Published in Trumansburg Free Press November 17, 2004

Main Street Project Moves Ahead

by Bill Chaisson

The progress of the Main Street Project continues to be an important item on the agenda of the village board meeting. Both Sue Henninger and Scott Sears reported on the latest developments in the ongoing discussion with Rick Lord of the New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO; pronounced 'shippo') about details of the project.  Henninger joked that the project is "sliding toward construction" and that the two remaining sticking points are design of the curb extension in front of New York Pizzeria and the color and pattern of the bricks that will be included in the construction.

Sears has engaged Assemblywoman Barbara S. Lifton and the Department of Transportation (DOT) to weigh in on the side of the village and encourage SHPO to put aside their last reservations about the design. Lifton will organize a visit by the DOT and SHPO to Trumansburg. It is hoped that the SHPO will be resolved and easements granted by January 2005 and segments of the project will be put out to bid by late winter.

Before construction can be started, vaults in the basements of four businesses on Main Street must be repaired at the cost of the building owners. Inspections have been made of the buildings and the owners are aware of the impending expense. Mayor John Levine plans to speak with the property owners about the vault repair in the immediate future. The repairs would be capital improvements and property owners would be eligible for low interest loans, but it was decided by the board and the mayor that those loans would not come from the village.

Randy House alerted the board that it must take action to bring up to date its compliance with a portion of the Superfund legislation called Emergency Planning and Community Right to Know.  The Town of Ulysses is presently engaged in its own revision.  Mr. House stated "Town 

emergencies are village emergencies, and village emergencies are town emergencies". Elected officials must become managers in the event of a disaster or during any emergency. The next meeting to discuss the update compliance is at the Town Hall on Friday, November 19.  Mayor Levine promised to attend.

Bruce Vann, supervisor of public works, led off the reports of the village department heads with the news that the booster pump at the north end of the village is in operation and has increased water pressure in some homes by 30 pounds. He said with no little wonder in his voice that the pump had been working flawlessly since it was first started up. The crew that will pour the pedestal for the new water storage tank is due to arrive this week and begin that stage of the construction. Trustee Carl Potter urged that Halsey Road be closed to through traffic, especially school buses, when a large number of cement trucks were present near the site. The fee to connect to the village water system has not been raised in at least 15 years. Mayor Levine directed Trustee John Hrubos (commissioner of public works) and Vann to get together and decide on a new fee.  It is presently $250 and will be raised to at least $300.

Resolutions to relevy nine unpaid tax bills to the county for collection, to authorize two part-time clerk positions, to authorize the mayor to sign agreements with NY DOT for water line improvements, and to appropriate $35,000 for water main replacement at the Hector Street bridge were all passed unanimously.  However, a letter from the Tompkins County planning department requesting board approval of a draft of the county comprehensive plan was discussed with some heat by board members. Trustee Potter stated without hesitation that he was against approval. "I'd hate to sign on to something that might bind us to something we don't want to do." Audience member Robert H. Brown voiced the same opinion. Eventually a consensus was reached that the county should be able to tell the village what to do and the resolution was tabled with no action taken.

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Last revised:  May 11, 2005