WELLSVILLE - A village resident appealed to council for speed bumps to be included when road construction crews pass through his neighborhood in Wellsville.
At a meeting earlier this week, Brian Kessel of Aten Avenue asked council members to consider making speed bumps a permanent fixture on Aten between Clark Avenue and Commerce Street, and on Maple Avenue between 17th and 18th streets.
Kessel says the current situation, with motorists passing through the neighborhood ignoring the posted 25 mph limit, poses a hazard to residents, especially children. "These people just have no regard for public safety," he said. "We have so many kids in that area. There's a lot of concerned people."
As evidence of this, Kessel presented a petition signed by 47 homeowners requesting a small number of speed bumps on the streets. Reading from the document, Kessel said, "As permissive taxpayers, we urge that you consider this request as pursuant to a safe environment for our children, our grandchildren and our personal property."
Councilman Tony Cataldo advised Kessel to bring the matter before the Streets, Lights and Parking Committee at its next meeting, but also floated the idea of using removable rubber speed bumps instead of permanent asphalt ones. The rubber devices could be removed from the road if needed elsewhere and over the winter, when snow plowing causes damage to speed bumps.
Councilwoman Tonda Ross, who chairs the Streets committee, agreed to bring the idea forward at its next meeting. Until then, councilwoman Diane Dinch suggested that Wellsville Police Chief Joe Scarabino be asked to post an officer to the area. "They're coming up the one-way streets. There's a lot of violations going on," Dinch said.
Village administrator Thom Edgell said he has received a quote of $3,500 for work on the fencing at the 18th Street playground. His plan is to swap sections of four-foot-tall fencing around the basketball court with 10 foot-tall fencing currently bordering part of the parking lot adjacent to 18th Street. He said loose basketballs are striking the house next to the court on Maple Avenue, as well as bouncing into the street itself during gameplay, creating a hazardous situation.
Councilman Don Brown said that if brought before the Property, Equipment and Cemetery Committee, he believes they would get behind the idea. Councilman John Morrow interjected that it had already been approved at a previous committee meeting. A council vote was only awaiting funds from the sale of a parcel of village land to Wellsville Terminals.
Cataldo was not keen on the idea, however, arguing that the $25,000 put aside in the capital improvement fund for sidewalk construction is already down to $18,000, with the sidewalks still not done. Of the $47,000 from the sale of the property, Cataldo said $25,000 should go into the demolition fund to take down derelict house, with the rest earmarked for catch basins.
Before adjournment, Brown offered a rebuttal to the anonymous person who wrote a "Thanks & Spanks" submission in the Aug. 16 Review in opposition to the village's maintaining an animal control department. The writer suggested that council "get rid of that money pit" since the county dog pound "already covers that job 24/7".
Brown scoffed at the writer's claim that county personnel would be available whenever a need arises like Wellsville animal control Officer Heidi Pecorelli does. "They will come down if they're not busy, but they're not going to drop going somewhere else to come down here if there's a vicious dog," he said.
Brown also renewed his defense of Pecorelli's dedication to her job, especially in light of her pay. With a salary of $300 per month and a $50 monthly fuel allowance, Pecorelli makes $11.67 per day. Factoring in the current price of gasoline at $3.68 per gallon and her average daily mileage, he calculated her daily earnings at $.99.
"Heidi is a real caring person who loves animals, or she wouldn't be doing it. I think whoever wrote that should get spanked," Brown concluded.
In other business, council:
* Approved payment of a pair of invoices totalling $15,730.25 to GGJ Engineers, including the final bill for improvements to Pump Station 1.
* Approved closure of Third Street, from Tony's Place on Third Street to Kwik King on Main Street, for the upcoming Tom Pugliano Benefit Motorcycle Run, from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 5 to 8 p.m. on Aug. 31.
* Approved transfer of a liquor license from Lawrence and Timothy Householder to Gibby's Mini Mart.