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P.O. Box 182

St. Johnsville, NY 13452



Minutes Archive - 2019



2019: Jan.28 | Mar.04 | Apl.24 | May 18 | Jul.22 | Aug.24 | Oct.15 | Nov.20 | Dec.11







FofSJ Meeting Minutes of December 11, 2019

The meeting was called to order at 2:00 p.m. by President Robert Smith at the Riverside Diner. Present were Robert Smith, Margaret DiGiacomo, Ty Palmer, Ron Hezel, and Jacque Devlin.

Margaret made a motion to accept the minutes with additions; the motion carried.

Financial Report: Bob suggested that Tiny Schuster be made association historian and the treasurer's position be taken by Margaret. This was unanimously agreed upon. Next month we should have an official treasurer's report.


Historic House Plaques: Jacque asked permission to give a deadline to Whitehall with the option to cancel our order if they cannot deliver the physical proof by the end of the year and a firm date (January 31) in writing for the balance of the order. Margaret so moved, and the motion carried.

Tool Library: Bob has painted the tool handles a "lurid" green (protection against loss). Ron suggested we also purchase an engraving tool and writer "Friends of St. Johnsville" on each item. Bob will look into it.

Village Benches: The top boards are finished, and the bottom boards are primed. The gold lettering by Kitty Hajczewski is complete.

Last Night Dinner (December 31, 2019): Margaret has collected several donations of food and cash, as follows:

Vincent Enea - $50

Wal-Mart - $25

Food Co-op - pending merchandise

Kinney's - Hershey's, Saltines, ice, 3 gallons of milk

Evelyn Miles - decorations

JoAnn Scherer - music

Ty Palmer - $200.

We still need records and a record player for square dancing. Bob will approach Big M about meat. Food will be served cafeteria style. We will serve coffee and clear tables.

Tickets are $10 for adults and $5 for children under 6 (eat-in only).

Ty will be keeping the Riverside Diner open that night with a different style music and possibly entertainment. We will advertise together.


Post Fire Assessment: We tabled any planning for a Main Street Summit until March, but will probably begin with a Village/Town-wide survey of public opinions. Results of this survey will be published and will give us an idea of what comes next.

Jacque made a motion to adjourn. The meeting was adjourned at 4:23 p.m. Next meeting: 2:00 P.M., Wednesday, January 22, 2020. Location: TBA

Jacquelin C. Devlin Secretary

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FofSJ Meeting Minutes of November 20, 2019

The meeting was called to order by President Robert Smith at 2:09 P.M. at the home of Jacque Devlin. Present were: Robert and Ina Smith, Jacque Devlin, Marcel Falcon, Margaret DiGiacomo, and Ty Palmer.

Minutes of the previous meeting were approved and accepted as read. (Ml, J2)

The Treasurer's Report was read by Bob. We have a checking account balance of $431.21. While there were no concerns about the accuracy of the report, we continue to look for a format appropriate for corporate use. Bob asked for a motion to not accept the report "as is." Jacque so moved; Marcel seconded and the motion carried unanimously.

Old Business:

Historic House Plaques: Jacque contacted Paul Garibay at Whitehall again. He said the die is being prepared for the proof caste. When that is complete and approved by us, it will take two to three weeks before any will be mailed out. Jacque showed the paper proof (Bob's plaque) to the group. It was judged "very nice." We agreed to increase the price to $90 as of January 1, 2020. PR will be resumed when the first plaque is in hand.

Tool Library:

Bob presented the catalog of tools he created - four copies -- complete with photos of each tool. He suggested we keep one with the tools at the tool library, one at Margaret Reaney library, one at the food pantry, and one at the village office in the Community Center.

The tool library will be open from 9 to 11 A.M. on Friday and Saturday mornings. We will use library sign out cards, if available and a liability waiver will be signed on first check-out. We are still waiting for a banner from Lee Pubs for the building. Our opening is TBA.

Bob's birthday donations came to $340, which will be used to purchased additional tools. Several people present said they still had tools to donate. Bob will approach Palatine Ace Hardware to inquire about a discount for customers as a sponsor of Friends.

Public benches, Main Street:

These are now in the hands of Kitty for routing. The base color is Hamilton Blue.

Last Night Dinner at the Masonic Temple , December 31, 2019:

Margaret and Bob met Bill Farber, who said the following: the hours will be at 4 P.M. to 7 P.M.; we should plan for about 150 people; they will provide two cooks and the Benefit Club will prepare the mashed potatoes. Square dancing may be possible after the dinner if we can find music. We have a caller already.

Margaret said she will announce the dinner at senior citizens and will also be sending out letters asking for food or monetary donations from local businesses. The price is $10 for adults.

Ty said he may open the diner concurrently and provide music for a younger audience.

Other ideas thrown out for the future include sale of hot chestnuts on the street and luminaria. Cathy Bellen and Barbara Sousa at the Legion will help with decorations.

We agreed to schedule our next meeting for December 11 at 2 P.M. at the Masonic Temple for any final arrangements.

New Business:

We discussed Main Street post fire briefly and decided to table until January discussion of plans to meet with all concerned groups to discuss the future of the village and town.

Margaret moved to adjourn the meeting. Bob seconded, and the motion carried unanimously. The meeting was adjourned at 3:38 P.M.

Next meeting: December 11, 2 P.M. at the Riverside Diner, 10 Bridge Street, St. Johnsville

Respectfully submitted: Jacquelin C. Devlin, Secretary

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FofSJ Meeting Minutes of August 24, 2019

In attendance: Robert Smith. ma Smith. Tiny Schuster. Margaret DiGiacomo. and Jacque Devlin.

The meeting was called to order at 1 p.m. by president Robert Smith. at his home. The minutes were read. Tiny made a motion to accept them. Robert seconded. The motion carried.

Treasurer's Report

Because we are officially a non-profit and now have a bank account at NBT. Bob gave a

financial report and turned over the checkbook and figures to Tiny, our treasurer. Income from our Concession Stand night at the Marina: $296.50

Income from incorporation contributions:      $210.00


Bill for Rose Law Firm (filing fees only/no time) $349.26

Margaret made a motion to accept the report. Tiny seconded. The motion carried. Jacque will write a thank note to Mark Rose.


Historic house plaques. Jacque turned in checks for the sale of three house plaques ($180). She suggested we choose one day per month and all spend an hour going door to door on assigned streets to sell plaques. The group agreed to start on Tuesday. August 27. meeting at the Community House at 10 a.m. Bob: Division St.: Tiny: Ann Street: Margaret: Liberty St.. E&W: Jacque: Main Street. Robert will bring the necessary paperwork.

Margaret suggested we put an ad in Country Editor with a picture. information, and a contact number. Jacque will do this.

Marina Concert Refreshment. We agreed to do this (once) each year. Work is minimal, income is fair, and PR is great.

Preservation Tax Credit update: Homeowners and businesses who have obtained financing for improvements:

Larry Gattman for a house on Liberty Street

Michael Mancini (will apply soon) for his new building on Main Street

Robert Smith for him home on Kingsbury Avenue

We have been asked about our possible role in restoring the Central Hotel. Robert said the Village must re-instate the rental registry law before we commit to any financial support or sweat equity.

Tool Lending Library: Robert will house the tools in his carriage house for now. He will sort them, find bins for storage and be "open for business" one day a week until Spring. At that time, we can move to a building owned by Fred Pierce (behind the grocery and behind the alleyway) rent free for Spring and Summer. He rents it during the winter, but is considering changing that. We will plan an “opening event" with ribbon cutting. Jacque will write a note of thanks.

Robert will advertise.


Bank Account: See above

Village Benches: Charlie Straney ok'd our replacement of the benches as suggested by Margaret. Robert will try to get a discounted price on Western Red Cedar. We have permission from Charlie to put F of SJ on each bench.

Springfest 2020: We agreed to tell Jarrod Parsons, who is planning an expanded Springfest, that we will not participate as long as it remains basically unchanged as to date and format. We will suggest he connect the parade to the Fireman's Fair as was done in times past (change of date) and possibly involve children in the summer parks program in float making. If left "as is." it conflicts with the Memorial Day celebration/parade and Mother's Day. It would also optimize chances for good weather.

Next meeting: We established the 4th Wednesday of the month as our regular meeting date. Our next meeting will be September 25th. 2019 at Tiny Schuster's house. Robert encouraged each of us to bring a guest. Perhaps, Tony Susi (retired as Legion Commander. replaced by Tom Elwood) and George  (Tiny's neighbor).

The meeting was adjourned at 1:58 p.m.

Respectfully submitted. Jacquelin C. Devlin. Secretary

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FofSJ Meeting Minutes of May 18, 2019

In attendance: Robert Smith, Ina (Smith), Tiny Schuster, Margaret Di Giacomo, Jacquelin Devlin, and Mary Marcherone.

The meeting began about 2:00 p.m. without being formally called to order. Our guest was Mary Marcherone discussing community action and fund-raising. Minutes of the previous meeting were not read at this time.

Mary had us discuss the positive attributes of St. Johnsville, which we apparently did with enthusiasm. We not only listed physical assets, but - at her prompting -- "events" which we had not done before. "You have sold me on St. Johnsville," she said.

Some of her other suggestions were:

• To consider an antique car show. There is already interest here (antique cars in the Springfest Parade).

• Because the Legion is so active in town, they should be involved in everything we do.

• We should think "valley wide" and plan events in conjunction with other towns, perhaps on the same day.

• We should consider consolidating service clubs.

• Who are our money people? NY Sen. George Amadore ($75,000 to add a new playground to the park and fix the wall)

• Who are the "background" money people? The businesses and wealthier citizens?

 . We cannot be looking for glory or we will fail.

• She was impressed with the Moses Quinby idea and urged the group to support it.

• She gave us a copy of the state's Business Improvement District (BID) information, but said we are already "doing it."

• We should encourage the owners of the vacant buildings to get involved.

 • We should involve children whenever possible.

• We should stay informed of the town calendar of events and not conflict with it.

           • The weekend in June: Rhubarb Festival - Nellis (11 a.m. to 4 p.m.)

           • July 25 - Moses Quinby Day (determined after the meeting)

            • The 3rd or 4th weekend in August - Fireman's Fair

            • She also handed out an Events Planning sheet. See next page.

Bob's Report:

We are just days away from officially becoming a 501c3. Mark wanted to change two or three words in defining our purpose, but the rest was fine. We will soon be able to apply for grants.

Judy King Insurance is allowing us to put a donation box in their office for the collection of tools for our tool lending library.

Jacque said we must begin to sell plaques to keep our quoted price. We should place as large an order as possible to reduce the handling fee, which could be substantial. Bob will create a colored sample with the available colors to show prospective buyers. We should begin immediately.

We ended the meeting at approximately 3:20 p.m.

Next meeting: TBA

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FofSJ Meeting Minutes of April 24th, 2019

In attendance: Robert Smith, Margaret DiGiacomo, Melanie Schuster, Ron Hezel, Jacquelin Devlin, Marcel Falcon, and Lea Gallin.

The meeting was called to order at 2:08 p.m.

Minutes were read. Margarite moved to approve them; Melanie seconded. The motion carried.


It was generally agreed that the Preservation League sessions were quite successful. We drew from a wide geographical area and also picked up three possible orders for house plaques. Bob said several new membership applications have come in the mail since then.

Our corporate tax status application is still in the works with Mark Rose. We will not be billed until it is delivered.

Web page: Answering Jacque's question last meeting about our own page. Ron replied that costs would be substantial. Jacque asked if it would be possible to change the background or otherwise make it more distinguishable from the town page, he noted that if we gave out the complete URL, people would be taken directly to our page. The issue was tabled.

Bob said PR for the tool lending program is ready to go out. It will ask for donations and describe the program. Jacque suggested that it include the terms 'home maintenance" and "lawn care" so that the public doesn't think it applies only to home maintenance items. We will need a simple liability waiver and are still seeking permission for space in the school.

Plaques: Jacque said we have three probable orders as a result of the Preservation League meetings and other random orders, possibly totaling 10. This does not include any we may sign up through Spring Fest. Jacque will call the company and proceed with ordering. We will ask for one set price $80 for all plaques and will have them delivered to us. Before ordering, we will check owners' information regarding dates, etc. against our records.


Spring Fest May 10-12: Bob will provide the tent and tables and try to borrow folding chairs from St. Paul's or House of Bread. Our location is on the grassy area next to St. Paul's Church. Bob has ordered a banner from Lee Pub. On our table: Friends and Membership information, and plaque order materials. Jacque will man the table Friday from 4-8 p.m. Margarite and Bob will take the table on Saturday.

Memorial Day Parade:

Bob will push the Reaney garden cart filled with flowers and gardening tools (tied down). Margaret will hand out membership forms.

Vista Print: We discussed logos and tee shirts again. Possible iconic images: piano, mills, barge station, first light house, RR pickup of water and coal on the fly. Marcel recommended we check with Matthew Ostenfort (regional) for additional information.

Mary Marcherone: Melanie has invited Mary to a meeting on May 18". Mary helps with fundraising and publicity and has worked with some important people in that capacity. This will be an information sharing meeting at no charge to us.

The meeting was adjourned at 3:30 p.m.

Next meeting: June 18. 1 p.m. at Melanie's.

Respectfully submitted, Jacquelin Devlin

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FofSJ Meeting Minutes of March 04, 2019

In attendance: Robert Smith, Melanie Schuster, Margarite DeGiacomo, Jacque Devlin. The meeting was called to order at 1:10 p.m.

Minutes of the January 28, 2019 meeting were approved as read.

Old Business

Webpage update.

Ron Hezel continues to add pictures to the webpage. Jacque suggested that we establish our own, independent page rather than access it through the St. Johnsville page. Bob will check into this with Ron.

Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program

The event is open to the public. We are anticipating about 25 people. We should bring registration slips. Bob will write a press release that will include registration directions. He has also invited Leigh Anne Loucks, regional tax assessor, to the meeting to answer residents' questions about the effect of improvements on their property assessment and taxes. He will be contacting all commercial owners individually to make sure they are aware of the presentation.

Bob will provide coffee and beverages; Jacque, Tiny and Margarite will bring cookies or the like. Bob will check with House of Bread to see if they can provide tablecloths.

The New York Preservation League has recommended that we encourage the town to adopt the New York Real Property Tax Law regarding historic property (see attached). The group decided to hold this suggestion in abeyance for the time being.

Historic House Plagues

Jacque presented a number of plaque options from Whitehall. The group unanimously agreed to accept the Aberdeen option and to allow interested buyers three color options: black/gold, bronze/verdigris, and green/gold. These would all be in the $80 price range for an order of at least 50. Orders of at least 100 would be available closer to $69 each. Exact pricing depends upon the number of lines and number of words selected. Any background labeling that is not personalized (i.e., National Historic Home) would be available at the base price.

The Aberdeen sample and color options will be on display at the meeting and may help us determine the degree of public interest before we proceed with the order.

Jacque said the village has approximately 275 houses built before 1900, although, of course, not all of them would be interested in or appropriate for a plaque.

Tool Lending Library

The Ilion Public Library has a successful Tool Lending project, part of their efforts to encourage residents to fix up their properties. They held a fundraiser, and a hardware store offered discounts in conjunction with the event. Bob said they have not had one incident of participants not returning tools.

Ilion used a one-year liability waiver, which we can copy, or we can have one written specifically for us. Ilion loans are for one week at a time. Their collection includes tools for gardening, painting, drywall installation, as well as general handyman items such as sanders, drills, wrenches, hammers, etc.

Ft. Plain Library told Bob that if our program was successful, they would start one as well.

We floated the idea of a tool-sharpening workshop. It met with general approval.

Bob thought a location in Robbins near the Food Pantry - if available - would put our advertising notices near its most likely users. He also thought we should have a second drop-off location (in addition to his carriage house) for the donation and return of tools. He will check with Bob Failing at the gym to see if he would be interested.


Bob has possession of the Reaney Garden Cart. He will see about entering it in the Memorial Day parade as advertisement for the Friends of St. J.

Bob asked us to consider Friends merchandise (T-shirts, mugs, stationery, etc.) as possible fund-raisers. It was received positively, for future action.

Tiny is collecting the names of local artists in The Factory Group.

Bob wrote an article about the Friends which was published by the Courier-Standard ­Enterprise in the February 1-7, 2019 edition.

Margarite informed us that spring fest is short on help and may be in jeopardy, so our table introducing the town to Friends is also in question.

Jacque said the information kiosk needs redirection and improvement. Although the kiosk is a CC project, there might be ways to suggest possible improvements.

Bob said we could delay our contributions for the 501c3 payment until he has to pay.

Next meeting: Monday, March 18, 2019 at Tiny Schuster's house

Next event: Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program at The House of Bread; 3-5 p.m. for residents and 6-9 pm. for businesses.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:30 p.m.

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FofSJ Meeting Minutes of January 28, 2019

In attendance: Melanie (Tiny) Shuster, Jacque Devlin, ma Smith, Robert Smith, Ron Hezel. October, 2018 meeting notes approved

Old Business: Friends of St. Johnsville webpage. Historical information and photographs was reviewed. Webmaster Ron Hezel will make the data available to the public on our webpage.

Jacque Devlin presented information on possible metal house plaques we could sell to property owners in the historic district. Prices and product from Erie Landmark Company were discussed. We asked Jacque to explore other materials and vendors.

Our historic preservation tax credit program for commercial (3-5PM) and residential (6PM.) properties will take place Wednesday, March 27, at the House of Bread, 14 Park Place, St.

Johnsville. We are asked to provide refreshments.

Robert Smith reported that the had made contact with Mark Rose, an attorney in Little Falls, who has offered to complete and file our articles of incorporation with New York State and obtain our 501c3 tax exempt IRS status at cost, roughly $350. It was the consensus of the group to proceed.

New Business: Appointment of Officers: Pursuant to our corporate filing, Robert Smith was appointed Chair, Jacquline Devlin was appointed Secretary and Melanie Shuster was appointed Treasurer.

A Tool Lending Library was discussed. If there are no liability issues we will begin this service in the spring. Robert Smith has offered his carriage house as a starting location.

We would like a presence at Spring Fest, possibly a tent on the Keyser House lawn. It was the consensus of the group to keep membership free for six months.

The Chair listed the following grantors to whom we may wish to make applications: Saratoga Arts, Nellie & Adam Horn Foundation, Fowler Foundation and the Erie Canal Heritage Corridor Commission.

Next meeting is at Tiny's home, Monday, March 25, 1pm, 28 Ann Street in the village. 

February 25, 2019


Home of Melanie "Tiny" Shuster




January notes:




Webpage Update (Ron Hezel)


Historic House Plaques (Jacque Devlin)


          Historic Preservation Tax Credit Program (Robert Smith)








Real Property Tax Law 444-A


Corporate Tax Exempt Status (Robert Smith)


Tool Lending Library (Robert Smith)


NEW BUSINESS: History of St. Johnsville




Next Meeting




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