The Village Board honored long-time Trustee John Basile Tuesday night for his “outstanding and dedicated” service to Stillwater residents.
Basile announced in December that he would not run for another four-year term on the board after serving since 2007. His last official day in office is April 5.
“Mr. Basile, you’ve been a great asset to this village,” said Mayor Ernest Martin, as he presented the outgoing Trustee with a plaque for her service. “We’ve appreciated what you’ve done very much.”
Basile, also the Deputy Mayor, spent much of his two terms using his technical expertise to help navigate the village through a series of comprehensive water and sewer problems. Over the years he has been the board's lead liaison between the Water and Sewer Departments, and Department of Public Works. During that time, the village has undergone a massive overhaul of its aging sewer system and a shut down of the water treatment plant after PCBs were found infiltrating village drinking water.
“Some people have asked me why I’m not running again and it’s pretty simple,” Basile told the board. “I have some other things I’d like to do with my life.”
He added that his original objective for running for the board was to help with the aging sewer system, “but pretty quickly into my term we all found out we needed to work on a lot more than just that.”
“It was water and sewer and many other things,” he said. “I’m very glad I had an opportunity to participate in that and I’m honored and privileged to have served my village. And by the way, I am still here and I will always be around paying attention to what is going on, and to be a resource in any way I can help.”
Trustees voted to accept the application from Camelot Associates to erect five, two-story apartment buildings on the long-vacant American Linens factory property on North Hudson Avenue. The application calls for constructing 40 apartments on the lot.
The decision did not come without discussion, however, as Trustees Ellen Vomacka and Judith Wood-Shaw continued their push for an alternative plan that would include retail space along with the apartments. The developer had proposed mixed residential and retail construction there eight years ago but have abandoned the retail idea because they claim they can’t get businesses to move to the village.
Vomacka and Wood-Shaw said if the developer can’t draw the 8-10 businesses it originally proposed there should at least be room for two, such as a diner and a laudromat.
“It just doesn’t behoove the village to go forward without any retail space at all,” Vomacka said. “By doing that we haven’t grown we’ve just added more apartments. You all know how I feel about it.”
“According to the developer’s application, they have spent eight years trying to make (the property) retail usable and it hasn’t worked out,” Basile said. “I believe it’s a complete application.”
A public hearing will be held on the proposal at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, April 21, as part of the next Village Board meeting.