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Watkins board says village needs more parking signs

WATKINS GLEN—Parking was a topic for the village board meeting Monday evening, Dec. 21.
The board discussed parking concerns regarding First Street.  The Harbor Hotel has had a number of complaints from guests who received parking tickets because they don’t understand the village’s odd/even parking.  Odd/even parking was designed for leaf pick up, snow removal, and curb scraping, but tourists and visitors don’t always understand.  Trustee Greg A. Coon also stated that wine tasting tours, weddings, and out of town relatives don’t always visit the front desk and receive proper parking rules. First Street is larger than other streets in the village, but some members want consistency.  “It will be a sticky situation if you change it,” Trustee Nick P. Kelly said.
The board agreed that more signage needs to be put in place, and current signs need to be expanded to explain the rules.  
The board also discussed building projects and parking concerns.  
Montour Glass currently has a contract to replace the courthouse windows.  Superintendent of Public Works Mark Specchio, asked that a $12 thousand add on be placed in the contract to also replace the front windows in the village office and windows in the police department.  The board agreed to do so, because the additional cost will still be in the budget of the grant, and it will save money on energy costs in the future.  
Three out of four trustees approved to borrow money for renovations of the village offices building.  This will allow them to borrow up to $1 million for the next 25 years.  Final authorization and referendum periods still need to take place, so it probably won’t be moved until February 2010.  Mayor Judy Phillips told the board that they will have to make the project work with the money that they receive.  “You don’t spend it if you don’t have it,” she said.  
The Watkins Glen Village Board will allow a few new changes at the Watkins Glen Fire Department.  They approved these changes at their Monday, Dec. 21 meeting.  
The board approved to allow Rick Evans and the oldest boys from his scout troop to meet at the Watkins Glen Fire Department at least once a month for their monthly meetings, for a probationary period until June 2010.  The boys are in 4th and 5th grades and their ages range from nine to eleven years old.  
The fire department already sponsors their Cub Scout pack.  Members of the fire department and Evans believe it would be positive for the scouts to be around the firemen.  The board addressed safety, liability, insurance, and supervision issues, all of which will not be a problem.  
They all hope that this will allow the scouts to also become involved with other fire department events, and possibly encourage them to become volunteer firefighters in the future.  “They are at such an impressionable age, I think it would be a perfect fit to be tied in with the fire department,” Evans said.  
The board also agreed to allow the Watkins Glen Fire Department to continue to the next step in their new training facility, if Code Enforcement Officer Gordon Wright approves.  The fire department would like to place a portable wood unit behind the current firehouse on the grass.  The department will follow their current training schedule with no added noise or cost to the village.  The building will be used for air pack training, ventilation training, wall reaching, defined space training, forcible entry, and other programs.  It will allow Watkins Glen Firefighters to train without having to travel to a facility to do so.  Village Clerk Donna Beardsley will also check into insurance options.  

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