REGULAR MEETING OF THE TOWN BOARD
OF THE TOWN OF SARATOGA, 30 FERRY ST.,
February 9, 2004
Supervisor Thomas Wood opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance
at 7:30 p.m.
Roll call: Ruth Drumm, Town Clerk, called the roll. Supervisor Thomas Wood- present, Councilman Bruce Cornell - present, Councilman Michael McLoughlin present, Councilman Fred Drumm- present and Councilman Charles Hanehan- present.
Also present: Highway Superintendent Grant Seymour, Assessor/Bookkeeper Catherine DeFelice, Town Attorney William Reynolds, Zoning Officer Robert Hathaway, Geraldine Friedman, Kathleen Bartholomay, Gail Taras, Dog Control Officer Marshal Truax, Pat Peck, Town Historian Sean Kelleher, Village of Victory Mayor George Sullivan, Richard Behrens, and Planning Board Chairman Ian Murray.
Approval of Minutes: A motion was made by Councilman Michael McLoughlin and seconded by Councilman Bruce Cornell to accept the minutes of January 12, 2004 meeting as written. Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm aye, Councilman Michael McLoughlin aye, Councilman Bruce Cornell aye, and Councilman Charles Hanehan - aye. Carried 5 0.
Town Clerks report for January 2004: fees paid to the County Treasurer for Dog Licenses $80.22. Fees paid to the NYS Dept. of Agriculture and Markets for the spay/neuter program $33.00. Fees paid to New York D.E.C. for hunting and fishing licenses $285.72. Fees paid to the New York State Health Department for Marriage licenses none. Dog license fees to Supervisor Thomas Wood $201.28. Clerk fees to Supervisor Thomas Wood $38.78. Total State, County, and Local Revenues received were $639.00.
Zoning Officers report: Bob Hathaway read his January 2004 report: 1 Building Permit and 8 inspections were done. A check for $157.00 was given to Supervisor Thomas Wood.
Supervisors report: Supervisor Thomas Wood presented Bob Hathaway with the American Flag that flew at the Saratoga County Deceased Veterans Recognition Ceremony on Tuesday, December 16, 2003, in honor of Bobs brother, George, who was killed in action in World War II in 1944. Bob Hathaway thanked Supervisor Thomas Wood for the presentation and Robert Hall for choosing George as the Deceased Veteran to be recognized from the Town of Saratoga in December.
Supervisor Thomas Wood presented January 2004 balances in Town funds as follows: General A $834,379.96, General B $39,734.93, Highway Outside $363,100.89, Youth Recreation & Services $822.87, Highway Equipment Reserve $130,729.20, Building Reserve $785,595.16 and Fire Protection $28,371.04. January revenues were $537,778.69 and expenses were $69,067.40. The total January balance is $2,182,734.05.
Supervisor Thomas Wood gave an update on the Saratoga Lake Reservoir. After speaking with Town Supervisors from Malta and Stillwater, County Attorney Mark Rider, and Town Attorney William Reynolds, he concluded that the Town is not eligible to be an involved agency in regards to the SEQR reports on the proposed use of Saratoga Lake as a drinking water source. County Attorney Mark Rider advised that we wait and observe to see where it goes.
Highway: Grant Seymour reported that things are running well. Supervisor Thomas Wood suggested we formally approve the putting out for bid of highway equipment needed and formally approve the purchase of equipment on state contract that were mentioned at the January meeting. A motion was made by Councilman Fred Drumm and seconded by Councilman Charles Hanehan to put out for bid one used bucket truck, a 1994 to 1998 model (estimated cost of $10,000), one new 80 HP, 4-wheel drive tractor with a full heated cab and AC (estimated cost of $41,500), and a new mid-mount 5 foot rotary mower to mount to the 80 HP tractor to replace the 1993 Case IH tractor and mower. Supervisor Thomas Wood aye, Councilman Fred Drumm aye, Councilman Michael McLoughlin aye, Councilman Bruce Cornell aye, and Councilman Charles Hanehan - aye. Carried 5 0
A motion to approve Resolution #04-41 was made by Councilman Fred Drumm and seconded by Councilman Bruce Cornell to purchase under state contract a new 2004 International Model 4200, 4 X 2 Crew Cab Dump Truck for $46,533 to replace a 1984 Model and to purchase a new 2004 New Holland Backhoe Loader, 4 wheel drive, extend-a-hoe with a heated cab for $44,762 to replace a 1996 model. Supervisor Thomas Wood aye, Councilman Fred Drumm aye, Councilman Michael McLoughlin aye, Councilman Bruce Cornell aye, and Councilman Charles Hanehan - aye. Carried 5 0
It was reported by Supervisor Thomas Wood that the Eagles Way road deed has not been transferred to the Town due to construction problems and problems in the contract itself. The Town is no longer plowing the road. Whibco has a private contractor plowing and caring for the road for now. Our Town Engineer will look over the project. The Town will not take over the road until the problems are remedied.
Landfill: No report.
Insurance: No report.
Youth Committee report: No report.
Buildings: No report.
Senior Citizens report: Councilman Bruce Cornell stated that 50 Quaker Springs seniors met today for a bag lunch and had speakers from The National Park Service. They spoke on the land holdings of the Schuyler Family, 40,000 acres in all, and about the furnishings in the Schuyler house and the plan to replace them with the correct furniture for the period. Councilman Bruce Cornell reported that 76 seniors from Schuylerville met on February 2nd for lunch and since the speakers did not make it a lot of joke telling was done. Their next meeting and final meeting of the year will be in June at the American Legion.
Park Committee report: Councilman Michael McLoughlin explained that the committee is still looking at sites. Some of the reports on the Environmental Wetlands study are in and are being reviewed. The next Park Committee meeting will be held on Thursday, March 4, 2004 at 7:00 p.m. at the Town Hall.
Cable TV Committee: Councilman Fred Drumm stated that he called Peter Taubkin of Time Warner and he did not return his call, no real progress has been made. He then called Carol McTague of the PSC and they contacted Supervisor Thomas Wood. An extension of the contract is needed. A motion was introduced by Councilman Fred Drumm and seconded by Councilman Michael McLoughlin to extend the Time Warner franchise contract for another 6 months. Supervisor Thomas Wood aye, Councilman Fred Drumm aye, Councilman Michael McLoughlin aye, Councilman Bruce Cornell aye, and Councilman Charles Hanehan - aye. Carried 5 0
Old Business: It was announced that Justice Jim Priest and Justice Jack Ditch have appointed Bonnie Williams as the daytime court clerk.
Supervisor Thomas Wood stated a resolution is needed to appoint Kenneth Martin as our Town Engineer. Councilman Bruce Cornell made a motion to approve Resolution #04-43 appointing Kenneth Martin as Town Engineer. Councilman Charles Hanehan seconded this. Supervisor Thomas Wood aye, Councilman Fred Drumm aye, Councilman Michael McLoughlin aye, Councilman Bruce Cornell aye, and Councilman Charles Hanehan - aye. Carried 5 0
Supervisor Thomas Wood explained that Tom Mason of the Town of Hadley is coordinating the bus transportation to the Association of Towns convention in New York City and that an intermunicipal agreement is needed. A motion to approve Resolution #04-42 was introduced by Councilman Michael McLoughlin and seconded by Councilman Fred Drumm to enter into an intermunicipal agreement with the Town of Hadley for providing bus transportation to the 2004 Association of Towns Convention in New York City at the rate of $36.67 per reservation. The term of the agreement is from February 15, 2004 through February 18, 2004. Supervisor Thomas Wood aye, Councilman Fred Drumm aye, Councilman Michael McLoughlin aye, Councilman Bruce Cornell aye, and Councilman Charles Hanehan - aye. Carried 5 0 The full text of this resolution is in the 2004 Town Resolution Book.
A discussion regarding adopting a real property tax exemption for Persons with Disabilities (this is for town taxes only) and amending the Aged Exemption to be at the same level of income as the exemption for Persons with Disabilities, if adopted, was conducted at the agenda meeting and again this evening. It was discussed that about one-half the towns in Saratoga County and Washington County have this exemption. It can be done at a set level of income or on a sliding scale. The exemption starts at a 50% reduction in town taxes. It was noted that the County has a sliding scale from 15,000 at a 50% reduction and the income goes up to 20,700 at a 20% reduction. Attorney William Reynolds stated that it must be done by local law. Gail Taras spoke in favor of the exemption and the help it would be to disabled persons on a limited income. After further discussion, a motion was introduced by Supervisor Thomas Wood and seconded by Councilman Fred Drumm to authorize Town Attorney William Reynolds to draw up a local law, using a sliding scale from a 50% deduction at a 15,000 income level down to a 20% deduction at a income level of 20,700, the same as the county provides, for both Persons with Disabilities and the Aged Deduction. The Public Hearing will be held at the March 8th meeting. This should go into effect for the tax year of 2006. The board felt this would be a start, as it is unknown how many residents this will effect.
New Business: The issue of providing Health Insurance benefits for retirees age 62 or older with 10 years of continuous service was discussed in depth at the agenda meeting on February 5th. It was mentioned by Supervisor Thomas Wood that at the December town board meeting, then Supervisor Robert Hall, had urged the board to adopt a policy on health insurance for retirees. Discussion followed including mention of the countys requirement of only 5 years of service, and not even continuous service, to be eligible at retirement after meeting additional requirements. A motion was made by Councilman Fred Drumm and seconded by Councilman Bruce Cornell to adopt Resolution #04-44 to provide health insurance benefits at the same contribution rate as pre-retirement to any vested employee that retires at the age of 62 years or older with 10 or more years of continuous service. Supervisor Thomas Wood aye, Councilman Fred Drumm aye, Councilman Michael McLoughlin aye, Councilman Bruce Cornell aye, and Councilman Charles Hanehan - aye. Carried 5 0 The full text of this resolution is in the 2004 Town Resolution Book.
Sean Kelleher spoke on the Heritage NY Grants that have been awarded for Collaborative Regional Interpretive Signage and the Saratoga Siege Field Exhibit at the Fort Hardy Visitors Center. Requests for Qualifications and Proposals are needed for the work. A motion was made by Councilman Charles Hanehan and seconded by Councilman Michael McLoughlin to put Requests for Qualifications and Requests for Proposals out for bid for the Exhibit Design and Construction Field of Grounded Arms Visitors Center at Fort Hardy Park, for the Graphic Designer of Interpretive Signage and Brochures and for the Printing of Brochures. Supervisor Thomas Wood aye, Councilman Fred Drumm aye, Councilman Michael McLoughlin aye, Councilman Bruce Cornell aye, and Councilman Charles Hanehan - aye. Carried 5 0
Supervisor Thomas Wood opened the discussion on changes to our Dog Control Law. The changes were discussed previously at the agenda meeting on February 5th. Marshal Truax, Dog Control Officer, spoke in favor of the changes that he proposed to the board. The changes under consideration were changing the leash law to require all dogs on public property to be on a leash, defining what habitual barking is, and banning dogs from our cemeteries. After some discussion, a motion was made by Councilman Fred Drumm and seconded by Councilman Bruce Cornell to direct the Town Attorney, William Reynolds, to draft amendments to the Towns Dog Control Law to require all dogs on public property to be on a leash and to define habitual barking as meaning a dog barking, whining etc. for repeated intervals of at least fifteen minutes with less than four minutes of interruption. Supervisor Thomas Wood no, Councilman Fred Drumm aye, Councilman Michael McLoughlin aye, Councilman Bruce Cornell aye, and Councilman Charles Hanehan - no. Carried 3 2 A public hearing will be held at the March 8, 2004 meeting.
Communications: A letter was read by Supervisor Thomas Wood from Glen F. Kubista notifying the Town of their intent to file an application for a Retail Liquor Store License for the Old Saratoga Wine and Spirits, Inc., 33 Ferry St., Schuylerville, NY 12871.
Supervisor Thomas Wood acknowledged a letter received from Dan Hewitt regarding the proper displaying of the American flag. It was noted by Dan Hewitt that our flag at the Town Hall should be an all weather flag and illuminated after dark if we display it twenty-four hours a day. Supervisor Thomas Wood reported that he has replaced the flag with an all weather flag and it is illuminated. The flag at the Town Garage has been taken down until the lighting can be fixed and an all weather flag has been purchased for there also.
Privilege of the floor: Gail Taras spoke on an old issue regarding the abandoned old Tumble Inn Road and why it has not been deeded back to the adjoining property owners. Grant Seymour, Highway Superintendent, stated that it was never owned by the town since it was just a right-of way and that the property owners always owned it. Town Clerk, Ruth Drumm, was directed to mail Gail Taras a copy of the certification of abandonment of the Tumble Inn Road.
Ian Murray, Planning Board Chairman presented the board with a list of zoning change recommendations. He mentioned that a process/procedures list has been made for applicants to the Planning board.
Supervisor Thomas Wood asked the board if they felt the agenda meeting last Thursday was worthwhile and if a date could be set for the next one. The members agreed that it was helpful in there decision making efforts and regular agenda meetings were set for the Thursday night preceeding the regular Monday night board meetings. The next agenda meeting will be Thursday, March 4, 2004 immediately following the Park Committee meeting scheduled for 7:00 p.m. It was announced that the next regular board meeting would be held March 8, 2004.
Councilman Michael McLoughlin left the meeting at 9:15 p.m.
Audit the Bills: Per abstract for the period 02/09/2004 to 02/09/2004 (2G): General A $9,652.58, General B $6,464.35, Highway Outside $10,928.42, and Building Reserve $3,427.20, for a total expense of $30,472.55.
Audit the General Ledger
A motion to adjourn at 9:53 p.m. was made by Councilman Bruce Cornell and seconded by Councilman Charles Hanehan. Supervisor Thomas Wood aye, Councilman Fred Drumm aye, Councilman Michael McLoughlin absent, Councilman Bruce Cornell aye, and Councilman Charles Hanehan - aye. Carried 4 0.