WELLSVILLE — The Town Board heard a preliminary request from the Wellsville Volunteer Fire Department for the purchase of a new tanker, which caused a bit of a row.

Harsh words were exchanged Wednesday night between Mike Roeske, the village trustee who is the liaison to the town board, and Town Supervisor Shad Alsworth when the purchase of a new tanker was brought up. Roeske maintained that, legally, the matter should be brought before the village board, while Alsworth said he didn’t want to hear about it.

The wrangling came to an abrupt halt when Councilwoman Patty Graves moved to “explore” the idea of replacing the tanker, followed by Alsworth’s motion to hire outside counsel to deal with the village pertaining to the fire protection contract.

For the last several months the town and village boards have been in negotiations over the fire protection contract with the fire department. Alsworth said “things are going well.”

In the meantime, a fire department representative told the board that the department is in the preliminary stages of replacing the current tanker, which he described as “nickle and diming the department to death.”

It was noted that it will take two or three years before the fire department is ready to make a purchase.

The estimated worth of the current tanker is in question and the department needs to call in professional estimators to determine its value. It was also noted that trade-ins are not the norm with such vehicles and that it would probably be sold outright to another department.

However, it was also noted that Highway Superintendent Dean Arnold had expressed interest in the tanker for his department. Alsworth said he didn’t see that happening due to the fact that the fire department has always helped out the highway department in the past on such matters as cleaning bridges.

In another matter, it was determined that the daily sanitation of the playground equipment in Island Park will be reduced from every day to just one day a week.

“My recommendation is to go down to sanitizing the equipment once a week unless we start seeing an uptick in the (COVID-19) virus,” said Chris Martelle, the head of the COVID-19 Emergency Taskforce. He assured the town council that there is plenty of sanitizer available, so there is no reason to stop the precautionary sanitation.

In routine matters, the board passed three measures pertaining to the airport.

The first allowed the appropriate official to attach his signature to the paperwork to accept a $32,000 grant from the Federal Aeronautics Administration. The board also approved payment of $1,175 to buyout the current telephone contract and replace it with a different company’s product, and it approved getting three quotes to audit the airport’s books before it can accept a $3 million grant from the FAA for runway improvement, which is required by terms of the grant.

The board also approved a request from the fire department for a Fly-In Breakfast to take place Sept. 12 as part of the firefighters’ convention activities.

Concerning the building project for the highway/municipal building, the town board decided it will advertise for a general contractor to help in the construction which is being spearheaded by the Alfred State College Building and Trades Department. The contractor will be required to work with the school, with the town board and with the highway department.

Alsworth said the town is also working with Justice Brad Thompson and the village to determine how the town and village courts can be consolidated. A new courtroom is part of the building plan.

The next board meeting will take place Aug. 11 at the temporary town offices located at the airport.

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