ELIZABETHTOWN - It's all in the hands of the insurance companies now.
Elizabethtown supervisor Noel Merrihew said at the Jan. 18 meeting of the Elizabethtown Town Board the fate of what remains of historic Hubbard Hall in Elizabethtown is no longer something the town or county has a say in.
"I have met with multiple investigators and insurance people, and they all have said that it's not our call anymore," Merrihew said. "As soon as the property was deemed unsafe by the county and the state and county investigators have backed out because of the unsafe nature of the building, it is all in the hands of the insurance companies."
Merrihew said he was responding to reports that the town would make a decision on the hall at the meeting.
Merrihew said the insurance company representing the property owner will now use its own investigators to determine such things as the cause of the fire and when the structure will need be torn down.
"There is no action that can be taken by this town board that can override the insurance companies now," Merrihew said. "The town cannot implement any action."
Merrihew also took a moment to thank those who rallied to the aid of the community during the Jan. 11 blaze.
"We want to thank all the fire departments that came to help us out and all of the local businesses that helped by supplying food and coffee for the firefighters," Merrihew said.
Other board action
The town board also voted to keep the dog licensing law from 1987, with changes to update the law to allow the town to be responsible for the licensing process. The amended law will go to a public hearing before the Feb. 10 regular board meeting.
The town voted to change their voice and data provider from Verizon to Westelcom for all town hall offices except for the courthouse because Westelcom service would not allow the court to continue to use its credit card machine.
The town awarded the winter fuel oil contract to Gordon Oil.
The board entered into a contract, pending grant approval, to create two stormwater sediment basins located near the Sunoco Station and at Deep Hollow Pond.
The board voted to no longer allow persons to use the soccer field at the town park without the permission of the board. Several board members were concerned about the condition of the field after the annual "Toilet Bowl" between Westport and Elizabethtown, which took place during a thaw and left large foot imprints and damage areas on the field.
"People are going to say ah, how bad could it be," councilman Phil Hutchins said. "But that field is torn up."