Those responsible for public safety in the village of North Syracuse will soon be getting new wheels.
At its last regular meeting Thursday July 24, the village board approved a resolution allowing village treasurer Diane Kufel to secure the best possible deal for a seven-year lease on a fire engine for the village’s fire department.
“Depending on what our current engine sells for, we’re looking at an estimated borrow of $400,000 to $450,000,” Kufel said. “M&T has tax-exempt leasing options through their government lease program with interest rates very similar to what we’d be looking at if we financed it. And if we lease it, we eliminate the cost of passing the bond resolution and fees associated with the bond committee.
The board also voted to allow Kufel to secure a three-year lease on a new car for Police Chief Thomas Connelly.
“We’re looking at a four-cylinder Ford Escape,” said Trustee Chuck Henry. “We wanted the four-cylinder for the mileage — it gets 20 to 21 miles a gallon in town and 25 to 26 on the highway.”
Kufel said she is looking at municipal lease agreements with M&T Bank for both vehicles.
“They have a new program where they lease to towns and villages at a better rate,” she said. “I’m giving Alliance Bank [through which the village had planned to lease the police car] a chance to match that.”
The chief’s vehicle will cost $19,800. Kufel is working on getting the best interest rate for the lease. Once the term of both leases are up, the village would own both vehicles.
Parks issue still controversial
The village is still awaiting the governor’s signature on an order to remove the Toll Road Park land from the state’s parks registry.
Heindorf said the package has not yet been delivered to Gov. David Paterson’s desk from the state senate. Once it is delivered, the governor has 10 days to sign it.
Dwayne Leecher, a resident of Lynhurst Avenue behind the park land, has opposed the proposal since the beginning. He attended the July 24 meeting to again speak against it.
“When you look at those red banners along Main Street, what do they say at the top?” Leecher said. “They say ‘Plank Road.’ And that’s the Plank Road park.”
Heindorf was not amused.
“I’m not going to debate this with you,” he said. “We’re for removing the land from the parks registry and you’re against it. There’s nothing wrong with that, but I don’t know how else to answer you. You’re not going to convince the members of this board to pull their support. You don’t like that, but there’s not much I can do about it.”
Sarah Hall is the editor of the Eagle Star-Review and the Baldwinsville Messenger. The 2012 winner of the Syracuse Press Club's Selwyn Kershaw Professional Standards Award, she has been with Eagle Newspapers since 2006. She is a Liverpool native.