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Board approves bond increase for water project

WATKINS GLEN—A representative from Hunt Engineers encouraged the Watkins Glen Village Board to approve raising a bond resolution regarding the proposed raw water intake system at the regular village meeting Monday, May 17.
Board members were uneasy about raising the bond to $2.890 million from $1.145 million. If the board stayed with the current bond resolution, however, there would be no way for them to borrow more than the $1.145 for the costs of this project.
A contract estimated $900,000 in pipe work in the lake and a three story service building that could cost up to $1.5 million. The board discussed ways to scale back the project and lower the costs by changing access points and the size of the building. “I just can’t believe the cost,” Trustee William Smagner said. The board needed to make a commitment to this project, which required the board to approve the higher bond resolution so the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) can review their paperwork.
The board ultimately approved to raise the bond resolution. Trustee Nick Kelly made it clear that he would not vote to spend over $1.8 or $1.9 million, even if they are approved to borrow the $2.890 million. “I will not allow them to spend that much money!” he said.
The board rejected all the recycling bids in hopes to save money and find alternative disposal options. Village taxpayers are currently paying almost $40,000 for recycling services. These are convenient to village residents, but board members are concerned that the village is paying too much for these services.
The board approved the current arrangement with Arrowhead Disposal into June. In the meantime, they will explore the new bids and the possibility of having open dumpsters for residents. Recycle pick up could be reduced to only once a month, but allow residents to dump items into the open dumpsters at least once a week.
Eight boaters attended the meeting to voice their concerns regarding the movement of buoys during the Italian-American Festival at Clute Park. The board members agreed at their Monday, March 1 meeting that the buoys should be moved 1,000 feet from the shore, rather than 500 feet. This was approved to prevent boaters from transporting alcohol to the shore and  due to indecent exposure incidents and vulgar language from some of the boaters.
Boater Steven McDaniel said it isn’t fair that boaters are singled out for bad behavior, because not all boaters cause problems.
The village recently received a letter from the New York State Parks Department denying their request to move the buoys; therefore, nothing will change this year. “We’re not moving it. The sheriff’s department will be in full force,” Trustee Nick Kelly said.
Other boaters suggested they contribute money to pay for an extra officer to patrol the area to make sure visiting boaters are under control. If this issue comes up again a meeting will be held for the boaters to express their concerns.
The board also approved to allow Superintendent of Public Works, Mark Specchio, to issue a permit to Freedom Village for a bus route. Freedom Village now owns and operates the Methodist Church on Fourth Street where they have been having Sunday morning services. These buses are over five tons when loaded, which is over the limit for use of the village streets. The board has agreed to allow other bus services to use the streets, but parking the buses may still be an issue.
The Watkins Glen Police Department, the Schuyler County Sheriff’s Department and the Schuyler County Public Health Department will hold a pharmaceutical drop off Saturday, June 12 at the Shared Services Building from 8 a.m. to 11 a.m. All village residents may bring unused or expired pharmaceuticals to be properly disposed.
The next regular meeting of the Watkins Glen Village Board will be Monday, June 21 at 8 p.m. Prior to the meeting a public hearing will be held regarding the issue of amending the current zoning law.

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