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Hornell City talks Dogs, Gambling and Business

April 19, 2022

By Jasmine Willis

HORNELL — The Hornell City Council meeting was held to discuss new dog laws, gambling resources, and business on April 18. Sarah Bryant of PGRC (Problem Gambling Resources Center) gave a presentation to the board about the program.

“I wanted to raise awareness about the increase in gambling problems. You may have noticed sports bidding ads popping up a lot lately. There is a helpline at the bottom of the ads. Those calls come directly to our county. We can connect them all to free resources,” she said. “We can come and help anyone that needs it regardless of if they have insurance or not. This is about the mental health and getting them the help they need. We are the hub for problem gambling resources. We ae not here to judge anyone. We just want them to know we are local and free.”

Bryant said for those who feel embarrassed or can’t leave the home can contact them via teletherapy.

“We are seeing a rise in gambling problems. There are a lot of college students who feel isolated now, and are not able to have that social college experience. They are on their phones all the time and easily get into the gambling and crypto currency. We see a lot of the elderly who are grieving and lonely going out to the casinos. We see a lot of them not able to care for themselves or family since they are losing all the money in gambling,” she said.
You can contact FingerLakesPGRC@NYProblemGambling.org or 585-351-2262 for help on gambling resources or if a loved one is gambling.

Several resolutions were discussed and approved by the city council. One of the big topics of the night was on dog laws.

A resolution was approved to limit the number of dogs a resident can own to four dogs and they have 30 days to comply. These dogs need to be licensed and well cared for. Several complaints came from the school on students being harmed by these living conditions. Several residents in the city have as many as 19 to 12 dogs. Something had to be put in place to ensure the quality of life for the children and the dogs.

Bud Burdett, Hornell Code Enforcement director said he has been called out on several occasions to residents that were living in poor conditions with multiple dogs.

“We have been dealing with this problem for a while. We have heard about large collections of dogs being found in the city. One resident on East Washington has 19 dogs. I had never seen such a large collection of dogs. There are a few others on Cedar Street and Buffalo Street that have large collections of dogs. We are hearing that the people and dogs are in poor living conditions,” Hornell Mayor John Buckley said. “We have been getting these referrals from the school making us aware of these conditions. We hear from the school that students are not comfortable living in these conditions. This problem has been growing over time.”

The city council looked into what other neighboring municipals had on dog laws, and the average number is four dogs. The law has gone into effect that anyone with over four dogs needs to comply within 30 days.

Burdett said the bottom line is about the quality of life for the animals and people living in these conditions. The children are reporting to the school and social services they are uncomfortable being forced in these conditions. In many cases the parents are not paying rent or caring for the animals. They are in very poor conditions and bothering the neighbors with the noise and smell.

“We have been in really nasty places. We have put this on hold waiting to hear what to do about the laws. If this has become an issue for the children we need to be involved and CPS needs to be involved. There is a lot of noise and odor coming from these places. You see how the animals are not being cared for in these properties. Mayor John (Buckley) came to me and we contacted several municipals to see what to do,” he said. “I try to do my bit with this thing. It should’ve been handled years ago. We need to know how many more are out there. There are more and more referrals coming in from the school.”

Burdett mentioned how landlords have come to him complaining about the amount of dogs being kept in these apartments and not being cared for.

“These residents have 12 dogs and can’t take care of them. They are not paying rent or utilities and have no jobs. If you have 12 dogs that is very costly to feed them. They can’t have all these dogs and no way to care for them. It is a real issue for us and the children living in these conditions.”

Buckley added how the Hornell Humane Society has partnered to help with welfare checks on these animals.

Burdett added that the last thing they want is to drag people to court. They want everyone to comply with the laws. They will give them enough time to comply with the new laws.

Hornell Partners for Growth gave a presentation on all the hard work they did to better the city. The comptroller reported a need for work to be done in 2017. This business networking company helped the city with all the issues that needed to be addressed. The city council passed a resolution to continue working with them in the bidding association process if needed.

In other business the city council passed a resolution to provide an environment easement for 24 Franklin Street and work that needed to be completed.
The city council passed a resolution to purchase two new ambulances and continue the agreement with Hornell YMCA for the city pool. The city pool has the cheapest rates for any other municipal pool. The locals need to pay 75 cents and outsiders can pay $1.50 to use the pool. No one has ever been turned away from using the city pool.