You are the owner of this page.
A3 A3
Septic test law nears completion in Queensbury

QUEENSBURY — A law requiring every property seller near a lake to test their septic system is nearly done.

After more than a year of detailed work, Supervisor John Strough finished the final draft of the law Tuesday.

The Town Board is expected to set a public hearing soon, possibly as soon as next month.

The development of the proposed law was bogged down by details. What would happen if it was too cold to test the septic system? What if it needed to be replaced, but the sale was going through in winter when the ground is too frozen for that work?

The board agreed to create escrow accounts and deadlines for testing or replacing the systems.

“Every time we go over it, more questions come up,” said board member Tony Metivier, who eagerly received the final draft.

The law will not force owners to replace a functioning system, even if it’s too close to the house, a neighbor or a water source.

All that matters is that it works.

And the testing happens when a sale is pending, so there’s money available for the work, Metivier said.

The law is tailored to protect Lake George, Glen Lake and Lake Sunnyside. Only properties near those lakes are affected by the proposal.

“We really need to get a handle on what’s going on with the lake and I think this is a big part of that,” Metivier said.

Last year, only 11 properties in the proposed area sold. One had an old septic system. The others were updated, so they likely still work, Metivier said.

No testing was required with the sales, so Metivier was relieved when the buyer of the property with an old system voluntarily chose to replace it.

“That’s one less to worry about,” he said. “The others, based on what we know, they should be fine.”

But they should still be tested, he added.

As a real estate agent, he insists that his clients do the test, but others skip it.

“Look, when you’re spending $2 million on a piece of property, you should at least have a good, working septic system,” he said.

Man accused of scamming dead man's family mulls plea deal

QUEENSBURY — The Moreau man accused of ripping off the family of a man who died of cancer is balking at the amount of restitution prosecutors are seeking on behalf of the people he is accused of defrauding.

Patrick C. Burch, 37, was in Queensbury Town Court on Monday for a status update on his case.

His lawyer, Tucker Stanclift, said his client would potentially be willing to plead guilty to a misdemeanor to resolve the case and move on with his life. But the amount of money being sought was far more than the defense was willing to accept. He would not disclose the figure, but said it was in the “thousands” of dollars.

“When he saw the restitution figure, he said ‘No way,’ “ Stanclift said. “He maintains his innocence.”

Burch was arrested last spring for allegedly stealing nearly $10,000 from the Sherman family after Queensbury resident Bruce Sherman died from brain cancer at the age of 36 in 2015.

Burch allegedly stole from Sherman’s widow, Keri Sherman, through scams related to work on a Jeep for Sherman’s daughter and motorcycle for his wife.

He took money that was meant for the projects, and he sold the Jeep without the family’s permission, according to the Warren County Sheriff’s Office.

Burch has pleaded not guilty and is free, pending further court action. The grand larceny charge is punishable by up to 7 years in state prison.

Warren County District Attorney Jason Carusone said his office is continuing to prosecute the case, but it was unclear whether it would be resolved without a trial.

“The case is pending and our Queensbury ADA, Travis Brown, is working on the file,” he said.

Keri Sherman said the delays have been frustrating as she seeks justice, but she is not letting the case be forgotten.

“I am here to have my voice heard due to the cruel actions of this person preying on my husband while he was dying from brain cancer, and then myself and my children while we were grieving and trying to hold onto any tangible item that had connection to my husband,” she said.

Today's meetings 3.8

Argyle Central School District Board, Regular Meeting, School Library, 7 p.m.

Community Services Boards for Warren and Washington Counties, Regular Meeting, 230 Maple St., Glens Falls, 3 p.m.

Corinth Town Board, Regular Meeting, Town Hall, 7 p.m.

Granville Town Board, Regular Meeting, Town Hall, 7 p.m.

Greenwich Town Planning Board, Workshop Meeting, Town Offices, 7 p.m.

Hadley Town Board, Regular Meeting, Town Hall, 7 p.m.

Lake Luzerne Zoning Board of Appeals, Regular Meeting, Town Hall, 7 p.m.

Putnam Town Board, Regular Meeting, Town Hall, 7 p.m.

Ticonderoga Town Board, Regular Meeting, Basement Meeting Room, 6 p.m.

Warren County Board, Personnel and Higher Education, Special Meeting, Committee Room, 1 p.m.

Warrensburg Zoning Board of Appeals, Regular Meeting, Town Hall, 7 p.m.

Washington County Board, Finance Committee, County Building B, 9:30 a.m.