Getting ready for his slideshow presentation, Don Filkins lists the many defects in the town’s buildings.
Don Filkins uncovered blemishes great and small in many of Johnsburg’s town buildings, and hosted a slideshow at the Sept. 20 town meeting to magnify the pockmarked paint and sagging siding.
Town board member Gene Arsenault said, “It’s disappointing and embarrassing to see our town buildings in this condition.”
A retired contractor with 40 years of experience, Filkins said talks with Town Supervisor Sterling Goodspeed encouraged him to do a thorough check of the buildings the town owns, and bring a report to the board.
Unhappy with the condition of the buildings, Filkins said, “If you’re going to complain, you’ve got to step up to the plate.”
Most of the maintenance that needs doing on these buildings is the sort of thing most people do around the house, said Filkins, like fresh paint for structures exposed to the elements or a disinfectant scrubbing for mold- and moss-covered walls.
The Tannery Pond Community Center has a section overgrown with ivy. Once the ivy gets onto a structure, said Filkins, it can work its way into crevices and allow moisture deep into a building’s outer wall.
Most of the fixes are simple, said Filkins, but the town’s garage needs floor drains and the senior meal site’s roof is rusting and in need of repair.
Busted baseboard heaters, cracked windows, loose handrails and the like make up the majority of needed fixes.
The board passed a motion for Goodspeed to start talking about repairs and maintenance with Filkins and begin prioritizing projects.
The town needs to figure out exactly how much is in the contingency budget before they commit to anything, but Goodspeed said there are many immediate, cost-effective fixes that are low or no cost and can be taken care of soon.
In other business, Goodspeed said he’s been struggling with the town budget.
“It’s a work in progress, and right now it’s not going particularly well,” he said.
Accommodating the new tax cap is exacerbating problems with an increased cost for health insurance, workers’ compensation and retirement benefits.
He’s having an especially hard time allocating resources among the many requests for funding he’s received.
“If I did everything everybody wanted, there would be a 40 percent tax increase,” he said. Joking, he added, “That would solve a lot of problems because we (the town board) would all be dead.”
The town is getting closer to getting funding from their insurance agency to rebuild the transfer station and replace the compacter.
The Occupancy Tax Committee is taking applications for funding from the tax for projects and businesses that attract tourism to the town. Applications are available at the Warren County website.
The board passed a resolution asking the Department of Transportation to perform a safety review of the Route 28 intersection near the Adirondack Tri-County Nursing Home and Rehabilitation Center.
Goodspeed said he’s had calls from center Director Hal Payne, and is aware of two accidents over the last few weeks.
From the audience, Gore Regional Chamber of Commerce President Dave Bulmer said he was cut off by a senior driving a power chair at the intersection.
Board member Ron Vanselow suggested extending the 45 mile per hour zone to slow down motorists, and Goodspeed said that might be part of the DOT’s recommendations.
Goodspeed noted that the hardware store won’t be selling trash stickers anymore. After trash service was privatized, demand for the stickers dropped. The hardware store will sell out its remaining inventory and stop stocking them.