If Westlake Development LLC succeeds in navigating the site plan review and SEQR requirements (State Environmental Quality Review), sometime in the future it will build a combination Family Dollar-Dollar Tree store where the old Spencer Dollar General sits crumbling and sinking. 

Westlake Development had contacted the Spencer Village board to come to the October 4 meeting to present their proposed plan – to demolish the old building and rebuild on the same site. They had also contacted the Spencer Village Planning board to attend its Oct. 7 meeting, but postponed that, too, as they had not yet finalized their drawings nor submitted an application. One of their big challenges will be to present solid plans on how it will prevent the proposed new building from sinking, as the old Dollar General did. 

Under reports, Fire Chief Nick Lango was not able to attend and asked Robert Ervay to be present in his stead. The Fire Company received 17 calls but Ervay added that due to concern for responders’ personal safety, with COVID surging in Tioga County, they do not assist with every call unless there is a major medical issue. 

The board was sparsely attended, at least in person, due to vacations and work obligations. However, Nicole McConnell and Sean Rice attended by zoom. When asked during public comments about reimbursement from the state of New York for the village dissolution study, the board responded that there has been no money received and no communication from New York State on it or when it might be received. The board was urged if it ever gets that money to use it for goose control. 

Residents continue to be very annoyed by the amount of goose droppings constantly left on the trail and nearby grass around the pond. Joan Weston several months ago gave the board an outline of measures they can take; at the time they told her that that kind of intervention was probably too expensive for the village to undertake. If the dissolution reimbursement never comes, it was suggested that money ought to be allocated from the village budget for more effective goose control. Another member of the public said that Cornell University has a catch and kill program where the breast meat is donated to food pantries or other places that feed low income people.

Jim Myers asked about the speed limit on Main Street in the village. He urged the board to adopt a limit of 30 miles per hour all the way to the village line and to enforce it. 

The board has long acknowledged the problem and endeavored in the past to get the state to lower it. Main Street is also a state highway and in previous speed studies, the state declared that speeding was not excessive and refused to lower the limit. The clerk explained that for several months the current speed limit of 35 miles per hour was not even enforced (by state police, the sheriff’s department, and Spencer’s police chief) due to covid and the courts having closed down. However, they are now starting to enforce it again. Myers asked the board to enforce it particularly from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. He said the dump trucks and motorcycles going along on one wheel are chief offenders, but cars going to and from work are also speeding.

Village Clerk Erica Brown asked the board for permission to change her office hours effective November 1st. The new hours are Tuesday and Thursday 3:30 to 5:30 p.m. and on Saturdays 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. She told them that she needs time for banking and business contacts. Coming in at 5pm does not give her any working hours to make those contacts.

Under reports for roads, Tyler Koski said that he felt that Broome Bituminous had done a good job paving the three roads that needed repair. The board agreed and they voted to pay the bill. Fortunately, the village can apply for CHIPS money to help with this bill. The total bill was $69,810 of which $50,000 can be reimbursed by CHIPS. 

Brown also said that she had called NYSEG about the LED village street lights that are out but the village continues to be billed for them as well as Nichols Park street lights. 

Nicole Avery said that she will contact both Spencer and Van Etten town boards about budgeting for Panther PAK program for kids next summer. 

The next meeting of the village board will be on Nov. 1.

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