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P.O. Box 182

St. Johnsville, NY 13452



Minutes Archive - 2019


2019: Jan.28 | Mar.04 | Apl.24 |



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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