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Massena village board tables decision on Fregoe

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MASSENA - The village’s code enforcement officer will have continue to wait to find out if he will keep his job.

After additional discussions in lengthy executive session Tuesday, the village’s Board of Trustees once again tabled a decision on the reappointment of Code Enforcement Officer Gregory Fregoe.

Mayor James F. Hidy said the board might meet before its next regular meeting Feb. 6 to decide the fate of Mr. Fregoe, but hadn’t yet chosen a time to further discuss it. “We’re still in a fact-finding mode here,” he said.

Mr. Hidy said Mr. Fregoe would remain the code enforcement officer until the village board voted on his reappointment.

After giving his report to the board Tuesday, Mr. Fregoe asked the board whether he would be stay on at his post. Mr. Hidy told him they would discuss the matter in executive session.

The board did not reappoint Mr. Fregoe to his post at its reorganizational meeting in December. He has been working on a day by day basis since that time. Mr. Fregoe has indicated village officials have not discussed the issue with it and had not told him he wasn’t to be reappointed prior to the organizational meeting.

If the village chooses not to reappoint Mr. Fregoe, it would rely on firefighters trained in code enforcement to take over his duties.

“We’re exercising our options on whether to continue with (Mr. Fregoe) or to filter in (firefighters trained in code enforcement),” Mr. Hidy said previously.

Career Firefighters Department Foreman Ken McGowan and fellow career firefighter Aaron Hardy completed New York state code enforcement training in early November. They join career firefighter Bill O’Brien, who had previously received the training.

Two additional firefighters, Jeremy Lefeve and Matt Tuper, are trained as code compliance technicians, and Walt Bean will finish this training later this month, Mr. McGowan said.

A code compliance technician is trained in enforcing the fire and property maintenance codes, but is not certified in other code enforcement officer duties, such as issuing building permits or inspecting new construction projects.

Mr. McGowan said he’d not been in discussions with village officials over the possibility of taking over Mr. Fregoe’s duties, but noted it was something they had been preparing for.

“We assumed we’d be taking over when (Mr. Fregoe) retired, but we’ve had no concrete talks” on taking over code enforcement, Mr. McGowan said.

Mr. Fregoe has served as the village’s code enforcement officer since 1999.

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