Village: Dansville DPW is making right calls

Chris Potter
The Dansville Village Board of Trustees meets via Zoom for its June meeting.

DANSVILLE — The Village of Dansville pushed back on some social media criticism at its regular Board of Trustees meeting last week.

Mayor Peter Vogt addressed comments questioning the Department of Public Works. Vogt noted some Facebook critics had targeted DPW Superintendent Scott Tracy and his office’s scheduling of work this spring and summer.

“Scott’s efforts have saved this community a lot of money,” Vogt said. “If you throw in the grants along with his purchasing actions and the way he has run the workforce effectively and efficiently, we have saved millions of dollars through his efforts. I for one want to commend him.

“Our workforce isn’t just picking up leaves or doing this or that, they’re actually doing work. If people think that has made them a construction company, well, I’m glad of it because that has saved us money. When you save money, you get more done.”

Some residents were critical of the village scheduling the much-needed repave of the town hall parking lot before the playground work at Babcock Park.

Trustee Norm Zeh said the repave had been on the agenda for several years and this year was the perfect time to pave it with the town hall closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Trustee Dan Rittenhouse agreed paving first was the right call, noting the village could’ve built the playground three months ago but it would have been closed during the pandemic, regardless. The village also would have had to monitor the playground to ensure it wasn’t used until New York state only recently gave municipalities the OK to reopen public pools and playgrounds.

“Scott and his crew do a fantastic job in this village,” Rittenhouse said. “Drive around and look at the streets, the walls, the Little League field — everything is improving. Everything.

“We’re a great little community in the Village of Dansville,” Rittenhouse added. “When there’s a problem everyone will come together. I think we should try to remain positive, support each other and understand we’re all here for the betterment of the village. … Dansville is a great place to live, a great place to bring your kids. We try our best.”

Vogt also noted the village currently has open spots on the zoning and planning boards if citizens would like to get involved with local government.

“There are opportunities to help improve the village,” Vogt said. “I wish some people would step up and do that.”

Public Works projects

DPW received the go-ahead to place some millings at Babcock Park to firm up the ground. Tracy was also given the OK to give some old telephone poles to a local resident who requested them.

In other business, Vogt urged residents not to dump lawn waste into village creeks. In one case, Vogt said, a resident dumped sod and debris into the creek and actually dammed up the waterway “right where we had done some work to prevent flooding — rather counterproductive.”

Lawn debris, leaves and clippings should be saved for brush pickup. Vogt also encouraged residents not to mow into streets, which can clog storm drains.

“Not all of those storm drains flow to a creek or anything. Some of them are basically dry wells and when you get them full of grass, it’s not going anywhere,” Vogt said.

Tracy reported DPW has worked with NYSEG to take care of a problem tree on VanCampen Street. NYSEG agreed to cut it down and DPW will chip it up.

One-way traffic?

Tracy suggested the village consider making the alleyway around the NAPA auto parts store a one-way.

“It’s very dangerous over there in the wintertime trying to plow it,” Tracy said. “A lot of people from Spruce Street just wheel right through there. Since we’ve been working in there, it’s very dangerous. There’s really no reason, they can use Main Street, they can wait for the lights. That’s not a street but everybody uses it as a street. I suggest we change that to a one-way.”

After some discussion, Trustee Mike Nagle suggested placing speed limits from Clara Barton to Ossian Street and then reassess the situation.

“If we continue to have an issue, we’re going to have to do something different,” he said.