Jun 17, 2014 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
You can call it Main Street. You can call it Brewerton Road. You can call it Route 11.
Whatever you call it, pretty soon it’s going to look a little different, at least along the North Syracuse Village Center.
Mayor Mark Atkinson presided over a public hearing at the North Syracuse Board of Trustees June 12 meeting regarding the Village Center Streetscape Improvements project.
To pay for the streetscaping, the village received approximately $850,000 from Onondaga County’s Save the Rain Program.
The Main Street construction work, which will run for a about a half-mile from Fergerson Avenue north to Gertrude Street, is expected to begin this summer. Weather-permitting, it’ll be completed in late-fall.
The work will include curbing, lighting and some changes of vehicle entrances and exits from properties. “This project will also assist with water run-off challenges that we have,” the mayor said.
“As you work on these projects,” Atkinson said, “you get the opportunity to increase safety as you look at the ins and outs of parking lots, for instance.”
Village Engineer Amy Franco reported that one change she’d recommended was disallowed by New York state.
“We had hoped to improve access into the 7-Eleven making it safer and more convenient for motorists coming from the north,” Franco said. Unfortunately, the state Department of Transportation rejected the plan. The gas station-convenience store is located at 123 N. Main St. at the corner of Chestnut Street.
Frequent traffic backups along Chestnut Street are the most significant in the village, according to Trustee Gary Butterfield.
Two Main Street business owners who attended the June 12 public hearing also expressed concern about Chestnut Street backups.
Joe Stenzel, whose wife Donna owns the Big Dip ice cream shop at 216 N. Main St., traced the problem to the traffic signal at Church Street. Donna Pascarella, who operates Donatella’s Salon and Day Spa at 218 N. Main St., said the traffic jams aren’t that bad. “The traffic’s backed up for maybe two or three hours a week, total” she said.
“Everybody knows the 7-Eleven is a pain,” Mayor Atkinson said, “but we took a look at it and now leaving it the way it is is the best thing we can do. It’s just a congested area. It’s not a good design.”
Franco, who works for the municipal engineering firm Clough Harbour and Associates, said new streetlight poles are part of the plan. “They’re taller and straighter going up,” she said.
Butterfield suggested that the streetscaping project include repair of a patched cement structure near Goettel Park, 103 N. Main at the corner of Church Street. Atkinson agreed. “It’s in the Village Center,” the mayor said, “and it does need work.”
Atkinson had written a May 27 letter to 37 Main Street businesses and property owners informing them of the Village Center Streetscape Improvements and inviting them to share their concerns and ideas about the project at the June 12 meeting. The mayor thanked the two business owners who did appear.
“The beauty of small government,” Atkinson said, “is that we can be very reactive to people. You can talk with us, and we’ll look into what you say.”
DPW using CHIPS money
North Syracuse Department of Public Works Superintendent Gary Wilmer said his crews will begin work on street paving in the village, work supported by funds from the state’s Consolidated Local Street and Highway Improvement Program (CHIPS). The trustees approved the DPW’s receipt of $117,390. Wilmer said that storm drain work is also ongoing.
Rocco moves on
North Syracuse Police Chief Michael Crowell informed the trustees on June 12 that longtime officer Rocco DePerno would be leaving the department after 13 years here.
Atkinson said DePerno exemplifies “the community police officer. He has a great personality and excellent interaction skills.”