At its Tuesday night organizational meeting, the Whitehall Village Board re-appointed either board members or village employees to roughly 25 posts covering issues ranging from history to waste water treatment.
Trustee Marge Mohn was named deputy mayor. Stephanie LaChapelle was re-appointed clerk-treasurer, and Julie Van Guilder was reappointed deputy clerk.
Steve Brock was named assistant superintendent of public works, under DPW Superintendent Don Williams, who was also reappointed. George Rockenstire was reappointed chief operator of the waste water plant. But the position of working foreman was eliminated.
Bryan Brooks was reappointed village fire chief, Carol Greenough was re-named Heritage Area Director, Carol Senecal was reappointed village historian, and Gary Bennett was named zoning officer. The job of safety officer was tabled for the next meeting of the board.
Robert Putorti was named acting village justice, and the law firm of Kelly and Sellar-Ryan was appointed village counsel. Community Bank was named the official depository for the village, and The Whitehall Times was re-named the official newspaper for publication of legal notices.
Drawing on its pool of four trustees, the board announced the following village commissioners: Mike LaChapelle, highway, buildings and safety; Ken Bartholomew, police and code enforcement; Walt Sanford, water, health and emergency services; Marge Mohn, waste water and cemetery and parks.
In other business:
At the start of its organizational meeting, the board formally swore in Bartholomew and Sanford as trustees. Both men ran unopposed, and Mayor Peter Telisky reported that voter turn-out was low.
The board agreed to continue to hold its monthly meetings at 6 p.m. on the first and third Tuesdays of each month.
The board set a special date of 4 p.m. on Monday, April 21 to formally adopt its $1.9 million budget, which carries a 1.95 percent increase in taxes, raising the tax levy nearly $30,000.
No one from the village attended the public hearing, as they did not last year. Telisky said water increases had been kept to 1.95 percent and sewer increases to 1.25 percent.
Telisky explained that each year the village had to spend $10,000 on upkeep of a “fabric-filter system” for water service. DPW Superintendent Don Williams explained how expensive the total system was by noting that total replacement of two racks, with 34 filters in a rack, would cost more than $200,000. This, Telisky said, is why the filters were replaced incrementally when they wear out.
Telisky complemented Jim Allen of Allen Forestry for his continuing to cut timber on village land, the revenues from which offset village expenditures. Allen reported that cutting had slowed because of the spring thaw, making it impossible for his timber-men to travel up Pine Lake Road. He said as soon as the road bed dried, his crews would resume clearing for the summer.
Telisky said the timber revenues had enabled the village to “pay down the debt service in our general fund.”