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New Herrings board takes over, says joint water project a priority

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HERRINGS — Through write-in votes, an entire new board was elected for the village in November. Newcomer Christal L. Loeffler was elected mayor and former board members James D. Camidge and David M. Arnold were elected trustees. The trio conducted its first meeting Monday following a Deferiet-Herrings Water Commission meeting.

Mayor Loeffler said she wanted the board updated on the joint water project with the village of Deferiet, so she invited representatives of Bernier, Carr and Associates, Watertown, to the meeting.

Mr. Arnold pointed out the water project began when he was mayor. He served from 1998 to 2010, resigning for medical reasons. “I’m happy with the project. We definitely need it,” he said. “We don’t drink the water here.”

Mr. Camidge agreed, noting he was “glad it’s a joint project — we could not do it on our own.” Mrs. Loeffler said she was “excited” about the progress of the water project.

“It’s a disadvantage not having clean water and very frustrating,” she said. Relating what Bernier, Carr had reported, the mayor said there are a few more easements to be signed until the village can move forward with construction, which should take three to four months. The engineering firm estimated the project should be completed by the end of the year.

The new board is beginning to reorganize village affairs.

It has hired a new clerk, Steven H. Fitzgerald, following the resignation of Nancy J. Gerber. It terminated village maintenance employee Richard A. Beirman Jr. and hired Patrick O’Shaughnessy. Larry J. Dobransky was hired to plow the village streets.

Mr. Arnold said the new board has spent the past month getting the village paperwork in order and has found some discrepancies where bills were not paid. “I am grateful for the experience and expertise of Mr. Arnold,” the new mayor said.

The village also has had equipment failure with its snowplow and has made arrangements with the town of Wilna and village of Deferiet to have the streets maintained.

The new village board said it has begun reviewing the budget to make changes in the new fiscal year.

Mrs. Loeffler said it will plan to set aside funds to have the roof replaced on the municipal building and hopes to set up a reserve fund to cover emergencies.

When asked about talk of dissolving the village, the new board was adamantly opposed.

“We’re not interested,” the mayor said. “I don’t think the residents want it.”

“It would have to be brought up to a public vote and it would never pass,” Mr. Arnold said. “Only a select few want it.”

“No one has ever come to me about it,” Mr. Camidge said.

“I think people get discouraged and then the talk begins, but most don’t want it,” Mrs. Loeffler said.

The new board members said they will continue to pressure the federal government to clean up the former Crown Cleaners site.

“It’s an eyesore,” Mrs. Loeffler said.

“We’ll keep pushing,” Mr. Arnold said, adding he also would like to see the sharp curve in the road near the former dry cleaning plant straightened out.

Mr. Camidge said his big goal for his time in office will be to “get things back the way it was.”

He said everyone used to get along in the small village.

“There’s a lot of bickering lately,” he said. “We need to get back on track where neighbors get along and also get financially back on track.”

During the business meeting, the board voted to change the meeting time. The board will meet at 7:30 p.m. the first Monday of the month at the municipal building, 35983 Route 3, with the exception of holidays. The next meeting will be Feb. 3.

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