Village of Corfu Village of Corfu News

FALL 2005 VILLAGE NEWSLETTER

The Village Board has set hours for Halloween Tricks & Treats between 5:00 pm and 8:00 pm on Monday, October 31, 2005.

BEWARE!!!
There have been Solicitors going around the Village trying to take advantage of situations and events such as Katrina and Rita, or soliciting funds for college that likely are not legitimate. The most recent was a “college student selling magazines in a contest to win a trip to London”. Unfortunately for him, but fortunately for us, he made a stop at Officer Yueckstock’s residence. Upon questioning the young man, Officer Yueckstock caught him in several lies, at which the young man bolted. Luckily Officer Yueckstock was ready for it and apprehended him. Please be very cautious about donating to solicitors. We try to watch out for them to make sure they get a permit and are legit, but can’t catch them all.

COMPLAINT DEPARTMENT
We have received several complaints from residents regarding dog owners not cleaning up after their dogs as they walk them.
PLEASE, PLEASE, CLEAN UP AFTER YOUR DOG! IT IS THE LAW!
“Dog Control Law of the Village of Corfu”, Local Law #1 of 1992, states that it shall be unlawful for any dog owner to permit or allow a dog to create a nuisance by defecating, urinating or digging on public or private property other than the property of said owner.

FALL CLEANUP
Leaf Pickup: During the months of October and November, leaf pickup is scheduled on Monday through Wednesday through the month. Residents are requested not to move loose leaves to the curb until designated pickup days.
Brush Pickup: Brush pickup is separate from leaf pickup, on Thursdays and Fridays. Please remember brush should be placed in garbage bags or containers, or in bundles no longer than 4 feet in length

VILLAGE OFFICE HOURS
Monday, Wednesday & Friday, 9:00am - 5:00pm
Tuesday & Thursday, 10:30am - 6:30pm
We are now closed on Saturday

Village Board meetings are held on the second Monday of each month at 7:00 P.M. Committee Meetings are the Fourth Monday of each month at 7:00 P.M. Public is welcome to attend.

PLANNING BOARD & ZONING BOARD OF APPEALS
The Corfu Planning Board meetings are the Fourth Wednesday of each month at 7:00 P.M. at the Village Office. The Board requests one day notice from individuals planning to attend.
There is presently one opening on the Planning Board and three openings on the Zoning Board of Appeals. Anyone interested in the positions may contact the Village Office at 599-3327.

REMINDER: NEW MAILING ADDRESS
Please note the Village of Corfu Office no longer has a Post Office Box. The mailing address is now:
Village of Corfu
116 East Main Street
Corfu, NY 14036

TRUSTEE NEWS
The Village Board would like to thank Erin Spring for his service on the Board of Trustees. Erin resigned due to moving out of the Village. We wish him and his family well in their new home.

HELP WANTED
We now have a vacancy on the Village Board that needs to be filled until April 3, 2006. Now is your chance to get involved in how your Village is run. Anyone interested in a Village Board position, please contact the Village Office at 599-3327.

SEASONAL POLICE OFFICER

The Board would like to thank our seasonal Officer, Richard Retzlaff, for his fine work during his time with the Village.

TRASH PICKUP
The Village will cease trash pickup (roll-off) until Spring 2006, if conditions are favorable.

JUST A REMINDER
Sewer bills are to be paid directly to the Village of Corfu within thirty (30) days from billing date. A penalty equal to ten percent (10%) of the original bill will be assessed to all accounts unpaid thirty (30) days from the date of billing and interest shall accrue on the unpaid balance at a rate of two percent (2%) per month retroactive to the date of the original billing.

NEWS FROM THE MAYOR & TRUSTEES

Mayor Todd Skeet

I am happy to report Sandy Thomas is now in her new position as Clerk-Treasurer. She has done very well with this transition, along with accommodating our residents
Many thanks to Rich Retzlaff who has completed his seasonal position with our Police Department. Rich’s service to our Village has been over the top.

Completed Projects

Beautifying the Village: I hope that you all have enjoyed the flower pots throughout the Village as much as my family and I have. Thank you again to Don Scott’s Greenhouse for choosing flowers that did well with our weather conditions. Also thanks to Jay Feitshans for attending to them, as well as the residents that pitched in too. We are working on a plan to obtain more for next summer. The person who vandalized our flower pots and some other residents’ property has been apprehended and convicted.

Projects in Progress
As you have seen around the Village, our sidewalk project is approximately 80% complete. The 20% remaining is mostly repairs, which should be completed this month.

VRI continues their cost cutting efforts at the Sewer plant and should be reporting their findings soon.

The Village has hired a “Grant Writer”. This individual also writes grants for the Town of Pembroke and has had much success on their behalf. Our goal is to seek out and apply for as many grants as the Village is eligible for.

Upcoming Projects
As noted in this newsletter, the brush and leaf removal for the season will be beginning. As a reminder there is NO burning of brush and leaves within the Village. This is the Law and there should not be a problem as the Village provides adequate pickup for each resident as needed. Should you feel your needs can’t be met, please contact the Village Office to request some type of alternative arrangement.

Let’s all be safe and have fun this Halloween. Watch for children walking and light up your walkways so that no one gets injured.

Trustee Matthew Steinberg

My message to all of you this quarter is that we need you! After a successful Family Day Celebration in June, we’re starting to plan next year’s event. The event is a lot of work and we need to know what our fellow Corfuans want, and also their help! Please give us a hand with next year’s celebration. Many hands make light work. Contact myself or Sandy Thomas in the Village Office at 599-3327 to volunteer and help us make the 2006 Family Day bigger and better. It’s also a good way to become familiar with your local government.

Long time residents will remember the Christmas decorations on the light poles up and down Main Street. It’s one of my favorite childhood memories of growing up here. We have the decorations, but lighting them is an expensive proposition. As nice as this is, we can’t in good conscience spend your tax dollars on it when there are so many other things you want and need. So to :light up the night”, we’re asking as many households as possible to sponsor a pole for $60.00 each. This is the amount per year it costs the Village to have an outlet on each pole. If we can get 20 - 30 sponsors, we’ll have the jolliest Main Street in the county. Contact one of the Trustees or the Village Office for more information.

As some of you already know, Al Starkweather is the Village Historian. We have a long and interesting past, and I’m very grateful to him for taking on this task. With this in mind, I’m asking all of you (especially the long time residents) to look around your attics, basements and other nooks and crannies for photos, newspaper clippings, documents and other Village related ephemera and forward them to Al. He has a scanner and is currently converting the material he has into digital form, but can always use more. The highlights from the collection will be posted on the Village website (once the site is completed) for residents and expatriates alike to browse and enjoy. If we get enough material, we may even publish the collection in a small book.

That’s it for my begging. Now for some straight news... The Town of Pembroke is currently undertaking a comprehensive plan study to plot out it’s future. Several Trustees are participating in the process, and we all feel that as the Town’s commercial and residential center, we need to ensure that Corfu’s interests are taken into account. It’s a long process, and we’ll keep you informed of the progress as the plan is developed.

Finally, if you remember the last newsletter, I mentioned that I was building a Village website. I’m still working on it, but it’s a long process. Stay tuned to www.corfuny.com and hopefully by the next newsletter you’ll be able to stay up-to-date on all of Corfu’s news online!

Trustee Andrea Vogler
Happy Fall! As you read in Trustee Steinberg’s article, we are launching a campaign to “Light up the Night” for the holiday season in the Village. Last year the Batavia Lyons Club generously donated holiday decorations to the Village. However it costs about $60.00/year per pole to light the decorations, as we are charged a monthly fee of $5.00 regardless of whether we are using the power.
So we are looking for citizens or businesses to “adopt a pole” and contribute $60.00 (or go in with a neighbor and split the cost...)
Please let Sandy in the Village office know by Friday, October 21, if you are interested in contributing. We need to leave enough time for Niagara Mohawk to install outlets on the poles. Our goal is to light at least 15 decorations.

SPIRITED VOLUNTEERS NEEDED! We are already gearing up for next year’s Corfu Family Day celebration. We are going with a historical theme this year and have already applied for grant funds to provide for some entertainment for the event. It is a competitive grant, so there are no guarantees, but we are keeping our fingers crossed. We are planning the date for Saturday, August 12, 2006 and are developing a citizen committee, but there is one thing lacking - VOLUNTEERS. We are only going to meet bimonthly, starting in November, with monthly meetings as we get closer to the event. This may sound early, but it is alot less work when we start early and plan well.

I am looking forward to our upcoming Joint Meeting with the Pembroke Town Board. This will provide us with an opportunity to get to know what is happening with each Board. We also hope to find opportunities to save money by partnering.
We are always happy to see the public at our meetings, so please feel free to come and learn what is happening in the Village. Who knows, you might be moved to apply for the position of Trustee that is currently vacant. The Planning Board is looking for new members as well.

I would like to take a moment to thank our Seasonal Police Officer Richard Retzlaff for doing an outstanding job while under our employ. Mr Retzlaff generated record levels of revenue while maintaining the public peace and keeping our streets safer. Thank you Richard! Job Well Done!

Trustee Glenn Russ
Hi, everyone! Hope you all enjoyed the summer and are ready for fall. Just a reminder to clean out your gutters and drains. Check sump pumps for proper clearance of flotation switches, and that they work correctly and clean out any debris that may lodge or clog up the pump.

We are still working on all the options with the sewer plant and it’s updates, and on it’s progress with in-house work that VRI is doing.
We have also been attending the Town of Pembroke’s Comprehensive Planning meetings with the goal of sharing ideas, equipment, manpower and other joint efforts. We will update you as things progress.

Please congratulate our Seasonal Officer Richard Retzlaff for a job well done this summer, and for reaching a record high in bringing in revenue for the Village.

I am working on the budget for next year by going through the same process in all departments determining what we have, what we need, what we should have and how and whether we can afford it. Hopefully getting the information now will ease the unknown factors at budget time. As always, if you have a concern, idea or have information you would like to share, please let us know by phone, e-mail or see us in town.

One last sad note: As most of you know, we lost an icon of the Village recently. This Board would like to recognize his life and contributions to the Village as a businessman, fireman, husband, father, grandfather and friend to all, Frank Doll. He will be sadly missed, and our prayers go out to all his family.

CORFU FIRE DEPARTMENT NEEDS VOLUNTEERS
The Corfu Fire Department is always looking for new members. In the past 10 years the amount of calls we respond to has increased by 20% and our membership has declined by 20% in those same 10 years. Fire Departments in small communities like ours depend on our volunteer firefighters to protect us and help out in times of need.In the United States there are 31,114 fire departments. 2,028 are paid, 6,450 are a combination of paid and volunteer members. This leaves 22,636 fire departments that are 100% volunteer. There is no form of measurement that can adequately capture the true value volunteers bring to communities like ours.
There are many ways to help out and you can be as involved as you choose to be. Not every member has to fight fires. Some choose to train as Emergency Medical Technicians (EMT), Fire Police or help out as a House Person (a non-emergency responder).
Please consider volunteering with the Corfu Fire Department or your local department. For more information or a membership application stop by the Corfu Fire Hall on any Monday night or contact Dean Eck, 2nd Asst. Chief at (585)599-4123 or Brian Schollard, Firefighter at (585)599-3821.

HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS FROM AL
In the 1930’s and 40’s, Charles Judd of Corfu had a horse named “Bob”. “Bob” became known throughout WNY for leading parades and his clever tricks. When “Bob” died in 1943 he was buried on Prospect Avenue with several Village residents present. The following obituary appeared in the Batavia Daily News, July 31, 1943:

THEY BURIED BOB WITH HONORS
Corfu, July 31- “Bob” twenty-nine years of age, a beautiful dark bay horse, which for about 15 years served on the Mounted Police Force of Buffalo, died the other day of a heart attack and was given a fitting burial in a streamlined grave by his master, Pembroke Highway Superintendent Charles R. Judd. After his retirement from service, the horse was purchased by Lester Conley of Buffalo with whom he had served. After unsatisfactorily “farming him out” to various persons, he decided to dispose of him and called Charles Nehbass of Pembroke. He knew of Mr. Judd’s love of horses and let Mr. Judd have him. “Bob” has been seen with his last owner as a mount leading parades at Corfu, Pembroke, Elba, Batavia, Crittenden, Jamison Rd, Sloan, E. Pembroke, Lockport, Town Line, Cheektowaga, Alexander and N. Bailey Ave, Buffalo.

The horse is sometimes called “Centennial Bob”, having lead the Centennial parades in Buffalo and Batavia. One year at the Erie County Fair at Hamburg he lead the parade down the midway with Mr. Judd following.

Some years ago, when Tom Mix was visiting Buffalo, “Bob” led his horse up the steps of some Buffalo buildings. The horse was clever at opening doors and untying knots to free himself.

Don’t forget this year’s Family Day theme is Historical! If you have any historical artifacts, photos, postcards, letters, anything you would like to share with fellow residents, we would like to set up some displays that show what it was like to live in “days gone by”. Just contact Al Starkweather at 599-4195 or Sandy Thomas at the Village Office at 599-3327. We would also welcome anyone who would like to volunteer their time to relate to the younger generation what Corfu was like in the past. Let’s make the Family days a community event to remember!

SNOW REMOVAL

Just a reminder that under the law, the removal of snow and ice from the sidewalks is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner. The Village does try to assist in the removal of snow from the sidewalks, however this does not reduce the property owner’s responsibility. If everyone will abide by the following rules, it would facilitate snow removal in the Village.

  • Please do not pile snow from driveways onto the sidewalks, particularly after the Village plow has gone through.

  • Please remember there is no parking allowed on Village streets between 2:00 am and 6:00 am from November 1st to April 30th. Vehicles in violation will be ticketed and towed.

  • Please do not park on sidewalks or block sidewalks.

OPEN BURNING
The New York State DEC states that there can be no burning of rubbish, including paper, rags, trees, leaves. branches, needles, or lawn and garden debris within the Village limits. The Village of Corfu has no law to restrict burning, however, Part 215.2(d)- Title 6 of the Environmental Conservation Law prohibits all fires and open burning in incorporated Villages, or in Towns with population greater than 20,000. This law can be enforced by any Conservation or police officer. Anyone needing further information may call the DEC in Avon at (716) 226-5313, James Norsen.

SEWER READINGS - IMPORTANT!
This is just a reminder (or a plea from your “sewer biller“) for residents to please read your meters when you get that reading card from Monroe County Water. As you may know they do not read the meters, but depend on you. We, in turn, base your sewer bill on the readings from Monroe County Water, about 40% - 50% of which are estimated (or “Guesstimated“) because they have not received readings from you. The results may be that you may be over-billed for your usage, or under-billed and later hit with a huge bill and wonder why? If we know a place is vacant, we do try to adjust here in the office, but Monroe County may be billing for estimated usage based on when it was occupied. So, PLEASE read your meter, and keep both Monroe County Water and us informed if there are any major changes that may affect your normal billing. In turn, we will try to keep you aware if your reading does become abnormal when you do read it. Also don’t forget, your Sewer Benefit Assessment on your taxes is based on your usage, so the reading doesn’t just affect your water and sewer billing, it also determines a portion of your taxes. SO READ your Meter! And to those that regularly do, THANKS!