Streets foreman refutes report

SILVER CREEK – Ralph Crawford, Silver Creek streets foreman, had a bone to pick with what was said in a commentary printed in the March 3 OBSERVER.

The commentary written by Silver Creek resident Anna Frederickson referenced an accident with a “sewer truck” which resulted in thousands of dollars in damage to the vehicle.

Crawford said the cost of the damage was misquoted and said accidents happen in every department.

“First of all, the (commentary) in the (OBSERVER) stating that there was an accident with the sewer vehicle, it was actually the sewer vac truck from the highway department. It did not cost $8,900. The actual price was $7,800 and the village had insurance on it so it was only a $500 deductible. So, it only cost the village like $500. We are not the only department to have accidents, (Police Chief) Tim (Roche) can explain as well as I can, people have accidents in every department. Also, if you want to inquire more on how the accident happened, just contact the Dunkirk Police Department because they took the accident report,” he said.

The OBSERVER obtained the accident report from Dunkirk Police through a Freedom of Information Law request. The report stated the accident occurred on April 12, 2011 at Valley Tire on Lake Shore Drive. The report stated the vehicle operated by Ralph Crawford and Gary Glover Jr. struck a steel post on the property and damaged the rear and side of the vehicle.

In an interview, Anna Frederickson said she was not refuting that the police would report the incident as an accident, but was trying to point out the village employees’ carelessness.

“The police will tell you it was an accident, but they won’t say that the other guy didn’t back him up. They won’t add it was irresponsible of him not to help,” she said.

She also said even if the village only had to pay the deductible, the village would have to pay increased premiums if the insurance went up because of the accident.

“It was a waste because the employees didn’t do their job properly,” Frederickson added.

Crawford also addressed comments posted on the Internet about a personal vehicle.

“Also, the response in the comments, someone has the idea in their head that I have a $35,000 pickup truck that I personally only drive. That’s wrong because we have a plow and a sander on it and both the first shift and second shift use it as well as the water department uses it to salt and sand and do what they have to do. It is not a personal vehicle, it’s a village-owned vehicle and we use it wherever we need it … I may be the major driver of it but it’s not my personal vehicle,” he said.

Later, several residents also asked about the cost of the police vehicle the village purchased last year. Chief Timothy Roche explained the sticker price was $30,000 and the village received a $7,500 trade, but these costs do not include the addition of police equipment onto the vehicle. Treasurer Janet St. George said the village will pay three $8,100 lease payments for the vehicle, which includes interest.

The village board also voted to deny the bid for garbage bags. Trustee Amy Romanik said it is because the village only received one bid and hopes to get more competitive bids.

The board tabled a resolution to amend the board’s rules of procedure for meetings policy. Attorney Dan Gard is working to update the board’s policy.

The board approved a Lexis Advance Subscription Agreement, an online legal system for Gard, at a cost of $60 per month out of the contingency fund.

Court Clerk Carol Waugh reported the new court clerk is nearly trained and she should be retiring fully in about a month’s time.

The board entered into executive session at the end of the meeting for personnel and contractual matters.

The next village board meeting will be held today at 7 p.m.