September 21, 2017 - County holds public hearings for shared services plan
By PETE KLEIN
Express News Staff
INDIAN LAKE — The Hamilton County Board of Supervisors recently held three public hearings on a Shared Services Plan for Hamilton County. The last of the three public hearings held was at the Indian Lake Town Hall on Sept. 11.
There were no members of the general public present, but in addition to the supervisors present were Indian Lake Central School Superintendent David Snide and Wells Central School Superintendent Thomas Sincavage.
The Hamilton County Shared Services Panel is comprised of the county, all nine towns, the Village of Speculator, Wells Central School, Lake Pleasant School, Indian Lake Central School, Inlet School and Long Lake Central School.
The panel has also worked across county lines to work with the Town of Webb on a police consolidation proposal between the Inlet and Webb Police Departments.
The following represents the broad categories of work and the relevant tasks the panel has been working on.
The draft states: “Hamilton County has a rich history of Shared Services; Long standing Highway Shared Services, from manpower to equipment; A standing shared services agreement which authorizes the sharing between the county, all nine towns and the village; A county-wide fueling systems, serving schools, towns, village, county, fire, ambulance and NYS DOT under one central management system; Central garages serving all the schools; The Coordinated Services Initiative (CSI) still flourishes in Hamilton County, providing integrated children services between schools, county agencies and contract agencies; A County Assessor available to provide assessing services contractually to the towns; tax collection services provided by the County Treasurer’s Office for school tax collection, and also available to the towns; County-wide drug and alcohol testing for all the municipal CDL Drivers.
“Hamilton County is actively pursuing additional Shared Services opportunities, and following up on others. Hamilton County is working with the Town of Inlet and the Town of Webb in Herkimer County for a shared police department. Unfortunately in this circumstance, we are currently at a standstill. We have create local support and local buy-in, but were unable to obtain Legislative approval this last Session.
“Hamilton County has a Consolidated Funding Application (CFA) in for a Shared Services project which seeks to reconstruct the Solid Waste and Recycling System top to bottom, from household disposal to final disposal (collection, management, sorting, hauling, and disposal.)
“The County is in the process of exploring the Town Court structure with the Tug Hill Commission, thinking about the impacts of after-hours arraignments, and Justice staffing on a Town by Town basis.
“There is current interest within a couple of towns to have the county explore providing certain back office functions for the Towns, like bookkeeping, payroll, etc.”
Looking down the road, the panel has interest in shared codes enforcement; better countywide pupil transportation; shared town/school/county mechanics; centralized county effort for volunteer recruitment; training and management for fire and ambulance services; and working with all the fire and ambulance services to improve coverage and insure the stability of the emergency response system.
After reviewing what is in the shared services plan and the options available for a 2017 plan submission versus a 2018 plan submission, those present agreed to continue work on the shared services plan and submit the actual final plan in 2018 for enactment in 2019.
A number of the initiatives, which have the most potential, cannot be adequately explored in the limited time available and it was agreed the shared services project which seeks to reconstruct the solid waste and recycling system could be the number one project to save tax payer dollars.
DEFENSIVE DRIVING RESOLUTION
Wayne Wilson of Rose & Kiernan has agreed to be the in-house instructor and provide Hamilton County Employees a defensive driving class program which will begin on Sept. 19.
Wilson will be paid and reimbursed mileage by Rose & Kiernan.
There will be a $17 charge per attendee for the cost of booklets for the class.
The board authorized the Hamilton County Treasurer to issue a check to Wayne Wilson for $17 per attendee, for the cost of booklets and the state fee, based on a list of Hamilton County employees attending the class per the Hamilton County Personnel Officer.
The board also authorized the county treasurer to create and fund an account for the driving class in the amount of $1,360.
In April the county board authorized the purchase of a 65-foot-tall self-supporting lattice communication tower to be constructed on the summit of East Mountain in Speculator and an 80-foot-tall self-supporting lattice tower communication tower to be erected adjacent to the Hamilton County Municipal Buildings in Lake Pleasant. Then in August, the APA approved the siting of the towers.
Bids were opened at this meeting. Mid-State Construction, Harrisburg, PA, bid $779,400 for the construction and erection of the two towers while SynEnergy, IN, bid $577,400.
After some discussion, the supervisors awarded the bid project to Mid-State and rejected the bid from SynEnergy because SynEnergy did not meet all specifications, including the requirement of solar panels.
The cost is being covered under emergency communication grants received.
September 21, 2017 - The flight of the Monarchs: ILCS students release Monarch butterflies they raised from caterpillars
Photo by Pete Klein
Indian Lake Central School students and their teachers from the lower grades, cheered as they watched Monarch after Monarch soar up into the sky after being encouraged by special education teacher Elsa Schisler to leave the net homes where they were raised.
By PETE KLEIN
Express News Staff
INDIAN LAKE — Last year it was only one class at Indian Lake Central School that nursed caterpillars into Monarch butterflies.
This year, it was 10 classes, in addition to the business office, that joined in to raise, help save and celebrate the golden, delicate aviators that fly south to Mexico as part of an amazing journey.
On Monday, Sept. 18, with perfect flying weather, 21 of this year’s crop of Monarchs were set free in the Barbara Wilson & Carol Mignone Memorial Garden to begin their journey south.
Some were previously released and more will be released to take flight as they mature from caterpillars to Monarchs.
“This was a kids driven project,” Elsa Schisler, special education teacher assistant, said.
Schisler said it was the students in the current Grade 7 Class that came up with the idea and were assisted by Daisy Kelly, who helped guide them and obtained the first of the caterpillars to start the project.
Gathering in the garden, students and their teachers from the lower grades, cheered with glee as the watched Monarch after Monarch soar up into the sky after being encouraged by Schisler to leave the net homes where they were raised.
Photo by Pete Klein
Monarch butterflies in their nursery in the business office at Indian Lake Central School before being released to start their journey south on Monday, Sept. 18.
September 21, 2017 - Good weather welcomes antique show to Indian Lake
Photo by Pete Klein
Crowds and antique dealers from across the United States converged on the Adirondack Mountains Antiques Show along the main street Indian Lake from Sept. 13 to 17.
By PETE KLEIN
Express News Staff
INDIAN LAKE — Antique dealers from across the United States converged on the hamlets of Indian Lake and Blue Mountain Lake for the Adirondack Mountains Antiques Show along the main streets Sept. 13 through 17 and also up at the Adirondack Experience Antiques Show and Sale on Sept. 16.
Crowds grew and peaked on Saturday and Sunday. Pleasant summer weather saw good crowds walking up and down Main Street chatting with vendors and other attendees and purchasing when something special caught their eye.
Pop-up antique booths and tents lined the roads in both hamlets. Dealers set up throughout the center of the hamlet of Indian Lake, renting space in the yards of homeowners along the state highway, in front of Indian Lake Central School and along the road in the hamlet of Blue Mountain Lake.
At the museum on Saturday, more than 40 specially selected dealers in high-quality antiques and art from as far away as Florida and Minnesota featured antiques for at home in the Adirondacks, including Mission and Old Hickory furniture, historical fine art, rare books, antique sporting goods, militaria, folk art, vintage boats, taxidermy, quilts, oriental rugs, and Native American jewelry and artifacts.
September 21, 2017 - Hundreds turn out to thank Gerdin for Township 40 solution
Photo by Pete Klein
Long Lake Supervisor Clark Seaman read from and presented to Carolyn Gerdin a proclamation designating Sept. 16 as Carolyn Gerdin Day. The proclamation recognized and thanked Gerdin for the 16 years she worked to solve the Township 40 dispute with the State of New York and secure it with a constitutional amendment.
By PETE KLEIN
Express News Staff
RAQUETTE LAKE — Hundreds of people arrived at Burke’s Marina in Raquette Lake on Saturday, Sept. 16, to celebrate the state finally having granted unencumbered title to over 200 property owners in Raquette Lake, and to thank Carolyn Gerdin, who led the charge to solve the Township 40 dispute with the state that began more than 100 years ago.
Plans for the party began to coalesce when the Long Lake Town Board met on Aug. 30 and Long Lake Supervisor Clark Seaman, on behalf of the entire Long Lake Town Board and the citizens of Long Lake and Raquette Lake, declared by proclamation Sept. 16 as Carolyn Gerdin Day in honor and recognition of Gerdin’s selfless dedication to resolving the Township 40 property dispute.
The proclamation, which Seaman read and presented to Gerdin at the event in Raquette Lake, said, “For over 100 years the title of private lands in Township 40, Raquette Lake, were in dispute with the State of New York. These disputed titles have been a cloud hanging over the rightful property owners.
“Carolyn began researching these disputed titles and it was with her guidance and leadership that a committee was formed to address and resolve these disputed titles.
“It was the result of Carolyn’s tireless efforts and personal commitment to resolving these longstanding disputes that a Constitutional Amendment was passed by NYS voters, granting the rightful owners unencumbered title to their property.”
The event began with Jeffrey Sellon identifying some of the notable dates during the 16 years Carolyn worked with others to solve the Township 40 dispute.
It all began in 2001 at a meeting held by the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) in Indian Lake, during which it presented a map showing the 216 private properties in Raquette Lake the state was claiming the properties belonged to the state, not to those who were paying taxes on the land they were living on and claimed was theirs.
This was when Gerdin began research on the disputed lands. She formed a committee in 2003, composed of herself, Jim Blanchard, Michael Burke, Jim Culligan and Dean Pohl.
Early help in Albany was had when Gerdin convinced then-Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward the claims by the state were wrong.
More help came along when environmental groups started signing on to support a constitutional amendment.
But the path to success was never easy. There were many ups and downs along the way. Gerdin never gave up and lobbied ceaselessly down in Albany.
It wasn’t until the closing hours of the 2016 session that both the Senate and the Assembly gave their final approval to legislation that was first approved as a constitutional amendment in 2013.
However, the fight wasn’t over.
“The Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is dragging its heels,” Long Lake Supervisor Clark Seaman said at the Jan. 25 meeting of the Long Lake Town Board.
Because the DEC was “dragging its heels” and not doing what voters had charged it to do, the town board signed on to an “Agreement To Implement Terms Of The Township 40 Settlement Act Relating To The Conveyance Of The Identified Net Benefit Parcel To The People Of The State Of New York.”
The purpose of the agreement was to serve notice to the DEC that everyone has done their part and it is time for the DEC to do its job and complete what was started more than 100 years ago.
The proposed state constitutional amendment that would settle a century-old title dispute in the Adirondacks began when it won passage in the state Assembly and Senate in June 2012. Its sponsors were Senator Betty Little and Assemblywoman Teresa Sayward.
The constitutional amendment and implementing legislation were passed unanimously by both the state Senate and Assembly and was endorsed by all local governments and the Adirondack Council, Adirondack Mountain Club, Sierra Club, Open Space Institute, Adirondack Wild and Protect! The Adirondacks before voters approved the amendment on Nov. 5, 2013, with an overwhelming 72.66 percent voting in favor of the amendment.
On Dec. 18, 2013, Gov. Andrew Cuomo signed legislation to adopt a new Title 19 in Article 9 of the Environmental Conservation Law. The adoption implemented the amendment. The legislation established a process that would take approximately 2.5 years to complete.
Part of the deal was for 216 Raquette Lake property owners paying an average of about $2,700 to get clear title to their property so they wouldn’t have to worry about the state or other landowners contesting their boundaries on properties they have been paying taxes on.
This was done. More than $631,000 was collected in the process.
Raquette Lake property owner and town board member Dean Pohl sold property he owned on the Marion River Cary he had planned to develop to the Open Space Institute with the understanding it would eventually sell it to the state as part of the compensation deal for Raquette Lake property owners so they could finally get clear title to their property.
Supervisor Seaman said it was Gerdin, an Albany resident and Raquette Lake property owner who had been leading the effort to solve the title problem, who requested the town board sign the Agreement to Implement Terms of the Township 40 Settlement Act, so she and other property owners could move forward to put the pressure on the DEC.
Then on May 22, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos signed off and said in a statement, “Today, my signature on these surveyed maps clears the way for the affected property owners to be free of the state’s claim to lands that in many cases have been privately occupied for more than a century.”
After many thanked and honored Gerdin, including Long Lake Supervisor Clark Seaman, Assemblyman Marc Butler and Chairman of the Hamilton County Board of Supervisors William Farber, it was time to pop the corks and open the champagne bottles for everyone to share in a toast to Gerdin and each other for never giving up and carrying on the good fight to a successful conclusion.
As Gerdin remarked before the toast, “We couldn’t have done it without all of you.”
Local News SEP 21st
County holds public hearings for shared services plan
By PETE KLEIN Express News Staff INDIAN LAKE — The Hamilton County Board of Supervisors recently held three public hearings on a Shared Services Plan for Hamilton County. The last of the three public hearings held was at the Indian Lake Town Hall o...Read More