Partial victory declared in rubble removal in Whitehall Village

B y Lee Tugas

In the village of Whitehall’s serio-comic battle with two delinquent property owners, the village board declared partial victory Tuesday night.

Mayor Peter Telisky announced, and Superintendent of Public Works Don Williams also reported that Flint E. Stone and Charles Friedman had removed most of the debris remaining from the demolished old “Chase” Building on Main Street’s east side.

But Village Attorney Erika Sellar Ryan learned from Williams that her process server may have been out-foxed by John Tracy Adams, one of the owners of the dilapidated “Flatiron Building” on Main Street’s west side.

Ryan reported that Adams could not be found in Fair Haven to be served with village court papers regarding the “Flatiron” building. Ryan said that the process server had not been able to find any Adams living on Main Street in Fair Haven. In fact, the process server believed that there was no Main Street in Fair Haven, Ryan said.

Grabbing a phone book, Williams showed Ryan the street address of John Tracy Adams in Fair Haven. Williams assured Ryan that he would give her process server specific directions to Adams’ residence.

As for the Chase rubble, Williams said now that the debris was for all intents and purposes cleared away, there remained a large open pit with no barricade to keep people from falling in and hurting themselves.

Ryan advised Williams to erect such a barricade and to send the bill to Flint E. Stone, the principal owner, and his associate, Friedman.

Two local laws passed

In other business, the village board unanimously adopted two revised laws submitted to them by Attorney Ryan.

The first law makes it the duty of any “owner, lessee, lessor or occupant” to control brush, grass and weeds on their property or face a penalty of $250 for each violation. Basically, the law requires households or businesses to keep lawns below ten inches in height.

The second law charges a $100 a day fine for anyone who encumbers the public streets or sidewalks of Whitehall with snow, leaves, waste or any other kind of obstructive debris. The board originally planned to make the daily fee $250, but Trustee Walt Sanford moved that the fine be set at $100 and it was so approved.

Three sewer abatements approved, one denied

The board approved three sewer abatements, or reductions, for three village residents, none totaling more than $70, but tabled a request from the owner of the Budget Inn for a reduction in his late charges of roughly $3,000.

The name of the owner was not stated by members of the board or his attorney, Lawyer Harold Nicholson. Mayor Telisky argued that the owner was seeking an overall reduction in late charges of $7,000.

None of the board members were prepared to grant such a request immediately, Nicholson was told, but the board did take the request under consideration, tabling it for a later decision.

Other business

In other business, the board

-Granted Mayor Telisky authority to seek roughly $500,000 in Water Quality Improvement monies administered through the state Department of Environmental Conservation for “storm water separation” work.

-Agreed to talk with the Town Board and the Whitehall Fire Company about the idea of establishment of a fire district, but not to make it part of the fire company’s recent contract with the town.

-Awarded the bid of 24.5 cents per gallon “above rack” for fuel oil to J.D. Fuels, while at the same time authorizing Superintendent Williams to seek “quotes” for furnace cleaning from all local fuel companies.

-Tabled any action on a simplified winter parking ordinance drafted by Trustees Ken Bartholomew and Walt Sanford and revised by Attorney Ryan.

-Assured property owner Bob Weinfurt of 31 Poultney Street that the village would contact Weinfurt’s neighbor, who, he maintains, has “graded his driveway in such a way that it drains across village property and onto mine.”

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