by Rachel Hunter
Gouverneur residents seeking a Commercial Driver’s License might soon have to travel to Massena to get it done.
According to Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall, the New York State Department of Motor Vehicles told the St. Lawrence County Clerk that they don’t like the “ambience” of Trinity Ave. in Gouverneur.
Gouverneur Mayor Ron McDougall shared this information at the Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees meeting on Feb. 21, and invited Town of Gouverneur Deputy Supervisor Eldon Conklin to speak on the matter as well.
The Town of Gouverneur and the Village of Gouverneur has been in conversation with NYS DMV officials in Albany about how to keep the testing in Gouverneur. They looked at six or seven different locations in Gouverneur, but Deputy Supervisor Conklin said they liked the back parking lot behind the Gouverneur Fire Department the best.
Gouverneur Fire Chief Tom Conklin said, “Our membership said it was fine, to keep it here in Gouverneur to try and benefit the community. Then we went the Town to let them know that we approved them to use our back parking lot. The only concerns we had was, in the winter time, plowing… We can’t guarantee it is going to be done. But if the Town wanted to plow it out, they are welcome to use it.”
Mayor McDougall said, “They agreed to that.”
Chief Conklin continued, “There was no issue on our behalf. We just wanted to make sure the entrance to our driveway, that they didn’t have to drive around our fire station because if we had members responding to calls, they would be in the way. They would just have to do a better entrance off the Kennedy Road to make the parking lot, so they weren’t going in the front of our station.”
Trustee Shelly Washburn-Simons asked, “So what is the reason they want to do this? I guess I am confused.”
Mayor McDougall responded, “Well, there are several reasons… ”
Deputy Mayor Charles Newvine said, “I think they are having a problem doing it from the Trinity location as to what they have to do to pass that CDL test. It is hard for them to start at Trinity and perform what they have to do.”
Deputy Supervisor Conklin then said, “What they need is a four-lane highway! They like the four-lane highway so trucks can change lanes.”
“We can’t help them out there,” Trustee Washburn-Simons said.
“It won’t fit,” Deputy Mayor Newvine said.
“Not right now,” Mayor McDougall said. “Maybe in 20 or 30 years.”
Deputy Supervisor Conklin then told of the hassle it will be if the road skills testing gets moved to Massena.
“People will have to borrow a truck or a bus to take a road test. Plus they will have to drive it to Massena and back,” he said.
Deputy Mayor Newvine then said, “Plus, you have to have to have a driver to go with you so…”
Discussion continued, but no further action was taken on this matter.
“We are working on it,” Mayor McDougall said in conclusion.
The next meeting of the Village of Gouverneur Board of Trustees will be held on March 21 at 7 p.m. in the municipal courtroom.
by Rachel Hunter