Adirondack Town Of Franklin
Adirondack Town Of Franklin

Town of Franklin Board Meeting

December 11, 2006 - 7:00 pm

The Town Board of the Town of Franklin held a duly noticed Special Board meeting on Monday, December 11, 2006 at 7:00 pm at the Vermontville Town Hall.

Board members present:

    Supervisor Mary Ellen Keith
    Councilman Gene Goff
    Councilperson Janet Ordway
    Councilman Walt Kretser

Board members absent:

    Councilman Tim Goff

Other officers present: Town Clerk Sandra Oliver

Others present:

    Andree LaBarge, LaBarge Agency
    Susan Hardy, Adirondack Leadership Expeditions
    Dean Everett, Adirondack Leadership Expeditions
    John Mills, President, Paul Smiths College
    Jack Burke, Paul Smiths College

Residents present:

    Frank Karl
    Jean Baltzly
    Al Berg
    Nancy Hauer
    John Fadden


Supervisor Keith called the meeting to order; the Pledge of Allegiance was recited; the Town Clerk called the roll, and announced a quorum was present.


    The following bills were presented for payment on Abstract 12:
    GeneralClaims 234 - 25912,789.24
    HighwayClaims 147 - 160$7,448.35
    Prepay GeneralClaims 72 - 76$2,019.60

    Motion to accept payment of claims (W.Kretser-J.Ordway m/s/p) ALL AYE


    The minutes of the November 13, 2006 board meeting were amended as follows:


    ...Coun. Janet Ordway Walter Kretser proposed Mr. Rascoe be granted an increase to $38,500 this year and next year be raised to $40,000. Coun. Walt Kretser Janet Ordway concurred. (Change per 12/11/06 meeting.)

    Motion to accept November 13, 2006 minutes as amended (J.Ordway-M.Keith m/s/p) ALL AYE

    Following some general discussion, acceptance of the minutes of the November 6, 2006 Public Hearing was tabled to the special meeting scheduled for December 18, 2006, in order that Coun. Kretser might verify the accuracy of the comments submitted by attendees.


    Supervisor Keith received a request from Franklin County for a resolution in support of its Shared Municipal Services Incentive Grant Application for a new paver that will be shared among all municipalities in the County and appointing Supv. Keith as the Town's authorized representative.

    Motion for resolution (M.Keith-J.Ordway m/s/p) ALL AYE

    RESOLUTION NO. 58: SUPPORT FOR SHARED MUNICIPAL SERVICES INCENTIVE GRANT APPLICATION BETWEEN FRANKLIN COUNTY AND ALL MUNICIPALITIES WITHIN THE COUNTY THAT WILL SHARE THE PAVER WHEREAS, the Town of Franklin hereby supports the Shared Municipal Services Grant Application as Co-Applicant with the County of Franklin; and WHEREAS, the authorized representative to act on behalf of the governing body in all matters relating to this grant will be the Town Supervisor; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the Town Board of the Town of Franklin hereby supports said grant application and authorizes the Town Supervisor to act on behalf of the Town of Franklin as authorized representative.

    Those voting aye:

      Supervisor Mary Ellen Keith
      Councilman Gene Goff
      Councilperson Janet Ordway
      Councilman Walt Kretser
      Councilman Tim Goff

    Those absent:

      Councilman Tim Goff

    Those Voting nay:



      Balances as of November 30, 2006

      General FundCK$18,096.51
      Highway FundCK$23,330.54
      Cap Proj Hwy$57,440.90
      Cap. BuildingCLASS$139,589.62

      Motion to accept Supervisor's Report (W.Kretser-J.Ordway m/s/p) ALL AYE


      Supervisor Keith requested the Board adopt a resolution for General Fund Budget Amendment No. 6.

      Motion for resolution (J.Ordway-W.Kretser m/s/p) ALL AYE

      RESOLUTION NO. 59: GENERAL FUND BUDGET AMENDMENT NO. 6 WHEREAS, In order to maintain a balanced 2006 General Fund Budget, NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the following Budget Amendment is hereby adopted:

      A1650.2 Central Communications Equipment$1,600.00
      A1670.4 Central Mail$400.00A1650.4 Central Communications$2,000.00
      A8810.4 Cemeteries CE$293.00A8810.1 Cemeteries PS$293.00

      Those voting aye:

        Supervisor Mary Ellen Keith
        Councilman Gene Goff
        Councilperson Janet Ordway
        Councilman Walt Kretser
        Councilman Tim Goff

      Those absent:

        Councilman Tim Goff

      Those Voting nay:



      Supervisor Keith requested the Board adopt a resolution for Highway Fund Budget Amendment No 5.

      Motion for resolution (J.Ordway-G.Goff m/s/p) ALL AYE

      RESOLUTION NO. 60: HIGHWAY FUND BUDGET AMENDMENT NO. 5 WHEREAS, In order to maintain a balanced 2006 Highway Fund Budget, NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that the following Budget Amendment is hereby adopted:

      Unexpended Balance DA5142.4$10,000.00
      DA5130.2 Machinery Capital$20,000.00DA5142.4$30,000.00
      Capital Projects - Machinery Reserve$160,400.00DA5130.2 Machinery Capital$160,400.00

      Those voting aye:

        Supervisor Mary Ellen Keith
        Councilman Gene Goff
        Councilperson Janet Ordway
        Councilman Walt Kretser
        Councilman Tim Goff

      Those absent:

        Councilman Tim Goff

      Those Voting nay:



      Andree LaBarge reviewed the renewal of insurance coverage for the Town.

      General Liability: No changes for renewal. Includes $2 million limit and $4 million aggregate. Premium based on the Town's Budget.

      Owners, Contractors & Protective: No changes. Covers special projects which require the purchase of a special policy

      Public Officials Liability: Covers wrongful acts originating out of employment, with an aggregate of $4 million. Excludes landfills and dumps.

      Automobile Liability: Based on 12 vehicles. Town will receive a rebate for the part of the 2005 premium. Ms. LaBarge expressed gratitude for Highway Supt. Rascoe's thoroughness and organization.

      Property: Covers contents of all buildings, signs and sheds - blanket limit of $1,063,008. Premium increase of 4%; $1,000 deductible. Also covers system breakdowns, explosions, flood and earthquake damage

      Inland Marine: Covers general office equipment, parks and recreation equipment, all computers and communication equipment at Highway Dept. $250 deductible.

      Umbrella: $2 million coverage for underlying coverage; $2 million comprehensive and $4 million for general liability, etc. $10,000 deductible. Ms. LaBarge recommended purchase of additional limits for this policy. The Board will review and discuss this suggestion and advise Ms. LaBarge.

      Inland Marine Equipment: For vehicles 10 years and younger, replacement cost coverage applies. If older than 10 years, value at actual cash value.

      Bond: Covers dishonesty by public officials and theft, disappearance and destruction - checks
      $15,000, cash $5,000. Additional coverage from Jan 1 through April 30 of $20,000. $500 deductible. As Town does not transfer funds via internet, no reason to purchase coverage for computer fraud.

      Storage Tank Environmental Liability: As Town has two (2) above ground storage tanks,this coverage is recommended. Coverage would be $1,000,000 for each claim with deductible of $5,000 per claim. Maximum $1,000,000 all claims. The Board will discuss this subject and advise Ms. LaBarge.

      Total Premium: If Town Board opts to add another limit to the umbrella policy and also purchase Storage Tank policy, premiums will rise to $28,806 from $25,626.

      Supervisor Keith thanked: Ms. LaBarge for her presentation at the meeting, and Ms. LaBarge then left the meeting.


      Highway Superintendent James Rascoe submitted a written report on the Department's progress:

      1. Dept. Hours. On Nov. 13th, the Department returned to 8 hr days.

      2. Goldsmith Rd. Cleared stone, filled holes and dug ditches.

      3. Garage and Equipment Maintenance. Hot water tank changed and new sink installed. Built two sets of tire chains; repaired all generators, drained gas and cleaned carburetors, built frames on wheels, plow and sand. Also located parts for steam jenny and welded wing on Unit 11. Coun. Walt Kretser commented that the old hot water tank was a fire hazard.

      4. Muzzy and Oregon Plains Rds. Cleaned roadsides of downed trees.

      5. Signage. Erected sharp turn signs on Oregon Plains Rd, marked all guide rails and culverts.

      6. Bigelow Rd. Opened other end of Bigelow Rd.

      7. 284 Agreement for 2007. Draft 284 agreement submitted. Board will review.

      8. Salt Shed. Repairs made.

      9. Garage septic system. Steve Light attended this and replaced the broken wire to the pump. Coun. Gene Goff commented he was not happy that the installer of the system, Trudeau, could not repair the problem.

      10. New Hire. Russ Garrow of Saranac Lake was hired as MEO.


      1. General Comments. Coun. Walt Kretser stated he is receiving very good comments on the work the Department is doing and said it was a joy to see the work getting done. 2. Union Negotiations. After 2 meetings with Union representatives, Coun. Gene Goff thought a tentative contract had been reached, although nothing was in writing. The wage package will be less than what Town budgeted for. Supervisor Keith commented that during the negotiations, several areas of "gray" language had been clarified.


      1. Jean Baltzly stated newly paved portions of roads tend to be more slippery. Supv. Keith indicated she would speak with the Highway Superintendent about this problem.

      2. Al Berg asked whether the Town Board agreed to take ownership of roads in the proposed subdivision in Loon Lake, and if so, would Town agree to same for the Union Falls/Stickney Point subdivision. Supervisor Keith and Coun. Gene Goff responded the Board did not agree to take ownership of the Loon Lake subdivision roads; the Board wrote it could not commit a future Town Board. Frank Karl commented that in order for a municipality to take over a road, the specifications for the road would have to be approved by the Highway Superintendent.


      At the November 13, 2006 board meeting, Onchiota resident Kathy Fadden discussed problems with clients at the Adirondack Leadership Expedition (ALE) site in Onchiota. An inmate escaped the grounds and broke into the house of Mrs. Fadden's 92-yr-old grandmother causing the woman emotional damage. That incident was the third such in the 3 years ALE had been situated in Onchiota. Ms. Fadden was unable to attend the meeting, but her father-in-law, John Fadden, was present. Also in attendance also were John Mills, President of Paul Smiths College and also Jack Burke of same. Paul Smiths College owns the land on which ALE has its residence buildings. Messrs. Mills and Burke indicated they would not speak, but were in attendance to hear what people had to say. Supervisor Keith said she had consulted James Maher, the attorney for the Town, who advised this was a private matter and the Town had no standing to act.

      Supervisor Keith introduced Susan Hardy of Adirondack Leadership Expeditions. Ms. Hardy thanked the Board for inviting her to explain the organization's program and to explore solutions so as to avoid a recurrence of the recent incident. She noted ALE had formed a local advisory board which will have its first meeting on December 19th. She said ALE wanted to be a good neighbor. ALE treats adolescents experiencing depression who are privately placed by their parents (not the courts) because of conduct disorders. In the 3 years ALE has been in Onchiota, 3 residents have left the premises, usually at the beginning of their stay. However, these youngsters are unfamiliar with the Adirondacks and soon realize they must stay. The most recent incident involved a boy who was not happy to begin with, but he had just received notice he would be referred to another facility for another 8 weeks of treatment. When he received notice, he did not react, but later, he just ran. Several counselors followed him, but not fast enough to prevent the entry into the home of the 92-yr-old woman.

      • Al Berg, whose property abuts ALE's, asked if ALE had ideas for handling future problems. Ms. Hardy responded she was looking for suggestions. Mr. Berg then asked how much ALE was willing to spend in order to ensure its neighbors' safety, and Ms. Hardy indicated she would need to check with her superiors.
      • Frank Karl noted ALE had a dual problem - the clients get away and impact on the community. He suggested setting up a telephone tree to alert neighbors when ALE clients run. Ms. Hardy thought it was a good idea, and indicated ALE could do that.
      • Al Berg suggested hiring additional counselors, and Ms. Hardy indicated they were in process of doing so.
      • Dean Everett, ALE, explained there was a 3 to 1 ratio of students to counselors. Counselors do a bed check at midnight, 4:00 am and first light. In addition, each night counselors confiscate shoes, socks and outerwear.
      • Jean Baltzly suggested ALE counselors watch closely those youngsters who are notified of a change in location or program. She said neighbors do not wish to be placed at risk.
      • John Fadden opined ALE's clients are troubled and the client-counselor ratio is not sufficient. He thought ALE should relocate to another, more isolated site or erect a fence around the property. He said he now locks his car at night, something he never did before.
      • Al Berg asked if ALE had a "time-out" room, and Mr. Everett explained that when a youngster exhibits symptoms of stress, counselors are trained to talk the client "down". They do not use physical restraint. Mr. Everett said when clients first arrive they are told they may not walk past the property line.
      • Frank Karl suggested ALE designate a liaison person - between Onchiota residents and ALE. Ms. Hardy said Lauren LeFebvre had volunteered to be on the advisory board, and said she would ask Lauren to act as liaison to community.
      • Jean Baltzly asked Paul Smiths College President Mills if the College would allow the ALE property to be fenced, and he indicated the lease agreements allow improvements to the property.

      Ms. Hardy distributed brochures describing ALE's programs and was thanked by Supervisor Keith for attending the meeting. Ms. Hardy, Mr. Everett, Mr. Mills and Mr. Burke then left the meeting.


      1.Proposed Subdivision at Union Falls. The Adirondack Park Agency will be holding a hearing on December 14, and Supervisor Keith will attend. She stated she had requested APA to hold a public information hearing at the Town Hall, but no date has been set. Al Berg commented that the APA really wants to know what people want from it.

      2.Yellow Wood Update. A conference call was held with Yellow Wood on December 6th to discuss the preliminary report. The final report will be presented at next Monday's special board meeting. Frank Karl inquired if YW had recommended natural materials construction, and Supv. Keith indicated it was presented as an option.

      3.Fire/Rescue Contract. Coun. Gene Goff reported surrounding municipalities were unsuccessful in efforts to change the manner in which the fire/rescue service contract was based. Although the Village of Saranac Lake has the most fire and rescue calls, the basis for computing costs is now based on the Town's assessed value rather than on a per call basis. Surrounding communities are still and will continue fighting this cost basis. Frank Karl suggested submitting a demand to the Fire Department for a full accounting for the prior year. Coun. Gene Goff responded they had done so and would also like to organize a Fire/Rescue Oversight Committee.


      1. ANCA Meeting. Supervisor Keith reported she had attended the ANCA (Adirondack North Country Assn) meeting at the Hotel Saranac and had spoken with many interesting people. She mentioned to ANCA that their recent survey, performed only in certain areas, excluded the Town of Franklin and other small towns. In addition, the questions asked should have included concerns of property owners and residents of the smaller towns.


      There being no further business to conduct, the meeting adjourned at 9:12 pm. (M.Keith-J.Ordway 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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