Ogdensburg makes CFO pact with Sussex


PHOTO BY VERA OLINSKI Ogdensburg Police Chief Stephen Gordon discusses an engine braking ordinance.
By vera olinski

OGDENSBURG — Mayor Elect George Hutnick said on Nov. 26, there will be a Chief Financial Officer shared-service agreement with Sussex Borough.
After legal finishes reviewing the contract, he added, they will place CFO ads and conduct joint interviews with both Ogdensburg and Sussex. Hutnick continued, the CFO position will be a full-time position — split three days with Ogdensburg and two days with Sussex — along with flex time, when necessary, salary, and benefits.
Elizabethtown Gas was on track, Hutnick said, to complete the natural gas project in Ogdensburg. Currently, he continued, the company was running the natural gas from the street to residents’ homes.
Hutnick confirmed JCP&L, the Borough of Ogdensburg, and Ogdensburg Fire Department will develop a light plan in order to place a light in the firehouse parking lot; the shared service agreement contract with Sparta Dispatch was being reviewed before approval; and the borough will complete physical hydrant repairs this year. In 2019, he added, the borough will draft a hydrant flushing plan to maintain borough hydrants.
For safety's sake, Hutnick said, a firehouse gate is being considered in order to eliminate potential pedestrian accidents occurring as vehicles enter the firehouse parking lot. Specifically, he said, they hope to slow cars down and protect children around the park. Due to land ownership considerations, he continued, they will ensure cars do not leave the gate on fire department property and enter municipal property.
Hutnick also said the council will transfer borough business to town email addresses instead of using personal email addresses; and the school cannot be a shelter because the showers do not work, and the school generator only powers lighting. Thus, Sussex County Technical School is the nearest shelter for Ogdensburg residents in case of emergency.
Judge Glenn Gavan would like to help secure a grant for the video conferencing system TV monitor between the jail system and the Ogdensburg Municipal Court. Hutnick said, the borough has money from the DWI fund to help with the rest of the video conference system and laptop.
The borough sent requests for proposals to law firms and engineers, Hutnick said, regarding the town attorney and town engineer positions; and the borough will send a letter of support for Project Self-Sufficiency regarding the Early Head Start Expansion program funding — Pre-School — through the Administration for Children and Family’s Department of Human Services.
A resolution will be passed, he continued, to make the Water Department hours from 9 a.m. until 2 p.m., Monday through Friday, in January. 2019. The resolution must wait until 2019, because the resolution and ordinance process requires two consecutive council meetings in the same calendar year. Only one Council meeting remains in 2018, on Dec. 10.
The borough is in the process, Hutnick said, of updating employee handbooks and documentation. During the meeting, the council discussed employees’ work and lunch hours, which will be updated in the employee handbook accordingly.
During public comment, resident Charles Puzio said he had asked the council to pass an engine braking ordinance — Jake Braking — due to loud noise on Rte. 517. He had been told the council could not pass the suggested ordinance because Rte. 517 is a county road. After researching with the county, Puzio discovered the borough council must first pass an ordinance, and then the county will post signs stating engine braking is not allowed.
Police Chief Stephen Gordon agreed.
He said, first the borough needed to pass an ordinance, and the county would be in charge of putting up signs with the ordinance number to be enforced. The police officers, he continued, would need to be trained about engine braking and what it sounds like.
In addition, he said, the borough would need to determine a fine schedule.
Mayor Rachel Slater said, they will work on the engine braking ordinance for January.
The ordinance will be put on hold until January, because the resolution and ordinance process may not be split between two calendar years — 2018 and 2019.