CLINTON — Whether Clinton Volunteer Fire Department should allow the sounding of their fire station alarm for emergency calls during the annual Clinton Art & Music Festival Aug. 24 became the topic of debate during the village board meeting Monday, Aug. 5 at Lumbard Hall.
Clinton Area Chamber of Commerce Executive Director Jackie Walters first addressed the board requesting traffic control, as they have in previous years, for the Clinton Art & Music Festival planned for Saturday, Aug. 24.
Trustee Carrie Evans asked if all the trucks would be kept in the fire house during the the festival. Fire Chief Jim Scoones said that they would.
“Does it not make sense to move them away from all those people?,” Evans asked the chief.
“We haven’t done it in the past,” he answered.
“That doesn’t mean it does makes sense,’” Evans replied. “I mean it would put them away from an awful lot of people and a lot of congestion, I mean because your firefighters have to get in too. It’s not just about getting the trucks out.”
Then Evans inquired about another concern.
“And then maybe also the fire whistle to not go off that day?,” Evans asked. “Just asking for your assistance on that.”
Chief Scoones said the fire department has two ways of notification. One way is through the paging system with Oneida County, which requires a man at the station. The second is the whistle which rings four times.
“If I have people to man the fire house during the festival I will try to cover the calls without the whistle, but I cannot guarantee I will have a man. It’s a volunteer fire department — if someone tells me that can’t be there I cannot force them,” said Scoones.
“If it’s a structure fire, somebody’s house, anybody’s house, and they say, ‘Why didn’t you come?,’ and it’s because nobody heard the fire whistle, I’m not going to go and stand in front of the judge and tell him I turned it off for a music festival,” he added.
“I totally get that,” Evans replied. “But I would also say that if you have all of the trucks there and everybody has to get to the trucks and you got a whistle going, that might not be the best place for the trucks.”
Deputy Mayor Thomas P. Firsching commented on the matter as well.
“I tend to support what Carrie says,” Firsching said. “I will yield to the professionals sure, the professional volunteers. But I do support what she said.”
Other village business:
• Mayor Steven J. Bellona kicked off August’s monthly board meeting with a congratulations to Robert “Rock” Rockwell, superintendent of the Department of Public Works, for 30 years of service.
Rockwell gave his monthly report to the board, including the finishing up of the Fountain Street project, and having to fix turned over mailboxes on Mulberry Street, as well as vandalized street signs.
• Green waste: Bellona said he’s had “several” calls from village residents inquiring about green waste pick-up to which he replied, “We’re getting to it, but it’s not a priority, as we have other things we have to do.”
“We’ve got manholes, road maintenance, sewer maintenance and well-line maintenance,” Bellona continued. “We are doing our best, but sometimes it’s just going to have to stay on the curb, unless residents want to haul it away themselves to the Kirkland Town Municipal Offices and place it on the compost pile there. Green waste can be dumped at the town offices compost site on Wednesdays and Saturdays.”
The mayor added that the village can’t pick up green waste every week, so it most likely will be collected every two weeks.
• Rockwell explained he Department of Public Works crews recently picked up dead plant material on one street and while doing so, residents began putting more green waste back out at the top of the street, where they’d just cleared it moments before.
Trustee Ben Fehlner suggested landscaping companies could be contributing to the vast amounts of leaf litter being disseminated on the village streets. Additionally, it was a wet spring with more rain than anyone anticipated, he added.
• The village has a new codes enforcement officer, although it may be a while before Bob Harris will officially replace Mike Griffin. Harris was the victim of a falling accident and after being hospitalized, is in recovery, Police Chief Daniel English said.
• Village Engineer Tim O’Hara reported the rehab work on the South Street water tank is on schedule to be back in service in a couple weeks.
• Mayor Bellona stated that the water bond rating had been upgraded from an A to A-plus.