The Town of Franklin Town Board held a duly advertised special Board Meeting on Monday, March 20, 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
Town Clerk Sandra Oliver
Robert Weigold, resident
Jean Baltzly, resident
Terry Martino, Adirondack North Country Assn.
Shanna Ratner, Yellow Wood Assocs., St. Albans, VT
Ann R. Holland, Consultant, Willsboro, NY
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.
NEW BUSINESS: PURPOSE OF MEETING
Supervisor Keith stated the purpose of the meeting was to discuss the infrastructure of the Town of Franklin. Following the Building Committee's report several months ago on its progress concerning the proposed public assembly structure, Supv. Keith spoke with Terry Martino of ANCA concerning grant funding. Mrs. Martino subsequently spoke to Shanna Ratner and Ann Holland concerning the Town's goals, and a meeting was held among Supv. Keith, Mrs. Martino, Ms. Ratner and Ms. Holland regarding possible funding for the Town's repair and construction needs of its Town Garage, Vermontville Town Hall, the proposed public assembly structure and further work on the Merrillsville Town Hall.
PRIORITIES OF TOWN AND FUNDING OPPORTUNITIES
Supv. Keith stated the Town's first priority was the proposed public assembly structure to be built at the Recreation Park at a cost of approximately $600,000. The Vermontville Town Hall is a small structure, presently used for office space for Town officials and is free of charge to residents for meetings, parties, dinners and play groups. The proposed public assembly structure would be used for public assemblies and private gatherings and the current Town Hall strictly for office space and court chambers. The Town is currently in very good financial shape, and some debt can be incurred, however, the Board expressed its desire to keep indebtedness to a minimum. Terry Martino, Adirondack North Country Association, stated the Department of State has grant funding available, primarily for planning. After she and Supv. Keith spoke, Mrs. Martino thought of work performed by Ann Holland and Shanna Ratner in "green communities" planning.
YELLOW WOOD ASSOCIATES, INC.
Shanna Ratner, Principal of Yellow Wood Associates, Inc., St. Albans, Vermont, took the floor to explain her firm's goals. Yellow Wood helps small rural communities with technology to apply to infrastructure. Their experience informs them that many technologies are being developed, i.e., building materials, lighting, etc., many of which are highly cost effective and environmentally and socially better than what we have now. Yellow Wood is committed to small rural communities and assists towns before construction to understand what alternatives are. Ms. Ratner continued that Yellow Wood wants to understand what the Town of Franklin really wants and needs and her organization will look to adoption of materials used in buildings. Their service history is over 5 or 6 years. They worked with the Town of Richmond, Vt. on an energy audit of its historic town hall. The Richmond town hall was cold and drafty, and the governing board had planned to purchase a newer, larger furnace. Yellow Wood's investigation indicated the structure was not insulated, and a large hole was found to be leaking heat. In addition, the doors and windows were not state-of-the-art and also leaked heat. A new, larger furnace would not have improved the situation. The research performed concluded that closing the hole, installing insulation and new windows and doors were a priority. The town needed to look at the entire picture, so Yellow Wood performed a "life cycle cost analysis" which demonstrated how improvements could be phased in over several years. Richmond now understands life cycle costing. Municipalities invest in structures for the long term public good. Another example of Yellow Wood's advice is the town of Jericho, Vt., which created a sewer district of all individual and privately-owned septic systems. The town owns and maintains all household septic systems and obtained a "wastewater treatment" grant to do so. Ms. Ratner distributed copies of Yellow Wood's "green communities" proposal to the Board, as follows:
"YELLOW WOOD ASSOCIATES
228 N. Main St., St. Albans, VT 05478, (802) 524-6141
GREEN COMMUNITIES TECHNOLOGIES
Proposal for Green Community Technologies Service
For Franklin, New York - March 20, 2006
The Town of Franklin is at a pivotal point in their planning for the facility needs of the community. The Town knows that it has issues that need to be considered and has made progress in collecting space information, design ideas and input from the community. Now it is time to get more organized and use the momentum generated to move into the full development and implementation stage.
It is in the best interests of the Town to capitalize on its work to date and use its resources to make informed, cost effective decisions about its building options. Franklin needs to consider how to most efficiently design, build and pay for anticipated renovation/construction activities. The Town also needs to consider how to minimize operating expenses by utilizing new, green technology in the construction/renovation process. This will help to draw attention to the Town's accomplishments and demonstrate that building "green" saves money.
Yellow Wood Associates (Yellow Wood) has developed a process for helping rural municipalities inventory their assets and assess the potential for applying sound alternative technologies to those assets. Called Green Community Technologies, Yellow Wood takes a systems approach to cataloging a municipality's assets, including buildings, and then helps decision makers find sustainable solutions for their most pressing needs. We can provide an objective assessment of the full range of alternative solutions to facility problems.
We would also like to invite Franklin to become the New York demonstration community for this program.
The Green Community Technologies process can help the Town of Franklin by taking the existing information and helping the Town to complete its building inventory process. The Green Communities Technologies process can give Franklin the tools to better manage the decision making that goes into facility planning and construction. Once we know what the Town has, Yellow Wood works with the Town to identify which building assets hold the most potential for cost savings and environmental benefit. Yellow Wood then draws from its library of technologies and technologists and conducts original research as needed to present customized alternatives that can save significant money and reduce the environmental impact of the facility. If Franklin chooses to move forward with any implementation of any of the chosen alternatives, Yellow Wood can help communities identify grants and incentive monies from the many state and federal agencies that are looking to encourage the adoption of alternative technologies.
The following components, or tasks, in our opinion, will give the Town what it needs in order to make the best decisions for the community. It will also quickly move the facility work into the implementation stage so that funding can be sought and received.
A. Indoor Space and Use Analysis
- Collect, clarify and evaluate existing information from Franklin regarding existing and required uses of indoor space and estimates of required square footage. We understand Franklin has hired architects and engineers to conduct studies and prepare preliminary plans. We will review all materials to determine their appropriateness for meeting Franklin's facility goals and energy efficiency needs.
- Collect, clarify and provide floor plan and building use analysis for the three existing structures and one proposed structure at Kate Mtn. Park.
- Discuss alternative uses and options for existing and proposed space. (This is an essential first step before evaluating Green Technologies and energy efficiency issues. This step provides a systems framework which improves Franklin's decision making about costs and benefits.)
B. Building By Building analysis, based, in part, on results of Component A
- Identify key issues and Franklin's ideas for each building.
- Provide detailed information for each building related to key issues.
- Conduct "Best Practices" research tailored to Franklin's projects and provide an analysis of green technology alternatives appropriate to the facilities.
- Provide Franklin with the findings of the analysis. These will include life cycle cost information, where available, on options for each building. This will enable the Town to understand the short and long term costs/benefits for the recommended options.
- Areas of apparent concern include:
a. Energy efficiency, cost, and sources - Highway Garage, Vermontville, Merrillsville. We will investigate and recommend alternatives to improve energy efficiency and reduce energy costs in existing buildings, including uses of alternative fuels. We may engage providers of relevant no or low cost services such as NYSERDA as appropriate. We will also engage our in-house energy expert, Jeff Forward, who has extensive experience with biomass energy applications. Based on information received to date, we believe energy savings and reduced costs are achievable.
b. Historic structures - Yellow Wood will consult with the New York State Historic Preservation Office to determine the suitable and approvable applications for these buildings, taking into account the entire building and the Town's interest in Green Building Technology applications. This will save Franklin time and money in permitting and construction.
c. Oil/water separation for the garage - Yellow Wood will evaluate Sutherland's work on oil and water separation. If it's fine, leave it. If not, expand the range of alternatives in order for the Town to make informed decisions. (Optional task)
d. Bathrooms - Assess short term alternatives to the Porta-A-Potty at Kate Mountain Park. (Optional task)
e. Green building for new construction and/or addition including all relevant building components - We will take our pre-existing knowledge of "green standards" (emphasizes state of the art strategies for sustainable site development, water savings, energy efficiency, materials selection, building design and indoor environmental quality) for buildings and building components (i.e., siting, HVAC, electrical plumbing, roofing, windows, heating, envelope, insulation, flooring, façade, lighting indoor air quality, etc.) We will apply the standards to existing structures and/or new construction and make recommendations based, in part, on life cycle cost analysis. Results of this analysis will provide sufficient detail to direct architects and engineers as they prepare bid specifications for construction/renovation of these facilities.
C. Report Preparation and presentation. Results of Components A and B will be documented in a written report available in multiple hard copies (up to 15) and presented in person. This report will include recommendations to guide future fundraising efforts. Since funders are requiring communities to demonstrate how they have made their decisions with regard to facilities development, the report will give credibility to grant applications for capital funding. The report will also provide recommendations that can be included in any specifications for professional or construction services. As part of the final report, we will give Franklin a short list of relevant and researched potential funding sources. Franklin will have the option of contracting with ANCA [Adirondack North Country Association] or others to prepare proposals on a project-by-project basis.
The total cost of this project is estimated at $20,000, inclusive of labor and direct expenses. The total cost to Franklin is $15,000 including, the oil/water separation and bathrooms at Kate Mountain [Park]. Either one or both of these options could be removed without affecting the integrity of the overall proposal. Yellow Wood Associates is offering the Town of Franklin services at a discounted rate, because we are interested in working with Adirondack communities.
Total Cost: $20,000
Cost to Franklin (options included) $15,000
Cost to Franklin (options removed) $13,000
This project is likely to result in significant short and long term savings in energy, maintenance, and construction; safer, more comfortable and effective use of space; environmental benefits, as well as improved directions and specifications to design teams. It will also provide an objective assessment of need to help justify and prioritize funding and will help Franklin express to funders what it needs and how it intends to address those needs."
Shanna Ratner explained that Yellow Wood is not in the "proposal writing" business, rather provides research on "due diligence". Yellow Wood has a USDA Small Business grant and will give the Town of Franklin a discount because YW wishes to extend its business into New York State. The Town of Franklin would be a "demo spot" in the Adirondack Park.
Ms. Ratner recommended looking at all the buildings rather than just the Vermontville Town Hall and the proposed public assembly structure. She also suggested phasing new buildings and improvements over several years. The structures in the small Town of Franklin comprise the community, and the Town's goal is to make the community as functional as possible. She then explained that Yellow Wood will spend time with certain employees and functionaries of the Town to ascertain goals. Once Yellow Wood's report is finalized and provided to the Town, outside funders will see justification for the projects.
Ann Holland spoke of working on a more comprehensive review of all buildings with respect to the Town's short-term and long-term goals, including operation and maintenance costs. Yellow Wood will provide a range of alternatives. This will take several months, depending on which building the Board wishes to focus. Yellow Wood will research the Town's building needs, suggest alternatives, prioritize projects and provide a list companies who are specialists in particular fields. The report would also specify to contractors what the Town desires.
Yellow Wood will present its findings to the Town's residents in a PowerPoint presentation.
Both Couns. G. Goff and W. Kretser were concerned that the $13,000 to $15,000 cost estimate for the report would increase, however, Ms. Ratner affirmed the Town would not be billed for Yellow Wood's enlisting the aid of outside specialists.
For funding alternatives, Terry Martino of ANCA will be brought in to consult and to assist in grant writing proposals. Because the Town will have the Yellow Wood report and environmentally-friendly "green technology" alternatives, the possibilities for obtaining outside funding increases significantly.
The Board agreed to retain the professional services of Yellow Wood Associates, Inc., and Ms. Ratner will send a contract for services. The foregoing 5-page proposal will serve as "Scope of Work."
Motion to retain Yellow Wood
(M.Keith-W.Kretser m/s/p) ALL AYE
Supervisor Keith and the Board thanked Mrs. Martino, Ms. Holland and Ms. Ratner for their presentation and suggestions, and then the consultants left the meeting.
1. HIGHWAY COMMITTEE REPORT
A. Replacement of 1999 International. Couns. G. Goff and W. Kretser met with Highway Supt. James Rascoe and Deputy Hwy Supt Eric Merrill regarding the necessity of replacing the 1999 International. Repair records under the former Highway Supt. are sparse, but the vehicle has had too many repairs to justify continued use. Supt Rascoe researched OGS but found the trucks offered did not meet the Town's needs. A larger truck would have to be secured at a cost of approximately $150,000. A new emissions regulation will take effect in 2007, and all vehicles purchased after July 2006 will have to conform. If the Town can contract for purchase by June 2006, it will save $10,000 by avoiding the new emissions standards. The Highway Committee asked permission from the Board to advertise for bids in a 150-mile radius.
Supervisor Keith noted the vehicle could be purchased in 2006, as the Capital Project Highway Fund has a $56,083.16 balance, to which $30,000.00 will be added plus the proceeds of sales of other equipment.
Motion to advertise for bidders on new truck
(T.Goff-J.Ordway m/s/p) ALL AYE
2. POOR CONDITION OF STATE ROUTE 3
The Board will send the following letter to Region 7 Director R. Carey Babyak of the Department of Transportation:
"March 21, 2006
Mr. R. Carey Babyak, Director, Region 7
NYS Department of Transportation
317 Washington Street, Watertown, NY 13601
Re: Condition of State Route 3
East from Essex/Franklin County Line: Mile markers 7207-10.06 to 7207-10.38
Dear Mr. Babyak:
This is to alert you to the potentially dangerous condition of State Route 3 between the above mile markers which includes the hamlet of Vermontville in the Town of Franklin. This 3.2 mile section of highway presently has a continuous series of frost heaves, many severe enough to cause either vehicle damage and/or loss of control resulting in personal injury or worse. Since this is the main route to and from Plattsburgh for this area, not everyone who travels this highway is aware of these conditions. For the safety of travelers we are requesting that DOT post signs alerting drivers to these conditions and flag the most severe frost heaves as soon as possible.
We realize that frost heaves cannot be fixed or repaired this time of year but are hopeful that this section of highway will receive the highest priority for repair in this coming season.
Thank you for your immediate attention to this problem.
TOWN OF FRANKLIN TOWN BOARD
Mary Ellen Keith, Supervisor, Gene F. Goff, Councilman, Timothy Goff, Councilman, Walter Kretser, Councilman & Janet Ordway, Councilperson
cc: Thomas J. Madison, Jr., Commissioner,; Robert Haynes, Engineer"
There being no further business, the meeting adjourned at 8:47 pm
(J.Ordway-T.Goff m/s/p) ALL AYE
Respectfully submitted, Sandra J. Oliver, Town Clerk