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North Street residents in Village of Hamburg are unhappy about students parking on their street

The ongoing complaint about Hamburg High School students and their vehicles on North Street has escalated to a new level.

A petition, with approximately 65 signatures, requesting that something be done to address these concerns was recently submitted to the Hamburg Village Board.

“It’s getting worse and worse and no-one cares,” said Nancy Connell, a North Street resident, at the Sept. 4 Hamburg Village Board meeting.

“Kids block the driveways, if they are walking in the road they won’t move out of the way and the vulgarity out of their mouths is horrendous.

“We want something done. We are citizens and we have rights,” Connell said.

According to Mayor Thomas Moses, the board has been working with the Village Police Department, the Hamburg School District and the Traffic Safety Committee about the issue.

“We want to see if the school will possibly expand their parking lots because if we ban parking on North Street, it just pushes it down to Norwood and other streets,” Moses said. “The problems on North Street were aggravated by the parking bans that were put up on the other streets, like Oliver Place.

“Years ago the school said this is a village problem, well get off my back, this is not a village problem, it is community problem and we have to all work to solve it.

“We want to try and get this resolved in an orderly fashion,” Moses said.

Other residents of the area suggested that possibly a lottery be done to allow only certain students to park there or issue permits for only the residents.

“Why are the kids all driving anyway?” Connell said. “Why aren’t they taking the bus, especially with gas at $4 a gallon. The buses go by half empty all the time.”

According to Village Trustee Mark Colmerauer, the board has been looking into this problem for awhile and want to come up with an answer that is not a knee jerk solution.

“We need to look at what has happened over the past,” Colmerauer said. “I live on Oliver and I don’t like that there is a parking ban on the street, even for the residents.

“We need to look at the parking issue as a whole system, not just deal with it one street at a time. That is how we have gotten to this point,” he said.

Other concerns raised by the residents included possible drug sales and other illegal activity by the students, as well as smoking, harassment and littering. It was suggested that possibly security cameras be put up in trees and undercover police officers be assigned to patrol the area.

“It used to be that the school would have someone out there shagging the kids out of the area,” said resident Dave Grasso. “Why don’t they do that now?”

According to Moses, he has even seen teachers from the school walking to the corner to smoke.

“The school has a responsibility for this too, since their own staff is coming out onto the street corners to have their cigarettes,” Moses said.

In an effort to resolve the problem, the board has agreed to formulate a special committee consisting of two North Street residents and a member from the Village Police Department, the Hamburg School District, the Village Board and the Traffic Safety Committee. to come to a workable plan. Richard Connell and Grasso volunteered to be the North Street members of the committee.

It was also announced at the meeting the Hamburg School Board has put the parking issue on the agenda for the Sept. 11 meeting at the Middle School.

In other action, the board:

• Granted permanent status to Police Officer William G. Travis. He has completed an 18-month probationary term.

• Set a public hearing for the revisions on the village’s animals and fowl code for 7:15 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 1.

• Heard Village Administrator Donald Witkowski report the village is looking to change their solicitor’s permit requirements and fees.

“We have gotten complaints from residents about solicitors in the village,” Witkowski said.

“We are looking into what the Town of Hamburg has established, which includes fingerprinting, an increase in the fees, reducing the hours they can be out and having photo IDs, which much have to be openly displayed,” Witkowski said.

• Heard from Moses that the historic home at 110 E. Main St. is going up for auction at the end of this month.

The house is one of the historic homes featured on the village’s pictorial signs and is in the bicentennial booklet.

It had been thought the house was on the National Register of Historic Places, but according to Trustee Laura Hackathorn, the State Historic Preservation Officers could not find any record of it, even though there is a registration number on the property.

• Heard from Public Works Superintendent Marc Shuttleworth the paving projects on Randall Terrace and Janice Place should be done this week.

Large trash pickup will be Sept. 17.

• Heard from Recreation Supervisor Josh Haeick there are still spots available in the after school program for students in both public and parochial schools in the district.

The board will next meet Monday, Sept. 17 at a work session at 5:30 p.m, followed by a regular meeting at 7 p.m.
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