$160K bond narrowly approved in Fredonia

A bond resolution authorizing the purchase of various trucks for Fredonia’s Department of Public Works has passed the village board by a razor-thin margin.

Trustee Marc Ruckman voted “nay” on the up to $160,000 serial bond, while trustees Joseph Cerrie, Janel Subjack and Phyllis Jones voted in favor during Monday’s board meeting. Trustee Susan Mackay was not present to vote. At least three “aye” votes were required to approve the resolution.

Ruckman cited a lack of information as the reasoning for his vote.

“Before you come into a meeting, it would be nice to have information and, unfortunately, we don’t get it until the day of the meeting usually,” he said after the meeting. “And that’s with all of it, not just this matter.”

During the workshop session preceding the meeting, Ruckman questioned DPW Supervisor Jack Boland on what he thought was a steep price tag, which would cover one medium-sized dump truck and three pickups for the village.

“The quotes I’m getting don’t get me to a truck approaching even $50,000,” Boland replied, adding he did receive a quote late on Monday for a $67,000 dump truck.

Boland said the dump truck, which may be up to $90,000 of the bond, would replace the current one, which is a 1991 Chevrolet Kodiak low profile dump truck the village currently owns.

“This is a gas-driven Kodiak, and I’m trying to get away from those hydraulic-lined … gas-driven ‘wannabe’ trucks and get a dump truck with a diesel engine and air brakes …,” he added.

Regarding the three pickups, Boland said one has already been purchased, while the other two are around $19,000.

Cerrie pointed out to Ruckman that the bond resolution is “the ceiling to the total cost,” so the trucks may come in at a lower amount than what the bond is for. Village Administrator Richard St. George added he will not borrow the money until the exact amount is pinpointed.

Ruckman has also voted “nay” on the approval of the meeting minutes for the past several meetings. When asked by the OBSERVER his reasoning, Ruckman stated he no longer receives minutes before meetings for some reason.

Also during the meeting, two other serial bond resolutions were passed unanimously. The second bond covers the reconstruction of the wastewater treatment plant’s roof (for a maximum of $75,000), while the third bond covers the replacement of valves and the reconstruction of the water treatment plant’s roof (for a maximum of $70,000).

All three bond resolutions are subject to permissive referendums, meaning a petition may be presented to the board within about a month of each legal notice posting in order to commence a public vote on the matter.

The next meeting, which is a workshop, is Feb. 18 at 6:30 p.m. in the mayor’s office of the village hall. The next regular meeting is Feb. 24 at 7:30 p.m.

Comments on this article may be sent to gfox@observertoday.com