Aug 29, 2011 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
Village parking and traffic issues were the main focus in a busy meeting of the village trustees on Aug. 24, with one local parking law voted to be withdrawn and one local traffic law voted to be drawn up.
In a quick and simple action that was called a “formality” by Mayor Marty Hubbard, the board voted unanimously to withdraw Local Law No. 1 of 2011, which would amend the village code to reduce the “off-street parking space fee” from $7,500 to $1,500.
The move was the next step in a process that has seen numerous moratoriums, public hearings and public information meetings on the contentious issue.
Last week, Trustees Mary Sennett and John Cromp, part of an ad hoc committee on the issue, held two public information meetings about the parking waiver fee. At both they explained the work of the village board and the ad hoc committee, the meetings they have held, the approach they have taken, and the ideas they have been considering since the July 14 public hearing on the proposed law, including grandfathering, counting spaces and changing the fee to $1,700.
Sennett made clear that discussions are ongoing and no final decisions have been made.
The village board also at the Aug. 24 meeting unanimously agreed to draw up and hold a public hearing on a new local law to place six new stop signs in the village: five in the Parkside housing subdivision and one at the intersection of Leitch and Academy streets.
The Parkside signs are part of the continued development of that project, and the addition or amendation of stop or other traffic signs will continue to be considered, the trustees agreed.
The proposed stop sign at Leitch and Academy is based on public sentiment and public safety issues, especially with school starting next week. The village board already has received a petition by 30 residents of Leitch and Academy streets in favor of a stop sign.
The board agreed to draft a proposed traffic signage law to discuss at the Sept. 8 meeting, with a public hearing on the draft to follow on Sept. 22.
Also under consideration by the board was a redesign of the Fennell Street public parking lot to make the space safer and more user friendly, and possibly to add additional parking spaces. Village Director of Municipal Operations Bob Lotkowictz told the board he had three potential design plans for their consideration, with options for 58, 72 or 96 parking spaces.
“There are options there,” Lotkowictz said.
Village Attorney Michael J. Byrne agreed. “There is a lot of potential for free, paid and designated parking that could be good parking relief to the downtown area,” he said.
The trustees agreed to have an operational meeting to look over the different design plans for the lot on Monday, Sept. 12.
Also at the Aug. 24 meeting:
—Director of Municipal Operations Lotkowicz reported to the board that the construction on the West Lake Street storm sewer system is being briefly suspended to consider a potential system redesign to eliminate some of the water that would flow through the town system, which could be a potential cost-saving measure for the village and a better solution to rate of flow and volume of water. Road construction work will continue while the redesign is considered, Lotkowicz said.
—Lotkowicz also reported that the village qualifies for a State Power Authority economic development program which could be used to expand the village hydro power in the municipal electric system, which would be necessary if the Community Center joins the municipal grid, which it is applying to do. Lotkowicz recommended applying for the program, to which the board unanimously agreed.
—The trustees unanimously voted to reject a petition from the Skaneateles Historical Society asking to allow the serving of alcoholic beverages at a planned Oct. 6 fundraiser for the organization. Trustee Marc Angelillo led the opposition, saying the village should not contribute to the “glorification” of alcohol consumption by allowing it on village property or by village groups.
—The trustees unanimously voted to require village DPW employees to give three full hours of work for the three hours of pay (minimum) they receive on weekends. Angelillo broached the subject saying he had received many resident complaints that trash pickup and cleanliness of the village, done on weekends, has been lackluster in recent weeks, and yet DPW employees get paid for three hours of work. “We should get the full amount of work for the pay that they receive,” Angelillo said.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Skaneateles Press. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.