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Massena Town Council waives residency requirement for parent of special-needs child

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MASSENA — The town has a residency requirement that requires its employees to reside within the boundaries of the Massena Electric Department service area.

But after discussing the specifics of a request from a town employee in executive session this week, the Town Council voted unanimously to waive the rule for a parent of a special-needs child.

Town Supervisor Joseph D. Gray said the employee’s child attends school in Potsdam, spending three hours per day on a school bus to attend a program that meets his needs.

“It takes quite a toll on his body,” Mr. Gray said, adding that the child is strapped down and unable to move while on the bus. “By the time he gets home, he can hardly walk.”

Mr. Gray said the employee approached him and asked about an exemption to the policy, so the family could seek housing closer to Potsdam.

Councilman Albert N. Nicola said the town’s policy allows for review on a case-by-case basis for situations such as this.

Mr. Gray said that after briefly discussing the matter Wednesday, the board voted to approve the exemption.

“We voted unanimously on this,” he said. “This is a very special circumstance and one that by all means of compassion we grant.”

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