Fredonia Village Board enacts trolley policy via 4-1 vote

The village of Fredonia has a new policy for the use of its trolley after a 4-1 vote of the Board of Trustees on Sept. 10.

The policy lists approved uses for the trolley. These include village-sponsored fundraisers, historic tours, rides at festivals and concerts, Wednesday evening rides and “special events, wine tours, dinner tours, etc.” The Board of Trustees can approve other uses, but according to the policy they cannot include private rentals or usage for weddings.

In addition, the policy specifies that drivers must be volunteers — a stipulation that led Trustee Michael Barris to vote against the measure. He said at the Sept. 10 meeting that the village should not use unpaid volunteers as trolley drivers. “People should be paid to do work,” he said.

The policy requires training in the driving of the trolley and states that if the total number of occupants including the driver is 14, the driver only has to have a standard driver’s license. For groups of more than 14, the driver must have a commercial driver’s license.

Purchased from Tops Markets in 1997 by the Kiwanis and Rotary clubs and donated to Fredonia, the 1978 Chrysler trolley was returned to the road in 2016 after a two-year refurbishment. It is a popular and familiar sight at village events.

Mayor Athanasia Landis said Monday one reason for the policy is to organize all business concerning the trolley in one place. “It’s to know how much money is being spent (on the trolley) and to put it to the best use for the people of the village,” she said.

Landis said this is the first written, formal policy for the trolley’s use. “If it doesn’t work, we’ll fix it,” she said. Previously, the village Recreation Department and the Board of Trustees reviewed usage of the trolley on a case-by-case basis.