Archives for November 2013


The Constable Town Board plans to apply for a $240,000 Housing and Urban Development grant to rehabilitate some local homes.
The board will be contracting with Friends of the North Country, a non-profit group based in Keeseville, to both apply for and administer the grant.
Since it has been learned that there will be a better chance of getting the funding if the application is for something less than the maximum of $400,000, Constable will apply for $240,000 in funding instead of the maximum.
Applications are either approved for the asked amount or denied in an all or nothing situation.
The town board is specifically seeking a Community Development Block Grant to help low-income residents make home repairs.
Funds are awarded on a first-come, first-served basis.
Town board members this week, voted unanimously to allow Friends of the North Country to submit their application in the hope that applying before the Dec. 20 deadline would improve their chances of receiving the grant.


There was no public comment on Essex County’s proposed 2014 budget at a public hearing on it Monday night.
The proposed budget includes a 15 percent hike in the tax levy, which would require an override of the state’s tax cap.
Out of only a small handful of people who came to the hearing, one person signed up to speak during the comment session. But when he was called on, the man said all his questions had already been answered.
The budget as presented, would begin a five-year plan to reduce the tax levy to a manageable 2 percent.
In 2015, the levy would increase by 10 percent, the following year it would increase by 8 percent, then 5, then it would be down to 2.
The board plans to hold another public hearing at 9:15 a.m. Monday, Dec. 2, on whether to override the tax cap. Then the board plans to hold a budget workshop with the full board at 9 a.m. Wednesday, Dec. 4.
Supervisors have to adopt a final budget before Dec. 20.


The town of Chateaugay will be getting almost $200,000 over the next two years to pay for clearing Franklin County roads in the winter.
Ed Histed reports…

The increase is 2 percent above what the town got for doing it this year.
The Chateaugay town board approved the Franklin County Snow and Ice Agreement on Monday. The agreement will provide the town close to $198,000 for the next two years.
The agreement specifies that the Chateaugay Town Highway Department will be responsible for not only plowing and salting town roads, but for plowing and salting county roads inside the town as well.
The contract will begin Jan. 1, 2014.


Police are revealing more information about a woman arrested for murder in Saranac Lake. 29-year-old Angela Ball apparently called police to report a possible assault Monday morning, at least a couple of hours after Ward Wilbur was killed. Franklin County DA Derek Champagne said Wilber had “catastrophic injuries.” Police seized a baseball bat and a knife from Ball’s apartment as well as some marijuana plants and pot growing equipment. Champagne wouldn’t say if drugs or alcohol played a role in the murder. Ball remains in jail without bond on second-degree murder charges. A preliminary hearing is set for Friday.


The red brick building at 16 Elm Sreet in Malone, the same building where the village board meets, will soon have a new owner.
Kevin Nichols, a Malone attorney, decided to purchase the property, which is currently owned by the village of Malone.
Nichols said a closing date has not been set yet, but when finalized, he plans to have his law office there. He added that he also will allow St. Joseph’s Addiction Treatment and Recovery Center to continue to rent space there. Other parts of the building may be renovated and turned into rental space.
The building has been up for sale since June 2012 when the village declared it a surplus property. It was originally put on the market with a list price of $250,000. That price however, was dropped to $125,000 in January to match the selling prices of comparable properties in the area.
Following the sale closing, the village has an agreement to hold village board meetings at North Country Community College.


Well now, this is interesting..
An American real estate company has done a fictional listing for 24 Sussex Drive.
A national brokerage firm based in Canada says the home of Canada’s Prime Minister is worth $7.2 million and would require a mortgage of about $28,000 a month.
The company, Movoto, does legitimate work for publications such as Forbes Magazine and others, but its fake listings are gaining in popularity. Previous fictional listings have included Wayne Manor in Gotham City, Superman’s fortress, Sesame Street and The White House.


Now, some are saying that Toronto Mayor Rob Ford may have just outlasted his crack cocaine smoking scandal.
Three weeks after admitting to smoking crack, he still wasn’t showing any sign of calling it quits or clearing the air around the controversy.
Ford arrived at City Hall Tuesday just before 1 p.m. and ignored questions that came from an ever shrinking group of reporters as he walked into his office.
Back on Nov. 5, Ford was under fire just a few days after Toronto Police Chief Bill Blair confirmed investigators had uncovered a video of the mayor in which he was smoking crack. The discovery of that video came after months of Ford denying allegations a video existed of him smoking crack.

Meteor May Have Hit Border

Did you hear a blast last night around 8 o’clock? It may have been a meteor. Residents from West Montreal to Cornwall and the North Country saw a blue flash of light that lasted a couple of seconds followed by a loud boom. Experts with the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada say those are the “hallmarks” of a meteor blast. The meteor could have been anywhere from the size of a living room sofa to the size of a car, according to a spokesman. So far, there have been no reports of damage or injuries and no official confirmation.


The Malone Town Board, at least for now, has tabled any decision on having solar panels installed on town property.
Now, a decision will have to wait until at least the board’s next meeting in mid-December.
The town board held a meeting Monday to discuss the two bids received for the project, one from a company in Queensbury and another from a company based in Plattsburgh.
Both projected annual savings on the town’s energy bills.
One proposal has lease fees associated with the solar equipment, while the other one does not. Those lease fees were a sticking point.
At least one councilman expressed concern that the lease fees could exceed the savings on the town’s energy bills from the solar project, as the Malone area has only around 2,000 hours of sunlight a year out of a total of 8,760 hours total, or roughly less than 25 percent of the total possible time for energy generation.
The town’s next meeting in which the project will be further discussed is scheduled for 6 p.m. on Dec. 18.


Plans continue in the Malone Central School District, with plans to build a new shared transportation facility with the town and for the demolision of the former North Country Community College campus.
The district issued a news release Monday saying that while the Federal Aviation Administration did not turn down the district’s idea to build the new facility near the current town garage near the Airport, the school district’s Business Administrator said buying the land would be expensive.
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In a news release, the district said Monday in an effort to ensure a cost effective project, Malone CSD is reviewing other potential sites for its relocated garage and will continue to work with the Town of Malone in the joint venture.
90 percent of the cost is covered under state aid; the remaining balance would be the responsibility of taxpayers.
The talks will continue between the town and the school district. Shared garage talks have been ongoing since fall 2012.