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Watkins approves community garden

WATKINS GLEN–A coalition of local agencies is seeking up to an acre of land in the village of Watkins Glen for use as a community garden.
Village trustees endorsed the concept Monday and said they would work with the Schuyler County Community Gardens Coalition to locate an appropriate site.
The garden is one of three planned for 2009, said Roger Ort of Cornell Cooperative Extension. Other agencies in the coalition are Catholic Charities and Schuyler Head Start.
Ort said there would be no cost to the village for the project. Other gardens are planned for the 4-H Camp at Hidden Valley and at the Schuyler County Human Services Complex.
"We're looking for an area where the community can garden and we can teach youth to garden," Ort said.
The village garden would be fenced to keep out deer. Ort said the coalition is seeking a three-year or longer commitment from the village. It has also approached the Watkins Glen School District about the possibility of using school property.
Catholic Charities has received a small grant to help start the garden in Watkins Glen. That and other contributions will finance the project, Ort said.
In other action, trustees approved a new policy covering special events or festivals held on village-owned property.  Under the new rules, organizations will be charged $50 to $150 per day depending on the amount of village property they use, how long the festival lasts and the amount of time village employees spend in connection with the event.
Additonal charges will be assessed on an event-by-event basis if village employees are required to work overtime or if the village must hire additional help to deal with the event.
Mayor Judy Phillips objected to charging groups more than the $50 to $150 daily fee this year.
"Let's get the information on village costs this year and charge them next year," she said. "I think to do that this year is unfair."
The trustees also:
• Announced that campsites at the village campground at Clute Park are still available because reservations are down from last year.
• Said Schuyler County will review the village's new waterfront revitalization plan at a meeting at 7:15 p.m. Feb. 12. Reaction is also being sought from state agencies and other area municipalities, said Clerk Donna Beardsley.


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