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 19, 2017 6:30 PM

These Meeting Minutes were approved on October 10, 2017.

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


Town Supervisor Charles Whitson, Jr., Deputy Supervisor D. Joseph Bates, Councilperson Donald Amell, Councilperson Jennifer Fuller, and Councilperson Dean Montroy.
A quorum of the Board was in attendance.


Deputy Highway Superintendent Douglas Snickles, Water Superintendent Jeff Cotter, Code Enforcement Officer Robert Hammond, Wastewater Superintendent Stanley Ingison, Town Clerk Barbara Darrah, and Town Historian Davina Winemiller.


Roger Oliver, Highway Superintendent, due to health issues.


Jennifer Weeks and Greg Swart, Representatives from AES Northeast. Sandy Hayes, Devin James, and Jeffrey Tedford were also in attendance.

This meeting was rescheduled from September 9th, due to the Republican Primary held on that date. Notice was posted regarding the date of this meeting.

Supervisor Whitson called the Meeting to order at 6:30 p.m.

Supervisor Charles Whitson led the Pledge of Allegiance.

A checklist regarding issues with the Wastewater Treatment Plant was distributed to the Board members and AES Northeast representatives for discussion. From the list, Jennifer Weeks explained the infrastructure of the pump in the Treatment Plant and subsequent functions of the system and how they are supposed to operate. The first flood occurred once during construction of the plant and the contractor made good that repair. When the second flood occurred, Stan Ingison caught it before there was damage to equipment and was repaired by Aqualogics. One issue as to why the flooding alarm system did not work properly in June during the power surge was that all controls are designed to trip just as a house panel box would. In the Treatment Plant, everything tripped at the same time, and it is designed not to have automatic restart in order to avoid burn-out and an unsafe environment (such as explosive gasses). The system relies on the automatic dialer to call-out to first, second, and third contacts, but the power surge caused the third phone number to be scrambled so that person was not notified. Jen Weeks reiterated the importance of Stan checking the SCADA system prior to him responding to the pump room, because the motors are not submersible, therefore if a flood occurs, the gas sensors cannot detect dangerous gasses. Jen Weeks also stated the floats in the pumps used to be mercury based and were very reliable. However, mercury is no longer allowed, which means the floats need to be checked on a monthly basis.

Councilperson Donald Amell asked how much of the issues were growing pains and how much would indicate needed training for Stan? A second question was how much is automatic mode verses “float mode”? Jennifer Weeks explained that everything should always be set in Automatic mode. Once the transducer flips, back up is automatically switched to float mode and has to be manually put back to “automatic” mode. The alarm system has the most reliable dialer but the call-out scrambled Charles Whitson’s phone number. She suggested additional phone numbers be added to the call-out list because the storage in the treatment building only lasts 15 minutes before flooding occurs which means someone must respond to the building within 15 minutes. Councilperson Amell replied, “So in general, the problem was not responding soon enough and needing more back-up contact numbers added. She suggested there should be at least four numbers and maybe two board members and her own. She lives an hour away but she could get in touch with someone closer.

Councilperson Dean Montroy asked, “How many times has the grit pump been damaged due to flooding? Stan Ingison replied that one grit pump survived the first flood. Jen Weeks and Greg Swart agreed that the grit pump motors can be raised, but to raise the motors is a non-standard set-up and the company will void the warranty. Our town’s warranty is already over. Grit pump motors are not submersible. Supervisor Whitson stated he discussed the issue with the insurance company and the insurance writer will not cover improvements (to raise the pump), but they will pay for the repair of the pump. Supervisor Whitson also spoke with Todd Hodgson in Essex County on September 18th and is still going to move forward with building a platform to stabilize and mount the motor.

Councilperson Donald Amell asked AES to address other issues at this point, such as the electrical panel face and the blower room vent switch. Robert Hammond asked the AES reps, “Are these issues that the contactors are refusing to repair or disagree that it is in the contract?” Robert also asked if the electrical inspector signed off on it? The issue of channel leaks in the process room was also brought up, with the point that the contractor did try to do resealing, but it is still leaking. Jennifer replied it is supposed to be a sealed structure. The contractor came back three times to repair, but now the contractor is no longer in business. The bonds were released and it is now past the warranty period. Greg Swart stated there is additional grant money for the next phase and some of the site issues and items can be added and addressed.

AES representatives then addressed the issue of responsiveness to the Town of St. Armand requests. Greg Swart explained that Todd Hodgson left AES and took a job with Essex County. Greg stated he tries to be responsive and explained we didn’t have the greatest contractors in the world, going out of business, etc., stating a lot of the issues we list are “contractor issues” and he is trying to continue to help out in resolving those issues. Jennifer Weeks added the plant is functioning as it should although some of the listed items are frustrating. She continued by saying she and Greg are our trouble-shooters and either email or call them and they will come to any board meetings anytime. They live where they work and they want issues to be resolved satisfactorily.


Deputy Highway Superintendent Douglas Snickles reported that Roger Oliver was looking into the pricing on a Kubota tractor and would be presenting the information at the budget discussions in October. Roger had reported the trade-in value will be $15,000 on the current tractor and we can keep most of the attachments except for the mower. Roger was working on getting the prices on a new plow truck, as well. Douglas reported that all the sand has been put up for the year and all paving projects are completed. The new set of bleachers for the youth field arrived and the highway crew will move them to the field, assemble and secure them into the ground. Douglas also reported the 2009 pick-up needs a new windshield in order to pass inspection and is due for inspection in October. He stated the pick-up is definitely worth a windshield. He added the Mack plow truck needs a front blade. The wing was purchased last year. The one-ton is going to need tires before winter as the current tires are shot. Douglas also reported that the price of salt went down from $94.00 to $90.00 currently.


Water Superintendent Jeff Cotter presented the following written report to the Board:

Town of St. Armand Water Report for the Month of 9/19/17 Meeting

    1. Completed Water Conference Training - On 8/9/17, I completed water conference training at Wanakena, NY. This training applies toward training contact hours to maintain my water treatment certification.
    2. 12 River Road Curb Stop Broken - On 8/10/17, I spoke with Mr. Abendroth of 12 River Road about his curb stop. He had a plumber look at his curb stop and it could not be repaired. He plans on installing a new curb stop in the future.
    3. Located and Marked Water Lines - On 8/14/17, I located water lines at 43 Prospect per Charlie's request and a Dig Safe ticket.
    4. Cassavaugh Reader Problem - On 8/14/17, I spoke with Mr. Cassavaugh at 18 Cassavaugh Way about continuing issues he has been having with his meter reader needing constant reprogramming. He located a broken wire short in his reader wiring. I reprogrammed his reader and it appears to be working normally now.
    5. 43 Roosevelt Meter Reading - On 8/15/17, I read the meter and provided Barb with the reading following a flood in the basement of the residence.
    6. 5 Blue Spruce Way Reading - On 8/17/17, I provided Barb with a meter reading at 5 Blue Spruce Way following a reprogramming of the reader.
    7. Submitted Disinfection Byproduct Samples to Lab - On 8/28/17, I drew water samples from the last fire hydrant on the River Rd. and the Town Hall to test for disinfection byproducts. This test is required once per year during the month of August.
    8. Nitrate Sample - On 8/28/17, I submitted a Nitrate sample for testing to Life Science Lab. This test is required once per year.
    9. Test Ran Both Generators - No issues to report.
    10. Applied For IIB Water Certification - On 9/7/17, I applied for a IIB water treatment certification per direction from the Saranac Lake Health Department. The Town of St. Armand now serves over 1000 customers and a Grade IIB certification is required. Barb and Charlie composed a "letter of verification of employment" and I submitted my application to the Health Department.
    11. Lead and Copper Test Results Are In ! I received copies of our 3 year Lead and Copper Testing from 10 resident locations in Bloomingdale. All 10 residences that were sampled recorded lead levels far below the New York State Department of Health's "Action Level" of 0.015 mg/l for lead content. Therefore, we will continue on a 3 year sampling plan for lead and cooper and will be required to submit 10 samples rather than 20 and no additional water treatment techniques to contain the lead in the pipes is required.
    12. Coliform Samples - I collected and sent out 3 Coliform samples for the month. All 3 came back negative.
    13. Flushing Fire Hydrants This Month - I will be flushing fire hydrants this month and will order a thrust nut to repair the fire hydrant on Union St.
    14. Wet Tap Service On School St. - I have been communicating with Matt Bordeau to coordinate a wet tap for his new service connection on School St. Matt's contractor has been out of town and he will notify me when his contractor is available so I can provide the wet tap.
    15. Water Service Shutoffs For Discussion - I have received no additional orders to shut off water services to customers who are not paying their water bills.


CEO Robert Hammond presented the following report to the Board:

Status Report for the Month of August 2017

Applications Received: 6
Permit Application Conferences: 1
Notices of Incomplete Applications: 0
Building Permits Issued: 6
Building Permits Pending Due to Payment: 0
Fees Collected: $325.00
Fees Pending: $0.00
Site Inspections: 14
Field Visits: 13
Notice(s) for Fire Safety / Property Maintenance Inspection(s): 4
Violation Letter(s): 1 (Certified), 0 (Non-Certified)
Notice and Order(s): 0 (Non-Certified), 0 (Certified)
Stop Work Order(s): 1
Appearance Tickets: 0
Certificate of Occupancy/Completion: 0
Temporary Certificate of Occupancy/Completion: 0
Record Search: 1 (FOIL)

August Highlights:

Enforcement Action

• 15-SA-14 / 17-SA-024: Gladd, Monroe - 10 School St. - Enforcement Action
o Returned call from Mr. Gladd regarding Notice of Incomplete Application.
o Recommend discussion of a Placard as per the Fire Code with the Town’s Attorney: “ Structure Unfit for Human Occupancy. A structure is unfit for human occupancy whenever the structure is unsafe, unlawful, or because of the degree to which the structure is in disrepair or lacks maintenance or the location of the structure constitutes a hazard to the occupants of the structure or to the public.”

• 17-SA-01PM: Dennin, Greg (aka: Absolute Repair, 1653 NYS Route 3) - Enforcement Action
o 31 August 2017 re-inspection completed and the property continues to be in non-compliance.
o Informed tenant, Mr. Bombard, how the enforcement action would continue.
o Notice and Order shall be sent this month (September).

• 16-SA-034: Kasson, Joy & Matt - 1225 State Rte. 3 – Enforcement Action
o Notice of Violations sent for three (3) items.
o Homeowner responsive, one (1) item resolved.
o Homeowner has notified this Office that she is in communications with the AG’s Office to assist with mitigation of issues with Contractor.

• 17-SA-006PM: Swirsky, Ian, 44 Main Street,– Enforcement Action
o Violation of the Property Maintenance Code: §308.2.2 Refrigerators
o A Refrigerator was found discarded without first removing the doors. (Temporary action taken)
o Property was issued a Notice of Violation.
o Violation corrected within two (2) days.

• 17-SA-002: Kanze, Edward & Debbie / Witt, Scott, 80 Moose Lane, (Housing Assistance Program of Essex County) – Enforcement Action
o Undisclosed unpermitted Work.
o Met with Kanze’s and HAPEC.
o Received Application for unpermitted work.
o Issued Notice of Incomplete Application.
o Met with Town Supervisor, Mr. Witt and HAPEC. (September)
o Sent Notice of Incomplete Application to Kanze’s. (September)

New Building Permits and Applications

• 17-SA-022 (Preliminary): Pallack, Justin – 645 State Rte. 3 – Multiple Family Dwelling – Alterations Level II
o Second Pre-Application Meeting with building’s new Owner.
 Discussed Options which involved two occupancies.
 Discussed work that could be permitted.
o Sent email to Department of State requesting opinion.

• 17-SA-027: Montroy, Dean - 1709 NYS State Rte. 3 – Re-Roofing
o New Permit
o No activity in August.

• 17-SA-028: Montroy, Dean / Hogan, Pat - 21 Mt. Pisgh Road – Re-Roofing
o New Permit.
o Work started and completed in August.

• 17-SA-029: Anthos, Edward - 16 Maple Lane – New Porch / Deck
o New Permit.
o No activity in August.

• 17-SA-030: Moody, Cameron - 28 Roosevelt Lane – New Porch / Deck
o New Permit.
o Footers, framing, decking and railing completed.
o Stair railings remaining for Final Inspection.

• 17-SA-031: Coleman, Ronald - 3 Roosevelt Lane – Siding Replacement
o New Permit.
o Work started and completed in August.

• 17-SA-032: Dufee, Evan/Moziak, Mike - 13 Mt. Pisgah Road – Re-Roofing
o New Permit.
o No work in August.

• 16-SA-043: Tyler & Diane Chase, 39 Prospect – Alterations – Level II
o Final Inspection completed
o Certificate of Occupancy to be issued.

• 17-SA-014: Reyell, Kurt – 232 Trudeau Road – Deck Project
o Work stalled and deck being used.
o Notice of Non-Compliance to be issued to protect Town.

• 17-SA-015: Boyle, Kenneth – 794 St Regis Ave. – Alteration – Level II
o Final inspection of interior work complete.
o Applicant wants to add porch.
o Scope within limits of typical entrance system. Discussed requirements.

• 17-SA-017: Dufee, Evan / Perryman, Donald – 53 Vista Drive – Porch / Deck System
o Final inspection redone.
o Concerns with QA/QC addressed to Owner’s satisfaction.

Robert Hammond discussed the recent FOIL request he received for research into the Bloomin’ Market. The request was forwarded to the Essex County Attorney for review and the Town responded accordingly. Supervisor Whitson stated he would like to speak to the new owners to inform them of the need of installation of a grease pit prior to entry into the sewer system.

Dean Montroy mentioned that there is electric on at the grey apartment building on the corner of Main and Rte 3 and asked Robert if he knew if anyone was doing anything with the building. Robert replied he was not aware of anything or approached.

Robert Hammond stated the town needs to be ready to enforce action against Monroe Gladd. Charles Whitson asked Robert if Bruce Misarski from HAPEC had gotten back with him on the Kanze issue and Robert replied that he had not.


Wastewater Superintendent Stanley Ingison presented the following written report to the Board:

Summary of last month's activities for the September 2017 meeting

1) Recovery from the June power surge is coming to an end after replacing the paddle wheel drive motor which was also found to be fried. We got a replacement motor and while changing that over Todd found that the original had been miss wired. The cause of the failure was the flooding but now the motor is running much cooler than it had been. Now all the equipment is back up and running but we are still working to reconfigure the drive motors to keep them above possible flood levels.

2) I have called AES about the status on getting the blower room outside air vent wired and set up properly but have not heard back about it yet. Walt Grey had come and found areas of miss installation and was going to order parts to fix the problems a while ago.

3) Kevin did come and do a full check of the solar system and got us hooked into the web site to monitor the production levels and check the operational status of the systems.

4) Man hole #35 on the River Road had the cover ring set in place using sand to elevate it above the concrete corbel wall. The sand had been slowly washing into the system and collapsing the frame and cover unevenly. Because of this they couldn’t put risers on for paving jobs and thus paved over the cover. To fix it I had to cut out the pavement, pull the frame ring, remove the remaining sand fill and cement in 4 layers of stone to raise the frame to road level. That man hole is now paved back in place with the road open for use again.

5) The c3 man hole on St. Regis Ave. concrete walls are very broken and the upper ring has a big piece broken out of it so storm water has been running in and eroding the area in front of it away with the pavement starting to break up. I built a metal blocking plate and held it in place by 2 x 4’s and packed concrete into the washed out opening. I will try and patch up the rest of the breaks with hydraulic cement before the weather gets bad.

6) I managed to track down the man that had built the pump removal unit for the water treatment plant building wet well pumps while Bart Crary was the operator. I got him to come over and give me the run down on its use. This will save the town significant money in the future for working on or replacing those pumps in the future.

7) One of the things we need to prepare for in the new budget is the purchase of a battery backup for the Core Climate system. Without this, we have significant time loss and possible equipment failure in resetting the system after each power outage even if it is very short. The cost is estimated around $250 for the battery and installation.

Stan informed that Board that he also has IIB water certification if ever needed.

Councilperson Dean Montroy referred to Item #2 on Stan’s report where it says AES did not get back to him on the blower issue and the blower vent has been an issue for quite some time. Stan explained that the blower vent issue originally handled by Walt Grey, was due to mis-insulation and not wired correctly. He dismantled it and took it with him to get the same matching unit. He emailed Jen Weeks on August 9th and had not heard back. Supervisor Whitson said he will give Jen a call and find out the status on that work.

Guest Devin James asked about the float maintenance and if we were going to have a float maintenance schedule. Stan Ingison stated he needs to get with Jen Weeks on how to check them because it usually takes two people to check the floats, one to lift and one to examine.

Councilperson Don Amell asked if there has ever been formal training for periodic maintenance on items, for example, the floats? Stan replied that supposedly they (AES) are working on a maintenance plan for scheduled periodic maintenance, they pushed for training sessions that didn’t take place. Stan continued that he has asked to be shown how to do things and if there was an operations manual. AES stated it was not in their contract to do so, but Tamara from NYS DEC periodically contacts us and AES for operational books on certain items. At this moment, Supervisor Whitson handed the manuals to Stan, stating AES brought them to this very meeting as they entered the room.


The payment abstracts for September were presented for the Board’s approval as follows: General Vouchers #224 - #261 in the amount of $21,673.27, Trust and Agency Voucher #4 - #5 in the amount of $5.00, Highway Vouchers #175 - #196 in the amount of $60,712.93, Highway Outside Vouchers #6 - #7 in the amount of $32,692.70, Water and Sewer Vouchers #120 - #140 in the amount of $16,780.50, Sewer Project Vouchers #10 - #11 in the amount of $12,764.18 and CDBG Housing Project Voucher #6 in the amount of $106,868.66.

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

Supervisor Charles Whitson, Jr AYE
Deputy Supervisor D. Joseph Bates AYE
Councilperson Donald Amell AYE
Councilperson Jennifer Fuller AYE
Councilperson Dean Montroy AYE

All approved. Motion carried.


Supervisor Whitson presented the Board the Supervisor’s Monthly Report for July and August, 2017 to the Board. Councilperson Donald Amell made the Motion to accept the Supervisor’s Monthly Reports. The Motion was seconded by Deputy Supervisor D. Joseph Bates. All in favor. Motion carried.


Councilperson Jennifer Fuller made the Motion to approve the Regular Meeting Minutes of August 8th, 2017. The Motion was seconded by Deputy Supervisor D. Joseph Bates. All in favor. Motion carried.


Town Clerk Barbara Darrah gave the following report for the month of August 2017:

Spayed/Neutered Dog Licenses: 8 for a total of $56.00
Unspayed/Unneutered Dog Licenses: 0
(6) Certified Copies of Death Certificate for Rebecca Colby: $60.00

Total Revenue Earned: $116.00
Paid to Supervisor: $108.00
Paid to NYS Agriculture & Markets: $8.00


Water & Sewer Clerk Barbara Darrah gave the Water & Sewer Receivables Report of $34,339.57 due for all accounts. Current Age $18,462.38, Over 30 days $7,905.67, and Over 60 days $7971.52. At July’s meeting, a report of all outstanding water and sewer account balances was presented to the Board members. Discussion ensued regarding the customer that had been determined to have his water service locked out and a decision by Supervisor Whitson to allow the individual an additional two weeks to make a substantial payment.

Barbara Darrah reported to the board the final quarter of water and sewer billing would be ending September 30, 2017. Stan Ingison, Meter Reader, will be collecting meter readings and the Water and Sewer bills would go out the first week of October 2017. Customers will be given 30 days to pay their bill and any remaining water and sewer balances after November 10th will be sent to Essex County for 2018 County Tax relevy.


Supervisor Charles Whitson reviewed the upcoming dates for the Town’s Budget Work Sessions as Wednesday, October 4th, Wednesday, October 11th, Wednesday, October 18th and Wednesday, October 25th, all beginning at 6:30 pm. A public notice was published in the Adirondack Daily Enterprise and posted in the Bloomingdale Post Office and on the Bloomingdale Firehouse marquis.

Town Historian Davina Winemiller reported she met with August Simpson to discuss the picture of the Boat Builders building she had purchased the month before. August Simpson said the building was located between the Town Hall and Davina’s house (previously owned by Boyd Hayes). The building was taken down in the early 1900’s. There was a barn that housed the Bloomingdale Fire Department pumper on two wheels towed by horses. Davina stated she was going to do a video recording with August including pictures. Dean Montroy mentioned another source for older pictures of Bloomingdale would be Art Niederbuhl, Sr.

Supervisor Whitson reported that he contacted Matt Norfolk, one of our Town’s attorney regarding the BOCES Annex issue and he will look into the matter.


Supervisor Whitson presented a discussion to the board regarding the proposal of a local law for a Tax Cap Override for the 2018 Town Budget. A Public meeting will be scheduled on Wednesday, October 18th 2017 at 6:30 pm for the passing of this Resolution.


Deputy Supervisor D. Joseph Bates made the Motion to adjourn the Regular Board Meeting. The Motion was seconded by Councilperson Don Amell. The Regular Board Meeting adjourned at 8:47 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 19, 2017 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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