May 13, 2021 Regular Meeting

Meeting was called to order at 7:04pm by Supervisor Peter Shrope at the Brighton Town Hall at 12 County Road 31 (aka Jones Pond Road) in Paul Smiths, New York, on May 13, 2021
Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag was recited

Present: Supervisor Peter Shrope
Council Members: Amber McKernan, Matthew Szeliga, Steve Tucker, and Lydia Wright
Absent: None
Others Present: Paul Blaine-Code Enforcement Officer and Elaine Sater-Town Clerk


HIGHWAY – Superintendent of Highways Andy Crary: Report received prior to meeting. Read by Supervisor Peter Shrope
Took plows and sanders off trucks, put bill plows back on trucks to plow roads; had trees cut on sandbank behind garage, chipped up trees and removed stumps; had radio installed in new truck; swept all roads in Town; cleaned up Park and Cemeteries, put out Cemetery signs, fixed Park fence and painted over graffiti; changed oil and filters in big trucks; road raked the dirt roads; chipping on White Pine Road; started mowing cemeteries, men on 10 hour/4 days shifts; would like to donate the 2012 John Deere lawn mower to Paul Smiths-Gabriels Volunteer Fire Department as they are maintaining the grounds around the buildings they use at Camp Gabriels.

Motion made by Matthew Szeliga, second by Supervisor Peter Shrope,

RESOLVED that the Town Board authorizes the Superintendent of Highways to donate the 2012 John Deere Lawn Mower to the Paul Smiths-Gabriels Volunteer Fire Department for use in maintaining the grounds around the buildings they use at Camp Gabriels.

ROLL CALL VOTE: Aye 5 (McKernan, Shrope, Szeliga, Tucker, Wright), Nay 0
RESOLUTION #25-2021 declared duly adopted.

TOWN CLERK – Elaine Sater: Total revenue to Supervisor as of April 30, 2021, was $1,195.00 from 13 Certified copies; 4 dog licenses: 3 renewed and 1 new (Tag#252), 6 Building permits (BP#21-012 thru 016 and 018) and 1 renewed (#20-013) and 1 records search.
April 6 – Received information showing Justice Santagate completed his Continuing Judicial Education Program for 2020.
Took Oath of Office for Clifford Wagner as Board of Assessment Review member
April 13 – Received notice of Democratic Committee Caucus to be held in Town Hall
Mailed Local Law #1 for the Year 2021 ìEstablishing the Residency Requirements for the Appointed Office of Deputy Highway Superintendentî to the Department of State, Law was filed on April 19 by the DOS.
April 27 – Received Shared Highway Services Agreement from the Village of Tupper Lake, expires April 2026
May 1 – Received Tentative 2021 Assessment Roll from Assessor Roseanne Gallagher, Board of Assessment Review to meet on Thursday, June 3rd from 5 to 9pm.
TOWN HALL REQUESTS: Monday, April 26, 6:40pm, Town of Brighton Democratic Committee
TOWN PARK REQUEST: Saranac lake Soccer Club called to inquire if fields were available during the summer
RECORDS MANAGEMENT: Continuing to update records retention codes for Records Index and destruction documentation, shredding/disposing of documentation that has passed it retention period.

HISTORIAN – Elaine Sater: Nothing to Report

TAX COLLECTOR – Holly Huber: Supervisor Peter Shrope received penalty funds in the amount of $1,547.07 in April

TOWN JUSTICE – Nik Santagate: Supervisor Peter Shrope received a check in the amount of $2,111 for 17 cases disposed during April

CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER – Paul Blaine: Issued 6 building permits (BP#21-012 thru 016 and 018), renewed 1 permit (#20-013), did a records search, and issued 2 Certificates of Compliance (BPs #20-004 and #21-011). Currently there are 5 building projects going on without building permits.

ASSESSOR/DATA COLLECTOR – Roseanne Gallagher: Report Received prior to meeting, Read by Supervisor Peter Shrope
Added $2,479,095 in value to the tentative roll. We will probably lose some of that with grievance. Spoke to all but one of the BAR members and they are all comfortable with having the meeting at the town hall. Public Notices have requested that people make appointments beforehand by calling her so hopefully we don’t have multiple people showing up at the same time. The BAR meets on Thursday, June 3rd, 5 to 9 PM.
The state is once again doing a market value survey of the town. Last time they did this it resulted in a drop in the equalization rate for the following year.
Hoping to get out and do the boat access properties on Spitfire and Upper Saint Regis during the first two weeks of June. We do need to arrange to have a boat available.

ANIMAL CONTROL – Tri-Lakes Humane Society: No Report

SUPERVISOR – Peter Shrope:
Budget update as of April 30, 2021, was distributed to Town Board; revenue received was $1,547.07 from the Tax Collector, $3,023.35 from a Health Insurance refund, $2,111 from the Town Justice and $1,195 from the Town Clerk
NYCLASS investment interest received for April as follows: $4.16 for General Fund, Balance is $111,170.39; $1.54 for Highway Fund, Balance is $42,366.85
Charter Communications – Received information on upcoming changes to cable television stations dated May 1, 2 and 4
Franklin County Hazard Mitigation Report: Friends of the North Country are working on this report for the County, called to discuss Townís hazards, will provide a report when completed.

Regular Board Meeting April 13, 2021
Motion made by Amber McKernan, second by Lydia Wright, to accept the minutes of the Regular Board Meeting of April 13, 2021, as written, Aye 5 (McKernan, Shrope, Szeliga, Tucker, Wright), Nay 0

Jeremy Asmus, Paul Smiths College Facilities, sent a message saying 147 students graduated and the interim President is leaving and a new one will be announced soon.


NEW YORK STATE FIBER LAW-Supervisor Peter Shrope: Received a request from the Local Government Review Board to support the rescinding of the NYS Fiber Optic Law that imposes a fee on fiber optic companies whose cables cross State lands.

Motion made by Supervisor Peter Shrope, second by Amber McKernan,

WHEREAS, the 2019-2020 New York State budget contained language that enacted a right-of-way use and occupancy fee for any fiber optic cables located in or crossing a state-controlled right of way and authorized the New York State Department of Transportation (DOT) to enter fee bearing permits with fiber optic installers and;
WHEREAS, the 2019-2020 state budget also added Section 7 of the Transportation Corporation Law, allowing the DOT to charge fiber optic corporations installing and operating the utility lines for fair-market use and occupancy of the state right-of-way and;
WHEREAS, in early 2020 organizations, businesses, legislators and residents of northern New York became aware of the fee because the DOT started charging the fee and;
WHEREAS, in the rural counties of the North Country itís virtually impossible to install fiber optic cables for any distance without utilizing or crossing a state right-of-way and development requirements within the Adirondack Park almost entirely preclude installation of broadband in any location other than an existing state right-of-way and;
WHEREAS, the corona virus pandemic has caused more people to be working from home and more students to be learning from home, and has increased the use of telemedicine, thus magnifying the need for additional broadband services in un-served and underserved areas so rural residents can engage in everyday activities and;
WHEREAS, Governor Cuomo, in his 2021 State of the State address championed his Connectivity Agenda which includes, among other provisions, enactment of a requirement for affordable internet for low-income families and a series of actions to promote broadband build-out and market competition and;
WHEREAS, the Governor said, ìAnd without affordable broadband, people are not just disconnected, they are disenfranchised. Broadband must be available to everyone, everywhere. And in New York we will make sure it isî and;
WHEREAS, the DOT fiber right-of-way fee is acting as a significant financial deterrent to broadband build-out in rural areas, with some projects already cancelled and others put on hold due to the fact that these fees will cost providers hundreds of thousands, and in some cases, millions of dollars annually, and

NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Town of Brighton, Franklin County, New York formally opposes the enactment of the DOT right-of-way fees on fiber optic cable and urges the Governor and the New York State Legislature to rescind the right-of-way use and occupancy fees on fiber cable immediately so that the Governorís pledge can be fulfilled and the expansion of the fiber network in the North Country can continue in order to serve critically un-served and underserved areas.

ROLL CALL VOTE: Aye 5 (McKernan, Shrope, Szeliga, Tucker, Wright), Nay 0
RESOLUTION #26 declared duly adopted.

EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN – Supervisor Peter Shrope: Town Clerk received several updates to the EOP that was approved in 2007 and updated annually. Copies of the updated version were distributed to the Board for review, approval of the whole plan is needed.

Motion made by Supervisor Peter Shrope, second by Amber McKernan,

RESOLVED that the Town Board approves the changes to the EMERGENCY OPERATIONS PLAN dated April 15, 2021

ROLL CALL VOTE: Aye 5 (McKernan, Shrope, Szeliga, Tucker, Wright), Nay 0
RESOLUTION #27 declared duly adopted.

COMMITTEES: Nothing to Report


Motion made at 7:35pm TO GO INTO EXECUTIVE SESSION in accordance with Public Officers Law, Article 7, Section 105(f) for the purpose of discussing the medical history of a particular person, the performance history of two particular persons and a particular corporation by Supervisor Peter Shrope, second by Amber McKernan
Motion made at 8:35pm TO GO OUT OF EXECUTIVE SESSION by Supervisor Peter Shrope, second by Lydia Wright


Motion made by Amber McKernan, second by Lydia Wright,

RESOLVED that the Supervisor be authorized to pay the audited vouchers as listed on the abstracts as follows:
PREPAID FUNDS: Abstract #5 for Voucher #s 5A thru 5C for 2021 GENERAL FUND in the amount of $529.30 and Voucher #5C for 2021 STREET LIGHTING FUNDS in the amount of $58.39
GENERAL FUND: Abstract #5 for Voucher #77 through #95 for 2021 funds in the amount of $4,497.43 HIGHWAY FUND: Abstract #5 for Voucher #39 through #47 for 2021 funds in the amount of $4,048.76

ROLL CALL VOTE: Aye 5 (McKernan, Shrope, Szeliga, Tucker, Wright), Nay 0
RESOLUTION #28 declared duly adopted.


Motion to Adjourn at 8:37pm made by Amber McKernan, second by Lydia Wright, Aye 5 (McKernan, Shrope, Szeliga, Tucker, Wright), Nay 0

Respectfully Submitted, Elaine W. Sater, RMC, Brighton Town Clerk