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Mennonites get complaint for messy issue

   PENN YAN, May 25—Charles Spacek enjoys the Mennonite culture being part of the community. He said, “I think what they do for the county is good.” His  greatest concern is about one aspect of life; the horse manure that is deposited on local streets. Mennonite families began to move to Yates County more than 25 years ago. There are several hundred families in the county at this time.
   Spacek spoke to Penn Yan village trustees during their regular meeting on Tuesday, May 17. In a conversation later in the week, Spacek spoke about his concerns. His main issues are public health concerns and the impression the manure on local streets gives to tourists. Spacek said he feels the presence of horse manure on village streets is an extreme health hazard.
   Spacek said when Mennonites first moved to Yates County they used catchers, a device that collects the manure. Spacek maintained it is easy to put the catchers on before horses are harnessed. He feels catchers should be used within village limits. Catchers would prevent horse manure from washing into storm sewers as well. Members of the Mennonite community do not use them a regular basis now.
   Spacek also called the manure on the streets bad for tourism. He said he would like to see the issue resolved before the tourism season begins. During the conversation he related two incidents that illustrated his concerns about health issues related to the manure. One was a child who stepped in manure in the parking lot of a local business and another incident was when a motorcyclist footed down into manure at a stop light.
   During the village board meeting, Penn Yan Mayor Bob Church assured Spacek the village would look into his concerns. Pinckney Hardware is located at the Four Corners in downtown Penn Yan. Co-owner Jack Payne said he had not received any complaints from customers about manure on the street. Jody Tyler, staffer at the Yates County Chamber of Commerce said she had not received complaints about manure during the seven years she has been employed by the organization.
   Spacek emphasized he does not want to blow the issue out of proportion, adding, “The problem can be resolved easily. It is an issue and one that needs to be resolved. I would like to see it cleaned up in my town.”




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