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Pelham Village Officials Approve Firefighter Agreement, Give Update on W & B Bridge, Hold off on Tax Cap Resolution

Here’s a round-up of the Tuesday, March 6, Pelham village board meeting.

 

The Pelham village board tabled discussions on a resolution that would give them the go ahead to override the state’s 2 percent property tax cap during Tuesday’s village board meeting.

The resolution would allow village officials  to override the tax cap if  a supermajority vote is reached on the board. A copy of the resolution is available in the PDF to the right of this story.

“We’re trying to get some more facts and figures on this,” Mayor Edward Hotchkiss said. “We don’t have those yet, so we’re going to table this right now.”
, but eventually changed its mind.

The village is scheduled to have tentative budget ready by March 20. The final budget must be adopted by May 1.

Firefighter Incident Command Plan Approved

The board approved a consent award settlement agreement between the Pellham Professional Firefighters Association that they believe will curb overtime costs and give a clearer directive as to who oversees an emergency scene when the chief is unavailable.

“It just tightens up some of the loose ends that were always hanging out there,” said Robert Yamuder, the village administrator.

In the past, the chief would go on vacation and assign a Lieutenant to cover a shift as incident commander. This would cause overtime to increase since the fire chief's position is part-time.

Yamuder said there also confusion over what type of duties necessitated a need for an incident commander. These duties included administrative work.

In addition to keeping overtime costs down, the new agreement will help to improve safety and manpower at the fire department, according to Yamuder.

Westchester & Boston Railroad Bridge Update

Mayor Hotchkiss said that is important that the village undergo a structural assessment of the bridge as quickly as possible.


Last week, several piece of concrete feel from the bridge’s retaining wall and onto town property. That area has since be cordoned off.

In January, the board tabled a resolution to authorize a contract to Ammann and Whitney to provide professional engineering services for remediation study of the bridge.

“We got some bids in and there were some questions about what the state laws were in terms of who we have to take,” Hotchkiss said. “Do we have to take the exact lowest bidder or do we take someone who is not the lowest bidder, but someone we feel is more value to the village and we almost have that clarified.”

Hotchkiss said that any study of the bridge would include analysis of the bridge’s condition, the cost of the bridge’s maintenance and the cost of removing the bridge.

Other items

  • The board approved survey bids for the following capital projects: Scott Chamberlain bids of $2,400 for the Seventh Avenue project and $2,700 for the Wolfs Lane Park; along with Thomas C. Merritts’ bid of $4,800 for the Third Street project.

 

  • The village unveiled new microphones and a new video camera during Tuesday’s village board meeting. The equipment was paid from a pool of $18,000 in franchise fees from Verizon. Peter Bonington, secretary to the village administrator, said the next step is the purchase of playback server that will village meetings to be shot in more of a digital format. Bonington said the new server would also allow the village to use DVDs as backups. The village currently uses VHS cassettes to back up its meetings.

Correction

The Pelham fire chief is a part-time position. An earlier version of this story said otherwise.

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