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Colden agrees to share services with fire department

COLDEN — The monthly Colden town board meeting was held in the Colden Town Hall, located at 8812 State Road on Feb. 13 at 7p.m.

Supervisor James DePasquale opened the meeting in honor of Richard “Rico” Schwede, a man known for making trophies for the town.

DePasquale addressed his plan to share services between the fire department and the town. Shared services would include snow removal and branch removal, in more urgent situations. DePasquale brought the agreement to the table, to be voted on by the board.

“We have the ability to do a shared service, due to an amended law under 5G, under the municipal shared services,” he explained.

Annie Hoffman, previous town supervisor of Colden, requested that copies of the agreement being voted on be shared with those in attendance.

DePasquale took a short recess to print out more copies of the shared services agreement. When he returned, he handed a copy of the agreement to Hoffman.

“Annie, once you’re done reading that, I want that back,” DePasquale said. “Until that’s a signed document, it’s not public.”

“OK,” said Hoffman. “You are supposed to have anything that you guys are voting on, on the table.”

DePasquale used the gavel to bring the meeting back to focus after attendees, including previous town supervisors, voiced their opinions about whether the agreement should be made public.

“We’re acting in the best interest of the town residents,” said DePasquale. “We’re trying to be a town board that helps the fire company, just like the fire company helps everybody here.”

Ken Heiler, director of veteran affairs, asked if the agreement is clear about where the boundaries are, in the shared services agreement.

Highway Superintendent Paul Clarkson explained that shared services are common between towns and departments.

“I’m going to need the fire department to clear trees and stuff like that,” Clarkson said. “If they need something else done, as long as it’s not costing us money, we can do that.”

Heiler said that the agreement could make trouble for either party in the future, if the agreement is abused.

“We were advised not to be too specific,” said Councilman Gerald Pietraszek.

“So you were purposefully vague,” Heiler said.

“Not vague to deceive,” DePasquale said.

“I just don’t want you to get in trouble, later on,” Heiler said.

“You can’t put exactly what shared is,” DePasquale said. “You have town agreements, school agreements that share salt.”

Councilwoman Patricia Zurbrick made the motion to accept the agreement. Because Pietraszek and DePasquale are part of the fire company, they both abstained from the otherwise unanimous vote to accept the agreement.

In other board news:

– The highway department reported that they have used most of their 1,000 tons of salt allotted in their contract. Clarkson said the department is allowed 200 percent of the 1,000 tons for the season, so the town is not in trouble. He advised everyone to be cautious, even in warmer weather and rain, as the roads are a much colder temperature than the air, which could cause black ice.

– The Rural Transit of Colden received $268,172 in the form of a Community Development Block Grant.

– The Colden-West Falls library will hold a kaleidoscope-making activity on March 1 from 1-3 p.m., and a card-making class will be held on March 12.

– The water district reported that the water bill in the area affected by the leak has gone down by $2,500, since the leak’s repair.

– The supervisor will be sending a letter to the residents of Colden, inquiring as to their opinions on hydrofracking.

– The town board is considering a computer update, to allow for more secure data backup. Inquiries are currently being made to find the best and most cost-effective option.

– Appointed and reappointed to the environmental board were: Linda Antkowiak, Ron Fraser, Michelle Roberts, Craig Bouquin and Debra Pasco. To the board of assessment review were appointed: Daneen Vincent, Gregory Adams, Craig Bouquin, Jill Masset and John Pasco. Ronald Smith was appointed as the new water clerk.

The next town board meeting will be held March 13 at 7 p.m.


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