By Kellen M. Quigley
Duane Boberg was appointed the new village of Springville Superintendent of Public Works Monday at the regular village Board of Trustees meeting.
“He has been a longtime resident and a long-time employee of the village of Springville,” Mayor Bill Krebs said of Boberg.
Boberg had the top score in the Civil Service test for the position, which Krebs said the village has to go to when interviewing for the position.
“He works in our water division, so he knows an awful lot about all the pipes underground, so we’re very fortunate and very happy with his qualifications in that area,” the mayor said.
Additionally, Krebs said Boberg has been the union steward for many years, showing a lot of skill and integrity in negotiating the union agreements over the years and handling grievance procedures.
“He has an excellent working relationship with the Board of Trustees and our village administrator, as well as with all of the employees in all the divisions,” Krebs added.
Boberg’s appointment followed the recent resignation of former DPW Superintendent Ken Kostowniak. Krebs said Kostowniak accepted a new job and had to resign from the village.
“Under (Boberg’s) leadership, we look forward to continuing maintenance and improvements of all the divisions, because there’s a lot of work out there to be done with our infrastructure,” the mayor said.
IN OTHER BUSINESS, Krebs updated the board on his Monday meeting with NYCOM concerning Legislative Priorities. He said the priorities include water and sewer funding, an increase in CHIPS funding, an amendment to the Criminal Justice Reform and AIM funding.
“There are about 30 legislative priorities that we voted on,” he said.
With AIM funding, Krebs said although funding originally came from the state, now it is funded through the county’s sale tax, which is a major change from last year.
“There were more villages complaining about the funding for water and sewer projects,” he said. “It seems like most of that money is for municipalities that have a crisis, so for villages like Springville who try to stay ahead and maintain their water and sewer, that money really doesn’t apply to us.”
Krebs said the NYCOM members are asking for a dedicated source of revenue similar to CHIPS funding based on the miles of pipes the municipality has and services provided to let the village or city plan in a more orderly way the upgrades it needs.
“That whole discussion about getting the aid from the state … was a marked difference from what we’ve seen in past years,” he said.
Krebs also thanked the DPW crews for handling a recent blackout in the village. He said the roughly 90-minute blackout on Nov. 13 took a team effort to fix quickly.
“The electric department was very diligent in getting the lights back, but the whole village including our control center and volunteer firemen worked during this state of emergency,” he said. “We always need to be prepared for emergencies like that.”
Finally, Krebs said he is working on a revision of the chapter in the village code concerning tree replacement in the village.
“It’s going to take some time and it’s going to take some input,” he said. “I’ve looked through a number of local municipalities and villages for their tree codes and policy, and I want to let you know that we could broaden this and form a tree committee that would advise the DPW and the trustees where the replacements should go and maintain what is called an urban forest.”
Krebs said the other option would be updating and adding to the present code and have the decisions made by the DPW Superintendent while building in advice from an arborist.
“Either one of those two things would be a marked improvement over our present code, which really takes the village out of any say in maintaining our community forest,” he said. “It says we take down trees when we’re in the right of way, and just over the summer, we amended that we can put them back, but not over pipes or certain trees under wires. It wasn’t specific enough.”
The village’s tree policy was written in the 1990s, and Krebs said most of the villages he visited and the recommendation of the state DEC were all written more recently.
“We need to update that and we’re going to get it done,” he added.