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Village board begins to limit charity races on village streets

— During the summer, the village of Skaneateles is host to numerous walking, running and bicycling races of local, regional and national fame and including anywhere from dozens to hundreds of people per race. Last year, the village board of trustees wondered when the number of events downtown was too many. This year, it seems, the board has decided to draw a line.

When the board at its April 26 meeting received requests for two more races this coming year, the trustees did not approve them. Rather, the trustees decided to impose limitations on both races in order to avoid “opening the floodgates” to an endless of number of race requests on village streets and creating a precedent where the board would have to say yes to every request.

In one request, local resident Lisa Hoover sought permission to hold a 5K walk/run to raise money for her friend, Eva Donahue, of Marietta, who must travel back and forth to New York City for medical treatments to fight cancer. Hoover had no specific running course planned out, and the village board suggested she consider holding the event in Austin Park rather than on village streets to avoid traffic issues, closing of streets and the hiring of police officers to manage race safety.

The board unanimously supported the idea for Hoover to request permission from the Skaneateles Town Board to use the park, and Trustee Sue Jones said she would call town officials to inform them of the coming request.

The second request came from the owners of Endurance Monster, the Fennell Street the sports retailer, who sought permission for a one-mile race through the village as a fundraiser for the Austin Park playground renovation project. The race would start in the evening on Friday, June 15, on Elizabeth Street and go down Griffin Street and Kelly Street and end at or near the store. Police Chief Lloyd Perkins said some of the village streets along the route would need to be closed to ensure runner safety.

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