By Caitlin Croft

The August meeting of the Village Board (VB) opened with good news— the new street sweeper was delivered.

There was a motion to approve the minutes of the July meeting; there was a second and ayes carried.

Next, there were two motions to accept the June Financial Report and the Audit of Claims; there was seconds and ayes carried for both.

There was a motion to make two budget modifications in regard to the purchase of the new street sweeper; there was a second and ayes carried.

Business from the Floor: Jerry Schnitzius of Casella Waste Management was in to discuss the Village’s current contract regarding yard debris pick up. The current contract states that grass clippings and shrubbery should be picked up by Casella. Schnitzius advised that horticultural waste are banned from landfills in New York State. The reason for looking into the contract is because Town/Village Engineer Niles Pierson feels we are spending too much Department of Public Work time picking up and disposing of yard debris. Despite Casella having that clause in the current contract, Schnitzius advised that it has not been followed through on. Olean is the only municipality that currently has this service and Schnitzius stated that it is a separate charge for yard debris pick up. Schnitzius informed the VB that he would put together a proposal for yard debris pickup.

Aaron Tiller was in attendance to represent a project for 14 Monroe St., Ellicottville Winery. They have proposed a second floor covered porch for dining that would cross over the sidewalk. They will also redo the sidewalk and apron installing a proper curb. There were concerns from Trustee Spencer Murray considering other projects have proposed this same improvement and have had trouble getting permission. It was advised that the other projects are located on roads that need Department of Transportation approval. Monroe St. is under the Village Board’s jurisdiction. There was a motion to approve the covered porch so it can go to the Village Planning Board for review; there was a second and ayes carried three to two, with Murray and Patra Lowes voting against.

Next, the Ski Tree was discussed. John and Sam Nelson were in attendance to discuss the fundraiser and future plans for the tree. At the fundraiser, enough money was raised to make the necessary repairs and relocate the ski tree to a proper foundation and location. They have also created a plan for proper upkeep and maintenance. It was advised that Pierson should be consulted and Pierson has requested the original engineering drawings and plans. There was a motion to allow the ski tree with a suitable agreement for maintenance and engineering plan; there was a second and ayes carried.

There was discussion regarding the proposed Short Term Rental Law. Mila Clauss, Sean Lowes, John Rounds and Doug Bush were in attendance to share their concerns of where they feel this law could direct our village. Their main concerns were this law would push out full time residents even more. They feel that policing these short term rentals falls on the shoulders of a few full time residents, as they are the ones who call the police. Trustee Greg Cappelli advised that this proposed law is what will help to control the short term rentals that are causing the problems. There will be fines, violation policies, and a neighbor complaint form incorporated into the laws.

Village Attorney Kathleen Moriarty advised that this proposed law will give more teeth to penalization if the rules are not followed. Village Planner Gary Palumbo added that this situation the village faces with short term rentals is because they are a victim of their own success. Mayor John Burrell thanked everyone for their feedback and advised they attend the public hearing on the proposed law.

Next, there was a motion to set the public hearing for the proposed Short Term Rental Law for Sept. 17 at 6 p.m.; a second and ayes carried.

Last, Chamber of Commerce President, Brian McFadden, was in attendance to discuss private property vendors as there have been many inquiries with Fall Festival coming up. Lowes advised there is a Peddler’s Permit that allows someone to sell goods on their private property. In the past, no permits have been issued for Fall Festival weekend.

Mayor’s Report:

The New York State Insurance Fund Premium Audit finished up and the Village owes just over $6,600 in additional premium payments.

There was the first meeting of the Four Corners Commission Meeting and they have completed their mission statement.

The Cattaraugus County Municipal Officers Association will be held at Steelbound Brewery.

The Open Container Law was waived for Summer Jazz & Blues Festival and the VB feels it went very well the only complaints they received were from store owners that the alcoholic beverages were brought into the stores.

Engineer’s Report: Regarding the Baseball Field County Grant, there is a meeting scheduled where the three contractors working on the job will be in attendance to create a final plan.

The Monroe Street Streetscape Project will move forward as Pierson was able to negotiate down the cost of the project. It will cost about $34,000 with the caveat that the DPW does the demolition of the sidewalk. There was a motion to award the project to Wayside Nursery; a second and ayes carried.

There was a resolution made for a budget modification to move $20,000 from General Fund to Sidewalks to pay for this project; there was a second and ayes carried.

Regarding the Fillmore Drainage Project, they are still waiting on a signed easement from Kody Sprague’s attorney.

Pierson has advised that the Town/Village should apply for the New York State Environmental Facilities Grant. This will allow for many of the updates that need to be made in the Water Infrastructure Improvement Project.

There were two resolutions needed by the board to proceed with the application. First, there needed to be a motion to determine this is a Type 2 Action under the State Environmental Quality Review; there was a second for this determination and ayes carried. Second, there needed to be a bond resolution, there was a second and ayes carried.

Pierson advised that the Safety Manual is almost complete and the Ellicottville Engineering website is underway.

Parking: New York Commission of Mayors advised that by resolution the village may establish speed limits and no parking signs. Next there was a motion to approve the installation of permanent No Parking Signs on the eastern side of Monroe between Martha and Rockwell; there was a second and ayes carried.

Trash: There was a motion to set a Public Hearing on a new Trash Pick Up Law for Sept. 17 at 6 p.m.; there was a second and ayes carried.

Last, there was discussion regarding Tom Dineen’s accident and how to best handle the associated bills. No decision was come to. There was a motion to enter Executive Session; a second and ayes carried.

The next meeting of the Village Board will be held at 6 p.m. on Sept. 17.