From the Desk of the Newark Valley Mayor

From the Desk of the Newark Valley Mayor

Your Village is filing reimbursement for the Five Clinton St. abandoned factory demolish. When those dollars are received; we will pay our NBT Bond and the interest accrued since Feb. 28 of this current year. We will report the interest costs at that time. It’s a fine project result for public safety and stabilization of real property value for all surrounding properties. 

Randy Crawford, architect, will meet with your Village Trustees and Mayor at our first Board Meeting in May. We all understand your Municipal Building sills and window frames require improvement before additional deterioration occurs.  Your Village Trustees authorized window restoration funding attempts three years ago by a 5-0 vote utilizing the $100,000 in reserve accounts. We did proceed with this funding request of an additional $100,000 for this project.  

Your Assemblyman, Christopher Friend, believed the project necessary and his office secured an additional $30,000 toward this result. Your Mayor recommends these funding initiatives to the Trustees and the Trustees instruct me to proceed.  That is how governance works.  

Your Mayor does not begin a process to success without due diligence, risk assessment and Trustee agreement and approval. So, to those who believe your Village government initiatives begin with your Mayor ignoring the Trustees; that is not correct. Attend our meetings and join us in the conversation to move forward.

We applaud combined decision-making and we do understand and agree that resident review is necessary for the best decisions going forward. Please understand your Mayor does not create multiyear projects ignoring Trustee input and agreement.  

We believe Trustee and Mayor teamwork is evidence of progress, while going forward will rule the day. Speak with Deputy Mayor Alexander, Trustee(s) Parmelee and Reynolds; they will explain how research, respect for our mission is foremost in our minds.  

At a time late this year, FEMA will report the results of our funding request for Slosson Creek, Cook Hill Flood Mitigation. The proposal by your Mayor and approved by your Trustees has passed a first hurdle of inspection and recommendation to a second level of review. If we do receive award; an 80 percent funded hydrology engineering report will describe the best way to significantly decrease or mitigate flooding for the rains flowing from our hillsides.  This project to be successful; includes multi government approach by your Village, with cooperation by the Town of Newark Valley and NYSDOT.  

As you know, Cook Hill and Slosson Creek meander down hills in the Town and eventually overflow. This is not a new phenomenon. Our funding request just after the 2011 flooding was rejected. 

Your Village Trustees and Mayor did not ignore those flooding issues; however, we hope a different result for this round of funding. The many drains on Main Street require improvement; the study will determine these best actions. Once the report is complete your Village will seek further funding for this infrastructure project upon Trustee approval to go forward. This is a multi-year project to improve the lives of those sites and residents impacted. This is another fine project for public safety.  

A Brook Street resident is requesting your Village file a FEMA funding request for your Village to purchase their property. This funding request is due in early June.  Your Trustees and Mayor discussed this resident’s request in some detail at our second April meeting. There are options – (1) purchase this property utilizing FEMA funding and your tax dollars; (2) elevate this property utilizing FEMA funding and your tax dollars; (3) refuse the request and await the hydrology and flood mitigation reports and project. I am placing the resident’s request on the agenda for the first meeting in May and await Trustee findings.   

Our Housing Study group, chaired by your Mayor, includes Randy Kerr, Ryan Dougherty, Matt Tomazin, Joe Tomazin, Erin Taylor-Talcott, Scott Parmelee, Tioga Opportunities, and Tioga County Economic Development. Together, the group is developing a private public partnership for the purpose of demolition or renovation of underutilized blighted properties in our Village. 

The “neighborhood” concentration begins on Main Street, two properties South of Silk Street and stretches to just North of the abandoned auto repair shop. This “neighborhood” covers the stretch of Whig Street beginning just North of the Fitness Center and ending just after the burned out property before our Village bike park.  

You all are aware of these properties: vacant or underutilized for years housing who knows what? Most of those owners have been invited to our meetings so I hope they will come and join us. It is possible to improve our building-scape as long as all come to the table.  

Regarding Village of Newark Valley land and water availability, Owego Rotary (funding for raised beds and soil) and Newark Valley Central Schools Agriculture Program (sweat equity and planting) are working together to highlight our Farming strengths and utilize student power to improve life in our Valley. In the month of May you can see the spirit and sweat equity of our Village crew and school staff and students. Thanks goes out to Owego Rotary and the Newark Valley School System.  

In other matters, MEGA energy will present the first informational meeting to Village residents offering CCA to take advantage of possible lower electric rates.  I will not go into detail here; however, look for the specific details later in our letter to our public.  

Sharing Services is an important ingredient toward efficiency. Your Village seeks electronic (telephone, copy machine, computer, tech support) tie in with Tioga County IT Department. The cost analysis will be complete before your Village makes a decision. 

This current year thrust is: County Wide Building Code Enforcement (CEO). So far, Mayors and Town Supervisors to some degree agree that this is the way to go. If this initiative moves forward we believe enforcement will be strident and effective. Most of your municipalities have part time officials who are short term and sometimes vacancies go unfilled. We will report as time allows.  

We hope this spring offers a warm and safe season for all.  

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