DANSVILLE — For several months the new sidewalk maintenance law has been the most talked about topic of discussion, and it remains on the table.
On Aug. 15 there were many items of importance to the Dansville Village Board that needed to be discussed in length. However, the one that still continues to get a lot of heat is the new sidewalk law. Essentially this law would make sidewalk maintenance the property owner's responsibility.
Dansville Police Chief Charlie Perkins said that there is a reason he loves living in the village.
“There is a reason I live in Dansville,” he said. “I like the water and sewer. I like the public parks. I am out a lot in the week, and recognize the benefits of having a sidewalk on main street. This is the reason people can congregate in the village in an urban setting. It really benefits us all.”
Perkins said he is concerned about the new sidewalk law being a financial burden to some people.
“Some folks are not financially able to take care of the sidewalk,” he said. “It is not on the village to do all of it.”
There are unique situations with the business district and fire laws say that the fire department needs to get to the sidewalks. The main concern is clearing them off of snow and debris.
Perkins said that the worse areas need to be addressed first.
Dansville Village Trustee Dan Rittenhouse said that he has a home on main street, and he needs to care for the sidewalk in the winter as well.
“If you live in the village and you don’t have a sidewalk you have to shovel four feet in the grass,” he said. “I don’t think they should have to go out there in the snow and shovel four feet in the grass. I try to keep it clear for the kids as they go to school. I want it to be equal for everyone.”
Rittenhouse said this new sidewalk law has become a hornets nest.
Mayor Peter Vogt added that the problem with main street is if the sidewalks are not plowed the children walk in the street on their way to school.
The privilege of the floor went to Dansville resident, Ron Hall, who is concerned about the public safety on the corner of Health and Perine streets.
“The bushes are growing up on the inner section of Health and Perine streets,” he said. “I look at this as a possible cause of an accident. When people go to make that left turn they have bushes and trees in the way. I think having any bushes there is a mistake.”
Hall said the second thing that upsets him is the motorcycle’s that have been altered to have little or no exhaust.
“This is a pet peeve of mine,” he said. “This is a public health and safety concern. Motorcycles that have little to no exhaust can be heard in the early hours. They need to be adjusted to keep the noise down. No person should be able to modify it to increase the noise. I don’t think it is fair when you see a motorcycle go by, and you can’t hear yourself talk on your front porch.”
Some other items on the agenda that warranted discussion included the zoning law changes for 45 Maple Street, new dog control laws, maintenance codes, and a pole barn at the dump on Poags Hole Road.
The property owned by Krog Corporation on 45 Maple Street is a big topic as well. This property used to house the West Herr Dealership, and has been vacant for many years. Now the idea is to take this property and have it be used as the new Council for Alcohol and Substance Abuse building.
Maple Street resident Nancy Fitzpatrick said she likes the project, but does not want it in her neighborhood.
“I don’t want that 200 feet from my home,” she said. “I don’t think this should go in a neighborhood where you have children and babies. I lost someone close to me in a rehab center. She was allowed to come and go and did not make wise choices.”
Fitzpatrick said that it is a normal stigma to not want trouble and stay away from drugs.
“I know they need a place to go, but not in my neighborhood,” she said. “What will they do in five years when it is no longer a big enough area. I want to know what it is. We have heard a lot of rumors. I personally think this is going to be a big problem.”
Vogt said the building was put up in the 1960s and when the zoning code was done in the 1970s it split the building in half. It is part business and part low residential code. This makes it very difficult to do anything with the building.
Vogt added that the concern of the village board is to straighten out the codes so that someone can purchase the property.
“Peter Krog owns the building and CASA wants to operate out of it,” he said. “They missed the opportunity at the old Genesee Community College building with the (Noyes) Mental Health. They want it in walking distance, because there are a lot of cases in Dansville.”
Rittenhouse said that it is not fair that since someone in the 1970s didn’t do their job now we have these problems with the zoning code.
“It is not right that this wasn’t taken care of in the day,” he said. “It is not fair that the owner has these problems with the zoning map since someone in the 1970s didn’t do it right. If someone was to buy it and turn it into an auto shop they would still run into these problems. We are not talking about approving the project. We are talking about getting the right zoning codes.”
The maintenance code is a big topic when it comes to weeds.
“What makes Dansville an attractive place to live is the curve appeal,” Vogt said. “If the place looks like a dump no one is going to want to buy the house next to it.”
Rittenhouse and Perkins talked about the various problems with the weeds, and how the updated law might help with that.
Dansville Public Works Superintendent Scott Tracy wants to work on a pole barn that will be used by residents for fertilizer and such. This pole barn will be at the dumpsite on Poags Hole Road. Tracy is also working on fixing the cement blocks at Bradner Creek with a cost of about $27,000.
Several things were approved at the village board meeting such as; MRB proposal for a Flood Plain Hydrology Study, Upgrading a DPW Skid Steer and WWTP Mini-Loader, Zoning changes for 45 Maple Street, New Dog Control Laws, approving the $31,100 pole barn, and several grants.
The next regular village board meeting is Sept. 19.