Esslie-Frenia Law June 2023 Leaderboard

Mayor asks state to finish what it started


CHATHAM–Before the Village Board met for its annual organization meeting last Thursday, April 8, board members listened to complaints about the drainage and roadwork project completed late last year by a contractor working for the state, including concerns about crumbling sidewalks and poorly placed signs.

One village resident attended the meeting with a long list of issues and questions for the board about the state project, but Mayor Paul Bohme said that he had listed many of the lingering problems with the job in a letter he wrote to state officials March 23. “We checked every sidewalk, put every crack down,” the mayor said. Mr. Bohme also said he would be following up with the state this week about letter.

“It was quite a letter the mayor wrote to the state,” said Trustee David Chapman.

One of the major issues is the still-incomplete intersection of Main Street and Route 295. Many people have voiced complaints about the placement of the crosswalk on Main Street, and a resident at the meeting Thursday mentioned that drivers don’t see the stop sign on Route 295.

The mayor has said that the intersection involves issues between the state and the CSX corporation, which owns the railroad tracks that cut through the village. He agreed at the meeting that the stop sign needs to be moved. He did not say whether that point was included in his letter to the state.

It is not clear at this point how the state’s effort to close its $9-billion deficit and the absence of an agreement on a state budget for the new fiscal year will affect efforts to finish the project.

During the organization meeting trustees were appointed to different positions and to serve as liaisons to the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals. George Grant and Mr. Chapman, both of whom ran unopposed and were reelected to their seats in last month’s elections, will keep their posts as village commissioners. Mr. Grant was appointed water/sewer commissioner; Mr. Chapman was appointed commissioner of the Highway Department. Trustee Lael Locke was appointed fire commissioner, and Trustee Patrick Wemitt is commissioner of police.

Mr. Chapman announced again that the village Department of Public Works has a new brush removal program, which started Monday, April 12, and will continue through May 17. The village will pick up brush no wider than 4” and no longer than 6′ from the curb in front of residents’ houses on Mondays and Fridays during the collection period.

“No brush will be allowed to be brought to the DPW garage on Brookside Avenue and the gate will remain locked during non-working hours,” Mr. Chapman wrote in his report to the board.

During his report to the board Police Chief Kevin Bohme said that damage was done to one of the village police cars when a suspect being arrested became violent and kicked parts of the car. Police later found a knife they say the suspect used to try to stab one of the officers.

“(Those) offers deserve a commendation for showing great restraint,” said Mr. Chapman.

Chief Bohme said he would be meeting with the mayor and police commissioner to talk about the repairs needed on the car.

The next village meeting will be Thursday, April 22, at 7:30 p.m. in the Tracy Memorial.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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