The Good, Bad and Ugly of Fall Fest
Sprague’s Safety Concerns at Fillmore Street
Garbage Bids Received
Halloween Trick or Treat Set for 6–8 p.m. October 31
Mayor Charles Coolidge called the regular meeting of the Village of Ellicottville to order at 6 p.m. on Oct. 15, 2012. The meeting opened with two public hearings on two new local laws: Law 3 addresses the rules and regulations regarding water service to village residents and businesses; Law 4 amends the village procurement policy, the use of best value standards for bids and purchasing equipment, which permits purchasing based on other criteria, not just the lowest price. The public hearings were held open for the duration of the meeting, and since there were no public comments, both motions to accept the laws passed.
Several people attended the meeting to discuss the good, bad and ugly of Fall Fest 2012. Before comments from the floor were received, Mayor Coolidge made several comments.
“Fall Fest has been a problem for quite a few years,” he said, citing issues with open containers, public drinking and urination, yelling swearing and fighting. “During the daytime hours, visitors pose no problems – it is the evening, after-dark crowds that create the issues, with more assaults this year than ever in the past.”
He did speak up for his Village Constable Gifford and Officer Dunkleman, who walked the village instead of patrolling in cars.
“Fall Fest is too big,” commented Coolidge.
Comments from the public included wanting to know why more police officers weren’t walking the perimeter and side streets, why 65 busloads of college kids were permitted, and why a call to the police department for a patrol request to rid an area of a large noisy crowd took three calls to finally get a response.
“How do we control the problem?” was asked several times, as well as “Why weren’t violators to the open container law being ticketed?”
“It’s not a FESTival any more, it’s a FISTival!” commented one member of the audience. Patra Lowes is a member of the Special Events Committee, and she informed everyone that there will be a meeting on Monday, Oct. 22 at 9 a.m., with all committee members and the public is invited to attend. She asked that people come with positive suggestions and ideas for improving the festival, not just to come to rehash the bad issues. Written comments and suggestions can be sent to Patra Lowes at P.O. Box 413, Ellicottville, N.Y. 14731.
“We need to rid ourselves of the bad element of Fall Fest,” said Lowes. “It is the (Ellicottville Chamber of Commerce’s) event, and we have to challenge them to fix it and get it under control.”
Bill Sprague and Bill Gugino, of Sprague’s Washington Square Development, were also in attendance and addressed the board with concerns of public safety on Fillmore and Elizabeth streets. Sprague’s development is required to close the old entrance to their site from Elizabeth as part of the requirements set forth from the Village Planning Board before a certificate of occupancy will be issued. Traffic will be required to enter the site from Fillmore Street, and Sprague said when large vehicles turn from Washington Street/Route 219, there isn’t enough room to make the turn, requiring vehicles to swing into oncoming traffic lanes, or for vehicles on Fillmore to move over, back up or find other means to get out of the way. Sprague asked for a discussion of the safety issue before he is required to dig up the existing access driveway from Elizabeth Street. A meeting between the planning board, the mayor’s office, and Sprague’s Development was suggested.
Department of Public Works Report covered preparations for Fall Fest, which included removing and storing the Alley Katz’s flowerpots, putting the village benches away for the season, and taking care of signage before and after the weekend. MayBee Alley was blacktopped and the large tree in front of the courthouse and two others in the village were cut down by Wagoner Tree Service. New sander bids were received and a motion was made to approve the purchase for $4,398 was made and accepted.
The Sewer Report covered the inspection for the sewer hookup at the Sprague Development site on Elizabeth Street, a dig request for the bottom of Holiday Valley Road, EllicottVillas and 19 Greer. Installation of the creek flow meter and conduit installation was completed in September. New sewer lines were also inspected and mapped out at EBC. A motion to approve a $5,300 expense to Empire GEO Services for the purpose of the soil samplings study below Lagoon 4 was made and accepted.
The Constable’s Report for September included 13 vehicle and traffic summonses, and 11 warnings. Seven open container warnings were given during the month, most of which occurred during Rock n’ Roll weekend. Ten general complaints were recorded, including several fights, and four skateboarding warnings and 22 parking tickets were issued. A payment of $100 was received from previously issued parking tickets and $565 in new parking tickets was received.
Three garbage contract bids were received, with very little difference between the prices. NuWay Sanitation of Arcade, N.Y., was the low bid, with a submitted cost of $49,157 per year for three years. Calls were made to check their references and customer feedback was positive. A motion was made and accepted to contract with Nu Way Sanitation for garbage collection beginning in June 2013.
Halloween Trick or Treat in the village will be held on Wednesday, Oct. 31 from 6–8 p.m.
The next regular meeting of the Ellicottville Village Board is scheduled for Nov. 19, 2012.