Cleaning up after dogs to be discussed more in Penn Yan

Gwen Chamberlain

The village board isn’t ready to adopt a law that would amend the village code pertaining to dogs and other animals, as has been requested to address dog owners who do not clean up feces left by their animals.

At last week’s village board meeting, Attorney Ed Brockman presented a proposed local law on the issue that would have been the subject of a public hearing Nov. 18, but the board voted it down and referred the issue to the public safety committee. Trustee Rich Stewart and Willie Allison voted in favor of the proposed law.

Trustee Carolyn Benedict said she would rather see the village pursue a public information campaign, asking people to be respectful and clean up after their dogs. If such a campaign does not prove successful in reducing problems and complaints, she would consider a law.

The big question is who would be responsible for enforcing the proposed law. Police Chief Mark Hulse says his department handles issues on public property while Code Enforcement Officer Bruce Lyon is responsible for handling complaints about private property. Hulse said neither department has seen the proposed law.

“I don’t see who will be the dog police,” said Trustee Christine Christensen, adding, “It’s just not going to be practical. I don’t feel changing the laws will make that much impact on the problems.

Mayor Leigh MacKerchar had requested Brockman research the village code after the board discussed the problem of dog messes not being cleaned up during the September meeting.

Other business on the board’s agenda Oct. 21 included:

• DISASTER AID: The board approved a resolution proposed by MacKerchar to request 25 percent state disaster reimbursement for the cost of damage done to village municipal structures during the May flood. Yates County has asked the state to contribute 12.5 percent of the cost for damage done to county owned assets. Later in the meeting, the board authorized MacKerchar to sign an agreement with Simmons Recovery Consulting to assist with disaster recovery.

• COMMUNITY CONVERSATION: MacKerchar noted the Penn Yan Public Library will hold Community Conversation sessions at Milly’s Pantry from 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Nov. 8 and Nov. 13 and 3 to 5 p.m. Nov. 12.

• LAKE STREET WATER MAIN: The board unanimously agreed to request bids for replacement of the water main for the Lake Street project.

• AUDIT: Finance Committee Chair Robert Church thanked department heads and Clerk/Treasurer Gary Meeks for their efforts which have resulted in a positive audit.

• SIDEWALK IMPROVEMENT: Public Works Committee Chairman Willie Allison reported that the cost for residents to improve their sidewalks will be $6 per square foot in 2015. Applications for the program are now available for 2015, and must be returned by March 18.

• FALL CLEAN-UP: Fall clean-up will be held from Oct. 27 to Dec. 5. Village crews will pick up brush only during the first week, and will make one pass through the village for brush. Leaves will be picked up after the brush.