Police help 50 find way to treatment

CHATHAM–Police Lieutenant Joseph Alessi announced to the Village Board last week that 50 people dealing with addiction have successfully found treatment through the Chatham Cares 4 U (CC4U) program.

Lt. Alessi said the part-time Chatham Police Department had also received $1,200 in donations for the program as well as donations of clothing, blankets, chairs and a refrigerator. He told the board that the police were not asking for donations but that if people wanted to give snack foods and water that would be accepted.

Trustee Lenore Packet pointed out that if people donated money, the police officers could use the funds to buy things they need for the program. Donation can be made through Village Clerk’s Office in the Tracy Memorial.

“We are accepting anything, but we are not asking for anything,” Lt. Alessi said at the December 8 meeting.

He also told the board there are enough volunteers for the CC4U to have another training program. The volunteers, called angels, are civilians who are available to help an addicted person who comes to the police station and waits there while the officer is looking for a treatment program. The CC4U program is free to people 18 years or older who are looking for treatment for their addiction.

Lt. Alessi said that other police forces in the state have contacted Chatham about setting up similar programs.

The board also discussed replacing the Village Court clerks at the meeting. Both the current clerks will retire this month and Village Judge Daniel Brackett said that once they leave the clerks are not allowed back into the court computer system.

Judge Brackett told the board at the meeting that everything in the court would come to a standstill without a clerk. He suggested that the board hire Chatham Town Court Clerk Joey Smith on a temporary basis until the village can find a permanent replacement.

The board approved advertising for the position of court clerk at the meeting. The mayor appointed Ms. Smith interim clerk after the meeting. She will start January 1.

Also at the meeting the board:

• Discussed working with the village accounting firm Sickler, Torchia, Allen & Churchill about finishing the village annual financial report called the AUD (Annual Update Document), which is required by the state. Village Clerk Barbara Henry reported that the accounting firm said it would be done with the report in November but it is still is not complete. In a closed session the board voted to authorize the clerk to withhold payment to the accounting firm until the AUD has been submitted to the state Comptroller’s Office, according to Ms. Henry

• Approved changing the billing class for the street lights on Main Street and Depot Square so that the village DPW can maintain them. Phil Genovese, head of the village DPW, said that under the current billing class the utility company NYSEG has to change street lights when one goes out. By making this change the village will also be able to replace the existing bulbs with more efficient LEDs that will last longer

• Approved issuing a request for bids for a new truck and equipment for the DPW and approved the purchase of a six-ton trailer for the department for $7,600

• Discussed hiring an outside inspector to look into code violations at the Ziessett property on Hudson Avenue. The house is falling down and the village has already taken legal action but nothing has been done to resolve the issue. Mayor Tom Curran said the village was getting “all our ducks in a row” before going to court again on the matter.

The board’s next meeting is Thursday, January 12 at 7 p.m. at the Tracy Memorial.

To contact reporter Emilia Teasdale email

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