March 23, 2022
Arkport talks town rent, softball field, and codes
By Jasmine Willis
ARKPORT — The village board held its regular meeting to discuss the town rent agreement, softball field history, and codes on Tuesday night.
Arkport Code Enforcement Officer, Bill Rusby said permits should be put in buildings that want a stand-by generator. He also mentioned that solar panel laws should be brought up with the zoning board. There has been an interest in solar panels on roofs in the residential areas.
Logan Sliter, Arkport Department of Public Works superintendent said there are 100 Hometown Hero flags ordered to be placed on Main Street, East Avenue, West Avenue, Park Avenue, and Oak Hill. He said the legion should oversee the flags, since it is a lot of work to put up and take down for the village. A discussion was made by the village board on what to do about contacting the legion about the flag maintenance.
Sliter said a car accident on Route 36 hit a pole and caused a water main issue. This has since been resolved. He has gotten all the benches from the park and cemetery repainted and fixed up for the season.
The Arkport Boy Scouts have contacted Sliter in doing a project for the cemetery and park. They will be painting fire hydrants and putting up some signs at the cemetery.
The big topic at the village board meeting is the town rent agreement. Arkport Mayor Tom Dugo and Arkport Trustee Jon Hedges discussed what happened at the Hornellsville Town Board meeting recently.
“We sat down with the Hornellsville Town Board recently to explain to them about the town rent agreement. We explained to them that they haven’t paid the rent in over two years. We don’t think that is fair. They talked like we were trying to say they shouldn’t be in the building at all. We expect them to pay rent and utilities. It is not right that they have stopped paying. They were paying for 30 years and now they think they shouldn’t have to pay,” Dugo said. “There was a lot of talk about shared services. They stopped paying rent all of a sudden. They are not helping us pay for anything. They need to sit down with us. We had about three people on the board that agreed with us. We need to come up with an agreement that makes sense.”
Sliter added that the shared services agreement has helped him and his team out a lot over the years. He has been able to use the town’s equipment for sidewalks and other projects.
Hedges said he is a taxpayer who is trying to understand why he pays the same for both town and village when there is an agreement for shared services.
Dugo said there has been multiple contracts and agreements over the years, and he needs to sit down with the town board to work out this agreement.
“We have always shared things. We need to sit down and make an agreement that is fair. We have looked at contracts that we had with them early on. We want to have a good relationship with them. We do get a lot of help from them. We need them to help pay the utilities and the rent. We were charging them $3,000 for the whole year,” he said.
Village officials say that when the town uses the building to hold court and the community room the village feels it is only fair they share in the expenses of the utilities and rent.
Another big topic in the village board meeting was talk about the Night Hawks and Arkport Cinderella League sharing the softball field. The softball field was donated to the village for youth sports over a century ago. It is a rich part of the local history. Night Hawks has been helping out with keeping the field maintained and fundraising since Covid-19.
“The field was donated to the village to be used for youth sports events over 100 years ago. We found documents from that era talking about the wishes of the field. They talk about baseball and softball for the kids of the village. At one point they lifted up the old stadium to rebuild the foundation,” Dugo said. “Night Hawks are a traveling team that doesn’t have a field of their own. There weren’t many Arkport Cinderella’s left to play after Covid-19 shut all the sports down. They want to have the field to play on and work around the Cinderella League’s schedule. I think we should keep the history of the field. Let them both play on the field.”
Newly appointed village trustees Patricia Amidon, Alan Matthews, and Mayor Elect George Prete were all sworn into office at the regular meeting. Prete said he hopes for a nice two-year term. He wants to see what happens from here. He was on the Democratic Party and knew someone had to step up for the position. “I will see what needs to be done from here. I know the water project is just about done. I want to take it all from here,” he said. “We are working with a stable budget. We have a reasonable bunch of people involved on the village board. I want to take it from here and see what needs to be improved down the road.”
Prete said he was involved in the City of Hornell IDA for 32 years, Arkport Central School Board of Education in 1970s, and grew up on the east side of Hornell. He wants to see his community thrive and loved growing up here.
The budget public hearing will be held on April 12 at 6:30 p.m. along with the regular meeting at 7 p.m.