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Hilltowns Archives —The Altamont Enterprise, June 12, 2008

Knox to ratify contract with ECS

By Tyler Schuling

KNOX — Tomorrow, Knox will enter into a 30-year agreement with Enterprise Consulting Solutions to be the site manager of a cellular tower to be built this fall on Street Road. 

The contract will be signed by Michael Hammond, the town’s supervisor, and Scott Carroll, the president of ECS. 

The agreement stipulates that the town lease an 80-by-80 foot tract on Street Road that is owned by the town to the consulting company.  ECS will oversee the construction of a monopole and also market the tower to cellular providers. 

Knox will see 53 percent of all fees collected by ECS within 30 days after they are paid.  This includes fees ECS collects from cellular companies that rent space on the tower. 

The Slingerlands-based company recently erected a 150-foot tall monopole in the nearby town of New Scotland. 

Throughout the past year, Knox has considered raising a 195-foot-tall tower.  Hammond has been a proponent of the tower and the income it will generate for the town. 

Robert Price, the chairman of the town’s planning board, continually warned the board of Federal Aviation Administration requirements, which stipulate more stringent standards for towers above 200 feet.  Price has also been a proponent of erecting the tower at Street Road, though six of the seven members of the town’s planning board raised concerns after analyzing the site.

On Monday, a representative with ECS said there’s a lot to be done with the federal government, engineers, and paperwork, and he estimated the earliest the tower would be up in the air is late October to early November. 

Town hall renovation

The town is working on financing to update and expand its town hall. 

Earlier this year, Knox passed a resolution that the project not exceed $1,375,000.  Two weeks ago, Hammond and Councilwoman Patricia Gage met with the United States Department of Agriculture Rural Development of Johnstown.  Knox has been invited to apply to the USDA, Hammond said, and one of the requirements of the application is to see whether banks can match the federal funding.  Hammond had been to KeyBank in Altamont on Tuesday. 

Last month, Hammond attended a conference on bookkeeping for capital projects at the Gideon Putnam in Saratoga Springs.

On his advice, all four members of the town board who were present voted to create a checking account for the town hall project.  In 1996, when it had considered renovating the hall, the town set up a “type” fund, not a “specific” fund, said Hammond. 

The town board voted unanimously to transfer $393,000 of the town’s $393,799.48 from the building capital reserve fund to the new account, subject to permissive referendum. 

Hammond said he had spoken with the town’s insurance company.  He said he will invite Charlie Sacco to the town’s meeting next month. 

Sacco drew up initial plans for the project and, this year, worked with a committee on a new design. 

Other business

In other business, the Knox Town Board:

— Appointed members to the town’s zoning board of appeals.  The town board appointed Dennis Barber to fill the unexpired portion of David Holley’s term and James McDonald to fill the unexpired portion of Robert Simpson’s term. 

Last month, Susan Van Etten Mason was appointed to fill the remainder of Earl Barcomb’s term;

— Further discussed improvements for the town’s transfer station — reconstructing two walls, adding three containers, and rerouting traffic.  The town board voted unanimously to authorize Gary Salisbury, Knox’s highway superintendent, to develop specifications and to acquire estimates; and

— Appointed Councilwoman Mary Ellen Nagengast as the town’s youth director.  Councilman Dennis Decker, who did not attend the meeting, had been the town’s youth director for many years. 

Nagengast said an announcement for a soccer program will be going out to the Berne-Knox-Westerlo schools on Wednesday, June 11.  Jill Norray, she said, is taking over the program from Ed Schmidt.  The soccer program lasts for six weeks in the fall and is open to first through sixth-grade students. 

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