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Fire department looks to village for help with sewer issues

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MASSENA - After years of dealing with ongoing sewer issues at the fire hall, Massena Volunteer Fire Department members approached the village board Tuesday night asking the village for help in resolving the situation.

Fire Chief Ted Krywanczyk made an appeal to village officials for help during the citizen’s comments portion of the meeting.

“As chief I’m here to ask for help with this sewer situation,” he said. “We would like some help trying to figure out what we need.”

Mr. Krywanczyk said issues with the fire hall’s sewer system aren’t new, but with the several events at the fire hall coming up in the future including the 2015 Northern New York Volunteer Fireman’s Association convention now is the time to make the much needed repairs.

“The sewer problem has been here for decades,” he said. “There have been chances to correct it, but the decision has always been to let it be.”

Trustee Frances J. Carvel, who serves on the village’s fire committee with Trustee Patricia K. Wilson, said he was approached last week about the department possibly receiving some assistance from the village.

Mr. Carvel noted the fire department and the fire hall itself are important parts of the community.

“The fire station is a command center for any emergency that happens in the village,” he said, noting that during the ice storm in 1998 the fire hall was an instrumental part of keeping Massena residents safe.

Past Chief Thomas C. Miller said the problem is in the kitchen.

Department of Public Works Superintendent Hassan A. Fayad explained the fire hall is in need of a new grinder pump that would help process gray water entering the sewer system from the fire hall.

Ms. Wilson said now that the village board has been made aware of the situation it is their job to make sure it gets fixed.

“There has been an issue, and we’ve been made aware of it. Now we have to get it resolved,” she said.

In order to determine exactly how to make the repair, Mr. Fayad said sewer lines underneath the fire hall will have to be exposed.

Referring to the volunteers, Mr. Carvel said at this point, the department is simply hoping to find out exactly what needs to be done and how much it will cost.

“They would like to develop a plan to try and rectify the situation and find out how much it is going to cost,” he said.

Ms. Wilson said if the problem ends up being an easy fix maybe it’s something one of the volunteers could address themselves.

“If it’s something simple and one of the volunteers has a plumbing background I think they would be open to that and we could share the costs,” she said.

While Mr. Krywanczyk didn’t say the volunteers would be opposed to that, he did say he doesn’t believe any of the firefighters could fix the problem themselves.

“We’ve had small problems with plumbing before and none of us volunteers have had the tools we needed to fix it,” he said, adding village employees from the Department of Public Works have always been cooperative in providing assistance in the past.

“We are happy to help out the community and now we are asking for some help to address this so we can continue to be there for the community,” he said.

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