Thursday, December 31, 2020

Environmentalist rather save trees than human lives.

 Supervisors December 3 part two 2020

Environmentalist rather save trees than human lives.


LAKE PLEASANT—When the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors met on December 3 and in addition to resolutions approved and previously reported, the supervisors discussed other items to include those mentioned below.


County Board of Supervisors Chairman William Farber said Tracy Eldridge, Highway Superintendent, had sent the Board a copy of the letter the NYS County Highway Superintendents Association signed, including everyone in the North Country region, related to road salt and specifically the road salt litigation. He felt that it was a good idea for Eldridge to join one of their meetings to discuss rather than through email.

Eldridge asked the Board if they had received the copy of the letter and if they had a chance to read it. He addressed how road salt is a tricky subject. He feels that this is a feel-good legislation and a win for the environmentalists. The players involved have no road expertise and feels that if they really do want to make a difference, they need that on the task force. He stated that the Association is still going to try to push getting professionals on the task force to get that balanced approach.

Farber asked the Board their opinion on helping Eldridge anyway possible and then offered their help by sending a letter or adopting a resolution if he wanted it.

Eldridge stated that the County will have to fight the battle for NYSDOT as well. Farber stated that Eldridge had a resolution on the agenda and asked the Board to look at it to see if there was an easy fix to better position the County. Including that there was always the option of reinforcing the issue of appointments. Eldridge stated that if the resolution were tabled until the next meeting, to further discuss, he did not feel that it would hinder anything. He and Farber discussed chapter amendments. Farber further discussed doing a draft resolution where all the colleagues endorse and then get it out to all the County’s where they are represented as well as the State Associations. Eldridge stated that he would make the changes, then send it to his colleagues for their opinion before submitting it to the Board for December 18.

Eldridge updated the Board regarding the fuel tanks in Indian Lake at Department of Social Services as well as the County Clerk/Jail in Lake Pleasant. The tank has been replaced in Indian Lake. He received a bid from R.L. Dalrymple for $12,448.63 but when the tank was removed there was some contamination. The amount they removed was around 12 ton. They have had the soil tested and hope to get it closed soon. The cost had gone up because the geologist spent more time than expected. The total cost is now $17,005.87. He will be doing a resolution for December 18. He stated that they have also figured out the heating problem for the Indian Lake building as well. The tank has been removed at County Clerk’s in Lake Pleasant. The soil was clean and the close out report has been completed. Since everything is tore up, he decided to replace the lines going into the jail as well as the Courthouse. But, given the weather, he has postponed this until spring along with the drainage. This project will all be done in-house. He will be billed for the piping ordered through R.L. Dalrymple and he will do a resolution to pay for that.

Farber stated that he feels the Board does not have any other option. Eldridge stated that there is a good temporary tank fueling County Clerk for the time being.

Eldridge stated that the overhead lights in the parking lot of the Indian Lake building need to be replaced. He originally thought it was a timer issue but found it is not. Mark Stuart, Building Project Supervisor, has ordered the lights and he hopes to have them done early that following week.

Eldridge said there needs to be something done about the scale at the Lake Pleasant Transfer Station. He also brought up an incident that occurred at the Indian Lake Transfer Station. He and Supervisor Wells had met that morning with the employees that work there. During the conversation they realized they should put an ad in the paper stating the Transfer Station will be closed between 12-1 PM. He feels that it makes sense, so the employees have a chance to take a lunch break.

Frey stated that in Inlet they have been having issues with commercial people pulling in with full loads 5 minutes before closing. They have changed to 10 hour shifts since COVID started and are going to keep doing that going forward. It is mandatory to give the employees a 1-hour lunch break and found closing 15 minutes prior gives the people time to clear out. Thought it was food for thought since Eldridge was considering doing the same thing at the Indian Lake Transfer Station.

Eldridge thanked him for that and stated he was still working on the logistics. Once he has it figured out, he will be putting it in the paper for the public. He stated that Wells did strongly agree with this.

Eldridge stated that they are getting close to snow and ice mode. The guiderail is being installed on Gilmantown Road and should be completed in a week. He talked about bridges for both Fayle and Haskell Road Bridge in February. Will also be doing the Oxbow culvert at the same time.


Indian Lake Supervisor Brian Wells stated that there was an Internal Management Committee meeting that morning for employee evaluations. He feels the evaluation went very well.

Inlet Supervisor John Frey said his thanks again to everyone for their hard work on the budget.

Arietta Supervisor Rick Wilt stated that he is still working with the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to get the one tower a little bit higher. He is not sure that will happen but feels that it will work at the 45 feet. Board of Supervisors Chairman William Farber stated that from their call that week, he thought the consensus sounded like it may work with some tree cutting. He feels that if the microwave path study were to come back saying that it really must be 53 feet then it would give them something substantive to go back to FAA with.

Long Lake Supervisor Clay Arsenault shared his excitement about potentially incorporating the Buck Mountain Fire Tower as part of the Fire Tower Challenge. He said it needs some work but feels it will be very well used. Farber went on to elaborate about the Fire Tower Challenge and thanked Arsenault for his time on this.

Lake Pleasant Supervisor Betsy Bain said she had joined the earlier Professional Advisory Committee (PAC) meeting, but it started late, and she had to switch to the Board Meeting, so she did not have anything.

Farber stated he had been inadvertently dropped from the invitation list and that he was not sure how the PAC meeting got scheduled for the same time as the Board Meeting. He had spoken with Erica Mahoney, Public Health Director, regarding future scheduling.

This article is based upon the minutes of Laura Abrams, Clerk of the Board.

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