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Youngstown residents voice concerns, trying to make village a better place

Sat, May 16th 2015 10:00 am

By Allison Deutschman

With the summer months approaching and Youngstown visitor traffic increasing, residents are making sure to adequately inform the Board of Trustees of their concerns about the community.

Thursday's biweekly meeting was nearly two hours long, before the executive session, providing everyone in attendance with the opportunity to discuss, at length, matters that may be addressed by the board.

•Unfortunately, there was additional vandalism in the peace garden and playground at Falkner Park, as well as broken Plexiglas that was brought to the board's attention.

After last December's expensive and deplorable destruction of the memorial in Veterans Park, some residents said more drastic measures need to be taken before the aforementioned crimes increase.

"We will step up patrols in that area," Mayor Raleigh Reynolds said specifically about the park after dusk. Youngstown Police Department Chief Mike Schuey supported Reynolds statement.

There was also further discussion of installing surveillance signs on Falkner Park property to encourage respectful behavior by all those on site.

•To make the area a safer place to live, the Lewiston and Youngstown police departments will hold a seatbelt safety, infant seat and vehicle code check this July. This will be a "meet and greet" opportunity for the departments to interact with residents.

Be sure to read the upcoming weeks issues of The Sentinel for further details on the event as they are released.

•At Thursday's meeting, the board instated a tobacco-free policy for the parks and athletic fields, at the request of Erie and Niagara County health departments. There will be signage on location informing visitors of the village's new stance.

•Trustee Tim Adamson reminded those of all ages in attendance at the meeting that, although skateboarding and biking through town is encouraged, participants should not text while doing so. He said it puts both the partaker and those driving nearby at risk for an accident or injuries.

Some dangerous examples of recreational texting were provided, as they have been witnessed on Route 93 and River Road.

•In a tight-knit community like Youngstown, seemingly small actions often impact neighbors. The board asked residents to remember the village's noise ordinance, which requires quiet after 11 p.m.

Furthermore, although it may be tempting to hold a bonfire on these warm nights, there is no burning allowed inside the village limits. That code rule dates back to 1965.

H. Neil Freiermuth, a 45-year resident, said he fully supports this ruling, as allowing any fires in the immediate neighborhoods could result in problems.

"This last week, when it was 80 degrees for three or four days, I had to close all of the windows. There's five people over here burning. That's wrong," Freiermuth said. "I shouldn't have to suffer."

Because this 1965 code would penalize those using fireplaces in their home during the winter months, due to how it is worded, the board expressed an interest in updating it to a "2015-friendly" version.

Still, until further notice, the "no outdoor fires" policy will be strictly enforced.

•The next Youngstown Village Board meeting will be held at 7 p.m. Thursday, May 28, at the Village Center, 240 Lockport St.

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