Most Of Grafton Town Highway Trucks Found To Be Uninspected. Issue Dominates Town Board Meeting
By Doug La Rocque
During the public comment section of the Grafton Town Board meeting on Monday night February 13, Highway Department employee Jay Goyer stood up to tell the Board that most of the trucks in the Town’s fleet were out of date on their inspections.[private] Goyer told The Eastwick Press he decided to go public with it because if there were ever a problem, “it comes back to the safety of the employees of the Town and the people of the Town.”
Town Supervisor Ingrid Gundrum said she was unaware of this, as was Councilman Eric Buckley, who sits on the Board’s highway committee. Gundrum indicated it was something that needed immediate attention, and Councilman Buckley then took it upon himself to visit the Highway Garage Tuesday morning. Buckley said he found Goyer’s contentions to be correct and had a discussion with Highway Superintendent Herb Hasbrouck on how to remedy the situation.
After a conversation with Supervisor Gundrum, who also spoke to the Town’s insurance carrier, Buckley said he asked the Superintendent not to put any vehicles on the road until all were inspected and any repairs needed to pass the inspection were completed.
Hasbrouck said that some of the trucks were not up to date, but insists “there was never any issues of the vehicles being unsafe, and that he has a mechanic that works on the trucks when needed at the garage, or they are taken to Delurey’s for repair.” Delurey’s Sales & Service is a heavy duty truck repair business in Hoosick Falls. A plan to start shuttling the trucks to Delurey’s was worked out and both Buckley and Hasbrouck indicate the fleet should be back on the road by Wednesday afternoon. In the meantime, both the Rensselaer County Highway Department and the Town of Brunswick have agreed to help clear town roads in the event of any snowfall.
Supervisor Gundrum has indicated she would like to discuss a program where all major truck repairs are sent out to a qualified garage and not done in house. Councilman Buckley said there is a meeting planned Friday morning at Delurey’s with himself and Superintendent Hasbrouck to further discuss the matter.
Ambulance Concerns Remain
Concerning the status of the grant to provide the town with $150,000 to purchase a new ambulance, the Supervisor said the last word she has received is that the Dormitory Authority of New York is waiting for Governor Cuomo’s budget office to direct the money be released to the Authority so they can in turn release the grant to the town. There has been no word on when or if this will happen.
The lack of volunteer personnel to staff the Grafton Rescue Squad remains an issue, with the squad, and many other neighboring ambulance services having to rely on mutual aid or a paid service to respond to some calls.
Gundrum said she has penned a letter to Berlin Supervisor Rob Jaeger and Petersburgh Supervisor Alan Webster about a meeting of officials of the three towns to discuss possible solutions to the problem.
One of the results of two audits by the Office of the New York State Comptroller was a strong request that the Town formulate a better procedure to deal with the payment of the Town’s vendors.
Gundrum said Councilwomen Lisa Dooley and Allison Kirchner drafted just such a plan, and the Board approved its implementation by resolution, 4-0. Councilman Mike Crandall was absent from the meeting.
The Board is forming a committee to honor longtime Town Clerk Sue Putnam in May. Putnam retired at the end of 2015 and did not seek re-election after 30 years of town service. The date of the ceremony and particulars still need to be worked out.
Grafton Community Library Director Ronnie Tatro said they are working with the Grafton Merrymakers senior group, to sponsor a pill takeback day. It would be an opportunity for seniors and all Grafton residents to legally dispose of unused or outdated prescriptions and medications. The event would be in conjunction with the Rensselaer County Sheriff’s Department.
Grafton Town Clerk Vicky Burdick announced she has appointed Pam Vars as her new Deputy Clerk. The Board approved the payment of just under $32,000 dollars in monthly bills and announced that they would be swapping meeting dates with the Planning Board in the month of March. The Town Board will meet on the third Monday of the month, March 20. The Planning Board will take the second Monday, March 13. The Board said the switch was being made for attendance purposes. [/private]