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Penn Yan reviews 2010 bridge project

PENN YAN—Organizational meeting behind them, the Penn Yan Village Board tackled a large number of agenda items during their meeting April 20.
Prior to addressing the agenda, New York State Department of Transportation Assistant Regional Design Engineer Michael Griffin, PE, reviewed plans for replacement of the Liberty Street bridge. Although the work is scheduled to begin in late summer  2011, extensive planning will be required to manage traffic during the nine months the bridge is expected to be out of service. The bridge is expected to be closed from October 2011 until June 2012.
The Main Street bridge, one block away will take most of the traffic with Elm Street used as the main path from Main Street back to Liberty Street. Griffin reviewed a series of maps that illustrated the routing proposed. Assistant Fire Chief Rick Simpson said he is concerned about traffic on Elm Street, particularly large trucks, if there is a fire call. The firehouse is located on Elm Street between Main and Liberty and if traffic is congested there would be trouble getting firefighters to the firehouse as well as difficulty in getting the trucks out of the firehouse.
Mayor Bob Church thanked Griffin for giving the village enough time to get ready.
In other business: Mayor Bob Church said a village citizen used the Freedom of Information Law (FOIL)  to obtain records of the fire department contract, claiming that funds were not spent properly and has asked for a meeting with the mayor, fire chief and village attorney. Church said, “If mistakes were made we must follow through and correct them.”  After naming a committee to address the matter, Church said, “I have the faith the committee will come up with no wrongdoing. It was brought up and we have to follow up. It’s unfortunate they didn’t contact the fire department with their questions.”
• Trustees voted unanimously to sell the Maxwell Building to the Yates County Arts Council for $65,000. The building was declared surplus in March after village court was moved from the Main Street building into the village hall on Elm Street. One requirement was that the village receive fair market value for the property. Of the two bids received, village attorney Ed Brockman said, “This is the closest by a mile.”
• Scheduled a public hearing May 18 at 5:55 p.m. to receive comments on a proposal to increase water rates 60 cents per 1,000 gallons. A second public hearing at 5:55  p.m. on the same date was scheduled to receive comments on a proposal to increase sewer rates by seven cents per 1,000. Municipal Utilities Board member Dan Banach said at the problem with the seven cent raise is, "Half is the fiasco we had with Jerusalem about the $40,000 they still owe us. They flushed and we treated. We spent $60,000 on lawyers."
• Trustees approved a contract with former village police chief Steve Hill to provide Workplace Violence Prevention training. Wilber said the cost should not affect any one village department. The training is a new state requirement.
• Approved a two year contract with non-union employees that will provide a three percent raise per year. The contract includes health care concessions.
• Approved a contract with the Police Benevolent Association from June 1 to May 31, 2013 that provides a three percent increase each year. The contract includes a change in health insurance plans. Church said, "Giving a three percent raise in this economy is tough. The change in health insurance made it doable. It is a tough step downward for them."
• Approved hiring Douglas Marchionda Jr. as water treatment plant operator trainee at a starting rate of $17.53 per hour.
• Recreation director Dan Doyle said the tentative build date for work at the Indian Pines Park is June 19. Volunteers will be sought for help on the project that received a grant of $80,000.
The next meeting of the Penn Yan village board will be at 6 p.m. May 18 in the village office building on Elm Street.

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