Town readies to reopen

JOHNSTOWN — The town plans to reopen the Town Highway Department in full by May 15, along with the town hall which has been closed since March as the state slowly starts to reopen, as different regions in the state will be reopening at different times.

The Johnstown Town Board held a meeting on Thursday, that was closed to the public to keep residents safe and to follow the state COVID-19 guidelines. According to the meeting minutes, Supervisor Jack Wilson stated that the town has been the COVID-19 implementations by “the book according to the state comptroller.”

Councilman Tim Rizzo questioned whether the highway department is essential, in which Wilson responded that other municipalities in Fulton County “are doing the same.”

According to the meeting minutes, VanDeusen said he’d like to see the highway department reopen, and stated that Gloversville Department of Public Works is back to full time work, but people with health conditions remain off.

Wilson said the county highway department and solid waste department were both fully open as of Thursday. He said the town highway department is expected to fully open by May 15, and all employees will return with the exception of two who are currently on chemotherapy. He suggested speaking to Highway Superintendent Jack Smullen about reopening the department any sooner and possibly having a written return to work policy in place.

The town hall will also open by May 15 per state guidelines, however, according to the meeting minutes, Rizzo wants UV lights set up in the entrance before reopening to “kill viruses.” However Councilman Walt Lane said there needs to be more research done, and VanDeusen said he was not sure if there are facts to support that a UV light will kill virus.

Councilwomen Kim Goodemote said hospitals and doctors’ offices have installed the lights. Code Enforcement Officer Todd Unislawski said he would check into it.

By Josh Bovee

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