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P.O. Box 182

St. Johnsville, NY 13452



Minutes Archive - 2020


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2020: Jan.22 | Feb.26 | Jul.22 | Oct.15 |

Friends of St. Johnsville - Meeting Minutes October 15, 2020

The meeting was called to order at 1:06 P.M. in the garden of Robert and ma Smith. Present were: President Robert Smith, ma Smith, Melanie Shuster, Margaret Di Giacomo, Ron Hezel, and Jacque Devlin.

The minutes of our February meeting (the last meeting held, excluding our annual meeting) were distributed and read. Melanie moved for approval; ma seconded. The motion carried.

Treasurer's Report: Our balance is $1,133.07. Margaret wrote a check for $275 which covers the cost of our application for federal tax exemption and sent it to ma. Jacque made a motion to accept the Treasurer's report; Melanie seconded. The motion carried.


Historic House Plaques: Melanie would like one additional plaque, and Jacque will start a new list, but canvassing for orders is on hold. Several people have not hung the plaques they ordered. We will call or visit and offer help in hanging them. Bob said if we sell them only twice a year, we do not have to collect tax on them. More often than that, we do.

Tool Lending Library: Ace Hardware has delivered all of the tools we asked for. Bob will add them to the webpage catalogue. In addition to our webpage, they are on the Ron's site and the Village's as well. We are considering a new location behind the Francisco building for the permanent storage of the tools. In the meantime, they will be stored in Bob's carriage house. Bob will write a story, have Phil Scalia take photos, and submit to several newspapers.

Website: This has been created by Phil and is very attractive. We will add projects

completed this past year as well as our plans for the Soldiers & Sailors Park and Larry Gatman's positive experience with the 20% tax credit for historic preservation. (Larry is pursuing an additional grant, and we discussed a possible oversight role for Friends to encourage better workmanship by contractors.)

Moses Quinby Day: Plans are underway again this year, wholeheartedly supported by the folks at Klock. Jacque attended a recent meeting and was assured that most of them at the meeting would be available to work the day of the convention.


Soldiers & Sailors Memorial Park: Bob has superimposed the 1920 landscape design over the 1990 survey and found that, although much as changed, the original appearance is still clear and many features can be revitalized. Margaret has received donations of short, multicolored beebalm, Speedwell, and about 150 daffodils from various merchants. Bob has contributed a dozen and a half day lilies. Jacque has landscaping flags to mark off the beds to be cleared. We are only waiting for landscaping design comments from Richard Jonathan, a landscape designer in Oppenheim, as Amy Damon Franks has not responded.

Children's Garden: Judy King Insurance informed us that vacant lots cannot be insured. We would have to put a structure of some kind on the property (shed, miniature gazebo, etc). Liability of $300,000 would cost about $200/year. Bob is still inquiring about taxes.

Blocked Sidewalks: Bob found a fallen baseball net and pole across a sidewalk after the last storm that was left in place for several days. He will submit a picture of it to Charlie and express our concern for the winter snow situation as well.

Margaret made a motion to adjourn.

The meeting was adjourned at 2:01 PM.

Submitted by Jacquelin C. Devlin, Secy.

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Friends of St. Johnsville Annual Meeting Minutes - July 22, 2020

In attendance at the American Legion Hall, St. Johnsville, NY: Robert Smith, Margaret DiGiacomo, Melanie Schuster, and Jacque Devim.

The meeting was called to order at 2:03 P.M. by president Robert Smith.

No minutes were read. Protocol requires the minutes of the last annual meeting to be read, and this is our first annual meeting.

Treasurer's Report; Margaret reported a balance of $1488.07. She wrote a check for $52.92 to herself for plants for Soldiers & Sailors Park, and will write a check for $80 to Jacque for paving for Al DeLorenzo's house plaque, at which point our balance will be $1408.07.

President's Report: Bob summarized our accomplishments for the year as follows: • Preservation Tax Credit Programs (2)

• Historic House Plaque sales

• Restored two public benches

• Last Night Meatloaf Dinner at the Masonic Temple - fund raiser

• Tool Rental Catalog is complete; donation from Ace Hardware is in progress • Web Page construction has begun - HGTV film clip and narrative was submitted

 • Participation in Spring Fest

• Participation in Memorial Day Parade

• Supplied refreshments at a Marina Concert- fundraiser

• Encouraged the work of the Moses Quinby Assoc.

Current Projects:

• Spearheading community plans for the 100th anniversary of the Soldiers & Sailors Park and awaiting a broad stroke landscape plan from Amy Damon Franko of Syracuse.

• Looking into the possible donation of a small, land-locked parcel from the Masons to be developed as a children's discovery/curiosity garden.


Because of the disruptions due to Covid-19 this year. Bob made a motion to accept last years slate of Directors and Officers as is. The motion carried unanimously. (See attached)

Margaret's motion to adjourn was carried. The meeting was adjourned at 2:56 P.M. Submitted by Jacquelin C. Devlin. Secy.

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Friends of St. Johnsville - Meeting Minutes February 26, 2020

The meeting was called to order at 2:20 P.M. at the home of Jacque Devlin by President Robert Smith. In attendance were: Robert Smith, Jacque Devlin, Margaret Di Giacomo, and Tiny Shuster.

Minutes of the previous meeting were approved as read.

Treasurer's Report: Margaret received the Paid in Full receipt for our first shipment of plaques. We have a checking account balance of $1540.99, with $80 encumbered for one plaque.


The historic house plaques have arrived and a few of them have been distributed to owners. We have four new possible orders. We agreed that we should submit orders of 10 plaques at a time. Bob will deliver Ann Christensen's plaque and photograph her holding it up against her building with a press release for publicity.

Tool Lending Library: We have to tax exempt certificate for purchasing. Bob has just submitted one. It will take three to four weeks. We will invite Mayor Straney to the opening. No date has been set.

Public benches: They are not bolted down! This will make them easy to replace. We talked about locating a table near them at Springfest. Possible materials for the table: plaques, restoration forms, our HGTV video.

Post fire assessment:

Bob showed our HGTV video and the pictures that we sent for Hometown Takeover. This video has a lot of potential for further grants, for advertising, for our updated webpage. We have not heard anything from HGTV.

Our FOIL request was submitted by Jacque to the village clerk, and we are waiting for notification that the code enforcement records have been gathered. Margaret shared a pertinent newspaper article on enhanced enforcement. Bob drove through the Village after the last storm and found 36 sidewalks unshoveled, the greatest number on Main Street. He said that 10 years ago, we had a program called Sharing is Caring in which seniors who needed help were paired with high school students who would shovel their walks. After two years, the program fell apart for lack of interest on the students' part. It was agreed that the current code enforcer, Cliff, is not attending to this problem.

We received a copy of a community survey from the county (Shirley Shell) that can be used as a model. After studying it and customizing it, we can present it to the village on paper or on Survey Monkey.

The St. Johnsville website: No progress yet, due to our work on the HGTV video.

Jacque gave an update on planning for the Moses Quinby Conference and Field Day. There are five, possibly six speakers, a band, and five children's activities. Members are still working on food and craft vendors. The advertising on the vacant lot is progressing. Several excellent suggestions were made for sales and advertising. Jacque also mentioned that Becky Sokol is preparing a slide presentation on the life and times of Moses Quinby to be held at the library sometime in May or June.


Next year the Soldiers and Sailor's Park will be an anniversary focus. We agreed that planting trees should be a priority. Bob noted that flower bulbs may be available free of charge at the end of season this year. Margaret will meet with the mayor to make sure we have permission to plant them, and write letters to the garden centers requesting these bulbs.

Margaret made a motion to adjourn. Jacque seconded. The meeting was adjourned at 3:50 P.M.

NEXT MEETING: Wednesday, March 25, 2020. Location: TBA

Submitted: Jacquelin Devlin, Secretary

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Friends of St. Johnsville Meeting Minutes January 22, 2020

The meeting was called to order at 2:07 P.M. at the Riverside Diner by President Robert Smith. In attendance were: Robert Smith, Ina Smith, Margaret Di Giacomo, Tiny Shuster, Marcel Falcon, Ron Hezel, and Jacque Devlin.

Minutes of the previous meeting were read and corrected. Margaret made a motion to approve; Ron seconded, and the motion carried.

Treasurer's Report: Margaret submitted a report detailing costs and revenues for the Last Night Meatloaf Dinner (see attached). Since the Masonic Temple would not accept our offer of $500, but took only $100, our net profit was_______________  We sold 100 adult tickets and 1 child ticket. There were a number of donations.

Our checking account balance as of December 31, 2019 was $1,760.46 ($1200 encumbered for plaques). Motion to approve, carried.


Historic House Plaques: Whitehall cleared up a few details with Jacque and assured us that the forging of plaques is about to begin. The $80 price held steady, although we will be charging $90 for any plaques ordered in 2020 We have five additional orders confirmed, but unpaid (at $80, The Legion, Johnny Mastromoro, and Carmine Licari, [2]).

Once the plaques come, we will submit PR and canvas again. Bob passed out updated order sheets.

Tool Lending Library: Bob is working with Sean Kilmarten of True Value Hardware to determine how our tool money should be spent. Margaret advised a "trash-picker-upper." Bob thinks we need to spend about $500 (retail price) on tools, but is expecting a discount. We have received $340 in donations for tools already. Bob is doing the paperwork for our tax exempt status.

Fred Pierce's building will be available April 1 and we agreed to postpone our opening until then.

Village Benches: They are ready to go. We agreed to postpone installation until the weather warms up.

New Year's Eve Recap: There are no present plans for repeating the dinner every year. Bob will discuss with Jim Katovich (Ft. Plain Activities Council) the possibility of joint and/or

reorganized activities that could impact SpringFest, the Firemen's Fair and end-of-the-year festivities. This will be an information-gathering stage.

Main Street: Post Fire Assessment:

Bob has spoken with Joseph Francisco, owner of the market building, and does not think he will do anything to repair it. He rebuffs all efforts to interest him in Preservation money and has bought a home elsewhere.

Regarding our idea to survey residents as to what priorities and desires they have for the village: Bob also spoke to Montgomery County Economic Development & Planning and was told that we can "cherry-pick" questions from a survey they have. He will follow up on this.

The lack of code enforcement throughout the village was discussed. No actions were taken. However, codes have sometimes been upheld when residents submit written complaints. Mayor Straney has notes increased revenue for the village from permits and fines, and this money could be used to extend the code enforcer's hours. He now works only one half day.


Webpage. Bob has found a web designer in Fort Plain who can bring our rather "static" webpage it to life with grouping, links and photos. Bob asked for a motion to spend $300 dollars to have him revamp it. Jacque so moved; Marcel seconded. The motion carried. Bob suggested we look at Mohawk Valley Villages NY. com.

Margaret made a motion to adjourn. The meeting was adjourned at 3:56 P.M.

Next Meeting: Wednesday, February 26, 2020 at 2  P.M. Location: TBA

Jacquelin Devlin, Secy.


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