REGULAR MEETING OF THE TOWN BOARD
OF THE TOWN OF SARATOGA, 12 SPRING ST.,
February 9, 2009
Supervisor Thomas Wood opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance
at 7:00 p.m.
Roll call: Ruth Drumm, Town Clerk, called the roll. Supervisor Thomas Wood- present, Councilman Fred Drumm - present, Councilman Charles Hanehan- present, Councilwoman Betty Koval - present, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin – absent (arrived at 7:15 p.m.)
Also present: Deputy Town Clerk Linda McCabe, Town Attorney William Reynolds, Zoning Officer Gil Albert, Justice Jack Ditch, Justice David Mathis, Tax Collector Jim Gorham, and other interested persons.
Recognitions/Presentations/ Bid openings/ Public Hearings:
Presentation: Intern Recognition Program
Justice David Mathis explained the Town of Saratoga’s Court Internship Program. He then presented Certificates of Completion to the following participants during the summer and fall of 2008 and recognized their advisors:
Schuylerville High School: Advisor Janine O’Brien and Interns Noelle Kahler and Taylor Nadeau
South Glens Falls High School: Advisor Stacy Lloyd and Intern Katrina Brown
Adirondack Community College: Advisor Michael Carpenter and Interns Stephen Giorgianni and Rachel Adams
Schenectady County Community: Advisor Gary Perkins and Intern Tyler Weaver
Skidmore College: Intern Stephen Johnson
Endicott College: Intern Glenn Scully
Albany Law School: Intern Dana Caswell
The Justice Award was presented to Sheriff Bowen and the Saratoga County Sheriff’s Department with Lt. Siebert and Sgt. McDonough accepting for Sheriff Bowen. Justice Jack Ditch and Justice David Mathis thanked the department for supporting the intern program.
Michelle DeGarmo, Marvin & Co., presented the details of the Restore Program Grant and asked for the board’s support in order to apply for the grant for the Town of Saratoga. The grant would provide $75,000 for emergency repairs for up to fifteen applicants. Homeowner residents aged 60 and over of the Town of Saratoga, including the two villages, would be eligible if they meet the household income criteria and have an emergency condition such as needing a furnace, roof, or electrical and water issues including those caused by power outages and storm damage. She noted that the grant application is due March 12, 2009 and there would be no charge to the town or villages. This grant could be used in coordination with the Home Program Grant for some residents. Michelle DeGarmo reported they now have five approved applicants in the Town of Saratoga Home Program and the funds should be released soon.
Approval of Minutes: A motion was made by Councilman Charles Hanehan and seconded by Councilwoman Betty Koval to accept the minutes of the January 12th regular meeting as written.
Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Charles Hanehan – aye, Councilwoman Betty Koval – aye, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin – aye. Carried 5 – 0.
Town Clerk’s report for January 2009: Fees paid to the County Treasurer for Dog Licenses $75.32. Fees paid to the NYS Dept. of Agriculture and Markets for the spay/neuter program $12.00. Fees paid to New York D.E.C. for hunting and fishing licenses $110.52. Fees paid to the New York State Health Department for Marriage licenses $0. Dog license fees to Supervisor Thomas Wood $205.68. Clerk fees to Supervisor Thomas Wood $110.52. Total State, County, and Local Revenues received were $511.00.
Zoning Officer’s report: Gil Albert read his January 2009 report: 3 Building Permits, 11 Building Inspections, 1 Certificate of Occupancy, 0 Fire inspections, 1 Complaint, 1 Building Permit Renewal and 2 misc. appointments. A check for $937.25 was given to Supervisor Thomas Wood.
Dog Control officer’s report for January 2009: The report was read by Supervisor Thomas Wood: answered 25 complaints, took 1 dog to the shelter, 0 bite cases, traveled 177 miles, issued 10 warnings and 6 summonses were issued.
Town Court report for January 2009: The following were closed: 150 Vehicle & Traffic, 8 Criminal/Penal Law, 7 DEC/ENCON, 5 Dog cases, 0 DWIs, 0 Town & Village Ordinance, 1 Small Claim/Civil, 1 Eviction, 0 Bench trials, 0 (case transfer) Divestiture Forms sent to County Court, 19 attended the Science of Speed School, 0 Defendants sentenced to probation, 0 hours of community service issued, 0 days of jail time issued, 1 Order of Protection issued, and $10,362.00 in fees were paid to the NY State Comptroller.
Tax Collector’s report: Tax Collector Jim Gorham reported that to date he has collected $2,230,823.45 on 2,386 parcels. He added that he collects taxes on Mondays during February and March. The office will be closed on Presidents’ Day, Monday, February 16th.
Historian’s report: Sean Kelleher submitted the following reports:
Monthly Report of the Town Historian
· We have finished working with a design and fabrication on the new historical displays for the building and we are waiting for delivery. In the next months, we will be working with the Old Saratoga Historical Association and with the Town’s grant from the NYS French and Indian War Commission on new historical displays.
· The Historian’s office worked with the Curator of the National Park on a display for the building lobby as part of the performance of The Poor Soldier.
· We continue our work with the Saratoga Healthy Transportation Network-Bike Tourism Subcommittee to develop bike tours of the Town of Saratoga – a route has been identified along Route 67 and Route 32 to the Battlefield and along Fitch Road and Route 9P on a Fish Creek Loop.
· The Old Saratoga Historical Association will host a talk by local archeologist Galen Randall on Native American Fish Weirs in Fish Creek on February 26 at 7:30 pm at Town Hall.
Monthly Report of the Town of Saratoga Hudson-Fulton-Champlain Quadricentennial Celebration Committee
· The organizational committee meeting has been pushed back to February.
· The town has hosted our first Quadricentennial Celebration event with the performance of The Poor Soldier at Saratoga Town Hall on Friday, January 16th at 7 pm. It was a very cold night but it had a large crowd of close to a hundred people attending the event.
· The Old Saratoga Historical Association also has a Quadricentennial theme for their events including their book read. This year, OSHA is reading Tom Lewis’ The Hudson. There will be a book discussion on March 12 at 7:30 pm at the Schuylerville Public Library and then the author will discuss the book at a joint meeting of the OSHA and the Stillwater Historical Society on May 21 at the Visitors Center at the National Park.
January was a busy month. We processed 11 valid sales and 6 non-valid sales. Of those sales, 2 sales were land sales and the other 14 were residential sales and 1 commercial sale.
We have been receiving renewal exemption applications for Senior STAR exemptions, low-income senior exemptions and agricultural exemptions. We have also received some new Veterans exemptions. We have entered in the Cold War Veteran exemption established by Town Law last month. All exemption applications and renewals must be received in our office by March 1, 2009 in order to receive the exemption benefit on the 2009 assessment roll.
In looking at various statistical reports, including reports from New York State ORPS, we have a preliminary determination that our level of assessment will remain steady at 65% for the upcoming roll. We continue to monitor the economic climate of the area in order to determine an appropriate time to do a revaluation of property values for the Town. We feel that we may want to plan to do a town-wide revaluation for the 2011 assessment roll which would mean planning into our 2010 and 2011 budget. We would like to do this revaluation completely in-house, but there would be additional costs to our daily operating budget in order to accomplish this task.
SUPERVISOR’S REPORT JANUARY 2009
GENERAL FUND – TOWNWIDE (A FUND)
Balance on hand JAN. 1 $ 774,395.42
JAN. Revenues + 16,596.65
JAN. Disbursements - 49,470.17
Balance JAN. 31 $ 741,521.90
GENERAL FUND – OUTSIDE VILLAGE (B FUND)
Balance on hand JAN. 1 $ 174,229.63
JAN. Revenues + 99,573.50
JAN. Disbursements - 3,851.56
Balance JAN. 31 $ 269,951.57
HIGHWAY FUND – OUTSIDE VILLAGE (DB FUND)
Balance on hand JAN. 1 $ 651,394.42
JAN. Revenues + 0.00
JAN. Disbursements - 39,069.72
Balance JAN. 31 $ 612,234.70
YOUTH RECREATION & SERVICE JAN. 31 $1,361.66
HIGHWAY EQUIPMENT RESERVE JAN. 31 $ 907.26
BUILDING RESERVE JAN. 31 $ 143,761.64
PARKS JAN. 31 $ 53,671.10
RISK JAN. 31 $ 29,130.63
SCENIC BY WAYS GRANT $ 308.13
v Sales Tax Received – January 2009 - $98,062
v Interest Earned in 2008 - $50,395
v Saratoga County Treasurer’s Payments to the Town of Saratoga for 2008 - $1,256,827.75
Supervisor Thomas Wood reported that Senior Transportation is available on Mondays by appointment. Call the Office for the Aging at 884-4100 for an appointment.
Highway Superintendent’s report: Highway Superintendent Dave Hall reported that they have been busy. They have been removing snow along the streets and helping the village do the same. The cost of winter patch mix is up but the holes will be patched. Highway Superintendent Dave Hall announced that Leon Derby will be retiring at the end of February. Councilman Charles Hanehan asked about CHIPS money and if he has heard anything. Highway Superintendent Dave Hall responded that at the Saratoga County Highway Association meeting it was reported that CHIPS would be cut by 41%. The association plans to fight the cut.
Public comments on agenda items:
Wendy Lucas inquired if there was an income limit on the applicants for the Restore Program and she was told yes. She also had questions regarding the money collected by the Zoning Officer through the month and where is it held. Supervisor Thomas Wood responded that it is kept in a town bank account until the end of the month when it is turned over to Supervisor Thomas Wood.
Roger Sherman thanked the Board and the Highway Department for the help clearing the snow from the village streets.
Landfill: No report.
Insurance: No report.
Youth: Supervisor Thomas Wood reported that there are openings for a Director and a Red Cross Certified Swimming instructor for the Youth Swim Program. Councilwoman Betty Koval and Councilman Michael McLoughlin will be advertising the positions and interviewing applicants.
The Schuylerville Senior Citizens’ are pleased with meeting in the new town hall. They had a regular meeting on January 10th. On January 24th they had a lunch meeting followed by music and song performed by John and Lillian Bodnar. There were 58 members present. The next meeting is tomorrow.
NIMS: No report.
GSES, QSFD, SLPID/SLA, SCFB Reports:
Quaker Springs Fire Department: Stephen Bodnar addressed the board. He reported that the fire department responded to 8 calls in January 2009. Fitness tests were given on February 5th. We will have a National Grid school at the fire house on February 26th from 6 p.m. – 10 p.m. and 100 people are signed up. OSHA training is given on drill nights.
Saratoga County Farm Bureau: Mary Hanehan, Turning Point Dairy, reported:
After the elections and the New Year, we have many local, State, and National officials to get to know. NYFB will be in Albany at the beginning of March meeting with some of these legislators. SCFB will be in Ballston this month talking with the Supervisors.
My last report said we were going to have low milk prices for 2009. Since that time, wholesale prices have crashed. Dairymen are doing major planning, revenue of the County’s largest business, Agriculture, will be cut way down. This will cause the multiplier effect since that money will not be spent purchasing supplies and goods from agribusinesses and stores. This will hurt the whole local economy very badly as well as the whole US economy. There also will be farmers forced out of business from this.
As Spring is just around the corner, we will soon be traveling the roads with slow moving equipment, please be cautious, as we will too. We will also be hauling our cow manure out, which we will be relying on to help cut our fertilizer expenses, especially in these lean times. Most farms will be incorporating this in as soon as possible. There are many reasons for this, but the two main reasons are: to save as much nutrients as possible, and to reduce odors as much as we can.
Thanks for your support in this new year.
Supervisor Thomas Wood reported that the town closed on the Purchase of Development Rights on the 65+/- acres of William and Paul Galcik on DeGarmo and Burgoyne Roads a week ago.
On a motion by Councilman Fred Drumm and seconded by Councilman Charles Hanehan the following Resolution # 09-40 Park Reserve Fund was adopted by vote: Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Charles Hanehan – aye, Councilwoman Betty Koval – aye, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin – aye. Carried 5 – 0.
WHEREAS, the Town of Saratoga created a Park Reserve Fund for the purpose of funding Park Projects; and
WHEREAS, the Town of Saratoga in partnership with the Town of Northumberland is developing Schuyler Park; and
WHEREAS, there is currently $53,670.58. in the Parks Reserve Account; and
WHEREAS, construction at Schuyler Park has begun; now therefore be it
RESOLVED, that $50,000. from Park Reserve Fund #HR7110.4 be transferred to Schuyler Park Account #A7110.401 and be allocated for this year’s expenditures at Schuyler Park following the 30 day requirement of Permissive Referendum rules and procedures.
On a motion by Councilwoman Betty Koval and seconded by Councilman Michael McLoughlin the following Resolution #09-41 Fund Transfer- $52.10 to Taxes & Assessments was adopted by vote: Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Charles Hanehan – aye, Councilwoman Betty Koval – aye, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin – aye. Carried 5 – 0.
WHEREAS, expenditures for the Taxes & Assessments Account # A1950.4
have exceeded the budgeted amounts; therefore be it
RESOLVED, by the Town Board of the Town of Saratoga to transfer $52.10 from Contingency Account # A1990.4 to Taxes & Assessments Account # A1950.4.
On a motion by Councilman Fred Drumm and seconded by Councilman Michael McLoughlin the following Resolution #09-42 Support for Restore Program Grant
was adopted by vote: Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Charles Hanehan – aye, Councilwoman Betty Koval – aye, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin – aye. Carried 5 – 0.
WHEREAS, the Town Board finds it in the best interests of the Town of Saratoga to seek grant funding to address emergency repairs for persons age 60+ in the very low to moderately low income bracket residing within the Town and its two incorporated villages; and
WHEREAS, the New York State RESTORE Program (RESTORE) provides funding for this purpose; and
WHEREAS, the RESTORE grant does not cost any dollar amount on the part of the Town, but requires the Town, as lead applicant of the three municipal parties, to obtain work assistance for administration and oversight of these projects which is covered in full by grant funds; and
WHEREAS, Marvin & Company has agreed to prepare and file such RESTORE application for grant funding in the maximum amount of $75,000 on behalf of the Town of Saratoga; and
WHEREAS, the Town hereby waives the competitive bidding process for selection of a consultant to submit the RESTORE grant and administer the resulting Town of Saratoga RESTORE Program, as Marvin & Company has proven to be qualified and capable of carrying out all required activities for the RESTORE Program; and
WHEREAS, approximately 30% of the residential housing units located within the Town of Saratoga, including the Villages of Schuylerville and Victory, are owned by persons age 60+ in the very low to moderately low income limits and in need of rehabilitation; now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, that the Supervisor of the Town of Saratoga is hereby designated as the representative for the RESTORE grant and is further authorized to sign such application and provide such information, as may be required, to Marvin & Company and the New York State RESTORE Program as may be required.
v Money Management Workshop – “Making Ends Meet” – at the Old Saratoga Reformed Church on February 23, 2009, 6:00 p.m. Registration required call 746-2560 or 1-800-548-0881
Privilege of the floor:
Wendy Lucas asked if anyone could give a NIMS report and Supervisor Thomas Wood responded. He stated that at the January meeting they worked on the Are You OK form and that the next meeting will be on February 19th at 2:30 p.m. in the upstairs conference room.
She asked if they would be following the Executive Order No. 3 that requires all open meetings to be broadcast on the internet. Supervisor Thomas Wood said they will look into this further.
Wendy Lucas reported that there is a New York Renewable Fuels Roadmap Workshop on Friday, February 13, 10 a.m. – 1 p.m. Registration for the program is through the Cornell Cooperative Extension- Washington County, by Feb. 9th.
She asked the board how the sale of the old town hall was coming and Supervisor Thomas Wood reported that nothing definite yet.
Roger Sherman inquired how the new building has been working out so far. Supervisor Thomas Wood responded that it has been even better than expected. The extra space has worked out great for all the departments and especially the court, boards, and seniors. Many organizations are using the space for their meetings. Additional parking will be available from the overflow parking lot in the spring. Supervisor Thomas Wood added that one tenant is behind in the rent and it is in litigation. We have another tenant that would like to expand into that space should it be vacated. Roger suggested that additional signage is needed. Supervisor Thomas Wood agreed and that it should happen in the spring. Councilman Fred Drumm added that improved lighting of the parking lot and back door is scheduled to be done.
James Sullivan, Pearl Street, mentioned that Tetra Tech, a tenant in the building, would be interested in doing the quarterly landfill testing. Supervisor Thomas Wood stated he would check when our current contract is up with Phoenix Environmental Laboratories.
Steve Bodnar stated that residents who have Time Warner Cable and phone service are without both in outages. He would like to see cable run in the rural areas of the town without a cost to each homeowner. Supervisor Thomas Wood explained that when the contract was being renewed they were very unyielding about running cable where there are less than 22 homes per mile.
Marty Hanehan added that with technology there will probably be newer and better technology available by the time Time Warner Cable extends their coverage to rural areas.
v Agenda meeting – Thursday, March 5, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
v Regular town board meeting – Monday, March 9, 2009 at 7:00 p.m.
Audit the Bills: On a motion by Councilman Charles Hanehan and seconded by Councilman Fred Drumm the following Resolution #09-43 Approving the payment of bills in Abstract 2G was adopted by vote: Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Charles Hanehan – aye, Councilwoman Betty Koval – aye, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin – aye. Carried 5 – 0.
RESOLVED, by the Town Board of the Town of Saratoga to authorize payment of the bills listed in Abstract 2G (02/09/2009) in the following amounts: General A $23,818.93, General B $4,411.98, and Highway Outside DB $25,940.97 for a total expense of $54,171.88.
A motion to adjourn at 8:58 p.m. was made by Councilman Fred Drumm and seconded by Councilwoman Betty Koval. Supervisor Thomas Wood – aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Charles Hanehan - aye, Councilwoman Betty Koval – aye, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin - aye. Carried 5 – 0.