WESTFIELD - The agenda of the Westfield Village Board of Trustee's regular monthly meeting on Monday, April 15 was packed with requests.
In addition, a few audience members added to the issues to be discussed.
During his report to the board, Code Enforcement Officer Jim Pacanowski was reporting to the board about the fire-damaged house at 19 Cottage St., when an audience member who never identified himself, presumably the homeowner, spoke up regarding the issue.
Pacanowski said he had not received any contact in regards to the house, and plans were supposed to be submitted in 30 days, which had already passed. The audience member brought drawings of the plans for the house to the meeting and left them with the board, and he wanted them to be approved so he could be given a permit. The homeowner said he felt like the village was attempting to hinder his rebuilding efforts, but the mayor assured him that was not the case.
"We want you to rebuild it too," Mayor VandeVelde said. "We want it done as soon as possible."
Pacanowski said the issues were the fact that he had received no communication, had no plans, had no insurance certificates and no idea of what is going to be demolished. He also said the plans that had been dropped off at the meeting were not the complete, necessary drawings.
"We want to get it going too," Pacanowski said.
Regarding the Department of Public Works, the board approved the request for a referendum for the parking lot capital reserve to repave the lot behind the stores on Main Street and improve drainage, the bid from Cummins Northeast for two emergency generators for the west side pump station project at a cost of $53,800, the bid from Lock City for all the piping and valves for the same project at a cost of $31,191, the request to go out to bid for annual supplies, sewer pumps and directorial pipe boring, Kistner Concrete as the sole source for Water Street pump station and the request to hire four seasonal employees, which was already calculated in the budget.
The board also discussed a request by the McClurg Museum to remove all or parts of metal gates at the front gate to the driveway going into the museum. However, it is unclear what entity actually owns the gates. After much discussion, the topic was tabled as it was decided more work should be done to determine the ownership of the gates before any work was done to remove them.
Electric Department Supervisor William Boneberg reported 85 village lights on East and West Main and North and South Portage Streets were replaced with LED lights in March. VandeVelde asked how much it would save the village, to which Boneberg responded the lights will use 50 to 60 percent less electricity, give off less emissions and last for 12 to 15 years without the village doing anything. He also said the lights didn't cost the village anything because it pulled money out of the Independent Electricity Program it belongs and puts money in to.
The sewer department was granted permission to purchase a Vaughn return sludge pump. This pump was budgeted for and will be the second out of four total to be purchased. The water department was given permission to go out to bid for annual supplies. Tri-County Restoration of Westfield was again selected to perform the final part of restoring Eason Hall, the back side of the building. The board also approved multiple budget transfers for the Department of Public Works.
The board gave Westfield Academy and Central School seniors Kathryn Blasdell and Travis Rammelt, both part of the BOCES Criminal Justice Program, permission to take part in a 40-hour police ride-along, contingent on insurance coverage by BOCES.
During public comment, resident Dave O'Connor asked for the removal of Vince Luce as Freedom Of Information Law officer for the village due to his experience requesting files under the law. He also asked if the insurance money received by the village of the fire-damaged electrical truck was enough to fully pay for the new truck and what the difference was between the insurance coverage and the actual cost of the new truck. O'Connor then asked if the village went out to bid for the old Add Lumber building it purchased, why the village just offered one price and would that owner have found another seller for the building.
VandeVelde said he would look into O'Connor's questions and give him the answers.
The board recessed into executive session for personnel and contract discussions. After returning from executive session, the board voted unanimously to approve a police contract with the Town of Westfield for $10,000. VandeVelde said it was almost identical to the previous contract and will be made public once approved by the Town Board as well.
The board scheduled a public hearing for Monday, May 20 at 7 p.m., for consideration of proposed amendments to the Westfield Village Code regarding allowing residential uses in the transitional business district and add uses to the mixed use district.