Village, landowner settle over cut trees

A mishap by village crews will cost the Board of Trustees nearly $4,000.

The village agreed to a $3,900 settlement with a local landowner after its employees encroached on his property earlier this year.

Mayor Peter Telisky said village crews intruded on property owned by the Matte family and cut a number of trees while removing an antiquated pipeline on the property.

Crews inadvertently left the village’s right of way and cleared the trees so their equipment could gain better access to the pipe, he said.

When the landowner discovered the damage, he approached Telisky who had Jim Allen, the village’s forester, evaluate the damage.

He estimated the value of the timber and the village and the property owner agreed to the settlement earlier this month.

Telisky expressed his frustration over the incident on Monday, saying it should have never happened.

 

In other matters, officials said that Cutting Edge, the company that recently replaced 250 feet of sewer pipe near the intersection of Saunders Street and North Williams Street, will have to dig up the line after it was installed backwards.

The superintendent of public works, Don Williams, said the pipe was installed at negative pitch and will need to be corrected. That work was expected to begin this week.

The village is expected to ask Cutting Edge to cover the cost of the repair.

Trustee Michael LaChappelle said the company was able to replace sewer laterals, pipes that connect a building with a village’s sewer system, to 25 properties.

The replacement of those laterals was part of a $400,000 grant awarded by the Office of Community Development.

The village applied for the grant because officials believe that old and damaged clay laterals contribute to what ails the village’s sewer system.

The state has mandated that the village make significant improvements to its sewer system.

It’s believed the laterals will help stem the flow of excess water that enters the sewer system.

In total, the village has now replaced 38 sewer laterals.

 

Williams told the board that one of the village’s employees recently discovered a number of slats had been “kicked out” of a gazebo on North Williams Street and that a number of vulgarities were found painted on the sidewalk of Division Street.

The damage is just the latest in a string of vandalism that has occurred in the village. A number of balusters have been damaged at the Skenesborough Canalside Park on at least two occurrences in the last few months and vandals also marked several picnic tables in the park with graffiti.

The village has asked its police department to look into the latest incidents.

 

Norma Scofield, a member of the Whitehall Chamber of Commerce, approached the trustees to notify them of efforts to decorate the village for the holiday season.

“We had a vision that Whitehall could become a destination in the winter,” she said.

The chamber is expected to purchase several reflective snow flakes which it will hang on light posts throughout the village.

Members also hope to have a residential and commercial decorating contest, a tree lighting ceremony on Dec. 1 at Skenesborough Canalside Park and a New Year’s Eve gala.

 

The next Board of Trustees meeting will be at 6 p.m. on Tuesday, Nov. 13. It will be the only meeting during the month of November.

 

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