by Dave Warner
The regularly scheduled Common Council meeting started out with the pledge of allegiance and then quickly moved to the appointment of a new Police Chief.
Assistant Chief Ron Petrie was promoted in a ceremony where his wife Lisa pinned on the new Chief’s badge in front of a packed chamber.
Mayor Mark Blask stated “What a great night tonight. Every once in a while we get the chance to promote somebody who is from Little Falls, who has worked his way up the ranks and that’s what we get to do with Ron tonight.”
Blask went on to say that in 1884 Little Falls had their first police chief and that since then, there have been eleven police chiefs.
After his wife pinned the badge on him, Blask introduced the 12th Little Falls Police Chief to the audience.
In regular business, the Council approved Resolution #22, the Police Chief’s contract, Resolution #23, adding a work title of Groundskeeper to the CSEA contract, Resolution #24, purchase of a new mower for the cemetery and Resolution number #25, approval of a $1,000 expenditure for a Community Foundation – Countywide Community Development Plan.
In new business, David Dardzinski, President of Preserve our Past (POP) asked the council to consider providing funds to help them repair the roof of the gazebo in Burke Park. Dardzinski said, “POP was approached about an opportunity to take possession of a Revolutionary War Era Jacob Small 250-year-old house.”
Dardzinski said they are very excited about the opportunity to own the house and to be able to move it potentially to a site in Little Falls within the next two years. He was approaching the council for funds for the roof so that they could then divert some of the funds earmarked for the roof to take on the ownership and movement of the historic house.
“We want to be able to add this amazing structure to the cityscape,” he said. “It’s an amazing structure that survived the British and the Indians burning the valley out during the Revolutionary War.”
POP had set aside $9,000 for the roof project. “We’re hoping the city can kick in a little bit so that we can then use it to acquire this 20′ x 36′ 1 1/2 story house,” stated Dardzinski.
Also in new business, the deer problem within the city was brought up and the danger they pose from carrying ticks. The possibility of cars hitting them and the damage they are doing to landscaping were also discussed.
Reportedly, an individual at the DEC said that they have a way to thin herds, but that it has to be requested by the municipality. There is also the problem with people feeding the deer, which according to the DEC is illegal. The dominant deer eat the feed and the less dominant ones then feed on other items that are not as healthy for them.
Alderman Justin Welyczko mentioned that the deer also attract predators into the City and that it may pose a danger to our children. “I’ve seen some wild dogs over the years,” he said.
Also discussed in new business was the fact that the Farmer’s Market has already had one vendor display their wares last weekend, but that their official kickoff will be this weekend, Saturday, May 11th, behind M&T Bank in the parking lot.
In other comments, the American Legion will have volunteers forming up at their location starting at 8:30 am on the morning of the 19th to place flags on Veteran’s gravesites for Memorial Day.
Assemblyman Jeff Gressler also brought up the Historical Society’s 10th Patriots Day presentation on Saturday, May 18 at 11 am. Brief addresses will be made and then taps will be played at noon at the Episcopal Church on Albany St. “We chose that church because it’s the oldest church in Little Falls and we thought it was appropriate to go there.”
“The goal is to recognize the contributions of our ancestors in our country’s quest for independence,” stated Gressler.
Blask finished the meeting by saying “The movie folks were here today. You may have seen them on Main Street. Dave was down there, six or seven of them from Paramount and hopefully, we’ll hear something from them shortly, probably within the next week.”
“They are visiting three different places in Upstate New York and we’re just doing our best pitch. They did have a positive experience here the first time and that certainly helps us and we’ve spent the last six months showing them what they need to see. It’s certainly not a done deal at this point, but we’ll know within the next week,” said Blask.
If Little Falls is selected, shooting is expected to take 10 days or so during the summer.
The Ceremony at Eastern Park for Memorial Day was noted as being at 11:00 am on the 27th.