Village officials to ask boat museum to consider Keuka Street location

Gwen Chamberlain

Is the boat launch area off Keuka Street a good option for the future home of the Finger Lakes Boating Museum? Some Penn Yan Village officials think it could be, and they are exploring the idea with some of the leadership of the Boating Museum’s group.

At last week’s village board meeting, Mayor Doug Marchionda Jr. asked Trustee Michael D’Abbracci, chairman of the parks and recreation committee, to contact the Boating Museum to discuss the possibilities.

“I think it’s important that we keep the museum here in the village,” said Marchionda.

A few years ago, an area near the boat launch was being considered as a possible site for a community center.

Boat building and boating history are linked closely to the area along the Keuka Outlet. A boat building company was located on property between the boat launch and Liberty Street at one time.

Other agenda items addressed at the March 17 village board meeting included:

• PBA BENEFITS: Trustee Rich Stewart, chairman of the Personnel Committee, said he will coordinate a meeting with members of the Personnel and Public Safety Committees and representatives from the Police Benevolent Association (PBA) to discuss the changes in the benefits for members of the PBA. More than a year ago Blue Cross/Blue Shield discontinued the health insurance plan that had been negotiated as part of the PBA contract. At that time, an informal agreement was made that to compensate for the higher co-payment required for prescription drugs, the village could pay an additional amount into PBA members flexible spending account but no formal action was taken.

In February, board members disagreed over the amounts that should be offered, and PBA members said they would accept an offer for $400 per year. Since then, an ad hoc committee of Nancy Taylor, chair of the Public Safety Committee, Rich Stewart and Robert Hoban of the personnel committee and Robert Church was directed by  Marchionda to meet with the PBA to discuss the issue.

On March 17, Church said he felt the village should offer to pay PBA members the difference between the two prescription co-pay amounts rather than increase the flexible benefit.

• PENN YAN FIREFIGHTERS PARADE: The board approved the Penn Yan Firefighters Parade to be held beginning at 6 p.m. Aug. 22. The board agreed with a request to change the parade route so the line-up begins on East Main Street and proceeds up Lake Street to the Firemen’s Field. The new route will eliminate the need for many of the Police Officers needed for traffic control.

•  CROP WALK: The board approved the annual Penn Yan Area Crop Hunger Walk for 1:30 p.m. Sunday, May 3 starting and ending at the Penn Yan First Presbyterian Church.

• OPERATION GRADUATION: The board approved a request to hold a Duck Race along the Keuka Outlet Trail from Main Street to Cherry Street at 1 p.m. May 3.

• ORGANIZATIONAL MEETING: The board scheduled the annual organizational meeting for 6 p.m. April 21.

• BUDGET PUBLIC HEARING: The board will hold a public hearing for comments on the proposed 2009-2010 village budget at 6:45 p.m. April 21.

• LAND USE LAWS: The board agreed to support the efforts of a group that has compiled land use regulations from around Keuka Lake. A comprehensive record of the laws that are in place will be provided to each municipality for future reference.

•  POLICE OFFICER: The board agreed to hire Keith Woodard Sr. as a part time police officer at a rate of $18 per hour. Woodard recently retired from the department.

• POLICE DEPARTMENT STUDY: The board authorized Police Chief Gene Mitchell to make arrangements with the State Department of Justice to complete an administrative study of the department. He had previously requested the study, which will be done at no cost to the village, but the state agency said it could not be done for free. But recently, the agency contacted Mitchell again and said it could be done at no cost to the village.

•  ELECTIONS: Attorney Ed Brockman reported plans are moving forward to have village elections taken over by the Yates County Board of Elections.

• BACKHOES: The board agreed to purchase a new 2009 Caterpillar backhoe from Milton Cat for the state bid cost of $69,511 for the Department of Public Works. The board also agreed to sell the Water Department’s 2002 Case backhoe at auction and to sell the DPW’s 2001 Caterpillar backhoe to the Water Department for $31,000.