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Port Chester Daily Voice serves Port Chester, NY
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Port Chester Trustees OK Adding Two Building Dept. Interns

PORT CHESTER, N.Y. – The Port Chester Village Board of Trustees approved the aduncidition of two “interns” for the building department by a vote of 6-1, with trustee Luis Marino in opposition, at its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday.

“The goal is to help ease the workload for the searches and scanning project for the village,” Assistant Village Manager Chris Steers said about the additional hires. However, Marino said he felt the department could get by with just one intern, which would save the town money.

According to Village Manager Chris Russo, potential candidates targeted by the building department will be graduate students with limited experience. The two interns, who will double the building department’s personnel, come in response to complaints regarding an increase in wait time for applicants.

“The village is moving in a direction where we follow the law more rigorously,” Mayor Dennis Pilla said. “The building department is having trouble with the increased workload, which is leading to an increased wait time.”

With the current wait time for applicants averaging eight weeks, the addition of the interns is expected to allow the village to cut that wait time in half. The interns also allow the village to offer a special “expedited” path that applicants can select for an undetermined fee estimated to be around $200.

The interns will make a base salary of $45,000 for one year, with a benefit package that could be valued as high as $20,000.  The board approved an amendment proposed by trustee Joseph Kenner capping the salary and benefit package at just more than $66,000.

The board also discussed and informally agreed that if the intern employees’ services are no longer needed before a year is up, that the village would consider cutting the internships short to save money.

The board also unanimously approved a budget amendment for use of DEA funds to purchase an ID Card printer for the police department in the amount of $2,471.45.

At the request of trustee John Branca, the village also unanimously approved the decision to invite New York State Assembly member George Latimer (D – District 91) and State Sen. Susan Oppenheimer (D, WF – District 37) to the village’s public hearing on Jan. 17 regarding the development of a group home for the developmentally disabled on Betsy Brown Road.

Branca added that he was “disappointed” in the state’s representatives of the village when it comes to the implementation of group homes.

“The village of Port Chester has been very generous,” Branca said in regards to group housing. “We’ve done our fair share.”

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