Village mulls firehouse site

B y Derek Liebig

 

The Whitehall Village Board of Trustees briefly discussed the town’s potential relocation to the Skenesborough Volunteer Fire Department and the possibility the village may follow suit at last week’s board meeting.

The town has tentatively agreed to move into the building, possibly as soon as next month if certain factors are resolved, and they have expressed a desire to share the space with other government entities.

“The town has been talking about moving into the fire house and part of the idea is if it comes to fruition, we may go with them,” Mayor Peter Telisky said.

However the move is contingent on the Skenesborough Volunteer Fire Company dissolving and becoming part of the Whitehall Volunteer Fire Company.

The village may be willing to move (pending board approval), but would do so only if it had access to the garage bays, which would be available only if the fire company dissolved.

Telisky would like to see the bays used to house the police department.

“I maintain that the police department needs to come with us if we move,” he said.

There is a desire among some to have the police department located in a more centralized location within the village. The move would also prevent the police from being stranded in the event a train derailed, blocking Williams Street and effectively cutting off the department’s access to the rest of the village.

If the town does relocate to the fire house and the fire company does dissolve, the village would want assurance from the town they wouldn’t move out after several years and leave the village to foot the bill alone.

It should be noted that the village has not made a definitive decision to relocate. It was only a preliminary discussion which will be explored in more detail if and only after the town moves, which is hardly a sure thing, as trustee Ken Bartholomew pointed out.  “Just remember, that’s (the towns proposed move) this week.”

“It’s something we need to think about and talk about,” Telisky added.

In other matters, the board accepted several bids of stone material. In each case, the village decided to pursue the delivered price believing it would be cheaper after taking into consideration the cost of labor and use of village equipment to retrieve the material themselves.

The winning bids were granted to William Rozell for stoned dust, light stone fill, winter road sand and top soil; Charles Friedman for bank run gravel, and Jenkinsvile for crushed stone.

Mayor Telisky also read a letter from local resident Tammy Peterson who requested the village replace the sidewalk from Elizabeth Street to Park Avenue at her expense.

The work would continue the recent sidewalk replacement that occurred on Pauline Street.

The board passed a motion to grant Peterson’s request when the village had the time and resources to complete the work.

The board also discussed the possibility of purchasing a 2011 Case 580 SN Backhoe for the Department of Public Works for $77,970.

$25,000 would be allocated as a down payment for the equipment and another $20,000 to $25,000 would come from the sale of scrap steel and other equipment.

The backhoe would fill a hole in the department’s equipment and allow them to get more work done, Superintendent Don Williams said.

Williams also said that approximately 300 feet of scrap 16 inch pipe was stolen from Pike Brook sometime in the last 14 months.

He said he’s spoken with law enforcement personnel but the chances of retrieving the pipe were slim.

The stolen pipe was valued at $7,000.

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