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Village considers costs of new speed signs

WATKINS GLEN—The Watkins Glen village board considered two options for purchasing new traffic signs to reflect the change in speed limits, at the Monday, Jan. 7, board meeting.
The law was passed Sept. 17, 2012, and went into effect later that year. The new regulation, which was crafted following an extensive traffic study, changed speed limits on most village controlled streets from 30 miles per hour to 20 miles per hour. As the board discussed, the village now must determine what signage is necessary to alert motorists to the change.
The village is considering two different approaches. The first possibility, as explained by Police Chief Tom Struble, is to place signage at each corridor entering the village. These signs, said Struble, would indicate that the village speed limit is 20 miles per hour unless otherwise posted. He was of the opinion that signs placed at the corridors would be effective and consistent with controlling regulations, but will research the matter further. This would be the least expensive of the two options as it would require only a handful of signs placed only on streets that cross over into the village limits.
The alternative, if there is a determination that the corridor signs are not effective, is to place signs on every 20 miles per hour street that turns off of a 30 miles per hour street. If that level of signage is necessary, Streets Department Superintendent Don Perry explained it could become a costly endeavor. Perry said each speed limit sign costs $68 for materials alone, not including the cost to install the sign. He added that the village of Burdett recently went through the same process and he estimated the cost was somewhere between $5,000 and $7,000. Perry added that, unfortunately, this more costly approach will probably be the direction the village will have to go.
Both Perry and Struble said they would look into the matter further and hope to report back to the board definitively what level of signage is necessary. The board did not take formal action on the issue.
In other business:
• Mayor Mark Swinnerton discussed a recent meeting with the Army Corps of Engineers and the Department of Environmental Conservation concerning the location of the proposed waste water treatment plant. The preferred site is a roughly 13 acre parcel on the east side of the canal that was formerly used as a dredging site. “There are a number of things to do to start the acquisition of that property,” said Swinnerton. The current plan calls for Watkins Glen and Montour Falls to utilize the new plant, but the optimum goal, said Swinnerton, is to make it a regional plant with Odessa and Burdett also connected. The village recently received a grant from New York State to fund engineering for the proposed facility.
• Michelle Hyde of the parks department relayed responses from a survey to campers at the Clute Park Campground and discussed a second survey that had recently been sent out. Hyde said most of the responses to the survey were positive. Trustee Scott Gibson that the negative responses mostly revolved around the camping rates increasing without an increase in services provided. The second survey will ask campers for input as to what improvements they would like to see to the campgrounds.
The next regular meeting of the board is scheduled for Monday, Jan. 21 at 7 p.m. in the municipal building.