Town Board clarifies Skenesborough details

B y Derek Liebig

The town board attempted to address some of the confusion surrounding its potential relocation to the Skenesborough Volunteer Fire Company at their monthly meeting on Aug. 10.

David Waters told the board he’s heard a lot of conflicting reports about the town’s proposed move and was looking for some clarification.

He said he’s heard that there are members among the Skenesborough Volunteer Fire Company who are against the town moving into their building; however councilman and SVFC member Jim Putorti was quick to shoot those rumors down.

“No is against the town moving in there. I can’t speak for everyone, but no one has told me they were against it,” Putorti said.

He told the board the department continues to explore dissolution but the process was a long one and all of the company’s property has to be inventoried before they can proceed.

If or when they dissolve, a joint fire district would be created and the company’s assets and debt would be absorbed by the Whitehall Volunteer Fire Company who would maintain the trucks and equipment.

There was also some confusion over the village’s recent decision to drop the reverter clause it held on the Skenesborough Fire Company.

The town has said it will not move if the reverter clause was in effect so the village board of trustees recently voted to drop any legal claim to the property if the department dissolved and the town made a payment of $150,000 to the fire company that remained, which in this case would be the Whitehall Volunteer Fire Company, which would include the assets of the SVFC.

But Supervisor Richard Gordon said the village had it wrong and the town has an agreement with the Skenesborough Volunteer Fire Company to move into the building for $20,000 a year, capped at a total of $150,000. If a joint fire district was created, those payments would stop.

However the agreements are essentially for two different things. The town and the SVFC agreement address compensation for use of the building while the village’s agreement would eliminate the reverter clause if certain conditions are met.

Gordon said he planned to sit down with Mayor Peter Telisky to clear up any confusion and get everyone on the same page.

In other matters, the town approved Catherine Cook to serve as Deputy Town Clerk. Cook has been working at the town office with town clerk and business officers Elaine Jones and Kathy Jones the last few weeks and will help staff the office on Monday.

The position would be unpaid because Jones does the work as part of a social services program.

Gordon said Cook came very highly recommended and had been doing a good job.

The town made a transfer of $5,708 to cover the balance due on a new chipper that was recently purchased for the highway department.

Town attorney Christian Morris also approved the language of a local law to increase the fee for boundary changes to $50.

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