Saturday, March 24, 2018

Village Of Hoosick Falls Board

August 10, 2017 by · Leave a Comment 

FEMA Coming To Hoosick Falls To Assess Storm Damage

By Doug La Rocque
Mayor Robert Allen highlighted the Village Board meeting on Tuesday, August 8, with the announcement that representatives from the Federal Emergency Management Agency would be in on Thursday August 10 to tour the Village, the Towns of Hoosick and Pittstown and Rensselaer County owned roads, to see if the damage caused by the July 1 storm meets the qualifications for emergency aid.  Mayor Allen is optimistic. He said, “the good news is FEMA is coming and that is the next step in the process of hopefully getting some form of disaster declaration. That being said, the unfortunate side of this is, FEMA is only looking at public entities…but that doesn’t go to help private citizens that were devastated by this storm.”
He also cautioned that FEMA money is notoriously slow in coming, pointing out as an example, monies for the March 14 Blizzard that buried portions of Eastern Rensselaer County with more than two feet of snow, just arrived a month ago.  According to the Village Treasurer’s report, presented by Trustee Ben Patton, the Village has already spent more than $60,000 on storm clean up from this storm, and that does not yet take into consideration all the overtime payments due Village highway employees.  He indicated it could have been even worse, if not for the donations made by many road construction firms, along with the Town of Hoosick and Town of Berlin Highway Departments.
Several residents expressed their continued frustration with storm clean up, though still praising the Village for all the work it has done. Village Highway Superintendent Niel Stowell indicated there is still a lot of work to do on such roads as Hall St. and Spring St., as well as dealing with the sinkhole on Elm Street and the giant hole in the ground in front of the old St. Mary’s on Classic St.
Trustee Robert Downing brought up the question of whether it was fair to still charge residents who are without power, sewer and other municipal services. With the help of residents in attendance and Codes Enforcement Officer Mark Surdam, they identified five homes on Hall Street or adjoining properties, and the Board voted unanimously to suspend all billing for those houses retroactive to July 1.  The suspension will remain in effect until CEO Surdam can certify that the homes once again have power.
Question Of Alcohol In The Town Park
There was a motion before the Board to give its approval to a request from the Sand Bar to serve beer, wine and cider at the upcoming Free Concert in the Park.  Trustee Downing raised the question, would the village be liable if there was an incident that resulted from alcohol being served at the event.  Trustee Kevin O’Malley indicated the sponsor, in this case the Sand Bar, should have a rider on their insurance policy to cover such an instance.
Village Police Chief Robert Ashe told the Board the same business served alcoholic beverages at the recent Blues for Breakfast Concert, with absolutely no problems and complete cooperation with his officers.  After some back and forth discussion, the Board voted to approve the request, a prerequisite for approval of a license by the State Liquor Authority (SLA). Village resident Kevin Allard suggested the Board look into establishing a policy for such requests, so such discussions do not have to take place each time there is such a request. Mayor Allen agreed it is something they should look into.  The Board also approved a request from the Society of St. Stanislaw for renewal of its liquor license, again a pre-requisite for SLA action.
Increased Traffic on Gillespie Street
Chuck Forest is a resident of that street, and speaking for himself and some neighbors, he expressed his dismay that traffic is now using the street to both enter and exit the Twin Rivers Medical facility.  When first opened in 1996, the Village Board enacted legislation that required all traffic to enter off Danforth Street and exit on Gillespie. 
Signs indicating “one way” and “do not enter” were posted to help with traffic flow.  Forest said since some improvements to the Gillespie Street exit from the facility were made, the signs have disappeared and traffic is now using Gillespie Street for both entrance and exit.  He said it is a very narrow street, and with parking, not conducive to the two-way traffic. He also expressed his concerns about the safety of the children on the road.  The Board promised to look into their records, and see what can be done to rectify the problem.
Youth Problems At The Town Park
Police Chief Ashe reported they have received several calls about youths hanging out in the Town Park, being disrespectful to people and throwing things at passing cars.  He said he experienced the problem personally, and brought several young people to the station and had their parents come in for a talk. He indicated that sadly, they found many of the behavioral problems to be present in their home lives as well, and that some have been taken to family court to have PIN’s (Persons in Need of Supervision) petitions placed on them. Some arrests this past month included Grand Theft Auto of a vehicle that was stolen in the early morning hours in the village, and chased into the State of Vermont.  He also credited their canine unit, with discovering drugs and drug paraphernalia at a routine traffic stop.
Chief Ashe also warned there are a number of phone scams occurring again, particularly targeting the elderly.  In one such scam, the callers have the names of grandchildren, and say they have been arrested and need money from their grandparents to bail them out.  He said if you get such a call, “simply hang up.”
Other Actions And Reports
Mayor Allen told the meeting the 2016 PFC Testing Update and Annual Water Quality Report has been received.  He indicates it shows no further problems and that tests on the PFOA filters installed on the village water system show they are working.  He plans to put the report on the village website shortly.  The Board also approved a request to hold the 4th Annual Stephen Colvin Memorial 5K on Saturday, October 7. The run will use an alternate course this year to avoid Classic St.
A recent advertisement for qualifications for a firm to evaluate and implement energy efficiency projects on street lighting in the Village received no responses, and will be revisited. The Board also approved a motion to seek sealed bids for the remediation and demolition of property located at 62 Mechanic Street.
The Mayor said The Town of Hoosick Rescue Squad will be celebrating its 60th Anniversary on September 16, with a open house and health fair at their building from 1 to 3 pm, followed by music, a chicken barbecue and fireworks later in the day at the Town of Hoosick’s Skating Rink. The Board then went into executive session to deal with what was labeled as possible litigation, before adjourning the meeting.


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