December 14, 2023 Regular Town Board Meeting Minutes (Draft)

The Regular Monthly Meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Brighton, Franklin County, NY, was held Thursday, December 14, 2023, at 7pm at the Brighton Town Hall, 12 County Road 31, Paul Smiths, NY, with the following:

Meeting was Called to Order by Supervisor Peter Shrope at 7pm
Pledge to the Flag was recited.

PRESENT: Supervisor Peter Shrope
Council Members: Amber McKernan, Matthew Szeliga, Steve Tucker and Lydia Wright
OTHERS PRESENT: Andy Crary-Superintendent of Highways, Tracy Santagate ñ Court Clerk, Elaine Sater-Town Clerk and two residents
GUESTS: Pat McGuire, Sid Spear Insurance Agent, and Lauren LeFebvre, Franklin Town Clerk.

Notice of this meeting posted on the Town Clerkís Sign Board

Supervisor Peter Shrope thanked Deputy Supervisor Steve Tucker for handling Town business for him while he was away on an extended vacation.

Provided information on increase of 7% for premiums for 2024 insurance policy. Reviewed the policy with the Town Board, increased property values by 6%. Town Officials are covered by this policy for crime. Total cost to Town is $18,326.86.

PRESENTATION TO TOWN CLERK ñ Lauren LeFebvre, Town of Franklin Clerk and President of the Clinton/Essex/Franklin County (CEF) Town Clerkís Association presented Town Clerk Elaine Sater with a gift and thanked her for her 25 years of service to the Town of Brighton and to the CEF Town Clerkís Association.


Highway ñ Superintendent of Highways Andy Crary: Plowing and sanding on a regular basis; cleaned the shop; cleaned the trucks; got the 2015 plow truck back from repair shop; sent F-350 pickup to shop for transmission problem, covered under warranty; and ìEnjoy the Holidays.î
Amber McKernan said the ìPort-a-pottyî needs to be moved to an accessible location for the winter.

Town Clerk – Elaine Sater: Total Revenue to Supervisor as of November 30, 2023, was $1,523.15; from 6 copies of Certified Vital Records; 4 Dog Licenses renewed and 5 Building Permits (#23-051 to 055)

November 14 ñ Sent Town Budget for 2024 to Franklin County Legislature Clerk, Penny Premo; an error was noted on last page under General Revenue, two digits were transposed making a +$90 error in Revenue and a -$90 error in Fund Balance, amount to be raised by taxes was not affected. Sent corrected page by email to Tammie Brooks and Donna Kissane and mailed a copy to the Franklin County Legislature Clerk, Penny Premo on December 5th.
December 1 ñ Posted notice for position for Court Clerk for January 1, 2024, as required by Justice Court System.
December 5 ñ Received notice from Franklin County Board of Elections certifying the following election results:
Elizabeth DeFonce ñ Town Clerk/Tax Collector
Russell DeFonce ñ Town Justice
Caroline T. Santagate ñ Councilperson
Lydia Wright ñ Councilperson
Peter Shrope ñ Supervisor
Andy Crary ñ Superintendent of Highways
Took Oath of Office from Justice Russell DeFonce for the term January 1, 2024, through December 31, 2027. Mailed copies to Franklin County Clerk and Court Resource Room.
Notified State Comptrollerís Office by fax of new Justice information.
Office will be closed December 26 and 28, 2023.
RECORDS MANAGEMENT: Indexing Vol 14 (1988 to 1989)

Historian ñ Elaine Sater: No Report

Tax Collector ñ Elizabeth DeFonce: Attended Town Officials training in Plattsburgh on Monday, November 20.

Town Justice ñ Nik Santagate: Disposed of 22 cases during November and the Supervisor received a check in the amount of $2,296.

Code Enforcement Officer ñ Rodger Tompkins: Issued 1 Building Permits (BP#s 23-055) during November.

Assessor – Roseanne Gallagher: Nothing to Report
Supervisor Peter Shrope said the Board of Assessment Review member Peter McConville is not interested in reappointment; will have to find someone else to take his place. Town Clerk will put an ad in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise.

Animal Control ñ NYS Department of Agriculture and Markets: Sent notice of Municipal Shelter Inspection Report dated 11/28/23 and Dog Control Officer Inspection Report dated 11/28/23; both Inspections rated ìSatisfactory365î; for Tri-Lakes Humane Society.

Supervisor ñ Peter Shrope:
Budget 2024: Tax Cap verification with the State Comptrollerís Office was submitted successfully.
BRIDGENY: Sent all the paperwork returned from the Attorney for the Town to each agency (NYDEC and NYDOT) and Barton & Loguidice. Bond counsel is needed to submit BAN request.
Town Sign: Purchased sign to change Court night to Monday
Website: Need to change information for new Town Clerk and Justice
Budget: Copy provided to Town Board members as of November 30, 2023, negative accounts will be corrected in January with Budget Amendments; funds are available to cover shortages; revenue received since last Regular Monthly meeting: $15,378.83 from Mortgage tax; $2,296 from Justice, $1,523.15 from Town Clerk, and $400 from cemetery plots.
NYCLASS: For November – General Fund interest $512.05, total $117,942.59 ($20,000 for Town Hall). Highway Fund interest $195.12, total $44,947.35.

November 9, 2023 ñ Regular Board/Public Hearings Budget 2024 and BAN Meeting
Motion made by Amber McKernan, second by Steve Tucker, to accept the minutes of the November 9, Regular Board and Public Hearings for Budget 2024 and Bond Anticipation Note Meeting, as written with Typographical errors corrected. Aye 3 (McKernan, Shrope, Tucker), Nay 0, Abstain 2 (Szeliga, Wright)

Deb Naybor ñ Paul Smiths College Instructor: Her construction class for the Spring is looking for projects


Playground at Park ñ Supervisor Peter Shrope: Received a letter dated November 7, 2023, from concerned residents over the condition of the playground. Discussion was held on what could be done to update the playground. A committee could be formed to investigate grant funding, Franklin County Legislature could be contacted for information; Amber McKernan will reach out to Town of Franklin to get information on what they did for their playground.

Eclipse April 8, 2024 ñ Supervisor Peter Shrope: Received an email dated 11-6-2023 from concerned residents concerning possible trespassers during the Eclipse on April 8, 2024. Discussion was held on Townís ability to control people on State Highways and private property. Supervisor Peter Shrope said he posted a notice on ìFACEBOOKî concerning the Eclipse months ago stating that the Eclipse would be right over the Town. He marked the path on the map in the Town Hall. The Town Board has no jurisdiction on the State Highway or private property.

Paul Smiths-Gabriels Volunteer Fire House Water Filtration ñ Supervisor Peter Shrope: No further information available yet

COMMITTEES: Nothing to Report

Amber McKernan ñ Paul Smiths College is a remarkable resource for the Town, she had help from a professor with a broken tree in her yard.

Deb Naybor ñ there is a class working on a plan for Emergency Preparedness for Paul Smithís College that is looking at the Eclipse. Also, her class could do picnic tables for the Park and help with the playground.

Motion made by Amber McKernan, 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 #12 for Voucher #s 12A through 12C for 2023 GENERAL FUND in the amount $610.18, and Voucher #12B STREET LIGHTING FUNDS in the amount of $83.15
GENERAL FUND: Abstract #13 for Voucher #214 through #235 for 2023 funds in the amount of $27,643.62
HIGHWAY FUND: Abstract #12 for Voucher #113 through #126 for 2023 funds in the amount of $11,529.44
ROLL CALL VOTE: Aye 5 (McKernan, Shrope, Szeliga, Tucker, Wright), Nay 0
Resolution #49 declared duly adopted.

Motion to Adjourn at 8:20pm made by Amber McKernan, Second by Matthew Szeliga,
Aye 5 (McKernan, Shrope, Szeliga, Tucker, Wright), Nay 0

Respectfully Submitted, Elaine W. Sater, Brighton Town Clerk