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Watkins swears in new trustees

    WATKINS GLEN—The Watkins Glen village board swore in Paul Clifford and Anthony Fraboni as trustees at the regular meeting held on Monday, April 2.  The oath of office was administered by Mayor Mark Swinnerton.  Clifford and Fraboni ran unopposed in the recent village election and will serve four year terms.  
    The board then heard from Cassie Coombs, program coordinator for the Southern Tier Tobacco Community Partnership. Coombs explained that her organization assists municipalities in deciding whether to ban tobacco, drafting tobacco policies, and educating the public. She had recently worked with Burdett and Elmira in adopting tobacco free policies and was attending the meeting with hopes that Watkins Glen would do the same.  Trustee Scott Gibson said that there were special circumstances for the village to keep in mind while considering a tobacco policy, namely the Clute Park campgrounds and lakeside festivals.  
    Coombs said that there are different ways to approach a tobacco policy to satisfy the needs of the village. One option is to implement a completely tobacco free policy for all of the parks in the village, another is to create tobacco free zones within the parks, mostly around playgrounds and sports fields.  “It is easiest to go completely tobacco free because it is easier to explain to the community,” said Coombs.  Swinnerton agreed, “obviously the easy way to go is to blanket all, that way you don’t have to police it.” Parks manager Michelle Hyde said that many of the seasonal campers utilizing the campground would not be pleased if a tobacco ban were adopted.  Gibson also expressed some hesitation on an outright ban because of the campers and the many events held in village parks.  
    The board did not take any official action toward adopting a tobacco ban, but will likely be working in the coming months to develop a tobacco policy which will cover the village parks, playgrounds and sports fields.  
    In other business:
    • The village will pay Hunt Engineers over $60,000 for engineering and design work done for the proposed raw water intake project that was shelved when the village repurchased the raw water intake building from Bill Benedict last year.   Swinnerton said that he had met with Hunt representatives that day and they had agreed to discount the invoice by $16,106.  He said that the village did end up with some construction documents that could be useful in the future, “although it does pain me to pay out for a service, [for a project] that isn’t going to go through."




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