Village of Corfu Village of Corfu News

WINTER 2006 VILLAGE NEWSLETTER


VILLAGE ELECTIONS
This year the terms of two Trustees, Glenn Russ and Matt Steinberg, will expire. There will also be the remaining year of Erin Spring’s term up for election. Offices to be filled at the Annual Village of Corfu Election will therefore be: 

  • Trustee (1) Term 1 year  - 4/03/06 - 4/02/07
  • Trustee (2) Term 2 years - 4/03/06 - 4/07/08
  • The Village election will be held on Tuesday, March 21, 2006 at the Pembroke Community Center from 12:00 NOON until 9:00 PM. Since the Village no longer holds a Registration Day for Village elections, any resident not registered to vote must do so with the Genesee County Board of Elections at least ten (10) days before such Village election. The Village Office has registration forms available.

    COURT NEWS
    We are sorry to announce the resignation of Court Clerk Debbie Graham. Debbie has been Court Clerk for Judge Alexander since 1996. She will be greatly missed. We would like to welcome Taryn Vohwinkel as our new Court Clerk. Taryn and her husband Adam purchased the property at 110 E. Main St. in April 2003. They both grew up in and graduated from Akron. They have a 2 1/2 year old son, Cayden John. Taryn is employed by the Dept. of Homeland Security and is a Transportation Security Officer at Buffalo Airport. Her husband is a Custody Officer at Buffalo Federal Detention Center. They both enjoy the outdoors and camping. In her spare time Taryn also likes to sing, read and play BINGO! She hopes to be a great asset to the Village and the community in upcoming years.


    NEWS FROM THE MAYOR & TRUSTEES
    We would like to welcome new Trustee, Ralph (Rosey) Peterson to the Village Board. He was appointed to finish out the first year of Erin Spring‘s term.

    Mayor Todd Skeet

    I hope your Holiday Season was enjoyable. Wishing you a Happy and Prosperous New Year from my family to yours.
        
    Many thanks to Debbie Graham who recently resigned as our Court Clerk.  Debbie’s knowledge and professionalism will be greatly missed.  I would like to welcome Taryn Vohwinkel who has taken on this position.  Taryn has had past experience as a Court Clerk for Silver Creek, New York. I am pleased to report Ralph (Rosey) Peterson has been appointed to the Vacant Trustee Position. Ralph is assisting me in the Justice and Police Departments as well as joining Trustee Glenn Russ on the Sewer Committee.

    Completed Projects

    Beautifying The Village: I hope you all have enjoyed the Holiday Decorations on the electrical poles this year. I am sorry we were not able to light them, however National Grid required $60.00 per pole and a contract for 15 years to do so. We will continue to work on beautifying the village for 2006 and beyond. Thank you to the Village of Akron who donated their time and bucket truck to hang them.
        
    Sidewalk repairs: 2005 repairs have been completed. There will be further repairs in 2006.

    Projects in Progress
    Trustees Glenn Russ and Ralph Peterson continue to work with VRI on the cost cutting efforts in the Sewer Department.
        
    Our Grant Writer is working on numerous grant opportunities for the Village. Village Drainage is one of them.  We would like anyone with photographs of drainage or high water problems to send a copy to the Village Office.  Any information regarding this matter would be helpful for the necessary evidence in obtaining this type of grant.  We will keep you posted on the progress.
        
    Trustee Peterson and myself are designing a new infrastructure in our Justice and Police Departments.  We are currently reviewing a new scheduling system for the officers, along with cost cutting within the court system. The new schedule will be posted at the Village Office shortly and in the next newsletter.
        
    I am working with the Corfu Fire District, Fire Chief, Jeff Ammon on an Emergency Evacuation Plan suitable for the Villages resources and needs based on County criteria.

    Upcoming Projects

    We will begin working on the 2006-07 Budget to be submitted by May 2006.  The budget workshops, as well as our daily business, are an ongoing attempt to reduce cost and expense in the Village.
        
    There are several other Grant ideas in the early stages. Any concrete attempts will be reported in the next newsletter.

    General Information
    As we all know winter is here and it is our duty as a resident of this Village to keep the sidewalks clear of snow and ice so our youth and elderly can move around safely. There is also a lot of misconception as to the responsibility of removing snow around the fire hydrants located in and around your property.  It is, in fact, the responsibility of the property owner where the fire hydrant is located to remove this snow.  If everyone would take a turn to keep the hydrants clear in their area, the time saved could possibly be the difference in the rescue of a loved one or damage to your property.  If you are physically unable to keep the area clear, please contact the Village.
        
    Any citizen that would like to assist any Village Board Member on any given committee or project, please contact Mayor Todd Skeet at 599-3844 or the Village Clerk at 599-3327.
        
    Serving your community is a rewarding experience. I have been on the Village Board for 5 years and with the Fire Department for the last 20 years.  If there has been a time in your life when you wanted to make a difference, the time is now.  The Corfu Volunteer Fire Department is looking for new members.  If you are interested in serving your community please call 599-3618 or stop at the Fire Hall on any Monday evening. Also please note at beginning of newsletter there are vacancies on both Planning and Zoning Boards that need to be filled. If interested contact the Village Office.

    Trustee Ralph T.(Rosey) Peterson, Jr.

    I joined the Village Board in November 2005. My main focus has been on developing a continuous improving plan for our Public Safety (Police) Department. The goals of this effort are to develop a “Community Service Mission Statement” for our Police Department, develop a formal work schedule, establish policies and structure for our “Point of Service” Documentation (i.e. Ticket Records, Accident Reports, Forfeits and Fines). The concepts of teamwork and clear communications will be tools used to reach our goals.
        
    Project Plan: Using the Route 63 Corridor Study, Revised Draft, March 2003, prepared for the NYS Department of Transportation, Region 4, as a reference, I learned that between 2:00pm and 6:00pm Mon - Fri is when the traffic volume through Corfu is the highest. First step of the plan is to provide Police coverage during the hours of 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm Mon - Fri and 8 hours on the weekend sometime between 6:00 pm Fri through 8:00 pm Sunday, using our full-time and part-time personnel. The goal is to have a formal schedule in place by the beginning of February 2006.

    Trustee Matthew Steinberg
    After many months of development and assistance from many sources, the village website is finally complete. Go to www.corfuny.com and check it out! There's information about everything a resident needs to know, from contact information to downloadable forms to maintenance calendars. As with any site, it will always be a work in progress, so if you see something that's incorrect or have a suggestion, please e-mail your comments to steinberg@corfuny.com. Thank you for your patience, and we hope that the new site is useful and makes your life easier!

    In case you're wondering why the Christmas decorations were not lit this year, blame National Grid. They charge $5 per pole for an outlet, but that's not the problem. They insist on a 15 year contract, and the board was not comfortable in entering such a long term agreement for this type of expense. I'm very unhappy about it, but that's the problem with a public utility monopoly. If anyone has other ideas for lighting the decorations in the future without engaging National Grid, let us know.

    Trustee Andrea Vogler
    I hope everyone had a happy holiday season.  Our family was blessed with good health and the company of family and friends.
        
    Since our last newsletter we have undertaken some new projects.  Some of the Board highlights are as follows:
        
    Last fall Valley River Incorporated (VRI) successfully “split” the sewer plant so we are running on ½ the plant. This is enabling us to cut costs and opens the possibility of soliciting other areas to purchase services from Corfu.  We are excited about this opportunity and will keep you posted on our progress.
        
    In December, the Genesee Orleans Arts Council awarded the Village $500 to help with entertainment costs for our Corfu Historic Celebration. The event is scheduled for August 12, 2006. We are still looking for volunteers to help plan!
                   
    We had our first joint meeting with the Town of Pembroke last Fall.  We are encouraged by everyone’s enthusiasm about working together to cut costs and share services. We will be scheduling other joint meetings.
        
    I’m sure you all noticed the amount of snow that fell late last Fall. This prompted us to take a closer look at and update our Emergency Preparedness Plan.  We are working with the Corfu Fire Department, Genesee County Emergency Management and the local Red Cross to create a new plan that will leave us ready for action in case of any emergency.
        
    Matt Steinberg continues to work on our website and is doing a great job!  It looks very impressive and we hope that it will serve as a useful tool for citizens to become more involved in their local government and community.
        
    I am currently working on a project to paint the Railroad trestle on Route 77.  I have been in contact with individuals from the Village of Leroy’s Leader Group.  They are a citizen action group that was successful in getting their trestle painted.  I have been drafting a proposal to the owners and managers of the trestle and hope to present it to them in the next month or so.  According to the people from Leroy, this process took them about 6-8 months so don’t expect overnight results, but hope for success!  If any one would like to help with this project, please contact me.
        
    I have also been working on a long-term project to help fix drainage problems in the Village.  Jay Feitshans and I have met with some engineers to get proposals for costs to fix the problems.  Mr. Feitshans has been a great asset with this project because of his extensive knowledge about the Village and Gooseneck and Murder Creeks.  It is our intention to apply for grants to restore a better flow of the creeks as well as alleviate the “lakes” which develop throughout the Village.  Our attention will first be focused on Murder Creek.  It has been some time since this creek has been “cleaned”.  There are several trees lying over the creek and beaver dams.  We will need to get Department of Environmental Conservation and Army Corps approval to clean out the creek as this area is a wetland.   This is why I stated earlier that this is a “long term” project as it can take up to a year to go through the permitting process.  I will keep you posted!
                
    As you can see, we are gearing up for a very busy 2006.  If you read about any projects that interest you or where your expertise may be of service, feel free to come to a meeting or give us a call – we would love to see you get involved!
        
    I wish everyone a happy and prosperous 2006!

    Trustee Glenn Russ
    Well, the holidays are over and most of our bank accounts are overdrawn, but hey, its only money and the memories were worth it. I hope everyone’s New Year was great and continues to be one to remember, a year to truly set goals for yourself that you can achieve.
        
    The Board has its own goals this year, starting with getting a Police Contract signed. We are hoping to come to an agreement very soon. We are also doing some groundwork on starting a Sewer District, which we hope will be very beneficial to this Village and most important to its taxpayers.
        
    We have hired a Grant Writer and will work on getting money for drainage problems in the Village, help with the Sewer District and any projects that may come up in future plans. We are also working with the Town of Pembroke with combining projects for grants that benefit both Town and Village for larger sums of grant money. We have already submitted a grant for $3432.00 for records and storage room project, which will help set up a better organized system for the Village.
        
    Our Village website is now online at www.corfuny.com so feel free to use it, and as always feel free to contact us with questions, problems or concerns. We are here to help.

    ANOTHER ONE BITES THE DUST...AND ANOTHER...AND ANOTHER
    Officer Yueckstock has been on the rampage against Solicitors without permits. Thanks to community minded citizens who called in, as well as the unfortunate solicitors knocking on the wrong door (namely the Yueckstock door), our officer has written up several appearance tickets this month and sent the solicitors packing. If you have any come to your door, please be aware that unless they are a non-profit organization they must have a permit to sell door to door in the Village. Don’t hesitate to call the Village Office if in doubt.

    POLICE DEPARTMENT
    Now that winter snow has arrived, just a few reminders of things that may have been forgotten since last winter...

    When cleaning out driveways, please remember that it is unlawful to deposit snow onto the highway. This not only applies to snowplowing, but shoveling and snow blowers as well. This includes all streets and shoulders, as a “highway” is defined as “the entire width between the boundary lines of every way publicly maintained when any part thereof is open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel” (section 118 N.Y.S.V.& T. Law).

    Also please remember it is unlawful to leave a vehicle unattended without first stopping the engine, locking the ignition and removing the key from the vehicle. It is not OK to leave a vehicle running to let it warm up without anyone in it while you “just run into” a building or business.

    Please remember to leave sufficient space between vehicles. A rule of thumb is 1 car length for every 10 miles per hour of speed.

    When driving during bad weather or slippery conditions make you uncomfortable and/or requires that you drive slower than other traffic, please try to pay attention to traffic behind you. All too often a less experienced driver will cause traffic to build up behind them, and inevitably someone will attempt to pass. Let’s try to avoid this problem by pulling over wherever possible, letting traffic pass, then continuing on your way cautiously.

    Please remember to clear snow off all your windows AND your taillights. Most people don’t have ESP and it’s nice to be able to see stop, tail and turn signals.

    If going out of town and you would like Village Officers to “Keep an Eye” on your home or business, please stop by the Village office and fill out a “Property Watch” information sheet. This is a service we have been providing for at least 25 years and will be happy to continue. It only takes a few minutes to fill out the information sheet which provides us with the necessary contact information should the need arise.

    AND LAST BUT NOT LEAST... Please have a safe and enjoyable winter season.

    SNOW REMOVAL
    We would like to remind Village residents that under the law, the removal of snow and ice from sidewalks is the responsibility of the adjacent property owner. The Village will try to assist in the removal of snow from the sidewalks, however this does not and cannot reduce 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 that there is no parking allowed on Village streets between the hours of 2:00 am and 6:00 am from November 1st to April 30th. Vehicles in violation will be issued tickets and towed away.
  • Please do not park on sidewalks or block sidewalks.

  • HISTORICAL HIGHLIGHTS FROM AL
    Don’t forget this year’s Family Day is scheduled for August 12 and it’s 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 at 599-4195 or Sandy 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! And now ...

    A FEW VILLAGE HISTORICAL TIDBITS!
  • With the current popularity of the movie Walk the Line about Johnny Cash, I thought this would be appropriate. In March of 1985, Johnny Cash and his wife June Carter caused some excitement at Doll’s Super Duper (now Corfu IGA) when they stopped to get groceries while on tour.
  • On January 8, 1882 the Corfu Presbyterian Church held a special meeting on the evils of the Sunday newspaper. They urged people not to buy Sunday newspapers.
  • In 1902 Corfu was the largest milk distribution point between Rochester and Buffalo on the New York Central Railroad.
  • In June of 1921, Mrs. Bessie Merriman, one of the top sopranos in the world, gave a concert at the Corfu Opera House (located near the current site of the Dollar Store)<
  • During the early 1900’s Scott’s Greenhouse of Corfu was one of the largest importers of Holland Tulip bulbs in the United States. Later they became known throughout the northeast for their African Violets and distributed these plants throughout the northeastern US. Also in the early 1900’s William Scott, founder of Scott’s Florists, was the National president of the American Florist Assoc.
  • In 1895 natural gas was discovered in Corfu. Later 20 gas streetlights were placed along Village streets. Only one still exists in it’s original location on Allegheny in front of Linda’s Pert & Pretty, but has been damaged by vandals. The only other one is now located by the Corfu Library. It was repaired and placed there in 1967.
  • On September 3, 1981 Corfu had it’s first bank robbery when M&T Bank was robbed.
  • On May 28, 1900 a man from the Amburg & Gallagher Circus was injured diving into Murder Creek from a makeshift diving Board near the Allegheny St. bridge.
  • On June 2, 1988 Dr. S.L. McLouth retired after 47 years serving the Village and surrounding area as its doctor.