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PENN YAN
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Firefighter trustees get a vote

PENN YAN—The topic of trustees who are members of the Penn Yan Fire Department voting on matters connected to the fire department has been discussed for many weeks. The concern was appropriateness of these individuals voting on matters that would benefit the fire department. The matter was settled following a public hearing at the village board meeting Tuesday, March 15.
Village trustees who are firefighters may vote on matters that affect the village fire department. There had been discussion of the need for these individuals to recuse themselves from voting on any expenditures that are connected to the fire department. Four members of the seven member village board are members of the Penn Yan Fire Department. One, Michael Christensen, is inactive. The others, Mayor Robert Church and trustees Willie Allison and Bart Winslow, are active members of the department.
The matter was addressed as a part of potential changes in the Village Ethics Code. Church said he had consulted with New York State Conference of Mayors representatives who basically concluded the village board needs to consult with their attorney. Village Attorney Ed Brockman said the code requires anyone with any interest in matters before the board to recuse themselves. Brockman said trustees can recuse themselves if they feel there is a conflict. Church said he disagrees with Brockman’s decision.
No matter how many members of the village board are present at a meeting, there must be at least four who vote. The village board has seven members. If a fire department member cannot vote on matters relating to the fire department, no decision can be made.
Trustee Wayne Davidson said he believes state law is not always right. He said the village cannot make a law more liberal than a state law. Trustees voted to allow firefighters to vote. Church said the village will ask Brockman to contact the state Attorney General’s office. If needed, the village will change the policy. Church added, “We have to do what is right.”
In other business: Adopted a local law amending the water chapter of village code regarding the method of computing water rates. The new method will use Equivalent Dwelling Units (EDU) This takes into account the use of a property. This was one of eight issues considered during public hearings at the meeting.
There was a public hearing on a proposal to charge for non-village residents to park boat trailers at the launch site off Keuka Street. Permits will be available for village residents. Church said the bottom line is that the village is struggling with their budget. The village is trying to maintain village parks, the boat launch and softball fields. Half are used by non-village residents. Church said there will not be a charge to launch boats or for parking cars.
Trustees approved an increase in the cots of sidewalk replacements. The new rate is $5.25 per square foot. This is a one dollar increase over the rate that has been charged since 2004.
Approved an application from Milly’s Pantry for a grant/loan in the amount of $13,408. Half is grant and half, loan. The funds will be used for new doors and windows for the Main Street property.
The Waterfront Development and Conservation District committee was commended for getting the zoning regulations done. Resident Dan Banach, who is a Yates County legislator, said the paperwork from New York state has arrived and bid proposals can now be sought. Banach said, “I think you will see some movement on this in the next six months.”
Trustees approved a request for the Saturday morning Farm Market on the East Side of Main Street. The market will be open between 6 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. from the middle of May to the middle of October.
The annual Yates County Chamber of Commerce Cruisin Night and Block Party on Main Street was a approved. It will be from 4 p.m. until 9:30 p.m. on Friday, June 17.
The organizational meeting was scheduled at 5 p.m. Monday, April 4. The next meeting of the village board will be at 6 p.m.  Tuesday, April 19. Both meetings will be in the village office building on Elm Street.

 

 

 



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