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Sun., Oct. 4
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Complaint from fire department puts Louisville’s fall cleanup in jeopardy


LOUISVILLE — An anonymous complaint that came from within the Louisville Volunteer Fire Department has cost the town more than $6,000 and put its fall cleanup in jeopardy.

Highway Superintendent Vern G. Fenlong said the complaint resulted in $4,103 in additional permitting and tipping fees, while also forcing the town to spend $2,000 to rent a bulldozer to clean up its brush pile.

Mr. Fenlong said that in the past the fire department would burn the brush pile, which often also would include lumber and plywood. However, this year, with the problems between the town and the fire department, town Supervisor Larry R. Legault said the town elected not to ask the department to take care of the brush pile.

“It was considered a drill,” Mr. Fenlong said, adding that after the complaint, he was contacted by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.

“We could have ended up with fines,” he said, adding that the town now has all the permits it needs to collect brush and leaves.

The town budgeted $15,000 this year for both the spring and fall cleanups, and the spring cleanup alone exceeded that amount, Mr. Legault said.

“It sounds like we’re not going to have a fall cleanup,” he said.

Mr. Fenlong said that while Louisville traditionally has held two cleanups per year, it’s the only town in the area to do so.

Without the additional fees that came as a result of the complaint, Mr. Fenlong said, spring cleanup would have cost about $9,000. He also said the fall cleanup typically costs about half as much as the spring one.

Mr. Fenlong said a final decision will not have to be made until the board’s August or September meeting.

This year’s spring cleanup in May was held two weeks before a community meeting where the town board and fire department agreed to work out their differences.

“The situation with the brush pile occurred while there were issues ongoing between the town and fire department,” Mr. Legault said. “Since then we have put ourselves on a path to a better relationship with them.”

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