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

Town of St Armands Board Meetings

Tuesday, September 11, 2018 6:30 PM

These Meeting Minutes were approved on October 9, 2018.

A Regular Board Meeting of the Town of St. Armand was held on the above date at the Town Hall, Bloomingdale, NY.


Town Supervisor Dean Montroy, Deputy Supervisor Jennifer Fuller, Councilperson D. Joseph Bates, and Councilperson Samuel Grimone. Councilperson Donald Amell was excused due to illness.
A quorum of the Board was in attendance.


Highway Superintendent Douglas Snickles, Water Superintendent Jeffrey Cotter, Wastewater Superintendent Stanley Ingison, and Town Clerk Barbara Darrah. The position of Code Enforcement Officer is vacant.


David Denninger, Mary Ann Denninger, Sandy Hayes, William Latham, Karl Law, Sheridan Swinyer, and Susan Willette.

Notice was posted regarding the date of this meeting.

Supervisor Montroy called the Meeting to order at 6:30 p.m. and led the Pledge of Allegiance. Following the Pledge of Allegiance, Supervisor Montroy asked all present for a moment of remembrance for the victims of September 11, 2001.

Supervisor Montroy then opened the meeting to the Highway Superintendent.


Highway Superintendent Douglas Snickles presented the following report to the Board:

Town of St. Armand Highway Report for the September 11, 2018 Meeting

    1. All mowing is done except Franklin Falls hill.
    2. Helped Stan find manhole on River Road.
    3. Helped other towns (Harrietstown and Brighton) with their paving.
    4. Plow blades are ordered for the winter.
    5. Met with County engineer on Moody Pond water issue. We are installing a bigger culvert.
    6. Did some road patching up by the Bloomingdale school.
    7. Worked with the NYS Highway Dept. on Route 3 milling. We received the millings to use on dirt roads.
    8. We started stock piling sand for winter. Harrietstown is helping us.
    9. Cut falling tree at cemetery on Route 3 and chipped in the back yard of the Town Garage.
    10. Cleaning up back yard at H/W garage for winter.

Highway Superintendent Snickles reported on the memorial price for a 12 inch by 6 inch black granite stone would be $200 and the same size in bronze would be $550. Supervisor Montroy suggested getting with Plattsburgh to see if they have any leftover granite pieces from stairs that could be used as a base for the smaller stone to be placed.


Water Superintendent Jeffrey Cotter presented the following report to the Board:

Town of St. Armand Water Report for September 11, 2018 Board Meeting

    1. Well #5 Tripped Off Line - On 8/14/18, well #5 tripped off line after only pumping 18,500 gallons for the day. Normal pump rate is currently 46,000 gallons per day. I investigated and found two blown 30 amp fuses for the pump. I replaced the two fuses and tested the amperage on each electrical leg. I found 18 amps on each leg and that is normal amperage for this pump. Hard to pinpoint the cause of the blown fuses with current normal amperage. The pump has ran with no further issues to date. Will continue to monitor closely. I also checked the flow rate coming from well #5 and it was 75 GPM which is normal for this pump and well.
    2. Water on to 35 Main St. - On 8/16/18, I met with Snickles Plumbing to turn on the water to 35 Main St. The lines froze up last winter bursting the copper lines. A new shut off valve was installed in the basement by the plumbers and I turned on the water with no issues.
    3. Annual Disinfection Byproduct Sampling - On 8/21/18, I collected and submitted disinfection byproduct samples from the last fire hydrant on the River Rd. and the Town Hall. Samples were sent to Life Science Lab. These samples must be submitted each August which is typically the hottest month of the year.
    4. Chlorine Pump Problems - On 8/22/18 I noticed that the chlorine pump was building up a lot of air bubble and was not pumping well. I rebuilt the pump by installing a new diaphragm and head and check valves.
    5. 1693 NYS Rt 3 – grey apartment building water on - On 8/22/18, I met with the new owner of the apartment building at 1693 NYS Rt 3 to turn on his water service. He paid Barb in full for a previous bill. I had to repair the damaged way box and then turned on the water to the building. The meter in the basement had a cracked freeze plate. I found a used freeze plate at the pump house and installed it on the meter. Checked for leaks and there were none. Water service remains on.
    6. Dig Safe Ticket - On 8/27/18, I marked the water main line location and Tedfords water service on Main St. for a Dig Safe ticket for National Grid. They are replacing two utility poles by the school and installing a new transformer.
    7. Purchased and Installed a new Chlorine Pump - On 8/30/18, I purchased and installed a new chlorine pump at the pump house. The rebuild kit did not work and a new pump had to be installed. Typically, these pumps last approximately 2 years before wearing out and the old pump was over two years old. The new pump is working normally.
    8. 834 St. Regis Repaired Reader - On 9/6/18, I obtained a meter reading at Barb's request at 834 St. Regis Ave. The owner repaired his meter.
    9. Fire Hydrant Flushing - I plan on conducting annual fire hydrant flushing later this month. We will post a sign at the fire house to inform customers about potential cloudy water.


The Code Enforcement Officer position is vacant and there was no written report submitted. Supervisor Dean Montroy reported the temporary Code Enforcement Officer is Paul Blaine, Town of Franklin and Town of Brighton Code Enforcement Officer and Planning and Zoning Board of the Village of Saranac Lake. Supervisor Montroy explained Mr. Blaine’s pay would be based on the fully certified Code Enforcement Officer annual salary of $9,000, broken down by the bi-weekly amount for the time he fills the temporary position.

Guest Sandy Hayes asked if the Town of St. Armand paid for the training of the previous Code Enforcement Officer to date? Supervisor Montroy replied that the Town has paid for the training thus far and there was one more session to complete in October before he was fully certified. Supervisor Montroy stated he had received several phone calls from residents who had submitted building applications and had not heard back from the previous Code Enforcement Officer. Councilperson D. Joseph Bates asked if there were a way to speak with the previous Code Enforcement Officer to find out why he resigned and if there were a way to remedy the situation so he would remain. Supervisor Montroy stated the Board could go into Executive Session at the end of the Regular meeting to discuss the situation.


Wastewater Superintendent Stanley Ingison presented the following report:

Town of St. Armand Wastewater Department Summary for the September 11, 2018 meeting

    1) Did daily collections, testing and recorded data.
    2) Did daily checks of all systems at the PTB and WWTP and recorded the data.
    3) Wrote up the DEC monthly operating report and the discharge monitoring report and submitted them digitally.
    4) Did weekly generator checks.
    5) Did weekly greasing of the paddle wheel drive and clarifier drives.
    6) Did the weekly flexing of all the aeration diffusers.
    7) Joe from Core Climate Systems did come to look at the methane sensor in the pre-treatment building the middle of last month and re-calibrated it and it has been working fine since. Last week the oxygen sensor in the pre-treatment building gave a warning that it hadn’t been calibrated for the configured calibration interval and that calibration was necessary due to that or a change of sensor type. We had recently replaced the sensor but with the exact same sensor type and we had also recalibrated it. I have set up an appointment with Joe at 7:00 am on Friday to check into it as neither possibility should exist.
    8) The pre-treatment system generator battery was below specifications at our last inspection and Kinsley Power sent us a quote to replace the battery for $388.76 but said we could do it ourselves if we wished. I purchased a battery from NAPA for $122.60 and installed it. I continue to work with them to get both generators programmed to test run loaded once a month.
    9) I have reported a number of times that the blower room vent has never run without tripping off or sticking on its whole life and several of the engineers and construction people had tried to correct whatever was wrong but hadn’t succeeded. I hired John Schwartz (our local electrician) and he got it working correctly very quickly by replacing the heater unit with the correct one along with adjusting the full load motor current properly.
    10) I marked all of our man holes, storm drains and water valves along Route 3 so the road work could be done without damaging or paving over any of them.
    11) We ordered a 4-foot diameter, 3-foot-high concrete riser for man hole # 33 but needed to pull the cap to verify the connection type. So we ended up covering it with a steel plate and fencing it off again. The riser should be delivered on Thursday and the highway department will assist with installation if necessary. Saranac Lake was generous enough to lend us their chain lift to use if we need to lift and set the riser and cap back on the man hole base units. Then the highway department will re-fill and grade the area back to its previous levels around the man hole.
    12) I have been working on the DEC collection system inspection and maintenance requirements for this year but am behind schedule as locating man hole 33 has taken so much effort and now raising it to grade is taking just as much time again. Also we will not be able to do all the work asked for, while adhering to the confined space entry rules as we don’t have enough time left to set up all the training, equipment and personnel to get it done before the weather closes in.
    13) Todd Hodgson of Essex County DPW did come and work with me all day Saturday of Labor Day Weekend. We pulled lift pump #3 out of the wet well and installed the new light weight ball in the flushing unit of the pump, adjusted its run time and put it into service after running tests and adjusting run times. It now seems to be working correctly for the first time. We also got the grit pump system back up and operating properly and re-set the electronics so hopefully the same problem will not occur again. Along with that I finished building and installing a new valve key in the lagoon outlet wet well so that we could properly calibrate the flow meters; which we did but now I think that something is wrong with the transducer as the readings are far away from hand flow tests and the first meter readings. We need to work on that now and Todd will try and come back next week.
    14) I am continuing work on insulating the lagoon effluent wet well and building a protective cover for it. It has been getting waylaid by the above necessary repairs but I did get the key finished and installed as it was necessary for the flow meter calibrations.

Councilperson Samuel Grimone repeated Stanley Ingison’s report on “the blower room never running right since its inception” and asked, “Is there anyone else frustrated with this situation”? He commented on the repeat issues being brought to light a year ago and even three years ago, and suggested that the next time we need an engineering service we should seek other companies. Wastewater Superintendent Ingison defended the current engineering company, stating it was not one of their engineers (referring to item 9 on his September report), but it was one of their people.

Supervisor Montroy stated he was supposed to meet with AES this morning, but they called to reschedule for Tuesday, September 18. He stated he would bring up the Board’s frustration with these continual problems. He continued by saying the motor wasn’t the right motor, the float wasn’t the right float and the engineering company is the one who ordered the specs for the pump. The pump was sent back to the manufacturing company who in turn said it wasn’t working and they sent it back to us in the same condition and it is working the same.

Wastewater Superintendent Stanley Ingison stated the portable gas sensor used to monitor the air in manholes or confined spaces was originally purchased by Reznick at the time. Right at the end of construction, Stanley went to use it and the oxygen sensor said it needed to be recalibrated. Stanley sent it to the company recently, and they contacted him to inform him the sensor meter is obsolete and was when it was purchased at the time. They stated he would need a new meter which costs $180.00. Supervisor Montroy stated he would remind AES that we need to know why these issues are ongoing and that we have more grant projects in the future where we will need engineering services.


Councilperson D. Joseph Bates, who moved its adoption, offered the following Resolution:

WHEREAS, there currently exists a 35 mile per hour speed limit on the River Road beginning directly off of Route 3 and ending at 56 River Road, the location of the Town’s Wastewater Pump Station, and

WHEREAS, the speed limit after 56 River Road currently changes to 45 miles per hour and the residents living beyond this point have cited several accidents occurring when vehicles maneuver the corner where the guardrails are located, as the road approaches the Moose Pond Lane entrance, and

WHEREAS, the residents in this area are asking the Town Board to continue the 35 miles per hour speed limit beginning at Route 3 through this corner until reaching the Moose Pond Lane Entrance,

NOW THEREFORE LET IT BE RESOLVED, for the safety of all concerned, the Town Board of the Town of St. Armand supports the extension of the 35 mile per hour speed limit on River Road until the Moose Pond Lane Entrance at which point the speed limit will resume to 55 miles per hour.

Deputy Supervisor Jennifer Fuller seconded this Resolution, and it was adopted by Roll Call vote as follows:

Supervisor Dean Montroy AYE
Deputy Supervisor Jennifer Fuller AYE
Councilperson Donald Amell ABSENT
Councilperson D. Joseph Bates AYE
Councilperson Samuel Grimone AYE

DATED: September 11, 2018 Barbara J. Darrah St. Armand Town Clerk


The payment abstracts for September 2018 were presented for the Board’s approval as follows:

General Vouchers # 225 - # 250 in the amount of $ 11,589.12
B Fund Vouchers # 29 - # 32 in the amount of $ 370.30
Trust and Agency Voucher Fund Voucher # 6 in the amount of $ 2.50
Highway Vouchers # 137 - # 152 in the amount of $ 9,352.76
Highway Outside Vouchers # 10 in the amount of $ 2,216.45
Water and Sewer Vouchers # 124 - # 142 in the amount of $ 4,717.18

Deputy Supervisor Jennifer Fuller made the motion to approve payment of this month’s bills; the motion was seconded by Councilperson D. Joseph Bates. A Roll Call Vote was as follows:

Supervisor Dean Montroy AYE
Deputy Supervisor Jennifer Fuller AYE
Councilperson Donald Amell ABSENT
Councilperson D. Joseph Bates AYE
Councilperson Samuel Grimone AYE

All approved. Motion carried.

DATED: September 11, 2018 Barbara J. Darrah St. Armand Town Clerk


Supervisor Montroy presented the Supervisor’s Monthly Report for August 2018 to the Board. Deputy Supervisor Jennifer Fuller made the Motion to accept the Supervisor’s Monthly Report. The Motion was seconded by Councilperson D. Joseph Bates. All in favor. Motion carried.


Councilperson D. Joseph Bates made the Motion to approve the Regular Board Meeting Minutes of August 14, 2018. The Motion was seconded by Deputy Supervisor Jennifer Fuller. All in favor. Motion carried.


Town Clerk Barbara Darrah gave the following report for the month of August 2018:

Spayed/Neutered Dog Licenses: 2 spayed and 7 neutered Dog Licenses for a total of: $ 63.00
1 unneutered Dog License for a total of: $ 14.00

Total Revenue Earned: $77.00
Paid to Supervisor: $165.00
Paid to NYS Agriculture & Markets: $12.00


Water & Sewer Clerk Barbara Darrah reported the Water & Sewer Receivables due for all accounts is $11,202.075. Over 60 days is $2962.29 and Over 30 days is $8239.89. All balances were due on August 20, and late fees were applied August 21st. There were 81 customers owing balances.

Supervisor Montroy asked the Board if they want to continue the practice of distributing Door Knockers and shutting the water off on customers with delinquent accounts. Councilperson Samuel Grimone responded by stating the Town has a policy regarding these practices and we need to follow the policy. The remainder of the Board agreed.


Three of the guests attending this meeting were present for the purpose of following up on complaints filed with the Town regarding a residence on Moose Pond Lane. Guest Mary Ann Denninger began by reporting the issue has gone on for several years and reported to over five Code Enforcement Officers of this Town during that time frame. Guest David Denninger reported that as you enter Moose Pond Lane one sees a truck loaded with junk in it and it is meant to be an intentional eye sore. Mary Ann Denninger stated that a large mound of dirt has now been put at the end of her driveway and there is a truck parked on what she believes to be Town property. She asked if it was Town property and is it on the Town’s right of way? And if so, can’t the Town move the truck? She continued to say this is only the tip of the iceberg. Several neighbors are upset by this property but are afraid for their safety if they say anything. Ms. Denninger reported a few years back when the matter was brought before the Board when Joyce Morency was Supervisor, that Joyce stated she was not going to do anything because the 3 A’s were involved: Ammunition, Anger and Alcohol.

Supervisor Montroy reported that the Code Enforcement Officer and the Health Officer had visited the property, and the Health Officer’s report stated there were no health violations at this time. Supervisor Montroy also reported the Code Enforcement Officer had resigned and his report had not been completed. He then reported that although Ray Scollin is the Town’s Health Officer, the Nuisance Law is not enforced by the Health Officer, only Health issues that are a public health hazard are enforced by the Health Officer. The Town Board would have to hire a Constable for enforcement. The Code Enforcement Officer can write a letter, but cannot “enforce” the nuisance law, he only “enforces” the building codes.

Guest Sheridan Swinyer commented that the Nuisance Law is arbitrary. It needs to clearly state the criteria, for example, it has to state a violation is more than two unregistered vehicles, more than a ten-foot high pile of trash, etc. He continued to say anyone can file a criminal complaint. The person needs to swear out a complaint citing it is a violation of the New York State Building Code. The complaint would have more teeth by a violation of the Building Code rather than a violation under the Nuisance Law.

Guest William Latham stated if the Town hires an attorney, they can make the violator pay the fees.

Supervisor Montroy stated the Town Board has to sit down and make a determination to name who is going to be our Health Officer in the Nuisance Law.

Guest Mary Ann Denninger stated she is talking for the neighborhood that they are going to pursue this issue and not let it fade away.

Guest Susan Willette asked why the meeting minutes are not on the Town’s website. Town Clerk Barbara Darrah replied that the meeting minutes are kept on the website. Susan Willette stated she looked and July’s and August’s minutes were not there. Town Clerk Darrah explained that the current minutes are not approved until the next month’s meeting and as an example, August’s meeting minutes were approved at tonight’s meeting and therefore will be on the website in a matter of a week or two. Town Clerk Darrah also reported that she knows July’s minutes are currently being worked on, explaining the person who loads the minutes onto the website only works one day a week and this task takes time. Ms. Willette was satisfied with this response, stating she understood.

Supervisor Montroy announced the October Budget Meeting dates are agreed upon as follows: Wednesdays, October 3, October 10, October 17 and October 24 if needed, beginning at 6:30 pm.

The Board discussed placing the purchases of Gasoline, Diesel Fuel, Heating Fuel and Propane out to bid. Supervisor Montroy stated he would get a sample bid announcement from the County this coming Monday for the Town Clerk to do a Public Notice. The bids received would then be decided upon at the Regular Board meeting scheduled for Tuesday, October 9, 2018 at 6:00 pm.

Supervisor Montroy reported on the AT&T Tower request, asking the Board if they wanted to go forward. AT&T’s proposal is $1,000 per month and they wanted a commitment from the Town’s Attorney. They will do the work of obtaining a seeker with the APA. Verizon pay $1200 per month and a 3% increase every 3 years. The agreement was in 2011 and has three 5-year agreements. Councilperson Samuel Grimone asked if we have a current signed lease with Verizon or are we due to sign one. Supervisor Montroy had Matt Norfolk, Town Attorney, look at the lease to make sure. The Board approved moving ahead with the agreement with AT&T. Supervisor Montroy stated he would call Sarah, the AT&T representative.

Supervisor Montroy reported on the proceedings regarding the Monroe Gladd property, stating the District Attorneys are state prosecutors. Matt Norfolk is prosecuting in the Town of North Elba. The set date for this meeting is September 25th.

Supervisor Montroy mentioned Ralf Hartmann could not be present at the meeting again tonight, but from August’s meeting he was seeking to eliminate motorized boats and jet-skis from Moose Pond. Supervisor Montroy spoke with Robert Daley at the NYS Department of Conservation regarding this matter who stated the Town cannot impose any restrictions on Moose Pond because it is State-owned, but would forward the request to Region 5 Director Steckman.

Supervisor Montroy announced the Town of St. Armand is named a Clean Energy Community and has been approved for $50,000.00 funding to improved energy conservation. Street lighting will cost $35,000 to replace current bulbs with LED bulbs. The Town needs to determine if they want to own the street lights or lease them from National Grid. We are still waiting to hear on our final cost analysis from National Grid. We then have 90 days to respond with a plan of what we are doing with the approved funds. One example of the plan is how will we change the lightbulbs; put aside funds from savings or hire it out.

Guest William Latham quoted Resolution 36 of 2015 regarding obtaining a copy of the Sewer Ordinance and the 2015 Water and Sewer Rules and Regulations, at no cost to Water and Sewer Customers of the Town. He asked why he had to pay for the cost of these documents which totaled over 60 pages when the Resolution says “At no cost”. Town Clerk Barbara Darrah explained to Mr. Latham that this issue was addressed in the August 14, 2018 Regular Board meeting and a copy of both documents were mailed to him at no cost. Mr. Latham argued that he obtained the copy in his hand from the County and asked if the Town Clerk mailed the documents certified. Mr. Latham then continued to ask the Board why he was told had to pay for them. The Board assured Mr. Latham that we were in error in July when he first requested the documents, but the copies were made and mailed to Mr. Latham. Mr. Latham brought the same matter to the August 14, 2018 Board meeting, reading Resolution 36 of 2015 stating copies of the Ordinance and Regulations are to be given at no cost to the Water and Sewer customer upon request and then Supervisor Montroy told Mr. Latham if the Resolution read as such, then the Town would follow that.


A discussion of Special Meetings needing to be scheduled in October in addition to the Budget Work Sessions took place. One Special Meeting needing a Public Hearing is for the Introduction of the Tax Cap Override for 2019. This Hearing is scheduled for Wednesday, October 10, 2018 at 6:00 pm. The second Special Meeting needing a Public Hearing is for the Water and Sewer Regulations to include charging half the Water and Sewer Debt Service Fees for vacant lots with road frontage along the water and sewer lines. This Special Meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, October 17, 2018 at 6:00 pm.


Supervisor Montroy asked those present if there were any questions:

Guest Sandy Hayes reported he spoke with Nicole Gardner at the Overlook Senior Housing Complex about holding the Senior Lunch Program there. Ms. Gardner took Sandy around to the two kitchens, one in Building 3 and one in one of the smaller buildings. The problem she saw was the smaller buildings were owned by HUD and the large building was owned by the state. She would need to seek permission from one of those agencies in order to consider hosting the County’s Senior Lunch Program. Supervisor Montroy reported speaking with Robert from Essex County ACAP program, stating the nutrition site would need to handle 10-12 people. Sandy Hayes felt the site would be more utilized if it was hosted at the Overlook and then the Town Hall kitchen could be converted into two offices. Supervisor Montroy stated there is grant money from the Judicial Funds available to redo the Judge’s chamber and courtroom. Town Clerk Barbara Darrah mentioned that there is also the Over 55 group that uses the Town Hall kitchen for their potluck dinner held on one Friday night per month. Supervisor Montroy stated he would speak with Shirley Oneil regarding the use of the kitchen and if the Overlook could be used for that as well.

Supervisor Montroy stated he met with the NYS Parks and Recreation representative about designating the Town Hall as an Historical Site. He stated the representative was amazed how much of the original building was still in tact and reported Betty Little’s office would commit $100,000 for renovations to our Town Hall if it is designated as an Historical Site.

The Board determined it was not necessary to go into Executive Session to discuss the Code Enforcement Officer vacancy, citing it was not an employee issue because the person was no longer employed. Councilperson D. Joseph Bates asked Supervisor Montroy if it would be worth a try to speak to the person who resigned to find out what caused him to resign. Councilperson Sam Grimone asked if Supervisor Montroy could say what the previous CEO was upset about. Supervisor Montroy commented he was upset about the pay, stating he was not paid enough for the hours he was putting in, and asking what his hours were. Supervisor Montroy explained that there are no set hours, the job is salary. Supervisor Montroy stated he reminded the previous CEO that once he was completely certified, his salary would increase to $9,000 per year. The previous CEO then wanted a job description stating he was never given one. Supervisor Montroy replied he would get him a job description, however the CEO handed in his letter of resignation the following day.

Councilperson Bates stated once the time frame to respond to the Help Wanted ad has expired, the Board would consider speaking with the previous CEO to hear his concerns and possible solutions.

One issue that Supervisor Montroy brought to the Board was the refund of a Building Permit fine sanctioned by the previous Code Enforcement Officer for a building permit that had taken over 3 weeks to issue. The owners had submitted the application with a $300 check, but began work without a permit because they had not gotten any responses to their application after three weeks had passed and were then fined $150 by the CEO. The Board asked if a complete application was received? Supervisor Montroy stated it was. The Board approved a refund of the $150 fine.


Councilperson Samuel Grimone made the Motion to adjourn the Regular Board Meeting. The motion was seconded by Councilperson D. Joseph Bates. All in favor. Motion carried. The Regular Board Meeting adjourned at 8:39 pm.

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

Dated: September 11, 2018 Barbara J. Darrah St. Armand Town Clerk

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