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Claverack makes room for county’s hazmat truck


HUDSON–The county’s Hazmat vehicle has a new home, the Claverack Fire Station, Fire Coordinator William Hunt told the Columbia County Board of Supervisors Public Safety Committee at its meeting Thursday, October 20.

The Livingston Fire Department had sheltered it for a year, but it said it no longer has room. Mr. Hunt thanked Deputy Coordinator George Keeler for arranging the Claverack location. Mr. Keeler in turn thanked the Livingston Fire Department for holding it as long as it did. Mr. Hunt and Mr. Keeler indicated that the Claverack Fire Station will hold the Hazmat vehicle indefinitely.

The truck is equipped to handle emergencies involving hazardous materials.

Also at the meeting, the committee voted to ask the full Board of Supervisors to legalize the sale of certain fireworks during certain weeks in Columbia County. Supervisor John Reilly (R-Gallatin), confidently introduced the motion, as his pre-adolescent son watched from the audience. He added that his Town Board supported it, “and they’re mostly firemen.”

Supervisor Kippy Wiegelt (R-Claverack) said the type of fireworks covered were too “low key” to arrest people on the 4th of July for using them.

Fire Coordinator Hunt did not comment on the proposal.

The committee adopted the resolution, although there were two No votes: Supervisor Mike Benvenuto (R-Ghent) and Supervisor Jeffrey Nayer (I-Copake). Mr. Benvenuto said, “I’ve driven by other counties’ fireworks tents, and I wasn’t overly impressed. And fire chiefs oppose it.”

Mr. Nayer said, “I spoke to my fire chief, and they’re against it. They have to put their lives on the line. They don’t think legalization is worth it.”

The next Public Safety Committee meeting will take place Thursday, November 17, at 5 p.m. at 401 State Street.

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