By Nathan Mayberg
MONTICELLO June 10, 2005 MobileMedic will get a new building to work from after a resolution was passed Monday evening by the Village of Monticello Board of Trustees.
The move was forcefully opposed by Trustee Gordon Jenkins.
The lease with MobileMedic will allow the for-profit emergency response company to move into the Ted Stroebele Recreation Center, where the former Monticello Volunteer Ambulance Corps was once housed.
The volunteer corps is now inactive after failing to meet state codes, but the company used to pay $1,500 a month to the village, according to Jenkins.
The lease was supported by the rest of the board, including the mayor and the manager. MobileMedic owner Albee Bockman has pledged to provide $18,000 worth of service to the village, in exchange for no rent.
Jenkins called the agreement an insult to the taxpayers. There are 100 people who would like to get a deal like that, he said.
Trustee Brian Vandermark backed up Bockman by citing the list of services he will provide the village, including drawing up an emergency plan where his company would transport seniors-at-risk to the recreation center. He would also purchase 50 cots in the event of a catastrophe, where seniors could sleep. The company will also conduct blood tests of individuals suspected of driving while intoxicated by the police department.
Other services include hepatitis vaccinations and OSHA training for village employees. If his company does not provide $18,000 worth of services, then he will return the balance to the village.
Jenkins said village employees could draw up a similar emergency plan. He also said that the village would not be able to determine whether Bockman had in fact, provided as much as he pledged to.
Youre giving away everything. We need money, added Jenkins.
He went on to call the deal a favor, part of a good old boys network.
Jenkins took further issue with Trustee Victor Marinello being involved in discussions over the proposal, since he works for MobileMedic. Marinello recused himself from the vote, which passed 3-1, with Mayor James Barnicle and trustees Scott Schoonmaker and Vandermark voting to approve the deal.
Bockman defended the transaction afterwards by stating that municipalities are required to enter into a contract for emergency services. Currently, MobileMedic bills village residents directly for any service. Bockman said his company has been in business for seven years and has saved the lives of many people.
In other business at the villages board meeting, the board approved a resolution which will hold the municipality liable for the maintenance and electricity costs of new lights which will be installed on Pleasant Street by the New York State Department of Transportation either this year or next. Sush said the lights were necessary to prevent accidents like those in the past where pedestrians were hit by vehicles.
The board agreed to rename Government Drive the one-way street which goes past the Sullivan County Government Center Wasser Way, in honor of former longtime village resident and Sullivan County Sheriff Joe Wasser. Wasser also served as Town of Thompson justice and town councilman for 19 years each. For six years, he was commissioner for the New York State Commission of Corrections, after being chosen by then-New York State Governor Hugh Carey.
Hazel Williams continued her longstanding calls for the village to take action against heavy truck traffic on Waverly Avenue, which is home to Turicks Inc. Roll-Off Containers. Williams also continued to lodge her complaint about her concerns of future flooding due to ditches on the side of the road being filled with grass.
Village resident Honora Wohl said a number of residents at some apartment buildings on Park Avenue were not recycling, which is mandatory by village law.
Another complaint was made by a resident who said there was a large pile of garbage near the Short Line Bus Station. Village Manager Richard Sush said the pile was left by Thompson Sanitation on village property while it waits to haul it to the county landfill. The garbage was part of the villages Spring Cleanup. Thompson Sanitation contracted with the village for the service.
Finally, the village and town will meet June 21 at 7 p.m. at the town hall to discuss a joint village and town fire district, in which the money will go directly to the fire department.
A public hearing will be scheduled at that meeting.