Town of Franklin Board Meetings

Regular Board Meeting
Monday, August 11 2008 - 7:00 pm

The Town of Franklin Town Board held its duly noticed regular Town Board Meeting on Monday, August 11, 2008 at 7:00 pm at the Franklin Town Hall in Vermontville, NY.

Board members present:

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

Others Present:

    Highway Supt. James Perry
    Assessor Douglas Tichenor
    Town Clerk Sandra Oliver
    Wade Sullivan, Donald Goff, Todd Goff, Bradley Merrill , Malcolm Martin, Frank Karl , Derek Romeo, Karen Smalley , Don & Doris Hamm, Carol Lavigne , Edward Martin, Lorrie Rumble , Joseph LeMay, Hugh Tyler , Nathan Brown, Adirondack Daily Enterprise

CALL TO ORDER

    Supervisor Keith called the meeting to order at 7:00pm; the Pledge of Allegiance was recited, and the Town Clerk called the roll, stating the full board was present.

AUDIT OF BILLS

    The following claims were presented for payment on Abstract #8:
    GeneralClaims 168 - 188$10,047.04
    HighwayClaims 98 -115$61,545.83
    The following claims were presented for payment on Abstract #7:
    Prepay GeneralClaims 34 - 38$1,396.93
    The following claims were presented for payment on Abstract #2:
    Prepay HighwayClaim 2$20,275.00
    Fire ProtectionClaim 2$1,318.58
    Prepay HighwayClaim 2$1,090.17

    Coun. Ordway indicated an incorrect account coding on a reimbursement for Kathy Drake, and Supv. Keith changed the code.

Motion to pay claims, as corrected (J.Ordway-C.Smalley m/s/p) ALL AYE

MINUTES OF MEETINGS

The minutes of the July 14 and July 23, 2008 special board meeting were accepted as presented.

Motion to accept minutes (J.Ordway-W.Kretser m/s/p) ALL AYE

SUPERVISOR'S REPORT

    Supervisor Keith reported the following fund balances as at July 2, 2008:

    General FundCK$29,042.11
    SV$2,672.86
    CLASS$190,793.15
    Highway FundCK$31,331.52
    SV$100,186.96
    CLASS$365,238.31
    Cap Proj Hwy$45,142.01
    LandfillCK$1,582.43
    CLASS$58,528.13
    FireCK$539.08
    CLASS$681.24
    Cap. BuildingCLASS$119,290.02

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

GENERAL FUND BUDGET AMENDMENT #1

    Supv. Keith requested a motion for a resolution amending the 2008 Budget transferring $500.00 from 1990.4 Contingency to A3310.4 Traffic Signs. Several traffic control signs have been stolen, and Coun. Smalley inquired whether the Town could claim the theft on its insurance. Supv. Keith responded there are deductibles. Coun. Berg suggested reporting thefts to the State Police and then requesting reimbursement from the insurance carrier. Highway Supt. Perry indicated he would do so.

    Motion for resolution (J.Ordway-C.Smalley m/s/p) ALL AYE

    RESOLUTION NO. 45: GENERAL FUND BUDGET AMENDMENT #1

    WHEREAS, in order to maintain a balanced 2008 General Fund Budget, NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the following Budget Amendment is hereby adopted transferring the following amounts:

    TRANSFER FROMAcct. A1990.4 Contingent$500.00
    TO:A3310.4 Traffic Signs$500.00

    THOSE VOTING AYE:

      Supervisor Mary Ellen Keith
      Councilperson Janet Ordway
      Councilman Walter Kretser
      Councilman Allen Berg
      Councilman Clifford Smalley

    THOSE VOTING NAY:

      None

HUGH TYLER, RECREATION COMMITTEE.

    Hugh Tyler presented a $100.00 check from the Recreation Committee as a one-time donation to the Town's summer youth program. He reported the committee is considering the purchase of volleyball net and equipment. Coun. Berg reported that the tetherball pole had been installed, and that the older children were using it. Kathy Drake expressed concern that the tetherball unit was too close to the grill, and Coun. Berg indicated the grill could be moved.

ASSESSOR DOUGLAS TICHENOR

    Assessor Tichenor reported on the progress of the 2008 data collection for the assessment update scheduled to be completed this year.

    1. DATA COLLECTION. He has had difficulty locating people to do the work, and he emphasized the importance of having data collectors working full time in the Town of Franklin. If full-time data collectors cannot be found, he will be unable to do the valuation work in the Town. A good data collector can perform ten or more parcels per day. Training a new collector takes three days with a manual. His best collector injured his knee, had surgery and cannot collect until he is recovered. Mr. Tichenor has spoken with other individuals who are interested but have other commitments and can only collect part-time.

    2. OBSOLETE DATA. In the 1980's New York State mandated collection of then-current property data and in the ensuing years this same raw data has been updated from year to year by local assessors. However, the nearly 30-year-old data now must be collected anew. In order to have fair, equal and good assessments, the data from which they are garnered must also be good.

    3. IMPACT OF NOT COMPLETING UPDATE. The Town's equalization rate however would drop to perhaps 45% (at present the equalization rate is 60%). Sales of property have decreased, and prices for large parcels of land do not rise as quickly as smaller ones, which are selling.

    4. CURRENT REAL ESTATE MARKET. One out of ten residences in the Village of Saranac Lake is for sale, but nothing is moving, and he reported only three transfers of property this summer. One would anticipate that due to slow sales, assessments and taxes would decrease, but in this area of the state, it does not seem to be the case. Assessments and taxes remain high. A recent property transfer in the Town of Franklin illustrates the market: a modest Cape Cod house assessed for $115,000 sold for $300,000. When this happens, assessed values rise, and the tax rate lowers. Small acreage vacant land in the area is selling for $10,000 per acre; large acreage sells for about $3,000 per acre because all types of land increase in value at the same rate. That's where the shift occurs in tax burden, and residences end up carrying it.

    5. STREAMLINING THE ASSESSMENT PROCESS. Mr. Tichenor believes the best way to streamline the assessment process is to cooperate, consolidate or coordinate. The biggest problem is the equalization rate. The State of New York is trending towards consolidation of and cooperation between municipalities. Current law offers options for assessing units to achieve greater efficiency in administering property tax. The law provides for a one-time payment of up to $7 per parcel (max of $140,000 per municipality) as incentive for towns to take any of the following 3 steps, each of which requires towns share the same assessor.

      (a) Cooperative Assessment Agreement (2 or more towns).
      • This is how Mr. Tichenor now operates
      • Different grievance day (other than State-wide 4th Tuesday in May)
      • Different assessment rolls
      • Different equalization rate
      • Different uniform percentage of value
      • Different revaluation years

      (b) Consolidated Assessment Unit (2 or more towns).

      • A single assessor is appointed
      • One assessment roll is prepared
      • All assessments are at same uniform percentage of value
      • Single equalization rate is established
      • Revaluations will be conducted simultaneously
      • A single grievance day is held under one Board of Assessment Review
      • Larger pool of sales to reinforce assessment values

      (c) Coordinated Assessing Program (2 or more towns)

      • Separate assessment rolls prepared for each municipality
      • Same percentage of value for assessments
      • Same assessment calendar
      • Separate grievance days
      • Identical equalization rate is established, although separate equalization rate challenges can be filed
      • Separate and different tax rates used for each municipality

    Mr. Tichenor believes the Consolidated Assessment Unit would work best for this area. He would like to combine the Towns of Franklin, Brighton, Harrietstown and Santa Clara into one consolidated assessment unit - all within the Saranac Lake Central School District to comprise a single Consolidated Assessment Unit with one assessment roll, one Board of Assessment Review, the same uniform percentage of value, the same equalization rate, and revaluations would be conducted simultaneously. Providing the municipalities agree, it would take 3 years to implement, and the Unit would be able to apply for State aid under a shared services grant. While there would be no immediate advantages to taxpayers, a consolidated assessment unit would keep the equalization rate stable.

    6. STATE REIMBURSEMENT. Mr. Tichenor recommended the Town write Senator Little requesting NYS reimburse the Town for State-mandated exemptions, for example, the new 480a exemption Chateaugay Woodlands (successor to Domtar) opted for instead of the old Fisher exemption also any State mandated agricultural exemptions. These exemptions allow for payment for 100 acres in an amount equal to 80 acres.

    7. MEETINGS/ASSOCIATIONS. Adirondack Action.org will hold a meeting on August 22nd from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm at the Harrietstown Town Hall. The purpose of the meeting is to discuss methodology of NYS values on State owned land.

  • Coun. Smalley asked whether the $15,000.00 budgeted for the update would cover the defense of individual assessments.
    • Mr. Tichenor said that the contractor was only responsible for collecting the data and not defending the new assessments, therefore, defense would not be part of the $15,000 fee.
  • Coun. Smalley asked Mr. Tichenor in his capacity as Town Assessor, would be defending the new assessments at no additional cost to taxpayers.
    • Defending new assessments is part of the job of assessor. In addition the Town will not need to pay the $15,000 more than once for the contractor to collect data.
  • Coun. Kretser asked what the impact of incompletion would be on assessments, and
    • Mr. Tichenor indicated there would be no impact, and assessments would remain as they are.
  • What about county-wide assessing?
    • Mr. Tichenor replied that Franklin County had hired a Mr. Swan to study the question of county-wide assessing. The Franklin County Assessors Association met with Mr. Swan for a question and answer session; Mr. Swan did not supply any new information. Mr. Tichenor opined that the County of Franklin would have to update the information on 30,000 parcels at a cost of $20 to $30 per parcel.
  • How many parcels are in the Saranac Lake Central School District?
    • 7,000 parcels.
  • Coun. Smalley asked if the assessment update was postponed in 2008, whether there was a possibility it would be postponed again in 2009.
    • Mr. Tichenor indicated he would speak with Brighton and Santa Clara (2,000 parcels) to see if they wanted to do another update in conjunction with Franklin. Harrietstown is 1/3 completed. The Town of Franklin is a priority.
  • Coun. Kretser asked when a decision would need to be made on possible postponement.
    • Mr. Tichenor indicated he would report again at the September meeting.

    The Board thanked Assessor Tichenor for his information and attendance at the meeting.

HIGHWAY REPORT

    Highway Superintendent James Perry gave the following report

    1. DEPARTMENT PROGRESS

      a) Roads have been checked after each heavy rain.

      b) Culverts are being clogged by beavers

      c) The Highway Dept.'s account with NYS Office of Government Services was updated.

      d) Survey completed as to how much money is spent maintaining County roads.

      e) Goldsmith and Muzzy Roads worked on.

      f) Keith Road prepped

      g) Work on Alderbrook Park Road

      h) Erected No Trespassing signs at Onchiota landfill

      i) Switched filters on all vehicles to keep warranty

      j) Contacted made with Camp Gabriels for a work crew in late September

      k) Inventory of tools prepared and submitted to Highway Committee

    2. 284 AGREEMENT. Blacktop prices have jumped this year from $47 per ton to $70 per ton, with an expected increase to $80 per ton in September. As a result the number of miles to be improved will be 1.10 mile of Keith Road.

    3. RESIDENT COMPLAINTS AND ANSWERS

      a) Mr. Riley requested a "Children at Play" sign - installed

      b) Al Berg requested same be installed on Sinkhole Road - installed

      c) Mr. Wilson reported a washout on Fletcher Farm Road - repaired

      d) Cliff Smalley requested a new sign for McManus Road - installed

    4. ILLEGAL DUMPING AT NORMAN RIDGE ROAD SITE Supervisor Keith stated she had been informed Highway Supt. James Perry had been served with a violation as a result of illegal dumping at a site on Norman Ridge Road. Coun. Ordway said that Mr. Perry indicated he had not received a citation from DEC. Coun. Kretser reported that he and Coun. Berg inspected the site and found a great deal of rubbish, not all of which could be attributed to the Highway Dept. There were no petroleum smells, discarded oil drums or oil sheens on the ground. Nothing was oozing. Coun. Berg indicated he had corresponded with the Environmental Protection Agency about funds to clean the area, but funds are available only if pollution is present. Both Couns. Kretser and Berg recommended DEC test the wells and waterways around the perimeter of the site. Coun. Ordway stated Highway Supt. Perry telephoned Lt. Shultz but as the lieutenant is currently on vacation, the call was not returned.

    Supv. Keith stated she had spoken with Agent Malone earlier this date and was advised a Notice of Administrative Violation had been issued against the Town. The investigation will be ongoing and a Lt. Shultz will be interviewing Supt. Perry.

    Supt. Perry stated the entrance to the site has now been gated and bolted and "No Trespassing" signs have been erected.

HIGHWAY COMMITTEE

    Coun. Kretser reported that the Department had prepared, for the first time in years, a tool inventory and that it was comprehensive.

QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS RE HIGHWAY MATTERS

  • There are more than a couple of tires. The Board keeps saying what a good job the Highway Dept. is doing. There are lots of freshly dumped tires and some of them have been buried in the dirt.
    • Coun. Kretser stated the investigation will be ongoing.
    • Supt. Perry concurred that some of the tires got into the sand at the site and that area residents discard many things behind the Garage as well as at the Norman Ridge site.
  • There are now lots of old tires are now behind the Town Garage.
  • Photographs taken at the Norman Ridge Road site in 1995 showed fewer tires than in 2008. An area resident (Donald Goff) has been watching the location for years because oil drums have been discarded there. As the site is at the top of a hill and residential wells start 500 feet downhill from it, residential well water may have been tainted, as the area is wetland. Carol Lavigne had shown the photographs to DEC. DEC saw two 55-gallon drums belonging to the Town of Franklin at the Norman Ridge location, and there are 20 barrels of oil behind the Garage. How much oil has been reclaimed by the Highway Dept.?
  • This kind of behavior may well be criminal.
    • o Coun. Kretser acknowledged it was a serious problem and needs to be addressed. He encouraged residents to provide information to DEC.
  • Tests on residential wells should be performed, and the Town should pay for it.
  • How much oil from the Highway Dept. gets recycled? The Bus Garage takes used oil.
  • The Town should have procedures put in place to handle this.

    Supervisor Keith stated the Board should pursue the investigation and cleanup of the Norman Ridge site, and the Board concurred.

JAMES RASCOE

    Coun. Janet Ordway commented that the District Attorney's investigation into the matter of the former highway superintendent was insufficient. Coun. Kretser distributed a draft of a letter he asked the Board to refer the matter to the NYS Attorney General Public Integrity Unit. The draft letter was read into the record:

    DRAFT

    The former Highway Superintendent appears to have been exonerated of allegations brought forth against him by five (5) employees. These allegations were very serious, and we feel there were substantial merits to these charges. Certainly there appears that more than one serious crime was committed that should have warranted a much more severe punishment than was handed down by the District Attorney. This outcome was very disappointing and should be appeared so that it could be properly settled in a court of law. The FOIL report from the D.A.'s office does not provide a clear picture of the investigation nor any new details that would lead us to believe that it was a thorough effort even though a decision was a long time coming. The allegations against this individual were a serious breach of trust to all the taxpayers in the Town of Franklin. In addition he was paid a full salary from the end of February until mid-July at taxpayer expense. The outcome, as it now stands, sets a poor precedent for elected officials who feel they can break the law and do what they want while in office without serious repercussion. An example should have been made of this superintendent with appropriate punishment accorded to him. The bottom line is that we do not believe justice was fairly served in this instance. The decision to allow this person to walk away with only a resignation is difficult to comprehend.

    Motion for resolution to refer Rascoe investigation to NYS Attorney General (W.Kretser-J.Ordway m/s/p) ALL AYE RESOLUTION NO. 46: REFER INVESTIGATION CONCERNING ALLEGED MALFEASANCE AND MALADMINISTRATION OF JAMES RASCOE TO ATTORNEY GENERAL OF THE STATE OF NEW YORK WHEREAS, the investigation into the alleged malfeasance and maladministration of former Highway Superintendent James Rascoe resulted in Mr. Rascoe's resignation; and WHEREAS, the investigation by the Office of the Franklin County District Attorney did not address the criminal aspects of the matter; and WHEREAS, no remuneration of the Town has been proffered; and WHEREAS, members of the Town Board of the Town of Franklin do not consider this resignation in the service of justice; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the matter of the criminal prosecution of James Rascoe, former elected highway superintendent be referred to the Attorney General of the State of New York.

    THOSE VOTING AYE:

      Supervisor Mary Ellen Keith
      Councilperson Janet Ordway
      Councilman Walter Kretser
      Councilman Allen Berg
      Councilman Clifford Smalley

    THOSE VOTING NAY:

      None

    Coun. Ordway stated she would finalize the draft letter for signature.

    Supervisor Keith then read into the record the following chronology of events concerning the Rascoe matter:

  • Dec. 26, 2006 Art Schneck resigns without notice.
  • Dec. 28, 2006 Schneck sends letter to Mary Ellen containing allegations of wrongdoing against Rascoe
  • Jan. 2007 - Mary Ellen calls attorney for town James Maher for advice.
  • Jan. 2007 - Mary Ellen, Town Supervisor and Gene Goff, Deputy Town Supervisor and member of Highway Committee confront Rascoe with allegations in private.
  • Jan. 2007 Rascoe writes undated memo refuting allegations; attorney for Town approves of the way in which matter is handled.
  • June 2006 - 6 mos. later a private citizen shows Schneck letter to other town board members.
  • July 18, 2007 - Town Board demands action; the matter is referred to the Town Ethics Board.
  • Aug 3, 2007 - Ethics Committee sends letter to Schneck requesting documentation supporting allegations and appearance by Schneck before Ethics Committee.
  • Schneck declines on August 8, 2007
  • Aug. 27, 2007 Ethics Committee composes letter to Mary Ellen containing its recommendations (one Committee member takes 2 months to sign letter with recommendations)
  • Town Board reviews Ethics Committee recommendations at the Nov. 14, 2007 meeting and moves to refer matter to NYS Comptroller's Office.
  • Nov. 2007 - Mary Ellen seeks advice of attorney for Town.
  • Nov 2007 - Mary Ellen calls NYS Comptroller's Office (Nov. 2007)
  • Dec 2007 - NYS Comptroller's Office advises it cannot handle matter as there are no records to audit
  • Dec 2007 - Jan 2008 - Mary Ellen consults with attorney for Town who advises contacting State Police
  • Jan 2008 - State Police decline
  • Mary Ellen consults with attorney for Town (end of Jan 2008)
  • Feb. 2008 anonymous telephone calls and letters concerning Rascoe's wrongdoings received by Town Board members
  • Feb 21, 2008 Rascoe starts medical leave of absence due to stress.
  • Mar 6, 2008 special board meeting convened; Board enters Executive Session and speaks with employees of Highway Dept. and Board hears statements of employees.
  • Mar 10-12, 2008 employee statements are finalized and signed and then hand-delivered to District Attorney.
  • Mar. 20, 2008 Eric Merrill resigns as Deputy Highway Supt; James Perry appointed Deputy Highway Supt. at March 24, 2008 special board meeting.
  • Mar. - July 2008 -- District Attorney conducts investigation, including interviews with employees.
  • July 2008 District Attorney informs Rascoe's lawyer there is enough evidence to send matter to Grand Jury but if Rascoe resigns DA will close the file.
  • Rascoe resigns as of July 11, 2008; however, resignation letter is not sent to Town Clerk and has to be resubmitted to Clerk the following week. D.A. closes investigation.
  • At July 23, 2008 special board meeting, Town Board accepts Rascoe's resignation effective July 11, 2008; James Perry appointed Highway Superintendent at same meeting.
  • James Perry appoints Michael Canty Deputy Highway Supt. on July 28, 2008.

    QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS RE RASCOE MATTER

  • The District Attorney never contacted Art Schneck.
    • Coun. Smalley stated the D.A. had not conducted a thorough investigation.
  • Rascoe did the wrong thing, and there were many complaints against him.
    • Supv. Keith stated as Mr. Rascoe had resigned, he was no longer being paid a salary. She noted, however, if the investigation continued, he would have to be paid a salary because he was on medical leave of absence.
    • Coun. Kretser stated the Board had the option of referring the matter to the Attorney General and should do so because any one of the allegations against Mr. Rascoe could be considered a felony.
  • Rascoe is only the tip of the iceberg. There's more. Ninety percent of those Highway Dept. employees should be reprimanded - they went along with Rascoe's demands - they're not infants - they should have known better.
  • Won't the referral to the Attorney General be considered a criticism of the District Attorney?
    • Coun. Smalley stated he thought the D.A. "dropped the ball." The Town Board and taxpayers want retribution for the betrayal of public trust, theft of services and goods.
  • Won't this will cost the Town more money?
    • No, the Attorney General works for NYS residents. He's the people's lawyer.
  • Why were the names of the employees who testified against Rascoe released to the press?
    • The names were contained in the files of the District Attorney. The press submitted a FOIL request to the D.A. It's all legal.

    FURTHER COMMENTS

  • An individual attending the meeting asked about employment with the Highway Dept.
    • Coun. Kretser suggested Supt. Perry meet with the individual in private.

NEW BUSINESS

    1. POLLING SITES FOR NOVEMBER 2008 ELECTION Supv. Keith stated now that Franklin County has assumed administration of all elections, they have consolidated both of the Town's election districts into one polling place - the Franklin Town Hall. She said there was not enough room at the Town Hall for a presidential election. The Board concurred. Supv. Keith requested a motion for a resolution demanding the Town's two polling sites be restored.

    Motion for resolution (W.Kretser-J.Ordway m/s/p) ALL AYE

    RESOLUTION NO. 47: URGE FRANKLIN COUNTY BOARD OF ELECTIONS TO RESTORE MERRILLSVILLE TOWN HALL AS A POLLING PLACE FOR NOVEMBER 2008 ELECTION WHEREAS, the Franklin County Board of Elections has assumed administrative responsibility for all elections in the Town; and WHEREAS, the Board of Elections has consolidated the Town's two polling places into a single site at the Franklin Town Hall; and WHEREAS, the November 2008 is a presidential election and voter turnout is anticipated to be heavy; and WHEREAS, new, heavy file cabinets have been added to the voting area of the Franklin Town Hall thereby reducing the amount of space available; and WHEREAS, the cost of gasoline to travel from the eastern portion of the Town to vote may be prohibitive for some voters in the Town; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town Board of the Town of Franklin strongly urges the Franklin County Board of Elections to restore the Merrillsville Town Hall as a polling place for the November 2008 election; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Town Clerk will send a copy of this resolution to the Board of Elections.

    THOSE VOTING AYE:

      Supervisor Mary Ellen Keith
      Councilperson Janet Ordway
      Councilman Walter Kretser
      Councilman Allen Berg
      Councilman Clifford Smalley

    THOSE VOTING NAY:

      None

OLD BUSINESS

    1. VIOLENCE PREVENTION POLICY Supervisor Keith had previously forwarded copies of the proposed Violence Prevention Policy to members of the Town Board and asked for comments. Coun. Berg commented that other policies in the employee handbook were more strongly worded, and suggested that the proposed policy be returned to Mr. McKillip for revision. The Board concurred.

    2. SUBDIVISION UPDATE. Coun. Smalley reported that the Citizens Advisory Committee on Subdivisions had drafted its purposes, as follows:

    DRAFT - General Purposes The standards and procedures contained herein are intended to insure that:

      1. Land to be subdivided is suitable for building purposes without creating dangers to health, or peril from fire, flood, traffic hazard, or other hazard;

      2. Lots are created such that adequate provision can be made for sewage disposal, water supply, emergency vehicle access, storm water drainage, utility service, and other needed improvements;

      3. Roads are constructed to Town and County standards and are suitable to accommodate the expected volume of traffic;

      4. Subdivision planning and development shall be consistent with protecting the town's diverse scenic rural character and natural resources, and the subdivision layout shall be designed to avoid or minimize destruction of the natural character of the land and promote the conservation of all elements of natural resources, including but not limited to topography, flora and fauna which contribute to the natural beauty of the land and its rural character;

      5. These regulations shall provide for a consistent and fair process for public review, discussion and resolution of land subdivision issues for better, sustainable neighborhoods and community; and

      6. Growth reflects the town's capacity and ability to provide infrastructure and services at a reasonable cost to all town taxpayers.

    Coun. Smalley said the committee was finalizing its purpose and it will then draft guidelines for subdivisions. Coun. Smalley, in response to a comment that the Adirondack Park Agency regulations cover land use in the Town, stated that APA is not concerned for town taxpayers, that APA is interested in itself. The next meetings of the Committee are scheduled for 7:00 pm at the Town Hall on Tuesday, Sept. 2, and Monday Sept. 22, 2008. When asked if the proposed subdivision regulations would be Town policy, Coun. Kretser said it would be a law, subject to referendum.

    3. INFRASTRUCTURE UPDATE. A meeting with the engineers, architects and building committee members will be held tomorrow morning, August 12 at 10:00 a.m., and on August 20th, there will be a public presentation concerning plans.

    4. FIRE-RESCUE CONTRACT. Coun. Berg reported that he had not received notice of any new meetings of the Saranac Lake Area Fire Advisory Board.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

    1. RECREATION COMMITTEE.
      a. Summer Youth Program. Kathy Drake reported it had been a very busy summer, even though the weather did not cooperate. She noticed that the pavilion roof leaks and that the cement slab develops pools of water. The youngsters were a good group, and the parents helped with snacks and donations. At this date a total of 641 children attended, with 70 registered. This is the last week for the summer youth program. On Wednesday the children will have Thanksgiving dinner and pizza on the last day (Friday, Aug. 15).

      b. Recreation Park Equipment. In addition to the newly-installed tetherball unit, Kathy Drake requested additional swings. She also commented that the new sandbox was a success, although stones seem to accumulate in the sand which may be a result of the lawnmower.

    2. CELEBRATION AND CEMETERIES COMMITTEES. Supv. Keith stated a Town Celebration Day will be held in conjunction with a cemetery tour in September.

CORRESPONDENCE

    1. Fastenal. This supplier has notified the Town that an invoice has been outstanding since March 2008. Supt. Perry indicated the invoice concerns a battery the Department cannot use. Supv. Keith asked the Board for a motion to approve the return of the unused battery. Motion to return battery to Fastenal (W.Kretser-J.Ordway m/s/p) ALL AYE

    2. Heating Assistance. Ona Rushford, Administrator of Franklin County Social Services will attend the September 8 Town Board meeting to discuss direct financial assistance for those residents having difficulty meeting costs of home heating.

    3. Wildlife Rabies Vaccines. NYS Dept. of Health has advised it will be distributing date-based rabies vaccines for the raccoon population. Supv. Keith noted if a family pet ingests one of the pellets, it will do no harm. However, the Town of Franklin is not included in the area being targeted.

    4. Tree-Cutting. National Grid advised it will be cutting trees in the area. No chemicals will be used.

EXECUTIVE SESSION - 9:12 PM Coun. Ordway requested the Board enter Executive Session to discuss an employee matter.

Motion to enter executive session (J.Ordway-A.Berg m/s/p) ALL AYE No action was taken in executive session.

RESUME BOARD MEETING - 9:34 PM

Motion to resume Board meeting (M.Keith-J.Ordway m/s/p) ALL AYE

ADJOURNMENT

    There being no further business to conduct, the meeting adjourned at 9:35 PM. (J.Ordway-A.Berg m/s/p) ALL AYE

Respectfully submitted, Sandra J. Oliver, Town Clerk

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Franklin, TOWN OF FRANKLIN

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


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