Town of Franklin Board Newsletter
Volume 6 Issue 1 - The Franklin Flyer Our Town News January 2015
From the Supervisor
By Art Willman
At the close of another year, thankfully, we made it without having to cope with any major calamities or disasters.
Since we last spoke, we have continued to make progress on a variety of fronts.
At the Town Hall
We finished up our requirements for our permit from the Board of Health by installing a 3-bay sink with all the trimmings. In addition we are planning to upgrade the long work cart as well as replace the two existing refrigerators with one larger, double-door stainless commercial fridge that will be capable of holding much more than the two we now have. It is also Energy Star rated so it will save us a little money on electricity. We can use at least one of the two at the park to replace one of the fridges that is there which is on its last legs.
Past Fall Fundraiser Events
Punkin' Chunkin Festival Fun Raises Funds
We had a couple of events this past Fall that proved to be really successful and a lot of fun to boot. On Oct. 18th we had our first of what promises to be annual "Punkin' Chunkin'" festivals. The object of Punkin' Chunkin' for those of you who are not yet familiar with the idea is for competitors to construct a catapult, trebuchet, or other medieval war machine and use it to launch pumpkins for distance. This year the winning throw, an impressive 162 feet was the winner. Even though the weather was cool and rainy, it did little to dampen the fun on the "Chunkin'" field or in the pavilion where we had live music by "Replay," pumpkin painting and carving, and face painting. Donna Buckley and Charlie Lashway from the 55+ Club sold coffee, hot chocolate, and baked goods which disappeared down to the last crumb. In all, we did very well, adding just over $1000 to the Park Reserve Fund, and we will have our 2nd annual event next year. Save the date, Oct. 17th, 11 am to 3 pm. I hear the band wants to get in the act with an entry of their I would be remiss if I didn't give a shout out to the
two farms that helped us out with the necessary projectile fruit. LaMoy's Farm and Garden Center in Morrisonville and Rulf's Orchards in Peru contributed the pumpkins to make this event such a success. Please see their ads in this newsletter and support them with your business when you can. LaMoy's also has some great sweet corn and vegetables and Rulfs is renowned for their apples, pies, and cider.
Lasagna Feed Helps "Feed the Kitty"
On Nov. 22nd, we inaugurated another annual event --a lasagna feed. This was another very successful fund raiser and, by all accounts, everyone had a good time and enjoyed the food. Of the 7 large pans that we prepared, just about all were sold. Many thanks to those of you who donated deserts and who volunteered to help out. Special thanks to Ed Martin and Jon MacDowell for whipping up some great lasagna. As a side note, this was our first crack at making lasagna. If you enjoyed it, know that it will only get better. We added over $600 to the Park Fund. We definitely will do this again. Save the date, Sat., Nov. 21st, 4-7 pm.
Community Center Envisioned. Sustained Fundraising Essential
These fund raising events are planned and executed by a small, dedicated crew of volunteers, and supported by donations of baked goods. These folks have as their goal the construction of a community center at Kate Mtn. Park. All the proceeds from these events, whether it be our Founders' Day Picnic, Punkin' Chunkin' Festival, the lasagna dinner, the upcoming roast pork dinner on Jan. 24th, or the still-in-the-works Golf Tournament later next summer, all go to the Kate Mtn. Park Special Reserve Fund which is dedicated to improvements at the park, primarily the construction of a community center. To date we have raised just over $10,500. As you can see, we have a long way to go, since a building would run somewhere in the neighborhood of $300,000. We need more people to share this goal and to lend a hand with these events and the planning of the building. It is not too early to start taking a good, hard look at what this building would look like and where it would sit. We can use help with the siting, engineering, design, and other planning aspects of building construction. Ideally this design would also incorporate all or part of a large solar array to take advantage of programs available to the Town. Please give these ideas some thought and get in touch. As the saying goes: "Many hands make light work". We would like to hear from you.
Highway Department Update
Winter Preparedness includes Truck Replacements
Over at the Highway Dept. things have been buzzing. The sand and salt have been stockpiled, the trucks suited up, and as you all can see, road plowing and sanding has begun. Right now, though, we are 2 trucks short. Back in February, we decided to go ahead and purchase a new International tandem dump truck. It was due to be delivered to the body company by July. Due to a snafu, the truck didn't arrive in Vermont until Aug. 30th. By that time Tenco, the body company, was really backed up with trucks and we got put at the end of the line. Our best estimate is delivery sometime the first part of January. Also in the works is a second truck that we decided to buy in part with a trade in on our oldest truck. This deal was too good to refuse, so we decided to go-ahead. This truck just may arrive before the first one we ordered. Go figure. Either way, we should be at full strength soon.
Scope of Town Highway Dept. Road Maintenance Clarified
There seems to be an issue with some confusion on the part of some folks as to who does what roads. Let me take a moment to clear that up. The Town maintains, plows, and sands all roads belonging to the Town as opposed to roads belonging to the County or the State. County roads such as CR's 26, 45, 55, and 60 are maintained by Franklin County. The Town has a contractual agreement to do snow removal and sanding on these roads as well and does so throughout the winter months. State Rt. 3 goes through the Town, but is owned by New York State. The Department of Transportation (DOT) is responsible for all maintenance, snow removal, sanding, and salting. Any concerns regarding the conditions on Rt. 3 need to be taken up with the DOT. From what I'm told, the DOT trucks are now coming from Ray Brook instead of Lake Clear. I personally feel that since the DOT discontinued the use of the substation near Merrillsville, conditions on Rt. 3 have suffered. This is most likely due to the increased travel time from Lake Clear or Ray Brook cutting into the number of runs that can be executed during a storm.
Snowplow/Mailbox Issues Explained
Another issue that has popped up again this year is that of mailboxes. Highway Law states that it is a privilege for a homeowner to maintain a mailbox within the designated right of way of a Town, County, or State road. There is no requirement to repair or replace a mailbox that is hit either by the plow or the spray of snow generated by either the plow or the wing. Speaking for our highway guys, no one is intentionally out to get mailboxes. Many times visibility conditions or other factors will lead to a mailbox being knocked down. If that is the case, please be patient and understand that this happens from time to time and is not part of some sinister plot. Please give Jacques a call at the garage at 891-1578 or on his cell at 524-3111. If we are in the teeth of a storm, please understand that you may not get a person right away. Leave a message and Jacques will get back to you as soon as he is able to. Again, please realize that accidents do happen and your mailbox being knocked down is not necessarily the result of evil intentions or carelessness.
Town Solar Energy Programs Contemplated
One last thought. We have been looking into taking advantage of some of the advances in solar energy technology and the programs available to towns like ours. Rather than going on in length about this issue at this time, I will just give you all a heads up that we will dedicate the bulk of our February meeting on the 11th to this issue and we will have a representative from Sunvestment Group to introduce the concept of the Community Power Purchase agreement and answer any questions that the Board may have. After that, should we feel that we would like to seriously pursue something like this, we will hold one or more public meetings so that anyone who wants to can get all the information. More to come.
- Save the dates for our Founders' Day Picnic July 24th
- Punkin' Chunkin' Festival on Oct. 17th
- Lasagna dinner on Nov. 21st
- Don't forget the roast pork dinner this January 24th
- Get involved and help out or, at very least, attend and support our events.
- We need volunteers who would like to help out at events and planning a community center for our park. Anyone with an engineering and design background, expertise in construction and building trades, or anyone else who would like to see a nice, functional building at the park that would provide year around space for functions, available restrooms for those who use the park, and indoor shelter for the kids' summer program please contact me at 891-2189 or at home at 293-1383. You can also email me at firstname.lastname@example.org or at email@example.com. Lauren is available at 891-2189 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- This building could also provide a location for all or part of a solar array should we proceed with the CPPA.
- Come to the Roast Pork Supper on Sat., 1/24 from 4-7 pm.
Until next time, Happy New Year, and all the very best for the new year. Be Well.
Odds and Ends from the Town Clerk
By Lauren LeFebvre
In January, and for January only, my hours will change slightly so I can accommodate more property owners who wish to pay their taxes in person. My hours will be Monday-Wednesday 8am-2pm and Thursdays 3pm-7pm. If this doesn't work for you, just call me to make other arrangements. Regarding payments of 2015 Town and County Taxes, they will be considered "on time" and taken without penalty if they are postmarked on or before Saturday, January 31. Please note that in the Town of Franklin the Town Clerk is also the Tax Collector.
Tax bills are printed by Franklin County Real Property using information provided to them by the Town Assessor. Address changes, name changes, changes in ownership, assessed value, etc. all are handled by Real Property and/or the Assessor and not by me as Tax Collector.
My role in the tax collection process starts when I pick up the tax bills from the Franklin County Real Property office, after which I mail them out. Part two is receiving payments, documenting them, sending receipts and going to the bank. I have no power to do anything else.
I am happy to answer questions. Remember that STAR exemption does not appear on your January bill, as it only applies to your September School tax bill. STAR stands for School Tax Assessment Relief.
Dog licensing is another part of my job and all dog owners by New York State Law are REQUIRED to license their dogs. It's $3.50 a year to license your dog if it is spayed or neutered and $12.50 if it isn't. Even $12.50 is a bargain compared to what it will cost when your dog is picked up and taken to the shelter. All I need is the current rabies certificate and you're in business. On February 1st my office hours are back to the usual M-Thur., 9am-2pm.
Keep a look out for monthly dinners to be held at the Town Hall raising funds to build a community building at Kate Mountain Park and also to build community spirit. Happy New Year!
The Culmination of Dreams
Fourteen years ago, local woodcarver Karen Loffler had a dream - a Saranac Lake community carousel that would have wood carved Adirondack animals to ride instead of the usual carousel horses. The realization of that dream initially seemed impossible, but local artisans and volunteers, grants and contributions over the years were responsible for the actualization of that dream in 2012, which has been described as a community triumph.
Today, some dedicated individuals in the Town of Franklin are slowly bringing to life the concept of having a community center at the Town Recreation Park by volunteering, contributing and their fundraising efforts; however, as indicated above, it takes a sustained engagement of those efforts by the community to make it happen. Get involved and sometime in the future our dream will also materialize and enhance the quality of life in our Town.
Some members of the Town 55 plus Club have resurrected their singing voices to bring joy, by their caroling, to themselves and to some local nursing home residents and to the Adult Center in Saranac Lake.
Keep In Touch With Your Town
The Franklin Flyer is available online on our website at www.townoffranklin.com and in print at the Vermontville Post Office and at our Town Hall. As a special feature, our editor Vince Pagano has offered to make an email version available as well. Just email Vince at email@example.com to request that the newsletter be emailed to you and you will be all set. Also, you can keep abreast of month to month happenings by attending board meetings, held on the second Wednesday of every month a 7pm or at least look up the minutes of each month's meeting online on our website or in hard copy at the Town Hall
Town Board Meetings
7 p.m. 2nd Wednesdays of the Month at the Town Hall, Vermontville
St. Paul's Food Pantry
Building behind Town Hall.
Distribution one day a month and as needed...
Make out donations to St. Paul's Food Pantry
C/o Mary Ellen Keith, 9 Tyler Rd, Vermontville, NY
55+ Club Meetings
2nd and 4th Tuesdays of the Month. 12:00 noon, at the Town Hall, Vermontville. Bring "Covered Dish". Contact Donna Buckley 891-9214