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Youngstown plans for the future; two public hearings set

Fri, Jul 22nd 2016 10:30 am

By Allison Deutschman

The Village of Youngstown board meeting on Thursday, July 14, was all about planning for the future. Few decisions were made, but many topics were covered and there was promise of many more decisions to be made at the upcoming meeting.

Two public hearings were then scheduled for before the Aug. 11 meeting.

The first hearing will focus on how the public feels the village should finance a water line project. According to the Village Engineer Robert Lannon, the project could take anywhere from 60-75 days for basic restoration, with long-term improvements needed to be made as early as March 2017. The village will accept bids for the project prior to the Aug. 11 meeting, in hopes of accepting a bid for a contract at that session. If all remains on schedule, Lannon believes the contractor would be able to break ground by the end of September and have the first portion of work done by Thanksgiving.

The second public hearing at next month's Village of Youngstown board meeting will allow members of the public to share their thoughts, yet again on Chapter 232 Article X, dealing with motor coach and tour bus traffic. Deputy Mayor Tim Lockhart proposed the motion for this new public hearing.

Although a public hearing on the topic was already held at the June 16 meeting, the law did not pass. As a result, it was essential for modifications to be made to the law and another hearing to be scheduled if the board were to hold another vote.

The board entered into a work session and executive session following the July 14 meeting, where it was expected that they would discuss Chapter 232 Article X further.

In Other Village News

•A resolution was passed recognizing the efforts of Brian Dunnigan, former executive director of Old Fort Niagara. Dunnigan was instrumental in researching the Battle of La Belle Famille and helped to correct the location of its historical marker. For that reason, he will return to Youngstown to be honored at 2 p.m. July 24 at a special ceremony on the corner of Main and Lockport streets.

•The board granted permission to waive the open container law at Falkner Park for the Folk Music and Art Festival from noon to 6 p.m. on Oct. 1.

Details about how the alcoholic beverages, sponsored by Woodcock Brewery, will be contained have yet to be determined. A beer tent or fenced-in area, such as one previously used at the field days, was proposed. This was at the request of local police, as it was suggested that the entire park could prove difficult to monitor.

•Karen Noonan, a village resident, suggested designating a historic district in the village, as Lewiston did recently. With a historic district there are up to 20 percent in tax credits that could be available to commercial businesses that make various improvements to their properties, Noonan said.

Some village residents speculated that this would provide incentives for businesses to keep up with the character of the village.

•Village Attorney Tom Caserta recommended re-assessing rotten trees throughout the village, as has been done in years past. A large branch near the First Presbyterian Church across from 600 Main St. broke off a tree and pulled down an electrical line for the second time over the past year. Trustee Tim Adamson called the police to the scene.

•Trustees discussed pursuing a waterfront revitalization grant that may be used to provide a cutout for the trolley in Falkner Park, a dog park in Veterans Park and various other improvements. The village would be responsible for only 50 percent of the costs associated with the aforementioned projects. According to village grant writer Bernie Rotella, that would mean $45,000 of a roughly $90,000 project would be matched if the grant is awarded.

•"Things are moving in general, we're doing better," Code Enforcement Officer John Stevens said in reference to the abandoned homes being fixed up throughout the village. The board continues to support Stevens' efforts to have unsafe buildings condemned and unkempt buildings maintained.

Residents were advised to attend the Aug. 11 Village of Youngstown Board meeting to have their opinions heard at the two public hearings.

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