Essex County, New York
PO Box 338, Main Street · Bloomingdale, NY 12913 · 518-891-3189 · Fax: 518-891-6092
info@townofstarmand.com

Town of St Armands Board Meetings

Special Board Meeting Monday, June 30, 2021 6:30 PM

These Meeting Minutes were approved by the Town Board on July 13, 2021.

A Special Board Meeting of the Town of St. Armand was held on the above date and time at the Town Highway Garage, 1702 NYS Route 3, Bloomingdale, NY. The meeting was also advertised as a webinar meeting, however, the local internet provider experienced an outage during that time and the webinar portion could not be conducted. The topic of the Special Board Meeting was the Rockledge Water districting and Rockledge Sewer lines.

BOARD MEMBERS PRESENT:

Town Supervisor Davina Winemiller, Deputy Supervisor D. Joseph Bates, Councilperson Donald Amell, Councilperson Jennifer Fuller, and Councilperson Karl Law.
A quorum of the Board was in attendance.

TOWN EMPLOYEES PRESENT:

Town Clerk Barbara Darrah.

GUESTS:

Bill Allen, Ona Allen, James Ammon, Ivan Bickford, Chris Brescia, Mary Suzan Conroy, Rohan Estling, Phoebe Everson, Thomas Gannon, Tom Gannon, Chris Gosling, Linda Hilbert, Dan Jantzen, Katie Laba, Becky Ladue, Chad Ladue, Phyllis Magnus, Klaus Meissner, Lisa Meissner, Katie Nehmer, Judy Odell, David Salamy, Lauri Salamy, Ben Shubert, Mark Simkins, and Bruce Thompson, all representing Rockledge residents.

Public Notice was published in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise regarding the date and time of this meeting, and posted on the Town of St. Armand’s website and Facebook page. Letters were mailed to the Rockledge Water District users, advising them of the meeting date and time.

Supervisor Winemiller called the meeting to order at 6:50 p.m., after diligently trying to engage the webinar meeting. Winemiller asked everyone to stand and join in the Pledge of Allegiance. Winemiller then introduced herself, members of the Town Board, and the Town Clerk to the audience.

Several maps of the Rockledge properties and water district were on display during the meeting using large tables and a portable easel. In addition, packets of the MJ Engineering findings were prepared for distribution to those in attendance.

Supervisor Winemiller began the presentation with a discussion on the history of the Rockledge Development, Water District and water and sewer line infrastructures. When Dean Montroy was Town Supervisor, the Town hired MJ Engineering to do a Rockledge Water District report. They did an excellent job and their mapping is very good, as well. Specific problems were highlighted. Winemiller wanted to ensure the Rockledge property owners are aware of the following for the record:

ROCKLEDGE INFRASTRUCTURE

The Rockledge subdivision began in 1911. In 1914, the Village of Saranac Lake provided Rockledge with water and wastewater collection. In the 1960’s, the property was purchased by Frank Casier. Frank Cashier installed all of the water and sewer lines that are in the Rockledge subdivision right now. At that time, he and the Village of Saranac Lake had a written agreement that the village would provide the lots and homes with water and sewer. In the 1980’s, because Rockledge was not in the Village’s district, the Village began charging the Rockledge residents double the rate for providing water and collecting sewer, which was supported by the Village of Saranac Lake Water and Sewer regulations. The Rockledge Water District came about in the early 90’s after Frank Cashier did the Rockledge subdivision. The residents from Rockledge with Frank Cashier approached the Town of St. Armand and requested St. Armand create a Water District. The people of Rockledge with Frank Cashier convinced the Town of St. Armand’s Town Board at that time, that because all the lines were new, if St. Armand took it over, the regular rate would be charged because they then belonged to a “district”. The Town Board agreed back then. Early in 1992, the Town of St. Armand and the Village of Saranac Lake came upon an agreement that the Village would provide water, and this agreement could be renewed every five years. During one of the renewal periods, the Village of Saranac Lake decided not to renew the agreement. The majority of Rockledge is in the Town of St. Armand with some parcels (5) in the Town of North Elba. Twelve parcels are hooked into the Village of Saranac Lake sewer system.

There is no Rockledge Sewer District, at all. When St. Armand took over the Water district, they never took over the Sewer District. What was supposed to happen was the homeowners of Rockledge were supposed to form a Homeowners’ Association, and everyone was supposed to contribute to up-keeping the Sewer lines and it has never been done. That means if there is a sewer main break, there is no one responsible except for the homeowners themselves.

In 2015, the Town of St. Armand hired an engineering company to complete a report to identify problems with the Rockledge Water District, IE; the water lines kept freezing in a particular area. St. Armand Water Superintendent Jeff Cotter, and Fuller’s Excavating installed electrodes to those lines to unfreeze the water and installed a pic line to keep water flowing at that time. The engineering report done by MJ Engineering in 2015 found that water lines and sewer lines were running in the same trench in some areas and the water and sewer lines are not very deep in a lot of areas. These lines were installed in the 1960’s, so they are not right. Winemiller referred to a map for the those present to view. The map indicated the Water district is twice the size of the Sewer. Some have their own septic or are vacant lots or lots with garages. Winemiller provided the actual list of names and tax map numbers of the properties in Rockledge. There are 35 with Water and 12 with Sewer. Winemiller stated that one option could be cutting the line at a certain point and the property owners could drill a well and install their own septic. It is a user-funded system; the homeowners could be paying a debt service of as much as $100 per quarter for 30 years for Water. If they took out a loan to fund the sewer, it would cost the homeowners thousands of dollars. Example: For water, if it cost a million dollars with 35 users, the cost to each would be $28,571 per unit. In order to get grant funding for any water projects, the median household income for the target area is 51% or more low to moderate income level to meet the grant guideline levels. Rockledge will not meet those requirements, based on the home values and income. The Town of St. Armand cannot spend any money on the Sewer because it does not own it.

When MJ Engineering gave the Town of St. Armand the report, they also found that several parcels in the Town of North Elba section of Rockledge that were not paying anything as far as the taxes. They were paying the Water and Sewer rates. The Town of St. Armand corrected that. After the MJ Engineering report was received, Winemiller distributed the report to Fuller’s and talked to a couple of other contractors, prior to the pandemic, stating we need to address the issues in the report. MJ came up with the amount of $230,000 and Fuller got up to ½ a million, stating this project was way too much.

Winemiller stated there are options, but all of the homeowners are involved in those options. #1) All homeowners install their own well and septic systems, but, all homeowners must agree. If one person says “No, I don’t want to do that”, it cannot work. #2) Be Proactive. Identify the areas that are of greatest concern, and do bits and pieces of our water infrastructure a year at a time until it is completed. MJ Engineering estimated breaking it up over a 5-year period.

QUESTION OR COMMENTS:

RESOLUTIONS # 50 - #51

RESOLUTION #50 OF 2021 AUTHORIZATION FOR TOWN SUPERVISOR TO SIGN THE AMENDED MEMORANDUM OF LEASE AGREEMENT WITH PARALLEL TOWERS III, LLC FORMERLY NEW CINGULAR WIRELSS PCS, LLC (“AT&T”)

Deputy Supervisor D. Joseph Bates, who moved it adoption, offered the following Resolution:

WHEREAS, per RESOLUTION # 73 OF 2019, the Town Board of the Town of St. Armand authorized the Town Supervisor to sign documents and the lease agreement pertaining to the AT & T Cell Tower, (formally New Cingular Wireless PCS, LLC (“AT&T”) being the original parties, and

WHEREAS, the Town of St. Armand received notification that pursuant to an instrument dated October 9, 2020, AT&T assigned the Lease to Lendlease Towers III LLC, and effective October 15, 2020, Lendlease Towers III LLC changed its name to Parallel Towers III LLC, and

WHEREAS, on June 7, 2021, the Town of St. Armand received an amended Memorandum of Lease Agreement between the Town of St. Armand and Parallel Towers III LLC, and the Lease provides for an initial term of five (5) years that commenced as specified in that Lease, and the Lease also provides for four (4) successive automatic (5) year renewal options.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Town Board of the Town of St. Armand hereby authorizes Town Supervisor Davina Winemiller to sign the associated documents and Amended Memorandum of Lease Agreement with Parallel Towers III LLC.

This Resolution was duly seconded by Councilperson Karl Law and adopted by Roll Call Vote as follows:

Town Supervisor Davina Winemiller AYE
Deputy Supervisor D. Joseph Bates AYE
Councilperson Donald Amell AYE
Councilperson Jennifer Fuller AYE
Councilperson Karl Law AYE

RESOLUTION #51 OF 2021 TOWN OF ST. ARMAND TOWN BOARD AUTHORIZATION FOR TOWN SUPERVISOR TO SIGN THE NYS DEC ORDER ON CONSENT #R5 – 20210312-2347 EFFECTIVE THE DATE SIGNED BY THE DEC COMMISSIONER OR COMMISSIONER’S DESIGNEE.

Councilperson Jennifer Fuller, who moved its adoption, offered the following Resolution:

WHEREAS, the Town Board of the Town of St. Armand received notification of an Order On Consent from New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, and

WHEREAS, the provisions of this Order shall inure to the benefit of and be binding upon the Department and Respondent, its agents, employees, successors, and assigns, and all persons, firms, or corporations acting subordinate thereto, and

WHEREAS, this Order on Consent shall constitute the entire agreement of the Department and Respondent with respect to settlement of the violations specifically referenced herein, and

WHEREAS, the effective date of this Order on Consent shall be the date it is signed by the Commissioner or Commissioner’s designee. This Order on Consent shall terminate upon Respondent’s full and timely compliance with its terms.

THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED, the Town Board of the Town of St. Armand hereby authorizes Town Supervisor Davina Winemiller to sign the NYS DEC Order on Consent, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, simultaneously with the submission of this signed Order on Consent, Respondent shall pay to the Commissioner the sum of $500.00, which can be made by mail or electronically.

This Resolution was duly seconded by Deputy Supervisor D. Joseph Bates and adopted by Roll Call Vote as follows:

Town Supervisor Davina Winemiller AYE
Deputy Supervisor D. Joseph Bates AYE
Councilperson Donald Amell AYE
Councilperson Jennifer Fuller AYE
Councilperson Karl Law AYE

There were no other questions or comments.

MOTION TO ADJOURN:

Deputy Supervisor D. Joseph Bates made a Motion to Adjourn the Special Board Meeting. The Motion was seconded by Councilperson Karl Law and the Special Board Meeting adjourned at 8:26 pm.

I, Barbara J. Darrah, Town Clerk for the Town of St. Armand, do hereby certify that the above is a true and correct transcript of the Special Board Meeting minutes held on the above-referenced date.


Town of St Armand
PO Box 338, Main Street, Bloomingdale, NY 12913 · 518-891-3189 · Fax: 518-891-6092
info@townofstarmand.com
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