April 11, 2024 Regular Monthly Meeting

The Regular Monthly Meeting for the Town Board of the Town of Brighton, Franklin County, NY, was held Thursday, April 11 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
The “Pledge of Allegiance” to the flag was recited.

PRESENT: Supervisor Peter Shrope
Council Members: Amber McKernan, C. Tracy Santagate, and Steve Tucker
ABSENT: Council Member Lydia Wright
OTHERS PRESENT: Andy Crary-Superintendent of Highways, Elizabeth DeFonce-Town Clerk, Russell DeFonce-Town Justice, Elaine Sater-Historian
GUESTS: Diane Fox, Superintendent, Saranac Lake Central School District, and Nancy Bernstein, President, Saranac Lake Board of Education

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

Presented information regarding the school district’s declining enrollment and its use of buildings. Reviewed upcoming ballot propositions and their impact on taxes.


Highway – Superintendent of Highways Andy Crary: Cleaned the shop; washed the trucks; plowed snow and sanded when necessary; performed road checks; cleaned up fallen limbs at the cemetery; fixed a washout on Slush Pond Road and blocked it off from traffic; getting the sweeper ready; put the sign at Hoffman Road back up; requested Supervisor Peter Shope’s signature on the shared agreement for Franklin County; roped off the uprooted stones in front of the Town Hall; plan on replacing the steps to the back door.

Town Clerk- Elizabeth DeFonce: Total Revenue to Supervisor as of March 31, 2024, was $85.00 from 5 dog licenses, 1 Certified copy of a Marriage License, and 1 donation for use of the Town Park
The Notice of Temporary Closing of Roads was posted on March 18th and sent to the Adirondack Daily Enterprise the same day. It ran 4 times: March 21st, March 26th, March 28th, and April 2nd.
The Resolution in Support of Constitutional Amendment for Three Decommissioned New York State Correctional Facilities in Franklin, Essex, and Saratoga Counties was sent to various government personnel and agencies as requested.
Registered for the NYSTCA Conference in Albany later this month.
TOWN PARK REQUEST: Saranac Lake Kiwanis will use the park as a rest stop/aid station from 9AM until 4PM during the Pat Stratton Memorial Bike Ride on August 24th.

Tax Collector – Elizabeth DeFonce: Collections for the months of March and April totaled $93,679.41; $91,921.81 in taxes and $1,757.60 in penalties.
Bank interest totaled $2.88
A taxpayer who received a reminder letter had mailed their checks to the old Post Office box. Those checks never made it to the new Post Office box, nor were they returned to the sender. Unless the checks are found and the postmark verified the taxpayer will have to take it up with the County Treasurer’s Office.
The reconciliation for the County Treasurer’s Office has been completed. There was a problem with one of the reports from Systems East; they’ve been contacted. Taxes were successfully reconciled and returned to the Treasurer’s Office today, along with their last payment.

Historian – Elaine Sater: Shredding archived records from 2017
Completed copying 2018 through 2020 newspaper articles
Indexing Minutes from Volume 14 (1988-1989)

Prior to the Justice report Supervisor Peter Shrope read a card of appreciation sent to the Town Board from Nik Santagate.

Town Justice – Russ DeFonce: 24 cases were disposed. The Supervisor was given a check for $1,229. A form W9 is needed in order to complete the process of acquiring a new credit card machine.
The Justice would like to hire Brianna Sargent, Court Clerk for the Town of Moriah, as a consultant for training on The Courtroom Program. She would be paid a flat fee of $500 for an 8-10 hour day. A motion was made by Peter Shrope, seconded by Steve Tucker, for the Justice to write up a contract and bring it back to the Board for further review. Aye 4 (McKernan, Santagate, Shrope, Tucker), Nay 0, Absent 1 (Wright)

Code Enforcement Officer – Rodger Tompkins: Issued 1 Building Permit

Assessor - Roseanne Gallagher: KLW has almost finished reviewing the assessments from their meetings with property owners. Robert Koszarek will be here next week to collect the correspondence he’s received and to work with the Assessor on creating new values for the Rainbow Lake Water District.

Supervisor – Peter Shrope:
The Town Clerk and Town Justice now have online access to their bank accounts.
BridgeNY: Brian Trembly has been informed that the ice is out. Reimbursement still needs to be discussed.
Deposits: Received $1,500 from the Traffic Diversion Program. $1,229.00 was received from the Town Justice and $85.00 from the Town Clerk.
NYCLASS: For March - General Fund interest $530.76, total $119,782.11 ($20,000 for Town Hall). Highway Fund interest $202.263, total $45,648.37.
Budget: over in some budget lines but otherwise in good shape.
Town Hall: There’s some corrosion on the main pipe of the furnace. Hyde-Stone has been contacted and will be here at the beginning of the week. The repair will likely cost $500 minimum.

Accept/Amend Minutes
March 14, 2024 - Regular Board
Motion made by Amber McKernan, second by Steve Tucker, to accept the minutes of the March 14, 2024, Regular Meeting with one correction on page 4. Aye 4 (McKernan, Santagate, Shrope, Tucker) Nay 0, Absent 1 (Wright)

CITIZENS’ COMMENTS: The airport had a record number of landings and takeoffs on Monday the 8th due to the eclipse. 4 people watched it from the Town Hall.


Online tax payments: Supervisor Peter Shrope is investigating how to allow the Tax Collector to take payments online and mentioned that the Town of Franklin uses AllPay. He will check with the Association of Towns and the Comptroller’s Office for suggestions.
Second credit card: Discussion was held on having a second credit card and putting it Steve Tucker’s name. Motion was made by Supervisor Peter Shrope, seconded by Steve Tucker, then tabled for further consideration.
Town Park: Discussion was held about the playground equipment at the Town Park focusing on insurance and safety as well as ADA compliance. Other vendors were mentioned and the issue was tabled until May so they could be investigated. It was suggested to check with state contracts and the Office of General Services.


CITIZENS' COMMENTS: The salamander count on Keese Mill Road wasn’t taking place as planned because it isn’t raining.
The Fire Department banquet will be held on Saturday, April 27th.

Resignation: The Board received a letter of resignation from Assessor Roseanne Gallagher effective July 1, 2024. A hiring notice will be placed in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and run the week of April 22nd-27th. Resumes will be available for review at the May 9th Board meeting.


Motion made by Amber McKernan, seconded by Lydia Wright,

RESOLVED that the Supervisor be authorized to pay the audited vouchers as listed on the abstracts as follows:
PREPAID FUNDS: Abstract #4 for Voucher #s 4A through 4C for 2024 GENERAL FUND in the amount $789.61 and Voucher #4C for 2024 STREET LIGHTING FUNDS in the amount of $80.78
GENERAL FUND: Abstract #4 for Voucher #63 through #73, for 2024 funds in the amount of $12,193.22
HIGHWAY FUND: Abstract #4 for Voucher #34 through #41 for 2024 funds in the amount of $16,009.77

ROLL CALL VOTE: Aye 4 (McKernan, Santagate, Shrope, Tucker), Nay 0, Absent 1 (Wright)
Resolution #29 declared duly adopted.


Motion to Adjourn at 9:13pm made by Amber McKernan, second by Steve Tucker
Aye 4 (McKernan, Santagate, Shrope, Tucker, Wright), Nay 0, Absent 1 (Wright)

Respectfully Submitted,

Elizabeth DeFonce
Brighton Town Clerk