As the Town of Geneseo prepares to move out of the space it has shared with the Village for over 100 years this weekend, the bickering continues like a scene from the movie “The War of the Roses,” the bitter 1989 dark comedy about divorce. It might be funny if it wasn’t so sad.
The latest subject of dispute involves a battle between the two municipalities’ insurance agents over the need for Workman’s Compensation insurance for an engineer who is supposed to inspect the building’s roof.
Back last year, when the two board’s were still trying to give the appearance of domestic harmony for the sake of the kids (the voters), the Town agreed to pay for 40 per cent of the cost of a desperately needed new roof for the Geneseo Municipal Building. Progress on that project has now foundered over the insurance dispute.
The town’s insurance agent, Jan Rogers of Livingston Insurance, has reportedly said that that the town can not let the roof be inspected by anyone unless that person can produce a certificate of insurance. The village’s agent, Andrew Chanler, however, says that since the inspector is a sole proprietor he is not required to carry Workmans Comp under state law. Chanler advised that the inspection can proceed as long as the inspector signs a hold harmless agreement.
At last week’s town board meeting, members were in high dudgeon over the matter, swearing that they would defend the town from all unnecessary risk. At yesterday’s village board meeting, however, the board decided essentially to “damn the torpedoes, full speed ahead!”
Apparently the inspector does not need to actually go on the roof, but only climb up into the rafters and have a look around. The likelihood of actual injury for an experienced roof inspector seems remote, but the chances that someone from the town or village will pick up a phone and actually settle this thing by talking to someone on the other side is even less likely.
So long guys. It’s been fun!