Ogdensburg swears in new clerk

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  • Councilman David Astor discusses the School Choice Program.

  • PHOTO BY VERA OLINSKI From left, Robin Hough is sworn in as Ogdensburg Clerk by Phyllis Drouin, while Hough's grandson and daughter hold the Bible.

  • Councilman Elect Michael Nardini explains how to obtain a dredging permit through the already active dam repair permit.

New Borough Clerk Robin Hough was sworn in, Nov. 27, at the Ogdensburg Council meeting, for a three year term; and retiring Borough Clerk Phyllis Drouin resided over her last council meeting.

The council unanimously approved the custodial and cleaning supplies Board of Education Shared Service Agreement resolution. Councilman David Astor abstained.

Mayor Rachel Slater said she met with Jackie Espinoza of JCP&L, who will arrange: LED lights on Plant St., Passaic Ave., and Brook's Flat; evaluation of the downed light south of the tunnel; a light on the other side of the tunnel and in the back of Borough Hall; and possibly more LED lighting for Passaic and Main St. Slater added, they will also prepare to put LED lighting in other developments, if not too bright.

Astor researched the water run-off issue on Predmore Rd. He said, Department of Public Works Supervisor Chris Ross is aware of the ongoing issue. Ross, he added, will talk about a joint venture with an owner to secure another dam, which had been washed out from a resident's property.

Slater said, they received a letter asking Ogdensburg to recognize Jan. 21–to-27, 2018 as School Choice Week.

As part of the School Choice Program, Astor explained, the state caps and funds 37 seats, for students outside of the district to attend in Ogdensburg. In addition, he continued, there is a waiting list every year, because residents outside of Ogdensburg recognize the school as a good environment, with good teachers, and providing an excellent education.

In light of an accident last week, Slater discussed changing the job description and training the current civilian crossing guard to direct traffic, as a liability protection. She said, Police Chief Stephen Gordon also mentioned the fire police possibly directing traffic; Councilman George Hutnick would need to research possible interest in the fire department. Slater added, the discussion was because the county cannot always arrive in time.

Astor said it would be nice to have a couple of different options.

Councilman Robert Gunderman agreed, in an emergency situation, it is necessary to use who is available.

During public comment, Councilman Elect Michael Nardini said the Department of Environmental Protection Supervisor, who runs the Sediment and Dredging Technology office, said Ogdensburg can “piggy-back” a dredging permit on the already open, active dam repair permit. He added, they could resubmit the original application, with a one page general permit #13, and use existing photos, without water testing.

Slater said, per the engineer, there were issues completing permits in time for dredging and refilling the pond by March 15, per contract.

Councilman Anthony Nasisi summarized, the DEP told Nardini it would be very quick, just using and amending an existing permit.

Astor asked if the DEP supervisor guaranteed having the permits back in time.

Nardini answered, the paperwork for a blind permit takes up to 90 days for approval, and the DEP supervisor is willing to go across departments and use what has already been submitted for a dredging permit.

Slater added, it would also have to go out for bid.

Nardini offered to call mechanical dredging companies regarding availability.

Astor added, “It comes down to the time game when you go out to bid.”

Slater said it also has to go through the engineer. She asked Nardini to forward the information to Drouin, and they would notify Town Engineer Eugene Buczynski. Previously, Slater added, she had asked Buczynski about the DPW dredging from the side of the pond, and he had said it would not be worth it.

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