Baldwinsville Mayor Joseph Saraceni and Van Buren Supervisor Claude Sykes met with Messenger Editor Erin Wisneski on Tuesday, Jan. 8, at Canton Woods Senior Center to chat about what’s new in the village and town. Canton Woods seniors kept the conversation going with questions and concerns regarding village and town happenings.
Originally, Mayor Joe Saraceni, Van Buren Supervisor Claude Sykes and I were to meet in early December. However, I came down with a stomach bug the night before our meeting and asked our municipal leaders to reschedule with me after the holidays, in which they kindly obliged.
Having met in the New Year, I thought it prudent to ask what residents of the village and Town of Van Buren could expect in the coming year. The mayor began by announcing the village had received a $100,000 non-matching grant to put up signs commemorating the old Baldwin Canal and to celebrate the history of the area. According to Joe, City Lore, a non-for-profit organization dedicated to cultural heritage, approached the village about the grant and did most of the work to obtain it.
“This grant will help to showcase the history of the Baldwin Canal,” Joe said.
Joe also said the funding for the South Shore East Trail was granted an extension allowing work to continue until completed this spring. The village had recently requested an extension after running into some issues with properties owned by the New York State Canal Corporation where the trail will run through.
The village will finish work on Meigs Road, shaving approximately two feet off a knoll in the road (for better visibility) and adding a sidewalk from Golden Legacy Apartments to Downer Street for increased safety for residents of the area. Joe added phase four of the village sidewalk project is scheduled to begin in the spring and will be followed by phase 5, the last phase of the project, most likely in late summer.
The village plans to install pilings along the canal and Marble Street to allow more places for boats to tie up and the Lock Street rain garden project is also scheduled for this year – a two-way boulevard with a special garden between oncoming traffic developed to capture run-off rainfall and prevent it from draining into the river.
Joe added that Sen. Schumer secured federal monies for the greater Baldwinsville area to purchase signage encouraging truckers to get off at Hencle Blvd rather than Van Buren Road. He said the signage would be placed at the Thruway exit to 690 North and between the Thruway and Van Buren Road.
“Oftentimes the drivers are following their GPS system,” Joe said, explaining why they get off Van Buren Road then travel North along 48 to turn right onto Route 31. Through cooperation with Gypsum and Budweiser, as well as truckers talking to each other, truck traffic has decreased through the village. However, some truckers just don’t know and the signage will make them aware of the preferred truck route.
“When you have an alternative specifically designed for truck drivers, we should encourage them to use it – the truck drivers don’t want to go through the village,” Joe said.
Joe said also wants to install sign at four corners encouraging truckers to use Route 48 or Route 370 West rather than Route 31 East.
To commemorate the completion of many village projects, Joe said the village plans to hold ribbon cutting ceremonies at several sites including the new bathrooms at Lion’s Community Park and the SSE trail. This will coincide with the village’s 165th anniversary.
“It should be an exciting year,” Joe said.
Claude added that the town would continue rain and drainage work in the Seneca Knolls development this year, but also noted the village and town were collaborating on several future pedestrian safety projects including adding 150 feet of sidewalk to Route 48 and Syracuse Street and connecting the village to River Mall by sidewalk along Downer Street.
“It’s a public safety aspect,” Claude said.
He continued to talk about a potential traffic light at 690 and Downer Street, which was scheduled (by the NYS DOT) to be put in the year 2015.
“I’m not sure whether it will get pushed off,” Claude said, but added he plans to ask the state to include sidewalks when the light is installed so the town can eventually connect Harbor Heights to River Mall and the village.
Canton Woods patrons commented on their new parking lot, which was a joint effort between the towns and the village.
“Van Buren and the village have a very good working relationship,” Joe said about the CWSC parking lot project.
On a final note, Joe asked the residents how the formation of a Wii Bowling League at Canton Woods was coming along. He was told there are 20 members so far, but Joe wanted to see the membership grow to 50.
Mayor Joseph Saraceni and Editor Wisneski are scheduled to meet for coffee at 8:30 a.m. Tuesday, Feb. 19, at the B’ville Diner, B’ville. Special guest Van Buren Supervisor Claude Sykes will join the mayor and editor. Community members are welcome to join them for coffee and address your concerns about the village with the mayor and town with the supervisor or send your questions to firstname.lastname@example.org and Editor Wisneski will ask the mayor for you.