Transfer of county bus ownership completed

The Essex County Board of Supervisors.

The Essex County Board of Supervisors. Photo by Keith Lobdell.

— While the New York State Department of Transportation had signed off on the move over a month ago, the Essex County Board of Supervisors officially completed an August transfer of ownership for a county bus.

The bus, which was being used by the town of Keene and purchased under 5311 federal funding, was transfered over to the town with a final vote at the Oct. 1 regular county board meeting.

Keene Supervisor William Ferebee said that the transfer was made because the bus had outlived its usefulness under the federal guidelines but could still be used by the town.

“Under 5311 rules, it ties your hands where the bus can go and what you can use it for,” Ferebee said. “With the town owning the bus, we can use it for whatever we want and do not have to have federally approved drivers.”

Transportation committee chair and Elizabethtown Supervisor Margaret Bartley said that this was a transfer of property, not a sale or purchase of new property.

“We are not giving a bus away,” she said. “The county is transferring ownership to Keene. This will be better for Keene. It will allow them more use of the vehicle now that it is not under the federal regulations.”

The board also approved a new round of 5311 funding for the purchase of new vehicles, signage and bus stop shelters.

“This is the revision that Nancy brought to us,” Bartley said. “The only county expense is the $198 for the 10 percent of cost for signs. The other is being picked up by Lake Placid.”

Coroner mourned

The meeting opened with a moment of silence honoring Robert Huestis, longtime county coroner who passed away Sept. 27.

“He was a good servant for the town of Willsboro and for Essex County,” Willsboro Supervisor Ed Hatch said. “He will be missed.”

Huestis served as a coroner in the county for 25 years and was the owner of the Huestis Funeral Home for 39 years.

Later in the meeting, County Chair and Jay Supervisor Randy Douglas said that he was looking into how to move forward with the unexpected vacancy.

“I have already had people ask me about the position and how it should be handled, if it should be appointed or elected,” Douglas said. “I have talked with Joe Provoncha and Dan Manning and I will let you know when we find out how we should proceed.”

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