The Mercantile was one of 15 business that opened in the village of Massena in 2019. Christopher Lenney/Watertown Daily Times

MASSENA — There was some fowl play in the village of Massena in 2019.

Code enforcement officers responded to six complaints of illegal fowl or livestock in the village last year, Code Enforcement Officer Aaron Hardy told trustees on Tuesday.

“Every year we seem to get a handful of chicken calls. Last year I think I had one goat call in the village,” he said.

Livestock are prohibited at large under the village code, which says, “No person shall possess, harbor or maintain, anywhere within the Village, any cattle, goat, sheep or swine, nor shall any such livestock be permitted to run at large in any street, public place or unenclosed private grounds.”

Fowl are also off limits. The village code reads, “No person shall possess, harbor or maintain, anywhere within the Village, any chicken, duck, goose, turkey or other fowl, nor shall any such fowl be permitted to run at large in any street, public place or unenclosed private grounds.”

The animal complaints were among the list of activities tackled by the six code enforcement officers and three building safety inspectors last year. Career staff from the Massena Volunteer Fire Department serve in those roles, covering both the village and town. Also working with them is James Caruso in the Building Department.

“He replaced Avis (Hazelton). It’s a big pair of shoe to fill, and he’s done a great job doing that for us,” Mr. Hardy said.

The code enforcement officers handle all aspects of code enforcement, including building permits, complaints, and “all the inspections and reviews in between,” he said. The building safety inspectors are responsible for fire inspections and property maintenance work.

Mr. Hardy said 302 building permits were issued in 2019, along with 90 roofing permits.

“That’s our number one that we see every year. The north country is rough on roofs,” he said.

They also issued 29 commercial building permits, including one for the new pickup location at the Massena Walmart Supercenter, as well as 25 fencing permits and 24 electrical upgrades.

Code enforcement officers responded to 555 complaints in the community, with the number one being high grass (311 complaints). There were also 63 trash complaints.

“Much of those, we have to work with the Department of Pubic Works. Those guys do a great job. They come in sometimes with payloaders and heavy equipment,” and remove trash that hasn’t been taken care of by residents, Mr. Hardy said.

There were 85 property maintenance complaints, most of which were small, but could turn into bigger issues if they were not addressed, he said.

“We go ahead and issue a remedy. We work with homeowners to try to get things fixed,” he said.

They also responded to eight unsafe structures.

Mr. Hardy said the department conducted 375 fire inspections, including all of Massena Hospital’s buildings and school buildings. In addition, they conducted 27 apartment inspections and 12 foster care inspections.

He said they also attended planning and zoning board meetings throughout the year. Nineteen requests sent for planning board consideration were approved. Ten variances were approved by the zoning board, and three variances were denied for the year.

Mr. Hardy said 15 new businesses opened in 2019. Among them was the Mercantile, formerly the Slavin’s furniture store.

“That place has got a certificate of occupancy ready to go,” he said.

Johnson Newspapers 7.1

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(1) comment

Holmes -- the real one

If they handle it by "addressing chickens" we all would like to know how that works out.

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