Shortly after he was sworn in Tuesday, June 19 as Thurman’s new councilman, Bob Hitchcock, right, listens to Thurman Town Supervisor Evelyn Wood read a proclamation honoring Rebecca Hitchcock, Bob’s wife — who died unexpectedly May 25 — for her outstanding volunteer service to the community. Bob was unanimously appointed to the town board June 19 to fill his wife’s seat on the governing panel. Listening in the background are board members Leon Galusha (left) and Al Vasak.
The open seat on the Thurman Town Board — vacated by the recent unexpected death of Councilwoman Rebecca Hitchcock — was filled Tuesday, June 19 by the appointment of her husband, Bob Hitchcock, to the remainder of her unexpired term.
After taking his oath of office soon after the town board cast a unanimous vote for his appointment, Bob Hitchcock, 60, was welcomed with applause from townspeople at the meeting.
Among those in the audience applauding was Gail Seaman, who has announced her intention to run for the seat in November, when the two-year term expires.
Hitchcock, a retired Corrections Officer who was employed at Great Meadows prison for decades, said he’s only intending to remain in office through 2012.
“I am planning just to fill out Becky’s term out of respect for her service to the town,” he said.
After a moment of silence opening the meeting, Town Supervisor Evelyn Wood read a proclamation honoring Rebecca Hitchcock, noting she volunteered hundreds of hours to projects that benefited the town’s citizens, particularly through organizing the annual Jackwax Party, the Christmas Baskets program, the town food pantry and various town events.
“Rebecca Hitchcock diligently and creatively sought to better the community,” Wood said, calling Hitchcock the town’s “volunteer extraordinaire.”
Taxpayers saving cash on trash
Later in the meeting, Hitchcock and other board members heard Wood offer some good news: the town’s action this year to discontinue curbside trash pickup is saving local taxpayers tens of thousands of dollars. In lieu of the weekly curbside pickup, the town is accepting trash at the town transfer station and carting it to the Hudson Falls trash plant for disposal.
Wood said that in May alone, the town transported 5.4 tons of trash for disposal at a cost of $313, versus 31.1 tons during May 2010 at a cost of $2,145.
She said that the disposal fees paid by the town to Waste Management, operator of the trash plant, were being offset by credits back to the town from the firm for recyclables the town has been delivering to the plant.
Plastics, for instance, yielding $200 per ton, and newspaper, generating $80 per ton, have been helping pay the town’s trash disposal fees, she said. Such credits for recyclables have totaled $1,219 through May.
Wood estimated that during the first six months of 2012, the town has saved $30,000 or so by eliminating curbside pickup — which late last year prompted heated controversy in town when Wood proposed the initiative.
“This has been very favorable for the taxpayers,” she said, noting that trash-related expenses of $6,271 have been offset by revenues — including $2 per-bag disposal fees — tallying $6,073.
Turning to other matters, Wood noted that the town would celebrate Warren County’s bicentennial in 2013 with special ceremonies at the annual Jackwax party held in March. Also planned for the anniversary year will be a town celebration June 15, 2013 with a parade, a chicken barbecue, fireworks and other festivities. Also, plans call for a town scavenger hunt to be held, beginning Jan. 1.
In other business, the Thurman town board members:
•Told representatives of the Thurman Emergency Squad, who had requested more money to fund their current operations, that money was not presently available in the budget to help them out;
• Appointed Cynthia Muratori to represent Thurman on the Warren County Safe & Quality Bicycling Organization; and
•Voted to solicit bids for excess town equipment, including two riding mowers, two televisions, and a Grade-All machine, which will have a minimum bid of $1,200.