May 14, 2013 Jason Emerson Uncategorized
The latest update on village plans to convert 22 Lincklaen St. from a house to a parking lot is that the lot and the house are getting prepped for construction to begin, and the trustees are moving closer to a decision on whether the lot should have paid or free parking.
“I feel that this should be a pay lot,” said Trustee Peggy Van Arnam at the board’s May 6 regular meeting. Van Arnam, a member of the board’s parking committee, made a similar statement at the April meeting, and said last week her belief came after spending the past month talking to community members, meeting with the parking committee, consulting with village officials in Skaneateles (which has a paid public parking lot) and receiving information from a reputable parking lot pay station vendor.
The planned Lincklaen Street parking lot will be located between the post office and the Catherine Cummings Theater, and will merge into the current parking area behind the theater that is used by both the college and the Lincklaen House.
The preliminary design plan contains 22 total spaces, a one-way entrance from Lincklaen Street, a drive-through post office box for the postal service, some kind of vegetation buffering from the sidewalk and street to create a pleasing aesthetic appearance and the inclusion of signage in the lot to direct visitors to other available village parking as well as other village shops and amenities.
Van Arnam said she believes having a paid public parking lot will reduce confusion in village visitors over where to park; it will be used mainly by visitors and shoppers and will generate profits; the pay station revenue will ultimately pay for the machine itself; and it is likely there will always be spots available after the street spaces are full. If the new lot contains free parking, it will be filled immediately every morning by downtown employees and college students and leave nothing for shoppers or visitors, she said.
The cost of one parking lot pay station — that takes cash and coins but not credit cards — would be about $14,700, Van Arnam said. In discussing how the village would pay for the station on an already tight budget, ideas were offered of a lease-to-own situation or adding the cost onto the Bond Anticipation Note for the house razing and lot construction.
Mayor Kurt Wheeler suggested the board hold off on a decision until they held their end of the fiscal year meeting on May 28 to close out the budget books for the past year. The trustees agreed.
Village Attorney Jim Stokes advised the board not to “rush in” to purchasing the pay station because the construction has not even started yet and there could be unanticipated cost overruns the board may have to face.
As part of the parking lot project discussion, Stokes told the board the village had received one bid for $250 as the result of the village’s bid request process to sell the historic well cover that currently resides on the 22 Lincklaen St. property. He also said that the previous home owner left a large amount of personal property in the house that now belongs to the village, and he recommended the board declare it surplus equipment and offer it for sale at auction.
The board approved both the well cover bid and the surplus contents auction.
Also at the meeting, the board:
—Continued a previous public hearing on what, if any, types of sponsor signs to allow on fences around village athletic fields. The trustees debated the issue, the precedents it would set, how widespread such signage could become in the village and whether or not the current sign ordinance is sufficient. The board agreed to leave the public hearing open until its next meeting at 7 p.m. Monday, June 3.
—Scheduled its end of the fiscal year meeting for 6:30 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, in order to “close out the books” for the year.
—Approved a more specific set of criteria for requests from downtown business owners for non-compliance with the new sidewalk furniture requirement for downtown sidewalks. The criteria stipulate that all requests must include a picture of the item/furniture asking to be exempt from the regulations in order for the board to verify the language of the request matches the actual look of the item. Any approved instances of non-compliance will be for a limited period of time, not for perpetuity.
—Approved acceptance of federal money to implement the Safe Routes to School program, which will be used to install new speed monitoring signs along walking routes to the village’s three schools. The village will pay the $33,401 cost of the program up front and then be reimbursed in full by the government, Wheeler said. Lauren Lines, executive director of CACDA, who assisted the village in getting the Safe Routes to School grant, said the contract between the village and the state department of transportation detailing the reimbursement agreement could be signed within the next few weeks. After that, the village can move forward with purchasing the speed monitoring equipment.
—Heard from Trustee David Porter that the public boat launch at Lakeside Park officially opened April 27, and the village also hired a local boat steward/inspector for the launch.
—Heard from Trustee Amy Weber Mann that the village tree committee is looking for volunteers to help with its next big event on Saturday morning, June 15, when they will plant 17 new trees along Nelson Street. Interested volunteers can contact Mann through the village office at 655-3041 or via email at email@example.com.
—Heard from Trustee Jim Joseph that chimney repair and installation of a new roof on the municipal building will start soon; the public parking lot behind the Cazenovia Public Library has been re-graded; and brush pickup in the village ended on May 2.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.