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Town, village officials working on shared code enforcement officer

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MASSENA — The town and village have come up with a conceptual plan for hiring a joint code enforcement officer who would be a contract employee.

The village would pay 60 percent of the person’s salary, while the town would absorb 40 percent, town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray told councilmen during Wednesday’s Town Council meeting.

“We’ve been having some discussion with the village,” Mr. Gray said. “It looks like we’ve come to an agreement.”

The new code enforcement officer would be jointly hired by the village and town and would work 30 hours a week, not qualifying for benefits, according to the conceptual plan that was developed by Councilman Charles A. Raiti and Trustee Timothy J. Ahlfeld.

Any human resources decision would be resolved by a joint committee consisting of two Town Council members and two village trustees. The individual would report to both the town and village and would be appointed annually, Mr. Gray said.

The code enforcement position has been in flux since the retirement of former Code Enforcement Officer Gregory C. Fregoe on Jan. 22. Village officials opted to turn the duties over to career firefighters trained in code enforcement duties. On Jan. 20, Mayor James F. Hidy sent an email to town officials notifying them that the village no longer would provide code enforcement for the town.

Town officials had contracted with the village for the past several years to use Mr. Fregoe’s services. Since receiving Mr. Hidy’s email, the town had advertised and looked at applications for a part-time code enforcement officer while not ruling out the possibility of collaborating with the village on a new hire.

Under the proposed plan, which town officials said still needs to be tweaked, officials will advertise again for a joint code enforcement officer who will be a contract employee and will have use of the code enforcement office and full-time secretary Avis Hazelton.

Town fire inspections would be done at no cost to the town, Mr. Gray said, and if career firefighters need continuing education in code enforcement duties, both the village and town will pay for it.

“A lot of thought went into it,” Mr. Hidy said.

Mr. Gray asked for and received unanimous support for the plan from the Town Council on Wednesday.

No potential salary for the position was discussed during the meeting. Among the issues still to be worked out before hiring someone are insurance and transportation.

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