The cost to the Village of Spencer to contract for recycling pick-up is “outrageous,” according to Spencer Village Mayor Ken Sutfin. 

As of Jan. 1, Tioga County will no longer pay for free recycling pick up for county residents. For municipalities that provide routine garbage pick-up, by law they must also provide recycling pick-up. To do that Sutfin has been researching costs at all area recycling haulers and the prices were all way beyond what the village can afford. In most cases, the quoted costs are well above the total tax revenue the village receives. Sutfin told the trustees at the Dec. 7 meeting that he plans to put out another request for bids and hope that at least one bid will come in that the village can afford. To lower the cost, the village will ask for only bi-weekly recycling bids instead of weekly. 

The village received some good news about Nichols Park. The New York State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) sent a letter saying that they had approved the Nichols Park/grandstand request for nomination to be on the National Historic Registry as a designated historical site. The letter offered congratulations and the board was pleased that it won this recognition. Trustee Gil Knapp suggested that the board hold some kind of dedication ceremony when the historical plaque arrives. He also suggested that the board sponsor an open house/walk through of the grandstand in the spring, past COVID, so residents can see all the work done to restore and renovate it. 

Tom Bailey was present at the meeting to let the board know that he has decided to resign as the village representative to the county’s REAP board. REAP is the Rural Economic Area Partnership, an agency to facilitate development in the county. Bailey said, “Twenty years is a long time, but it is long enough.” For 14 of those years Bailey was an officer of REAP. He told them he had enjoyed it but it was time for the village to find a new representative to REAP, which meets on the second Wednesday of the month. The board accepted Bailey’s resignation and thanked him for his many years of service on the village’s behalf. 

Persons willing to serve on a village committee or as a representative on a county committee are not easy to find. The mayor noted that they still have no volunteers for the village planning board. The mayor has been contacted by two persons who will need construction permits in the spring. The board will have to function as the planning board until volunteers can be found. 

Village Attorney Irene Graven, who joined the meeting by telephone, advised the board that they cannot then act as a board of appeals, if they first act as the planning board making the development decisions. Tom Bailey said he had served on the planning board, too, and thought that in that event, an appeal would go to the court. The mayor agreed to research the law and confirm that is the current policy. 

Another unfilled (but paid) position in need of a new appointment is that of Code Enforcement Officer. Only one letter of interest has been received so the board will post the position again. 

The mayor told the board that New York State has a new mandate for each municipality with a police department to submit a plan by April to review and update police policy and procedures. Chief Monteiro is working on that plan now. Discussion on what to do about building a new fire station continued but without action. 

The next meeting of the board will be on Jan. 4 at 7 p.m.

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