BROCTON - A welcome addition arrived at the start of the recent Brocton Village Board of Trustees meeting as an audience of one.
Neal McIntyre, a Brocton resident, addressed board members during the public comment portion of the meeting, stating he attended to "be more informed and be involved."
"I think it's important to be more informed on what's happening in town," he said.
Aside from asking about updated information on the progress of the four-corner arch restoration, and the donor recognition program for people willing to chip in money toward the project, the Brocton resident also asked what the status is of the village's most recent burn house on Lake Avenue.
Brocton Mayor Dave Hazelton responded, "It is being handled in the courts at this time, with a time limit set by the courts, and as far as we know to this point the homeowner is in compliance with that."
The resident also engaged discussion about anything new taking place for potential Main Street revitalization. McIntyre was present and offered his interest and insights at Brocton's last public hearing with leaders from CHRIC during the last major grant application process.
After responding that a major issue for the village to tackle against the downtown blight is the status of the old Service Hardware site at 10 E. Main St., the mayor stressed the importance of a qualified and reputable structural engineer being able to assess the building's condition.
McIntyre offered any help he could to the board in efforts to clean up downtown, or assist with projects or needs of the grant process.
"If a group of homeowners got together with some paint, and decided to help at least paint some homes, would there be liability or laws restricting that?" asked McIntyre of Village Attorney Sam Drayo.
Drayo responded that liability would be involved, since the village could not oversee a project dealing with private homeownership.
The mayor encouraged McIntyre to report back to the board if he had interested parties willing to assist. Brocton business owner and Community Festival Committee member Ed Wood also offered encouragement to McIntyre that if a 501c3 status was formed for a group such as the Festival Committee, it may be easier to secure grant funding. Wood also commended the anonymous donor who makes a fund available to homeowners who are willing to spend $1,000 on property clean up, and would be reimbursed $500.
"Every property owner needs to take pride in their property," Hazelton said.
"We just ask that people spend the time and effort to make their properties look a little better, but you can't force that on people. Once we start to enforce our laws, sometimes we take heat for that, but we have no other tool," Hazelton said.
Hazelton and his board members will schedule a time in the near future to make a seasonal walk-through of the village to look for items that need attention. Trustee Art Donovan also noted that he will be personally inspecting yards for grass height requirements this season, which state a lawn must be six inches tall or less.
In closing the mayor lauded all Village of Brocton staff, making note of a particular situation involving a water customer.
"On March 28, one of our water customers questioned the village about aluminum levels in our water supply. Our water plant operator Greg Borst responded, noting that there is no danger of aluminum in our water supply, but this is what the response was to the customer this is how thoroughly we respond to the community" he stated, holding up a sizeable packet of a written response and analysis information.
"He went to all this trouble to answer this question; he sent water to be tested, reviewed the results, and got back to the customer in a timely fashion. This is typical of all of our village employees."