Mayor Mark Blask presents a Proclamation to Coach Paul Wehrum.

by Dave Warner

Tuesday nights Common Council meeting started out with an introduction by Mayor Mark Blask and a Proclamation for Coach Paul Wehrum.

Blask stated that Coach Wehrum had just retired after 37 years as a lacrosse coach. He went on to say that the numbers that the coach ran up during his career would blow people away. “Over 500 victories. A few years ago when he was in Sports Illustrated and they had his bio, he put from Little Falls New York. He is a Little Falls guy.”

“He had five national championships in a row, eight national championships at Herkimer College, national coach of the year four times, and it goes on. He left Union College in the spring as the winningest coach in its history,” said Blask.

He said “All those numbers are mind-blowing, but it’s not why we’re here today. It’s really the impact that the coach has had on thousands of kids. The number of boys and girls, men and women, that he has affected positively over those 37 years.”

Blask continued on to tell the story of how Wehrum impacted his life at 18, just after graduating from Little Falls High School, and then read the proclamation.

In other business, the Council unanimously passed Resolution #27, appointing Trang Camardello to the Little Falls Housing Authority, and also Resolution #28, which re-appointed Jordyan Mueller to another 5-year term on the Little Falls Housing Authority board.

Resolution #29 dealt with the acquisition of 381-383 West Main  Street. It read:

WHEREAS, the owners of a property located at 114.75-2-15, with a physical address located at 381-383 West Main Street have offered to transfer said property to the City of Little Falls as a resolution to a codes matter; and

WHEREAS, the City of Little Falls wishes to acquire title to said property; and

NOW, THEREFORE, be it resolved, that the Common Council of the City of Little Falls accepts the offer and hereby authorizes the Mayor to execute all documents necessary to complete the transfer.

Photo by Dave Warner – The Little Falls Common Council passed Resolution #29 unanimously allowing the Mayor to execute all documents necessary to complete a transfer of the property at 381-383 West Main St to the City.

Mayor Mark Blask stated “Last month, there was a resolution to accept the property to the right (of this location) from the County. So this will allow me to sign the paperwork for acquiring the second property. Once that’s done, hopefully, really here in the very near future, we’re going to going to start that process to clean it up. We’ve put it out for bids and Chet, the City Engineer has done a fantastic job. If all goes well, we’ll start (cleanup) at the end of July.”

Blask felt that once started, the work should take about one week to complete. “There has been a lot of moving parts in acquiring these properties,” he said.

Alderman Jeff Gressler asked if now was the time to start the discussion on what to do with the properties once they had been cleaned up. Mayor Blask felt that it should wait until after the acquisition and cleanup was completed. “It’s too early for discussion, but not too early to be thinking about that,” he said.

Blask stated that he had been bombarded with ideas about what to do with the properties. “We’ll do what makes sense, but I think that’s a discussion for August,” stated Blask.

In his final comments, the Mayor made sure that everyone knew about the upcoming Cheese Festival on July 13th. “There are going to be a lot of people and it’s going to be a great day.”

He also mentioned that Chief Robert P. Parese had been elected as president of the New York State Association of Fire Chiefs. “It’s nice that someone from Little Falls is heading that group,” he said.

The parks program is in full swing as of yesterday and he said, “It’s a great program and it’s not too late to sign up if you have kids that are bored.”

The mayor also brought up that work is being done by the Canal Corporation on the area just north of the Lock. The access road coming in from the west to the lock and Moss Island will be closed for approximately four to six weeks. The lock and the island will still be open but will have to be accessed via route 169 (Mayor Wind bridge).