BROCTON What began as a potentially tricky problem to solve for the village of Brocton has been handled with the fresh ink of Brocton Mayor Dave Hazelton's pen.
During the Village Board of Trustees meeting, the board authorized Hazelton to sign a contract creating a new ambulance service for the town of Portland.
The signature is somewhat historic, given the fact that Brocton fire and ambulance responders have been providing service to the town of Portland fire and emergency service districts since 1943. Most recently, the town and village were notified by the state that it was illegal for members of Brocton's Fire Department to respond outside of their village confines, although it had been done as second nature since 1943.
A series of public meetings and brainstorming sessions were held in order to rightfully solve the situation and make all contracts for fire and emergency response legal, according to state requirements.
With the assistance of Mark Butler, a specializing legal counsel in emergency management services, the town of Portland was recommended to create its own ambulance service, which can now be legally contracted with the Brocton Fire Department.
With Mayor Hazelton's signature, the contract will now be forwarded to the desk of Portland Town Supervisor Dan Schrantz and then on to the attorneys for final work.
"This will be effective as soon as the town is awarded the ambulance district, which it has never had before. This was simply an action to resolve an outstanding issue the state had with how our certificate of need was worded regarding the coverage of the Portland districts," stated Hazelton.
He stressed that residents will notice absolutely no change in service with the establishment of Portland's new ambulance service that it is "simply a change in the wording of the certificate of need and the town taking on the ambulance district. From the initial contact with the Department of Health, the issue sounded so drastic, but with the involvement of Mr. Butler it turned out to be a fairly simple change with the town being able to become the ambulance district."
In other matters, Hazelton is optimistic about the Nov. 27 public meeting with Brocton Central School and representatives from CASAC.
CASAC officials attended last month's village board meeting to request the village as lead agency in the review of survey results centered on youth drug and alcohol use in the Brocton/Portland area.
"We're currently working on the outreach for folks who we consider to be stakeholders in the community, such as churches, businesses, organizations and working out who we would like to have attend this meeting. Obviously this is a public meeting, and we encourage as many residents, especially students and parents to attend," the mayor stated.
Residents should also be looking forward to a Nov. 20 tree lighting ceremony to be held in the Village Commons area of Village Hall at 6:30 p.m., just prior to the start of the board's next meeting.
As part of the Hospice of Chautauqua County "Light a Life" Memorial Tree Campaign, village officials will take part in a tree-lighting for Brocton and Portland area residents to honor and memorialize any and all residents and survivors of terminal illnesses. By sponsoring the name of a loved one, and donating in dollar amounts ranging from $5 to $100, a red decorative bow symbolizing your loved one will be given to hang on the Memorial Tree.
Participants are encouraged to contact Hospice directly, or visit its website (www.hospicechautco.org) to purchase bows before Nov. 27, or as soon as possible, to take part in the tree lighting and be listed in this year's memorial program.
With donations of $25 and up, participants will also be awarded meaningful ornaments in recognition of their dedication to Hospice, which has assisted an incredible amount of 700 patients throughout the county just this year alone.
Proceeds will benefit Hospice Chautauqua County directly and will aid the organization in continuing to assist terminally ill, as well as many other populations of patients for the future. To date, Hospice is estimated to have provided more than 88 thousand personal services to those in need.
Board members also authorized the use of the village watershed property by the Chautauqua Lake Snowmobile Club as it does each year. To learn how to enjoy the benefits of snowmobile club membership and the winter recreation throughout the county, residents are encouraged to visit www.sledchautauqua.com
The board of trustees will meet again on Tuesday, at 7 p.m., with the Tree Lighting taking place at 6:30 p.m.
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