Who gets to use Heater’s Pond?

Ogdensburg. Ogdensburg officials agree the pone should be reserved for residents, swim team members, and the volunteers, first responders, and employees who serve the borough.

21 Jul 2020 | 03:40

Should Heater’s Pond be used only by Ogdensburg residents?
The Ogdensburg Borough Council at its July 13 meeting said yes -- but with a few exceptions. Mayor George Hutnick said volunteers and employees who serve the town should be allowed to use the pond, along with swim team members.

An ordinance loophole allows non-resident Ogdensburg Recreational Association (ORA) members to use the pond, along with the Ogdensburg Fire Department, First Aid Squad, Department of Public Works, and borough employees.

Councilwoman Rachel Slater recommended changing the language to the Ogdensburg Recreation Swim Team. At one time, she said, ORA was only for residents, but now non-residents are needed in order to continue Ogdensburg team sports. Furthermore, she said, they should not overwhelm their two lifeguards.

Hutnick said the borough needs to put a reasonable limit on guest passes. The siblings of out-of-town swim team members may swim before practice if they have guest passes. In addition, he said, the guest badge must be purchased by a legal, property-owning resident who is required to stay at the pond with the guest. The exception to the rule is a party in the pavilion or on the grass, where lifeguard arrangements can be made ahead of time.

Councilwoman Brenda O’Dell said a guest pass form has to be filled out with the resident’s name and address.

Councilman Antony Nasisi the maximum occupancy at the beach will determine a reasonable limit on guest passes. Each lifeguard can legally watch 25 kids, with a total of 50 allowed when there are two lifeguards.

They had all talked about promoting the pond, Nasisi noted. The water quality is the best it has ever been, he said, and the borough has been stocking it with fish.

Borough attorney Robert McBriar said he will receive comments and develop a draft ordinance.

During the public comment session, Mindy Gordon suggested the lifeguards track the number of swimmers they watch on average for the day and determine the weekly average. That way, she said, they’ll be able to determine a guest pass number without guessing.

ORA is trying to help kids develop healthy habits and make the future better for them, Gordon said. ORA is not concerned about who is a resident or not, she said.

In other business:
Land Use Board appointments: The Ogdensburg Council unanimously approved two new Land Use Board appointees: Kevin Kervatt, for the term expiring Dec. 31, 2020, and John Kibildis, for the term expiring Dec. 31, 2023. Councilman John Cruz was absent.The board selected a new president, Elliott Honig, to replace Bob Armstrong. The secretary, Blanche Stuckey, retired, and borough clerk Robin Hough will absorb the job.
Police department ordinance: The council unanimously introduced an amendment to the police department ordinance. A public hearing on the amendment will be held July 27.
Historical Building oil tank: Councilman Nasisi said the oil tank has been removed from the Historical Building and from the borough insurance policy.
Salt shed roof: Nasisi said work on the salt shed roof is on schedule and should be completed within the month.
Recycling center: Mayor George Hutnick said people are following the rules at the recycling center. He said the recycling company is enforcing the rule that no plastic bags are to be put in garbage pails or the dumpster.
Lifeguard building: Council President Michael Nardini said a stone recommended to replace the falling concrete would cost $6,000. Instead, he said, they will replace the concrete.
Fireworks problem: Nardini said he has received complaints of people lighting fireworks regularly since Memorial Day. He said residents have been advised to contact the police about excessive noise.
Hydrant flushing: Nardini commended the Department of Public Works for completing the hydrant flushing and monitoring the street sweeping through to completion so quickly. The only problem was a water main break in the Presidents neighborhood, where the workers replaced a seven-foot pipe.
Water tank inspection: Nardini said the little water tank was inspected for $1,500, and the large one will also be inspected for another $1,500. Furthermore, he said it takes about three to four weeks to receive the report because the company will review the video and write an analysis, from which the council will take action.
Borough hall safety shields: Hutnick discussed installing already ordered safety shields for borough employees.
Promoting business: Hutnick wants to develop a list of Ogdensburg businesses and their offerings in order to promote them on the borough’s Facebook page or website. He is asking businesses to mail the borough a letter with the business’s name, what they do, and tax ID number to verify registration.
Ogdensburg Day: Hutnick the borough has a possible sponsor for fireworks for Ogdensburg Day. He said other towns are canceling municipal days, but theirs is still scheduled for Sept. 12. Nasisi suggested providing options with less contact.