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Tree-tapping and stray cats concern West Carthage citizens

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WEST CARTHAGE — At least one resident was left confused by the recent law prohibiting the tapping of maple trees on village-owned property, prompting a call for clarification.

During the public comment portion of Monday’s Board of Trustees meeting, Vincent Street resident Robert Covillion questioned his maintenance of the land between the sidewalk and road in front of his home. Following the March 11 meeting, Officer in Charge David J. Pustizzi visited Mr. Covillion to inform him that sap buckets needed to be removed from a tree in the terrace due to a new local law. Mr. Covillion reasoned that, since the village is liable if something should happen while he is securing sap from a tree on that property, would the village not also be liable if injury occurred while he was maintaining the village-owned plot of land? Similarly, he asked why, if the sidewalk belongs to the village, does he have to remove snow from the walkway?

Mayor Scott M. Burto informed Mr. Covillion that tapping of the trees is not allowed due to the recently passed local law and that he would take those questions to the village attorney.

Code Enforcement Officer Peter M. Crump Jr. also asked for clarification on the terrace area.

“If we are going to send letters about mowing and shoveling, we need better clarification on the law,” Mr. Crump said.

George A. Passage brought up the problem of stray cats.

Mayor Burto said the board has discussed the matter at numerous meetings and researched solutions.

“The county will not take cats and with SPCA, you must place a deposit, which you don’t get back if no one picks up the cat,” the mayor said.

He added that, in other communities, local groups have stepped forward to deal with the problem.

As fire department chief, Mr. Crump requested and was approved to rent a mask-fit-test machine from Jerome Fire Equipment Co. Inc., Clay. The cost of renting the instrument to test the self-contained breathing apparatus for firefighters would be $150, which Mr. Crump said would be split with the Natural Bridge Fire Department.

Jordan Buckley, Junius Albert and Jared House were approved by the village to join the fire department.

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