PUBLIC HEARING MEETING- NOVEMBER 5, 2008

                                           2009 PRELIMINARY BUDGET

 

            The Public Hearing meeting of the Town Board of St. Armand was held on the above date at the Town Hall, Bloomingdale, NY

 

PRESENT:     Supervisor Joyce W. Morency, Councilmen Earl J. Dakin, Jr., Samuel Grimone, Thomas Jones, and Town Clerk Cindy Woodson.

 

EXCUSED:    Deputy Supervisor Charles Whitson, Jr., and Highway Supt. Roger Oliver

 

GUESTS:      Sandy Hayes, Connie & Bucky Willette, John Jones, John & Flo McGrath

 

            Supervisor Morency called the Public Hearing to order at 5:30 P.M.

 

            The Pledge of Allegiance was led by Supervisor Morency.

 

            The reading of the Public Notice was waived by the Town Board and is as follows:

 

            NOTICE OF PUBLIC HEARING ON THE PRELIMINARY                                                                     2009 BUDGET OF ST. ARMAND.

 

Notice is hereby given that the Preliminary Budget for the Town of St. Armand for the fiscal year beginning January 1, 2009 has been completed and filed with the Town Clerk, 1702 NYS Route 3, Bloomingdale, New York 12913, where it is available for inspection by any interested parties.

 

Further notice is hereby given that the Town Board of the Town of St. Armand will meet and review said Preliminary Budget and holds a Public Hearing thereon at the Bloomingdale Town Hall at 5:30 p.m. on November 5th, 2008. At such hearing any person may be heard in favor of or against any item or items therein contained or against the Preliminary Budget as compiled.

 

Pursuant to Section #107 of the Town Law, the proposed salaries of the following Town Officers are hereby specified as follows:

Supervisor: $29,426

Town Clerk: $10,609

Town Justice: $17,024

Highway Supt.: $49,558

Tax Collector: $4,510

Councilmen (4 at $5,422 each)

By Order of the Town Board

Cynthia A. Woodson

St. Armand Town Clerk

Date: October 27, 2008

Pub.: October 30,

         November 1, 2008

 

            Supervisor Morency stated that she has given out to each board member three sets of options for the payment of the new highway truck. Option A, Option B, and Option C each has a different value in the highway cost and after review whichever one is picked, will be used for determining what the tax rates will be.

 

Option C Payment

 

            Using the 2008 budget, take out the $60,000 to pay a down payment. In 2009 it would be $54,200.00 plus the interest of $4,800 for a total of $59,000. In 2010 the third payment would be $56,577.00 plus the interest of $2,423 for a total of $59,000. Supervisor Morency stated that if this option is used, $26,000 from the capital outlay of Moose Pond; reducing it to a zero balance and will not be replaced, and $33,000 from the equipment fund; reducing the equipment fund from $130,000 to $97,000. Supervisor Morency stated that even though the money is available through the 2008 budget; it still needs to be added to the 2009 budget. The taxable value of $143,086,200 the tax rate of 2009 will be $4.61 per $1,000 reduced from $4.82 in 2008.

 

            Councilman Dakin asked that if we borrow the $26,000 from the Moose Pond Fund we are going to put the money back in, right? Supervisor Morency stated no, as it will finally be used for a good reason. That fund will be gone. There isn’t much bridge work being done now.

 

Option B Payment

 

            Supervisor Morency stated that in order to pay up front the $60,000 for the truck, we could take the $110,000 out of the equipment fund of $130,000 and reduced it to $20,000 for 2009. It is very low. Another $60,000 can be taken out of the highway unexpended balance. The truck could be paid off; but leaves a very tight budget for 2009.

 

            Councilman Jones asked if the $60,000 is that the money for road improvement? Supervisor Morency stated no, it is from the equipment fund. This will come out of the unexpended highway fund. This could be done for paying it off and leaves very little money in the budget in order to save $7,000 in interests. Councilman Grimone said it would pay the truck in full, but very little in accounts.

 

Option A Payment

 

            Supervisor Morency stated that this option would not be using the Moose Pond money, but will be dropping the equipment fund down using it to pay off the truck.

 

            Supervisor Morency stated that she is suggesting option C to use for paying the truck as this will not keep the funds too low in the budget. Councilman Grimone asked what level she is comfortable to keep in the equipment fund. Supervisor Morency said $100,000.

 

            Councilman Grimone stated that Option A and B would pay for the truck, but he is not comfortable with only $20,000 in the account. Councilman Dakin stated that with Option C, it is better to keep extra money around in case of emergencies. Councilman Dakin stated that when they had to do repairs on a truck it cost $10,000; and if the account is too tight you may run into problems. Councilman Jones stated that he would like to be tighter with the budget, save on the interests, and use Option A or B. Supervisor Morency stated that she is not in support of Option A or B. Councilman Grimone stated that there really should be a cushion in the account. Councilman Jones stated that he agrees with Councilmen Dakin and Grimone.

 

SALARY

 

            Sandy Hayes asked why the personal services for the Town Hall went from $4,679 to $6,800 what was the big increase for. Supervisor Morency stated that this is the mowing and town hall steps during the winter. Phil Weidenheimer will be taking care of those.

 

            Sandy Hayes stated that Roger’s salary increase is extreme. He did not understand why the highway superintendent for a town who has the least amount of road has the highest salary. He stated that eight other highway superintendents have larger budget and more highways but not as high as salary. This is a tremendous increase. Supervisor Morency stated that Roger asked for $5,000 increase and has never asked for an increase before. He is always on call 24/7, and works along with the other men and he does the night calls from the State. His responsibilities include doing paperwork for the Town, County, and State.

 

            Supervisor Morency is recommending the $5,000 increase for Roger. Councilman Grimone stated to Sandy that we have the best overall of road crew. Sandy stated that the road crew is excellent but has the least amount of highway and for the night calls that is Roger’s choice. He has three others to do the job as well. Sandy stated that Roger is getting an 11% increase where everyone is getting a 3% increase.

 

            John Jones asked if the money from the State is helping to pay Roger's salary. Supervisor Morency stated no. The amount received from the State is used to cover the costs of sand, salt, and fuel, but salary is not broken down into this cost. Councilman Jones said that the money for plowing the roads, paying for salt, etc. is broken down for cost. Supervisor Morency stated that we have $112,000 budgeted and we get $134,000, beyond that point it is not broken down and I can’t tell you that if even $20.00 of that goes to Roger’s salary. The contract is $134,000 and the fixed costs are $112,000.

 

            Councilman Jones stated that there is $22,000 left over and the question would be does Roger make more than that $22,000 to plow these State roads. Supervisor Morency stated that he is an elected official and is on a fixed salary. Councilman Dakin stated that the areas still need to be covered, such as Rockledge and to get paid for it. John Jones asked if it is costing the town $5,000 to plow the roads or if the town is losing money. Councilman Grimone stated that you can’t predict that far ahead as you don’t know what the weather is going to be like. The State has been given extra money the last two years based on the amount of plowing to do. Councilman Dakin stated that the State and the County has been giving the town extra money to help with the costs.

 

            Councilman Jones stated that he proposed all elected officials freeze their salary for one year. It would show good faith on our part. Supervisor Morency stated that good faith doesn’t pay the bills. Everyone has the same high cost of bills to pay, the elected and the appointed. Councilman Grimone stated to Councilman Jones that he assumed he was talking of the Board and the Supervisor as Roger is an elected official, the Town Clerk and Tax Collector. Councilman Jones stated he didn’t realize Cindy was elected, as that is her main job.

 

            Sandy Hayes stated that in the 2008 budget it shows that the Councilmen salary is more and in the 2009 budget it is showing less. Councilman Dakin said he is correct, but they did an amendment to the salary last year and did not take the salary increase. Connie stated that Sandy has the preliminary budget; not the actual budget that passed. Sandy stated that he is not arguing the 3% but the 11%.

 

            Cindy has asked for a 5% raise in lieu of the 3% for the Town Clerk and the Water & Sewer Clerk. She stated that the work load has increased, she receives no benefits nor gets overtime payment as well. Councilman Grimone stated that he doesn’t know how she does all the work she does in that little office.

 

            Supervisor Morency closed the Public Hearing at 6:55 p.m.

 

            Supervisor Morency opened the Special Board meeting at 6:56 p.m. She has asked the Town Clerk to read the Public Notice for the Special Board meeting.

 

                                                PUBLIC NOTICE

 

Pursuant to Section #108 of the Town Law, the Town Board of the Town of St. Armand will hold a Special Board meeting on November 5, 2008 following the Public Hearing at the Town Hall in Bloomingdale, New York for the purpose of adopting the 2009 Town Budget. All interested persons are invited to attend. Cynthia A. Woodson, St. Armand Town Clerk, Dated: October 27, 2008, Pub.: October 30, 2008 and November 1, 2008.

 

            Councilman Grimone called for an Executive Session at 6:57 p.m. regarding Personnel. This motion was seconded by Councilmen Jones and Dakin. Supervisor Morency closed the Executive Session at 7:10 P.M and reopened the Special Board meeting at 7:11 p.m.

 

RESOLUTION #65 - TOWN CLERK AND WATER & SEWER CLERK SALARY

 

Councilman Grimone, who moved its adoption, offered the following resolution.,

 

WHEREAS A Resolution of the Town Board of the Town of St. Armand to amend Cindy Woodson’s 2009 salary at 5% in lieu of 3% as Town Clerk, and Water & Sewer Clerk.

This Resolution was duly seconded by Councilman Jones, and adopted as follows:

            

            Supervisor Joyce W. Morency                       AYE

            Deputy Supervisor Charles Whitson              ABSENT

            Councilman Earl J. Dakin, Jr.                         ABSTAIN

            Councilman Samuel Grimone                        AYE

            Councilman Thomas C. Jones                                    AYE

 

________________________________      Dated: November 5, 2008

Cynthia A. Woodson

St. Armand Town Clerk

 

WATER & SEWER

 

            Councilman Dakin asked if the Water & Sewer software program was going to be in this budget as previously discussed at the last board meeting. Supervisor Morency stated not at this time.

 

VILLAGE FIRE CONTRACT

 

            Supervisor Morency stated that the Fire Department is asking for $33,069 for next year’s budget. Councilman Jones stated that they changed their percentage. Supervisor Morency stated that the percentage is not changed. Saranac Lake is paying 50% and their aim is to get to 35% and have all the other Towns pay the rest. What was being proposed is that the Village pays only 45% and all other Towns has more of a percentage for payment. Supervisor Morency stated that she talked them out of that also. Councilman Grimone asked if they were going to reduce inclemently and she said yes, they are asking for $2,538.74 more for next year’s budget. The Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department is asking for $1,000 more in their budget for a total of $29,500.

 

            Councilman Grimone asked what happened three years ago when some of the Towns refused and what were the results? Councilman Dakin stated that was when the Fire Advisory Board was formed and he and Councilman Whitson attended those meetings. Currently, Councilmen Dakin and Jones are attending the meetings. Councilman Dakin stated that the Village’s aim is to pay 35% while all the other Towns pay more. They wanted do go by assessment value and the Village is approximately 80% assessed value while most are at 100%. At one of the meeting, between the Fire Department and the Fire Advisory Board it was stated that 60% to 70% of the calls are within the Village. The fair part was the Village to pay 50% while the other Towns pay their fair amount.

 

            Currently, at the last meeting it was stated that they (Village) waited too late to do the budget for the Towns, so they are using last year’s percentages. Councilman Dakin went to the Village board meeting last Monday. Supervisor Morency and Councilman Jones attended the last Fire Advisory Board meeting. At this meeting there was $30,000 in the fire budget that was not used in 2008. This money was to be split up by the towns according to the percentages in which they pay. Supervisor Morency stated that the $1,621.36 is St. Armand’s percentage which will offset the budgeted amount for 2009, from $33,069.86 to $31,448.50.

 

            Supervisor Morency stated that there needs to be an amendment on both Fire Departments. The Village from $33,069.86 to $31,448.50 and the Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department from $28,500 to $29,500.

 

RESOLUTION #66 - AMEND THE TWO FIRE CONTRACTS

 

Councilman Grimone, who moved its adoption, offered the following resolution.

 

WHEREAS A Resolution of the Town Board of the Town of St. Armand amend the

two Fire Department contracts. The Saranac Lake Village at $31,448,50, and the Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department at $29,500.

 

This Resolution was duly seconded by Councilman Dakin, and adopted as follows:

 

            Supervisor Joyce W. Morency                       AYE

            Deputy Supervisor Charles Whitson, Jr.        ABSENT

            Councilman Earl J. Dakin, Jr.                         AYE

            Councilman Samuel Grimone                        AYE

            Councilman Thomas Jones                             AYE

 

______________________________           Dated: November 5, 2008

Cynthia A. Woodson

St. Armand Town Clerk

 

RESOLUTION #67 - OPTION C FOR HIGHWAY TRUCK

 

Councilman Grimone, who moved its adoption, offered the following resolution.

 

WHEREAS A Resolution of the Town Board of the Town of St. Armand to make the motion with an attempt to try to get financing and no penalty if there is an early payout on the truck. Using the 2008 budget, take from the Highway Equipment fund $33,000 and $26,000 from the Moose Pond Fund to make the down payment. In 2009 it would be $54,200 plus the interest of $4,800 for a total of $59,000. In 2010 the third payment would be $56,577 plus the interest of $2,423 for a total of $59,000.

 

This Resolution was duly seconded by Councilman Dakin, and adopted as follows:

 

            Supervisor Joyce W. Morency                       AYE

            Deputy Supervisor Charles Whitson, Jr.        ABSENT

            Councilman Earl J. Dakin, Jr.                         AYE

            Councilman Samuel Grimone                        AYE

            Councilman Thomas C. Jones                                    AYE

 

_________________________________      Dated: November 5, 2008

Cynthia A. Woodson

St. Armand Town Clerk

 

RESOLUTION #68 - ADOPT THE 2009 BUDGET

 

Councilman Jones, who moved its adoption, offered the following resolution.

 

WHEREAS A Resolution of the Town Board of the Town of St. Armand to adopt the 2009 budget with the amendments.

 

            1. Amend the Town Clerk and Water & Sewer Clerk salary from 3% to 5%

            2. Amend the two Fire Contracts

                        a. Village of Saranac Lake - $31,448.50

                        b. Bloomingdale Volunteer Fire Department - $29,500

            3. Option C for Highway Truck - $60,000 from 2008 budget. $59,000 plus                         interest for the next two years.

 

This Resolution was duly seconded by Councilman Dakin, and adopted as follows:

 

            Supervisor Joyce W. Morency                       AYE

            Deputy Supervisor Charles Whitson, Jr.        ABSENT

            Councilman Earl J. Dakin, Jr.                         AYE

            Councilman Samuel Grimone                        AYE

            Councilman Thomas C. Jones                                    AYE

 

________________________________        Dated: November 5, 2008

Cynthia A. Woodson

St. Armand Town Clerk

 

END OF MEETING

 

            A motion was made by Councilman Grimone, and seconded by Councilman Dakin, to adjourn the meeting at 7:55 P.M.

 

I, Cynthia A. Woodson, Town Clerk for the Town of St. Armand, do hereby certify that the above is a true and correct transcript of the Public Hearing and Special Town Board meeting minutes held on the above referenced date.

 

 

_________________________________

Cynthia A. Woodson

St. Armand Town Clerk