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Watkins discusses business requirements

WATKINS GLEN--The Watkins Glen board of trustees briefly discussed the possibility of instituting a license requirement for businesses in Watkins Glen during the Tuesday, Sept. 6 board meeting. As it currently stands, the board of trustees does not have the ability to reject a proposed business in the village, an issue that has come up repeatedly since the opening of a marijuana sticker shop.
Laurie DeNardo, member of the board of trustees, mentioned the idea of a review process for new businesses.
Upon hearing DeNardo's comment, Building Safety Inspector Scot Cole responded that would require the village to institute the need for a business license.
"Exactly," DeNardo stated.
The discussion came up at the very end of the meeting following a request from Deputy Mayor Louis Perazzini that the planning board and zoning board keep the trustees informed of what they are considering and have approved.
"Just to keep us in the loop so we aren't hearing on the streets or catching it off social media that this shop is opening or that shop is opening," Perazzini said. "Nothing elaborate, just this project is being looked at."
In other business, the board approved this year's Village Christmas festivities for Friday, Dec. 9. Presented by Watkins Glen Promotions, the event will kick off at 5 p.m. and as in past years will feature the Christmas parade at 6:30 p.m., fireworks off the pier at 7:30 p.m.
Lorry Johnson and Caitlin Cheney of the Italian American Festival appeared before the board to tell them that while preparations for next year's festival, which is 11 months away, have already begun, they wanted to discuss a complication. At issue was insurance requirements that this year, according to Johnson and Cheney, wasn't just stringent, but the most intense either of them have ever seen.
"We don't have the answer now, but the insurance company was saying... to protect the village this was definitely necessary," said Fred Warrick, Watkins Glen village clerk.
Johnson and Cheney then brought up, that under their understanding, the village still had the ability to grant the waiver they were seeking to the insurance requirements. They had emails showing it had happened previously.
Warrick said being new, he didn't want to issue something and find out later it violated the rules.
In the end, Warrick said that he would have a meeting with the insurance company in the near future to figure out what the requirements exactly are and why they are required.
Warrick added the timing last year prevented the issue from going before the board.
The Board also announced that due to a grant of roughly $5,000, the village will be purchasing LED lights to provide to residents. Currently the exact number of light bulbs that will be allocated per household and when this will take place are still to be determined, however DeNardo said that an announcement would come once the final numbers are worked out.

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