Whitehall Town Board passes more than a dozen resolutions at organizational meeting

B y Lee Tugas

The Whitehall Town Board recently passed more than a dozen resolutions during its organizational meeting last week.

Councilmen David Hollister and John Rozell were sworn in by new Town Justice Bob Putorti. Hollister was appointed deputy supervisor and given the authority to write checks for the town in Armstrong’s absence so that no unwanted interest would accrue on the town’s municipal obligations.

Board members agreed that vendors should submit bills to the town at each month’s end so that bills can be promptly paid at the board’s regular meetings, the second Wednesday of each month.

Carol Senecal was appointed town historian, Elaine S. Jones as deputy clerk and Certified Public Accountant Joel Carpentier as town budget officer.

The board resolved that now and in the future it would keep its basic hourly wage for employees at 25-cents above minimum, and set the standard work day at 6 to 8 hours, for purposes of the New York State Retirement System.

Voting at municipal center

The board resolved that elections would be held in the future at the combined town-village municipal center, where its organizational meeting was held. “The Whitehall Times” was named the town’s “newspaper of record,” but Clerk Millet said other publications would also be used to meet deadlines for legal notices.

The board resolved to keep the fee for a bounced check at $20. But new Town Attorney Erika Sellar Ryan advised that, “Once someone bounces a check with the town, they should not be able to pay again with a check.”

The board noted that with John Rozell coming on board as councilman, there was a vacancy on the Assessment Board of Review that needed to be filled and that the town would have to post notice of the vacancy.

The board set the mileage reimbursement rate for town employees at the “Internal Revenue Service rate of 56.5 cents,” Armstrong said.

The board resolved all employees must complete any “in-service” training required by their jobs, and that salary would be withheld for town officials who did not submit, as required, his or her monthly report.

Highway Superintendent Louis Pratt reported to the board that the highway department had $152,508 for repairs and blacktopping, the latter funded primarily through the state CHIPS program.

The board retained its two-year-old code of ethics policy, modeled after the state policy, which must be signed by all town employees. Millet was retained as records retention officer. She reported that town taxes were coming in on schedule. Any uncollected tax bills will be sent to Washington County since it, not the town, has the authority to fore-close on delinquent properties.

Regular meeting

In its regular meeting, Heritage Director Carol Greenough reported that clear but heavy plastic covers were being installed on displays in Skenesborough Museum, and that a Burlington, Vt., man had expressed interest in purchasing the former Pippo’s Hardware building on Main Street.

“It’s on the Historic Register,” Greenough said.

Greenough further reported that the Lower Adirondack Regional Arts Council had firmly pledged financial support for Whitehall’s Music in the Park series in the summer.

“Last year, we had to wait until May to learn if we would get the money. Now, we have been told the money is set and could be increased by $200,” Greenough said.

Acting on a report from Recreation Director Julie Egan, the board authorized her to charge a child expenses for breaking a table at the town recreation center.

Supervisor Armstrong assured the board members that both the town and village courts would be working in their new quarters in the municipal building in March. He added that at a forthcoming meeting, Shelter Planning would make a presentation.

Lastly, Highway Superintendent Louis Pratt reported that the municipal building, formerly the Skenesborough Fire House, had suffered minor damage from a water leak on a back wall caused by a back up of roof ice.

“There was very little damage,” Pratt said, “only a gallon of water.” He added that the problem could be corrected with installation of proper steel flashing.

The next meeting of the Town Board will be at 7 p.m. on Wednesday, Feb. 12.

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