Officials called for another public hearing on proposed amendments to a local law regulating village sidewalks in order to give residents further opportunity for input after additional changes were made.
At the Fredonia Village Board meeting Monday, Trustee Susan Mackay read through an updated version of a local law amending the village code regulating the condition and maintenance of sidewalks. According to Mayor Michael Sullivan following the meeting, the proposed amendments will update an older law enacted years before in an effort to address current issues with sidewalk safety.
A public hearing on proposed amendments to the law was initially held on May 26, 2009. However, after further revisions were made, a followup public hearing has been scheduled for Aug. 10 at 7:30 p.m. in the village hall.
"We originally had a public hearing a month or so ago and there were a lot of questions raised," Sullivan explained after the meeting. "The board went back to re-examine based on the issues that were presented, and we've made substantial enough changes where the village attorney felt we should call for another public hearing and allow the public to come and have another opportunity ... Just to make sure that nobody feels they didn't get a chance to comment on these pages, they'll have one more public hearing."
Among the primary changes made to the law, this new version shifts responsibility for repair and maintenance of sidewalks, as well as liability for personal injuries - either due to uncleared paths or unsafe surfaces - from the village to the property owners. As an addendum to guide property owners, it also defines exactly what is considered a defective sidewalk, providing specific measurements and physical attributes which would qualify as unacceptable.
In addition, the law will offer certain property owners, in areas where a small section of sidewalk exists without continuity along the rest of the street, the option to remove the sidewalk rather than make repairs, assuming a set of conditions are met.
"We know that it's important for everybody to be able to use the sidewalks," Sullivan finished, "and we're hoping to get to a point where people, in the winter, walk on the sidewalks rather than walking in the road."
In other business:
Board members accepted an offer of dedication of an extension of Viola Drive as a public street - along with a turnaround easement - which is located in Bernett Drive Phase II Subdivision, following a public hearing on the matter. The roadway was inspected by Department of Public Works Superintendent Jack Boland and found to meet requirements of the village's Design Criteria and Construction Specifications Manual.
Village Administrator Richard St. George and Trustee Susan Mackay were authorized to sign the Request for Funds form in the amount of $21,000 for a Technical Assistance Grant from the New York State Office of Community Renewal. Grant money was used to hire Wendel Duchscherer to compile a "wish list" of future projects after reviewing village infrastructure and interviewing village department heads.
Board members, with the exception of Trustee Adam Brown, approved a change order for A.W. Farrell & Son, Inc. relative to a project for exterior renovations to the village hall to make structural repairs of hidden damage along the Yankee Gutter System to allow for the installation of a new one. Work will be done on a time and material basis to rebuild approximately 110 linear feet at a cost not to exceed $30,376.
Board members moved to retain Johnson, Mackowiak & Associates, LLP, for a two-year period, from June 1, 2008 through May 31, 2010. The cost to the village is not to exceed $10,750 for 2008-09 and $10,950 for 2009-2010.
Board members moved to retain the services of Nussbaumer & Clarke, Inc. at a cost not to exceed $2,900 to investigate and report on the water leakage at the village fire hall.
Board members also moved to retain the services of Alliances of Western New York Health Benefit Trust for the purposes of obtaining health insurance rate proposals, collecting funds, purchasing health insurance and administering health care benefits for the CSEA, PBA and Professional Firefighters Association # 2931 unions.
Board members, with the exception of Trustee Jacqueline Penfold-Williams, voted to permit plastic containers of alcoholic beverages outside during the Southwestern Firemen's Convention Crawl - Thursday, Aug. 6 through Saturday, Aug. 3 - but limited strictly to the area on the sidewalk directly in front of the bar establishments participating, to be delineated by blue trash receptacles. Patrons will not be allowed to walk from establishment to establishment with the containers. The Fredonia Police Department will maintain authority to revoke this privilege from any participating establishment should patrons become rowdy.
In addition, Center Street from West Main Street to the Hook and Ladder Deli will be closed on Saturday, Aug. 8 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. for the Southwestern Firemen's Convention Classic Car and Fire Muster Activity. Church Street from Temple Street to Center Street and Park Place from Church Street to Main Street will be closed the same day from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. Fredonia Fire Department Exempt Members were also authorized to use the trolley in the Grand Parade.
Shari Salemi, on behalf of her Relay For Life team, was authorized to host a motorcycle run fundraiser at Valentine's Bar on Sunday, Aug. 1.
Police Chief Bradley Meyers was authorized to use West Barker Common, including the gazebo, and to close Church Street between Park Place and Temple Street on Aug. 4 from 6-9 p.m. for the 2009 "National Night Out" event.
The next Picnic in the Park event will be held Wednesday at 12:15 p.m. with Don Reinhoudt as guest.
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