DRAFT MINUTES OF THE
REGULAR MEETING OF THE TOWN BOARD
OF THE TOWN OF SARATOGA, 30 FERRY ST.,
March 14, 2005
Supervisor Thomas Wood opened the meeting with the Pledge of Allegiance
at 7:00 p.m.
Roll call: Town Clerk Ruth Drumm called the roll. Supervisor Thomas Wood- present, Councilman Bruce Cornell - present, Councilman Charles Hanehan- present, Councilman Michael McLoughlin – absent, and Councilman Fred Drumm- present
Also present: Highway Superintendent Grant Seymour, Town Attorney William Reynolds, Zoning Officer Robert Hathaway, Deputy Clerk Linda McCabe, Assessor/Bookkeeper Catherine DeFelice, Walter Flanders, Lloyd & Helena Van Arnum, Frank Naret, Mary Field, Barbara Marshall, Marion & Dan Craine, Vernon Van Arnum, Shirley Van Arnum, Gene Derby, Sherry Doubleday, Jennifer Koval, Penelope Benson-Wright, William Corrigan, Pat Dooley, Helen & Bill Crawshaw, Ted Munn, Sam Aldrich, Sean Kelleher, Pat Peck, Richard Behrens, Tim Holmes, Betty Koval, Marilyn Zaborek, and Leigh Hornbeck.
Approval of Minutes: All board members had received and read the minutes of February 14, 2005. A motion was made by Supervisor Thomas Wood and seconded by Councilman Charles Hanehan to accept the minutes of the February 14th, 2005 meeting as written. Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Bruce Cornell – aye, Councilman Michael McLoughlin - absent, and Councilman Charles Hanehan - aye. Carried 4– 0.
Town Clerk’s report: February 2005: Fees paid to the County Treasurer for Dog Licenses $108.75. Dog license fees paid to the NYS Dept. of Agriculture and Markets $21.00. Fees paid to New York D.E.C. for hunting and fishing licenses $99.19. Dog license fees to Supervisor Thomas Wood $309.25. Clerk fees to Supervisor Thomas Wood $88.31. Total State, County, and Local Revenues received were $649.00.
Zoning Officer’s report: February 2005: 3 Building Permits, 6 C.O.’s, and 12 Building inspections were done. A check for $570 was given to Supervisor Thomas Wood.
Supervisor’s report: Supervisor Thomas Wood presented February 2005 balances in Town funds as follows: General A $913,667.96, General B $63,529.87, Highway Outside $174,174.06, Youth Recreation & Services $889.14, Highway Equipment Reserve $109,168.10, Building Reserve $813,167.32, and Fire Protection $32,469.02. February revenues were $29,354.42 and expenses were $99,304.28. The total February 2005 balance is $2,107,065.47.
Supervisor Thomas Wood explained that the Water Supply Agreement for Outside Users with the Villages of Schuylerville and Victory includes requiring users outside the boundaries of the villages to pay a rate one hundred fifty percent (150%) of the rate charged to village residents. Supervisor Thomas Wood stated that the town residents should not be charged any more than the village residents due to past procedures and agreements. Resolution # 05-44 was introduced by Councilman Fred Drumm and seconded by Councilman Bruce Cornell:
WHEREAS, the Town of Saratoga has worked cooperatively and closely with the Schuylerville/Victory Water Commission for over 25 years, and
WHEREAS, the Town of Saratoga served as the lead agency for securing and administering the grant for the construction of a 600,000 gallon water storage reservoir and construction of numerous waterlines within the town and villages, and
WHEREAS, the town expended extensive and significant amounts of labor and energy in obtaining and administering the grant for the improvements to the water system, and
WHEREAS, prior to the construction of the new water storage tank and new pipelines the town residents outside of the village boundaries paid a fee of 200% of that charged to residents within the village boundaries, and
WHEREAS, as a reflection and indication of the understood agreement between the town and villages since the completion of the water storage tank and new water lines project the water board reduced the fee charged to town residents outside of the village boundaries to an amount equal to 100 % of that charged to residents living within the village boundaries, and
WHEREAS, the water commission in providing water to town residents incurs no expense above those incurred to supply water to the residents of the villages of Schuylerville and Victory, and
WHEREAS, the water commission has connected into the new water line at the end of Chestnut Street to provide water to the residents of Morgan’s Run, and
WHEREAS, this action by the water commissions reflects their ownership and control of the water pipeline on Chestnut Street, and
WHEREAS, the residents of the Town of Saratoga continue to desire being provided water from the Schuylerville/Victory water board and desire to willfully pay their fair and reasonable share of the water costs, now therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the Town Board of the Town of Saratoga opposes the portion of the Schuylerville/Victory Board of Water Management Water Supply Agreement for Outside Users that requires users from the Town of Saratoga outside the boundaries of the Villages of Schuylerville and Victory to be charged a rate that is 150% of the rate charged to the water board customers within the boundaries of the villages, and furthermore be it
RESOLVED, that the Town of Saratoga Town Board feels that this requirement is contrary to the agreements and past practices established between the Town of Saratoga and Villages of Schuylerville and Victory, and furthermore be it further
RESOLVED, that the Town of Saratoga Town Board requests that the Schuylerville/Victory Board of Water Management reconsider their plan to raise water rates for Town of Saratoga Outside Users and encourages and requests that users in the Town of Saratoga outside of the Villages of Schuylerville and Victory be charged a rate equal to the rate being charged to residents of the Villages of Schuylerville and Victory.
Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Bruce Cornell – aye, Councilman Michael McLoughlin - absent, and Councilman Charles Hanehan - aye. Carried 4– 0.
Supervisor Thomas Wood reported that a Quality Communities Grant application for a Joint Open Space Plan has been prepared and forwarded the NYS Department of State on behalf of the towns of Saratoga and Northumberland, on a pro bono basis, by the LA Group and Saratoga PLAN. The focus is on three areas: Open Space Conservation, Agricultural Preservation, Recreation, and Natural Resource Protection. Awards are anticipated in 6-8 months.
Cingular Wireless has proposed a Telecommunication Tower to provide better service in the town. They first proposed a site in the Rural Residential Zoning District where towers are not allowed. They have now looked at the Town of Saratoga’s landfill site on Hayes Road and have found that it would be a viable site. The landfill site is in the Rural Zoning District where telecommunication towers are permitted with a Special Use Permit from the Planning Board. Communication between Cingular and the Town is ongoing.
Supervisor Thomas Wood announced that Purchase of Development Rights (PDR) applications are available through Supervisor Thomas Wood and Town Clerk Ruth Drumm. They will be accepted from April 1st through June 30th.
A letter from Mike Tierney, Commander of the American Legion Old Saratoga Post #278, was received inviting the town board members to participate in the Memorial Day Parade that will take place on May 30th. The board plans to participate.
Supervisor Thomas Wood explained that each month prior to the County Board of Supervisors’ meetings a deceased veteran is honored at a special ceremony at the County Complex. On April 19th at 2:30 pm, Ray Carey, who was killed in France on July 4, 1944, will be honored. He was in the US Army, 82nd Airborne Glider Division.
Public comments on agenda items:
Gene Derby, 8 Chestnut St., commented on the Water Agreement charging outside users 150% of the rate charged to village residents. He stated that the rate should not be increased and should be resolved going back to the 1980 agreement. He stated that he came to illicit the help of the town board but the resolution that was just passed covers it all. He thanked the town board for their support.
Sam Aldrich, spoke for himself, his wife and as a representative of the Save Southard Road Coalition. He spoke in favor of a moratorium on the consideration or approval of subdivision applications. He spoke in favor of the Zoning Amendment Advisory Committee that will be identifying changes needed in the Zoning Regulations of the town. He hoped that the committee would review some zoning laws of other towns for ideas. He noted that the Save Southard Road Coalition is changing their name to Save Our Saratoga (SOS) and will have a website as an educational tool. (www.saveoursaratoga.org)
Penelope Benson-Wright, 175 Burke Rd., stated that she is in favor of a moratorium also. She added that they have handed in petitions with thirty-five signatures or more in favor of a year-long moratorium on all development, the disapproval of the Southard Road subdivision, revoking of the conditioned negative declaration on the Southard Road subdivision and the issuance of a positive declaration, and address all of the water supply issues. She urged the Town Board to make the moratorium retroactive to include all proposals currently under consideration. She stated that the moratorium is essential and would give the town the time needed to complete the revisions needed in the Zoning Ordinance to allow for environmentally sound development in the town.
Doug Niles, Rt. 9P, expressed concerns about the intersection of Fitch Road and Route 9P and access to Saratoga Lake. There are parking problems created by ice fishermen. He asked what legal access rights the public has there in the area where the County parks the weed harvesters. Supervisor Thomas Wood stated that he will initiate some conversation with the Saratoga County Sewage District about acquiring the land.
Marilyn Zaborek, spoke supporting a moratorium on development in the town.
Highway: Highway Superintendent Grant Seymour reported that it has been quiet except for last week’s snowstorm while he was away, which his men handled very well. Next week he plans to post the roads with an 8 ton weight limit. He added that all the contracts have been signed for the new highway equipment. Supervisor Thomas Wood reported that a letter from Kurt Mausert was received asking for a four way stop sign at the corner of DeGarmo and Burgoyne Road. It was noted that this was addressed in 1996 and was turned down for a four way stop. Highway Superintendent Grant Seymour noted that they will be repaving that end of Burgoyne Road this summer and he plans to cut down the knolls at both the DeGarmo Road and Hayes Road intersections. He added that by removing the knolls it should improve the site distances at those intersections and help to alleviate the problem.
Landfill: No report.
Insurance: No report.
Youth Committee report: No report.
Buildings: Supervisor Thomas Wood reported that the second meeting of the fifteen member building committee met on March 10th. The LA Group presented the Ft. Hardy Park master plan which includes a Town Office Complex, a Visitors Center and a Youth Center. It was very enlightening. The committee brainstormed for possible town hall sites. Subcommittees were formed to study details of all the possible sites and an Information and Survey committee was formed to develop a survey to poll the residents as their feedback is needed for further direction.
Senior Citizens report: Councilman Bruce Cornell reported that on Tuesday, March 8th the Old Saratoga Seniors’ meeting was cancelled due to bad weather. The Quaker Springs Seniors met today with thirty-seven attending. A speaker from the Cornell Cooperative Extension Office spoke on gardening. Both senior groups have bus trips planned. It was noted that a variety show is being planned as a fund raiser for the General Schuyler Emergency Squad on April 29th. The Quaker Springs Sunshiners will have a dinner on April 11th at the Quaker Springs Fire Dept.
Park Committee report: No report.
Town Historian Sean Kelleher presented the board with his annual report. He spoke on the following areas that he has worked hard at: Management and preservation of local government records, Research and Writing, Teaching and Public Presentations, Historic Preservation, and Organization, Advocacy, and Tourism Promotion. (The full report is on file in the Town Board Minutes Appendix.)
Supervisor Thomas Wood thanked Sean Kelleher for the outstanding job he is doing with both the variety and quality of his work.
Resolution # 05-42 was introduced by Supervisor Thomas Wood and seconded by Councilman Charles Hanehan:
WHEREAS, the Town Board of the Town of Saratoga recognizes the benefits of joining the NYS Planning Federation so that town, planning, and zoning officials have access to additional training, educational and information services relating to community development and land use decisions, therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the Town of Saratoga will join the NYS Planning Federation at a cost of $150 per year. Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Bruce Cornell – aye, Councilman Michael McLoughlin - absent, and Councilman Charles Hanehan - aye. Carried 4– 0. Supervisor Thomas Wood added that up to 15 board members are eligible to receive mailings.
Supervisor Thomas Wood explained that the Request for Proposals for Archeological and Soils Testing of the town hall site directly behind the present town hall have been opened and in order to gather the necessary information to make a sound decision on a town hall site, it is necessary to proceed with the soil testing. Resolution # 05-45 was introduced by Councilman Bruce Cornell and seconded by Councilman Fred Drumm. Supervisor Thomas Wood asked for any discussion and Town Attorney William Reynolds advised that the phrase “is subject to requirements of Permissive Referendum rules and procedures” be added. The board agreed and the following resolution was adopted:
WHEREAS, the Town Board of the Town of Saratoga recognizes the need to investigate the soils of the proposed site for a new Town Hall at 30 Ferry Street; and
WHEREAS, the proposal by Dente Engineering, 594 Broadway, Watervliet, NY 12189 was the lowest proposal at $6,000 for seven test borings; now therefore be it
RESOLVED, by the Town Board of the Town of Saratoga that the proposal from Dente Engineering, 594 Broadway, Watervliet, NY 12189 be accepted at $6,000 and is subject to requirements of Permissive Referendum rules and procedures.
Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Bruce Cornell – aye, Councilman Charles Hanehan – aye, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin - absent. Carried 4– 0.
Town Engineer Kenneth Martin has drafted improved Individual Well Specifications. The Town Board and the Planning Board will further review them. These improved water standards may be adopted before the many other zoning regulation revisions under consideration.
Supervisor Thomas Wood appointed a Zoning Amendment Advisory Committee to review our current zoning regulations and suggest revisions and additions. Items identified will then be presented to the Town Board for consideration. Before passage of any amendment to the Zoning Regulations, there would be a Public Hearing. The following are members: Councilman Fred Drumm - Co-Chairman, Councilman Charles Hanehan - Co-Chairman, Planning Board Chairman Ian Murray, Zoning Board Chairman Stephen Bodnar, William Corrigan, Dan Craine, Paul Griffen, Bob McConnell, Robert Park, Ralph Pascucci and X Officio Members - Zoning Officer Robert Hathaway, and Town Engineer Kenneth Martin.
Supervisor Thomas Wood read a letter from Lloyd & Helena Van Arnum in favor of a moratorium on development in the town. Supervisor Thomas Wood also referenced a document from Sam Aldrich with concerns about water, open space, traffic, and school district overcrowding. Marilyn Zaborek added that she has also sent a letter in favor of a moratorium.
Supervisor Thomas Wood asked the newly appointed committee to make discussion on a possible moratorium on development a priority at their first meeting and report back to the Town Board with their recommendations.
The second draft of an Employee Handbook was reviewed by the town board and some further discussion occurred. The changes will be forwarded to AMTEK, who is preparing the handbook, and then the final draft will be reviewed and adopted by resolution of the Town Board in the next couple of months.
Supervisor Thomas Wood announced that the Local Waterfront Revitalization Plan Grant (LWRP) has been awarded to the town. It provides for intermunicipal planning for the Hudson River/Champlain Canal Corridor. The grant provides $35,000 of state funding and the local funding is $35,000, which would include in-kind services.
Supervisor Thomas Wood reported that at the Association of Towns Convention in February it was suggested that towns adopt a resolution and send it to their representatives supporting new measures of financing public education. Supervisor Thomas Wood introduced Resolution # 05-43 and Councilman Fred Drumm seconded it:
RESOLVED, that the following recommendations be submitted to New York State Senators Joseph Bruno, Charles Schumer, and Hillary Clinton, New York State Assembly Representatives Roy McDonald and Sheldon Silver, and Governor George Pataki, on behalf of the citizens of the Town of Saratoga urging their immediate attention.
THEREFORE the Town Board of the Town of Saratoga appeals to New York State public officials to implement new measures for financing public education, including the following suggested actions:
1. Ensure equity in a formula for funding public education based on the taxpayer’s ability to pay.
2. Decrease the revenue raised from tax sources based on the value of dwellings.
3. Refrain from imposing state mandated requirements upon school systems without corresponding state funding.
4. Adjust the formulas on revenues earmarked as aid to education from state lottery and other future gaming activities so that the annual percentage is substantially increased from current levels.
5. Maintain the enhanced STAR exemption for the town’s neediest citizens, but also increase the STAR exemption for senior citizens specifically at all income levels.
6. Regain lost tax revenue from the above actions through income tax.
Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Bruce Cornell – aye, Councilman Charles Hanehan – aye, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin - absent. Carried 4 – 0. (The full text of this resolution is on file in the Resolution Book in the office of the Town Clerk.)
The 10th annual farm open house – “Sundae on the Farm” is being planned for Sunday, June 19th at the Hanehan Family Dairy. Councilman Charles Hanehan invited all to come and learn about agriculture in the town and if anyone would like to help, volunteers are always appreciated.
A letter was received from The American Red Cross regarding a free program being given on March 24th from 6:00 – 9:00 pm at Quad Graphics regarding Bio-Terrorism.
A memo was received from Larry Benton, Director of the Saratoga County Planning Board, regarding the NYS Open Space Conservation Plan. He mentions successes of the program and identifies the Champlain Canal/Hudson River Corridor as a potential addition to the NYS Open Space Conservation Plan as an area which exhibits important ecological and environmental characteristics worthy of preservation.
Supervisor Thomas Wood stated that he received an anonymous letter addressing the problem of high taxes and what a burden they are on this individual. Supervisor Thomas Wood noted that Resolution # 05-43 passed this evening asking for new measures for financing public education would help, in part, to alleviate this problem.
Privilege of the floor:
Bill Crawshaw, 103 Condon Rd., voiced concerns about trucks blocking Fitch Road as they are unloading their gear.
Sam Aldrich, spoke in favor of a moratorium and requests that it be made retroactive to include the Southard Rd. subdivision and Saratoga Country Inn PUD along with all the other projects in the process that should be held to the improvements to the water standards and improved zoning regulations.
Penelope Benson-Wright, voiced agreement to all that Sam Aldrich had mentioned. Town Attorney William Reynolds explained that a moratorium is accomplished through passage of a local law. A public hearing is required and it can take place on the same night as the passage of the law.
Frank Naret, Burgoyne Rd., stated that the Subdivision Design and Construction Standards also need to be updated and improved.
Doug Niles, Rt. 9P, commented that there is a lot of litter along the roadways of the town. He also sees many deer carcasses with empty six packs nearby along Nielson Road. No littering signs are needed with stiff fines for violators. Highway Superintendent Grant Seymour will look into No Littering signs and their cost.
Marilyn Zaborek, suggested that the police could investigate the deer carcass and six pack littering since fingerprints may be left on the bottles. She also agreed with Sam Aldrich on a retroactive moratorium.
Sherry Doubleday, Captain GSES, spoke on the 3.3 acre parcel along Rt. 29 between Homestead Rd. and Louden Rd. where the new station will be built. She noted that they will be choosing the architect by the end of the month. A campaign to raise funds will be launched. The squad will be applying for a FEMA grant for a plymovent exhaust system, NFPA 1999 certified, high visibility, biological safety jackets, and three AED’s.
The next building committee meeting & agenda meeting will be on Thursday, April 7th at 6:00 p.m. The next regular meeting will be Monday, April 11, 2005 at 7:00 pm.
Supervisor Thomas Wood made a motion to go into executive session at 8:52 pm to discuss the possible purchase of land for a park. Councilman Fred Drumm seconded it.
Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Bruce Cornell – aye, Councilman Charles Hanehan – aye, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin - absent. Carried 4– 0
A motion to reconvene the regular meeting at 9:12 pm was made by Councilman Fred Drumm and seconded by Councilman Charles Hanehan. Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Bruce Cornell – aye, Councilman Charles Hanehan – aye, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin - absent. Carried 4– 0
Audit the Bills: Per abstract 03/14/2005 (3G): General A $10,891.83, General B $2,899.41, Youth $0, (2H): Highway Outside $16,720.96, Trust & Agency $250.00, Building Reserve $4,800 for a total expense of $35,562.20.
A motion to adjourn was made by Councilman Fred Drumm at 9:28 pm and Councilman Bruce Cornell seconded it. Supervisor Thomas Wood – aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Bruce Cornell – aye, and Councilman Charles Hanehan – aye, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin – absent. Carried 4– 0.