Adirondack Town Of Franklin
Adirondack Town Of Franklin

Town of Franklin Board Meetings

Regular Board Meeting
April 13, 2009 - 7:00 pm

Board members Present:

Supervisor Mary Ellen Keith
Councilman Allen Berg
Councilwoman Janet Ordway
Councilman Clifford Smalley

Others absent:

Councilman Walt Kretser

Others Present:

Highway Superintendent Jacques DeMars, Town Clerk Sandra Oliver, Vince Catlin, Donald Goff, Paul Ward, Jean Baltzly, Brad Merrill, Ed Martin, Frank Karl, James Hauber, Karen Smalley, Nathan Brown: Adirondack Daily Enterprise


Supervisor Keith called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited; the Town Clerk called the roll and stated a quorum was present.


The following claims were submitted on Abstract #4 of 2009:
GeneralClaims 79 - 111$9,256.34
HighwayClaims 39 - 58$40,509.13
Prepay GeneralClaims 12 - 14$1,032.56

Motion to approve payment of claims (J.Ordway-C.Smalley m/s/p) ALL AYE


The minutes of the March 9, 2009 meeting were amended as follows:


Supervisor Keith called the meeting to order at the Town Garage at 7:00 pm. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited; the Town Clerk called the roll and stated the full board was present. (change per 04-13-2009 meeting)


Coun. Smalley believes the skating rink is of value and asked questioned how much use was the skating rink getting and whether it was worth the Town Custodian's time to maintain it. Supv. Keith indicated it had been used by skaters and she also noticed cross-country ski tracks. (change per 04-13-2009 meeting)


2. FRONT LOADER. Supt. DeMars stated the 2009 budget set aside $20,000 for repairs to the front loader. Prices for a new loader range from $ 11,500 (a smaller machine) to approximately $136,500. The trade in value for our loader so far is between $30,000 and $33,000. The loader is nearing 10,000 hours, and by all standards that number is considered the end of useful life for the vehicle; thereafter, the machine may require costly repairs.

B. SALT PRICES. 2008 price for salt was $89 per ton. The county has received a bid for $71 per ton delivered. Most of the towns in Franklin County are taking advantage of this guaranteed price. Supt. DeMars stated the OGS (State contract price) would be for quite some time, and it could be lower; however, having a locked in price at $18 per ton less than last year amounts to savings to the Town. The Board concurred.

(change per 04-13-2009 meeting)

The minutes of the March 9, 2009 meeting were accepted as amended
The minutes of the March 23, 2009 meeting were accepted as presented.
(J.Ordway-C.Smalley m/s/p) ALL AYE


Balances as of March 1, 2009

General FundCK$32,523.35
Highway FundCK$57,044.90
Cap Proj Hwy$16,370.59
Cap. BuildingCLASS$24,622.08

Motion to accept Supervisor's Report (A.Berg-J.Ordway m/s/p) ALL AYE



1) Sand & Salt. Supt. DeMars, with the approval of the Town Board, took advantage of a special offer for a 5-year fixed rate at $71/ton delivered.

2) Section 284 Agreement to Spend Highway Funds. Supt. DeMars has learned the State has reinstated CHPS funds but he has not been informed of the amount the Town will receive. He has reviewed all the roads and tentatively plans to use the funds to work on Fletcher Farm Road a distance of 1.5 miles from State Route 3 to just beyond Norman Ridge Road, as it has not been worked on for over 10 years and needs it badly. The amount of traffic on Fletcher Farm is high. Requests were made for work on Cold Brook Road from St. Rt. 3 to Woodchuck Hill (near Lou Meyers house) was resurfaced 6 years ago, so CHPS funding can�t be used for that thoroughfare. Coun. Berg asked that consideration be given to Sinkhole Road which has not had any attention for decades; he opined crusher run could be recycled from the sides of the road. Coun. Smalley asked if a 5-year plan for road improvements had been developed, and that the end of Fletcher Farm Road is a mess but it should be worked on in the context of a 5-year plan. Supv. Keith suggested that both Couns. Kretser and Ordway tour all town roads with Supt. DeMars to prioritize road work.

3) Front Loader. Supt. DeMars stated the front loader had reached the end of its useful life, and should be replaced rather than repaired. Don Hamm looked at the vehicle and other highway superintendents had been consulted, and they all agreed the vehicle is not worth repairing. The Highway dept. employees use the front loader on a daily basis, and Supt. DeMars stated it was his opinion also that the vehicle should be replaced. He received a quote on a new front loader from John Deere for $135,600. The newer model is the same as the current front loader, but with more horsepower. Most dealers are eager for sales and will honor State contract pricing. He noted there was $20,000 set aside in the 2009 budget for repairs. John Deere has offered a trade in of $33,000 on the loader in as-is condition and has proposed a lease/purchase agreement over 5 years at 4.5% interest. This would include a complete 5-year warranty plus a warranty for 3 years on the hydraulic system and drive train. These additional warranties can be extended to 5 years for an additional amount. The first installment payment can be covered by using the $20,000 budget set-aside and $33,000 trade in. Supt. DeMars said Santa Clara Highway Supt. LaRue bought a new vehicle outright using CHPS funds, so it is possible to use CHPS funds for this. Coun. Ordway commented the Board and then-Superintendent Sullivan agreed the Highway Dept. would try to "limp through 2009" with the current loader and revisit the need to purchase a new one during budget workshops in the fall of this year. Coun. Berg indicated he thought it was an idea worth considering, but thought the interest rate should be lower. Supv. Keith asserted no matter the quote and whether lease or outright purchase, specifications would have to be developed and requests for bids advertised. Coun. Smalley observed the term "lease/purchase" generally involve a higher interest cost. Coun. Berg asked where, if the new vehicle is purchased, it will be stored, and Supt. DeMars replied in the same space as the current loader. Couns. Smalley and Berg agreed this should be reviewed carefully and specifications developed, as well as research into the best way to finance the possible purchase. Supt. DeMars noted he would be meeting with the Highway Committee in a few days to review the matter.

4) Tractor with Cutter. Supt. DeMars declared the tractor had been moved from winter storage and there was a problem which had to be repaired at Burke Farm Supply.

5) Garden Road Situation. Supt. DeMars reported an ongoing dispute between two property owners on Garden Road in Loon Lake, as both are encroaching on the road. He asked the Board to assist him as the road cannot be plowed between the property owners' fences and rock walls. He mentioned he had seen a survey stake at the site. He asked if there were a "use" easement. Coun. Ordway remarked the site should be surveyed. Coun. Berg commented the Town has a 15-foot right-of-way from the center of the road.

Motion to survey Garden Road site (J.Ordway-C.Smalley m/s/p) ALL AYE

B. HIGHWAY COMMITTEE. Supv. Keith stated the Highway Committee appreciated the very good job Mike Canty was doing with the Highway inventory.


Q: Sand on the road is slippery when dry. Where it poses a threat to safety, it should be removed.

Supt. DeMars responded that all sand will be removed from the roads; the discussion above concerned large amounts of sand accumulated on intersections and lawns.
Supt. DeMars indicated ditching was a priority and that there probably was liability.
Coun. Berg remarked that ditching is very important as well. He asked if there was potential liability for the Town if the department enters private property to remove sand from lawns.
Coun. Ordway noted there are certain areas of the town where sand from previous years has built up over the years. She pointed out the intersection of Co. Rt. 60 in Onchiota and stated a berm of sand had developed from years of road sand. Although Co. Rt. 60 is a County road, she requested the Highway Supt. investigate the matter.

Q: What about reclamation of roads? This must be done to reclaim the roads. A firm in New Hampshire has a machine that will hammers down and breaks up the old road into crusher run before blacktopping. This material can then be used as a base. If you look at Bigelow Road, the boulders were removed in 2004 and this crusher run material was laid down before blacktopping. The result is a bigger road that will last for years - the same with Oregon Plains Road. It was done by Carter, and he mixed in an emulsion he got from Canada. Better 1 good mile than 2 miles of bad.

Supt. DeMars expressed interest and will research the matter.


A. CREATION OF PLANNING DEPARTMENT FOR FRANKLIN COUNTY. Supv. Keith received a questionnaire regarding the possible creation of a Planning Office for all of Franklin County. The questionnaire reads:

The Franklin County legislature is considering the formation of a County Planning Office. We have drafted a tentative mission statement:


The mission of the Franklin County Office of Planning and Economic Development is to provide assistance to Franklin County necessary to the improvement of the quality of life in the county. This office will promote the intelligent use of the County�s resources,, both natural and man-made, by implementing strong economic growth strategies with the maintenance of our wilderness and rural character always utmost in priority. This office will extend professional services to local municipalities and other public and private entities in the areas of grantsmanship, economic development, land use planning and zoning, cartography, community assistance, agriculture, economic impact assessment and infrastructure development.

To this end we are seeking your input.


1. Are you in favor of Franklin County establishing a planning office? Yes No If no, do not continue. Please explain your response and return the survey. Comments:

2. If you support the concept of a County Planning Office, what level of commitment by the County would you consider appropriate: Up to $50,000, $50,000 to $100,000, $100,000-$150,000 Whatever it takes.

3. Would you be in favor of a fee for services rendered being shared by the County and your specific entity? Yes No Comments:

4. Please rank the following work activities for a County Planning Office relative to their importance to your municipality or group: Strong need Needed Not needed.


a. Participates in studies involving research, investigation and analysis of physical, economic and environmental factors relating to municipal, regional, County and/or community planning including grantsmanship.

b. Designs and implements surveys on topics related to planning department projects.

c. Serves advisory boards by providing administrative support and by performing a variety of research projects.

d. Leads planning studies, projects and programs as assigned

e. Assists in the collection, tabulation and analysis of data, including census statistics, land use, economics, natural resources, etc.

f. Obtains and collates statistical data relative to capital improvement programs covering such subjects as tax base elements of municipal indebtedness and sources of revenue.

g. Prepares a variety of maps. Charts, advertisements and other graphics required in support of planning projects being performed.

h. Assembles and disseminates statistical data regarding current demographic characteristics, population growth, economic trends, business activities, residential development and other development/planning projects.

i. Participates in meetings with municipal planning boards, zoning boards, legislative bodies and other public officials to advise on planning matters, local land use and zoning ordinances and make recommendations.

j. Provides assistance to municipalities in preparing comprehensive plans and land use control regulations."

The questionnaire concluded with a request for the municipality to return the form within 30 days.

Each Board member expressed concern as to the method of paying for a county planning board. If the proposed county planning board is to be funded by calculating charges to municipalities based on assessed value, as the Board of Elections chargeback and Franklin County Self-Insurance, the Town of Franklin will not support it. Supv. Keith will compose a letter requesting more information. Tabled to May 11 board meeting.

2. REQUEST TO AMEND SHARED HIGHWAY SERVICES AGREEMENT TERM TO 5 YEARS. The Towns of Harrietstown, Tupper Lake and Brighton have sent revised shared services agreements with a 5-year, rather than 3-year term, as did the Village of Saranac Lake. Highway Supt. DeMars opined it was a good idea. Supv. Keith requested a motion for resolution amending the Town's shared highway services agreement from 3 years to 5 years.

(C.Smalley-A.Berg m/s/p) ALL AYE


WHEREAS, the Town adopted a form of Share Highway Service Agreement with a term of three years; NOW, THEREFORE,

BE IT RESOLVED, that the term of said Agreement is hereby amended to extend the term of the agreement from three to five years.

Those voting aye:

Supervisor Mary Ellen Keith
Councilman Al Berg
Councilperson Janet Ordway
Councilman Cliff Smalley

Those Absent:

Councilman Walter Kretser

Those Abstaining:


Those Voting nay:




1. Status of Regulations Coun. Smalley reported the draft subdivision regulations are incomplete. The Citizens Advisory Committee is working on the final language and the document must be reviewed by APA, special land use planning counsel and still go through the SEQR process. The next meeting of the committee is Monday, April 20th at 7:00 PM.

2. Community Survey Results. The Town Clerk received, opened, counted and classified the survey responses. Responses were 2:

1 in favor of the regulations with a 25% return. The point of mailing the survey was to gauge property owners' feelings on the subject. Preparation and mailing the survey cost $796. The committee will review all the comments submitted, and have the responses posted to the website. Anyone is welcome to review the survey returns during regular business hours in the presence of the Town Clerk.

B. INFRASTRUCTURE UPDATE. Supv. Keith stated the permissive referendum on the garage bond will be held on Tuesday, April 21, 2009. Polls will be open from 8:00 AM to 8:00 PM. The Town is responsible for paying out-of-town election inspectors their fee and mileage. (Non resident election inspectors will be used as the Town has experienced problems with resident election inspectors during controversial votes.) The deadline for applying for an absentee ballot by mail is Tuesday, April 14, 2009. Until Monday, April 20th, voters can still obtain an absentee ballot by coming to the Town Hall and filling out their ballot in person. Coun. Smalley stated he will be interested in learning how much the permissive referendum will cost the town.


1. Saranac Lake Area Fire Advisory Board. Coun. Berg reported a meeting of the SLAFAB will be held at some time in the near future.

2. Platforms. Coun. Berg stated he worked with Denise Wagner of NYS DEC and obtained maps of all the streams in the area with classifications. Paperwork must be completed and landowners must be contacted before the 10x10 foot platforms can be constructed. The Town is prohibited from stopping or warming streams with trout. Supv. Keith communicated with Mike Cassavaugh of the Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Dept. regarding priorities. $2,000 has been budgeted for this project

D. NORMAN RIDGE ILLEGAL DUMPING. Supv. Keith reported that the engineers have responded to Mr. Huyck of NYS DEC regarding the charges against the Town, as follows:

"April 6, 2009

New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
Regional Enforcement Coordinator, Region 5
P.O. Box 296
1115 NYS Route 86
Ray Brook, NY 12977

Attn: Mr. Bryan D. Huyck, P.E.
Regional Enforcement Coordinator

Re: Norman Ridge Road Illegal Dumping Investigation
Case No. LER5-08-010236

Dear Mr. Huyck:

The following report documents the results of a subsurface investigation conducted by Earth Science Engineering, P.C. (ESE) at the former Town of Franklin landfill located on Norman Ridge Road, in Vermontville, NY. The report includes a description of the property, site investigation and conclusions/recommendations.

Site Description and Project History

The former Town of Franklin (hereinafter "Town") Landfill is depicted on a Site Location Map in Attachment A. The project site was an unlicensed landfill active from c. 1950 to 1970. Due to activities reportedly conducted by the Town's Department of Public Works as documented in a New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYSDEC) Order of Consent for Case No. Case No. LER5-08-010236, the NYSDEC requested the Town perform an investigation to determine the breadth and extent of post closure activities at the landfill. ESE was consigned by the Town to determine the extent of post closure activities and characterize the solid waste present.

The project site consists of a meadow surrounded by dense forest with the general topography sloping towards the northwest. The north and northwest sloped faces appear to be the boundary of the landfill. Surface debris was observed atop the meadow.

Site Investigation Activities and Findings

On February 13, 2009, twelve (12) test pits were completed to determine the boundary of the landfill. Test Pits were completed to a depth of approximately four (4) feet to determine the presence/absence of solid waste. Groundwater was not encountered. It appeared that the extent of the landfill comprised approximately 0.9 acres.

On February 26, 2009, eight (8) test trenches were completed to determine the vertical extent of the landfill and characterize the solid waste present. The location of each test pit and test trench is presented on the Site Survey Map in Attachment B. The table below documents each test trench:

Test Trench Depth of Solid Waste Below Existing Grade Waste Characteristics
TT-12'-12'Plastic, concrete, Styrofoam, asphalt, tires, glass sheet metal, crushed oil drum, culvert pipe, tarp, road sign posts, hoses, wood
TT-24'-10'Wood, tire and wheel
TT-34'-10'Metal piping, wood, shoes, glass jars, tin cans
TT-44'-14"Rubber debris, plastics, glass jars
TT-53'-15"Tires, plastics, culvert pipe, concrete, 55-gallon crushed oil drum with petroleum residue, wood
TT-64.5'-9'Plastic bags, metal debris, 6 foot rail road section, culvert piping, plastic bottles, wood
TT-75'-9'Steel beam
TT-86'-10'Glass bottles, ceramics, tin cans, roof shingles, leather

C&D material was concentrated on the north and northwest boundary of the landfill adjacent to Test Trenches 4, 5, 6, 7, 13, 17 and 18. Domestic municipal waste was present approximately 30 feet from the north and northwest boundary of the landfill. According to the NYSDEC, the municipal solid waste is exempt material since the unlicensed landfill was decommissioned when the 6NYCRR Part 360 Landfill Regulations were adopted. Therefore, this waste does not need remediation. However, the C&D material is considered non-exempt and must be remediated. As shown on the Project Survey Maps in Attachment B, the north and northwest boundary of the landfill extends approximately 200 ft, therefore, there are approximately 2,700 c.y. of C&D material and 1,000 c.y. of overburden.

Conclusions and Recommendations

The non-exempt solid waste present in the former Town of Franklin Landfill must be removed. The non-exempt waste affected area of the landfill is approximately 0.14 areas. Removal will consist of screening and disposal of the non-exempt material, i.e., tires, C&D material, etc, at a 6NYCRR Part 360 Landfill or recycling facility, if appropriate. Exempt material will be consolidated into the original footprint of the landfill and covered with topsoil. The site should then be re-graded, topsoiled, and seeded.

Suitable screenings will be utilized as cover material and/or for consolidation with the original landfill. Acceptable off-site depositories are expected to be a scrap metal recycling facilities, a Solid Waste Disposal Facility, and, if necessary, a RCRA Hazardous Waste Facility. Any facility selected must be in full compliance with their respective operating permits. The Solid Waste Disposal Facility would be a 6NYCRR Part 360 Landfill, a secure landfill permitted to accept solid waste. The RCRA landfills are operated with stricter regulations than 6NYCRR Part 360. Off-site disposal will consist of the following general activities: 1) excavation of solid waste material; 2) screening of non-exempt solid waste; 3) placement of non-exempt solid waste into trucks; 3) transportation to an approved disposal location.

Stockpiling of screenings/soils will be limited to minimize handling. If large open containers, i.e. trailers or roll off containers are used, solid waste may be loaded directly to avoid stockpiling. Transportation of solid waste will be typically conducted by tractor trailers or dump trucks to the designated disposal location. Waste haulers would be licensed and in compliance with state and federal regulations applicable to waste transportation. Unlicensed landfills have the potential to contain hazardous waste. Therefore, during the disposal of all non-exempt material, if any hazardous waste is encountered, it will be transported to a RCRA landfill.

A proposed schedule for completion of the remedial activities is as follows:

Remedial ActivityTarget Completion Date
Mobilization for solid waste excavation and screeningApril 15, 2009
Complete screening and sorting of solid wasteMay 1, 2009
Complete deliveries of non-exempt materials to approved repositoriesMay 15, 2009
Complete grading, topsoil, and seeding of landfill footprintMay 22, 2009
Final Report IssuanceJune 15, 2009

The Town will construct a boulder barricade to prevent vehicular access to the former landfill in the future. In addition, Town officials will re-advertise rules for filing an official complaint of illegal dumping: signed notification of violations in writing to the Town Clerk. If a resident observes an individual or group of individuals placing items at the site, that resident will have the opportunity of reporting same to the Town Clerk, who will refer the matter to the Town Board and eventually to NYS DEC. Please contact me if you have any questions or if we can be of further assistance. Thank you.

Earth Science Engineering, P.C. Douglas R. Ferris, P.E. Ryan E. Davies, I.E. President"

Supv. Keith commented that the $10,000 Consent Order served on the Town had been reduced to $5,000, and as the Town was in full compliance with DEC remediation recommendations, there was some hope the fine would be reduced further. Supv. Keith recounted the Town of Morrisonville in Clinton County just paid a $12,000 Consent Order. Coun. Smalley confirmed the final amount of the fine had not yet been determined.


A. CEMETERY COMMITTEE. Supv. Keith will meet with St. Armand Supervisor Joyce Morency to discuss the removal of Union Falls Cemetery from Town of Franklin roll.


C. RECREATION. Coun. Berg reported the Recreation Committee will meet later in the month. However, a new swing set has been ordered and repairs will be made to the swing set behind the Town Hall. Coun. Berg also requested Highway Supt. DeMars use the Highway Dept. bulldozer to relocate the tetherball set near the pavilion, and Supt. DeMars agreed. Coun. Berg stated that with the warmer weather, he noticed the recreation park being used more and more. Coun. Smalley asked if the rec park had experienced any flooding, and Coun. Berg responded in the negative.


A. ADIRONDACK PARK AGENCY sent municipalities a list of properties to be reclassified; one is in the Town of Franklin and will be transferred from the NYS Dept. of Transportation to NYS DEC, on State Route 3, however, the site will still be owned by DOT. (change per 05-11-09 meeting)

B. EMAILS RECEIVED. (1) The Town Clerk stated she had received an email from Paul Ward critical of the manner in which the survey on subdivisions was mailed, that only one survey was sent to each household. (2) A suggestion was received from Kris Alberga that the Town make use of email mailing lists through googlegroups to alert taxpayers/residents of news in the Town. (3) Kent Garrett Productions offered to produce a tourism video for the Town.


Q: Will you be advertising for bids on excavating the illegal dump at Norman Ridge? Maybe you can find a cheaper bid on the excavator.

Supv. Keith responded that the engineer will handle it.

Coun. Smalley commented the Town was more interested in saving money on reducing the amount of the DEC fine than $200 on machine rentals.

Q: Engineer does not come under bid laws, but excavating does.

A contract has been signed with the engineer, and he is administering this project; if requests for prices must be advertised, the engineer will do so. (change per 05-11-09 meeting).

Q: Illegal dumping on Norman Ridge was reported 20-30 years ago to the then-Supervisor. Nothing was done about it.

Supv. Keith indicated the Town is dealing with the matter now.


There being no further business to conduct, the meeting adjourned at 8:46 p.m.

Respectfully submitted, Sandra J. Oliver, Town Clerk

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Town of Franklin
P.O. Box 209, Route 3, Vermontville, NY 12989  ·  Tel: 518-891-2189  ·  Fax: 518-891-6389  ·
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