By JIMMY LAWTON
CANTON – St. Lawrence County legislators unanimously approved a contract with the City for Ogdensburg to provide a hazmat team for St. Lawrence County.
The team would consist of both volunteers and paid members, according to the resolution. Under the agreement the county will pay $17,500 annually for the service. For the current year, the county will pay a pro-rated fee of $4,375.
“It is in the interest of our communities that we have both paid and volunteer staff readily available that meet the training requirements with adequately tested equipment to the level necessary to respond in a way that mitigates harm to themselves and the communities,” the resolution said.
St. Lawrence County previously operated a hazmat team that was cut do to budget constraints. However, a recent ammonia leak that forced the temporary closure of Maxcy Hall at SUNY Potsdam required assistance from teams that were called in from Franklin and Jefferson counties.
“The national and local media has recently covered accidents which highlight the significance of public safety,” the resolution says. “It is an unfortunate certainty that incidents including hazardous materials will occur in the future in St. Lawrence County as they have happened in the past.”
According to the resolution the training will be provided by the state at no cost.
St. Lawrence County Emergency Services Coordinator Joseph Gilbert was not available Tuesday to answer questions related to the team.