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Nicola suggests joint meeting to discuss Massena code enforcement office


MASSENA — Town Councilman Charles A. Raiti told fellow board members last week it would be at least another month before the village board approves the intermunicipal agreement for the joint code enforcement office.

He said the village elected to alter wording in the agreement.

“Their attorney is going to look at it, and they’ll approve it next month,” he said.

Despite not approving the agreement, the village did hire Peter Devine as its code enforcement officer, essentially giving Massena residents a joint code enforcement office.

Mr. Raiti said the reason for changes in the agreement were concerns from the Massena Permanent Firefighters about potential conflicts with firefighters receiving two different sets of directions — one from Mr. Devine and one from the department supervisor on duty that day. The paid firefighters handle a variety of tasks for the code office, including inspections of rental properties.

“All he has to do is call Kenny (fire department foreman Kenneth J. McGowan) and say, ‘I need two code enforcement officers that day,’” Councilman Joseph F. Macaulay said.

Councilman Albert N. Nicola suggested town officials hold a meeting with village officials, the code enforcement officer and the fire department.

“You need to head it off before it becomes a problem,” he said. “This office needs to be very user friendly. If it’s not, that’s going to stifle growth.”

Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray said he’s just happy to see the position finally filled. “I’m not interested in making the fire department happy or the code enforcement officer happy. I’m interested in keeping the people happy,” he said.

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