Depicted is the Ackley Building, sitting vacant on west Main Street in Cambridge adjacent to commercial properties.
Depicted is the Ackley Building, sitting vacant on west Main Street in Cambridge adjacent to commercial properties. (Supplied photo)

Editor's Note: For clarification, HRP's bid is for oversight as clerk of works for the demolition of the Ackley Building. Once HRP goes to bid for contractors, the total cost of the project will be estimated.

CAMBRIDGE, N.Y. -- The Village of Cambridge board passed new employee policies and reviewed new village hires during its regular board meeting Wednesday night. The village trustees also accepted HRP Associates' proposition for the deconstruction and demolition of the Ackley Building on West Main Street.

Policies

In reviewing the newly-written Internet use policy, the board of trustees eliminated a clause due to a conflict with another clause before passing it. The clause stated that because a wide variety of materials may be considered offensive by colleagues, constituents or suppliers ... "It is a violation of (village) policy to store, view print or redistribute any document or graphic file that is not directly related to the user's job or Village activities."

The following clause of the policy, 4o, states that non-business use of the Internet at the workplace is okay during mealtime or break or outside of work hours, which in direct conflict.

Because what is offensive is highly subjective, Trustee Steve Robertson suggested that anything graphically offensive to somebody at the workplace, even outside of working hours, would be covered by the village's new sexual harassment policy.


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"If, for instance, Sarah was on her personal time and Lance sees over her shoulder and is offended, the sexual harassment policy is kicked in over the Internet policy," Robertson said.

After agreeing to remove that conflicting clause, 4n, the board unanimously voted to put the new Internet use policy on the books.

Within the next week, the policy will be sent to all village employees, who must read, sign and adhere to the rules detailed within. Along with the policy, the trustees are encouraging all employees to use their assigned government email accounts rather than their personal email. If for some reason their email accounts have to be opened on a state Freedom of Information Law request, personal contents could cause issues.

As for the new sexual harassment policy, no changes were made to the draft other than minor language specifics. The village trustees unanimously voted to put the new sexual harassment policy on the books.

Mayor Valerie Reagan added that any situation in conflict with the sexual harassment policy, or complaint against a colleague should be reported to either the mayor or deputy mayor without delay.

The village board also approved a new workplace violence program and policy during Wednesday night's meeting.

The Fire Department includes a workplace violence program in its volunteer training. After Fire Chief Harold Spiezio inquired whether the village had a policy for the department to adhere to, he looked over the policy in draft form and gave it his endorsement.

The policy was passed as written in a unanimous vote among the village trustees.

New Hires

New employees are being welcomed to the village's emergency services this month.

Erica Role, a recent hire at the Village Fire Department, was unanimously approved by the board pending the successful pass of a background check.

Chris Flynn, part-time police officer for Cambridge and Greenwich, was also approved by the board to be a full-time provisional police officer with the Village Police Department pending the successful pass of his physical and agility exam.

Ackley

In 2012, the Banner reported that village officials were seeking a court order for Ackley Building plans. The Ackley Building is on West Main Street, and has been vacant since the late 90s. If court-ordered repairs were not made following the village's unsafe building law, the trustees voted to move forward with repairs or demolition.

After realizing demolition was the only option, the trustees went to bid for demolition proposals with two different engineering consultants last month. One consultant declined going out to bid for contractors due to the amount of asbestos in the building. The trustees had one option, to accept HRP Associates, Inc.'s proposal for the demolition.

HRP's proposal includes seven weeks of pre-demolition deconstruction work to safely remove any asbestos and other contaminants, targeted for a start date in October. Following that time frame, actual demolition is expected to take 10 days.

HRP estimates a bill of $19,550 for oversight in the amount of time the project is expected to take, which doesn't include any snags in the road that may increase the time and the dollar amount, or the total cost of the project.

A loan on the village's capital fund will be obtained to cover the demolition, and will be factored into the budget for the following years.

Prior to October, the village will be seeking the proper channels to shut off and block off the building's power, water, telephone lines and private sewer. A meeting with adjacent property owners, tenants and public works is to be announced in the coming weeks to see what criteria need to be met by neighbors in the demolition timeframe.

The alley behind the building will need to be vacant for most of the deconstruction period, which will be air monitored the entire time. Main Street will be blocked off for partial periods of time during the 10-day demolition phase.

Announcements

The village yard waste disposal area on Lagoon Road has officially reopened after a thorough clean up from garbage.

Hours are Monday to Saturday, 6 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. The village trustees ask residents that use the landfill to be mindful of what should not be placed there.

The sixth regular sign zoning workshop at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, August 12, will meet at the village offices, 56 N. Park St., as normal, but will be a walking meeting with village attorney John Patterson to look at commercial signing around town to consider them in zoning reform.

The village assessor and Mayor Reagan will be meeting with the town of White Creek this month to work on a proposal for a new pilot on tax values.

Also this month, the village is going to bid with specifications for a new roof on the fire department. The return deadline for contractors seeking the bid is August 27.

The next Village of Cambridge board of trustees meeting is scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 3, at 7 p.m. at the village offices.

Meeting updates and events are available on the village website at http://www.cambridgeny.gov/.

Contact Tom Momberg at tmomberg@benningtonbanner.com. Follow him on Twitter @TomMomberg