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Penn Yan threatens to stop service

PENN YAN—During their regular meeting Nov. 17, the Penn Yan Village Board voted unanimously to shut off service to Jerusalem Sewer District #2. No date was set for the process and the town will be notified about the board’s decision by letter.
The action was triggered by lack of payment for sewer service, which is provided to the town by the village. Prior to the vote, trustee Willie Allison said, “The utilities board is frustrated that Jerusalem is not paying. They are collecting money for the sewer.” Allison, who chairs the village utility committee, said they wanted to authorize the discontinuation of service.
Municipal Utilities Board chairman Rom French was also at the meeting. He said, “Municipal Utilities board has been silent on this issue. In February it will have been three years. There is nothing holding Jerusalem’s feet to the fire to pay this bill. Nothing has changed. The customers pay their bills, Jerusalem keeps the money and we service them. How long are we supposed to go without pay? I see no reason we can’t send a letter that says pay be a certain date or we shut you off.”
Following the meeting Mayor Douglas Marchionda Jr. said, “Jerusalem is continuing to collect charges and contrary to the Supreme Court order, has not paid us.”
In other business: The village-owned Maxwell Building on Main Street has not been declared surplus as yet, but village businessman Chris Bailey told the board he is interested in purchasing the property. Bailey said his business has run out of room at it’s current location and he has, “Always had his eye on that building.” Marchionda said the building can’t be declared surplus until it is. The village is seeking bids for work in the village office building so that village court can be moved there from the Maxwell Building. He said both the village judge Danny Hibbard and village public works director Dick Osgood, “Kind of chuckled when I said by January 1.”
• The continuing problem of lack of a village representative on the Yates County Planning Board was discussed. In July village resident Fran Dumas was selected to represent the village on the board however she has still not been confirmed by the Yates County Legislature due to a perceived conflict of interest. Dumas is Yates County Historian and Records Management Officer.
• Allison reported leaf pickup will be extended a bit this year because the crews are so busy. A major water main project on East Elm Street and paving of the municipal parking lot off East Elm Street are two projects that have required time from village crews.
• Fire chief Rick Retorick reported four department members did extra training for smoke divers and bailout rope training, which was taken by 17 department members. The training was above the normal required training.
• The board approved funding for window binds for the firehouse. The items were not included in the project cost. Village clerk/treasurer Shawna Wilber said she would work with Retorick to find funds for the blinds
• A request for annexation of property across from County House Road was discussed. The property is a Developmental Disabilities Service Organization (DDSO) that has been told by New York State they should get municipal water if it is possible. There is not a problem with annexation if a property proposed for annexation is contiguous to the village however this property is not. Marchionda said there are two options; to see if other properties in the “Neighborhood” would also want to consider annexation or to go to the township the property is in and ask that a sewer district be formed.
• In matters related to personnel, the board discussed the rising cost of health insurance and possible way to control some of the costs. Also discussed ws the village policy on Leave without Pay. A motion on the policy failed with trustees Nancy Taylor, Bob Church, Willie Allison and Michael D’Abbracci voting no. Following the vote, Marchionda commented, “It’s back to the drawing board.”
The next meeting of the Penn Yan Village Board will be at 6 p.m. Dec. 15 in the village office building on Elm Street.

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