DPW COMMITTEE MEETING
Monday, April 20, 2009
Joyce Morency, Chair
William Ferebee, Vice-Chair
Chairwoman Morency called this DPW Committee to order at 9:30 a.m. with the following Supervisors in attendance: David Blades, George Canon, Daniel Connell, Robert Dedrick, Robert Dobie, Randy Douglas, Dale French, Michael McSweeney, Noel Merrihew, Joyce Morency, Jerry Morrow, Cathy Moses, Roby Politi, Randy Preston, Tom Scozzafava and Lori Spooner. (Bill Ferebee and Ron Jackson had been previously excused).
Department Heads present were: Fred Buck, Don Jaquish, Dan Manning, Dan Palmer and Deb Palmer.
Also present were; Rolf Tiedemann and Margaret Bartley.
News Media present were: John Gereau-Denton Publications and Lohr McKinstry-Press Republican.
MORENCY: I will call the meeting to order and start with the salute to the flag.
Good morning everyone. We will start the meeting this morning with the introduction a gentleman from Eagle Lake on milfoil who said he needs five minutes and also you have a nice package here to read at your leisure. Mr. Rolf Tiedemann would like to come up and speak to us.
TIEDEMANN: Good morning folks. My name is Rolf Tiedemann, I represent Eagle Lake down in southern Essex County. Dale French and Bob Dedrick are Supervisors that support our lake association. You have an agenda in front of you that is quite extensive, it has quite a bit of information in it. I don=t expect anybody to remember or read it all, it is all on line and there is a link on there for that.
I come before you to present some information regarding milfoil on Eagle Lake, where we are with it. To give you an opportunity to ask some questions about that and to also hopefully give us, as an association as well as the group that is working to fight the invasive milfoil on Eagle Lake, some direction as to how we can move forward with that and the use of or renovate the herbicide that is selected for that.
The last part of it, I am going to ask Dale and Bob if they would help me with getting a resolution for Phase 2. What we are going to be asking for is as we are working with the DEC and the APA with the use of an herbicide, since it is a controversial product in the park itself, how do we go about making sure that we can use a very selective herbicide to combat this invasive in the park.
So with that I am going to move through the agenda here, item 2,3,4,5 - if you have the front page in front of you.
I assume that most of you probably know what milfoil is. It is an invasive plant that grows very quickly, typically on the order of a couple of inches a day in some respects. If you ever get into a lake that has it in there and you were looking around and want to know exactly what it looks like, it looks like a piece of spaghetti standing on end in a pot. It grows in waters from anywhere from 3 feet to about 20 feet in depth. When we talk about growing in waters to a 20 foot depth, it does have a plant that is indeed 20 feet tall so as you are looking down on top of this you may just see a little bit of vegetation but you realize that the bottom may be as much as 20 feet away from you and all you are looking at are the tops of the plants. As far as spaghetti is concerned, on that spaghetti there is a leaf that is usually about the size of a quarter, every six inches or so coming up from there.
The next question comes up - what is the problem with milfoil? Most of us know that if you have an invasive in the lake people=s property values may be affected by that because who wants to live on a lake that is crowded by weeds. Not only is it affecting our property values but it also affects recreational use of the lake. It affects what plants may be left in the lake when we are done here, the plant will take over any native vegetation that is there. So unless there are questions on what milfoil is, we will move forward here and kind of go through this as quickly as possible.
What our plans is or where Eagle Lake is - if you open up the package the first thing you will find is a post card. As I walked in someone asked, is Eagle Lake even in Essex County? We are in southern Essex County. You are welcome to hang on to the postcard. As we look at the postcard very quickly, where is milfoil located? Up in the upper right hand corner that looks like a causeway, one of the projects if you go to our website and take a look, we did extensive hand harvesting and matting just on what would be the north side of the upper side of the causeway there. Milfoil is located pretty much around the entire perimeter of the lake and that can be further seen if you take a look at the next page in the handout, there is a GPS generated survey that has all the milfoil on there and it is numbered. Patches one through somewhere around number fifty as far as the patches themselves are concerned. This past year we did a plant survey that is required for part of the milfoil treatment and the stars are where native vegetation was found as well as a mix of invasive species and that is what we are looking at as far as where we will be targeting the use of an herbicide to treat the lake.
As we are looking at using an herbicide, we are looking at using what is referred to as a spot treatment. You may have heard in the past people talking about using a whole lake treatment where they go out and put the herbicide in the entire lake - we are looking at targeting just specific spots in the lake and right now we are looking at, if you take a look at the map itself, there is a spot number five which is kind of straight smack in the middle of the map itself, there is a plot 41, a plot 42 but what we started out with and there are a number of different options and I will go through those in a second but right now we are looking at doing just a single spot, working with the Adirondack Park Agency, working with the applicator allied biological, working with both towns. We are looking at doing a very small plot. We were looking at doing a much area.
Saratoga Lake was treated last summer, they treated the whole east shore of the lake. Very, very good control of milfoil there, they went from somewhere around 90% of the spots that they looked at finding milfoil down to roughly three or four spots where they were able to find even a small amount of milfoil so it was very successful in what they did there. Unfortunately within the park itself, we have tried moving that philosophy along as to just treat a particular spot but there is concern that with the use of herbicides that there is a drift from the spot where you put the herbicide outside of that area and that drift or what is referred to as movement of the product in the lake is where the Adirondack Park Agency has some concerns. So we are working with them to try and figure out what the best methodology is and right now there methodology is to use curtains to contain the product.
So if we jump to the next page that I have handed out to you in your group there, it should say small test patch demonstration proposal at the top. As you go down through there you wind up with what is called plan four but at the top there it gives you a little bit of a synopsis of what plan one was, plan two and plan three and I will give you just a little more about that as we move through but I want to get through plan four here which is where we currently are because that is really the crux of the whole situation.
What we are doing is we are looking at one of a few small patches, which one it is going to be whether it is patch five, patch four, patch twenty-one, it is up to the applicator for us to make a decision which is the most appropriate, where is it most likely to be able to be contained and curtained and a whole bunch of other things that go along with that. Per the Adirondack Park Agency, to use a curtain to contain this site - a curtain is basically a piece of material that floats at the surface, drops down to the water column anchored at the bottom and creates basically what is referred to as a lake within a lake. The price of that particular material ranges anywhere from $20.00 to about $30.00 per lineal foot and drives part of the cost of the whole scenario. The use of a curtain is something that is required only with in the Park. If you look at all other lakes that have been treated with the use of sonar, there is no requirement in New York State=s registration, federal registration or anywhere else for the use of a curtain. It is something that is Park specific and it is specific as a result of people=s concern or perceived concern about an impact to native vegetation outside of the treatment area. Renovate is very indeed very selective, it doesn=t mean that it is going to only affect milfoil, there are some other plants that it does affect but what everybody has said is that the affects that have been taking place on the native vegetation are only temporary, the native vegetation does indeed recover so again there is a bunch of information there. Much more information ir you want to talk to me aside or read our web page, you are welcome to do that.
What we are looking at right now is we are looking to make a site selection of where the depth of the milfoil patch is no more than 15 feet so that the curtain cost is on the lower end. We are not sure whether we are going to use a commercially produced curtain, one that is used - there is a whole bunch of discussion with regards to that whether we can site build or selective site build a curtain for our purposes - there are some options with that. Cost for this is yet to be determined because it is something that is just in the last month kind of evolves out of where we are as far as other plans that have been presented with an issue with this or an issue with that or a problem here or there.
There is a requirement that the APA has set forth which is referred to as dye testing. Basically you set your curtain up, you introduce a dye into the lake that you have created inside this curtain, verify what the leakage is. The leakage determinations have not yet been made as far as what is an acceptable leakage and after that the proposal is for us to be able to get a permit to utilize the herbicide.
Again, the reason I am here is to ask where do we go, how do we deal with the APA? They have been very helpful and supportive but there are many, many unanswered questions that need to be addressed so that we can move this process forward.
Just to finish up here, we have a licensed applicator that we will be working with on plan four as all the plans. Complete a appropriate post application essay tests in order to find out what the concentrations of the herbicide are. They have a chemical test, the lake water is sent to a place in the Carolina=s, they do an actual test to find the specific product itself to see what is available or how much herbicide is left in the water column. There are water use restrictions that are associated with the use of an herbicide; initially 24 hours there is no use of the lake whatsoever, after 24 hours you can go back to using the lake for fishing, swimming and the like. There is a drinking water restriction until you get down to a certain part concentration and then there is finally a restriction for irrigation where it is a little bit further down and that is what that essay test will tell you. There is a requirement for plant surveys and the like to complete there.
If I can direct your attention real quickly, there is pages one through three next in your packet, those are other plans that have been put forth. One was to do a much larger treatment so that we could kill more milfoil, the cost of that got well without of the invasive species budget money that we have. Real quickly, it wound up being the $35,000 per acre for treated acre of milfoil. We looked at that and said we can=t afford it so from there we went smaller. Plan two was to continue hand harvesting and matting as we have done in 2008, the cost of that is somewhere in the order of $10,000 an acre. Eagle Lake has somewhere around 8 to 12 acres of milfoil depending upon how we look at it so the cost there is beyond the abilities that we have put forth in the invasive species grant that we were able to get from the town. Plan three was looking at doing a treatment similar to what they have done on Lake Saratoga where they used no curtains, that plan is somewhere around $800.00 to $1,000.00 per acre, it would be very acceptable to us, it would leave us money left over to do what the invasive species grant really wants to do which is follow up but unfortunately with the requirement for curtains we have costs that are associated well and above. I know at this point it sounds like there is probably a lot of information with holes but if you have a chance to look at the information outside the meeting you will probably find a lot more that is there and of course I would be more than happy to entertain any questions as I was doing this morning with one of the Supervisors here.
As we move forward, there is a page in front of you that is marked one of six, it says at the very top of the page - quarterly report number one. As part of DEC=s requirements for the projects, we had to put forth a quarterly report and this page summarizes very precisely what was taking place in 2008; from all the permits that were taking place, MSDS, everything that we had to do to get into the water, actually to even do the hand harvesting. Page number five of six, at the very bottom of that is a little box around a couple of bullets there but in order for us to move forward I have to give you a real quick summary of what took place in hand harvesting and what it wound up costing us.
We logged almost 400 hours of dive time toward the bottom; 100 hours of top side person to work through this thing; the placing of 118 matts or somewhere around 24,000 square feet, roughly a half acre of matt on the bottom and it still remains there and will be removed this spring - matting the milfoil. Matting is not selective, anything that is under that matt will be as of this point effectively chilled. Milfoil inclusive of that but unfortunately any native vegetation that was in there, pull the matts out and the area that is left behind is very fertile and milfoil can move back in there as the result of fragmentation. Basically we eradicated about eight of those fifty patches, very small ones at that, and billed for about $11,000 in dive support services to complete about a half acre of work so an extensive amount of work in the 2008 season.
Moving forward, this is information so that you can take a look at what has happened in other lakes. There is a snapshot of our website. One of the things that I have found in talking to people is that they did not have access to data that was done from Lake Champlain or Lake Saratoga or any of the other lakes treated with Renovate, the lakes listed on here were indeed treated with Renovate during the 2008 season and I have put some numbers off to the side of those, if you don=t have any time to read any of it but want to take a look at one very quick thing, the newspaper article from Saratoga this past summer very, very good and number one is what is listed there; Number one gives you a lot of support, number two and number three out of Vermont, very good reports and easy to read, very well written and very detailed as far as what they were looking for. The rest of them are well written, they are just a little more on the scientific terms and not quite as easy to read but a lot of good information there about what was done with Renovate and how it actually worked.
As we talk about herbicides everybody=s hair usually stands up on the back of their neck, mine included in that, so I went out and looked and I have been doing this for a number of years now but recently I came across what is referred to as Triclopyr questions and answers, it says page 1 of 11. There are 11 pages of questions that were put forth to the Washington State Dept. Of Environment there and they went through and answered them and I can=t say that I have found a better document - this one really truly gives you what you want to know if you are concerned about the use of a herbicide and again take a look at that.
For those who are really into finding out what the herbicide is all about, myself inclusive of that, the next page at the very top called Herbicide Information/ELPOI, there is a NYS label there. There is both the OTF on target flake which is the produce that we would be using, the MSDS=s, there are toxicology reports on there. Once again, information is available on the Eagle Lake website and the purpose of that is if you goggle Triclopyr you will find a piece here and a piece there, we have it altogether in one place so that we can really truly inform not only you but the residents on Eagle Lake as far as what is going on with that.
With that, what I would like to do is ask if there are any questions as far as what we would like to do?
MORENCY: We need to put a resolution on the floor. Before we get to that, are there any questions?
Okay, I would like to ask for a resolution offering our support for the use of herbicides on Eagle Lake.
RESOLUTION IN SUPPORT OF EAGLE LAKE=S MILFOIL PROJECT, PHASE II HERBICIDE USE.
This was offered by Mr. French, seconded by Mr. McSweeney.
MORENCY: Any other questions on this subject?
DEDRICK: I don=t have any questions, just a comment because I have been working with Rolf and Dale for a number of years. I don=t know of anybody that has been more committed, more with a bull dog approach than Rolf regarding milfoil on Eagle Lake.
I went up several summers in a row and actually saw what this has done to this lake. The growth is unbelievable. If I was a lake front property owner I would be really upset about this simply because you can=t use your lake front as much as you would like to be able to use it so I want to compliment Rolf and his entire group, a group of very few, that have been really diligent working at this for a number of years and I applaud you for your diligence.
TIEDEMANN: Thank you.
DEDRICK: I am glad you brought this to the Board of Supervisors because invasive species is a problem throughout the Adirondack Park and you take a herbicide like this particular herbicide and it has been tested on almost every lake that they have had and the affects have been so minimal and yet it is almost banned from the Adirondack Park Agency. You question earlier was what can we do about the Adirondack Park Agency? Well that is a question we have been asking ourselves for a number of years. I don=t know if there is an answer for that. They have been very good at sitting down with us and looking at possible solutions so I just wanted to bring this out, the fact that you have been so persistent with this over a number of years. I applaud you for that.
TIEDEMANN: I do have to say that I am very proud to be able to work with the Park Agency there, there have been some very good people to work with in there and some of the forms that are specific to the use of the herbicide have been generated as a result of the interest of Eagle Lake and using the herbicide and I heard just the other day that unofficially there is hope that we will be able to utilize an herbicide. Whether it will be this year, I think we are too late for this year but there is an awful lot of ongoing dialogue taking place so that when we turn in a permit B one of the things that I am very concerned about and very conscientious of is as a result of Dale and Bob=s efforts we were able to secure a $110,000 invasive species grant. $55,000 of that is from the state and $55,000 of that is in matching funds and we have been able to secure $35,000 in matching funds from the state to be able to match it which is pretty impressive because typically you can=t use state money to match state funds. I won=t go into that detail.
But, what I don=t want to do is I don=t want to spend state funds going through the permitting process with the APA and the DEC and not get the permit. I want to make sure that whatever we put in the permit document or whatever is required of us, we have that information prior to doing submission and it has been a long and on-going process. The APA has been supportive of it. I have a meeting shortly after this with Brian Housal from the Adirondack Council, he has been supportive of our efforts in eradicating milfoil and I want to work with that agency to make sure that the dialogue for the use of the herbicide is appropriate for where the environmental groups need to have things.
MORENCY: Any other discussion on the resolution on the floor?
MCSWEENEY: We have had milfoil in Minerva Lake and I know it is a very expensive proposition for these small communities to try and fight this. If the state, that is the APA and DEC, are going to stand in the way then maybe they should come up with the funds to do this, to fight this B it is their lakes. They step in and say you can=t use it and at the same time they want tourism and all this.
MORENCY: That is a good point. Any other discussion?
MORROW: I guess I just have to ask, have you ever look into the use of sterile carp to take care of the milfoil because Auger Lake in the Town of Chesterfield has been very successful and it is a lot less expensive, it cost about $5000 a year.
TIEDEMANN: Correct. There are a number of other alternatives to matting hand harvesting and the use of an herbicide. One of them is the biological control, we do have weevils and moths in the lake, in 2000 we sent a sample to Bob Johnston. The only question or the only caveat with carp is that typically milfoil is number 7 or 8 on their dietary intake and what I have been told, I haven=t looked at Auger Lake but I do know that they did use them there, is that if you want a farmers pond where there isn=t much vegetation in it, then the grass carp might not be a bad choice but as far as Eagle Lake or many of the other lakes, grass carp is not necessarily the best choice because they do eat lots of other native vegetation before they get to the milfoil.
MORROW: I don=t know but I know that they tried mechanical harvesting in Auger Lake and it didn=t work, it just grows back worse than it ever was.
TIEDEMANN: Correct. Saratoga had that problem and many other lakes that have used their harvesters that are now for sale because once you chop the stuff up the fragments are all viable.
MORROW: Right. Probably like Eagle Lake, it was so bad when you put in an oar or tried to swim in the lake it was terrible. You couldn=t even use the lake hardly at all and the sterile carp has taken care of most of it.
TIEDEMANN: If you go onto our web site or if you have ever been to a conference where they talk about milfoil you have probably seen a gentleman sitting in a rowing boat with oars dripping with milfoil - that is Eagle Lake. We have been the poster child for milfoil for 20 some years now and probably also the breeding ground for it.
Just this past fall Paradox Lake was identified with milfoil, one of the most recent additions to a long list of lakes in New York State that have milfoil in it.
MORENCY: Does the board members have any more discussion on the resolution? All in favor, opposed, carried.
TIEDEMANN: I thank you all for your time.
MORENCY: The resolution will have to go through a couple of other committees before we have a formal resolution, the first Monday in May. Thank you very much.
TIEDEMANN: I appreciate your time on this. Thank you.
MORENCY: Before we go on with Highway, I am sure you all read the note about Ron Jackson being in the hospital. He is in pretty rough shape. He is not as tough as he thought he was I guess and we have to watch out for him.
We will go on with highway.
BUCK: Good morning. On April 7th, the Governor signed the ACHIPS@ bill into law. Towns and counties will receive the same allocation of money for this year as they received over this past year.
This was good news for municipalities that did not qualify for stimulus funding for local roads and bridges. We can only hope that blacktop will be available and that the price doesn=t go out of sight.
We turned in all our paperwork to DOT for the Blue Ridge Road paving project and we are currently waiting for the okay. to go out for bids. The work is scheduled to be completed by September of this year.
The weather allowed us an early start for brooming. All the county parking lots have been broomed and work continues sweeping county roads in the towns. E=town, Lewis, Westport and Crown Point have all been swept. As of last week we have completed all of our brooming, quite early.
We applied for and received a DEC permit to cut back trees along the Blue Ridge Road, and most of that work has been completed.
When it wasn=t snowing most of last month was spent cutting trees, thawing culverts and clearing plugged ditches.
Trees were trimmed back in Jay, Keene, Minerva, Newcomb, Schroon and Westport.
Ditches had to be opened up on the Stevenson Road in Westport, Stowersville Road in Lewis, and Essex and Whallon=s Bay Road in Essex.
Pot hole patching was also accomplished in Crown Point, Schroon, Jay, Moriah, Ticonderoga, and Wilmington.
We had to install a new overflow for our septic system at the highway facility. It was full and plugged and had to be pumped out.
Drainage work for the Black Point Road has started. Ditches are being reestablished and new culverts installed where deemed necessary. A couple of larger culverts will require permits before they can be replaced. When the drainage is complete, we will shim the entire length with asphalt this year.
Contractor is expected to start full depth recycling on the Mace Chasm Road on May 4th. The road will be reconstructed and widened a little from Soper Road to Port Douglas Road.
Last week, we met with the APA to identify and mark out wet lands for the Stowersville Road and Sunset Drive projects. We would like to let bids for construction as soon as possible before the FEMA funding goes away. Both of these projects are to be completed by fall.
We are also trying to work on the Lewis Bridge replacement on the Haselton Road through the federal stimulus money. Most of the engineering and permitting has been completed and has been forwarded to DOT for review. I was told that if we don=t get it into this first round it looks pretty good for getting it into the second round. This might allow us to apply for another project under the HBRR funding. Either way this project is funded but we may be able to get the stimulus money out of this because this is a shovel ready project.
Plans are almost complete and permits are being applied for the construction of a new bridge on the River Road in St. Armand. The new structure will replace a large pair of culverts that are deteriorating.
Permits are in place to repair two slide areas along the Lake Shore Road in Essex. There is a third area that may require us to move the road over, this will mean purchasing right-of-way and reconstructing the road away from the lake, which would still likely be cheaper than constructing a sea wall.
Any questions for highway?
DEDRICK: Just a quick question, Fred - what does it mean that we can only hope that blacktop will be available?
BUCK: With all the work that is going on, they have the I-87 project going on; there is 82,000 ton of asphalt coming out of there and so we are trying to work our schedule in that we can get some of our northern projects done early out of the Lewis plant and then we are going to have the Blue Ridge Road project going on which is 17 miles of highway. The plants are going to be tied up.
DEDRICK: So it is demand.
DEDRICK: The other thing I wanted to bring up and I have talked to you about this before and I know you are going to look into it - at every single town board meeting when they talk about Black Point Road, because we have the beach at the end of Black Point Road and there are so many pedestrians walking and so many people riding bicycles out there, that they are again asking if there could be bike paths there? I told them that I would bring it up and if there is enough room we can do it. I just wanted to bring it up because this is a number one issue that has been brought up at my town board when they talk about Black Point Road.
BUCK: We will make it as wide as we possibly can when we do the paving. We are limited by the drainage work also.
DEDRICK: I know you are. Thank you.
MORENCY: Any other questions on highway? We will move on.
Buildings and Grounds:
BUCK: Routine maintenance and repairs were completed throughout the complex as needed, along with inspections and reports for the month.
Snow removal was on-going. Lawn care and clean up was started.
Routine maintenance was also supervised for the month at the Horace Nye Home. All routine maintenance, repairs and inspections were completed.
Numerous lamps and lamp holders were dated and installed for the Court House. Phase one construction is completed, which included adding two new bathrooms.
New lighted emergency exit signs were installed in the Board of Supervisor=s conference room and in the rec room at Mental Health.
Troubleshooting and electrical work was completed on the compactors in North Elba and Chesterfield transfer stations.
Cabinet consoles were designed and constructed for the cargo areas on Car 1 and Car 2 for Emergency Services.
Finish work was ongoing on walls and ceilings for the shop addition. Painting and trim work is all that is needed to complete the project.
The maintenance crew did all the work themselves, except for the concrete. A good job was done by all who worked on it.
All materials and supplies were ordered as needed for various projects.
MORENCY: Does anyone have questions on Buildings and Grounds? Okay, go ahead.
BUCK: Maintenance work and cleaning continues to be performed as needed on a daily basis at the Jail/Public Safety Building. The Essex County Power on Demand project has been completed.
Trenching for wiring was done in mid March, and all components needed were installed by TwinState and NYSEG.
In times of high power demand throughout the region, the Jail/Public Safety Building will be asked to use its emergency generator to supply its own power for designated periods of time, reducing the chances of blackouts or brownouts in other areas. Essex County will receive a payment for this service when it is provided.
To reduce the chance of the exhaust from the generator entering the facility through the roof top air supply units, regular air filters are being replaced with carbon filters, which trap the particulate in the fumes. Also, the stack on the generator will be raised from 8= to 10= to allow the exhaust to disperse before reaching the roof top units. These steps will eliminate the possibility of any complaints of diesel odor in the building.
A 8= x 40= storage container was purchased and set on crushed stone to provide a dry, secure storage area for maintenance equipment and tools. This will eliminate some of the over-crowding that was occurring in the garage and loading dock areas.
A three compartment cabinet was constructed for the Dispatch Center to hold three printers that were installed.
Spring cleanup will be done in the coming weeks, and all lawn equipment will be readied.
All daily, weekly, and monthly checks and tests of all systems and equipment were performed as required.
MORENCY: Any questions on the jail and public safety building?
DOUGLAS: On Buildings and Grounds, is this the appropriate time to talk about the Security Concepts request that Dan has?
PALMER: We can do it now or at Finance, it doesn=t matter. I do have it on the agenda for Finance.
MORENCY: No other questions? Go ahead.
BUCK: A time allows, we continue to rebuild roll off containers. Some need new floors welded in and the rear doors rebuilt and then we repaint them. We have completed close to a dozen. This is a lot cheaper than replacing them with new ones.
As I mentioned before, several electrical problems at both the North Elba and Chesterfield transfer stations had to be diagnosed and repaired.
We are also going around and servicing all the compactor units and changing the oil where needed.
Everything else is operating as expected.
MORROW: Speaking about Chesterfield compaction station, I want to thank Fred for being so fast to send his repair people up there. They did an excellent job and they were very speedy about it. When we are down, we are down and we can=t take any rubbish from anybody so thanks Fred and thanks to your workers.
MOSES: Last Thursday while we were at the Inter-County Meeting, all of the Supervisors in attendance strongly suggested to the DEC that they reconsider on this burning of the blow down and all the materials that we have in our transfer sites. They have extended Schroon=s permit only until October and then we have no clue what we are going to do with all this material, it is going to end up beside the roads. If they are going to start burning at their homes you can make sure there will be garbage and everything else burned.
So I don=t know, I think we passed a resolution before encouraging the DEC once again to allow us to do control burns at our transfer sites and once again, everybody was quite adamant at the meeting on Thursday that we all continue supporting them not stopping our burning permits. It is going to create a nightmare we are afraid. I don=t know if we want to consider another resolution today to consider leaving those controlled burning sites in place but it is something we are all going to have to think about. We are going to have some messes in our towns if we don=t.
MORENCY: We don=t remember up here when we did the last one so it is probably a good idea Cathy.
MOSES: I am not on the committee.
PRESTON: I would certainly move it. I know the frustration is unbelievable that these people don=t seem to understand. They have put together a burn barrel and burning a pile of brush into the same category and it doesn=t belong there. The fact that they obviously have nothing else to do but generate this paperwork, we had gotten the permit before, instead of giving it for a year it was only good until the end of the year, we had to reapply again so the middle of February I get my permit that is good until the end of March and then we have to reapply again. Their answer is, go out and buy a chipper. I said, where would that money come from and then where would the personnel come from to operate this. They can=t answer it. They just really have no idea as to what is actually going on with this and here we are and I know your town is the same and Roby=s, they burn the brush there. We allow the townspeople to bring the brush there and it is burnt in a controlled environment and it just makes no sense what they are doing - none whatsoever. I certainly would move that resolution that we send a letter opposing them from stopping this.
MOSES: Now we call our fire company=s so when we have a burn they are called. It is all controlled and we know what is going on. I am afraid we are going to have to put our fire company=s on major alert along with Emergency Services because I think it is going to be a nightmare if they don=t let everybody do these private burns again.
RESOLUTION ASKING THE NYS DEPT. OF ENVIRONMENTAL CONSERVATION TO RECONSIDER THEIR OPPOSITION TO CONTROLLED BURN SITES IN TOWNSHIPS.
This was offered by Mr. Preston, seconded by Mr. Merrihew.
CONNELL: I guess most of you know that our site got shut down a year ago and we now have a permit through October again, but while it was shut down I received more phone calls from people on that one issue - what am I going to do with my brush? We had no place to put it. We could not accept anything at our brush site because they cited us for having material in there that we were not suppose to have in there but during that three months while it was shut down the people in Westport didn=t know what to do and we had no answer for them.
If they shut these down I don=t know what we do and that is their answer, you go buy a chipper but these things are $300,000 for the size that we need.
PRESTON: It makes no logical sense.
CONNELL: To be able to chip and then what do we do with all the chips when we get done chipping them.
MORENCY: I have a question, how come you are on a monthly basis and he has his until October? The same permit?
CONNELL: We just got ours a month ago and it is until October.
PRESTON: Mine is until October but I have had to ask for it like three times. It just makes not sense, even how they are doing it doesn=t. Well we are going to extend it again - why would you not just make it good for one year or until such time as the regulations change? They are claiming they are going to lay off 8900 people but they have time to keep going through this permit process. It is just utterly ridiculous.
CANON: The local CO=s know this. The local DEC people are well aware. This is the bureaucracy in Albany at work and I think if you keep the pressure on here you will have support from your local DEC people and I think the resolution is great and I think you just have to keep that kind of pressure on.
DOUGLAS: Mr. Merrihew and I serve on the Steering Committee for the DEC on Adirondack issues and I am sure that Noel and I will be glad to bring that forward the next time we sit down with Commissioner Grannis and our Board and the Steering Committee. I think this is an important issue that we can bring forward.
MORENCY: Yes. Any other discussion on the resolution? All in favor, opposed, carried.
BUCK: Work should start shortly on the Pavilion replacement. The old building was demolished and will be replaced with a new one to look the same, but with modern conveniences and code compliance.
We also applied for the building permit for the sugar house construction. We did receive it last Friday. Both of these projects should be ongoing simultaneously.
The sill repair has also been finished up on the Cooperative Extension building.
Several events will be taking place at the Fairgrounds over the next several weeks and another summer wedding is planned for Floral Hall.
Scott has the grounds cleaned up in good shape and will be installing the new fence around the track.
The dates for this year=s fair will be August 12th through the 17th.
Health & Safety:
BUCK: The Safety Officer attended safety meetings throughout county departments.
The Safety Department answered several safety questions and concerns throughout the county.
He also helped set up a Safety Coordinator from each town; these people will be the Safety Department=s contact person for any safety questions or concerns.
He attended a Safety Coordinator Training Course and a Motivational Course presented by PERMA; Safety Coordinators from the towns were also invited to these courses.
He investigated a couple of accidents and gave advice to help prevent these accidents in the future, and toured the Jail with a representative from NYMIR. We are currently waiting for the results of that inspection.
S&R Construction finished the work to correct the deficiency cited by the NY State Department of Health at Horace Nye.
MORENCY: Any questions on health and safety? I think we need to go back to DPW and do a resolution creating those two capital projects, you still need that Fred?
MORENCY: One for Old Military Road, Phase 2 and one for the Lewis Bridge/Haselton Road.
RESOLUTION TO CREATE CAPITAL PROJECTS IN THE DEPARTMENT OF PUBLIC WORKS AS FOLLOWS: CAPITAL PROJECT 09-1 FOR OLD MILITARY ROAD, PHASE 2; AND CAPITAL PROJECT 09-2 FOR LEWIS BRIDGE/HASELTON ROAD.
This was offered by Mr. Merrihew, seconded by Mr. French.
MORENCY: Discussion? All in favor, opposed, carried.
Fred, do you have anything else for us today?
BUCK: I don=t.
BLADES: I am not on the Public Works Committee so someone else will have to entertain this motion but Randy Preston and I were involved in a controversy at one of the local fire departments and this is in regards to an accident that happened on a County Road in February. It was a Hazmat incident. There was no spill but the road was shut down. The fire personnel at the scene were there for about 12 hours and one of them came to my office, I was holding a town board meeting that night, and asked if there was any way they could get some county personnel to help secure the highway. I did call Fred Buck and Fred did release a couple of his personnel to bring barricades and cones to the scene.
Now we met or I met with Fred Buck and Tony LaVigne, the Sheriff and Donny Jaquish last week to discuss how we could approach this and what we could do if this happened in the future. I think we need a resolution that will permit the County Highway Department to respond to the scenes of emergency=s and use their personnel to help secure the closure of the road. Dan Manning has been looking into this and I am hoping that he may have some information that will be beneficial to this resolution.
MANNING: I have taken a cursory review of this as I was on vacation and there was a three page description given to me on Thursday so I haven=t had too much time to look at this.
The idea in theory sounds great. I need to make sure that we cross all our t=s and dot all our i=s legally. As you know, Fred=s responsibilities are for improvement and maintenance of the roads generally and that is what monies are budgeted for. He does have the authority to close roads for improvements, maintenance, anything that has to do with road and he also has the authority to close roads in case of emergency=s. It just says emergency=s - it doesn=t say State of Emergency=s so I have a question whether it is a State of Emergency or an emergency. I am assuming it is whatever an emergency is.
Some of the things that I see that might be problems, not unresolvable problems, but questions I have are - is this for every single car accident or emergency? You are going to need to define what this is going to be for. You are going to need to define what an emergency is and then you are going to need to define what the duties are, or, in the alternative maybe the better approach would be to let Fred take care of that aspect so that you are not micro-managing what Fred does. You are not saying Fred - you can go on this emergency, you can=t go on that on.
It sounds like a simple idea but you need to kind of per some perimeters on it. So, I need a little more time. I can definitely get you something within like three or four days, I am just trying to flush it through in my mind as to how you would approach this and am still doing that.
You all know that we can approach things by State of Emergency so if you have a major emergency then the board simply declares an emergency and it gives Fred the authority to do whatever he feels is in the public interest and goes out and does that. I think this is more limited to situations where let=s say on a county road there is a huge car pile up and lots of injury=s and you need flag men, people to control the situation. Is that what you are looking at?
BLADES: We are not looking to micro-manage. What we are looking for is during emergency=s that are long term. We are not talking an hour or two but maybe a half a day, 24 hours or so. The fire personnel are all volunteers. They are out there for extended periods of time and we are just looking for a little help from the County DPW to help secure the closure of the roads.
MORENCY: I think it can easily be done I don=t want to get too complicated, it is definitely not a State of Emergency. If it is our road and they are out there for 12 hours like this one, you should have a budget line, a contingency put into your budget so if you have to pay people to be there you have to pay it. It is our roads, we need to protect the people living there and people trying to get through and finding ways to get around.
We had it just last week in St. Armand and people had to travel quite a few extra miles, it was a state road.
MANNING: I don=t think that is a problem as long as you don=t say for every single one of these things and if you give Fred the discretion on how to handle it and money to take care of it. Now, the law says that he has a budget and his budget is for repair, maintenance and operation of the roadway. It doesn=t say anything about flagging and things of that nature. There is another section of the law that seems to allow the Board of Supervisors to take monies from the County Road Fund other than as stated and for whatever other purpose so you can do that but you have to look at his personnel and how you are going to pay for this and you are going to have to assume jurisdiction over these things where it really isn=t explicit in the law but there is a separate provision that allows for the ordering by the board to the Highway Superintendent to do additional duties outside of the perimeters of his law.
So you really need to define what you are going to do or leave it to Fred. We need to fund it. Is this just on county roads or on town roads too?
PRESTON: Just county.
MANNING: Okay because if you go town roads then you get into inter-municipal agreements.
MORENCY: Can we offer a resolution stating what you just said if that is what the board is interested in doing?
MANNING: Sure and then I can bring you additional information by Ways and Means.
MORENCY: We just had a long discussion the other day about our volunteer firemen and rescue people, especially firemen out there doing all kinds of things on their own without pay, etc., and I don=t think that this should be their job. I would hope that we can work out something. How many times a year is this going to happen for a road to be closed for a real extended period of time? Probably not that many. I think that we should take care of it by funding it through a transfer and at your discretion like Dan said.
Does anybody want to discuss that or put a resolution on the floor to talk about it?
PRESTON: I would move the resolution. I also would like to elaborate a little bit. I really don=t think that we need to turn this into something difficult because it really is not. At the Fire Advisory Board Meeting a couple of weeks ago the issue came up and as you just got through say, that the volunteer ranks are being stretched thin and it was asked about the possibility if - for an extended period and like we said, not just a regular car accident or whatever for a couple of hours - but if it looked like it was going to be an extended period on county road that we would use county highway personnel to man the barricades to close the road for the safety of the public. I can=t even imagine that this would be once, maybe twice a year that this could even happen, maybe not at all. The reality is, that is all that it ever would be and I really think that we could handle this very easily by taking the money out of contingency to cover the cost because it is going to be such an infrequent thing but I can understand for the years that - we have closed that Notch numerous times. To have volunteers there 10, 12, 24 hours with incidents, it is really stretching us thinner and thinner and I don=t think that we need to make this that difficult. I really think it is easily done and again I would be happy that we allow this to continue.
MORENCY: I can also see a situation where we would be in a lawsuit because we didn=t do something to protect the people on our roads traveling.
PRESTON: Again, this is only county roads we are talking about.
MORENCY: Is there a second to the resolution? Seconded by Dale French.
SCOZZAFAVA: I am not on this committee and I am not aware of the situation that happened up north but I have had at least a half dozen different situations on county highways in my community, we just had that tanker truck that flipped over a year or so ago on Pelfisher. Fred always, you give him a phone call and he is there. They set the barricades and that was closed for a prolonged period of time. Just at his discretion. At least we have never experienced any problems with that and I have never heard of any overtime. I mean, once you close the road off our Highway Superintendent usually keeps an eye on it or one of the fire chiefs that periodically drive down to make certain that nobody is crossing it. Now we have to take money out of contingency for these emergency situations? If it is going on during regular working hours - I don=t know.
MORENCY: If it is and if it is that long we have to detour people you need someone there and who are the proper people to be there? Emergency people or highway people. It is not going to be a million dollar transfer Tom.
SCOZZAFAVA: I agree. I am saying that the way we have been handling it through the years has worked.
MORENCY: Fred, do you want to comment on it?
BUCK: My concern was and as I explained to Dave and Randy about it, was the count highway budget is set up different than town highway budgets. There are two budgets in the county highway- road and machinery and county road. County road pays road machinery for materials and equipment and I just need to show where the revenues are coming in by state law, I have to show that. If I can=t get charged back or charge back an insurance company, it is very hard to get State Police report accident reports now, and if we can=t get the insurance company=s involved to get reimbursed for our time on the accident. The one that they are referring to we did get reimbursed and we got reimbursed almost immediately for which was great and we had the accident up in Randy=s town which we also got taken care of because we also had property damage which was guide rails destroyed and somewhere somebody has to pay for this otherwise it is going to come out of the taxpayers pocket.
MORENCY: I would think that if we were in a situation that in a short period of time Dan could write a letter to the State Police or a FOIL for the accident reports. I think that is simple and can be done, right?
MANNING: Yes. Fred, just for my edification, when you close a road you can close it in time of an emergency, correct?
MANNING: What is the protocol and what do you do?
BUCK: It depends what the emergency is. We close the road because say a bridge is being over-topped by water. The road remains closed until one of us or my engineers go out and we examine the bridge when the water goes down before we reopen it. If there is a wash out or something we will leave it closed until we can get there and repair it.
MANNING: So do you have people at the physical site when that is done or just put signs up?
BUCK: It depends. It depends what the situation is. Again, it is incident by incident.
MANNING: In cases of accidents, have you closed roads?
BUCK: Yes we have. We have like Tom said, we work with the towns on it.
MANNING: When you do that on an accident, do you post people there to control the traffic?
BUCK: At times we have to.
MANNING: So we are not really talking anything different then I guess. The law does say that you can do it if there are emergency=s and it also seems to say that you can take money out of your county road fund if they approve it for other things. I will show you that and we can talk about that.
MORENCY: Okay, so we still have a resolution on the floor.
MERRIHEW: I am just curious, then with the County Attorney=s representation, do we need this resolution or does this complicate things?
MANNING: Well I would think that you need the resolution so that we have something on paper saying that you are going to fund this or is it just going to come out of - you need something right? You need something that says -
BUCK: Just to keep my budget whole is all I am looking at.
PRESTON: If I could just add, I think what Fred is looking for is if it happens during the normal work day then really I don=t know if it is that big an issue but if there is overtime, cost and equipment and so on, for that isolated incident that it happens that he can come back to us and get reimbursed from the contingency budget or from wherever else we decide that it should come from.
MORENCY: The thing is those same men could be out on a road project in another part of the county when this happens. The main thing is for Fred, when he set up his budget, we aren=t talking a big amount here but this wasn=t included in his budget for it to be reimbursed. If we can get him reimbursed through insurance or whatever or a fund that we set up for him that is the way it should be so that his budget is not overdrawn.
BUCK: Even during the day though I still have to show what the men and equipment have done.
PALMER: I think it is a question of a budget issue. Once the incident occurs if Fred=s time is spent - time and material or time and men - we will have to come back to this board and say this is what it involved and what it cost him and now we need to make the transfer. I think ultimately that is what it comes down to.
MORENCY: All in favor of the resolution on the floor?
MANNING: Do we know what it is?
MORENCY: Moved by Dave, seconded by Randy.
MANNING: Should we re-state it so we know?
MORENCY: Go ahead.
MANNING: So you know what you are voting on. It is in the event there is an isolated emergency and Fred Buck determines that he should respond, that his budget will be supplemented and replenished with any monies relative to manpower, overtime, equipment, machinery, etc., and this is for isolated incidents, not states of emergency.
RESOLUTION AUTHORIZING THE DPW SUPERINTENDENT TO USE HIS DISCRETION AS TO WHEN TO USE COUNTY MANPOWER, EQUIPMENT AND MACHINERY ON ISOLATED EMERGENCY INCIDENTS ON COUNTY ROADS, WITH HIS BUDGET TO BE SUPPLEMENTED AND REPLENISHED FOR ANY AND ALL COSTS.
This was offered by Mr. Blades, seconded by Mr. Preston.
PALMER: I think you may want to say is a reasonable time that you would expect the fire department to be there? Two hours? Three hours? At what point does that kick in? At some point if Fred=s people are up here and the incident is in Minerva it is going to take you an hour and one-half or two hours to get there anyway. I think there should be some kind of number in there that triggers when the county starts - two hours or three hours?
MANNING: I am just thinking, shouldn=t Fred work that out with the State Police?
PRESTON: I think it is a case by case basis.
MORENCY: Okay, that is moved by Dave and Randy. All in favor, opposed, carried. Fred, you can work with Dan and Dan can work with you.
MERRIHEW: Before we adjourn, on behalf of the committee, I would like to take this opportunity to present a Resolution of Appreciation for Fred=s outstanding and dedicated service to the Veteran=s of Essex County as Manager of the Essex County Veteran=s Cemetery infrastructure. We passed this resolution previously. I present this to Mr. Buck.
BUCK: Thank you.
MORENCY: Fred, do you have anything else to bring up?
MORENCY: Anybody else? We are adjourned.
AS THERE WAS NO FURTHER BUSINESS TO COME BEFORE
THIS COMMITTEE, WE ADJOURNED AT 10:27 A.M.
Deborah Palmer, Clerk
Board of Supervisors