Tag Archives: Village government

Construction and deconstruction in the village

23 Jul
gateway

WHAT is going on at the intersection of North Ave. and 104?

If you’ve driven by the intersection of North Ave. and Rt. 104 lately, perhaps when you came into town Saturday for the Jazz Fest, you noticed there’s quite a bit of construction going on along North Ave., especially at the intersection with 104.

It’s all part of the North Ave. revitalization project, which will mean a little bit of a mess for a while, but in the end will make our village’s primary access point much more attractive.

A big part of that project is the gazebo and sign-like thing going up at the bottom of the 104 east exit ramp. That’s all part of what the village is calling the North Ave. Gateway Project. Photos of what the finished project will look like are posted below.

 

According to Village Mayor Darrell Byerts, “The land was given to the village by the state and will be a park and rest stop along the bike trail.”

Specifically, it appears from the drawings that drivers and pedestrians who approach Webster will encounter a handsome gazebo, water fountain, and a sign welcoming them to the village. The electronic billboard that was down there at the intersection for a while announcing upcoming events will be replaced by something less tacky, but equally informational.

While I was at Village Hall taking photos of these drawings, I popped into the office of Superintendent of Public Works Jake Swingly and asked him if there’s been any movement in plans to purchase and install bike racks in the village. (Click here to read more on that issue.)

He was able to tell me that they’ve come up with a tentative design (which he wasn’t able to share with me yet), and it sounded like the village is considering purchasing four custom-designed racks.

Mayor Byerts added in another email that “Some ideas regarding the bike racks have been put forward. How to pay, since they were not in the budget for this year, is the question.”

Hopefully the village will discover that they’re not too pricey. As long as we’re spiffing up the village and trying to make it pedestrian and bike-friendly, they would be a natural addition and well worth the cost.

water tower

The deconstruction to which I referred in the headline is the dismantling of one of the two water towers just south of the village on South Ave.

Mayor Byerts told me in an email that,

The little tower, “Top Hat,” is not needed by the MCWA. When we removed the cell antennas, they were ready to take it down. The remaining large tower is all they need as a reserve. MCWA will be scraping and painting the outside with a MCWA and Village of Webster logo as well as relining the inside of the tank. This would have been a huge expense for the village a few years ago.

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Village bicyclists, unite!

14 Jun
bikes

Dunkin’ Donuts on North Ave. could use its own bike rack, evidenced last June when my husband and I went for coffee one Sunday morning.

At a recent gathering of our Barry’s (Pub) Runners club, a running buddy and I were discussing how the Village of Webster could really use some bike racks.

The only one we have in town right now (and you probably don’t even know it’s there) is a small one on Lapham Park at the corner of East Main, outside where Mac 5 Bikes used to be. Not big enough for more than one — maybe two — bikes, and not very convenient.

I’d love to see a bike rack installed at the gazebo park, one outside Barry’s or Smith Insurance across the street, maybe even one in front of Village Hall.

I’m going to propose just that tonight (Thursday) at the Village Board meeting, and I invite any and all other village biking fans to join me in support. The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at the Village Meeting Hall, 29 South Ave. You can enter off of South, or behind the building off of the parking lot.

And yes, I’ll be riding my bike there.

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Some thoughts about the Village Board

11 Mar

It had been a long time since I’d attended a Webster Village Board meeting, but last Thursday, on the advice of the fine ladies at the Village Hall (where I’d gone to renew my passport), I decided to go. And I’m glad I did.

The evening was marked by two important events. The first was a moment of silence in honor of one of the village’s finest people, Carol Klem, who passed away about a week ago.

Village Trustee Karl Laurer added some thoughts. He said that Carol was “instrumental in helping me be in the position I am now. … She was a fine example of humility, integrity, decency, honor, and a solid part of our village meetings.”

Village Trustee Jude Lancy added that Carol’s funeral, held the previous day, was a “great celebration of her life….As sorrowful as we felt, (the officiants) made us laugh.”

Mark

The next order of business was another celebration of service to the community, but a bit happier one, when David Mayer was recognized for his almost 21 years of service as the village’s Planning and Zoning attorney.

During his tenure he served under seven different mayors of different political parties, earning respect from them all.

On a side note, I have to say that attending the Village Board meetings is a pleasant experience once again.

I had gotten out of the habit of attending these meetings because I was a bit put off by the shenanigans and the circus it had become under the previous administration. I had both a prurient interest in attending just to see what might happen, but also felt frustrated, embarrassed and annoyed by what did transpire.

But now they’re back where they belong: civil, not contentious. There’s a lot of dry procedural matters that necessarily have to be part of village business, but there’s usually also a lot of interesting information for our day-to-day village living.

For example, at one meeting late last year, one resident brought up his concerns about the clock tower in Veterans Park, and how it had been broken for so long. He by the way, was one of the residents who worked so hard to raise money to purchase it.

I encourage every village resident to check out a meeting every once in a while. It’s a good way to become an informed citizen, and a great avenue by which to express your concerns about what’s going on in the village. There aren’t many opportunities these days when we can look a government leader in the eye and share our gripes.

Village Board meetings are held the second and fourth Thursday of every month beginning at 7 p.m., in the Village Community Meeting Hall, 29 South Avenue. (This is a new time. Meetings used to begin at 7:30, but were moved as of March 1.)

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