New City Court pact approved by council in Johnstown

JOHNSTOWN – The Common Council on Monday night approved a new City Court security agreement with the state.

Mayor Sarah Slingerland was authorized to execute a renewal agreement with the state Unified Court System for court security services on the second floor of City Hall.

The agreement is retroactive to April 1 and runs until March 31. The city will pay no more than $35,000 during the period for the state’s court security, City Clerk Cathy VanAlstyne said Tuesday.

“This is something we’ve done for several years now,” Slingerland told the council.

In other council business Monday:

George Nicholas of 314 N. Perry St. was appointed to the city Planning Board for a term expiring March 31.

The council authorized the mayor to execute a temporary license agreement to National Grid permitting entry on property at 111 N. Market St. The purpose of the access is to investigate monitoring wells on the property for contamination, repairs, replacement and decommissioning, city officials said.

VanAlstyne was designated by the city to receive notices of claim from the state Department of State.

“This is based on a new law passed in Albany,” Slingerland said. “This is kind of a housekeeping piece.”

VanAlstyne said Tuesday notices of claim have traditionally been served by the public directly to City Hall, but now will go first to the state and then to the city. The state Uniform Notice of Claim Act, effective June 15, amended state General Municipal Law to allow notices of claim against cities and villages to be served initially to the state secretary of state.

Heather Whitbeck and attorney Robert M. Subik were appointed city commissioners of deeds, with terms expiring Jan. 14, 2015.

The council voted to advertise a public hearing for 7 p.m. Aug. 19 at City Hall. The hearing will be on the council’s intention to amend the city Code of Ordinances related to public notification of violations. A “significant” sewer violation will be defined as chronic violations of wastewater discharge limits defined as 66 percent of more of all measurements taken for the same pollutant parameter during a six-month period.

Slingerland said the change was recommended by the Gloversville-Johnstown Joint Sewer Board.

Michael Anich covers Johnstown and Fulton County news. He can be reached at