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Watkins adds event, loses July fireworks

    WATKINS GLEN—The Watkins Glen Village Board heard from Seneca Lake Wine & Food event promoter Jeff Dill at its regular meeting held on Tuesday, Jan. 17. Dill appeared on behalf of his promotion company, Deep Lake, LLC to follow up with the board after meeting with village department heads last week to discuss his event.
    The Seneca Lake Wine & Food event is scheduled for June 2 and 3 at Clute Park in Watkins Glen. Dill said that the attendance will be capped at 4,500 and the event will feature around 70 vendors, which will be a mixture of Seneca Lake wineries and eateries. Parking for the event will be at outside locations with shuttle buses running to and from lots. Dill’s company also plans to hire private security and to clean up the park following the event. “We want this to be a benefit to the village, not a distraction,” said Dill.  For more on the event, click here.
    The village is implementing new protocols with event planners in an effort to ensure that appropriate officials are informed in a timely manner. Dill met with village department heads to discuss the general plans for the event, the security procedures, along with traffic and parking concerns. Trustee Scott Gibson informed Dill that his event was “the guinea pig” for the village to try out the new procedures. Gibson then asked for Dill’s input from the event planner’s perspective. “It hasn’t been a problem at all,” said Dill, “it is good to get everyone in the loop.” The board voted to tentatively approve the event pending final department head approval.
    Other events planned in the village will go through the same process, and any costs to the village associated with a specific event may be passed on to the event organizers depending on the nature and for profit or not for profit status of the event.
    The annual 4th of July fireworks sponsored by WENY is the first casualty of the new event procedures. Mayor Mark Swinnerton explained that the village had determined that it incurred around $1,000 in costs associated with the event and requested that WENY provide some reimbursement. WENY was not willing to subsidize these costs and therefore the village will not have WENY sponsored fireworks for July 4th.
    In other business:
    • The village’s wastewater department continues to smoke test the sewer system. Trustee Gibson explained that the smoke testing is designed to “find sources of inflow in the sanitary sewer system.” If too much storm water enters into the sanitary system it can cause biological problems at the plant and lead to compliance issues, said Gibson. This can result from improperly hooked up downspouts or broken drain tiles. The village is attempting to remedy any crossover to reduce the amount of storm water that is processed at the waste water treatment plant.
    • The board voted to remit final payment to Meehan Architecture for their work on the municipal building renovations. Mayor Swinnerton explained that the architect had met with the board to discuss concerns they had with the final product. The faulty heating system is still under warranty and the other concerns were addressed. Swinnerton said that “the board is satisfied with the service provided by Meehan.”
    • The village is continuing to move forward in applying for a grant to pay for a police consolidation study examining the costs and benefits associated with merging the village police department with the county sheriff’s office. The application deadline is in early March and clerk Donna Beardsley expects it to be submitted well before that time.
    The next village board meeting is scheduled for Monday, Feb. 6 in the municipal building.




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