OTD Town Board Meeting in 1917

#onthisday in 1917, there was a meeting of the Town Board of the Town of Saratoga was held in the town clerk’s office in the village of Schuylerville
 “Notice having been given that it was the intention of the State to suspend a temporary bridge across the Hudson River between Ferry Street and the town of Easton it was resolved that the Town Superintendent act with the Town Superintendent Thompson of Easton in resurface the Schuylerville Easton bridge at their earliest convenience.” 
The Town Clerk having been served with notice of claim brought by Stephen Barton through his attorney Leary and Fullerton against the town for $10,000 alleging damages for personal injuries caused by the neglect of said town or its offices brought the matter before the board for consideration as the Supervisor was not present it was moved to adjourn the meeting until Thursday, March 22, 1917 at 1 o’clock.
These are the town board records of 1917 made by Town Clerk Paul August Hespelt.(1 Mar 1890 – 1945). Paul A. Hespelt was a pharmacist at Miller’s pharmacy. The pharmacy was also the location of the Town offices (rented from C.J. Miller for $60 a year).
 The Town Clerk’s Office is the official repository for all ordinances, resolutions and official documents related to the Saratoga town government. The Town Clerk office is historical in its traditions, having served as a direct link between the residents and their local governments since the beginning. While town clerks are generally credited with issuing licenses, that is only a small part of this complex job. Many duties are mandated by state and town laws, but many more go well beyond those mandates as town clerks also serve as a major source of information to all. One of the most important roles is as the Records Management Officer. The Town Clerk is the custodian of all town records, responsible for active files, storage and position of inactive records, and the careful maintenance of archival material.
The issue of the bridge over the Hudson River was a complicated one. In 1916 the Town issued a bond to restore the bridge for $9.500 for “erecting, rebuilding, and constructing jointly with the town of Easton, Washington County, New York of a highway bridge over the westerly channel of the Hudson River.” The details are here – http://ift.tt/2llBVaC 
In March of 1917, the State let a contract, after long delay to Michael Fitzgerald company for $39,630 to reconstruct the bridge. http://ift.tt/2lYrbLw 
It was also reported in the Saratogian on 20 March 1917 that “it is said that a temporary structure is to be built across the Hudson river on the site of the old eastern portion of the Schuylerville-Easton bridge, the contract for the building of which has been let or that a ferry will be used until the permanent structure is completed.” 
The issue of the suit made by Mr Barton was reported on 20 March 1917 “Stephen Barton, whose address in Saratoga Srpings, R.F.D. 1 has brought suit for $10,000 against the town of Saratoga for personal injuries alleged to have been received Jan. 10, 1917, when a willow tree on the main highway across Stafford’s Bridge, from Wagman’s Ridge to the Schuylerville-Saratoga state road, fell on him. he alleges that the attention of the town authorities had been called to the condition of the treee, which he declares was rotten.” The town records showed in 1917, it paid $799.93 as a result of a judgement in this case.

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