark Donecker made a motion to modify the water connection fees such that a 1-inch line is increased to $1,500, a ¾ inch line is increased to $1,320, a road crossing when done by digging increased to $1,400, a road crossing when using a boring machine increased to $525 and to keep the sewer connection fees at $1,000. Trustee Crary seconded and the motion was passed by the following vote: aye – Barrett, Crary, Donecker and Rudes, nays – none., McComb – absent.


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

The Beach has been closed since last Monday, August 3, for quarantine reasons. The need for quarantine arose because one of the lifeguards, on personal time, encountered someone who tested positive for COVID. To be safe, both lifeguards were tested last week, and both came back negative. Both lifeguards return to college at the end of August, so the beach will be closing after August 26.

Sexual Harassment and workplace violence training for all trustees and any staff who missed the June training is being held at the Village Hall at 9 am on Tuesday, August 11. There are a few trustees that are unable to attend so we will be coordinating with Kevin Townsend to complete all training.

NYCOM’s Fall Training School is being transferred to a virtual platform this year because of COVID, no details have been received yet but hopefully this will allow Tracy to attend a few of the seminars as well.

The AUD is almost complete, with guidance from the OSC, a request for an extension was granted. There were just a few adjustments needed because of the AFG funds sharing a bank account, after those items are adjusted the AUD will be ready to submit.

Trustee Letty Rudes made a motion to approve and pay Abstract #5 $69,005.50. Trustee Donecker seconded and the motion was passed by the following vote: aye – Barrett, Crary, Donecker and Rudes, Nays – none, McComb absent.


FEMA virtual inspections have been approved to take place within the next two weeks for both the exposed watermain and the tilted pump station #2.

Mayor Barrett provided an updated Utility Program Cost analysis from Nancy Bernstein from ANCA. National Grid recalculated the undepreciated net book value of our lights as $2,592.60; our annual cost savings is estimated at $3,753 which is 23% and at this rate we would be able to pay back the lights within eight to nine months not including the $5,815 rebate provided by National Grid.

Trustee Rudes made a motion to proceed to pursue the streetlight conversation through National Grid, to confirm the accurate light inventory and adjustment to brightness of the lights. Trustee Donecker seconded and the motion was passed by the following vote: aye – Barrett, Crary, Donecker and Rudes, nays – none, McComb absent.

Verizon small cell tower agreement is still on hold awaiting reopening for regulatory processing.


Mayor Barrett informed the Board on the defacing of the Bridge crossing the Sacandaga river. The matter was reported to the Hamilton County Sheriff’s office. If anyone has any information regarding the matter, they should contact the Sheriff’s office. New York State Department of Transportation was contacted, and permission was given to restore the bridge.

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

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