PORT JEFFERSON — Port Jefferson Village council approved the sale of a vacant lot just north of the village Community Center insuring the construction of a new firehouse.
Finalizing a process that took nearly three years to complete, the 2.5 acre lot was purchased by the Port Jefferson Fire Company for $22,000 plus any fees and or charges incurred in the transaction. Mayor Steve Butterfield expressed his appreciation for getting the sale completed and noted it will be nice to see the improvements the new facility will bring to the village and surrounding community.
“I’m glad to see this sale finalized, It has taken a long time to see it come to fruition and I’m sure it is a relief to all concerned, especially the fire department,” said Butterfield.
Port Jefferson Fire Chief Tom Fitchpatrick nodded his agreement.
“It’s been almost three years since we presented the original proposal, it’s nice to know we have the land and can get moving on the project,” said Fitchpatrick. “We have a lot of work to do but we have had a lot of time to plan so we’re ready. We have several major fundraising events planned and everyone is anxious to get started.”
The new firehouse will allow the department to get a bigger fire engine as well as other much needed new equipment to provide better emergency service to the residents of Port Jefferson and the surrounding area. Butterfield said the village will continue to mow the grass until all paperwork is finalized.
“Technically it’s the responsibility of the village to keep things looking good until all the paperwork is signed and the sale is totally complete,” he said.
In old business council heard a report from Butterfield about moving forward with a plan to improve the appearance of the village by enforcing existing codes dealing with junk vehicles, cleaning up accumulations of junk and trash and eliminating and removing numerous burn-piles around the village.
“We have seen a little progress around town since the story ran in the Sidney Daily News about getting things cleaned up,” the mayor said. “But we still have a long way to go and all residents will be receiving a notice about what they will need to do to be in compliance with village regulations. Everyone will receive a notice whether they have their place cleaned up or not, that way the village will not be accused of favoritism concerning who needs to do what.
“I am glad to announce the issue with the junk car discussed at the last meeting has been resolved, the owner and I were going to get together to discuss the matter but before our meeting he informed me the car had been sold and removed from the premises. It’s going to take some effort and a little time but in the end it will be good for our village in more ways than one. I’m willing to work with anyone who is trying to make improvements but refusing to cooperate will be costly, and the codes will be enforced one way or another,” Butterfield said.
In new business council heard and approved a request to eliminate charging for sewage services at a lot located at 436 West Main St. Owner and village resident Tim Smith requested the charges be stopped as the house trailer that occupied the lot has been removed and the services are no longer being used. “The trailer is gone and the lot is cleaned up, I would like to stop continuing to pay for sewage services as they not been needed or used there for quite some time.” Council voted to approve Smith’s request noting the same had been done previously when a house next to the old Methodist church was razed for the construction of a parking lot.
In other new business, Butterfield requested council’s approval to apply for CDBG (Community Development Block Grant) funding for improvements needed for the Port Jefferson Community Center.
“I’ve put some figures together to submit a request for financial help to paint the walls and floor, tile the bathroom floors, and install a water softener to help eliminate staining and corrosion on the bathroom fixtures,” said Butterfield. “I have an estimate of $13,100 to put a nice epoxy finish on the floor, $4,300 to paint the walls and approximately $4,000 to fix up the bathrooms and get a water softener.
“I will apply for at least $22,000 for the building plus $2,500 to $3,700 for Choice One Engineering who will see the project through. Choice One originally gave me an estimate of $2,500 but when I checked back they said it would now be at least $3,700. They said they would honor the old estimate if funds were not available but enough time had passed to merit an increase in services needed. With council’s approval we can send in our request and see what happens.” Butterfield said. Council approved Butterfield’s request.
Council also approved a resolution to move ahead with requesting OPWC (Ohio Public Works Commission) support to grade and resurface portions of East Canal Street and North Main Street. Butterfield will submit the estimate of $37,189 for street repair for consideration. If approved the cost would be covered by funding from Issue No. 1 with Port Jefferson paying 10 percent of the cost plus $3300 for services provided by Choice One Engineering for managing the project.
Councilwoman Krystal Cox said she had received a request from residents to look into patching holes in the pavement on Elm Street west of the 47 Inn. Butterfield said there were plans to repave Elm Street from state Route 47 to Canal Street in the future but that in the meantime some “cold-mix” would probably be the best remedy.
Butterfield said the Spring Street reconstruction was on schedule and going well and he hope the project will be completed by the proposed June 1 deadline.
“Things are coming along well and it will really look nice when finished” Butterfield said.
He then reminded all in attendance to exercise their right to vote in the election on Tuesday, thanked those in attendance for coming and said he looked forward to attending the next council meeting scheduled for June 4, 2018, at 7 p.m.
The writer is a regular contributor to the Sidney Daily News.