Lake George Park Commission

Meeting #334

28 June 2005

Canoe Island Lodge

Diamond Point, NY

PRESIDING:                Bruce E. Young, Chair

                        Joan A. Robertson
                        Margaret M. Stewart
                        John C. McDonald, Jr.
                        Roger H. Phinney
                        Shauna M. DeSantis
                        John Pettica, Jr.
                        Thomas K. Conerty
                        (Denise Sheehan, DEC Commissioner)
                        Stuart Buchanan, representing

COMMISSION STAFF PRESENT:    Michael P. White, Executive Director
                        Lt. Joseph H. Schneider, Director Law Enforcement
                        Keith Fish, Operation’s Director
                        Roger Smith, Conservation Operations Supervisor I    
                        Molly Gallagher, Environmental Analyst I
                        J. Thomas Wardell, Senior Sanitary Engineer
                        Michelle Way, Keyboard Specialist I

Mary Alice Leary                Chris Navitsky        David Cedertron
John Caffry                    Walt Lender            Kathy Bozony
Michael J. O’Connor            Tony Hall            Barry Gipstein
Leone Gipstein                

Item #1 - Introductions, Roll Call, Minutes of Meeting

The 334th meeting of the Lake George Park Commission was called to order by Chairman Young at 10:00 a.m. and the roll was taken.  

Mr. Young said that the minutes of the previous meeting were distributed in advance of this meeting to Commission members for their review.  He asked if there were any corrections or additions.

Upon the motion of Maggie Stewart, seconded by Tom Conerty, all Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve the minutes of Meeting #333 as submitted.
Item #2 - Project Review - Public Comments on Pending Applications:  
          Maggie Stewart
Molly Gallagher read a prepared statement (attached) on Project Review procedures and noted that two of the applications on the agenda have been postponed.

Class A Marina submitted by Barry & Leone Gipstein, Town of Bolton, County of Warren – #5220-45-04

Maggie Stewart introduced the first project.  She said that the project is located in the Town of Bolton, County of Warren.

Molly Gallagher said that this is an application submitted by Barry and Leone Gipstein to obtain a permit for a Class A Marina.  She said that the Gipstein’s have 153 feet of lake frontage and they are looking to operate a marina offering berthing spaces for up to three vessels.

Chairman Young asked if there was anyone here to speak for the project.

Mr. O’Connor, from the law firm of Little & O’Connor spoke on behalf of the applicant.  Mr. O’Connor said that his clients, Barry & Leone Gipstein would like to obtain a permit to operate a Class A Marina.  Mr. O’Connor said they would offer berthing spaces for up to three vessels in addition to Mr. Gipstein’s sailboat.  He said that the dock has been used at the same intensity for many years.

Mr. O’Connor said that he does not believe there is an issue with the docks because they are pre-existing.  He said that he is not sure that the mooring is conforming but his client is willing to bring it into compliance for use by a 26' sailboat owned by Juniper Hills resident, Mr. Donahue.

Mr. O’Connor said there have been some objections to this project from the neighbors to the south because they are in a small cove.  Mr. O’Connor said this is not correct and that Molly Gallagher had provided him with some aerial photos.  The photos show that this property is on the main part of the lake.  He believes that this project should not present a problem.

Mr. O’Connor brought up another issue, the capacity of the septic system.  Mr. O’Connor said that he was told the septic system was built for the equivalent of five bedrooms or a four-bedroom house and bungalow.

Mr. O’Connor said that there is another issue that was raised a covenant in Mr. Gipstein’s deed restricting use of the septic system. He said it is their position that people other than the occupants of the house can use the septic system.

Mr. O’Connor said that this would not be a public marina.  He said they would not offer any additional services other than being able to dock the boat there and allow the boat owners to use the bathroom facilities.  He said that if they are not allowed to use the facilities in the house then they are willing to get a port-a-potty for the use of the customers.

Bruce Young asked if any of the Commissioners had a question for Mr. O’Connor or Mr. Gipstein.

John Pettica referred to and asked about a picture that was included with the application.  He asked where Mr. Gipstein’s sailboat is in relation to the mooring.  

John Caffry, speaking on behalf of the Jacobi Point Owners Group, said that the Jacobi Point Owners are a family owned corporation with approximately sixteen members.  

Mr. Caffry said he believes there is going to be a safety hazard and a crowding hazard, particularly to the south side of the dock if this application is approved.

Mr. Caffry brought up some other concerns of the Jacobi Point Owners Group that included discussion about the location of the Gipstein’s mooring, the use of the septic system, angle of the docks, and the use of the dock.

Roger Phinney asked Mr. Caffry how many boats are located at the Jacobi Point Owners Group and how they access the dock.

Mr. Caffry said he is not sure that the Jacobi Point Owners Group own a powerboat, he said at the most they only have one small powerboat.

Mr. Bartlett asked Mr. Caffry about the language in the easement.  A discussion followed among the Commission members and Mr. O’Connor about the use of the septic system.

Mr. Caffry said he believes that Mr. O’Connor is misreading the language in the easement.  He said that the easement definitely doesn’t allow use by any other people or by commercial use.

A further discussion followed.  Thereafter their were no additional public comments on the application and the public comment period was closed.

Moment of Silence - Honorable Ronald Stafford

Chairman Young requested that a moment of silence be taken by the Commission and the public to honor the late Senator Ronald Stafford.

Item #3 - Fiscal Actions Reports:  Peggy Stevens

Chairman Young said that the report was sent out to all Commission members.  Mr. Young asked if there were any questions on the Fiscal Actions Report.  There was no response.

Tom Conerty moved to approve the Fiscal Actions Report for the month of May 2005 which was seconded by Maggie Stewart.  All Commission members present voted affirmatively to approve the Fiscal Actions Report.

Item #4 – Project Review Resolutions

Resolution 2005-40 Project Review Report

Joan Robertson read and moved to accept Resolution 2005-40 which directs that the Project Review Report be incorporated in full in the minutes of the full Commission meeting.  The motion was seconded by Maggie Stewart and all members voted affirmatively.

The Chair explained that there are usually two resolutions for each project, one to approve and one to deny.  The reading of one does not necessarily mean that will be the resolution voted upon, he said.

Resolution 2005-41 – Barry & Leone Gipstein

Commission members were individually polled on this application and were in agreement that there are still too many outstanding issues to vote on this application today.

Maggie Stewart said that due to the increase in taxes this year more and more mini marinas are going to be popping up.  She said she would like to see the Gipstein’s come back with another plan with only one boat at the dock and one boat at the mooring.

Maggie also said that there would be congestion and safety concerns if this project were approved.  She said she is not in favor of this project.  She said she did not want to approve berthing space on the south side of the dock.

Joan Robertson also agreed with Maggie.  She said she believes that if the application is approved it will cause congestion and safety concerns.

Mr. Bartlett said that it seems clear to him that with all the discussion going on that we cannot vote on the project at this time.  Mr. Bartlett recommends tabling the application to the July meeting.

Maggie Stewart made a motion to table the Gipstein application until the July 2005 Commission meeting and set a deadline 10 days prior to the meeting for the submission of additional information.  The motion was seconded by Joan Robertson, all Commission members present voting affirmatively.

Item #5 – Law Enforcement: Thomas K. Conerty

Mr. Conerty said that there was a Law Enforcement Committee meeting this a.m. and called upon Lt. Schneider for his report.

Lt. Schneider said that In-service training is going on now for Marine Patrol Officers.  He said we are having repeater problems again on Black Mountain.  He hopes to have that back up by the Fourth of July weekend.

Lt. Schneider said that he hopes to have the new Marine Inspectors out by this weekend.

Lt. Schneider said that there was an Executive Session where on-going enforcement cases were discussed.

Thomas Conerty read and moved to approve Resolution 2005-44 which accepts the report of the Law Enforcement Committee.  The motion was seconded by John McDonald, all Commission members voting affirmatively.


WHEREAS    the Law Enforcement Committee met June 28, 2005 to review matters pertaining to the Lake George Park Commission’s Marine Patrol and the Commission's Law Enforcement Program, and

WHEREAS    active Law Enforcement cases and their status were reviewed in Executive Session, and

WHEREAS    the Law Enforcement Committee has reported on the results of that committee meeting at this full Commission meeting, and

WHEREAS    the Law Enforcement Committee recommends acceptance of this month's Law Enforcement Report.


        that the Commission accepts the report of the Law Enforcement Committee.

Item #6 – Aquatic Plant Management: Michael P. White

Joan Robertson read and moved to approve Resolution 2005-45 that allows the Lake George Park Commission to update the Eurasian Watermilfoil Management Plan.  The resolution was seconded by Maggie Stewart, all Commission members voted affirmatively.

Resolution 2005-45

WHEREAS    the Lake George Park Commission Is established by Article 43 of the Environmental Conservation Law to provide a means for people who visit and reside at Lake George to preserve, protect and enhance the unique natural and scenic resources of the Lake George Park, and

WHEREAS    the Commission has entered into a memorandum of understanding with the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (1986) to convey to the Commission, specific authority for the management of nuisance aquatic plants including Eurasian watermilfoil, and

WHEREAS    to fulfill its mission to preserve the lake and to undertake effective aquatic plant control under the aforementioned delegation, the Commission has obtained requisite permits, allocated funds, and retained contractors for hand harvesting, suction harvesting, and matting of Eurasian watermilfoil, and
WHEREAS    the current Eurasian watermilfoil management plan was prepared in 1996-97 and the program would benefit from an update of the information contained in the plan.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED the Commission authorizes an expenditure of up to $5,000, to update the Eurasian watermilfoil management plan and authorizes the Executive Director to retain appropriate contractual services to implement the Commission’s desire in this regard.

Item #7 – Acceptance of legal counsel for the Commission: Michael White

Tom Conerty read and moved to approve Resolution 2005-46 which was seconded by Joan Robertson, all Commission members voted affirmatively.

RESOLUTION 2005 - 46

WHEREAS    the Commission retains legal counsel under a contractual arrangement based upon an evaluation of competitive proposals, and

WHEREAS    the term of the current two year agreement expires on September 30, 2005, and

WHEREAS    the Commission prepared a Request for Proposals which was distributed to a number of area law firms and notice of which was published in the New York State Contract Reporter, and

WHEREAS    four proposals were received in response to the RFP and were reviewed by the Ad Hoc Committee on June 17, 2005 in accordance with the methodology set forth in the RFP, and

WHEREAS    the firm of Bartlett, Pontiff, Stewart and Rhodes received the highest rating by the Ad Hoc Committee and the Committee has forwarded its recommendation to the Commission.

NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED that the Commission accepts the proposal of Bartlett, Pontiff, Stewart and Rhodes to provide legal services to the Commission for the period October 1, 2005 to September 30, 2007, and

BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED that the Chair is authorized to execute a contract with the firm to provide legal services at the hourly rates specified in the proposal for a maximum of $51,000 per year and $102,000 for the two year term of the agreement and is also authorized to take such other steps in his judgement are reasonable and necessary to implement the agreement.

Dick Bartlett wanted to mention to the Commission that it has been an honor for him to represent and work with the Commission.

Item #8 - Water Quality Programs Report:  J. Thomas Wardell

Tom Wardell discussed a handful of enforcement cases.  Mr. Wardell discussed some of the problems that occurred because of the onset of rain that started on June 13, 2005.  He said that from June 9 - 17 we received about 10 - 15 inches of rainfall.  Tom Wardell also discussed some of the zoning ordinances for the Village of Lake George.

Lake George Village recently under went some revision’s recently, Commission staff have reviewed the zoning provisions as they relate to the Commission approved local stormwater regulatory program and found that there were no substantive changes affecting stormwater.

Lake Level

Mr. Wardell reported that the lake level at Rogers Rock is 4.17.   He said that the level of the lake is decreasing, about an inch a day.

Item #9 - Public Comments

Lake George Association

Walt Lender, Executive Director for the Lake George Association introduced a new employee, Kathy Bazony who will be the new Land Use Management Coordinator.

Mr. Lender also said that he commends the Lake George Park Commission for their thoroughness and the dynamics between the Commission members.

The Fund

Chris Navitsky for the Fund spoke of the recent storms in June 2005.  He said he walked  the streets of Bolton and did an assessment for the Town to get an idea of the damage caused by these storms.

Chris Navitsky said that New Vermont Road in Bolton Landing was severely washed out.  He said that the bridge has shifted about ten feet.  He said the damage represents a good reason to get the Stream Corridor Buffer regulations in place as quick as possible.

Item #10 - Adjournment

There being no further business, on the motion of Joan Robertson, seconded by Roger Phinney, all Commission members present voting affirmatively, the meeting was adjourned at 11:45 a.m.

                        Respectively submitted,

                        Michelle Way
                        Keyboard Specialist

Secretary’s Note:    The next Commission meeting is scheduled for TUESDAY, JULY 26, 2005, 10:00 a.m. at the HAGUE TOWN HALL, Route 8, Hague, NY.