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Village of North Collins officials direct Alessi to give letter she sent state attorney general to current, past clerks

Former Village Clerk Kathleen Meyers requested a copy of a letter she believed to have been sent to the State Attorney General by Trustee Jennie Alessi. In response, the North Collins Village Board passed a resolution, at its Nov. 13 meeting, directing Alessi, who was not present at the meeting, to provide copies of the letter to the current as well as past clerk.

Meyers noted that she has attended the past three village board meetings at which Alessi has not been present. Although she had been directed to phone the trustee directly, Meyers said, “I don’t dial a trustee, I don’t want to deal one-on-one, I come to the board meetings for answers.” Meyers continued that it was her understanding that Alessi was enrolled in a college course at present that was keeping her from the meetings, “God love her for wanting to better herself, but if she is not doing her job, what are we paying her for?” According to Meyers, the letter in question was shown to her by Alessi, who would not allow the then village clerk retain a copy. Meyers said the letter was written following a State Comptroller’s audit of village operations earlier this year and believes Alessi penned it without board approval. She would like to see exactly what it said.

The board also set Tuesday, March 19 from Noon to 9 p.m. as the date and time of the village election. The only seat to be elected is a two-year term for mayor.

The two-year term drew the attention of Trustee Brenda Bauer-Petrus who inquired if it could be changed to a four-year term, matching the terms of the current trustees.

The board offered to enact a public law changing the mayoral term to four-years and schedule a public hearing on it.

Village Attorney Richard Schaus believed there is enough time until the March election at which voters would decide the question in a referendum. Former Village Clerk Kathleen Meyers reminded the board that the measure had been put to the voters twice before and had been defeated. It was not immediately known if a change was approved if it would begin at once or need to wait until the end of the next two year term.

Mayor Vincent George reported that he has received a request to arrange for a site visit from Community Block Grant officials with regards to a proposed derelict housing demolition program. The village applied for a $100,000 grant to begin an acquisition and demolition fund. George called the notice a “good sign” and said a meeting was set for Nov. 19.

Public Works Director Mike Perry reported only one house remains to be connected to the new water project and that both the new and old water lines are charged. Sidewalk replacement is at 98 percent and there are still old lines to shut down. Replacement of blacktop will continue as long as the weather allows. Perry asked for the public’s patience as the crew makes its way back down Main Street and ties in individual streets into the new water main.

Perry said that his crew would install a bypass drain at Gurney Avenue as part of a recent engineering study to control persistent flooding in the village. The by-pass is one of several “choke points” identified in that study.

Perry also reported that the town is willing to give the village surplus equipment consisting of a utility trailer, small sweeper, a welder and a generator, in return for the village maintaining the sidewalk that runs from the village line towards Fricano Park. The board agreed to the arrangement.

Police Administrator Richard Cooper reported on increased visibility of officers on patrol which has received positive public feedback. The new radios are in patrol cars and will only need some adjustments by the County. Car No. 84, which suffered from a light bar failure over the summer, now has a new LED light bar at a cost of $500. He also reported that all village officers had requalified at the Gowanda Range and that the September unwanted drug collection effort brought in 64 pounds of medications and 17 pounds of needles which were disposed of.

Fire Chief Jim Miller reported an active training schedule for members that included an Emergency Vehicle and Pump Operations Courses and the ability of two members to attend a special “Flashover” training. There were 8 calls for the month with two being structure fires that were quickly dealt with. Miller also reported two new members, with both being trained having been firefighters with other companies.

In other business the Board:

• Approved a one-year Bond Anticipation Note on the water tower as well as one for $5,0000 on the 1993 American LaFrance fire engine. The fire engine will have one more year to pay.

• Approved purchase of a copier for the Village office at a cost of $4,903. With a State Green Rebate, the price will be reduced to $1,225.79.

• Learned that the State inspection of the Dog Control officer’s kennel went well.
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