Town of Franklin Board Newsletter
Volume 9 ISSUE 2 - The Franklin Flyer Our Town News - MAY 2018
From the Supervisor
By Art Willman
Well it looks like signs of spring are everywhere. The trees are budding and will soon bloom, just about all of the snow is gone, the lawns are starting to scream “Mow me”, and soon we will see the emergence of the BBF (Beloved Black Fly). All is as it should be at this time of the year, although the rivers and streams are a bit too high. That should remedy itself with the weather forecast showing a fairly dry spell coming the next few days.
NYSERDA Grant Update
There is some mixed news from around Town. First off, the grant from NYSERDA we were awarded is on track and I anticipate receiving the final contract to sign sometime in the next week. That will go toward building a 33 Kw solar array at the Park and will provide enough electricity to supply the Town Hall, Highway Garage, the Park, and maybe help out with our street light account. Hopefully, construction will begin shortly after the contract is signed and we receive our first installment payment.
Community Center Project Delayed
Also at the Town Hall we have some disappointing news. The community center for Kate Mountain Park that many of us have been working hard to raise money for has been put on hold. After going through the bidding process we found that the Town just can’t afford to put up a building, not without either a lot more money, a lot more help, or both. If you recall, the Board passed a bond resolution to borrow up to $700,000 dollars for this project. We had estimated that amount would more than cover the entire project. When we opened the bids for the contracts, which included General Construction, Mechanical, Electrical, and Plumbing,
we experienced some serious sticker shock. The lowest bidder came in north of $1.2 million and the highest bidder topped out north of $1.4 million. I had figured the building could be built for well under the $700,000 figure, so to see an amount of twice that had us floored. It was our feeling that, in the end; we would end up with a commitment of at most $500,000 for ten years as our final bond. As you see, I guess we were a bit off. The main reason for the excessive cost was labeled as prevailing wage. All public projects, of which this was one, must pay the prevailing union wage scale plus benefits, etc. according to existing labor law. These results, in my opinion, in a seriously inflated labor cost, which we simply can’t afford. I have heard of municipalities circumventing the prevailing wage law through hiring skilled seasonal labor to do the work or, as in one case, a non-profit group was formed that actually carried out the building and then donated the building to the town when it was completed. This would require a good deal more community involvement than we are currently experiencing. So, for now, we will keep the plans, specifications, and other paperwork in a safe place in case we raise enough money or if circumstances change in our favor.
Continue Supporting Our Efforts
That’s about it for now. Please don’t forget to keep an eye out for our events and support them if possible. All proceeds will still go into the Kate Mountain Park Reserve Fund with the hope that someday we will indeed be able to afford the community center we all need. Until next time, be well.
Odds and Ends
by Lauren LeFebvre, Town Clerk
15 by the 15th: Founder's Day planning is underway. Tentatively, the next meeting is May 21st at 6pm at the Town Hall. 15 more volunteers are needed by May 15th or we'll look forward to Founder's Day 2019. If you can be one of the 15 let me know.
Summer Youth Program: The Summer Program will run July 2-August 10 (no program on July 4), 9am-2pm. All kids eligible to enroll this Fall in Kindergarten and older are welcome. Free lunch is provided daily through the Saranac Lake Central School District's Summer Feeding Program. Children can attend as many or a few days as you'd (notice I said YOU not THEY) like. A lot of people ask about donating. Unfortunately, we can't accept donations of snacks due to the strict guidelines of the Summer Feeding Program. If you'd like to donate supplies, a list will be sent home with the kids during the first week of the program. You'll also be getting a lunch menu and the calendar of what's planned for each day this summer. If you'd like to contribute financially, stop by my office at the Town Hall. The registration form is on our website www.townoffranklin.com click on Events. Just fill it out and bring it with you on the first day your child attends. Our program is FANTASTIC!
Grievance Day 5pm-9pm May 22: If you think incorrect, this is the time to deal with it.
The Board of Assessment Review (BAR) can review your information and make a decision on whether or not it should be adjusted. Word to the wise, the BAR is legally directed to consider the Assessor's Valuation as correct unless YOU prove otherwise. How do you do this? Bring in assessment numbers for comparable properties in the Town, bring a recent appraisal, provide photos of your property, etc. Of course, there is a form….make sure you fill it out completely. I used to be on the BAR. You need to put something in the space where it asks you what you feel the property is worth AND you need to sign the form. For whatever reason people skip or don't see that part. The BAR isn't allowed to deliberate on an incomplete grievance. The form is online tax.ny.gov Click on Property Owners then click on Contesting Your Assessment.
Free Rabies Clinic: June 26, 6-8 at Kate Mountain Park.
Democratic Primary: June 26 Noon-9pm, at the Town Hall. Registered Democrats only—this is for the 21st Congressional District. The Republican Incumbent is Elise Stefanik; there is no need for a Republican Primary for our district this year. Not registered to vote? I have registration forms at the Town Hall. You must be registered to vote in ANY election in NYS at least 30 days prior to the election.
Pavilion Reservations: The calendar is filling up already. If you'd like to reserve the pavilion at Kate Mountain Park for a party, let me know. Only Town of Franklin residents can reserve the pavilion. You just need to fill out the reservation form and get your $50 refundable deposit to me.
Town of Franklin Golf Tournament: September 23 at Saranac Inn Golf Course. Call Jacques DeMars 524-3111 or me 891-2189/637-7754 if you'd like to register or volunteer to help. $300 per foursome--includes greens fee, cart, lunch and prizes!
Town of Franklin Website: If you have a business in the Town of Franklin, we want to include your listing on our website. Anything—farm stand, crafts, computer design, roof shoveling, direct sales, small appliance repair, landscaping, etc. Email me EXACTLY what you'd like us to list. “EXACTLY” means I'm going to cut and paste so make sure you're happy with what you send me. firstname.lastname@example.org A link to your website or Facebook would be ideal, too.
That about wraps it up for me this time. I'm sorry this wasn't hilarious. Funny columns happen when someone makes me mad—I've had a good run, I guess
55+ CLUB NEWS From Lorna Shene
Good news for any of you out there 55 (or more) and still working - our delicious covered dish dinners are now at 5:30 pm instead of noon (till winter comes again) so hope you can now join us after work.
Our group has not done many activities over the winter due to both the bad weather and aches and pains, etc. We can all still eat though, and have really enjoyed our dinners. We have taken part in the great fish fry dinners and the delicious roast beef ones. Our Club pays for the meals for members, which has been much appreciated.
Plans for expeditions to some interesting places are in the works, now that the nicer weather is here to stay (we sincerely hope.) In August, we will be holding a food sale/yard sale.
Our meetings/dinners are held on the second and fourth Tuesdays of each month. We welcome visitors and hope to see more of you join us.
LEARN BEFORE YOU BURN
According to the Department of Environmental Protection (DEC) and Ranger Peter Evans, there has been a “Burn Ban” in the Town of Franklin from March 16 through May 14. That means during that period all outdoor open burning was prohibited, with some exceptions as follows:
• Campfires less than 3 feet in height and 4 feet in length are allowed.
• Small cooking fires are allowed.
• Fires cannot be left unattended and must be fully extinguished.
• Only charcoal or clean, untreated or unpainted wood can be burned.
• Liquid petroleum fueled smudge pots are allowed to prevent frost damage to crops (Tire burning or other wastes are not allowed.)
The burning conditions listed above are allowed after the ban; however all other fires; for example, the burning of brush, will require a permit. Permits can be obtained by calling Ranger Peter Evans at 1-315-705-3001.
.To report illegal open burning call the DEC hotline: 1-844-DEC-ECOs (1-844-332-3267
For more information, access the DEC Website at www.dec.ny.gov Search Burning
55+ CLUB NEWS From Lorna Shene)
2nd & 4th Tuesdays of the month (winter 12 noon; 5:30pm summer) at the Town Hall in Vermontville. Contact Phyllis King: 518-891-1995
Town Board Meetings
5:30 p.m., 2nd Wednesdays of the Month at the Town Hall, Vermontville
St. Paul's Food Pantry Building behind Town Hall.
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 Sara Besaw: 518-891-5087