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Massena’s code enforcement officer resigns

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MASSENA — Village Code Enforcement Officer Gregory Fregoe has submitted a letter of retirement, effective Wednesday. His action comes after weeks of discussion among village officials who had not decided whether to reappoint the code officer of 13 years to his post.

“The village has a plan for the future of code enforcement and it was not (compatible) with my plan for the future of code enforcement,” Mr. Fregoe said.

Several members of the town Planning Board expressed surprise and disappointment on hearing that Mr. Fregoe will leave his post.

“He has a lot of knowledge, and he’s been a great asset to the Planning Board and to the community,” Planning Board member Shawn Burke said. “I feel it’s going to be a loss to the village without him.”

Board member Kevin Fetterly said it was a “shock” to learn that Mr. Fregoe had sent in his letter of retirement.

“He’s done a lot of work for the village. He was very dedicated,” Mr. Fetterly said.

Mayor James F. Hidy, who commended Mr. Fregoe for his service, previously said that the village was considering transferring Mr. Fregoe’s duties to firefighters trained in code enforcement.

The village Board of Trustees held a special meeting to discuss Mr. Fregoe’s position Jan. 8, and held an executive session after its Jan. 15 meeting to discuss Mr. Fregoe’s position. At both meetings, the decision on whether to reappoint Mr. Fregoe was tabled.

After Wednesday, code enforcement in the village and town will be the responsibility of Massena firefighters trained in code enforcement.

Career firefighters Kenneth J. McGowan, department foreman, and Aaron T. Hardy completed New York state code enforcement training in November. They join career firefighter Bill O’Brien, who previously received the training.

Two additional firefighters, Jeremy LeFeve and Matthew R. Tuper, are trained as code compliance technicians, and Walter J. Bean will finish this training later this month, Mr. McGowan said.

A code compliance technician is trained in enforcing the fire and property maintenance codes, but is not certified in other code enforcement officer duties, such as issuing building permits or inspecting new construction projects.

Mr. McGowan said that he had not been in discussions with village officials over the possibility of assuming Mr. Fregoe’s duties, but that it was something they had been preparing for.

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