FRANKFORT — Thursday’s meeting of the Frankfort town board ended with no action taken due to the lack of a quorum.
The two board members present — Deputy Town Supervisor John Wallace and Councilwoman Darlene Abbatecola — did hear from one of several residents who attended, however.
Nick Parotta said he thought the board should have acted sooner to deal with issues regarding Supervisor Joseph Kinney or asked for his resignation.
"It’s your responsibility to bring these things to the public. I’m hoping going forward this doesn’t happen again. You as a board need to keep your fiduciary responsibility the way it should be," he said.
Parotta said more should be done to keep the public informed.
"You work for us," he said.
Kinney submitted his resignation late last month after the release of a state audit that criticized the town’s accounting practices. Acceptance of his resignation was among the items on Thursday’s printed agenda. Councilmen Michael Testa and Joseph Tamburro were absent from the meeting. Three members of the board are needed for a quorum.
Wallace scheduled a special meeting for 6 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 19, at the town hall.
The board members present Thursday did agree to listen to any resident who wished to speak, however. Parotta was the only one to address the board.
A former codes officer, Parotta also asked about the status of the Charlestown Complex, which is partly in the Herkimer County town of Frankfort and partly in Oneida County, and whether or not the current codes officer is issuing tickets for violations.
Wallace said he thought the owner had walked away from the property and the county took it off the tax rolls a few years ago. He said the county used to reimburse the town of Frankfort and the Frankfort-Schuyler school district for lost revenue when the owner did not pay taxes. After the county removed it from the tax rolls, the reimbursements stopped.
Parotta said Oneida County had put a lien on its part of the building.
"What plan do you have to get the taxes back that we lost," he asked.
He wanted to know the identity of the owner and also asked if the town had sought brownfield funding to clean up the property.
A brownfield site is a former industrial or commercial site where real or perceived contamination affects future use of the site.
"It’s out of our hands," said Wallace, but he told Parotta he would seek answers from county officials.
When contacted Friday afternoon, Herkimer County Industrial Development Agency executive director Steve Smith said the IDA submitted applications to the Environmental Protection Agency in December 2015 and December 2016 requesting $200,000 for to evaluate several brownfield sites in Herkimer County, including the Charlestown complex. Others included industrial sites in Herkimer, Ilion and Newport.
"Both times we came close, but didn’t receive the funding," said Smith, adding the competitive process drew more than 800 applications from communities across the United States.
He added the IDA had a telephone debriefing session with an EPA representative and is planning to submit another application for $200,000 for a Phase 1 environmental assessment of the various sites and possibly move on to the second phase. Word on whether or not the application is successful is not expected until May. If the IDA is awarded the grant, it could have the sites assessed to see what needs to be done, according to Smith.