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Village of Potsdam appoints new interim code enforcement officer

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POTSDAM — The village has appointed a new interim code enforcement officer as the search continues for a full-time replacement for Timothy J. O’Brien, whose employment was terminated at the end of May.

The board voted 4-0 to appoint Andrew Martin, Ogdensburg, to the position at a meeting Monday night. Councilman Reinhold J. Tischler was not present.

Mr. Martin is the assistant facilities program coordinator at SUNY Potsdam and a certified code enforcement officer. He will work 10 to 15 hours a week or more, depending on the workload.

The village had previously appointed John G. Hill, who had served in the position from 2004 until his retirement in June, 2011. The agreement with Mr. Hill lasted only four weeks, after which he decided not to stay on any longer.

The village is accepting applications for a full-time code enforcement officer. The deadline for applications is July 20, and interviews will begin the following week.

In other business, the board voted to go into executive session to discuss contract negotiations.

After the meeting was adjourned, Mayor Steven W. Yurgartis said the discussion focused on the future of an agreement with Affinity Potsdam Cottages. The village voted last month to give the developers tax breaks to build a $100 million student apartment complex, but the town of Potsdam voted down the same agreement, leaving the future of the project uncertain.

“Do we want to pursue it and restart it, or just leave it where it is?” Mr. Yurgartis asked.

Any tax break agreement would have to be approved by the village, town and school board. The school board has not yet voted on the matter.

“I think the consensus of the board was that we wanted to see what the school board thought,” Mr. Yurgartis said. “If we knew that, we would have a better idea of how to proceed.”

During the meeting, Village Administrator David H. Fenton gave an update on the West Dam Hydro Project.

National Grid is currently performing a feasibility study to determine how the village will be able to sell electricity produced by the dam to National Grid. The study will be finished by the end of the month.

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