December 10, 2020 Regular Meeting

The Regular Meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Brighton, Franklin County, NY, was held Thursday, December 10, 2020, at 7:00pm 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 7:01pm

PRESENT: Supervisor Peter Shrope
Council Members: Amber McKernan, Steve Tucker, and Lydia Wright
ABSENT: Council Member Matthew Szeliga
OTHERS PRESENT: Andy Crary-Superintendent of Highways, Elaine Sater-Town Clerk, and one resident

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

The North Country including Franklin County is still in Phase 4 of the Reopening of New York State due to the corona virus called COVID-19. People are still asked to wear masks to cover their nose and mouth when within 6 feet of other people. A limited number of people are allowed inside the Town buildings.


1. Highway-Andy Crary, Superintendent of Highways:

a. Plowing and sanding roads
b. Made a dump run
c. Cleaned the trucks
d. Removed a downed tree from the White Pine Road
e. Painted the break room walls and floor
f. Painted the outside wall of garage
g. Painted the bathroom walls and floor
h. Put up salt and sand

2. Town Clerk – Elaine Sater:

a. Total Revenue to Supervisor as of November 30, 2020 was $ 418.75 from 4 Dog Licenses (3 renewed and one new Tag#246, and 4 Building Permits (BPs#20-046 to 049)
b. November 19 – Received request from Franklin County Legislature to review names and address, etc, of Town Officials, distributed to Town Officials and requested any changes be submitted by December 10 to this office.
c. Received Record of Activities (ROA) from the Town Justice, need a resolution to approve so it can be posted for 30 days before being submitted to the State Retirement Office. There is no change from last ROA.
1) Still Indexing Minutes Vol 11 (1979-1980)
2) Received 1 FOIL request: November 12 – Protect the Adirondacks, asking for Building Permit lists from 2000 to 2019. Emailed PDF file on December 1 for years 2005 to 2019 from Code Enforcement files. Mailed 9 pages from 2001 to 2004 from older files after receiving payment. On Dec 1.

3. Historian – Elaine Sater: From the Minutes of 1980

1473 in 1970 to 1600 in 1980. Housing units increased from 433 to 529.
– Gave Town Clerk permission to close her Office on weekends at her discretion.
b. September 11 – Town Board discussed possible new landfill site near where the Town of Harrietstown has its site (Lake Clear). Paul Smith’s College is also part of the discussion. The Towns of St Armand and Santa Clara may also participate.
– Town Officials were invited to an open house on September 26 of the NYS Police Headquarters new facilities in Ray Brook. Public was invited for Sept 27
– Semi-Annual Census Report showed a population of 1621, a 20% increase and 107 new housing units.
– NYS Department of Transportation changed plowing and sanding contract, they will plow 9.5 miles from Paul Smith’s College North (toward Malone) to Town line. Town will plow Rt 192 (Now Route 86) to Town Line and South (toward Lake Clear) on Route 30 from Paul Smith’s College to Town Line. Board will negotiate contract.
– A local law was proposed to extend terms of office for Supervisor, Superintendent of Highways, Tax Collector and Town Clerk from 2 to 4 years. A Public Hearing was held on Sept 25. No one showed up for the Public Hearing. Board passed resolution to extend terms and called for a Mandatory Referendum.
c. Nov 6 – Hearing for Preliminary Budget for 1981, 66 people attended meeting and it ended at 10:40pm at night.
d. Census for 1980 gave preliminary numbers of 1623 people and 540 housing units.

4. Tax Collector – Holly Huber: Nothing to Report

5. Town Justice – Nik Santagate: Disposed of 24 cases and gave the Supervisor a check in the amount of $2,221.00 for November

6. Code Enforcement Officer – Paul Blaine:

a. Issued four (4) building permits (BPs) for November BP#s 20-046 thru 049)
b. Issued 4 Certificates of Compliance for BP #20-007, 029, 033, and 041
c. Office is closed to in-person visits until further notice due to COVID-19 quarantine, phone and email are available

7. Assessor – Roseanne Gallagher:

Provided a list of property sales in the Town since August, there were more “arms length” sales in the last three months then usually seen in a whole year.

8. Supervisor Peter Shrope:

a. Received a letter from Senator Betty Little thanking Town for card sent on the occasion of her retirement.
b. NYS Association of Towns will hold their Annual Meeting and training virtually on-line in February. There is a fee to register. This replaces the actual annual meeting in New York City.
c. Handicap Lift at Town Hall: Will be replaced around December 22
d. Received a call from County Legislature Andrea Dumas, she was checking in by phone
e. Camp Gabriels: While plowing the Camp Gabriels roads for the Fire Department access, the Highway employees noticed damage to the buildings. The State Troopers were notified to investigate.
f. The Financial Report ending November 30, 2020, was distributed to Board members.
1) Revenue received: $12,712.85 from County for Mortgage tax, $2,221 from Town Justice and $418.75 from Town Clerk
2) NYCLASS interest was as follows: General $8.67 for a total of $111,146.14 and Highway $3.29 for a total of $42,357.76.

ACCEPTANCE/AMENDMENT OF MINUTES – Regular Meeting November 12, 2020
Motion made by Supervisor Peter Shrope, second by Lydia Wright, to accept the Minutes of the November 12, 2020, Regular meeting as written, Aye 3 (Shrope, Tucker, Wright), Nay 0, Abstain 1 (McKernan), Absent 1 (Szeliga

CITIZENS’ COMMENTS: Resident wished the Board a safe and happy Christmas


1. Record of Activity (ROA) for Town Justice – Supervisor Peter Shrope: Received the three month ROA from the Town Justice. Due to the COVID-19 virus shut down of the Justice Court system the record was delayed. The Justice used August as his third month after the Court system reopened.

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

RESOLVED that the Town of Brighton, Franklin County, 30520, hereby establishes the following 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:
Elected Official:
Town Justice, Standard Work Day 6 hours, Name: Nik Santagate, Current Term 1/1/2020 -12/31/2023, ROA: 10.28 days per month

ROLL CALL VOTE: Aye 4 (McKernan, Shrope, Tucker, Wright), Nay 0, Absent 1 (Szeliga)
RESOLUTION #57-2020 declared duly adopted.

2. Electronic Banking-Supervisor Peter Shrope: Provided a draft of a policy entitled “Wire Transfers and On-Line Banking” to the Board for review and comment.


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

RESOLVED that the Town Board adopts the following Wire Transfer and On-Line Banking Policy:

The Town Board of the Town of Brighton recognizes the use of various electronic banking transactions including wire transfers and online banking activity as a faster, easier, and more efficient substitute for paper transactions. The purpose of this policy is to provide a framework of procedures, authorized by the Town Board, in order to ensure the proper protocols are followed for all online banking activity. This policy will outline what online banking activities and electronic funds transactions the Town of Brighton may engage in, and the responsibilities of certain individuals in order to establish a segregation of duties.

Electronic banking uses computer and electronic technology to streamline the processing and recording of receipts and disbursements, while reducing the cost of processing these transactions. Receipts, disbursements, and transfers in proper circumstances can be processed via electronic funds transfer (EFT) services, whether transferring funds from a savings to a checking account at the same bank or making a payment to a vendor’s bank across the country. Internal controls, such as written policies and procedures, authorizations, segregation of duties and monitoring.

The Town Board hereby authorizes the Town Supervisor, Tax Collector and Bookkeeper to engage in electronic banking in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations including General Municipal Law Section 5-a authorizing the use of electronic or wire transfers and in conformity with the guidelines established by this policy. The three above named positions are authorized to initiate wire transfers when appropriate based on approved expenditures by the Town Board, with the exception of the Tax Collector, who conducts business through electronic banking for deposits and payments to Franklin County. The Supervisor and Bookkeeper are hereby directed to receive notice and review such wire transfers for confirmation of authorization by the Town Board.

The Town Board also recognizes that most banking institutions no longer provide cancelled paper checks to their customers, but instead offer an electronic image obtained online. As such, the Town Board authorizes the acceptance of these electronic images in lieu of cancelled checks in accordance with General Municipal Law Section 99-b(2).

Electronic banking activities will be used for, but not limited, to the following:

1. Online banking services (reviewing account balances, retrieving bank statements, downloading copies of cancelled checks, making stop payment orders, etc.)
2. Electronic depositing of checks received
3. Pre-authorized debit payments
4. ACH vendor payments
5. EFT or wire transfers
6. Electronic Federal Tax Payment System (EFTPS)
7. Electronic State Tax Payment System (Prompt Tax)

All electronic fund transfers shall be reviewed by the Bookkeeper who reviews the bank statements, except the Tax Collector who maintains a separate account (herein after is an exception to the routine town banking transactions). The Bookkeeper and Town Supervisor shall be responsible for initiating transfers, only after receiving approval from the Town Board. All banking transactions for the Town will be conducted on computers that are password protected, have firewalls and anti-virus and anti-phishing software installed

The Supervisor shall be responsible to ensure that employees with electronic access to bank accounts who leave Town employment are properly removed from the accounts, effective with the termination of employment. In the case of the Town Supervisor not being able to perform his or her duties the Deputy Town Supervisor shall be responsible. If the Town Supervisor leaves employment by the Town of Brighton or is unable to perform the required access limitations, then the Town Board may choose to direct the Deputy Town Supervisor to restrict access for the person who is no longer employed by the Town.

The Town Board is responsible for implementing adequate internal controls for each of the electronic banking methods utilized. An effective internal control system includes, but is not limited to, segregation of duties, proper authorization, and adequate documentation for all electronic transactions. The annual audit by the Town Board of all town bank accounts and transactions will also serve as an internal control system.

ROLL CALL VOTE: Aye 4 (McKernan, Shrope, Tucker, Wright), Nay 0, Absent 1 (Szeliga)
RESOLUTION #58-2020 declared duly adopted.

3. Public Employer Mandatory Emergency Plan-Supervisor Peter Shrope: Received a draft of the new plan from Emergency Preparedness Solutions, LLC. Distributed to Board for review and comment.


Parks and Recreation – Supervisor Peter Shrope/Amber McKernan:

1. The port-a-potty has been removed until May.
2. Supervisor Peter Shrope said he looked at putting a light on the back of the garage, but it would be too close to the ground and someone could just reach up and shut it off.



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 #12 for Voucher #s 12A and 12B for 2020 General Funds in the amount of $303.31 and STREET LIGHTING FUND: Voucher #12B in the amount of $66.46.
GENERAL FUND: Abstract #12 for Voucher #202 through #219 for 2020 funds in the amount of $5,717.28 HIGHWAY FUND: Abstract #12 for Voucher #124 through #131 for 2020 funds in the amount of $9,823.87

ROLL CALL VOTE: Aye 4 (McKernan, Shrope, Tucker, Wright), Nay 0, Absent 1 (Szeliga)
RESOLUTION #59-2020 declared duly adopted.


Motion to Adjourn at 7:46pm made by Amber McKernan, second by Lydia Wright, Aye 4 (McKernan, Shrope, Tucker, Wright), Nay 0, Absent 1 (Szeliga)

Respectfully Submitted,

Elaine W. Sater, RMC
Brighton Town Clerk