Town of Franklin Board Meetings
Regular Board Meeting - August 12, 2020
BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:
Supervisor Dorothy Brown, Councilman Tom Bartiss, Councilman Richard Jarvis, Councilman Don Hamm and, Councilman Leo Demong
BOARD MEMBERS ABSENT:
Doris Hamm, Marc McIntosh, , Lindy Ellis—Franklin County Legislator, Jacques DeMars—Highway Superintendent and Lauren LeFebvre—Town Clerk
CALL TO ORDER
Supervisor Brown called the meeting to order at 5:30pm. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited and the Town Clerk called the roll, noting the full board present.
PUBLIC COMMENT: Marc McIntosh - Mr. McIntosh lives near where the Town of Franklin Highway Department is located. He voiced his concerns regarding the noise of heavy equipment, specifically the loarders backing up, in the very early morning hours. Highway Superintendent DeMars is purchasing a “Whistler” alarm and will replace the alarm if it meets OSHA and PESH safety requirements.
RESOLUTION #34 SUPPORTING HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT'S DECISION REGARDING EQUIPMENT
On a motion by Councilman Bartiss, second by Councilman Demong, BE IT RESOLOVED that the Town of Franklin Town Board does hereby support the decision of Highway Superintendent DeMars to replace current back-up alarm in the loader with a Whistler alarm if it meets OSHA and PESH requirements.
Those Voting Aye:
Those Voting No: None
Leg. Lindy Ellis - Lindy reported there will be another Dairy/Produce giveaway August 22 at the Saranac Lake High School. Also, Franklin county DMV is working to provide limited sevices at the Saranac Lake office including the addition of a drop box and making more forms available for pick-up.
REVIEW/APPROVAL OF July 8 and 15: Councilman Hamm requested a document he provided to the board, garage engineer and garage general contractor be mentioned in the minutes of July 15. (D. Jarvis-T. Bartiss m/s/p) All Aye
APPROVAL OF CLAIMS
The board audited and approved the following claims:
|General Fund||Abstract 8||Claims 147-168||$9,764.03|
|Pre-Pay General||Abstract 8||Claims 26-29||$17,773.92|
|Highway Fund||Abstract 8||Claims 135-151||$22,006.34|
D.Hamm-D.Jarvis m/s/p -All Aye
SUPERVISOR'S REPORT: Balances on hand as of July 31, 2020
|Kt. Mt SRF||$2,057.59|
|Kate Mt. CLASS||$46,635.59|
|Cap Proj. HW||$49,128.66|
|Landfill Clos. CR|
|Capital Proj Bldg|
T.Bartiss-D.Hamm m/s/p-All Aye
HIGHWAY SUPERINTENDENT'S REPORT
Superintendent DeMars read the following report:
- Men checked roads several times after high winds.
- Cleaned up down trees numerous time
- Removed garbage from Rec Park and took it to the dump
- Hauled winter sand
- Installed new culverts on Rock Street
- Replaced an old existing culvert on Rock Street
- Mowed some roads
- Repaired broken edges on a section of Cold Brook Road (asphalt to follow)
- Assisted Town of Saranac with paving
- Added gravel to Garden Road, graded and rolled
- Patched several roads
- Worked on site preparation for the building through guidance of the builder. Note: General Fund was charged
- 284 agreement for Muzzy Road
Superintendent DeMars also reported that he has conferred with NYS DOT regarding the Winter Recovery and CHiPS reimbursement. The Town of Franklin will be receiving $194,876.81 this year. Superintendent DeMars has been informed by NYS that these funds can be used for rebuilding the Highway Garage. Superintendent DeMars provided the board with figures to increase the 80'x80' garage to 80'x120', adding space for four additional trucks or other pieces of equipment. The additional space would not include flooring or plumbing and heating. An estimate of $235,000 for the additional space has been provided to the Town of Franklin by Friend Construction. Using the CHiPs and Winter Recovery Funds the cost to the Town would be approximatley $40,000. As the board had previously expressed concerns that 80'x80' would not meet the needs of the Highway Department, Superintendent DeMars requested the board consider allocating the additional $40,000.
RESOLUTION #35 APPROVAL FOR ADDITIONAL 40'X80' SPACE TO BE ADDED TO HIGHWAY GARAGE PLANS
On a motion by Councilman DeMong, second by Councilman Bartiss, BE IT RESOLVED that the Town of Franklin Town Board does hereby approve the addional expense to increase the size of the new highway garage from 80'x80' to 80'x120'
Those Voting Aye:
Those Voting No: None
CODE OFFICER'S REPORT July 2020-Building Permints-4, Violations-0, Certificate of Occupancy-1, Inspections-6, Fees Collected-$207.00
RESOLUTION #36 284 AGREEMENT FOR THE EXPENDITURE OF HIGHWAY FUNDS
On a motion by Councilman Bartiss, second by Supervisor Brown, BE IT RESOLVED that the Town of Franklin Town Board does hereby approve of the expenditure of up to $170,000 for permanent improvements for approxinmatley 1.1 miles on Muzzy Rd.
Those Voting Aye:
Those Voting No: None
A. CDBG Update - Four applications are completed and ready for housing condition assessments. A number of applications are in process.
A. Garage Re-Build Update: Councilman Hamm stated the roof on the new highway garage will not last more than 15 years. He does not support the design. Supervisor Brown reported the contract with AEDA has been sign by the Town of Franklin and final building plans have been provided to the Code Enforecement Officer for approval. The Town Clerk reported the Town Attorney has the paperwork for the transfer of property adjoining the Highway Department owned by Jeanne Foley. The attorney will be handling the transaction.
Cemetery - Councilman Jarvis reported he has received an estimate from Bruce Sawyer regarding cleaning and repair of stones. The Town Clerk reported there are stones from the Civil War that are in need of repair and stated the Town may be able to use Historian Funds for the work. Mr. Sawyer has provided a quote of $2,000 for these repairs. The Town Clerk will contact Mr. Sawyer to give permission to repair the stones of John, Martain and Lemuel Lennon. Councilman Jarvis will discuss the proposed additional road in Union Cemetery with Highway Superintedent DeMars and report back at the September board meeting.
Recreation - Councilman Jarvis provided the following written report to the board:
On July 23, 2020, Councilmen Dick Jarvis and Leo Demong held a teleconference call with representatives of NYS Department of Environmental Conservation, Ray Brook, for the purposes of re-establishing a working relationship between the town and the Department, and obtaining information on state forest preserve and conservation easement lands within the town of Franklin, in particular learn about the status of existing and proposed recreational resources.
The DEC contacts included: Robert Daley, Regional Forester, Region 5, 518-897-1369, Robert.Daley@DEC.NY.GOV ; and Steve Guglielmi and Sean Reynolds
In preparation for the meeting, Dick Jarvis talked with Rob Daley on July 7, and Rob sent DEC website links to the state forest preserve and private conservation easement lands within the town by their classification unit names:
DeBar Mountain Wild Forest (north of NYS Route 3), Taylor Pond Wild Forest (south of NYS Route 3), Buck Pond Public Campground and Day Use Area (Onchiota)
Chazy Highlands Conservation Easement/Public Use Area (along Goldsmith Rd), Kushaqua Tract/ Lyme Conservation Easement (Lake Kushaqua and Loon Lake Mountains), Sable Highlands Conservation Easement (north of Loon Lake)
The DEC website links were sent to Town Clerk for inclusion on the town website, recreation activities; the DEC website includes the approved Unit Management Plans (UMP) where done (Taylor Pond and Buck Pond), descriptions of unit allowable uses and recreational opportunities and maps.
Leo and I discussed a number of general ideas: recognize significant state land resources in town and want to provide public information to residents and visitors what recreational resources are available, take pressure off and provide alternatives to high peaks and other high use ares, and promote working relationship, including possible volunteer citizens that can assist with improving and maintaining outdoor recreation facilities in town.
DEC recognized having worked with Supervisors Mary Ellen Keith and Art Willman in the past. Limited staff and resources and issues has slow progress.
Discussions were then exchanged on thoughts on specific areas within Franklin:
Kate Mountain Trail. All acknowledged desirability of new trail up to the summit with views from scattered rock outcrops, however realized the difficulty of access from Kate Mt. Park due to wide crossing of Lyon Brook and it associated wetland, also steep slopes and associated time and expense of construction. Alternative routes from Tyler, Sinkhole and County Route 60 to be considered. A conceptual plan would be part of the draft unit management plan for DeBar Mt. unit, scheduled for public review and comment in the fall of 2020.
Bigelow Road. It was acknowledged that seasonal maintenance of the dirt road, large parties with trash, and unauthorized trash dumping has been an on-going problem. Possible consensus to better control motor vehicle access to Bigelow? Recent beaver activity has flooded the road near the bridge. DEC noted use of the old RR bed that crosses the road near the bridge is a designated snowmobile and hiking trail; they are looking into feasibility to develop a new trail to the west towards Gabriels that avoids use of county bridge in disrepair and Bigelow Road. Significant use of the area by hikers, bikers and birdwatchers was acknowledged. DEC prefers no motor vehicle access on Bigelow road.
Lake Kushaqua. Plans include improving lake access by trails, limit use of and stabilize former roads, improve campsites and parking. Improve trail to Little Haystack Mt. north of Buck Pond campground.
Loon Lake Mt. Improved with parking area and sign-in. Leo suggested given steady use year round, recent alternative hiking destination by others, and suitable soils, consider outhouse privy. Also consider if interest in “Friends of Fire tower” group could be formed to assist in repair of fire tower.
Conservation Easement lands. Sean Reynolds led the discussion. He expressed praise with working with Jacques on creating a parking area and its maintenance on Goldsmith Road for snowmobilers and their trailers. Kushaqua Tract has a recreation management plan dated 2016 that includes 8 miles of roads. Ausable Highlands has a 2009 interim plan and DEC working on a draft plan to further improve trout fishing access to North Branch of the Saranac River, and want to build a snowmobile trail to the popular trail to Bellmont. As a general comment, Dick Jarvis said there is a need for public information along public roads in these areas that locates points of access and describes allowable and prohibited activities.
Union Falls Reservoir. Area is subject to approved Taylor Pond Complex UMP, dated 2012. Access is limited. Dick suggested partnering with the North Forest Canoe Trail to improve access and 3 primitive campsites; area contact is Mike Lynch and NFCT has good website. DEC mentioned plans to build a trail access to the pond from Rock Street.
Buck Pond Public Campground. Subject of approved UMP dated Oct. 2017. Lack of resources to implement proposed actions.
We concluded our conference in an hour and agreed to appraise each other periodically of progress and concerns.
2021 TOWN OF FRANKLIN FISCAL BUDGET
Supervisor Brown announced the following dates regarding the 2021 budget:
October 6, 5:30 — Budget Workshop (Supervisor's Tentative Budget)
October 14, 5:30 — Regular Board Meeting, present 2021 Preliminary Budget, set Public Hearing
November 11, 5:30 — Public Hearing on Preliminary Budget and Fire Protection Budget followed by regular meeting to adopt Preliminary Budget as 2021 Final Budget.
There being no further business to discuss, Supervisor Brown adjourned the meeting at 7:15pm
Respectfully submitted, Lauren LeFebvre, Town Clerk