Village honors civic activist

Longtime village of Ballston Spa volunteer Mark Bouchard recently received the Bernard C. Puckhaber award from the village board of trustees.

Bouchard was nominated by fellow fireman Larry Morse, who is himself a 50-year member of Union Fire Company. Bouchard is a longtime member of the Union Fire Company, and the Union Fire Company marching band. He coordinates the community- wide Thanksgiving dinner serving hundreds of meals to people who would otherwise spend the holiday alone. Bouchard joins previous winners Barb and Art Cardinelli, Dolores Taisey, Ed Uline and Steve Esposito.

Each year, the village board takes nominations for an exemplary volunteer who follows in the footsteps of Puckhaber, who was the village clerk for 12 years and made many contributions to the community, including being one of the founding members of the National Bottle Museum and Brookside History Center. Jean Puckhaber, Bernard's widow, is still an active member of the village community.

The award is not announced until it is presented at a board meeting. Bouchard was brought to the meeting under the guise of being needed for a property transaction.

This is a big surprise, said Bouchard. "It's certainly not something I expected. I have always loved to help people out any way I can."

"He's a great role model for everyone in the village," said trustee Bob Cavanaugh.

Also on Monday night, Jan. 28, trustees appointed Alan Chapman and Andrew Cook to the historic district commission. The board received seven applications for the open seats on the committee, one from someone residing outside the village who was automatically disqualified.

"Each person had their own unique perspectives and talents to bring to the committee, and it wasn't an easy choice to make," said Village Mayor John Romano.

Chapman has lived for 32 years in the historic district on East High Street, and is a former administrator with the Burnt Hills-Ballston Lake school district. Cook is a real estate broker with his own company located on Milton Avenue in the downtown business district.

The historic district committee reviews guidelines and keeps owners in compliance with ordinances governing upgrades to their homes or places of business.""

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