town of franklin

Town of Franklin Board Meetings

Minutes of the Monthly Town Board Meeting and
Public Hearing - Proposed Grant Application To Hud
March 9, 2011 - 6:00 PM

Board members present:

Supervisor Arthur P. Willman, Jr.
Councilman Allen Berg
Councilman Clifford Smalley (arrived at 6:50 PM)
Councilman Donald Hamm
Councilman Bradley Merrill

Others Present:

Sue Picard, Friends of the North Country Town Clerk Sandra Oliver, Doris Hamm, Ed Martin, Joann Gerrish, Nancy Griffiths, Doug Ferris

PUBLIC HEARING - PROPOSED GRANT APPLICATION TO HUD

1. CALL TO ORDER.

Supervisor Arthur P. Willman, Jr. called the meeting to order at 6:00 pm. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited, the Town Clerk called the roll and introduced guests and declared a quorum was present.

2. SUE PICARD, FRIENDS OF THE NORTH COUNTRY ("FONC").

Ms Picard appeared in Scott Campbell's place who could not attend due to illness. She described the Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) FONC was applying for to benefit of homeowners in the Town of Franklin: CDBG is federally funded through HUD but administered by the State of New York. The grant application is due in May of this year. There are several different types of grants (FONC does not recommend the Town to apply for both types of grants. NYS is less likely to approve a comprehensive application):

a) CDGB GRANT - HOUSING REHABILITATION: FONC will be applying to the State of New York on behalf of the Town of Franklin. It is a competitive grant for housing rehabilitation which provides for wide-ranging amounts of housing rehabilitation, mobile home replacement or rehab, and the grant amount available is $400,000. Competitive in this context means the Town of Franklin would be competing with other municipalities. The primary objective of the grant is to assist moderate and low income families. Eligibility is based on the entire household income, the house must be the residence of the homeowner; renters are not eligible

b) CDGB GRANT FOR PUBLIC INFRASTRUCTURE: This grant is in the amount of $600,000, but is mainly for public water and sewer projects.

3. FONC PROCEDURE:

Postcards are mailed to homeowners announcing the grant application and requesting homeowners contact FONC with repairs/rehabilitation/replacement required. FONC staff review the responses and then a housing specialist visits the site and draws up a detailed list of repairs/replacement required and develops estimates. The FONC staff then reviews the estimates and income reports from the homeowners and verifies same. It then determines the total for a certain number of units to be worked on. Each project requires Town Board approval, which will receive copies of the scope of work documents, bids, etc. Generally, the governing body of the Town does not know the identities of applicants for grant work. The Board will receive monthly progress reports on each project. The housing specialist, on subsequent visits, produces the scope of work document for the homeowner's approval as well as his bid estimates and a list of contractors. The homeowner can edit the contractor list. Then FONC sends the project out to bid. Once the bids are receives, the staff compares, and generally, the lowest bidder is awarded the contract. Then the contracts are drawn up and forwarded to HUD for funding. (There are restrictions with respect to selling the house.) The housing specialist makes frequent site visits, and each progress payment is submitted to New York State and with the property owner. FONC handles filing the mortgage instrument with the County. Prior to the final payment the housing specialist inspects the completed work, as well as the Town's Codes Officer.

If the Town of Franklin is awarded the grant, FONC would administer it. The staff will handle paperwork and eligibility determinations and liaise with New York State.

4. QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS

Q/C: Coun. Berg asked if homeowners had previous HUD work done, are they eligible to apply for assistance again.

A: Ms. Picard responded that would be a determination of the Town Board, which sets limits. However, if a homeowner received assistance in the past, he/she must still meet eligibility requirements.

Q/C: Coun. Hamm inquired whether the CDGB Grant was part of the federal stimulus.

A: Ms. Picard responded that it was not. However, she noted that President Obama is preparing to cut CDBG funds.

Q/C: Coun. Berg asked what the Town's chances are of receiving a grant award.

A: Ms. Picard replied that by not applying for the full $400,000, application reviewers feel matching Town of Franklin residents' needs vs. wants. In application, narrative relates need in Town and includes unemployment rate, education levels, size of family, and income to prove need. Also, FONC selects 10 homes to demonstrate need for housing rehabilitation funds and includes photos, description of property and residence.

Q/C: Coun Hamm queried the number of grants FONC has been successful with.

A: Ms. Picard responded it was a high percentage. Q/C: Coun. Berg queried if any other Franklin County towns were applying.

A: Ms. Picard answered that Bellmont and possibly Malone were applying. Q/C: Coun. Hamm questioned whether the grant if awarded would include municipal-owned wells, septic, heating systems and roof.

A: Ms. Picard responded that there is a separate grant application for municipalities.

Q/C: Coun. Merrill suggested the Board give priority to water and septic issues.

A: Ms. Picard agreed, indicating that the funds are to be used for people in dire circumstances. As mentioned before, grant funds can be used to replace mobile homes.

Q/C: Coun. Hamm asked if grant awards would be based on energy conservation or update.

A: Ms. Picard indicated that energy conservation is part of what is accomplished in building rehabilitation, however, it is actually upgrading from substandard for people in dire circumstances. The grant, if awarded, would also include weatherization, and if constructed prior to 1978, will also include a lead-paint and risk assessment.

Q/C: Coun. Hamm inquired as to the percentage FONC receives for its administration fee.

A: Ms. Picard did not know, but assured the Board it was a standard amount.

Q/C: Supv. Willman commented that administrative costs are now lower because the application formerly cost much more than $1,000 to $1,500.

Ms. Picard requested that residents should correspond with their NYS Assembly and Senate representatives to urge Governor Andrew Cuomo to keeping funding for rural community development. In conclusion, she recommended that if any had any questions, they should contact Scott Campbell at 888-355-3662.

Supv. Willman thanked Ms. Picard for her appearance and for the information she imparted.

5. ADJOURNMENT.

6:42 PM. Motion to adjourn (A.Berg-D.Hamm m/s/p) ALL AYE

MONTHLY TOWN BOARD MEETING

Board members present:

Supervisor Arthur P. Willman, Jr.
Councilman Allen Berg
Councilman Clifford Smalley (arrived at 6:50 PM)
Councilman Donald Hamm
Councilman Bradley Merrill

Others Present:

Franklin Co. Leg. Rep. Tim Burpoe, Franklin Co. Leg. Rep. Tim Lashomb, Town Clerk Sandra Oliver, Doris Hamm, Ed Martin, Knneth Guerin , Joann Gerrish

PUBLIC HEARING - PROPOSED GRANT APPLICATION TO HUD

1. CALL TO ORDER.

Supv. Willman called the meeting to order at 7:00 pm. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited, the Town Clerk called the roll, introduced guests, and declared the full board was present.

2.PUBLIC COMMENTS AND QUESTIONS.

3. BUDGET AMENDMENTS. None

4. AUDIT OF CLAIMS

The following claims were submitted for approval and payment on Abstract 3 of 2011:
General FundVouchers 40 - 67$45,096.89
Highway FundVouchers 24 - $31,713.68
Prepay GeneralVouchers 5 - 2,091.44

Coun. Berg indicated he had spoken with the Highway Supt. Jacques DeMars, and discovered that some of the new radios had not been working well. In a subsequent conversation, Supt. DeMars indicated that after a visit to Wells Communications, the radios were now fine.

Supv. Willman noted that the Griffiths Energy bills were extremely high - over $16,000 this past month. The Board will have to take rising fuel prices into account for the 2012 budget.

Coun. Berg asked if All-Trades had been working on the new Garage heaters, and Supv. Willman replied the heaters will be tested in the morning.

Coun. Smalley inquired about the $1,500 invoice from Sears for a new tool set, and Supv. Willman rejoined that although the Garage did have tools, some were missing, broken, etc. Sears had a sale for a complete tool set, and $700 was for a tool storage cabinet. Coun. Smalley asked if the mechanic would keep the tool cabinet locked and oversee use of tools, and Supv. Willman replied in the affirmative. Coun. Hamm commented that the Department could not leave the cabinet locked as the mechanic might not be available in the Garage at all times and suggested that an inventory of tools be maintained.

Motion to accept and pay claims (A.Berg-B.Merrill m/s/p) ALL AYE.

5. MINUTES.

The minutes of the February 9, February 23 and March 7, 2011 meetings were accepted as presented. Motion (B.Merrill-A.Berg m/s/p) ALL AYE.

6. SUPERVISOR'S REPORT.

Balances as of February 28, 2011

General FundChecking$75,023.87
Savings201,996.99
CLASS107,272.66
Historian3,034.58
Highway FundChecking137,242.58
Savings544,332.98
CLASS188,216.51
Cap. Proj. Hwy.46,502.17
LandfillChecking6,309.64
CLASS44,041.23
Fire ProtectionChecking10,447.15
CLASS685.30
Capital Project Building5,436.31

Motion to accept Supervisor's report (B.Merrill-A.Berg m/s/p) ALL AYE

7. TOWN CLERK'S REPORT.

For the month of February 2011

3 dog licenses$10.50
1 Building permits$30.00
--------
$40.50
 
Paid to Supervisor$37.50
Paid to NYS Ag&Mkts (dogs)$3.00
--------
$40.50

Motion to accept Town Clerk Report (C.Smalley-A.Berg m/s/p) ALL AYE.


8. TAX COLLECTION REPORT.

The amount of the 2011 warrant is $2,264,464.87; the amount to be paid to the Town is $1,088,501.00; the amount to be paid to the County Treasurer is $1,175,963.19. During the period of Feb 8 thru March 3, 2011, $95,961.20 was collected. $170,000.00 was paid to the County Treasurer and $776.69 in interest was paid to the Supervisor. The bank statement for February has been received and reconciled. Motion to accept Tax Collection Report (C.Smalley-B.Merrill m/s/p) ALL AYE.

9. HIGHWAY MATTERS

A. SUPERINTENDENT'S REPORT.

Submitted by Highway Superintendent Jacques DeMars period:

Road work
• Plowed and sanded when necessary
• County was notified re water problems on some County roads and was requested to inspect some of them prior to the forecasted rain. On March 3rd, the County was contacted and on March 4th one foreman and one employee checked specific areas as well as any that were known to be problems in the past. They concluded no action was necessary. On Sunday afternoon March 6th, County Routes 26 and 60 had water. The County Supt. sent a foreman and an MEO to inspect. Plastic barrels with flashing lights were placed on the road sites to mark water problem areas. On March 7th they returned with a Grade-All and worked to manage the problem and reviewed some others.

Equipment
• 2011 International tandem delivered on February 18th, and will be designated Unit 11. It was transported to Route 11 for steel hydraulic line replacement.
• The loader and backhoe have been on the roads as often as possible creating weep holes for spring melt.
• The grizzly unit constructed by the Department is in constant use, and most of the chunk pile has been sifted.

B. HIGHWAY COMMITTEE.

• Coun. Hamm reported huge frost heaves on many of our roads as well as sunken culverts. The culvert near Lou Meyers needs more fill, as it has at least a one-foot drop.

Replacement for Highway Pickup Truck. Discussion tabled from December 8, 2010.

• CREW CAB DUMP. Coun. Merrill opined because it has been such a heavy winter and fuel costs have soared, the matter should be tabled. Supv. Willman indicated if a new vehicle is purchased it might have to be financed, and Coun. Merrill responded he was under the impression the Town could purchase the new item outright. Originally, Supt. DeMars had suggested purchasing a crew cab dump truck; Coun Hamm commented he saw one the other day, and the purchase price for a used vehicle was down to $40,000. Further, Coun. Hamm reported that the Village of Saranac Lake has s hort dump with an angled plow. Supv. Willman opined that under State contract the Town might get something new, a regular body with a short wheel base for easier turning and retaining the old pick ups as additional tools. Coun. Berg recommended that Supt. DeMars get specs together.
• ROLLER. Coun. Hamm recalled that Supt. DeMars had also expressed a need for a roller. The Highway Dept. has been borrowing a roller from the County and from the Town of Saranac and using on dirt roads, where it is very effective. Coun. Berg asked how often the crew uses a roller, and Coun. Hamm explained a roller is a necessary tool anytime road work is done, however, he cautioned, if an accident or damage occurs, the Town of Franklin bears responsibility. Coun. Berg surmised that the Town Highway Dept. is asking for a new truck as well as a roller. Coun. Hamm reported that rollers are expensive, the Town would require a 66" drum, as 84" is too large. In addition, rollers are expensive and are easily damaged. Tabled to April meeting.

C. QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS ON HIGHWAY MATTERS.

Q/C: The Highway Department did an outstanding job during the Sunday-Monday snowstorm. They were out plowing the roads before the State trucks appeared. Snowfall measurements were 28-36 inches. Great job!

10. NEW BUSINESS

A. FRANKLIN COUNTY GRANT APPLICATION TO STUDY COUNTYWIDE PLANNING.

Franklin County Legislators Tim Burpoe, District 7 and Legislator Tim Lashomb, District 4 introduced themselves to speak about the $40,500 grant being offered by NYS Dept. of State Local Government Efficiency Task Force to study the feasibility of a countywide planning board. Rep Burpoe appeared before the Town Board last year to request support for the County's application. The County submitted the application but it was denied because not all the municipalities in the County supported it. Therefore, both Messrs. Burpoe and Lashomb are speaking with each municipality in the County in an effort to garner support for the grant application, which is due by March 16, 2011. It will not be offered again due to the State government's economic problems. The grant application will fund a feasibility study of the creation of a countywide planning board; it will not create a county planning board. The County wishes to define planning and is asking all 25 municipalities to co-apply. IDA (Industrial Development Agency) will conduct the study. Once the study completed, municipalities may accept, reject or modify the study results.

Rep. Lashomb, former head of IDA and a self-described fiscal conservative, stated this could be a beginning of a new relationship with municipalities. The study would delineate benefits to the Town of Franklin.

Coun. Berg asked if the grant application and study would incur any cost to the Town, and Rep. Lashomb replied it would not. Coun. Berg considered it County might already have the information, and Rep. Lashomb indicated it did not have. Coun. Berg expressed concern about the future costs, in employee salaries and benefits. Rep. Lashomb replied the County did not contemplate hiring additional people for a planning board. Mr. Lashomb stressed the study would be conducted by IDA, and if the study proves that countywide planning would benefit all the municipalities, that IDA would contract to administer it. However, the grant application is being submitted for a study, not implementation of a planning dept. Rep. Lashomb continued, that there are serious struggles ahead for Franklin County in its 2012 budget, and it is his belief that the creation of jobs in tourism is what will bring revenue in to the entire County. The study will define planning for each municipality's needs. Some municipalities like Saranac Lake and Tupper Lake already have their own planning departments and may not require assistance from a county planning office.

Coun. Merrill asked what will be better and what will costs be? Rep. Burpoe indicated that lots of towns have water and sewer districts. Developers would look into this. Grant will explore costs and definitions.

Supv. Willman noted that each town has a Codes officer or a building & planning department. Why not create a County database that includes all that information. Rep. Burpoe replied the County has a GIS formatted database, however, it is not maintained at this time. Supv. Willman suggested that digitizing could be done on a local level without County involvement and that $40,000 is a large amount of money. He speculated whether it makes sense to embark on this type of study when the State has a huge deficit. In good times the study would be beneficial, but perhaps not now, perhaps when Franklin County has its fiscal house in order. Taxpayers in the Town of Franklin were burdened by a 30% County tax increase this year. Rep. Burpoe replied that the County needs to work smarter with less money. A planning department would maintain the GIS system.

Rep. Lashomb stated that New York State is looking to divide the State into 10 regional economic areas which will all be very competitive for grant funding. Franklin County does not have documentation to support an economic grant award. This would enable Franklin County to obtain its fair share of development dollars. Also, the County does have the funds to create a new department.

Supv. Willman surmised that the study funded by the grant award would create the documentation necessary. He declared he is opposed to any more layers of government. Once a developer steps inside the Adirondack Park, the situation changes due to the environmental rules and regulations set by NYS DEC and the APA. Rep. Lashomb responded that if there is no basis, economic development monies cannot be obtained. He continued, that he has watched, as everyone else has, the 7 year process it has taken in Tupper Lake with the Foxman development. There was no data to begin with, and Mr. Foxman took two years to gather it. Rep. Lashomb opined that Franklin County is due for a break, and it is his hope that the study will delineate some potential.

Coun. Merrill suggested that the County should do something about keeping sales tax revenue here at home. Right now it all goes to Clinton County.

Rep. Lashomb stated the County of Franklin will have to deal with a leaner government, especially with the proposed State tax cap. The County will have to make due with a smaller more efficient operation.

Coun. Berg asked what will happen if the grant is awarded, and Rep. Lashomb replied the County is not about to create a planning department - perhaps it only needs to hire or contract with a grant writer to seek economic development funds. The basic premise of the study is to define planning needs.

Coun. Hamm inquired who would conduct the study, and Rep. Lashomb replied IDA would hire a consultant, perhaps Camoin out of Saratoga. Rep. Lashomb indicated the County has lots of questions but no answers. He conjectured that increased tourism would also increase sales tax revenue, and that is a goal he thinks is attainable.

Coun. Merrill indicated he was in favor of the study and considered information would be beneficial; however, he expressed concern about what is going to be better? and what will the cost be?

Coun. Hamm commented that taxpayers and property owners are choked on too many rules and regulations. The public is afraid of additional layers of government, and the County of Franklin is not very good at running government. The public wants to see the county state and federal governments tighten their belts. People are afraid of new tax increases, and this Town just had an assessment revaluation - it balances out the tax increases - but the public is scared.

Rep. Lashomb indicated the County is concerned as well, and it is looking for tools to use to increase development and spur on the local economy.

Supv. Willman noted it has been a hard winter, and the cost of fuel has risen sharply. He agreed with Coun. Merrill that information would be good, and also agreed with Coun. Hamm about additional governmental agencies with multiple rules and regulations. A clearinghouse for information would be beneficial however.

Rep. Lashomb indicated that IDA would have the data - IDA is not funded by tax dollars. In order to obtain all economic development funds possible from the State, tools are required. Nevertheless, he expressed his stated his misgivings about dependence on State funding especially since those funds are drying up.

Coun. Smalley asked why gains would take place; whether the study would emphasize identification of needs and focus.

Coun. Hamm inquired if the study would be complete and comprehensive. Rep. Lashomb related that he has served on the IDA board since 1998, and he wants to ensure the County receives $40,000 worth of data. He emphasized that the grant application specifies participation from all towns, and support is needed. Rep. Burpoe affirmed all 25 municipalities in the County must endorse the grant application otherwise, it will not be awarded.

Coun. Berg emphasized he did not want to see another layer of government.

Coun. Hamm noted that the Town of Franklin can't even get cell towers; someone should do something about all the layers of bureaucracy.

Supv. Willman asked for a guarantee that this study would not lead to any additional layers of bureaucracy or an additional permitting process, and both Rep. Burpoe and Rep. Lashomb assured the Board that the study funded if the grant is awarded would not create a planning board.

Coun. Smalley confirmed that IDA would manage the study, and Supv. Willman asked that if IDA develops a planning office where would the cost of database creation and maintenance be drawn. Rep. Lashomb replied that because of the gas line funds coming into Malone, IDA has $200,000 in reserve for use for the entire county. He considered that IDA should be a central part of the process. IDA gets its funding through bonding with grants like the Paul Smiths bond, not from taxpayers. Private investors purchase the bonds. He continued, that IDA is very useful in business startups, and it now manages tourism for the County of Franklin.

Supv. Willman inquired about the development of ATV access, and Rep. Burpoe replied that Neil Seymour, Tourism Director, is now researching this meticulously. He is going through a slow process. When the State of New York purchased land, it did not purchase ATV access rights, so now individual property owners must be approached for permission on the former Champion Paper, Domtar and International Paper properties. Private property owners are not especially interested in having exposure to risk.

Supv. Willman requested a motion for a resolution in support of the grant application. Motion (C.Smalley-B.Merrill m/s/p) ALL AYE

RESOLUTION NO. 11: TOWN OF FRANKLIN TO BE CO-APPLICANT ON FRANKLIN COUNTY'S HIGH PRIORITY PLANNING GRANT APPLICATION TO THE NEW YORK STATE DEPARTMENT OF STATE LOCAL GOVERNMENT EFFICIENCY PROGRAM WHEREAS, the County of Franklin is interested in facilitating improved community planning throughout the County; and WHEREAS, the County of Franklin has identified the establishment of countywide planning services as a possible way to accomplish this; and WHEREAS, the County desires to study the feasibility, cost-effectiveness, long-term management benefits and logistics of establishing county-wide planning capacity; and WHEREAS, the County has authorized the submission of a grant application to the New York State Dept. of State's Local Government Efficiency Program to fund a study and implementation strategy for countywide planning services; and WHEREAS, the Town of Franklin supports the County's grant application and efforts to undertake said study; and WHEREAS, the Town of Franklin is of the opinion such a study would garner some benefit from the coordination of local planning efforts, technical assistance and other activities that may be undertaken by a county planning entity; and WHEREAS, the County is seeking co-applicants for its Local Government Efficiency grant application; NOW, THEREFORE,
BE IT RESOLVED, by the Town Board, being the governing body of the Town of Franklin, has determined to list the Town as an official co-applicant in the Franklin County Local Government Efficiency Grant Application for funding to undertake a study and implementation strategy for countywide planning services.

Those voting aye:

Supervisor Arthur Willman (with reservations)
Councilman Allen Berg
Councilman Clifford Smalley
Councilman Donald Hamm (with reservations)
Councilman Bradley Merrill

Those Voting nay:

None

Those Absent:

none

Those Abstaining:

None

Reps. Burpoe and Lashomb thanked the Board for its participation, and the Board expressed appreciation for the information imparted. Reps. Burpoe and Lashomb then left the meeting.

B. SUNSHINE WEEK. A proposed resolution supporting the "Sunshine Laws" in the State of New York was sent to the Board; it would have required the Town to post much more information on the Town website. However, each time something is posted onto the website, it costs money. Therefore, the Board determined it would not adopt the "Sunshine Week" resolution. If anyone requires information, all they have to do is ask.

C. INTRODUCTION OF PROPOSED LOCAL LAW NO. 1 OF 2011 CHANGING DATE OF GRIEVANCE DAY. At the Assessor's request, and in order to conform to NYS Real Property Law, Supv. Willman read the text of the proposed local law:

"Town of Franklin (Franklin County)
Local Law No. 1 of 2011

CHANGING THE DATE OF GRIEVANCE DAY

1) Pursuant to Real Property Tax Law section 512, the date on which the Board of Assessment Review of the Town of Franklin, Franklin County, New York, shall meet to hear complaints on real property assessments is hereby changed to the first Tuesday following the fourth Tuesday in May.

2) Local Law #2 of 2002 is hereby repealed in its entirety

3) This local law shall take effect upon filing with the Secretary of State of the State of New York, the New York Board of Real Property Services and the Town Clerk of the Town of Franklin (Franklin County)."

Supv. Willman explained that in most years, the "first Tuesday following the fourth Tuesday in May" would normally be the first Tuesday in June. The Assessor had preprinted notices advising property owners that 2011 grievance hearings would be held May 31st. Under current law (#2 of 2002), the first Tuesday in June is June 7th, which is quite late to hold grievance hearings in a reval year. Supv. Willman requested a motion for a resolution scheduling the public hearing on the proposed local law immediately following the second HUD grant public hearing, on March 30, 2011. Motion (C.Smalley-A.Berg m/s/p) ALL AYE

RESOLUTION NO. 12: PUBLIC HEARING SCHEDULE FOR LOCAL LAW #1 OF 2011 - CHANGE DATE OF GRIEVANCE DAY WHEREAS, current Local Law #2 of 2002 is not in conformance with NYS Real Property Law 512; NOW, THEREFORE,
BE IT RESOLVED, that a public hearing be scheduled for Wednesday March 30, 2011 immediately following the second public hearing on the proposed HUD grant application, to hear public comment on the proposed local law; AND BE IT
FURTHER RESOLVED, the Town Clerk is authorized to publish said notice.

Those voting aye:

Supervisor Arthur P. Willman, Jr.
Councilman Allen Berg
Councilman Donald Hamm
Councilman Bradley Merrill
Councilman Clifford Smalley

Those Voting nay:

None

Those Absent:

None

Those Abstaining:

None

D. DESIGNATION OF EMERGENCY SHELTERS IN TOWN. The Franklin County Office of Emergency Services, Bureau of Fire, has requested the Town to designate areas for sheltering residents (warming area and temporary housing). Supv. Willman suggested the Garage be identified as warming area and the Franklin Town Hall as temporary housing, with the Merrillsville Town Hall as a contingent temporary housing facility. The Board concurred. Motion (B.Merrill-A.Berg m/s/p) ALL AYE.

RESOLUTION NO. 13: DESIGNATION OF EMERGENCY SHELTERS WHEREAS, the Franklin County Office of Emergency Services has requested identification of facilities as two types of shelters, a warming area and temporary housing; NOW, THEREFORE,
BE IT RESOLVED, the Town Garage, 16 Town Barn Lane, Vermontville, is hereby designated a "warming area" and the Franklin Town Hall, 7 Cold Brook Road, Vermontville, is hereby designated as "temporary housing", with the Merrillsville Town Hall identified as contingent "temporary housing."

Those voting aye:

Supervisor Arthur P. Willman, Jr.
Councilman Allen Berg
Councilman Donald Hamm
Councilman Bradley Merrill
Councilman Clifford Smalley

Those Voting nay:

None

Those Absent:

None

Those Abstaining:

None

E. SUPPORT FOR TOWN OF LONG LAKE'S RESOLUTION OPPOSING NYS PURCHASE OF LANDS. Supv. Willman called attention to a letter from the Adirondack Association of Towns requesting the Board adopt a resolution supporting the Town of Long Lake's resolution in opposition to the State of New York's fee purchase of former Finch and Follensby Pond Lands. Supv. Willman indicated his opposition to all State land purchases, and Coun. Hamm stated a moratorium should be placed on land purchases by the State. If the State of New York continues to purchase land at the current rate, Tupper Lake will lose its lumber industry. Supv. Willman agreed, stating the economic impact of State purchases is poor, and it is bad fiscal responsibility with the State's huge deficit. Coun. Smalley indicated he did not want to see more land locked up and not producing. Motion (C.Smalley-A.Berg m/s/p) ALL AYE..

RESOLUTION NO. 14: SUPPORT FOR TOWN OF LONG LAKE'S RESOLUTION IN OPPOSITION TO FEE PURCHASE OF FORMER FINCH AND FOLLENSBY POND LANDS BY STATE OF NEW YORK WHEREAS, The Nature Conservancy (TNC) purchased 161,000 acres known as the Finch Pruyn ("Finch") Timberlands several years ago with the intent of selling 89,000 acres in conservation easements to the State of New York ("NYS"); and WHEREAS, NYS and TNC have recently completed an agreement concerning the 89,000 acre conservation easements that maintain productive forestry practices and enjoy the support of local governments that were directly impacted by providing said communities with several thousand acres in recreational enhancements; and WHEREAS, NYS has indicated a desire to purchase more than 60,000 acres of the former Finch Pruyn timberlands and an additional 15,000 acres of the Follensby Pond timberlands in fee from TNC; and WHEREAS, those supportive communities now find themselves confronted with an unparalleled economic depression and whose constituents simply do not support NYS purchasing additional land at a time when people are facing job losses and all levels of government are cutting vital services; and WHEREAS, no statutory guarantee currently exists requiring NYS to pay local property taxes on state land to municipalities; and WHEREAS, the Adirondack Park Agency (APA) is charged with the responsibility of determining state agency compliance with the Adirondack Stat Land Master Plan (SLMP) and to engage in a continuing planning process which recognizes matters of local concern; and WHEREAS, the SLMP provides that "due to the importance of the forest products industry to the economy of the Adirondack region, bulk acreage purchases in fee should not normally be made where highly productive forest land is involved, unless such land is threatened with development that would curtail its use for forestry purposes of its value for the preservation of open space or of wildlife habitat. . ."; and WHEREAS, the former Finch Pruyn lands and the Follensby Pond lands are both highly productive forestlands, and neither is threatened with imminent development that would curtail their value of open space; and WHEREAS, the proposed purchase of the Follensby lands will be partially funded by federal Forest Legacy program funds designed to purchase and protect working forests and is not designed to fund fee acquisition lands where forestry would be prohibited; and WHEREAS, NYS currently faces unprecedented financial challenges that will require cutting $5 billion from NYS education and Medicaid programs in 2011 alone, and with the loss of thousands of NYS jobs the NYS Dept. of Environment Conservation (DEC) is unable properly to maintain and manage existing, no less any newly acquired lands, due to staff reductions; and WHEREAS, the education of our children, caring for the less fortunate and protecting the environment through use of using Environmental Protection Funds to upgrade sewer and water projects must be a priority - not additional land purchases - particularly as NYS already owns millions of acres of Forest Preserve; NOW, THEREFORE,
BE IT RESOLVED, the Town of Franklin Town Board hereby supports the resolution adopted by the Town of Long Lake opposing the fee acquisition by NYS of the former Finch Pruyn and Follensby Pond lands; AND BE IT
FURTHER RESOLVED, the Town of Franklin Town Board urges the Adirondack Park Agency to ensure compliance with its SLMP by opposing the proposed DEC fee purchase of productive timberland and urges Governor Andrew Cuomo to intercede directly on behalf of the taxpayers of NYS by directing NYS agencies to reject the proposed purchase of the former Finch Pruyn and Follensby Pond lands; AND BE IT
FURTHER RESOLVED, the Town of Franklin Town Board requests Governor Cuomo to develop a strategy that takes into consideration the long-term financial obligations of acquisition of additional lands as well as the economic and social impact on Adirondack communities prior to authorization of additional purchase of lands; AND BE IT
FURTHER RESOLVED, copies of this resolution shall be forwarded to Governor Andrew Cuomo, Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli, Senate Majority Leader Dean Skelos, Senator Elizabeth Little, Senator Hugh Farley, Senator James Seward, Senator Joseph Griffo, Senator Roy McDonald, Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward, Assemblywoman Janet Duprey, Assemblyman David Townsend, DEC Comissioner Joseph Martens, DEC Region 5 Director Betsy Lowe and DEC Region 6 Director Judy Drabicki.

Those voting aye:

Supervisor Arthur P. Willman, Jr.
Councilman Allen Berg
Councilman Donald Hamm
Councilman Bradley Merrill
Councilman Clifford Smalley

Those Voting nay:

None

Those Absent:

None

Those Abstaining:

None

F. OPPOSITION TO POSSIBLE TRANSFER OF FIRE/RESCUE DISPATCH TO MALONE. As the Board has become aware in the media, Supv. Willman indicated the Village of Saranac Lake may transfer dispatch for fire and rescue vehicles to the Emergency Services operation in Malone. There will be a Saranac Lake Area Fire Advisory Board meeting soon to discuss the matter, as well as the hiring and firing of drivers. Coun. Merrill thought it better to keep dispatch local. Motion (A.Berg-B.Merrill m/s/p) ALL AYE

RESOLUTION NO. 15: OPPOSITION TO POSSIBLE TRANSFER OF FIRE/RESCUE DISPATCH BY VILLAGE OF SARANAC LAKE TO EMERGENCY SERVICES IN MALONE WHEREAS, the local media has reported that the Village of Saranac Lake is contemplating the possible transfer of dispatch for fire and rescue services to Emergency Services in Malone, New York; NOW, THEREFORE,
BE IT RESOLVED, the Town of Franklin Town Board opposes this possible transfer of dispatch services as dispatchers at the northern end of the County are unfamiliar with the roads and thoroughfares at the southern end of the County and also the delays caused by this unfamiliarity would place public health at risk.

Those voting aye:

Supervisor Arthur P. Willman, Jr.
Councilman Allen Berg
Councilman Donald Hamm
Councilman Bradley Merrill
Councilman Clifford Smalley

Those Voting nay:

None

Those Absent:

None

Those Abstaining:

None

11.OLD BUSINESS

A. PAYOUT OF HIGHWAY SUPT. HEALTH INSURANCE BUYOUT. At the February meeting the Board adopted resolution no. 6 authorizing quarterly payments of the Highway Supt. Health Insurance Buyout in the event the Highway Supt. was unable to perform his duties. Supv. Willman indicated that Supt. DeMars preferred a lump sum payout. Further, by April 1st of this year the Town would have paid to the Teamsters almost $10,000 for his health insurance; the buyout is only $6,000, thereby saving the Town $13,000. Coun. Merrill stated he did not want another 2008 situation where the Town was without a Highway Supt. for six weeks. Coun. Berg indicated he favored a lump sum payment. Coun. Merrill objected, speculating if - hypothetically - the Hwy. Supt. resigns next month, and a new guy is appointed, where would the $6,000 come from? Coun. Berg proposed the Town should get out of the health insurance business. Supv. Wilman indicated the Board should review health insurance buyouts for all employees, and the matter will be on the April agenda. He requested a motion for a resolution rescinding Resolution 6. Motion (A.Berg-C.Smalley m/s/p) AYE (Willman-Hamm-Berg-Smalley) NAY Merrill.

RESOLUTION NO. 16: RESCIND RESOLUTION NO. 6 OF 2011 WHEREAS, by consensus of a majority of the Town Board and at the request of the Highway Superintendent, quarterly payments of the lump sum health insurance buyout authorized by Local Law No. 3 of 2010 is not desirable; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, Resolution No. 6 of 2011 is hereby RESCINDED.

Those voting aye:

Supervisor Arthur P. Willman, Jr.
Councilman Allen Berg
Councilman Donald Hamm
Councilman Clifford Smalley

Those Voting nay:

Councilman Bradley Merrill

Those Absent:

None

Those Abstaining:

None

Motion for resolution authorizing lump sum payment of Highway Supt. Health Insurance Buyout (A-Berg-C.Smalley m/s/p) AYE (Willman-Hamm-Berg-Smalley) NAY Merrill.

RESOLUTION NO. 17: AUTHORIZE LUMP SUM PAYMENT OF HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT HEALTH INSURANCE BUYOUT BE IT RESOLVED, by consensus of the Town Board and at the request of the Highway Superintendent, a lump sum payment of the health insurance buyout authorized by Local Law No. 3 of 2010 is hereby AUTHORIZED.

Those voting aye:

Supervisor Arthur P. Willman, Jr.
Councilman Allen Berg
Councilman Donald Hamm
Councilman Clifford Smalley

Those Voting nay:

Councilman Bradley Merrill

Those Absent:

None

Those Abstaining:

None

B. ASSESSMENT UPDATE. Assessment Full Disclosure Notices were mailed to property owners this past week, and the Assessor will be available to meet with property owners by appointment from March 7 through March 25 at his office, 39 Main Street, Saranac Lake. The Tentative Assessment roll will be filed by May 1st, and hearings on assessment grievances will be on Tuesday, May 31, 2011 from 5:00PM to 9:00PM.

C. LAND INVENTORY PROJECT. Supv. Willman pointed out the brochure for the Local Government Conference (Mar 22 & 23 in Lake Placid), and indicated an expert and a demonstration of GIS and the software would be available at the Help Desk at that time. He conjectured this type of software could produce maps with overlays would be a suitable option for presenting the land inventory findings.

D. INFRASTRUCTURE UPDATES.
1) Town Garage Heater Replacements. The heaters will be tested in the next few days.
2) Town Hall Doors. New doors will be installed in two weeks.
3) Town Hall Windows. The bid had not yet been awarded. Because of reported past experience with the contractor that submitted lowest bid, Supv. Willman suggested the Board award the bid to Douglas Snickles, who is local and has a very good reputation. Coun. Hamm suggested that Mr. Snickles re-measure all the windows. The Board concurred that Mr. Snickles should be awarded the bid. Motion (A.Berg-B.Merrill m/s/p) ALL AYE

RESOLUTION NO. 18: AWARD BID FOR REPLACEMENT OF TOWN HALL WINDOWS (LABOR ONLY) TO DOUGLAS SNICKLES WHEREAS, request for prices for the replacement of windows in the Franklin Town Hall were published; and WHEREAS, bids were received and reviewed; and WHEREAS, a taxpayer reported negative experience with the lowest bidder; NOW, THEREFORE,
BE IT RESOLVED, Douglas Snickles is awarded the contract for installation of replacement windows at the Franklin Town Hall in sum of $4,400.00

Those voting aye:

Supervisor Arthur P. Willman, Jr.
Councilman Allen Berg
Councilman Donald Hamm
Councilman Clifford Smalley
Councilman Bradley Merrill

Those Voting nay:

none

Those Absent:

None

Those Abstaining:

None

E. TAX COLLECTION AUDIT. Supv. Willman noted that he and Coun. Berg had audited the Tax Collector's accounts on February 8th, and the accounts were found to be in good condition with bank statements reconciled and balanced. The Clerk will research the Comptroller's website for additional audit procedures. Tabled to April meeting.

12. COMMITTEE REPORTS

A. AUDIT COMMITTEE. Tabled.

B. CELEBRATIONS. No report.

C. CEMETERIES. No report.

D. RECREATION. No report.

13. ANNOUNCEMENTS.

The Kate Mountain Community Recreation Assn. will hold its next meeting at 7:00 PM Monday, March 14th. The public is more than welcome to attend and to volunteer.

14. QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS. None

Q/C: What are you trying to accomplish with the land inventory? The subdivision committee began collecting resource materials. Re the Smart Growth Grant - this is a reimbursement program, so the Town would have to fund any project up front. The Board should encourage a public process concerning development of the Rec Park. As far as the grant application is concerned, time is short, and the application is no simple task. Suggest it be tabled.

15. EXECUTIVE SESSION.

At 9:30 PM, Supv. Willman requested a motion to enter Executive Session to discuss pending litigation. Coun. Merrill recused himself from the session. Motion (C.Smalley-A.Berg m/s/p) (AYES Willman, Berg, Hamm, Smalley). (RECUSE: Merrill).

16. RECONVENE MEETING

At 9:50 PM Supv. Willman announced the members of the Board in the Executive Session had discussions only. No action was taken. He requested a motion to reconvene the meeting Motion (A.Berg-C.Smalley m/s/p) AYE.

17. ADJOURNMENT

There being no further business to discuss or conduct, the meeting adjourned at 9:51 PM. Motion (C.Smalley-A.Berg m/s/p) ALL AYE

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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