Town of Franklin Monthly Board Meeting

January 9, 2006

The Town of Franklin Town Board held an Organizational Board Meeting on Monday, January 9, 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:

    Town Clerk Sandra J. Oliver
    Highway Superintendent James Rascoe
    Deputy Highway Superintendent Eric Merrill
    Scott Campbell, Friends of the North Country
    Frank Karl
    Valerie McGuiork and Elizabeth
    Pamela Ebele and Danielle
    Jean Baltzly, 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 #1Claims 1 - 10$31,699.45
    HighwayWarrant #1Claims 1$6,006.05
    LandfillWarrant #1Claims 1-2$2,848.29

    The bills were found to be in good order, and Supervisor Keith noted for the record that the General Fund Custodian received the same hourly increase for 2006 ($.39/hr) as the Highway Dept. employees.

    Coun. Gene Goff clarified Resolution No. 8 (cell phones for Highway Superintendent and Deputy) in the January 2, 2006 meeting minutes. Last summer the Board stripped the former Highway Supt. of cell phone privilege because of misuse. Highway Supt. Rascoe arranged for reasonable rates on cell phone service from Verizon ($30/month each). Coun. Gene Goff also noted only the Highway Superintendent and his Deputy would be allowed to use the cell phones.

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

MINUTES

    Acceptance of the minutes of the December 12 and 19, 2005 meetings and the January 2, 2006 organizational meeting was tabled to the special meeting on Wednesday, January 25, 2006. The Town Clerk noted the minutes were late due to end-of-year matters and tax collection season. She requested the Board to allow her two (2) additional weeks to prepare December and January minutes. The Board concurred, acknowledging the minutes would be prepared sooner if possible and if a citizen requested minutes, the Town Clerk would provide a draft to the individual.

    Motion for 2-week extension for preparation of minutes of meetings held in December and January (M.Keith-T.Goff m/s/p) ALL AYE

    RESOLUTION NO. 9: 2-WEEK EXTENSION OF TIME FOR PREPARATION OF DECEMBER AND JANUARY MEETING MINUTES WHEREAS, the duties of the Town Clerk/Tax Collector become more time-consuming during the months of January and December of each year; and WHEREAS, tax collection results in income for the Town and thus is important; and WHEREAS, the Town Clerk/Tax Collector has requested an extension of two (2) weeks within which to prepare meeting minutes for each meeting held in December and January of each year if needed; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that an extension of time of two (2) weeks is granted for the preparation and dissemination of December and January meeting minutes, if needed; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, that the Town Clerk will provide draft copies of minutes to any requesting individual.

    Those voting aye:

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

    Those Voting no:

      None

SUPERVISOR'S REPORT

    Balances on hand at December 1, 2005

    General FundCK$12,826.90
    SV$79,556.03
    CLASS$131,207.47
    Highway FundCK$12,494.21
    SV$91,912.51
    CLASS$93,394.52
    CAP. PROJ.$55,710.27
    LandfillCK$265.84
    CLASS$69,015.35
    FireCK$1,260.06
    CLASS$10,334.35
    Cap. BuildingCLASS$116,468.49

    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.

    Motion for resolution for 2005 General Fund Budget Amendment No. 4 (J.Ordway-T.Goff m/s/p) ALL AYE

    RESOLUTION NO. 10: 2005 GENERAL FUND BUDGET AMENDMENT #4 WHEREAS, transfers of funds are required to balance the 2005 General Fund Budget, the Board hereby authorizes the following Budget Amendment:

    FROM ACCOUNTAMOUNTTO ACCOUNTAMOUNT
    A1220.4 Supv.$1,133.09A1220.1 Supv PS$58.89
    A1620.1 Bldgs PS$838.55
    A7140.1 Rec Fac PS$233.89
    A9030.8 Soc. Sec.$1.76

    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 2005 General Fund Budget Amendment No. 5 (J.Ordway-G.Goff m/s/p) ALL AYE

    RESOLUTION NO. 11: 2005 GENERAL FUND BUDGET AMENDMENT #5 WHEREAS, transfers of funds are required to balance the 2005 General Fund Budget, the Board hereby authorizes the following Budget Amendment:

    FROM ACCOUNTAMOUNTTO ACCOUNTAMOUNT
    A7140.2 Fac Equip$2,970.00A1220.2 Supv Eq$1,229.00
    A1355.2 Assessor Eq$1,425.00
    A3310.4 Traff Signs$147.00
    A5132.4 Garage CE$169.00

    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 2005 Highway Fund Budget Amendment No. 1 (T.Goff-J.Ordway m/s/p) ALL AYE

    RESOLUTION NO. 12: 2005 HIGHWAY FUND BUDGET AMENDMENT #1 WHEREAS, transfers of funds are required to balance the 2005 Highway Fund Budget, the Board hereby authorizes the following Budget Amendment: FROM ACCOUNT AMOUNT TO ACCOUNT AMOUNT DA5110.4 Gen Repairs CE $6,154.00 DA5130.4 Machin CE $6,154.00

    Those voting aye:

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

    Those Voting no:

      None

FRIENDS OF THE NORTH COUNTRY

    Scott Campbell appeared before the Board to present FONC's assistance to Town in obtaining HUD-type grants from the State of New York. That the Town has received previous grants will not affect its eligibility for these funds. FONC suggests the Town request a smaller amount of money and compile a "waiting list" of householders who qualify. He requested the assistance of Town Board members in obtaining a list of households who might be interested in and qualify for, such assistance. In response to a question concerning acceptable income levels,

    Mr. Campbell responded:

    Number in householdmaximum income
    1 person$27,950
    2 person$31,950
    3 person$35,950
    4 person$39,900
    5 person$43,100

    Supervisor Keith inquired if New York State will contribute matching funds, and Mr. Campbell replied in the affirmative. Mr. Campbell then explained a new component for funding currently in place in Clinton County: replacement of mobile homes (average life span is 8-10 years) with "stick-built" homes, in a 38x42 "affordable Cape" style for approximately $50,000. This was accomplished by FONC doing a most of the planning, requesting funds and obtaining donation of professional services. Recipient householders must also attend "home maintenance counseling sessions" and have adequate water, septic, drainage and enough acreage for the existing mobile home to be a residence during the construction phase. The affordable Cape is built on a crawlspace. In order for FONC to proceed with the grant application, the Town Board must adopt a resolution and hold two (2) public hearings on the matter. The completed grant application is due April 3, 2006, and FONC's fee will be $2,000 plus expenses, and Supervisor Keith noted the 2006 Budget set aside $2,500 for the grant application fee.
    Motion for resolution approving application for housing grant (M.Keith-J.Ordway m/s/p) ALL AYE

    RESOLUTION NO. 13: AUTHORIZATION TO WORK WITH FRIENDS OF THE NORTH COUNTRY IN PREPARATION OF APPLICATION FOR HOUSING REHABILITATION FUNDS WHEREAS, some residents of the Town of Franklin are in need of housing rehabilitation, and WHEREAS, Friends of the North Country is willing to assist the Town of Franklin in obtaining funding for such rehabilitation; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Supervisor of the Town of Franklin is authorized to enter into an agreement with Friends of the North Country for a grant application seeking such funds.

    Those voting aye:

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

    Those Voting no:

      None

The first public hearing will be held at 6:00 pm on Wednesday, January 25, and the second, on February 13, 2006 at 6:00 pm. FONC will advertise the hearings.

HIGHWAY REPORT

    Highway Supt. James Rascoe reported that things in the Department are going very well, although they are very busy plowing and sanding.

    1. Sander. The sander is ready for installation on the truck, and he estimates the work will take one or two days. He is waiting for a break in the weather.

    2. New Employee. Started last week and is doing well. All his paperwork is done, and he received his computerized time card.

    3. Truck Repair. Supt. Rascoe will be negotiating with M.A. Jerry for reduction of the bill for repairs to the 2000 International.

    4. Garage Reorganization. Supt. Rascoe and Deputy Supt. Merrill are in process of reorganizing the Highway Department:

      a. Only the Superintendent and Deputy will have keys to the Superintendent's office

      b. Only the Superintendent and Deputy will be authorized to order supplies and necessary items

      c. The kitchen area has been cleaned

      d. Tools have been reorganized and straightened out

      e. The Superintendent's office has been cleaned, painted and is in process of reorganization.

COMMITTEE REPORTS

    1. HIGHWAY COMMITTEE
      a. Garage Conditions. Couns. G. Goff and W. Kretser visited the Garage and discovered far too many supplies had been ordered in the past, a waste of taxpayers' money. They indicated a big turnaround in the first nine days of the year since Supt. Rascoe was sworn in. Supervisor Keith added the lines of communication between the Highway Dept. and the Town Hall have vastly improved; all Town procedures have been followed, and the employees are agreeable. She and Supt. Rascoe agreed that relations between the Supervisor and Highway Superintendent are agreeable.

      b. New Pickup Truck. A replacement for the Highway 2000 Chevy pickup, a 2006 red Dodge Ram 2500, 1/4 ton, 4x4 with plow and options, has been ordered from Albany Dodge and will be delivered within the month. Coun. G. Goff noted that procurement procedures had been followed and the truck was purchased through NYS OGS at $22,645, although the sticker price is $36,495. The truck will be well maintained and will be sold in 3 years when the warranty expires. The Town will advertise the 2000 Chevy pickup, and whatever price is obtained will be returned to the Highway Capital Projects Fund.

      c. 2004 Highway Supt. pickup. Although this vehicle is only 18 months old, it has not been maintained. Supt. Rascoe replaced the tires on the truck and had the wheels aligned.

      d. Sale of Equipment. In addition to advertising the 2000 Chevrolet pickup for sale, the old backhoe must also be sold. Coun. W. Kretser will research the value of the vehicle and then it will be advertised for sale.

      e. Highway Computer. Coun. Kretser will arrange to have the Highway Dept. computer monitored and then erased so that the Garage computer system will be in compliance with the Town's computer/internet policy. Supt. Rascoe endorsed the idea, stating he wanted to start his term with a "clean slate."

    2. BUILDING COMMITTEE. An attorney specializing in municipal finance will be present at the special board meeting on Wednesday, January 25, 2006.

    3. RECREATION COMMITTEE. The Town Custodian is attempting to create a skating rink at the Rec Park, although recent warm weather and rains are frustrating his efforts.

    4. CEMETERY COMMITTEE. Supv. Keith indicated she had some good ideas and is anxious to begin work with Coun. T. Goff on these.

    5. LANDFILL COMMITTEE. Coun. Ordway noticed snowmobile tracks on the landfill, even though signs have been posted. Supv. Keith indicated she would contact the State Police, and Coun. Ordway said she had seen State Park Police patrolling the area.

OLD BUSINESS

    1. General Fund Pickup. The 1988 General Fund pickup truck no longer runs; therefore, a replacement truck was ordered through OGS from Albany Dodge. The purchase price is same, $22,645, and it will be delivered within the month. The old truck will be advertised for sale, and the proceeds will be returned to the General Fund. Supervisor Keith stated the funds have been set aside in the 2006 Budget.

CORRESPONDENCE

    1. Proposed Conservation Easement. The DEC responded to the Town's negative reaction to the proposed conservation easement. Representatives of the Nature Conservancy and DEC have requested permission to restate their case to the Town Board at a future meeting. Coun. Ordway stated "actions speak louder than words," and the Board agreed, noting that although the State of New York does not maintain existing facilities, usage fees rise annually.

    2. Bloomingdale Fire Dept. Supv. Keith received a tally of all calls for the Town.

COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS

    1. Fire/Rescue Contract with Village of Saranac Lake. Frank Karl reviewed proposed changes to the 2007 contract with the Village. They intend to base costs on assessed value of property in contracting municipalities instead of number of calls. This would mean cost to the Town of Franklin would increase by 40%. Mr. Karl noted the Town's average is 30 calls per year, and most concern car accidents. Although the Village has the highest number of calls, it intends to shift the burden of its costs onto adjoining municipalities. The Town of Santa Clara has contracted with the Tupper Lake Fire/Rescue Dept. Mr. Karl stated the Village refuses to separate its Fire and Rescue services because Rescue brings in the revenue and the Fire Dept. wants a new fire station.

    2. Lower Real Property Assessments. Frank Karl announced the area's association will be holding a meeting with Sen. Betty Little at the High School Auditorium on January 10th. He stated Sen. Little has five bills pending, one of which proposes the State prohibit annual assessment updates. He noted one county petitioned Albany and was able to obtain a 6-year reassessment cycle and maintains a 100% equalization rate until the revaluation. He urged all present to contact their State representatives and complain about the high cost of taxes. Supervisor Keith asked Mr. Karl to develop a fact sheet and circulate it with a petition, and Mr. Karl agreed.

    3. Recreational Facilities. Elizabeth McGuiork asked about the placement of proposed new public assembly structure to be erected on the existing Rec Park skating rink. If the structure is to be built on the rink, where will the skating rink be found? Coun. Ordway replied the Town would make sure the skating rink would be relocated to an appropriate spot.

ADJOURNMENT

    There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:45 pm (M.Keith-J.Ordway m/s/p) ALL AYE

Respectfully submitted, Sandra J. Oliver, Deputy 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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