Village will see more traffic enforcement
PENN YAN—The Penn Yan village board approved a local law to enforce traffic violations in regards to the village’s traffic lights after a public hearing during their meeting Tuesday, April 16. Police Chief Mark Hulse said the new law allows village officers to enforce traffic light related offenses on the four lights on Main Street, which was not previously enforceable under the village code because there was no mention of traffic lights. He said the lights were enforced along state controlled roads as well as traffic signs in the village, but there was no law to enforce regarding traffic lights in the village. Hulse said prior to the law the traffic lights were enforced, but he does not think any tickets were actually written.
The law came about after lengthy discussion regarding the traffic light at the intersection of Lake and East Main Streets, with some board members wanting to revert the now full stop into a flashing yellow light, the way it was before the construction work on the Liberty Street bridge.
Trustee Michael Christensen said he, as well as many village residents he has spoken to, expected the light to revert back to the flashing yellow after construction was completed, and is resistant to that light remaining a full stop the way it is now. Several audience members echoed Christensen’s opinion, saying the light had worked perfectly fine before the change and they would like to see it reverted to the way it was before the construction. Christensen said he wanted to remove the Lake and East Main Street intersection from the local law because it would acknowledge its change to its current state, but Village Attorney Ed Brockman said to do so would require a separate public hearing.
Trustee Bart Winslow Jr. said he is in support of the light the way it is now because it is compliant with state department of transportation regulations and provides a pedestrian crosswalk at the site. He said having to wait an extra 26 seconds at the intersection is worth it being safer.
Mayor Bob Church said of all the people he has spoken to, the public opinion is split in half on the issue. He said he personally could go either way on the issue.
Trustee David Reeve said withdrawing the pedestrian lights at the intersection makes the village more liable, proposing the approval of the local law while continuing to work on that particular intersection to be brought up at a later time. The law passed with trustees Michael Christensen and Christine Christensen as the only votes against.
In other business:
• The board made two changes to the proposed 2013-14 budget, bringing the overall tax levy increase to 3.84 percent. Church said the village needed to add $5,460 in cemetery labor costs, while also including $4,112 in revenue from state aid. Church said the budget is seeing a 3.91 overall increase in spending. He said the budget will be formally adopted after a public hearing on the municipal budget Tuesday, April 30 at 5 p.m.
• The board agreed to annex two parcels of land on Sherman Street and 1984 Outlet Rd. into the village after a public hearing where no one spoke.
• The board approved new officers for the fire department, making Jeff Housel the new fire chief, Mike Clancy first assistant chief and Bill LaRock second assistant chief.