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Watkins gets 'Preserve New York Grant'

WATKINS GLEN—At the Jan. 3 board meeting Mayor Judy Phillips presented notification from the Preservation League of New York State and the New York Council of the Arts of a “Preserve New York Grant” being awarded to the village of Watkins Glen. 

The grant will assist with establishing a historic district along Franklin and Fourth Streets. The historic district is a joint goal of the village of Watkins Glen and the Schuyler County Partnership for Economic Development (SCOPED), and the Schuyler County Historical Society.

The project will provide a comprehensive historic commercial core of the village of Watkins Glen and preparation of an application for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places. The survey and application are being prepared by Johnson Schmidt & Associates, an architectural firm located in Corning. The involved parties hope that a historic designation will not only bring attention to the distinct architecture of the downtown but also give the building owners the opportunity to pursue historic preservation tax credits and grants to maintain and fully use their properties.

By becoming a historic district, approximately 40 late 19th century to early 20th century buildings will be eligible to apply for rehabilitation tax credit incentives. The presentation of the grant will be held Thursday, Jan. 13 at 1 p.m. in the Keuka Room, Watkins Glen Harbor Hotel.

In other business, the renovation project at the municipal building will prohibit its use as a polling place in the upcoming March 15 elections. The board of trustees passed a resolution establishing the polling place to be changed to the Community Center in Clute Park. The hours will remain 12 p.m. to 9 p.m.

In preparing for the renovation project, the village municipal building stands virtually empty. The bids will be accepted Wednesday, Jan. 4, starting at 10:00 a.m. for both the asbestos removal project and the renovation project, work will begin soon after as all monies have been made available. Each department is housed at one of three temporary locations with the police department now headquartered on the third floor of the county building at 105 Ninth St. 

The local law proposal including traffic and parking was again tabled. The larger issues recommended for change are ready for approval but there have been a number of small conflicting items that need to be addressed before presentation for public discussion.

To meet the Department of Labor requirements for training on sexual harassment and violence in the work place and new policies, it was decided to retain the services of an outside firm to assure compliance. 

The village is still picking up Christmas trees for residents.

The next regular meeting will be held Tuesday, Jan. 18, due to the Martin Luther King Jr. holiday. 


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