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Town hears burnt house update, need for water rescue vehicle by WFD


August 8, 2012
By JENNA LOUGHLIN ( , Westfield Republican / Mayville Sentinel News

WESTFIELD - The debate over what to do with the rubble of a burnt down house continues.

At the Westfield Town Board of Trustees meeting on Wednesday, July 11, Code Enforcement Officer and Building Inspector Jim Pacanowski reported that attorneys for both sides were still working it out.

Board member and Deputy Supervisor Ray Schuster asked Pacanowski to elaborate on the situation regarding the house located on South Portage Street between the Thruway entrance and Route 5. Town attorney Joel Seachrist jumped in and said he is talking with the attorney for the property owner. Seachrist said he is confident he is moving them toward the town's position.

Board member David Spann brought to the board's attention that the Westfield Board of Fire Commissioners is talking about the need to purchase some kind of vehicle for water rescues, be it jet skis or a boat.

"I do think there is a need to have a ... response system that's reliable," he said.

Board member David Brown asked about the boat the department has now, and Spann responded it is not adequate for the rough conditions.

Fire Department Chief Steve Pacanowski was in attendance and said he would like to set up a meeting with the town and the village to address the issue. He said the department is getting called out on the water a lot more.

Seachrist asked if there were any grant programs, and Steve Pacanowski responded there are some through the state, but the department needs to do a study on what kind of boat it would purchase. Town Supervisor Martha Bills said it is something to think about and consider and was open to meeting with Pacanowski and discussing the matter further.

After a public hearing at the beginning of the meeting regarding allowing a dwelling in an industrial zoned building owned by Charles Groenendaal, the town board unanimously approved the SUP, but with an amendment after neighbor Dawn Betts raised concerns. Those concerns were regarding water run-off and Groenendaal allegedly dumping construction into the nearby creek. The amendment will require Groenendaal to create a buffer to stop the water from going onto the neighbor's property.

In other business, Town Highway Superintendent David Babcock reported over seven miles of roadway has been sealed. Board member Jim Herbert reported Barcelona Harbor recently had some serious issues with campers taking up prime parking and plugging in to the harbor's electricity once the harbor master left. Therefore, campers will no longer be allowed in the harbor overnight. He also said logs are a concern and need to be taken out. Finally, Kelly Brown was appointed as a part-time pier attendant.



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