Adirondack Town Of Franklin
Adirondack Town Of Franklin

Town of Franklin Board Meetings


Board members present:

Supervisor Arthur P. Willman, Jr.
Councilman Allen Berg
Councilman Clifford Smalley (6:35 PM)
Councilman Donald Hamm
Councilman Bradley Merrill

Others Present:

Bryan Tremblay, Barton & Loguiduice, Engineers Jon Hutchins, Franklin County Highway Superintendent Town Clerk Sandra Oliver, Frances Oliver, Doris Hamm, Ed Martin, James Hauber Nancy Hauber, Anna Owens, Janine Taylor Mildred Vorrath, Derrick Romeo, Jessica Collier, Adirondack Daily Enterprise


Supervisor Arthur P. Willman called the information meeting on the proposed new bridge at County Route 48 to order. The Pledge of Allegiance was recited, the Town Clerk called the roll, introduced guests, declared the full board was present.


Brian Tremblay, Barton & Loguiduice, reported on the scarcity of funding for the new bridge at County Route. He drew attention to the plans for the bridge and distributed printed copies of a pamphlet describing the project. Jon Hutchins, Franklin County Highway Superintendent reported the State of New York Department of Transportation is closing the bridges it owns because of the lack of funds for maintenance. The project is a joint venture with Essex County and Mr. Hutchins has been working on it for two years. He stated the bridge at County Route 48 is checked each year by NYS DOT and has repeatedly been flagged for violations. The bridge is not in good shape and it is questionable whether it will pass inspection this year. If DOT closes the bridge, the area might be two years without a bridge.

Mr. Tremblay stated the original plan for the new bridge was to keep the roadway open via a detour by constructing a temporary structure. However, due to lack of funds, this option is not feasible. The road will have to be closed to traffic during construction. He and Mr. Hutchins now plan, providing funding is obtainable, to close the road during construction. They anticipate beginning construction in April 2013 and ending in mid-June 2013. Both emphasized if the bridge is not replaced, it will be closed permanently.

Coun. Berg asked Mr. Tremblay if construction could be completed in 2 months, and Mr. Tremblay indicated it could be. In addition, the new bridge will last at least 75 years. Coun. Smalley recommended they contact the School District Bus Garage to advise it of their plans. Coun. Merrill stated the bridge must be replaced and the work should be done.

The Board thanked Messrs. Tremblay and Hutchins for their information and they then left the meeting.


7:30 PM. Motion (B.Merrill-C.Smalley m/s/p) ALL AYE.



Supervisor Arthur P. Willman, Jr. called the meeting to order at 7:30 PM, the Pledge of Allegiance having been recited and roll called previously.



MILDRED VORRATH stated she was very concerned about the recent occurrences in Onchiota by runaway youths residing at Adirondack Leadership Expeditions.

JANINE TAYLOR - reported she had telephoned several members of the Town Board after the incidents 2 weeks ago. These runaways went father than any other youngsters. They stole bicycles, clothing, and credit cards. One of the cars (and clothing and credit cards) belongs to a mother with a young child whose automobile has still not been returned. The problem is that nothing was reported to anyone in Onchiota and the State Police were not notified for 6 hours after the breakout. She reported that Onchiota residents hear knocking at their doors in the wee hours of the morning. The teenagers keep running away, and there was another breakout last week. It is a dangerous situation and gets worse every year. The landlord is Paul Smiths College. She asked the Town Board to take some kind of action.

Supv. Willman indicated he had read the Adirondack Leadership Expedition website which explains that purpose for the camp is to train "at-risk" youngsters, who are difficult for parents to handle. The organization runs a sort of "boot camp" to address discipline problems in these youngsters. There is supposed to be a 3:1 ratio of kids and counselors.

JANINE TAYLOR asked how many inmates are resident at the site. Apparently these individuals are not adequately supervised as the runaway who was captured in Scarsdale was released to his parents. In addition, the victims of these thefts are not compensated for lost time. In addition, last fall, a community outreach by ALE was held at the Shamrock. No Town officials were notified, and the meeting was not well attended.

Coun. Berg stated a representative of Adirondack Leadership Expedition should be asked to attend the next Board meeting.

ANNA OWENS stated her car was stolen, along with some shoes, clothing and credit cards. She said she was infuriated as her car has not been returned, and she has a small child to care for. There are no repercussions for ALE.

Supv. Willman suggested if an Onchiota resident hears a knock at the door at 2:00 AM and is frightened, to call the State Police. He reported 8 hours had elapsed after the runaway was missing before ALE staff notified the State Police.

Coun. Hamm recalled a similar situation with "Camelot" in Lake Placid several years ago. The organization did not have a good rapport with the State Police and were reluctant to call Police preferring to handle runaways themselves. He surmised the situation with ALE is similar.

MILDRED VORRATH suggested the Town get in touch with Paul Smiths College to see if they can't do anything. ALE has a gate (broken) but no fence, and the property should be fenced. ALE maintains there are only 4 inmates per cabin, but installed bunkbeds for 8. The situation is getting dangerous, and people are starting to load their guns.

Supv. Willman indicated he has been in contact with the State Police officer in charge of the case, who is researching the number of runaways reported and hopefully will ascertain the number unreported. If ALE experiences multiple runaways per month, that is a problem which endangers the safety of the residents and property in Onchiota. We need to do something to encourage ALE to increase its security.

NANCY HAUBER stated the smashed gate at ALE does not offer much security. In addition, she has guests to whom she is reluctant to tell about the delinquent teenagers who might be a danger to them or their property. There is also a children's campground not too far from the ALE site. It was her understanding that last year, ALE staff was stopping school buses to look for another runaway.

Supv. Willman stated that should not be happening. School bus drivers are introduced to new students and bus riders by the school itself. ALE has no right to stop a school bus.

Town Clerk Oliver recalled that in 2006 a similar situation occurred. Representatives of ALE attended a Board meeting and a liaison committee between ALE staff and Onchiota residents was established. A telephone tree was set up so that Town residents could be notified when a breakout occurred. Within 3 months of the initiation of the liaison committee all the ALE staff was transferred out of state, and there was no one at the Saranac Lake or Onchiota site who would respond to requests of the citizen's liaison committee. The attorney for the Town at that time advised that ALE was a business in a Town with no land use regulations or zoning, and recommended the Town Board not attempt to modify the business' methodology.

Supv. Willman indicated he had spoken to the current Attorney for the Town and has requested, after he hears from the State Police, that the attorney draft a strongly-worded letter to Adirondack Leadership Expedition. He will also get in touch with Paul Smiths College. He opined the Town Board will put pressure on ALE from various points, including its Board of Advisors.



The following claims were submitted for approval and payment on Abstract 7 of 2012:
General FundVouchers 132 - 151 $8,320.19
Highway FundVouchers 77 - 85$3,907.13
Prepay GeneralVouchers 25 - 27$1,283.36
The following claim was submitted on Abstract 2 of 2012
LandfillVoucher 3 $16,000.00

Motion to pay claims (A.Berg-B.Merrill m/s/p) ALL AYE


Coun. Merrill took exception to wording of No. 6 regarding the June 27, 2012 special meeting minutes:

6. "MINUTES. Coun. Merrill stated he disagreed with the wording of Resolution 41 in the June 27 special meeting minutes; he did not understand how questioned whether the Board could provisionally accept a bid. The Clerk replied that the Board has adopted resolutions with provisos in them; in the instant matter, discussion immediately following adoption of Resolution 41 concerned whether the small dump truck could pull a 15-ton trailer. Supv. Willman indicated the Highway Superintendent had determined the Kaufman trailer was too light for the Town's needs and that resolution will be rescinded." (change per Aug. 8, 2012 meeting)

The minutes of the July 11, 2012 were accepted as amended, and the minutes of the July 18, 2012 special meeting were accepted as presented. (C.Smalley-A.Berg m/s/p) ALL AYE


Balances as of July 1, 2012

General FundChecking$68,966.89
Historian 3,037.33
Spec Sav Rec Pk175.00
Spec Sav Cemeteries$200.00
Highway FundChecking26,574.95
Cap. Proj. Hwy. 46,518.90
LandfillChecking 482.03
Fire ProtectionChecking16,683.22
CLASS 685.30
Capital Project Building5,438.10

Supv. Willman reported he transferred half of the General Fund checking amount into the General Fund savings account. Motion to accept Supervisor's Report (A.Berg-C.Smalley m/s/p) ALL AYE.


for the month of July 2012

4 dog licenses38.50
1 Building Permits $ 44.00
Vitals -8 cps Death ctfs & 4 genealogy searche$124.00
Donation for Cemeteries $100.00

Paid to Supervisor$ 295.50
Paid to NYS Ag&Mkts (dogs)$11.00

Motion accept Clerk's report (A.Berg-C.Smalley m/s/p) ALL AYE.


Codes Enforcement Officer Robert Drosdowich was unable to attend the meeting; however, his written report indicated he had issued 1 building permits in July for $44.00, and had made 11 inspections or site visits. In addition he issued two notices of violation.


A. SUPERINTENDENT'S REPORT. Highway Superintendent Jacques DeMars submitted the following written report for the period covering July 12 to August 8, 2012:

• Cut and chipped brush on Blue Spruce Drive, Fletcher Farm, Howe, Cold Brook and (currently) Thatcherville Roads.
• Ditched on Cold Brook, Fletcher Farm and Goldsmith Roads
• Start mowing roadsides
• Paved bridge approach on Sinkhole Road
• Assisted Harrietstown with paving
• On July 17th, 5 men, 3 trucks and backhoe were opening and clearing roads of fallen trees and debris. Men were out working until 8:45 pm. Contacted DEC to inform them that some of the trees were on State land.
• Department out cutting trees from roadways several times
• Raked and filled potholes with crusher run on Yemassee Lodge Road
• Newly hired Town resident Mike Wright started with Department on August 6.
• One employee still out on medical leave. He is scheduled to see his physician next week, and after that, the Town selects a physician to clear him to return to work.

Motion accept Highway Report (A.Berg-C.Smalley m/s/p) ALL AYE


C. QUESTIONS AND COMMENTS ON HIGHWAY MATTERS. Coun. Berg noted that not all the potholes on Sinkhole Road had been filled.



Only one bid was received from Trudeau Sand & Gravel, for up to 13,000 tons of screened road sand, picked up by Highway Dept., at $4.25 per ton, a 25¢ per ton increase over last year's price. Motion (C.Smalley-A.Berg m/s/p) ALL AYE.

RESOLUTION NO. 55: ACCEPT BID OF TRUDEAU SAND & GRAVEL WHEREAS, requests for bids/prices for 2012-13 winter road sand to NYS specification was duly published in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise; and WHEREAS, Trudeau Sand & Gravel submitted a price of $4.25 per ton; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Town Board hereby accepts and awards the bid of Trudeau for up to 13 tons of road sand picked up at $4.25 per ton.

Those voting aye:

Supervisor Arthur P. Willman, Jr.
Councilman Allen Berg
Councilman Donald Hamm
Councilman Bradley Merrill
Councilman Clifford Smalley

Those Voting nay:


Those Absent:


Those Abstaining:



The RFP for a 20-ton trailer to haul the pavement roller were published in the Press-Republican, Syracuse Post-Standard and Albany Times-Union. The following bids were received:

RESOLUTION NO. 55: ACCEPT BID OF TRUDEAU SAND & GRAVEL WHEREAS, requests for bids/prices for 2012-13 winter road sand to NYS specification was duly published in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise; and WHEREAS, Trudeau Sand & Gravel submitted a price of $4.25 per ton; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Town Board hereby accepts and awards the bid of Trudeau for up to 13 tons of road sand picked up at $4.25 per ton.

Versatile Trailer
Morrisonville, NY
20CAM925TA8,92048,92525 ft$15,396$100
Recommend optional double break beaver tail and 6 ft wood-filled ramps $15,936
Kaufman Trailers
702 N Silver St
Lexington NC 27292
GVWR 450009,50035,50025 ft$13,580$700
GVWR 6200011,44050,56030 ft$18,050$700
Gary's Equipment
5334 Rt 31
Clay, NY 13041
20CAM825TA40,00048,92025 ft$16,7006-7 wks
STS Trailer & Truck
3496 Court St
Syracuse, NY
Trail King TK-40 LP40,00047,50030 ft$21,85Nov-Dec

Copies of the bids will be distributed to the Highway Superintendent and Town Board, and the award will be made at the September 12, 2012 Board meeting.

C. BIDS FOR TELEPHONE SYSTEM. Tabled to September meeting.

D. ADIRONDACK LEADERSHIP EXPEDITIONS. Continuing the discussion above, Supv. Willman reiterated Adirondack Leadership Expeditions (ALE) retrains "at risk" youths whose parents spend money hoping to turn the child around. He will request a strongly worded letter to ALE to be drafted by the Attorney for the Town, James Martineau. The letter will address a formal notification procedure for each time an inmate escapes, and in addition representatives of ALE will be invited to the next Board meeting. Supv. Willman will also contact Paul Smiths College and ALE advisory board members.

E. SECTION 211 RETIREMENT INCOME WAIVER. Robert Snickles, a 7-year veteran of the Highway Department, has been taking "no-pay" days so as not to exceed the $30,000 retirement cap. The Town no longer permits "no-pay" days. To that end, Supv. Willman requested a motion for a resolution authorizing submission of a Section 211 waiver. Motion (A.Berg-C.Smalley m/s/p) ALL AYE.

RESOLUTION NO.56: AUTHORIZE SUBMISSION OF GRANT OF WAIVER TO NYS RETIREMENT SYSTEM RE INCOME CAP WHEREAS, Robert Snickles, an employee of 7 years, a Motor Equipment Operator (MEO) in the Highway Department and retired as a Corrections Officer; and WHEREAS, Robert Snickles has been taking "no pay" days in order not to exceed the $30,000 income limit set by the NYS Retirement System; and WHEREAS, the Town of Franklin no longer permits "no pay" days, Mr. Snickles will exceed the $30,000 income limit; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Town Supervisor is hereby authorized to request a Waiver of the income cap under Section 211 for the Deputy Highway Superintendent.

Those voting aye:

Supervisor Arthur P. Willman, Jr.
Councilman Allen Berg
Councilman Donald Hamm
Councilman Clifford Smalley

Those Voting nay:


Those Absent:


Those Abstaining:

Councilman Bradley Merrill

F. DANGEROUS PROPERTIES There are three dangerous properties in Town - 2 are located on Swinyer Road, and violation notices have been mailed to the owners. The third property is located on Oak Lane in Loon Lake. No taxes have been paid since 2009, and the site was scheduled to be auctioned for non-payment of taxes. Supv. Willman traced the former sister-in-law of the owner, and the former sister-in-law offered to purchase the property (offer accepted) and will clean it up. The property will be returned to the tax rolls. As for the Swinyer Road properties, the Codes Officer and the Town Board will wait to hear from the owners. If nothing is heard from them, further steps will be taken to demolish and remove the dangerous sites.


A. TOWN HALL GENERATOR UPDATE. The generator, reported Supv. Willman, has been installed and is hooked to the two large propane tanks next to the bottle recycling shed behind the Town Hall. North Country Electric tested the generator by turning off the Town Hall power, and after a 10-second delay the generator turned itself on. The generator switched itself off (after cooling down) once the power was restored.

B. MERRILLSVILLE GARAGE REPAIR UPDATE. The materials have been delivered, and Doug Snickles will begin work next week.

C. VERMONTVILLE GARAGE REPAIR UPDATE. Coun. Hamm opined Doug Snickles will begin work on this project once he completes the Merrillsville Garage repair. He indicated Mr. Snickles has requested a payment plan, to wit, one-third of the total to be paid for materials, one-third to be paid when project is 50% complete, and the final third upon completion. The Board concurred, and Supv. Willman requested a motion to accept same. Motion (B.Merrill-A.Berg m/s/p) ALL AYE.

RESOLUTION NO. 57: ACCEPT PAYMENT PLAN FOR VERMONTVILLE GARAGE SOFFIT, ETC. REPAIR WHEREAS, the bid for the soffit, etc. repair of the Town Garage, Vermontville, was awarded to Douglas Snickles; and WHEREAS, Mr. Snickles has requested a payment plan in installments of one-thirds, the first third for materials, the second third at 50% completion and the final third upon completion; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Town Board hereby accepts the payment plan as set forth above; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Supervisor is authorized to issue said payments.

Those voting aye:

Supervisor Arthur P. Willman, Jr.
Councilman Allen Berg
Councilman Donald Hamm
Councilman Bradley Merrill
Councilman Clifford Smalley

Those Voting nay:


Those Absent:


Those Abstaining:


D. HUD GRANT APPLICATION UPDATE. The grant application is due for submission on August 17, 2012. Coun. Berg stated he had telephoned Friends of the North Country but no one had ever called him back; Coun. Merrill indicated Mary Ellen Keith had also contacted FONC but had received no response; the Town Clerk said she called FONC but had not had an answer. Supv. Willman said he would call Scott Campbell directly.

E. NEW FIELDS AT KATE MOUNTAIN RECREATION PARK. The Town is developing new fields at the Rec Park, and for the past several months, all the road fill has been dumped at the site. The County of Franklin loaned its bulldozer, and the Groundsman (Glenn Swinyer) has been using it to level the area. On Saturday July 21st, volunteers used their own machinery to dig up rocks, and others moved them. (Thank you to Bruce Young, Paul Ward, Stephen Ward, Roger Symonds, Glenn Swinyer, Ed Martin, Al Berg, Sandy Oliver and Art Willman.) It is apparent that the hiking trail will have to be moved over to accommodate the new fields so as to avoid encroachment on wetlands. Further good news is that Ron Edgeley has volunteered to use his chisel plow to pull rocks. Supv. Willman met with County Legislator Tim Burpoe to talk about grant funding. The Towns of Harrietstown and North Elba pooled resources to refurbish old landfill and improve their recreational areas. Franklin County Soil & Water will lend the Town of Franklin its hydroseeder, so next year at this time the area will be grassed. Hopefully, soccer, rugby and other sports tournaments will be held there, and the new fields will generate income.

Coun. Smalley asked about the revamped electrical system at the Park, and Supv. Willman indicated everyone is very happy with the repaired system. Basically, Ampersand went through Jerry Race's list, found a few more problems, and repaired them


F. JAWS OF LIFE UPDATE. Supv. Willman reported the Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department has requested the immediate payment of $16,000 for the Jaws of Life equipment, and that check will be mailed out on Friday. He recounted for those present that he attended a demonstration of the equipment last year, and in conjunction with the Town of St. Armand and the Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department, it was determined that the equipment would greatly benefit the area. One of the trucks must be retrofitted to accommodate the equipment.

G. NEW SAVINGS ACCOUNTS. Supv. Willman reported new dedicated savings accounts had been opened by the Town. One is specifically for the improvements at the Rec Park and any donation made to the Town for recreation will be deposited there and cannot be spent on anything else. In addition, the money received from bottle deposits (about $100 every other week) will be deposited in that account. The second special dedicated savings account will be for the improvement of the Town cemeteries. This also will receive donations and those funds may not be spent on anything other than improvements to the cemeteries. People who would like to donate money to the Town for Rec Park improvements or improvements to the Cemeteries can be assured that their funds will not be used for anything other than improvements (must last at least 10 years), and not general maintenance.

H. LAND INVENTORY. No progress.


J. DATA SECURITY. No progress.


A. AUDIT. No report.

B. CEMETERIES. Couns. Merrill and Smalley distributed copies of the proposed Rules for gravesites at Town cemeteries:

PROPOSED CEMETERY RULES Vertical monuments shall be on west side of plot Plot corner markers shall be at ground level No in-ground plantings such as trees or shrubs No artificial enclosures of any kind Any ornamentation shall be placed on headstones so as not to impede mowing Ornamentation shall not consist of glass, wire or other materials that may become hazardous Plot holders are responsible to keep ornaments, etc. safely, orderly and periodically disposed of Any deteriorated ornaments found to be a hazard will be disposed of by the Town.

Couns. Merrill and Smalley proposed increasing the fee for non-residents from the current $200.00 to $400.00 per gravesite in Town-owned cemeteries and recommend the fee be paid to the Town Clerk. The Board considered the recommendation a good one, and Supv. Willman requested a motion for a resolution to that effect. Motion (B.Merrill-C.Smalley m/s/p) ALL AYE

RESOLUTION NO. 58: INCREASE FEE FOR GRAVESITES FOR NON-RESIDENTS TO $400 PER GRAVESITE WHEREAS, gravesites in the three Town cemeteries have always been at no charge to Town of Franklin residents; and WHEREAS, non-residents have paid $200 for each gravesite; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, effective January 1, 2013, the fee for each gravesite for non-residents shall be increased to $400.00; and BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, payment for same shall be made to the Town Clerk.

Those voting aye:

Supervisor Arthur P. Willman, Jr.
Councilman Allen Berg
Councilman Donald Hamm
Councilman Bradley Merrill
Councilman Clifford Smalley

Those Voting nay:


Those Absent:


Those Abstaining:


Furthermore, Couns. Smalley and Merrill recommended a sign at least 18 x 18 be attached to the shed at the Route 3 cemetery with the proposed rules.

Coun. Merrill reported that Stacy Allot, Geomatics, has placed the pins in the cemetery and the Committee will receive the assigned numbers for the gravesites, and then the maps will be delivered. Copies will be given to the Cemetery Custodian, Vivian Manny and the Town Clerk.

D. RECREATION. The Summer Youth Program ends next week. Attendance has been a bit lower this year, but the children enjoy the program and it has been very successful.

The Kate Mountain Community Recreation Association Music Fest will be held Saturday, August 18 at the Rec Park. All are invited to enjoy the music, crafts, food, games and raffles.


CONGRATULATIONS AND BEST WISHES to Beth Bordeau on her retirement as Postmaster of the Vermontville Post Office. She will be greatly missed.

CONGRATULATIONS to Wesley Wilson and William Peer for competing and finishing in the Ironman. You are both a wonderful example to us all and certainly deserve recognition.

THANK YOU to Zoe McCulley for her hard work on the Town Hall front garden. Her contribution is very much appreciated, and the garden looks so much better.

Appointment openings: Board of Assessment Review for a term starting October 1, 2012 to September 30, 2015.


The Food Pantry is scheduled to be held on Thursday August 23.

August 18th – Music Festival all day at Rec Park.



There being no further business to discuss or conduct, the meeting adjourned at 8:45 PM. Motion (C.Smalley-A.Berg m/s/p) ALL AYE

Respectfully submitted, Sandra J. Oliver, Town Clerk

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Town of Franklin
P.O. Box 209, Route 3, Vermontville, NY 12989  ·  Tel: 518-891-2189  ·  Fax: 518-891-6389  ·
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