Jan 28, 2014 Russ Tarby Uncategorized
Tuesday, Jan. 21, was a busy day for village of Liverpool officials.
Three of the village’s four trustees along with Deputy Village Clerk Sandra Callahan and Police Chief Don Morris addressed some 60 attendees at the monthly luncheon hosted that day by the Liverpool Chamber of Commerce. Then the village board conducted its monthly meeting that evening.
The chamber luncheon took place at Sharkey’s Sports Bar & Restaurant on Route 57, while the board met as usual at the village hall on Sycamore Street.
Deputy Mayor Nick Kochan spoke first, describing JGB Properties’ planned development on Lower First Street.
“We’re poised on an opportunity to see some growth and significant development,” said Kochan, who served on the village planning board for 20 years. In 2009 and 2010, JGB renovated the 147-year-old Liverpool Shoppes building at 401-403 First St., where it now leases nine modern apartments, Kochan recalled. Now JGB Properties plans to build condominiums or apartments along with retail storefronts on approximately three acres it owns along First Street.
Kochan reminded the chamber members that Onondaga Lake Parkway was the site of the Oswego Canal in the 19th century and that much of the Lower First Street property sits on what was then a canal side-cut basin, leaving it one of the lowest parcels in the square-mile village. As a result, stormwater drainage remains a serious concern.
Nevertheless, JGB’s development plans “are kind of exciting,” Kochan said. “It could well spark some more interest and vitality in the village.” A final design is expected in about six months.
Police Chief Don Morris reported that on Jan. 15 the department received the Triple A Platinum Award, the highest traffic-safety award bestowed by the agency (previously known as the American Automobile Association) to encourage communities to address local traffic issues in a coordinated and cost-effective way.
Trustee Dennis Hebert pointed out that Morris personally helped apprehend a murder suspect fleeing from a double stabbing at 915 Second St. on Oct. 28. “The chief is not only an administrator,” Hebert said. “He’s armed and ready to pursue the bad guys himself. We’re very proud of our police department.”
Trustee Bob Gaetano described the work done by the village department of public works headed by Superintendent Bill Asmus. “When it snows, these guys clear 18 miles of roads in the village plus sidewalks,” Gaetano said. “They also take care of our parks and our cemetery year-round.”
Deputy Village Clerk Sandy Callahan drew a laugh after she was introduced. “They can say whatever they want,” she said, “but we’re the ones who really run the village.”
Callahan and Village Clerk Mary Ellen Sims collect taxes, run the village’s website and Facebook page, take complains and keep records.
The clerk’s office also takes up to ten telephone calls daily “that have nothing to do with the village of Liverpool,” she said. Many people confuse the village with Liverpool, England, various other Liverpools in the Western Hemisphere or call the village when they should be calling the town of Salina, the town of Clay or U.S. Post Office.
Hebert, a professional financial planner, briefly discussed the village’s fiscal health. In 2010, he recalled, Onondaga County rescinded its sales-tax sharing arrangement with towns and villages. “We lost $400,000, and that’s a lot of money,” Hebert said. That county action prompted the first tax increase in the village in 14 years. Taxes went up 22 percent in 2011, but since then the tax rate has remained stable and no raise is projected for 2014.
“At our annual audit every year we get outstanding reviews which is a testament to the work done by our clerks, Mary Ellen Sims and Sandy Callahan,” Hebert said. “The auditors say we’re one of the most fiscally sound municipalities they’ve seen.”
Hebert also advised the Chamber members that whenever someone starts a new business in the village, they can “save themselves some aggravation” by first checking village zoning regulations and village ordinances. “You can learn what you can and can’t do regarding things like lighting and signage,” he said.
Five DWI arrests
Liverpool Police Chief Don Morris informed the village board at its Jan. 21 meeting that officers issued 103 citations for violations of the state’s vehicle and traffic laws after making 145 traffic stops during December 2013. Eight warning tickets were also issued.
Five arrests were made for driving while intoxicated and eight traffic accidents were investigated. Since the winter parking hours are now in effect, 66 parking tickets were issued.
Officers made 248 residential checks during the month responding to 329 complaints or calls for service. The LPD arrested 22 persons last month on three dozen criminal charges.
Morris reminded residents to lock their vehicles and never leave valuables in plain sight inside those vehicles. “We’ve been investigating some larcenies from vehicles,” Morris said. “We have suspect information and expect to make an arrest in the near future.”