Town of Lake Luzerne
Regular Town Board Meeting
February 14, 2022
Supervisor Merlino called the meeting to order with the following present: Councilman Fazio, Councilman Lewandowski and Councilman Niles. Also Present: Attorney, Michael Crowe, ZEO, Karen Putney and Highway Supt. & Deputy, Ron Deuel and Logan Brooks.
Floor Open to Public for comments on Legislation only.
Wayne Allison – Hall Hill Rd.
Thanked Councilman O’Neal for sharing concerns about his email.
Jack Herring – Davern Dr. had questions and comments regarding cost of garbage hauling.
Resolution No. 24 of 2022 – Resolved, to pay the bills of the 2nd abstract of 2022 as follows:
General Fund Vouchers # 28335-28413 $ 45,703.31
Highway Fund Vouchers # 28274-28334 & 28426 $ 66,731.16
SW1 Water Vouchers #28414-28423 $ 11,730.40
SW2 Water Vouchers #28424-28425 $ 50.00
Introduced by Councilman Niles, Seconded by Councilman Lewandowski. All in favor, none opposed. Carried 4/0.
Resolution No. 25 of 2022– Resolved, to accept minutes of December 6, 13, 20, 2021 & January 1 & 10, 2022.
Introduced by Councilman Lewandowksi, Seconded by Councilman Fazio. All in favor, none opposed. Carried 4/0
Resolution No. 26 of 2022 – Resolution Re-Appointing John Kurimski to the Board of Assessment Review.
WHEREAS, there exists a vacant seat on the Board of Assessment Review; and WHEREAS, John Kurimiski has previously serviced on the Board of Assessment Review having served the duration of his term ending in the year 2021; and WHEREAS, John Kurimski has expressed a desire to continue to serve on the Board of Assessment Review; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that John Kurimski is Re-Appointed to the Board of Assessment Review for a five year term.
Introduced by Councilman Fazio, Seconded by Councilman Niles. All in favor, none opposed. Carried 4/0.
Resolution No. 27 of 2022 – Resolution Appointing Burgess Ovitt to the Zoning Board of Appeals
WHEREAS, there exists a vacant seat on the Zoning Board of Appeals; and WHEREAS, Burgess Ovitt has previously served as an alternate; WHEREAS; Burgess Ovitt has expressed a desire to continue to serve on the Zoning Board of Appeals; NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Burgess Ovitt is Appointed to the Zoning Board of Appeals for a five-year term.
Introduced by Councilman Niles, Seconded by Councilman Fazio. All in favor, none opposed. Carried 4/0.
Resolution No. 28 of 2022 – Resolution Renewing Maintenance Agreement with Ti-Sales for Meter Reading Equipment.
WHEREAS, the Town has an existing annual maintenance agreement for its meter reading equipment with Ti-Sales; and WHEREAS, the Town Board has determined that it is in the best interests of the Town concinue the annual maintenance agreement with Ti-Sales pursuant to quote number QTE0053217; NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, that Supervisor Merlino is hereby authorized to take the necessary actions to continue the Annual Maintenance Agreement with Ti-Sales pursuant to terms set forth in quote number QTE0053217.
Introduced by Councilman Lewandowski, Seconded by Supervisor Merlino. All in favor, none opposed. Carried 4/0.
Resolution No. 29 of 2022 – Resolution to Accept Maintenance Proposal of Kinsley Power Systems
WHEREAS, the generator located at Town Hall requires routine maintenance; and WHEREAS, the Town Board has determined that it is in the best interests of the Town to engage Kinsely Power Systems to perform the maintenance pursuant to quote number 211208-0032; NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Supervisor Merlino is hereby authorized to take the necessary actions to accept the maintenance quote provided by Kinsley Power Systems pursuant to terms set forth in quote number 211208-0032.
Introduced by Councilman Niles, Seconded by Supervisor Merlino. All in favor, none opposed. Carried 4/0
Resolution No. 30 of 2022 – Resolution to Accept Annual Audit of Recordkeeping
WHEREAS, pursuant to Town Law Sections 62 and 123 the Town Board performed an annual audit of the books and records of Town Officers and Employees on January 13, 2022; and WHEREAS, the Town Board examined the civil and criminal dockets of each Town Justice and determined that the fines and fees shown therein have been collected and turned over to the proper officials; NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that the audit of recordkeeping conducted by the Town Board on January 13, 2022 is accepted and it is FURTHER RESOLVED that this Resolution be forwarded to the Office of Court Administration.
Introduced by Supervisor Merlino, Seconded by Councilman Fazio. All in favor, none opposed. Carried 4/0.
Resolution No. 31 of 2022 – Resolution Authorizing Technical Services Change Order for Chazen Engineering
WHEREAS, the Town Board, through Resolution 174 of 2021 accepted the proposal of Chazen Engineering to perform an Engineering Assessment Report; and WHEREAS, Chazen has determined that in order to complete its’ Engineering Assessment Report, a survey of the dam and surrounding area must be completed; and WHEREAS, Chazen prepared a Technical Services Change Order (TSCO) to modify the Agreement dated November 9, 2021 to include the referenced survey work as defined in the TSCO dated January 12, 2022 amounting to $ 9,900.00; NOW, THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, that Supervisor Merlino is hereby authorized to take the necessary actions to authorize the work contained in the January 12, TSCO pursuant to terms set forth therein.
Introduced by Councilman Lewandowski, Seconded by Councilman Fazio. All in favor, none opposed. Carried 4/0.
Resolution No. 32 of 2022 – Resolution naming Private Road
RESOLVED, pursuant to Town Law Section 64(9) the Town Board hereby names the private road on the Warren County Tax Map Id Parcel No. 318.-1-26 as “Storage Building Drive Extension.”
Introduced by Councilman Lewandowski, Seconded by Councilman Niles. All in favor, none opposed. Carried 4/0.
Resolution No. 33 of 2022 – Allowing PTSA Cardboard Boat Race
RESOLVED, upon demonstrating proof of insurance in a form acceptabl3 to the Town, PTSA is authorized to conduct its’ Second Annual Cardboard Boat Race at Wayside Beach on June 12, 2022 at 12:30 pm.
Introduced by Councilman Niles, Seconded by Councilman Fazio. All in favor, none opposed. Carried 4/0.
Resolution No. 34 of 2022 – Accepting Agreement with Warren County for Invasive Species Funds
RESOLVED, Supervisor Merlino is hereby authorized to take the necessary actions to accept the Agreement with Warren County for $ 41,666.66 to be used pursuant to terms set forth in the Agreement.
Introduced by Councilman Lewandowski, Seconded by Councilman Fazio. All in favor, none opposed. Carried 4/0.
Resolution No. 35 of 2022 – Accepting Proposal for Disposal at Hudson Falls Plant
RESOLVED, Supervisor Merlino is hereby authorized to take the necessary actions to accept the Proposal from Robert McNamara dated January 19, 2022 for Waste Disposal at the Hudson Falls Plant at the annual rates of: 2022 at $ 73.00 per ton; 2023 at $ 77.00 per ton; and 2024 at $ 81.00 per ton.
Board discussion regarding the plant currently using and the damage to the trucks going in and out of same. Councilman Fazio is concerned that the Hudson Falls Plant is the highest polluting in NYS. Councilman Fazio asked about the possible litigation in New Hampshire. Attorney Crowe stated that it would not be a problem, could bring in outside counsel or could take place in a New York venue. Councilman Fazio, they were listed in the top 10 of most polluting companies and feels numbers may be off a bit with two trucks running every week. Councilman Niles asked if anyone had contacted current receiver and asked to fix their road. Councilman Niles would like to table for more discussion and getting more figures together. Councilman Lewandowski would like to look into the negligence part of this situation.
**THIS RESOLUTION WAS TABLED.**
Introduced by Supervisor Merlino, Seconded by Councilman Fazio. All in Favor: 4, Opposed; 0. Carried 4/0.
Resolution No. 36 of 2022 – RESOLVED, Supervisor Merlino is hereby authorized to take the necessary actions to enter into an agreement with Corinth Bottle Return for the year 2022.
Introduced by Councilman Lewandowski, Seconded by Councilman Niles. All in favor, none opposed. Carried 4/0
Resolution No. 37 of 2022 – Establishing and confirming Committee Assignments
RESOLVED, the Town Board Committee Assignments for 2022 are as follows:
Personnel/Employee HR: Councilmen Niles and O’Neal
Assessor Councilman Fazio
Town Clerk/Office/Records Councilman Lewandowski
Fire Dept/EMS Councilmen Fazio and O’Neal
Water Dept Councilmen O’Neal and Fazio
Insurance Councilman Niles
Tourism/Occupancy Tax Councilmen Niles and Fazio
B & G, Parks & Rec, beaches and lakes Councilmen Niles and Lewandowski
Planning and Zoning Councilman Niles
Public Safety/Constable Councilmen O’Neal and Fazio
Street Lighting Councilmen Lewandowski and Niles
Justice Courts Councilman Fazio
Dog Control Councilman Lewandowski
Senior Citizens Center Councilmen Lewandowski and Fazio
Energy (gas, oil, solar, etc) Councilmen O’Neal and Lewandowski
Cemetery Councilmen Lewandowski and Fazio
Security Councilmen Fazio and Lewandowski
Introduced by Seconded by
**THIS RESOLUTION WAS TABLED**
Introduced by Councilman Fazio, Seconded by Councilman Niles. All in Favor; 4, Opposed; 0. Carried 4/0.
Resolution No 38 of 2022 – Cedarwood Engineering Contract Renewal
RESOLVED, Supervisor Merlino is hereby authorized to take the necessary actions to renew the Cedarwood Engineering Contract for the year 2022.
Board discussion, Councilman Fazio feels that the Town should have an engineering firm that can also handle dams. Cedarwood has already put time in on water infrastructure and applied for a $ 2.2 million grant and would administer that and guide the Town with that project. Councilman Niles would like to advance forward to get rate locked in and they are the company that knows the most about the project as they have already started everything, there are no upfront costs at this time. Councilman Fazio wants to use Chazen. Councilman Niles feels the company that did all of the preliminary work would know the most and feels town needs to have a go to even if not using them. Councilman Fazio is not in favor.
Introduced by Supervisor Merlino, Seconded by Councilman Niles. 3 in favor, 1 opposed. Carried 3/1.
Roll Call Vote: Councilman Lewandowski, aye, Councilman Niles, aye, Councilman Fazio, no, Supervisor Merlino, aye. Carried 3/1.
Resolution No. 39 of 2022 – To pay annual dues to Adirondack Local Government Review Board in the amount of $300.00.
Introduced by Councilman Fazio, Seconded by Councilman Lewandowski. All in favor, none opposed. Carried 4/0.
Supervisor Merlino – discussed the letter from Mr. Herring regarding the salary and that it wasn’t enough. Talked back and forth, the numbers are correct. Mr. Herring was on zoom referring to 2021, contractually was supposed to make $35,000 not $32000, Resolution 26 of 2021, states $35000. This does not include Budget Officer pay. Mr. Herring disputed that after paying budget consultant $1000, it does not add up to $33,253. Supervisor Merlino explained is with medical and dental insurance adjustments. Supervisor Merlino asked to move on as the two minute comment time was up, Mr. Herring disagreed in that he is asking questions and looking into possible wrongdoing, you are violating my first amendment rights. Colleen Cook Bookkeeper was on zoom and came into help explain. You Take gross wages and deduct health, vision and dental comes down to penny to his gross taxable wages on W-2. Mr. Herring does not agree with the calculation. The math in the email is correct. Mr. Herring, wasn’t aware that health insurances were deducted pretax.
Town Clerk – Deputy Town Clerk, Lorri Holcomb read the resignation letter received from Councilman David O’Neal, Town Clerk’s monthly report and any correspondence received was given to the board members. General Code reach again. Letter from Mr. Herring is in your packets regarding zoning enforcement, June Woodard letter regarding farm animals in the road.
Councilman Fazio – discussion on opening meetings back up to public, defibrillators are on a 2-3 week back order, web director is setting the Town up on YouTube, $20 per month close captioned to be ADA compliance, Occupancy Tax money being return if not used. Relay switch on pump went, spoke with Water Purifier and he is doing an excellent job, revamping and updating the facility asked Supervisor if Chazen ever came to look things over, not sure they had been there, will check on that. Locks need to be changed. Got report from Assessor and Court Clerk and she questioned about hiring a Court Officer and talked about the Executive Order regarding senior exemptions and is working on permits. Supervisor feels interviews need to be conducted.
Councilman Lewandowski – nothing
Councilman Niles – have 4/5 letters of interest for Zoning and/or Planning Board, should set up interviews. ZEO Putney, never have done interviews, usually just take interested parties as it is difficult to get volunteers. Councilman Fazio wants interviews with the whole board but will do interviews for buildings and grounds first as the are two positions and they are short manpower. One part time and one full time position available.
A motion to schedule Special Meeting to go into executive session to conduct interview on Tuesday, February 22, 2022 for Buildings and Grounds and Cleaner for the Town Hall building.
Supervisor Merlino –went through applications and board decided to schedule a special meeting.
Resolved upon a motion by Councilman Lewandowski, Seconded by Councilman Niles to schedule a Special Meeting on February 22, 2022 at 7:00pm to go into executive session to perform interviews for the Buildings and Grounds department. All in Favor, none Opposed. Carried 4/0.
Councilman Niles sent out five RFP’s for Milfoil and only received two bids. Asked for bids using our boat and not using our boat. Aqualogic bid $1100 per day using our boat $66000. Total using their own boat is $1400 totalling $ 84,000 AE Commerical Diving using their own boat was much higher will not use ours $1750 a day $105,000. Committee went through proposals felt Aqualogic was a better deal. Better proposal is not worth that much more money. We have $40000 in budget and get approximately $40000 from the county. There was a lot of discussion regarding the two proposals the RFP calls for harvesting reports weekly and Councilman Niles volunteered to keep track of the workers and progress. Councilman Niles will get the RFP’s to Attorney Crowe for his review.
Letter from Call Street citizen, animals in the road, it is going to cause an accident. Brett Moulton, Dog Control Officer has made a couple of visits there. It is a county highway and sheriff has been there. ZEO, explained that as long as there is fencing and shelter there is not much that can be done. Mr. Niles referred to part of the letter regarding how animals are being fed. Mr. Moulton did not see any evidence that they were not being fed.
Attorney Michael Crowe – there may be more law enforcement avenues outside the town level.
You cannot have safety issue, even if you are in compliance.
Councilman Niles – asked the board what they are thinking in regard to Buildings & Grounds salaries. Supervisor Merlino would like to discuss increase their salaries, in favor of cost of living increase. Employees that didn’t get the full 6% should get the difference retroactive. Councilman Niles told Supervisor Merlino that he should make a proposal to the board. Supervisor Merlino would like to see at least 2-3%, this will be added to the agenda for the next meeting. Got the names together for the Comprehensive Plan and will be working on that, talked about opening the meetings back up for public access and decide whether or not to require masks. Councilman Lewandowski suggested opening up at the March Town Board meeting, Supervisor Merlino and Councilman Lewandowski concur it should be at the March 14, 2022 Town Board Meeting.
A motion by Councilman Lewandowski, seconded by Supervisor Merlino to open all meeting to the public beginning March 1, 2022. All in Favor, none opposed. Carried 4/0.
Councilman Niles asked about the AV system. Supervisor Merlino indicated the technician is back from vacation will contact him.
Councilman Lewandowski – there has been a problem with getting computer technician in to get the new time clocks installed, they have been sitting in the bookkeepers since the beginning of the year and Has not taken care of it. Highway Supt. Deuel indicated he was at the garage yesterday and the wires will be installed and Ron will let him know when it is ready.
Councilman Fazio – received email from Mr. Herring regarding Supervisors W-2 and Resolution No. 104 of 2021. Mr. Herring requested to be put on agenda regarding Supervisor pay and that has been resolved. Res. 104 of 2021 regarding elected town officials not being allowed to hire town employees to work at their person businesses or personal property was tabled for more discussion and asked what more discussion was needed and has there been any discussion on that. Supervisor Merlino, I was out it was August, I do not know why it was put in and why tabled. Do you think it is not a conflict. Curious why tabled for more discussion, what is needed, it is obviously, should they be allowed to employee such employees. It has been tabled for several months. Councilman Lewandowski, oversite, need to pick it back up. Mr. Herring, are there any elected town officials that currently have town employees on their payroll? All said no. Mr. Herring asked about job postings as a couple of employees formerly has work for the Supervisor, is there a resolution that requires posting, where they interviewed or were town resident considered for the job. Attorney Crowe, don’t know if the town has a specific resolution, but it could be looked into. Mr. Herring didn’t want to hear from Attorney Crowe, he wanted to hear from the board. Councilman Fazio needs to be looked into whether or not is a resolution requiring posting of jobs. It has been a routine of town board and supervisor hiring out of town while. Supervisor Merlino, I don’t disagree, in the last couple of months we have advertised, not getting many applications. Supervisor Merlino told Mr. Herring if he wanted for file a formal complaint he should. Councilman Fazio stated that the whole board will be involved with any hiring or termination process. Positions have been posted on website and sign board outside the town hall and at the pavilion. Councilman Lewandowski, we have six applications and it has taken over a month to get those and are not all town residents. Mr. Herring questioned the meeting held on November 22, 2021 about the posting of that meeting, was it posted ahead of time. Deputy Town Clerk explained that both the Town Clerk and Deputy Town Clerk were out for medical reasons and that Bookkeeper, Colleen Cook did the meeting notice and posted it on the front doors of the town hall. Mr. Herring stated that he submitted a FOIL request for the notice posted, Cynthia Sherwood, Town Clerk responded with “no document exists” because when the notice was removed from the front door, it was discarded as no one knew the requirement to keep those notices in the absence of the Town Clerk and Deputy Town Clerk. Deputy Town Clerk, Lorri Holcomb explained that it was not up to others in the town hall, trying to help, to know the rules of the Town Clerk’s office. Deputy Town Clerk said that she understood Mr. Herring’s concerns, but that at this point, there was nothing that could be done about it at this time, just that she appreciated the help received from other town hall staff in an effort to help in their absence and it is what it is. Also requested minutes of meeting, all I received was minutes indicating board convened and moved into executive session and also requested a letter sent an employee in regard to not renewing their employment and said attorney was sending per town board which means action was taken in executive session, Attorney Crowe explained that there was no resolution and one was not needed and that he takes directions from the town board on a lot of things, no resolutions needed. Mr. Herring was unhappy with response.
ZEO, Karen Putney – provided report
Hwy Supt – Deuel – did not get Bridge NY for the silver bridge. DEC, 4th Lake Campground, wants to connect to hydrant on same side of road, new valves. Will keep board up to speed on that. Jeff, Water Purifier sat and went over things with him, things need to be upgraded, getting ideas on papers to make everything run better, he seems to be a good fit. Councilman Fazio feels Chazen Engineering should come in and work with him. Hwy Supt also feels he needs a water truck as he uses his personal vehicle and could be a liability. Supervisor Merlino asked Highway Supt to provide a truck, he stated that there is a water truck that is being used in Buildings and Grounds. Brine machine working great, made over 18000 gallons, truck are calibrated to use only a bucket of salt, plows are great. Two new plows are going to be delayed as company had a fire in their warehouse. Provided spreadsheet, truck, miles it salts and how much puts out per round, will email it to board members. Almost through winter and no sand on roads is great, less spring cleaning. 4th Lake Campground not calling for a lot of water. Service line in town was leaking and has been fixed.
Attorney Crowe – nothing
A motion to adjourn was made by Supervisor Merlino, Seconded by Councilman Fazio with all in favor.