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Town – Union at an Impasse

By John T. Ryan

Peru – Contract negotiations, tobacco prohibitions and back-flow prevention valves were some of the topics discussed at the Monday, March 27th Town Board meeting.

An impasse has been declared in contract negotiations between the Town of Peru and its Highway Department CSEA employees. Both sides met with a mediator on Tuesday. Supervisor Peter Glushko said progress was made. Union Representative Scott Houser had no comment. Future mediation sessions have been scheduled.

Counselors discussed tobacco product and usage prohibitions in and around town buildings and vehicles. Smoking cigarettes and the like is prohibited in town buildings and vehicles. Adding e-cigarettes, snuff, chew and similar items to the prohibited items and establishing a no-smoking zone adjacent to town buildings was discussed, Prohibiting the use of tobacco products on any town property was mentioned. Counselors will research the policies being followed by other communities prior to taking any action.

Water-Sewer Superintendent Courtney Tetrault asked for the Board’s guidance when commercial users do not comply with the town’s annual back-flow valve testing requirement. A back-flow value reduces potential contaminating of the town’s potable water system. Tetrault has sent three letters to three users who have not complied. Two other customers have not installed the valves. Tetrault said the law calls for a $100 penalty when annual testing is not conducted. Counselors asked Tetrault to send certified letters prior to initiating any penalty action. Tetrault said there is a contractor who will conduct the test for $45.

Counselors decided to search out a new IT provider. The contract with Simon Moore, who was hired in March 2015, will not be renewed. No reason was stated for not renewing the contract.

County Legislator Peter Keenan presented one of his periodic reports to the board. Keenan said that sales tax collections are ahead of projections and that Construction Phase #1 of the Plattsburgh International Airport has been completed. He said New York State recently awarded $38 million for a second phase and it will include a hotel and a road leading to the hotel. Click here to see MY NBC Report.

In other actions the Board:

  • Renewed its accounting services contract with Boulrice and Wood CPS, PC.
  • Noted that a time clock will be installed at the new town court building at a cost of $600. The clock will be utilized by the one part-time employee.
  • Counselor Jim Douglass commended Highway Superintendent Michael Farrell and Water/Sewer/Parks Superintendent Courtney Tetrault for the excellent work their departments performed during and following the March 15-16 snowfall. Farrell said his department’s seven plows can clear the town’s roads in three to three and one-half hours during a 6 inch snowfall. The March snowfall totaled about 31 inches.
  • Highway Superintendent Michael Farrell reported on the Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS) lobbying trip to Albany. Farrell said he brought up health insurance costs with State Senator Betty Little and that the region’s highway superintendents would like to bargain with health insurance carriers as a group to increase their bargaining power. The proposal will be discussed with Assemblyman Bill Jones.
  • Water Superintendent Courtney Tetrault is researching the least expensive method for disposing of the water treatment plant’s backwash sediment. The plant’s filtration system is backwashed three or more times daily depending on water quality. The two lagoons behind the plant hold thousands of yards of sediment and haven’t been emptied since the 1990’s.
  • Judge Jim Kirby reported that a security system including cameras is operational at the town court building.
  • Dog Control Office David Drollette reported finding 13 unlicensed dogs within the last ten days. The dogs have been/will be licensed.

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