Town of Franklin Special Board Meeting

February 13, 2006

The Town of Franklin Town Board held an Organizational Board Meeting on Monday, February 13, 2006 at 7:00 pm at the Franklin Town Hall in Vermontville, NY.

Board members present:

    Supervisor Mary Ellen Keith
    Councilman Gene Goff
    Councilman Tim Goff
    Councilman Walt Kretser
    Councilwoman Janet Ordway

Others present:

    Highway Superintendent James Rascoe
    County Representative Timothy Burpoe
    Town Clerk Sandra J. Oliver
    Ed Baltzly, town resident
    Doug vanWeelden, area resident

CALL TO ORDER

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 the full board was present.

PAYMENT OF BILLS

    The following claims were presented and reviewed by the Board:

    General Warrant #2Claims 11-37$7,950.03
    HighwayWarrant #2Claim 5-17$16,939.75
    LandfillWarrant #2Claims 11-16$24,417.77

    Motion to pay approved bills (T.Goff-W.Kretser m/s/p) ALL AYE

PAYMENT OF ANNUAL CONTRACTS

    Supervisor Keith requested the Board's approval for the Town's annual contracts.

    Motion to approve annual contracts (T.Goff-G.Goff m/s/p) ALL AYE

MINUTES

    Minutes of the December 12 and 19, 2005 meetings and the January 2 and 10, 2006 meetings were reviewed. No changes were made. Minutes of the January 25, 2006 information hearing were revised to include Jim Worthington, representative of Friends of the North Country.

    Motion to accept minutes as amended (G.Goff-J.Ordway m/s/p) ALL AYE

SUPERVISOR'S REPORT

    Balances on hand at January 1, 2006

    General FundCK$37,872.62
    SV$223,381.46
    CLASS$131,657.91
    Highway FundCK$45,733.61
    SV$449,424.44
    CLASS$93,715.15
    LandfillCK$269.60
    CLASS$69,252.33
    FireCK$43,109.19
    CLASS$10,369.80
    Cap. BuildingCLASS$116,868.32

    Supervisor Keith noted tax collections had fully funded the Town by January 31, 2006.

    Motion to accept Supervisor's Report (T.Goff-W.Kretser m/s/p) ALL AYE

BUDGET AMENDMENTS

    Supervisor Keith stated there had been need to transfer funds to cover end-of-year bills.

    RESOLUTION NO. 14: 2006 GENERAL FUND BUDGET AMENDMENT #1 WHEREAS, purchase cost of the 2006 Dodge General Fund pickup truck has been charged to various accounts; NOW, THEREFORE, the Franklin Town Board authorizes the following transfer of funds:

    FROM ACCOUNTAMOUNTTO ACCOUNTAMOUNT
    A1990.4 Contingent.$12,146.00A1620.2 Bldgs Eq$12,146.00

    Those voting aye:

      Supervisor Mary Ellen Keith
      Councilman Gene Goff
      Councilman Tim Goff
      Councilman Walter Kretser
      Councilwoman Janet Ordway

    Those Voting no:

      None

    Motion for resolution for 2006 General Fund Budget Amendment No. 1 (G.Goff-T.Goff m/s/p) ALL AYE

    HIGHWAY REPORT

      Highway Supt. James Rascoe was present to report the following:

      1. HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT

      a. Road Maintenance. Crews have been very busy maintaining roads. Because of the weather, the department has used quite a bit of sand, but still have ample amounts.

      b. Garage Cleanup. The department has cleaned and reorganized the Town Garage in spare time. Supt. Rascoe invited all to come and inspect progress.

      c. Morale. Employee morale is high; employees are proud of the job they are doing. They are receiving compliments on their work. Couns. Kretser, J.Ordway and T.Goff complimented the department on the excellent condition of the roads. Residents see the trucks on the roads and are very pleased.

      d. 2006 Dodge Pickup. Supt. Rascoe is very pleased with the new truck.

      e. Snowmobiles on Garage property. This problem is ongoing. Supt. Rascoe will post "no trespassing" signs all around the Garage property. It is a safety issue because of the 14-foot high birm and buried steel. Coun. Kretser suggested advising the State Police.

      f. Fuel Loss. Supt. Rascoe reported he had been in touch with the State Police regarding a loss of fuel from trucks parked outside the Garage. Apparently, one night the surrounding neighborhood had experienced the same problem, and the State Police are investigating the matter. Supt. Rascoe was adamant that no one in the Highway Department was involved in the missing fuel. He is attempting to park all vehicles in the Garage. Coun. Kretser suggested the purchase of locking gas caps for all Town vehicles.

      g. Payroll. Supervisor Keith noted that the 2006 payrolls are going very smoothly and complimented Supt. Rascoe on his performance.

      h. Employee lockers. The lockers obtained by Coun. G. Goff a few years ago are too small, and employees need larger lockers to keep their personal work supplies in. Supt. Rascoe obtained a quote from Fastenal under State contract 9 full-size lockers in 3 units apiece for a total of $949.92, excluding a $91 handling charge. He will negotiate with Fastenal about the handling charge. Motion authorizing purchase of lockers from Fastenal (G.Goff-J.Ordway m/s/p) ALL AYE.

      i. High Beam Lights for Town Vehicles. During a recent rain and windstorm, Supt. Rascoe and employees were clearing downed trees by vehicle headlights. The men were using chainsaws and missed an electric wire by 6 inches. Coun. Kretser researched lights, handheld and mounted and found a high-beam handheld flashlight for $60 instead of the mounted ones for $300. Supt. Rascoe will purchase the handheld type.

      j. Repair Work on Plow Truck. The frame of the tower (which moves the plow up and down) on one of the plow trucks is now warped. It has been rewelded and repaired by the department many times. Supt. Rascoe obtained a quote from Viking, near the Town of Fine, for $1,400. The quote is good through March 1st. The Board approved the repair cost, but Supt. Rascoe would like to wait for a while before transporting the plow truck.

    2. HIGHWAY COMMITTEE

      a. Expenses. Coun. Gene Goff is tracking Highway Dept. costs and comparing years.

      b. Vendors. Coun. G.Goff noted Supt. Rascoe is contacting vendors with equipment problems and warranties and have been informed that Supt. Rascoe and Deputy Supt. Eric Merrill are the only ones authorized to purchase supplies for the department.

      c. Procedures. Procurement policy and procedure being followed. Coun. G. Goff noted that Supt. Rascoe favors purchasing from Fastenal, a Plattsburgh company with NYS contract. The prices are low.

      d. Inventory. In the past procurement policies were not followed, and Supt. Rascoe has discovered excess inventory. He is contacting the suppliers and returning the supplies and requesting refunds. In the event he is unable to liquidate the excess inventory through vendors or through area municipalities, he will draw up a list of items, and at Board suggestion, will advertise.

      e. County Assistance Agreement. Coun. G. Goff stated Franklin County Highway Superintendent requires an annual resolution by the Town Board requesting County vehicle and employee assistance.

      Motion for resolution (M.Keith-W.Kretser m/s/p) ALL AYE

      RESOLUTION NO. 15 COUNTY HIGHWAY ASSISTANCE AGREEMENT WHEREAS, the Town of Franklin requires the assistance of the Franklin County Highway Department; and WHEREAS, the Franklin County Highway Department is willing to lend its equipment and expertise, providing the Town hold it harmless; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town Board of the Town of Franklin hereby authorizes the Highway Superintendent to execute the following agreement:

      It is hereby requested that the Franklin County Highway Department assist the Highway Department of the Town of Franklin for the purpose of road repair, reclamation work and trimming trees, including use of front end loader, backhoe, paver, roller, grader with widening spreader, bulldozer, boomtruck, assistance with guide rails and manpower for same.

      It is agreed that this work is undertaken by the Town Highway Dept. and the job is totally under the direction and supervision of the Town Highway Dept. The Town is required to get necessary Agency permits, property owners' agreements, and provide utility notification. As an inducement for such assistance the Town will hold the County harmless from property damages, and any claims brought by any third party as a result of this work, and if the County is held responsible for damages the Town will indemnify the County.

      The following items are submitted:

        (a) Resolution of the Town Board with Request to Hold Harmless

        (b) Agreement signed by property owners (required if property is to be entered upon

        (c) State Agency Permits

        (d) Utility Notification Letters

      On behalf of the Franklin Town Board and Highway Department, we request Franklin County Highway Department assistance.

      _____________________________________ Town of Franklin Supervisor

      _____________________________________ Town of Franklin Highway Superintendent

      The above project is approved

      ___________________________________ Dated____________________

      County Highway Superintendent

      Those voting aye:

        Supervisor Mary Ellen Keith
        Councilman Gene Goff
        Councilman Tim Goff
        Councilman Walter Kretser
        Councilwoman Janet Ordway

      Those Voting no:

        None

      f. 284 Agreement for 2006. Couns. G.Goff and W.Kretser will tour the Town roads with Highway Supt. Rascoe this Thursday, February 16, to determine which roads should be paved this coming summer.

    3. COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS RE HIGHWAY MATTERS

    Bigelow Road. Doug vanWeelden, a resident of St. Armand, expressed concern about the closing of Bigelow Road. He recounted his use of the Bigelow Road for walking his dog and rabbit hunting. Because of disabilities, he drives his vehicle down the road and walks. He asked the Town Board for its opinion on the State Police wanting to close the road. Supt. Rascoe responded to Mr. vanWeelden' query. State Trooper Ranowski approached Supt. Rascoe at the Garage and requested the Bigelow Road be closed for the winter. Supt. Rascoe and the Board expressed concern about the safety of individuals walking along the road because of the speed at which snowmobiles travel. He also stated the road was a seasonal road and should be completely closed from December 31 thru April 1. Supt. Rascoe stated he supported the State Police' request to close the road because of safety concerns. Supervisor Keith will consult with James Maher, Esq., attorney for the Town regarding the proper wording of signs.

    NEW BUSINESS

      1. TIMOTHY BURPOE. County representative Timothy Burpoe was present to discuss the Board of Elections chargeback, dollars paid by the County for elections, which appeared on the 2006 Town and County tax bills. This is not a new charge; the tax bills have always included it. The State authorized the breaking out of the BOE chargeback several years ago, and the County recently decided to do so. Mr. Burpoe explained the County made large cuts in its 2006 budget and increased the sales tax by 1% to offset and reduce the County levy. The BOE chargeback is lawfully based on 2004 total assessed real property value, but there are other ways to base the charge. Using assessed values, the southern end of Franklin County pays more than the northern end because its property values are higher. He distributed copies of the current county BOE chargebacks based on total assessed value, as well as his calculations for chargebacks based on total registered voters in each town. This year the Town of Franklin was charged $15,420.12 for the 2004 election, and if the 2004 election cost was based on the number of registered voters, the Town would owe $8,637.48. He requested the Town Board to pass a resolution authorizing him to present this alternate method of calculating the BOE chargeback to the County Board of Legislators. The Board will study the figures and determine its action at the March 13, 2006 meeting.

      Supervisor Keith thanked Mr. Burpoe for his presence.

    OLD BUSINESS

      1. Supervisor Computer Upgrade. The new Dell computer has been installed and is up and running. Supervisor Keith requested Board permission to remove the old computer to her home, as she works from there every day. The computer is still Town property, and the Board agreed it was a wise use of the unit rather than storing it, unused, at Merrillsville.

      Motion for permission to move old computer to Supervisor' residence (W.Kretser-G.Goff m/s/p) ALL AYE

      2. DEC Proposed Conservation Easement. On January 31st, Supv. Keith and Coun. W. Kretser met with Stuart Buchanan, Thomas Martin and Larry Nashett of Dept. of Environmental Conservation to discuss the Town' reasons for opposing the proposed conservation easement. The week previous, two representatives of Lyme Timber Co., representing the entity which purchased the Domtar Paper lands, met with Supv. Keith and Coun. Kretser. Representatives of DEC explained the proposed plans, and Coun. Kretser and Supv. Keith noted the Town wanted to see concrete proposals, with facts and figures before supporting the easement. As mentioned previously in Board minutes, the State does not maintain its current holdings, and the Town wants definite agreements from DEC concerning the number of acres which will be set aside for hunting camps, the number of streams for fishing, the number of trails accessible for hiking, biking, snowmobiling and ATV use and also whether residents will be able to access these areas. The Town requested DEC' definition of "limited access". Supv. Keith indicated the Board would "stand its ground" and not back the easement purchase until it gets answers. DEC is to respond to the Town' concerns in the future.

    COMMITTEE REPORTS

      1. Building Committee. Supv. Keith would like to hold a special board meeting specifically concerning the progress of the building committee. Coun. Kretser noted he is waiting to hear from Bob Hammond.

      2. Recreation Committee. Coun. Ordway stated she received a letter from Innovative Services, which wants to inspect the playground equipment for $295. They inspected the equipment last year. She will reply to their request. The Rec. Committee will hold a meeting in April.

      3. Celebration Committee. Supv. Keith stated Easter will be late this year, and suggested holding a spring celebration.

      4. Cemetery Committee.

        a. Supv. Keith learned of an Arbor Day organization which will donate 10 trees for $20; however, it was noted that deer eat most trees except junipers and yews. She will investigate further.

        b. The Town Clerk, with Board approval, will research the possibility of obtaining grants for restoration of old grave markers.

        c. Discussion concerning flags for veterans' graves was discussed.

    ADJOURNMENT

      There being no further business to discuss the meeting adjourned at 8:55 pm. Motion for adjournment (M.Keith-J.Ordway 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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