Lawns and Trash Create Stink
By Jann Wiswall
There’s great news for the village of Ellicottville! The board learned at its monthly meeting on Monday, April 13 that the village meets eligibility requirements for a 0 percent loan for its new, state-mandated, $4.9 million wastewater treatment plant. Construction on the plant is scheduled to begin in June.
The village applied for the NY Environmental Facilities Corporation loan last month. While final paperwork must be completed before the loan becomes official, the no-interest loan means taxpayers will save some $60,000 per year and, as a result, will see little or no increase in their sewer bills.
Bid requests for the plant have been advertised and a pre-bid meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, April 21.
Village Engineer Mike Smith, president of Nussbaumer & Clarke, had separately advertised for bids for fill needed to start work on the plant’s Lagoon #4. The bid was awarded to J.D. Northrup Construction, which will sell the fill at a significant discount from what it generates from its construction of the Holiday Valley Road project.
Smith also reported that Nussbaumer & Clarke’s electrical engineers became aware of some NYSERDA grants for municipalities that build energy efficiencies into their projects. Smith said the village is clearly eligible for a minimum of $21,000 in grants, but may be eligible for as much as $57,000. The board authorized the firm to prepare the grant applications at a cost not to exceed $4,000.
The board spent some time discussing the seasonal issue of lawn mowing in the village. Local ordinance requires that all home and business owners regularly keep their lawns mowed to a maximum of 6 inches high. Vacation homeowners and a few commercial businesses often do not comply. The board will be looking at ways to strengthen the ordinance and look for more effective ways to enforce the rules with fines or tickets.
In the meantime, the board emphasizes that, if you cannot keep your lawns mowed yourself, it is in your best interest to hire a service to take care of the mowing for you.
The board also continues to discuss issues related to trash removal, noting that some village residents (vacation homeowners, renters and full-time alike) put their trash on the curb more than 48 hours before trash pickup day, do not put trash in lidded cans (leaving bags to vermin) and do not bring their trash cans back to their property after pickup. The board is considering solutions to these problems, which may include requiring all residents to purchase receptacles from the village or the trash removal company.
The board also is concerned that some business properties are not providing their commercial tenants with adequately sized dumpsters with lids and are not emptying the dumpsters frequently enough. As a result, trash is being blown out of the dumpsters and into private properties, streams and public areas. Options for enforcement are being considered.
Finally, Mayor Charlie Coolidge brought to the board’s attention a Hard Tales magazine article about plans by the Armor Inn to hold a Bike Day event on Sunday afternoons beginning June 7. The article says the restaurant will be holding an outdoor event geared toward motorcyclists and others in the parking lot of the Wingate Hotel every Sunday beginning in June with live music, food, vendors and beer sales.
The restaurant also is promoting the weekly event on its website.
Coolidge explained that he had spoken with the Village Planning Board and there has been no request from the Armor Inn for a special use permit.
The Village Special Events Committee Chair, Patra Lowes, who also is on the Village Board, said she had not received an event permit request, which is required for any event that would have budget implications for the village in the form of police assistance, public works department involvement and/or other municipal support.
It was not known if the Armor Inn had yet requested required permits from the Cattaraugus County Health Department or the New York State Liquor Board.
Coolidge also pointed out that the Armor Inn’s Ellicottville building permit does not allow it to hold events with outdoor music.
Coolidge said he is opposed to the event as described in the article and will prepare a letter to the owners to that effect. The board agreed and will review the letter before it is sent.
The board noted that no permits are necessary if the Armor Inn decides to hold the event inside the restaurant.
The next meeting of the Village Board will be held on Monday, May 11 at 6 p.m. in the Town/Village Hall. The first part of the meeting will serve as the board’s annual reorganizational meeting.