May 14, 2020 Regular Meeting

The Regular Meeting for the Town Board of the Town of Brighton, Franklin County, NY, was held Thursday, May 14, 2020, at 7:00pm at the Brighton Town Hall, 12 County Road 31, Paul Smiths, NY, with the following:

CALL TO ORDER:

Meeting was Called to Order by Supervisor Peter Shrope at 7:00pm

ROLL CALL OF OFFICERS

PRESENT: Supervisor Peter Shrope
Council Members: Steve Tucker, Matthew Szeliga and Lydia Wright
ABSENT: Councilmember Amber McKernan,
OTHERS PRESENT: Elaine Sater-Town Clerk, Andy Crary-Superintendent of Highways, and one resident
GUESTS: None

NOTICE OF MEETING:

Notice of this meeting was posted on the Town Clerk’s Sign Board

A “State of Emergency” is still in place by the Governor of New York (March 7, 2020) and the Franklin County Legislature (March 14, 2020) due to the Corona virus pandemic know as COVID-19. People are required to keep a physical distance of 6 feet away from each other in an attempt to slow the spread of the COVID-19 virus. People are asked to wear masks to cover their nose and mouth, as well as wear gloves. Businesses designated in “Phase 1” can reopen starting on May 15, 2020, keeping the guidelines of physical distancing in place.

REPORTS

  1. Highway – Superintendent of Highways Andy Crary
    1. Started 10 hours days, Monday thru Thursday, 6am to 4pm
    2. Swept the Town Roads
    3. Took plows and sanders off trucks
    4. Washed down the trucks from winter grime
    5. Changed the rake teeth
    6. Changed the oil/filters in the lawn mowers
    7. Cleaned up the sticks in the cemeteries
    8. Cleaned up the sticks at the Park
    9. Road raked the Clark-Wardner and Hoffman Roads
    10. Roads were closed until April 30 to over 5 ton axel trucks. Notice was posted in newspaper.
    11. Put cold patches on potholes in roads
  1. Town Clerk – Elaine Sater:
    1. Total Revenue to Supervisor as of March 31, 2020 was $220.00 from 5 certified copies, Town Park Use donation, 2 dog licenses, 1 renewed and 1 new (Tag#232) and 1 Building Permit (BP#20-006) Total Revenue to Supervisor as of April 30, 2020, was $ 485.62 from 1 Sport License, 2 new Dog Licenses (Tags #233 and #234) and 3 Building Permits (#20-007 thru 009)
    2. Town Clerk’s Association Annual Meeting and Training scheduled for April 26 thru 29 was moved to August 16 thru 19
    3. Federal Primary scheduled for April 28 was delayed to June 23, same date as State Primary.
    4. RECORDS MANAGEMENT: Completed Indexing Vol 8 minutes for 1973-1974 and shredding records that can be destroyed per MU-1 schedule. Started indexing Vol 9 of minutes from 1975-1976.
  1. Historian – Elaine Sater:

From the Minutes of 1974

  1. Highway Garage: NYS Board of Health cited the Town with a violation for the bathroom, minutes were not very clear on what the problem was, it did mention being unsanitary. Town appealed and received a variance for the room. It took all year to resolve. Attorney for the Town Mr. Dugan got involved and wrote letters stating that Town Officials would not travel to Albany for a hearing due to the expense.
  2. Cemetery discussions took place. A Committee was created to look at number of plots each family was allotted. People were asked to return lots if more that 3 were reserved. Rules were established, lots to be for residents only, unless a family wanted to let non-residents relatives use their lots then a $100 charge per lot was required. Families were required to put cornerstones around their plot. A Board member was appointed to the Cemetery Committee for approvals. A chain link fence was put up at the Mt View Cemetery, cost was $10,000.
  3. Recreation: There were funds available from the Federal and County governments called “Revenue Sharing Funds”. The Town could apply for the funds provided a plan for use was submitted for specific items. The Board asked for recreation funding from the County for a building at the park so they could have a skating rink. The plan was for outside access to the bathrooms for winter use. The building plan called for a concrete block building. Paul Smith’s College owned the land so permission had to be requested.
  4. Public Access to Records: Freedom of Information (FOIL) rules and regulations were established by Resolution #32-1974. Supervisor Stanley Tyler was appointed Records Access Officer because of his position as Fiscal Officer. Twenty-five cent ($ .25) per page was required for copies. Supervisor was available Monday through Friday, 9am to 4pm, for requests, Written requests were required if records were not readily available. Town Officer or employee charged with custody of record would have 48 hours to address the request. Once payment was received the person with custody of record would mail or deliver records after copying within one week. Resolution was subject to change if State Law Chapters 578, 579 or 580 of 1974 changed
  5. Budget Hearing in Nov 1974 – 8 people attended. Discussion was held on reducing all requested salaries and wage raises by 50%. Only people who requested raises in their budgets were considered. Three voted for ½ of raise, one voted for full raises, and Supervisor did not vote. The Board did not vote on the Budget at Hearing. In the December minutes it is noted that a Councilmember said he was incorrect in telling the Supervisor that he could not vote on matters that come before the Board.
  1. Tax Collector – Holly Huber:
    1. Final acceptable payments received on or after 2.1.20 through 4.9.20 totaled $48,407.28 in taxes and $979.19 in interest, March bank interest was $.70. Paid out the following: Check# 1038 to Supervisor Peter Shrope $694.25, Check #1039 and #1040 to Franklin County Treasurer total $25,000. Check #1037 was voided.
    2. April Bank interest was $.41. Paid out the following: Check #1041 to Franklin County Treasurer $23,488.20 and Check #1042 to Supervisor Peter Shrope $980.30 for penalties and interest. Balance of Tax Collector checking account at NBT Bank is now $0.00.
  1. Town Justice – Nik Santagate:

Disposed of 9 cases and gave Supervisor a check in the amount of $1,291.00 for April. A check in the amount of $2,338 was given to the Supervisor in March.

  1. Code Enforcement Officer – Paul Blaine:
    1. Issued four building permits (BPs) for March and April (BP#s 20-006 through 20-009)
    2. Issued 1 Certificate of Compliance BP#19-029 in March
    3. Issued 1 Certificate of Compliance BP#20-005 in April
  1. Assessor – Roseanne Gallagher:
    1. Posted legal notice concerning the Hearing of Complaints, completion of the Tentative Assessment Role, and hours for sitting with the role which will be done by phone. Hours are 9am and 1pm on May 14, 16, and 21. Also 4pm and 8pm on May 21.
    2. Mailed out 64 assessment change notices on May 1st. Total increase in assessed value was $2,640,153
    3. Have been in touch with most grievance board members (BAR) by phone to discuss how to handle grievance day. Received one call so far about an assessment that was questioned last year. Still need paperwork from the owner/representative to complete the review. Will discuss any assessment changes with people who call, if grievances need to be heard it will be by phone conference. The Board of Assessment Review (BAR) will not be meeting in person due to restrictions on having gatherings and accordance to guidance from New York State, but people will be heard. BAR will review all complaints received by May 27, if necessary.
    4. Data collection project will resume when it’s allowed and it is safe to do so.
    5. Supervisor Peter Shrope received notice that the Equalization Rate has changed back to 84%.
  1. Supervisor Peter Shrope:
  2. Retirement Reporting Corrections: Received notice that the corrections to the Retirement Report for two people have been accepted.
  3. A new plow truck has been ordered, delivery is expected in February 2021. The Resolution (#16-2020) passed in February indicated the Board allowed the Superintendent of Highways “to initiate procedures to purchase a new plow truck for delivery in February 2021 Not To Exceed $185,000.” Due to the timing of the purchase and the lack of a Board meeting in April the Superintendent and Supervisor ordered the truck based on the intent of the Board to allow the purchase.
  4. Received a request from the Franklin County Legislature requesting the Board support a request by Paul Smith’s College for grant funds for an “All Season Multi-Use Trail Network” at the Visitor’s Interpretive Center (VIC) from the Northern Border Regional Commission. Sent a letter of support dated May 5, 2020, to Northern Boarder Regional Commission.
  5. The Financial Report as of April 30, 2020 was provided to the Board. Revenue for April was as follows: $1,291 from the Town Justice, $485.62 from the Town Clerk, $694.25 (March) and $980.30(April) from the Tax Collector, and $800 for Cemetery plots.
  6. NYCLASS interest decreased by half and was as follows: General $59.01 for a total of $111,017.50 and Highway $22.47 for a total of $42,308.83.
  7. Website: Will get the Assessor’s notice about the Board of Assessment Review and dates for sitting with the Assessment Role on the website. He and Amber McKernan will address the issue of updating the website with Rainbow Graphics.
  8. Received a notice from the NYS Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation Office dated May 7, 2020, concerning adding the St. Regis Presbyterian Church (Tax Map #394.-2-9) on the Keese Mills Road to the National and State Registers of Historic Places.
  9. Received a phone call from the Supervisor of the Town of Harrietstown Mike Kilroy, the Saranac Lake Area Youth Program has been canceled for the summer. The Town does not need to send any funds to the Town of Harrietstown for this year.
  10. Census 2020: People need to sign up on-line for the Census as people are not allowed to go from house to house to gather the information. The Town had a very low response rate as of May 3.

ACCEPTANCE/APPROVAL OF MINUTES
April 9, 2020 minutes were a matter of record showing why there was not a quorum.

Motion made by Supervisor Peter Shrope, second by Steve Tucker, to accept the Minutes of April 9, 2020, as written. Aye 2 (Shrope, Tucker), Nay 0, Abstain 2 (Szeliga, Wright), Absent 1 (McKernan)

BUSINESS

  1. Record of Activities (ROA) for Retirement Purposes – Supervisor Peter Shrope: Three people submitted Records of Activities for the months January thru March for Retirement purposes. The Justice Court was closed for March so the Town Justice has been allowed to wait until the Courts reopen to finish the third month of activity.

RESOLUTION #23-2020

RECORD OF ACTIVITIES (ROA) FOR RETIREMENT

Motion made by Supervisor Peter Shrope, second by Lydia Wright,

RESOLVED that the Town of Brighton, Franklin County, New York, 30520 hereby establishes a 6 hour standard work day for these titles and will report the officials to the New York State and Local Retirement based on their Record of Activities (ROA):

Supervisor Peter Shrope, Current Term 1/1/2020 thru 12/31/2021, ROA: 5.99
Town Clerk Elaine Sater, Current Term 1/1/2020 thru 12/31/2023, ROA: 10.08
Housekeeping Shelly Smith, Current Appointment 1/1/2020 thru 12/31/2021, ROA: 2.22

ROLL CALL VOTE: Aye 4 (Shrope, Szeliga, Tucker, Wright), Nay 0, Absent 1 (McKernan)

RESOLUTION #23-2020 declared duly adopted.

  1. PAUL SMITH’S COLLEGE ADIRONDACK WATERSHED INSTITUTE (PSCAWI) CONTRACT FOR STEWARD PROGRAM – Supervisor Peter Shrope: Received contract from PSCAWI for the steward program for waterways in the Town of Brighton for 2020.

RESOLUTION #24-2020

PAUL SMITH’S COLLEGE ADIRONDACK WATERSHED INSTITUTE (PSCAWI) STEWARD PROGRAM

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

RESOLVED that the Town Board authorizes Supervisor Peter Shrope to sign a contract with Paul Smith’s College Adirondack Watershed Institute (PSCAWI) to provide for the steward program for Osgood and Buck Pond waterways in the Town of Brighton for the period May 23 thru August 23, 2020, in the amount of $7,000.

ROLL CALL VOTE: Aye 4 (Shrope, Szeliga, Tucker, Wright), Nay 0, Absent 1 (McKernan)

RESOLUTION #24-2020 declared duly adopted.

  1. Park – Supervisor Peter Shrope: Highway Department will remove the dead trees from the Park area owned by the Town.

Citizen Comments:

Resident said someone has been calling his house to ask about the schoolhouse that is now his residence. He questioned if anyone can ask for a property to put on the National and State Historic Register without the owners knowledge.

Supervisor Peter Shrope said according to the letter from the NYS Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation information the private property owner can protest their property being added.

AUDIT OF VOUCHERS:  

RESOLUTION #25-2020

PAYMENT OF AUDITED VOUCHERS AS LISTED ON THE ABSTRACTS

Motion made by Lydia Wright, second by Matthew Szeliga,

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 through and including 5C for 2020 General Funds in the amount of $454.43 and STREET LIGHTING 2020 FUND Voucher #5C in the amount of $60.53
GENERAL FUND: Abstract #5 for Voucher #77 through #92 for 2020 funds in the amount of $3,742.57
HIGHWAY FUND: Abstract #5 for Voucher #52 through #61 for 2020 funds in the amount of $26,825.82

ROLL CALL VOTE: Aye 4 (Shrope, Szeliga, Tucker, Wright), Nay 0, Absent 1 (McKernan)

RESOLUTION #25-2020 declared duly adopted.

ADJOURNMENT Motion to Adjourn at 7:50pm made by Lydia Wright, second by Matthew Szeliga, Aye 4 (Shrope, Szeliga, Tucker, Wright), Nay 0, Absent 1 (McKernan)

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