The early stages of talks about using some form of public transportation between downtown Fredonia and the Dunkirk pier have begun, according to Fredonia Village Mayor Stephen Keefe.
At a workshop meeting of the Fredonia Village Board of Trustees Monday night, Keefe said he was prompted by a visit from Victoria Pucci-Schaefer, saying, "Victoria feels it would make a lot of sense for us to do trolley rides from Fredonia to Dunkirk and back. She said it would lower traffic and be a better way for people to travel. I got to thinking if you're going to the pier to the bars or to one of their festivals, it might reduce driving hazards, if you know what I'm talking about."
Keefe said he's been in contact with Dunkirk officials and, "... they seem to be in favor of it." Keefe also noted the trolley may not be the ideal solution as it has broken down when he has driven it on tours around Fredonia.
Details were discussed by the board regarding insurance requirements, provisions for drivers and potential funding and sharing of costs with Dunkirk.
"Initially, it seems like there might be a couple minuses, but, especially if it can pay for itself, or create a little revenue, I think it would be great. I agree with you that it would cut down traffic," Trustee Adam Brown said.
"It's in the early stages right now. I just want to put it on the table for discussion and thoughts. Let's look at it," Keefe stated.
In other business, properties within the village which require mowing were discussed. Chief Inspection Officer John Monaco said the numbers were up this year, and costs associated with notifying those in violation were also rising.
"It's more than normal," Monaco said, referring to the number of properties that will have to be mowed by the village due to lack of cooperation from property owners. "We have four right now, and I sent out another notice today, so if they don't comply, there will be five," Monaco said.
Other costs were discussed related to sending notices, which are sent certified mail at $5.75 per envelope. Monaco said he did not know how many certified letters were sent related to grass cutting, but that the number was much higher than the properties which remain out of compliance and need to be mowed.
Village Attorney Sam Drayo said, "We don't want to mow these properties. We have no way to actually recoup the money." Village Clerk Rick St. George said the county paid some costs in years past, but no longer does. Several members present discussed the potential for placing a charge on the owner's property tax bill, but currently the ordinance has no provisions to do so.
The board decided to research what legal means might be possible to recoup costs of mowing and pursue the issue at a later date.
Other matters discussed at the meeting included a request from the Lions Club to plant 10 trees in the village. Keefe said, "I'm thinking about the cemetery because a lot of the old trees are falling over and need to be replaced," but noted the cemetery may prefer evergreens over deciduous trees and other concerns over tree placement related to power lines and maintenance.