ILION — The appointment of two volunteer firefighters at last week’s Ilion village board meeting raised the issue of insurance coverage for volunteers.
A new state law designed to provide health care benefits to volunteer firefighters who are diagnosed with certain kinds of cancer will go into effect next January.
The board approved Ilion Fire Chief Robert Paddock recommendation to accept the applications of Karl Tripple, former chief of the career department, and Michael Osterhoudt, a former member who recently returned to the area, for the volunteer fire department.
Mayor Terry Leonard commented that the new law regarding volunteer firefighters is raising concerns. The village will be asking for updates from its insurance carrier about available plans.
"The law is very specific," said Paddock. "There’s a detailed list of who it would cover."
He said the first step will be to meet with Village Attorney Mark Rose.
"Eventually we’ll meet with the volunteers to see who we can cover," said Paddock.
He estimated there are about 30 members of the volunteer department, including 10 to 15 who are active.
"They do a lot of things for the department," he said, noting that they take on jobs the regular firefighters can’t due to lack of personnel.
The volunteers direct traffic and assist in the station when the department is on standby.
"The two departments are working better together than they have in a long time," said Paddock.
The annual fire inspection is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. May 21 at the firehouse.
Property Maintenance Officer Tim Carter reported that renewal notices had been sent out to licensed plumbers in the village.
"This is an area that appears to have fallen through the cracks," he said.
He also reported that Aldi had been in touch and was revising its plans for a new building to reflect the actual location of village sewer lines. The present store is about 15,000 square feet and plans call for keeping it open during construction, although the space will likely be reduced to about 9,500 square feet.
Carter noted that the state’s zombie law will allow codes officials access to the list of properties in foreclosure which provides information on who owns the property. Leonard mentioned a property that has been vacant for many years and should be boarded up. He also said a tree that a neighbor had complained about on an Otsego Street property has been taken down to the 10-foot level.
In other business
• Police Chief Timothy Parisi reported the telephone is in place to roll nighttime police calls over to the 911 center, but the switch won’t go into effect until May 7. Once it does, calls to Ilion police between 11 p.m. and 7 a.m. will be answered by the 911 dispatchers.
• A clean-up event has been scheduled for 10 a.m. to noon April 25 at the Ilion Marina. Participants need to register and bring their own gloves and tools, according to Trustee Bridget McKinley.
• The village has received complaints about Canada Geese at sites on both the east and west ends of the village.
• The board voted to install a street light on Brook Street, where a resident reported property damage had occurred due to poor nighttime visibility.