Please join us for this free 7-part webinar series. Click 2020 virtual conference schedule to register.
The Constable Hall Association and the Tug Hill Commission hosted the first of four webinars in a series called “The Constable Chronicles.” The webinar, titled The Construction, Renovation and Restoration of the Hall, was narrated by Martha Constable Murray, a direct descendant of William Constable Jr., the builder of Constable Hall. In case you missed it, the video can be found here on the Commission’s YouTube Channel. Watch for more information about upcoming webinars in this series!
Commission staff continue to field many questions from towns and villages related to COVID-19. Please see our new Frequently Asked Questions document to help answer those questions, at tughill.org/covid-19/. Have more questions? Send us an email or give us a call!
Commission planning director Matt Johnson will deliver a training session entitled “Evaluating and Amending Your Zoning Law” on Tuesday, September 29 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the Lowville Town Hall, 5535 Botswick Street, Lowville 13367. This presentation will explore reasons you may want or need to update your zoning law and cover the statutory process for doing so. Is your law lacking standards for newer land uses? Is it out of sync with your comprehensive plan? Are parts of it ‘un-enforceable’? We will discuss these and other issues. We will also detail the proper procedure for adoption in regard to public hearings, SEQR compliance, and county planning review. Register at us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_iZnAZ4fQSsaWyzLnP2bE4A.
Attorneys Jim Burrows and Dave Geurtsen from Conboy Law Firm will be presenting “ZBA Basics” on Thursday, October 1 from 7 p.m. to 9 p.m. at the West Carthage Community Room, 61 High Street, West Carthage, NY 13619. The course will increase understanding of the powers and duties of the zoning board of appeals, basic zoning concepts and functions, and statutory requirements that zoning boards of appeals must consider before granting use and area variances. Register at us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_E-w57N3JTCe5olrMcQDmBA.
In-person attendance for both sessions will be limited to the first 23 registrants, and all attendees will be required to socially distance, wear a mask, and answer questions about health and travel. Hand sanitizer will be available, and no walk-ins will be allowed. The training session will also be viewable live via Zoom. When registering, please pay special attention to the question regarding how you plan to attend.
How to Enhance Transparency in Planning Proceedings
Webinar June 23, 4 pm
Public confidence in government is low. Local leaders must find opportunities to bring the public “under the tent” as it relates to planning decisions. Simply “checking the boxes” in terms of open meetings requirements is not enough to ensure that the public understands projects and their potential impact. This session will examine best practices and inexpensive (or free) tools to ensure the public understands the impact of proposed projects and your thought process in arriving at a final decision. Please register in advance for this webinar at https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_998O8LDGQ3WQgBkvq6odxg.
SPEAKER: Matt Horn, ICMA-CM, Director of Municipal Services at the MRB Group, www.mrbgroup.com. Matt is a former city manager with a strong background in infrastructure planning, strategic development, and community engagement. He has extensive experience in municipal budgeting and finance, collaborative service delivery, comprehensive planning, downtown revitalization and economic development. His municipal consulting background includes internal process auditing, public relations assistance and guidance, and development of local government management capacity, as well as long-term strategic planning for community growth.
Justice Court Solutions for Small Towns and Villages Webinar Thursday, June 18, 2020 10:30 am to Noon
Register in advance: https://us02web.zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_BHgunBP3RAqC5M4x6kpvhQ
There are multiple options available to municipalities for shared services in the justice courts, some of which require home rule legislation and action by the State Legislature and some which require no home rule legislation and local action only. This session will provide details on these options and share several real-life Tug Hill examples. The commission’s issue paper on the topic is good background material, available at www.tughill.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/Justice-Court-Consolidation-Solutions-Final.pdf.
SPEAKER: Angie Kimball, Cooperative Tug Hill Council Circuit Rider, NYS Tug Hill Commission.
Angie has served as a commission circuit rider since 2012. Prior to her work at the commission, Angie served as a town justice for Redfield for several years. She has presented on the topic at the NYS Department of State Local Government Innovation Conference and at the Rockefeller Institute for Government’s annual local government forum.
The commission is gathering resources and answers to frequently asked questions regarding the current pandemic. Please click here for more information.
The Accelerated Renewable Energy Growth and Community Benefits Act (Act) was finalized in the 2020-21 state budget adopted last week. The Act became effective immediately and sunsets December 31, 2030. Below are bullet points with some highlights of the Act. The full text of the new law is here: NYS 2020-21 Budget PART JJJ.
- Amends Public Service Law to exclude renewable energy from Article 10
- Projects in Article 10 (even at draft Public Involvement Program stage) can shift to new process if they are greater than 20 MW
- Creates the Office of Renewable Energy Siting (Office) in the Department of State to oversee new process
- Renewable energy projects greater than 25 MW and co-located storage can go through
- Uniform standards and conditions for siting design, construction and operation must be set within one year. Four public hearing will be held to gather public input.
- Applications submitted to Office must show proof of consultation with municipality. Office has 60 days to review and deem complete. If no determination in 60 days, application is deemed complete.
- Within 60 days after application is complete, Office meets with other State agencies and publishes draft permit conditions for 60-day public comment with notification to municipality and public notice.
- Projects must adhere to all local laws unless the law is found to be unreasonably burdensome. Office can override local law if unreasonably burdensome in light of Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act goals & environmental benefits
- $1000/KW for intervenor fees for local governments and community intervenors
- Amends Article 8 of Public Authorities Law to add a new Title 9-B: Clean Energy Resources and Development Program and establishes the program at NYSERDA
- New program includes identifying sites, establishing protocols (including for notification to local government), undertaking work to acquire land control and permits, running a competitive program to transfer projects to private developers, providing community incentives, etc.
- Requires Department of Public Service to complete a power grid study within nine months.
- Authorizes New York Power Authority to build identified bulk power projects identified in the DPS study that are needed to expeditiously achieve CLCPA targets.
- Public Service Commission will commence a proceeding to determine utility bill discounts or other benefits for residents of clean energy project host communities.
- Public Service Commission must complete Article 7 (transmission) reviews within 12 months of complete application.
- Amends Environmental Conservation Law to authorize DEC to use funds to implement and Endangered and Threatened Species Mitigation Plan.
- Removes the requirement that municipalities consult with NYSERDA on PILOTs made in the initial proposal
The new Tug Hill Recreation Guide is printed and available, created by a partnership among the 1000 Islands International Tourism Council, Lewis County Chamber of Commerce, Oswego County Tourism, Oneida County Tourism, Tug Hill Commission and Tug Hill Tomorrow Land Trust. The 64-page, full color guide features communities across the region and over 25 full page trail maps for non-motorized recreation on and around Tug Hill.
Copies are available from all of the aforementioned organizations