DRAFT MINUTES FOR THE
TOWN BOARD MEETING
OF THE TOWN OF SARATOGA,
30 FERRY ST.,
February 12, 2007
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- absent, Councilwoman Betty Koval - present, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin – absent.
Recognitions/Presentations/ Bid openings/ Public Hearings:
Supervisor Thomas Wood presented Certificates of Recognition to the following organizations for their efforts providing services to those who lost power during the ice storm on January 14 – 17, 2007: Schuylerville Community Food Pantry, General Schuyler Emergency Squad, Quaker Springs Fire Department, Schuyler Hose Fire Department, David Nevins Fire Department, and the Town Highway Department Staff. He also thanked the many additional individuals that helped by contacting and checking on people to see if they needed help and to let them know where the shelters were set up.
Tracy Clothier, LA Group, presented the Joint Open Space and Recreation Plan to the board. This plan was drafted for the Town of Saratoga and the Town of Northumberland under the Quality Communities Grant. Projects focus on the expansion of a variety of recreational facilities, parks, trails, and water projects along with preserving green space. The full Joint Open Space Plan is on file in the Town Clerk’s office. Supervisor Thomas Wood thanked Tracy Clothier, Clarence Fosdick, Councilman Fred Drumm and Town of Northumberland Supervisor Bill Peck for attending the many meetings held with him discussing the plan.
Approval of Minutes: A motion was made by Councilwoman Betty Koval and seconded
by Councilman Fred Drumm to accept the minutes of the January 8th organizational meeting as written. Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Charles Hanehan – absent, Councilwoman Betty Koval – aye, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin – absent. Carried 3 – 0.
Town Clerk’s report for January 2007: Fees paid to the County Treasurer for Dog Licenses $73.67. Fees paid to the NYS Dept. of Agriculture and Markets for the spay/neuter program $24.00. Fees paid to New York D.E.C. for hunting and fishing licenses $45.34. Fees paid to the New York State Health Department for Marriage licenses $0. Dog license fees to Supervisor Thomas Wood $193.33. Clerk fees to Supervisor Thomas Wood $157.91. Total State, County, and Local Revenues received were $509.25.
Zoning Officer’s report: Supervisor Thomas Wood read the January 2007 report: 2 Building Permits, 10 Building Inspections, 6 CO’s, 1 Complaint, and 1 Order to Remedy was issued. A check for $385 was given to Supervisor Thomas Wood.
Dog Control officer’s report for January 2007: Supervisor Thomas Wood read the report. They answered 29 complaints, took 3 dogs to the shelter, traveled 215 miles, issued 24 warnings, responded to 1 dog bite and that no summons’ were issued.
Town Court report for January 2007: Justice Jack Ditch reported that the following were closed: 58 Vehicle & Traffic, 11 Criminal/Penal Law, 1 DEC/ENCON, 1Dog case, 0 DWI, 0 Town & Village Ordinance, 2 Small Claims/Civil, 4 Evictions, 0 Bench trials, 2 Divestiture Forms (case transfers) sent to County Court, 5 attended the Science of Speed School, 0 Defendants sentenced to probation, 5 hours of community service issued, 0 days of jail time issued, 3 Orders of Protection issued, and $3,440.50 in fees were paid to the NY State Comptroller.
Tax Collector’s report: Tax Collector Jim Gorham reported for January 2007. He collected $1,706,479.07 on 2,189 parcels.
Supervisor Thomas Wood read the report which
stated that this past month the Historian's office had a number of
press inquiries about the Webster House. In addition, we have been made
aware of an issue by the National Park regarding the proposed cell phone tower
in Schuylerville (on property bordering the Town of Saratoga), which may affect
the view shed of the Saratoga Monument.
The office is also working with the National Park on interpretation of
the Victory Woods property. The office is continuing to work with the
Archeologist and the Battlefield Protection Program working on the Fort Hardy
project. The archeologist presented a poster session on Fort Hardy at a
national Archeology conference in Williamsburg, VA.
The office continues to work on our Archives grant ($12,935 – awarded Local Government Records Management Improvement Fund – NYS Archives) separating the Village of Schuylerville records from the Town of Saratoga historical records collection. We are also working on developing a finding aid for municipal collections in Saratoga, Schuylerville and Stillwater.
Assessor’s report: Assessor Catherine DeFelice reported: We had 10 parcel transfers; 7 were valid sales and 3 were non-valid sales. We are taking renewals for Senior and Enhanced Star applications, also the Agricultural renewal forms.
Supervisor’s report: Supervisor Thomas Wood presented January 2007 balances in Town funds as follows: General A $737,785.42, General B $91,025.16, Highway Outside $312,602.64, Youth Recreation & Services $287.92, Highway Equipment Reserve $91,057.12, Building Reserve $1,003,444.94 and Fire Protection $0. January revenues were $92,760.81 and expenses were $67,240.94. The January balance is $2,236,203.20.
The public commented on the following agenda items:
v Supervisor’s report and the sources of revenue and the investment of the reserves.
v Resolution on Property Tax Reform asking that it include the rate of increase of school taxes.
He added that the generator should be installed at the garage by the end of February.
Landfill: Hudson Environmental Services reports there are no unusual conditions and all quality control data is within acceptable limits.
Insurance: No report.
Youth: No report.
The Schuylerville Senior Citizens met on January 9th. Bruce and Virginia Cornell spoke about their trip to Mississippi, where they worked as volunteers rebuilding homes after Hurricane Katrina. Sixty-four seniors attended. At their meeting on January 23rd, Christina Saddlemire-Reese, Historian for Saratoga County and the Village of Schuylerville, presented a slide show regarding the Underground Railroad and abolitionism and the role of these activities in the Town of Saratoga and Saratoga County. Seventy-four seniors attended.
Supervisor Thomas Wood read
Sean Kelleher’s report. The committee
continues to work forward. They met twice in January. They have received the patches for the
volunteers, which will be given out at each banquet. He added that they
have ordered the street signs that will encourage more volunteers to join.
The decision on the memorial is waiting for the Town Board to decide on the new town hall location. The committee is very interested in having the memorial on this location with or without a new town hall being located here. The committee's next meeting is Wednesday, February 28th at 7 p.m. at Town Hall.
GSES, QSFD, SLPID/SLA Reports:
Quaker Springs Fire Department: Stephen Bodnar addressed the board. He reported that the fire department responded to 17 calls in January. The firehouse was open as a shelter for whoever in the community needed it as well as providing water for many residents during the ice storm in January. He reported that besides the regular training, they had 12 members complete CPR training. They are now 100% NIMS compliant. The new well is in operation. The new jaws and related rescue equipment is in service. A mutual aid drill with Arvin Hart on ice water rescue was held. He added that the new adapter is in place at Bryant’s Bridge and the standpipe works very well.
On a motion by Supervisor Thomas Wood and seconded by Councilwoman Betty Koval the following Resolution # 07- 41 - Calvin Gong Property, 1390 Rt. 9P - was adopted by vote: Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Charles Hanehan – absent, Councilwoman Betty Koval – aye, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin – absent. Carried 3 – 0.
WHEREAS, by resolution of this Board dated January 8, 2007, the Town Attorney was authorized to take legal enforcement action against Calvin Gong concerning property located at 1390 Route 9P in the Town of Saratoga specifically to cause an inspection of said property to determine whether the structure is an unsafe building, and
WHEREAS, the Town Engineer, Kenneth Martin, has submitted a report of said inspection to the Board, a copy of which is attached hereto, and
WHEREAS, said report concludes that the aforesaid property located at 1390 Route 9P located in the Town of Saratoga is “dangerous or unsafe to the public” within the meaning of Chapter 182 of the Town Code, it is now therefore
RESOLVED, that the Town Attorney be authorized to prepare and cause service of a notice to owner of said property, to wit: Calvin Gong, prepared in accordance with Section 182-3(A) of the Town Code, directing that the building be demolished and removed and that any occupants of the building immediately vacate the same, and it is further
RESOLVED, that a hearing be held before the Town Board on February 27, 2007 at 7:30 p.m., which shall be a special meeting of the Town Board called for that purpose, at which hearing the said Calvin Gong may present proof in opposition to the claim that the building is unsafe and dangerous, and it is further
RESOLVED, that the Town Attorney file a copy of the aforesaid notice in the Office of the Saratoga County Clerk, as provided by law.
(Town Engineer’s report is in the Appendix on file in the Town Clerk’s office.)
On a motion by Supervisor Thomas Wood and seconded by Councilman Fred Drumm the following Resolution # 07- 36 – Extending Construction time for Saratoga Country Inn PUD by 90 days- was adopted by vote: Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Charles Hanehan – absent, Councilwoman Betty Koval – aye, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin – absent. Carried 3 – 0.
WHEREAS, on February 14, 2005, the Town Board of the Town of Saratoga granted final approval for the Saratoga Country Inn PUD, by amending the Zoning Ordinance of the Town, and
WHEREAS, Article X, Section 3(J) of the Zoning Ordinance provides that approval for a PUD development project shall become null and void if construction has not begun within two years of the Town Board approval, and
WHEREAS, due to circumstances beyond control of the owner and applicant, said construction work has not begun as planned, and for good cause shown to the Town Board, it is therefore
RESOLVED, that there is hereby granted an extension of time until May 14, 2007 within which construction work must begin for the Saratoga Country Inn PUD and such construction must be completed on or before eighteen (18) months of issuance of the first building permit, and it is further
RESOLVED, that if the aforesaid time limitations are not met, then the approval for this development project shall become null and void.
On a motion by Councilwoman Betty Koval and seconded by Councilman Fred Drumm the following Resolution #07-37 – Transfer of Funds to Taxes & Assessments A1950.4 - $14.76 - was adopted by vote: Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Charles Hanehan – absent, Councilwoman Betty Koval – aye, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin – absent. Carried 3 – 0.
WHEREAS, the Town Board of the Town of Saratoga recognizes the need for a fund transfer to cover additional property tax expenses for parcels acquired from Zene Garnsey (SBL#’s 183.-1-35 & 36), therefore be it
RESOLVED, by the Town Board of the Town of Saratoga to transfer $14.76 from Contingency Account # A1990.4 to Taxes & Assessments A1950.4.
On a motion by Supervisor Thomas Wood and seconded by Councilman Fred Drumm the following Resolution # 07-38 – Petition NYS for Property Tax Reform - was adopted by vote: Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Charles Hanehan – absent, Councilwoman Betty Koval – aye, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin – absent. Carried 3 – 0.
WHEREAS, in New York State, municipal revenues which support local spending for schools, public safety, and other public services are raised through the property tax levy, state aid, and other sources, and
WHEREAS, despite the increase of over 70% in New York State aid to school districts in the past 10 years, most New York State school district budgets have continued to skyrocket out of control causing local school tax levy increases of between 5% and 15% annually, and
WHEREAS, many residents of the Town of Saratoga located in Saratoga County and other municipalities across New York State are unable to pay these excessive school tax rates which are forcing many families into debt and causing some to sell their property and relocate their families outside of their communities and, in some instances, outside the State of New York, and
WHEREAS, over half of all US states have passed some form of property tax limitation statute which attempts to reasonably manage excessive property taxation, now, therefore, be it
RESOLVED, the Town of Saratoga requests its New York State legislators to review and conduct a comprehensive study and evaluation of all existing state property tax limitation statutes in effect, and be it further
RESOLVED, that New York State legislators and the New York State Governor based upon the above study and evaluation enact appropriate legislation which will provide necessary property tax reform for the benefit and relief of all New York State residents, and be it further
RESOLVED, that a copy of this resolution be forwarded to the Honorable Eliot Spitzer, Governor of New York State, all NYS legislators representing the County of Saratoga, the Chair of the NYS Assembly Ways and Means Committee, the Chair of the NYS Senate Finance Committee, the Chairs of the Assembly and Senate Education Committees, all municipalities within the County of Saratoga, the Saratoga County Board of Supervisors, the NYS Association of Towns, and the NYS Association of Counties.
On a motion by Councilwoman Betty Koval and seconded by Councilman Fred Drumm the following Resolution # 07-39 appointing Supervisor Thomas Wood to Historic Saratoga – Washington County on the Hudson Partnership Commission - was adopted by vote: Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Charles Hanehan – absent, Councilwoman Betty Koval – aye, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin – absent. Carried 3 – 0.
WHEREAS, Article 42 of the NYS Environmental Conservation law establishes the Historic Saratoga-Washington on the Hudson Partnership as body corporate and public and invites the Supervisor of the Town of Saratoga to become a member of the Partnership, and
WHEREAS, the local legislative body of the Town finds that participation in the Partnership with other Hudson Riverfront municipalities with regard to matters of common interests including management of historic, natural, scenic, and recreation resources and economic development will be in the public interest of the Town, and now,
THEREFORE, the Town Board of the Town of Saratoga hereby resolves that the Supervisor of the Town of Saratoga, Thomas N. Wood III, is hereby authorized to become a member of the Historic Saratoga-Washington on the Hudson Partnership.
On a motion by Supervisor Thomas Wood and seconded by Councilwoman Betty Koval the following Resolution # 07- 42 – State Police Satellite Office Lease Agreement - was adopted by vote: Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Charles Hanehan – absent, Councilwoman Betty Koval – aye, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin – absent. Carried 3 – 0.
WHEREAS, the Town Board of the Town of Saratoga agrees that it is in the best interest of the townspeople to have State Police presence in our town, therefore be it
RESOLVED, by the Town Board of the Town of Saratoga to enter into a written lease agreement with the New York State Police for the use of town hall office space for a State Police satellite station from February 1, 2007 through January 31, 2008 per review by Town Attorney William Reynolds.
v The Roadhouse 29, 1023 Route 29, Schuylerville, liquor license renewal notification was received.
v A notification was received that the Local Waterfront Revitalization Program (LWRP) of the Dept. of State is awarding the Town of Saratoga a grant of $25,000 for Planning and Design for the Old Saratoga on the Hudson Blueway Trail.
v Grant request response letters from Senator Joseph Bruno were received stating that the grant request from the GSES has been received and that the Town of Saratoga will receive a Legislative grant of $50,000. More information on these will follow.
v Notication from the Village of Ballston Spa of their 2007 Bicentennial Parade on Saturday, August 18, 2007 was received.
Privilege of the floor: The public commented to the board about the following topics:
v Saratoga Country Inn PUD construction time extension of 90 days.
v Request for information on the new town hall to be communicated to the public at various meeting places and a mailing was recommended.
v Question regarding the fire department standpipes – who decides where they will be installed? Response was that requests are submitted to the Saratoga County Soil and Water Department and they determine what sites are feasible.
v Building Committee meeting –Wednesday, March 7, 2007 at 6:00 p.m.
v Agenda meeting – Thursday, March 8, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
v Regular town board meeting – Monday, March 12, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
Audit the Bills: On a motion by Councilman Fred Drumm and seconded by Councilwoman Betty Koval the following Resolution #07-40 Approving the payment of bills in Abstract 2G was adopted by vote: Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Charles Hanehan – absent, Councilwoman Betty Koval – aye, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin – absent. Carried 3 – 0.
RESOLVED, by the Town Board of the Town of Saratoga to authorize payment of the bills listed in Abstract 2G (02/12/2007) in the following amounts: General A $43,345.80, and General B $3,626.01, Highway Outside $23,744.95, and Building Reserve $5,725 for a total expense of $76,441.76.
A motion to adjourn at 8:54 p.m. was made by Supervisor Thomas Wood and seconded by Councilman Fred Drumm. Supervisor Thomas Wood – aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Charles Hanehan - absent, Councilwoman Betty Koval – aye, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin - absent. Carried 3 – 0.