DRAFT MINUTES FOR THE
TOWN BOARD MEETING
OF THE TOWN OF SARATOGA,
30 FERRY ST.,
Thursday, November 8, 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- present, Councilwoman Betty Koval - present, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin – present.
Also present: Town Attorney William Reynolds, Deputy Town Clerk Linda McCabe, Zoning Officer Gil Albert, Highway Superintendent David Hall, and other interested members of the public.
Recognitions/Presentations/ Bid openings/ Public Hearings:
Supervisor Thomas Wood presented Resolution #07-128 to David Bullard as follows:
WHEREAS, the Town of Saratoga wishes to remember that the First National Day of Thanksgiving was declared by the Continental Congress on December 18, 1777 to Commemorate the American Victory at Saratoga, and
WHEREAS, the Town of Saratoga wishes to honor David Bullard for his efforts in the community, and
WHEREAS, the Bullard family has been in Saratoga since 1810, and
WHEREAS, David served in the US Army in the 1st Cavalry Division in Japan, and
WHEREAS, David was an apple farmer for 35 years and served on the Board of Directors of the NYS Vegetable Growers Association and a member of the NYS Horticultural Society, and
WHEREAS, David is active in State politics including running for Governor in 1972 for the Conservative Party of New York, serving as the Party chairman and playing an active role in the election of US Senator James Buckley, and
WHEREAS, David is active in the community including leading efforts to restore the Bullard Block in Schuylerville, preserving the Marshall House, and active participation in St. Stephen’s Church and now the All Soul’s Anglican Mission, and
WHEREAS, David has opened the Marshall House for very popular house tours during Surrender Week in 2006 and 2007, and
WHEREAS, it is fitting that the community contributions of David Bullard be honored, recognized and remembered by the Town of Saratoga, now, therefore be it,
RESOLVED, that the day of December 18, 2007, the 230th Anniversary of the First American Thanksgiving, is hereby dedicated to David Bullard in grateful recognition by the Town Board of The Town of Saratoga on behalf of all the residents of the town.
On a motion by Supervisor Thomas Wood and seconded by Councilman Fred Drumm, Resolution #07-128 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.
Alane Chinian, Executive Director of Saratoga P.L.A.N, addressed the board with the projects that were completed or had secured funding from the Saratoga County Open Space and Farmland Preservation Program over the last year. She noted that the purchase of development rights on the Ritson Farm of 35 acres closed on August 31, 2007. She reported that they have completed the draft Battles of Saratoga Preservation and Viewshed Protection Project. She then presented three projects that they have secured funding through the 2007 Saratoga County Open Space and Farmland Preservation Program. They include $15,750. for 19 acres of new town park land on the Hudson River from Furlani. She noted that a meeting is needed and more conversation is needed to move that project forward. The next parcel is 40 acres along Fish Creek for preservation purposes from Larmon for $84,000. She added that additional options may need to be explored for additional funding. The third project is in Victory Mills for $7,875. This parcel would preserve a Fish Creek Revolutionary War Site. They are waiting on a shared use agreement and an engineering review.
Supervisor Thomas Wood gave an overview of the budget process and contributing factors in arriving at a final budget. He stated that the budget is an estimate, our best guess at expenditures and revenues. He added that it is conservative. He reported that the tax rate for the town tax will be held at $1.50 per thousand assessed value where it has been for the last four years. He noted that due to capital projects the General Schuyler Emergency Squad’s budget will have an 18 cent per thousand increase and the Quaker Springs Fire Department’s rate per thousand will increase by 11 cents. He added that the county’s tax rate will also remain the same as last year.
Public Hearing: Proof of Notice having been furnished by the Saratogian on October 31st, 2007, Supervisor Thomas Wood opened the Public Hearing on the 2008 Town Budget at 7:27 p.m.
Roger Sherman asked the board to consider converting the town’s electric supplier to a green source such as wind or other renewable source.
Wendy Lucas asked where the street lights are located that the town pays the electric bill on. Supervisor Thomas Wood responded upper Burgoyne Street, part of Cemetery Road, Chestnut Street, Quaker Springs, Grangerville, Bryant’s Bridge and Rt. 29, and at the Highway Garage’s sand pile.
Stephen Bodnar commended the board for their hard work and applauded them for an excellent budget.
Tim Raymond questioned what the total budget amount was and Supervisor Thomas Wood replied 2.79 million. He then explained that the town tax rate did not increase; neither did the counties although the ambulance and fire district rates did increase slightly.
Supervisor Thomas Wood made a motion to close the public hearing on the 2008 budget at 7:35 p.m. This was seconded by Councilman Charles Hanehan. Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Charles Hanehan – aye, Councilwoman Betty Koval – aye, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin – aye. Carried 5 – 0.
Approval of Minutes: A motion was made by Councilwoman Betty Koval and seconded by Councilman Charles Hanehan to accept the regular meeting minutes of October 10, 2007 and the special/agenda meeting of November 1, 2007 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 October 2007: Fees paid to the County Treasurer for Dog Licenses $74.02. Fees paid to the NYS Dept. of Agriculture and Markets for the spay/neuter program $30.00. Fees paid to New York D.E.C. for hunting and fishing licenses $1,161.55. Fees paid to the New York State Health Department for Marriage licenses $67.50. Dog license fees to Supervisor Thomas Wood $190.98. Clerk fees to Supervisor Thomas Wood $161.20. Total State, County, and Local Revenues received were $1,685.25.
Zoning Officer Gil Albert reported for October 2007: 5 Building Permits, 19 Building Inspections, 1 COs, 10 complaints addressed, and 1 misc. issue was handled. A check for $1,880.00 was given to Supervisor Thomas Wood.
Dog Control Officer’s report for October 2007: Supervisor Thomas Wood read the report from Ed Cross. He answered 23 complaints, took 3 dogs to the shelter, issued 9 warnings and 1 summons. He traveled 138 miles.
Town Court report for October 2007: The following were closed: 65 Vehicle & Traffic, 11 Criminal/Penal Law, 5 DEC/ENCON, 1 Dog case, 0 DWI, 2 Town & Village Ordinance, 1 Small Claims/Civil, 1 Eviction, 1 Bench trial, 2 Divestiture Forms (case transfers) sent to County Court, 11 attended the Science of Speed School, 1 Defendant sentenced to probation, 285 hours of community service issued, 130 days of jail time issued, 2 Orders of Protection issued, and $5,405.00 in fees were paid to the NY State Comptroller.
Historian’s report: Sean Kelleher reported that the Historians' office was very involved in Surrender Week. We had a series of 7 events over 7 days to commemorate the 230th Anniversary of the American Victory at Saratoga. We had over 400 people participate in events which created an economic impact in the area of over $25,000 (according to I Love NY estimated tourism spending). In addition, we generated positive public relations for the community including articles in the Free Press and a color photo in the Times Union. We are planning a meeting to close out this year and to plan for next year on Friday, November 9th at 7:15 pm.
I also attended with Supervisor Wood an announcement from Senator Bruno, Assembly Members MacDonald, Englebright, and Gordon about the Historic Saratoga – Washington on the Hudson Partnership at Saratoga Battlefield. This partnership is very important for it will develop a stewardship plan for the region focused on historic and scenic resources, recreational, farmland and agricultural uses, and an economic plan including Main Street development, tourism, and small enterprise business.
Assessor’s report: The Assessor’s Office experienced change during the month of October. I, Victoria Hayner, was appointed as the Sole Assessor, effective October 10, 2007. During the past few weeks, I have taken time to familiarize myself with my clerk, Danielle Haas, as well as my office. We have been doing some reorganization of the office and begun the process for exemption renewal time that is approaching quickly.
Exemption renewal forms have been color coordinated to assist identification for both property owners and internal staff. Office hours have been posted, and I will be present in the office on Tuesdays from Noon until 5:00 PM and on Wednesday and Fridays from 10:00 AM – 2:00 PM. Danielle will be in the office Monday – Friday from 9:00 AM – 1:00 PM. If these times do not work for a property owner, an appointment may be scheduled at a mutually agreeable time.
Sales have been received from the County and entered. We had 2 valid sales and 4 non-valid sales during the month of October. Sales have seemed to slow down in the County, which is good news for our Level of Assessment for next year. We will be working on setting our Level of Assessment during the next couple of months.
We plan to continue to ready ourselves for mailing exemption renewal forms in mid-December and I plan to take some time to familiarize myself with the geography of the town and its properties during November while the weather is cooperative.
Supervisor’s report: October financial report: General A $1,062,481.28, General B $120,180.52, Highway Outside $458,425.64, Youth Recreation & Services $1,425.21, Highway Equipment Reserve $45,202.62, Building Reserve $1,012,646.35 and Fire Protection $0. October revenues were $133,746.06 and expenses were $121,855.37. The October balance is $2,700,361.62.
Highway report: Highway Superintendent Dave Hall reported that both Nielson and Mezera Road have been shimmed. The siding and overhead doors have been installed on the new shed. He commended his crew for their hard work with the shed. He reported that one quote for the testing for asbestos in the old garage has been received and two more quotes are needed. He noted that all items of worth have been removed from the old garage in preparation for its eventual demolition except for the snowplow blades and they will be moved to the new shed soon. He is working to get Mt. McGregor inmates to help with cemetery clean-up in the spring. The plows and sanders are ready to go.
The public commented on the following agenda items: No one commented.
Landfill: No report.
Insurance: No report.
Youth: No report.
Buildings: Supervisor Thomas Wood reported that the Building Committee met on October 31st. The committee was given a presentation by Dave LaVigne of Tecno Metal Post of ways to stabilize the present building. If stabilized, an addition to the current building could be considered. Roy Fowler of Advanced Custom Modular Design, stated that the town hall design done by S.D. Atelier is not modular friendly and he will need to revise the design and report at the next meeting. Communication with Larry Novak of Bonacio Construction regarding the corner school has taken place regarding how we are coming with the new town hall options. The next Building Committee meeting will be December 5th.
Senior Citizens: Councilwoman Betty Koval reported that the Quaker Springs’ Seniors will be meeting next week. She reported that in October the Schuylerville Seniors attended a musical program at Proctor’s in Schenectady. They have not met yet this month.
Committee to Honor Volunteer Firefighters & Emergency Medical Service Workers: No report.
National Incident Management System Committee (NIMS): Supervisor Thomas Wood reported that Jim Miers attended the Advanced Reverse 911 training on November 7th. The system has been activated on three occasions with much success. There are just a few kinks being worked out. Supervisor Thomas Wood stated that if you live in the Village of Schuylerville or the Village of Victory or any area in the town that is served by municipal water and you did not receive a boil water call please let Supervisor Thomas Wood or Jim Miers know.
Quaker Springs Fire Department: Stephen Bodnar reported that the Quaker Springs Fire Department responded to 1 call in October. The firemen worked at the Regatta. The October 21st smorgasbord and the Halloween Party on October 27th were both successful. This Saturday there will be drill at the old Baker house on County Rt. 71. There are two new firefighters. A timeline has been established for the satellite fire station with an April 1st groundbreaking. The soil testing has been done at the site with labor and equipment donated by John Hall. A lap top computer has been purchased with funds from Bruno’s grant. The new standpipe on Trombley Road has been tested and works fine.
Saratoga Lake Association (SLA): Doug Niles reported that the dam is open and the Lake is at its lowest level of the year. He stated that the newly elected Commissioner of Public Works for the City of Saratoga Springs has contacted them and wants to work closely with the towns.
General Schuyler Emergency Squad: No report.
Supervisor Thomas Wood reported that now that cold weather is arriving the Town Hall basement is cold and supplemental heat is needed. Request for Proposals will be advertised and opened at the December meeting. Councilman Fred Drumm questioned if our procurement policy could be revised. Town Attorney William Reynolds will check into it.
Supervisor Thomas Wood reported that we are a few months into the moratorium on construction of wind turbines in the Town of Saratoga. He has been working with Jason Kemper, Saratoga County Planning, and with the Capital District Regional Planning to gather some sample legislation. The samples were distributed to the board for their review. A committee will be formed to study the options.
On a motion by Councilman Fred Drumm and seconded by Councilman Charles Hanehan, the following Resolution #07-125 - Adoption of 2008 Annual Town Budget
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, that said preliminary budget approved and filed as aforesaid, is hereby adopted and established as the annual budget for this Town for the fiscal year beginning January 1, 2008, and that such annual budget as so adopted is detailed in the minutes of the proceedings of this Town Board, and be it further
RESOLVED, that the Town Clerk of this Town shall prepare and certify as provided by law, duplicate copies of said annual budget hereby adopted, and deliver one of such copies to the Supervisor of the Town, and that she shall present such copy to the Board of Legislators of the County as required by law.
On a motion by Councilwoman Betty Koval and seconded by Councilman Michael McLoughlin, the following Resolution #07-126 - James Vianna, P.L.S., Existing Conditions Survey & Mapping– Hudson River Boat Launch Recreation Facility - $3,500. 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 of the Town of Saratoga recognizes the need for an existing conditions survey and topographical mapping services done on the Hudson River Boat Launch parcel along Route 4, SBL # 196.-1-18, therefore be it
RESOLVED, that the Town Board of the Town of Saratoga authorizes Supervisor Thomas Wood to enter into a contract with James Vianna P.L.S. for professional services to conduct an existing conditions survey and topographical mapping on the aforementioned parcel for $3,500 taken from Parks Account # A 7110.4.
On a motion by Councilman Fred Drumm and seconded by Councilwoman Betty Koval, the following Resolution #07-127 - Extension of Saratoga Country Inn PUD to May 12, 2008 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, 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 12, 2008 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.
Supervisor Thomas Wood reported that communications have been received from a resident and Saratoga Builders regarding water problems in the area of Burgoyne Estates. A shallow well of the resident’s went dry. Saratoga Builders has advised that they do not accept any responsibility for the shallow well going dry. Town Attorney William Reynolds concurred that it is an issue between the builder and the resident.
On a motion by Councilman Michael McLoughlin and seconded by Councilman Charles Hanehan, the following Resolution #07-129 – Authorization to apply for a Shared Municipal Services Incentive 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 of Saratoga, Village of Schuylerville, and Village of Victory are interested in providing cost effective and efficient delivery of government services to their citizens; and
WHEREAS, the NYS Department of State has established a grant program known as the Shared Municipal Services Incentive Grant Program to provide competitive grants to two or more units of government for the development of projects that will achieve cost savings and improve municipal efficiency through shared services and other agreements; and
WHEREAS, an analysis of municipal services in the Town of Saratoga, Village of Schuylerville, and Village of Victory is necessary in to determine if any opportunities exist for delivering current services in a more cost efficient manner without jeopardizing effectiveness of these services; and
WHEREAS, the Town Board shall designate the Lead Applicant as the Town of Saratoga to apply to the Shared Municipal Services Incentive Grant Program on behalf of all the involved communities and execute all financial and/or administrative processes relating to the grant program; and
WHEREAS, the project shall be entitled “ Cooperative Services Assessment for the Town of Saratoga, Village of Schuylerville, and Village of Victory, and it will generally analyze municipal services in the involved communities to determine if any opportunities exist for delivering current services in a more cost efficient manner without jeopardizing the effectiveness of these services; and
WHEREAS, the maximum amount of grant money requested will not exceed $ 75,000; and
WHEREAS, the Town Board agrees on the Local Share 10 percent cash match which will not exceed $ 7,500.00, payable from Account # A8692.4; and now therefore be it
RESOLVED, The Town of Saratoga resolves to authorize the LA Group to complete the Shared Municipal Services Incentive Grant application on behalf of the Town of Saratoga, Village of Schuylerville, and Village of Victory.
v Notification of Old Saratoga Wine and Spirits, Inc., liquor license renewal.
v Saratoga County Public Health Flu Clinic Schedule – Schuylerville Legion Hall 11/19/07 from 9 a.m. to 11 a.m. (695-3385)
v CDTA Bus Schedule Changes in effect 11/12/2007 – a published schedule will be available shortly.
v Notification by the Village of Schuylerville’s Planning Board that there will be a balloon float at 42 Spring Street on November 8, 2007, between 8 a.m. and noon, a 100’ monopole is proposed at that site.
Privilege of the floor:
Wendy Lucas voiced her concern over not being called by the Reverse 911 system. She wondered if the seniors coming to the Meals on Wheels could be relocated since it is cold and crowded in the basement. Supervisor Thomas Wood responded that the basement is also where the justices’ office is located. She added that at the Village of Victory’s Board meeting last night there was positive support for the Shared Municipal Services Grant Application.
Roger Sherman commented that the Village of Schuylerville had a 6 month moratorium on cell towers. He noted that the balloon float today was not very visible.
Sean Kelleher added that the Historian’s office is also in the basement and it is very cold. There is also a senior exercise group that meets there. He commended the board for going forward with supplemental heat for the basement as there are many users.
Ian Murray congratulated the board on the recent reelections. He added that as Planning Board Chairman and a town resident he is very pleased with the direction that the town is headed with the board’s unwavering leadership. He commended them on the following: conservative fiscal responsibility with the budget, adopting new laws to keep zoning regulations current and up-to-date, applying for grants for sharing of community projects, and taking the initiative and leadership in getting our park projects off the ground and into the design and construction stages.
Tim Raymond commended the board on an excellent job keeping costs under control with the budget. He voiced concerns that with the wind energy legislation to be adopted to please allow for smaller wind turbines as there are incentives available, in particular for agricultural use. He urged the board not to make the regulations too tight. He commented regarding the water problems that surface with subdivisions and that we should strive to be open to the possibility that something could be done differently to avoid problems.
Ian Murray urged the board to seek sample wind energy legislation from The New York Planning Federation of which we are members. He added that he has Time Warner and did get the Reverse 911 calls.
Stephen Bodnar asked if people are taking advantage of the free taxi rides and Supervisor Thomas Wood responded that a few have mostly from the Saratoga Lake area. Stephen then asked if CDTA would be providing services out in the town and Supervisor Thomas Wood responded mostly to Victory and Schuylerville. He then inquired which services could be joined with the villages and Supervisor Thomas Wood responded that if awarded a grant that is what would be studied and a list would be made for further consideration. He was assured that fire departments are not being looked at with this grant.
Roger Sherman thanked the board for passing the Shared Services Grant Feasibility Study Resolution tonight. He stated that he hopes that it may also help get some of the outside user water issues straightened out.
Councilman Charles Hanehan thanked Supervisor Thomas Wood for his explanations and reasoning during the budget process that helped the board come to decisions on the budget.
v Building Committee meeting – Wednesday, December 5, 2007 at 6:00 p.m.
v Agenda meeting – Thursday, December 6, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
v Regular town board meeting – Monday, December 10, 2007 at 7:00 p.m.
v End of Year – Audit of Bills- Friday, December 28, 2007 at 3:00 p.m.
On a motion by Supervisor Thomas Wood and seconded by Councilman Charles Hanehan the board entered into executive session to discuss a personnel matter at 8:54 p.m. Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Charles Hanehan – aye, Councilwoman Betty Koval – aye, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin –aye. Carried 5 – 0.
On a motion by Supervisor Thomas Wood and seconded by Councilman Fred Drumm
to resume the regular meeting at 9:12 p.m. Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Charles Hanehan – aye, Councilwoman Betty Koval – aye, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin –aye. Carried 5 – 0.
No board action was taken.
Councilman Michael McLoughlin left the meeting at 9:15 p.m.
Audit the Bills: On a motion by Councilman Charles Hanehan and seconded by Councilwoman Betty Koval the following Resolution #07-130 - Approving the payment of bills in Abstract 11G was adopted by vote: Supervisor Thomas Wood - aye, Councilman Fred Drumm – aye, Councilman Charles Hanehan – aye, Councilwoman Betty Koval – aye, and Councilman Michael McLoughlin – absent. Carried 4 – 0.
RESOLVED, by the Town Board of the Town of Saratoga to authorize payment of the bills listed in Abstract 11G (11/08/2007) in the following amounts: General A $59,310.98, and General B $3,795.51, Youth $437.54, and Highway Outside $20,819.89 for a total expense of $84,363.92.
A motion to adjourn at 9:35 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 - absent. Carried 4 – 0.