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Springville Village Board approves park design plan for Main Street

SPRINGVILLE — The Springville Village Board received a favorable financial rating from Laura Landers of Freed Maxick CPAs, who presented the firm’s audited financial statement of the village’s fiscal year ending May 31.

Landers presented her report to the board, noting that “budgeting has been done very well, with what I’d call very minor variances.”

She said that, because the village has “budgeted to break even,” the fund balance, current assets, liabilities and cash flows are all stable. Landers also pointed out the new Governmental Accounting Standards Board Statement No. 54, which provides a more structured fund balance classification, with a stated goal of making financial statements more consistent and useful.

GASB 54, Landers explained, distinguishes a governmental body’s fund balance into amounts that are associated with inventories, such as electric, water and sewer funds, and amounts that are classified, based on the constraints that control the designations for which each amount can be spent.

Those qualifications are restricted, or amounts constrained by external parties, constitutional provision or enabling legislation; committed, or amounts constrained by a government’s highest level of decision-making authority; assigned, or amounts for which the government has stated an intended purpose and unassigned, or amounts that can be reported in the general fund.

Landers said that there is a new category, unassigned committed funds, that allows the board to commit funds by dedicated resolution, what she called the highest level of commitment. She added that, in order to reassign those funds, the board would have to pass the same type of resolution to re-commit them.

“If the village has not adopted a spending policy, it will be directed by GASB 54: restricted, assigned, unassigned and committed,” Landers said, of the order in which the village will be able to utilize those general funds. The village board has the option to determine a unique spending policy, by the end of the year, in order to override those requirements, if it so desired.

Administrator Tim Horner relayed to the board that he has spoken with Joy Kuebler, the landscape architect that he and Mayor William Krebs had escorted around the village to discuss streetscaping, and that she submitted a written proposal to design the landscaping for the pocket park located at the corner of Main and Mechanic streets.

“The object is to include the sign with the surrounding landscaping, to make an enjoyable place to sit and enjoy Main Street,” Horner said. The fee for the design is $5,676, with optional, additional expenses totaling $1,188.

“I would like to request that the board authorize to sign and enter into an agreement to have this designed over the winter, to be implemented in the spring,” Horner said, adding that he would prefer to enter into the basic design contract, with additional, optional expenses to be considered at a later date.

“This is great timing, because the scenic byway sign [that will be located in that park] is looking at March,” Krebs said. “If we are going to have a plan that might be looking at moving the sign, they will want to know ASAP. I don’t see it as a problem, but it’s an important consideration. It is important that the village put effort into green space and streetscape. This is an extremely important corner in our village.

“The landscape architect pointed out that Mechanic Street is a beautiful avenue with nice, wide sidewalks on both sides and it could be central to the streetscape,” Krebs continued. “We own that park, right on [that street], that we see as an important place, in our redesign of the streetscape, that is under our control.”

The board approved entering into that agreement, with only the basic proposal for design included.

Krebs reported that the interpretive sign erected by the Scenic Byway is slated to be installed at the pocket park, following a resolution by the board. Should the sign be damaged, the village would be required to repair it, within “reasonable” parameters, according to language in the resolution Krebs read to the board.

“This is a very important part of that park and a very important part of the Scenic Byway,” Krebs said.

The board passed that resolution.

Board members also agreed that the village would contribute $528 to the Parks ‘N Trails grant, applied for by the Pop Warner Steering Committee, which is in charge of working with the Cattaraugus Rail Trail organization, to implement a rails to trails trail head in Springville. That grant, which the committee had already submitted, would enlist students from the State University of New York at Buffalo urban planning and development department to help render designs for the trail.

“We have vision meetings with interested community members about what would be the most effective, multiuse trail design, including surface, design, plantings, benches, sign kiosks, et cetera,” Krebs explained. “It’s difficult to advocate for a concept and hard to explain the vision without a visual. This will get the picture to start with, since [rendering that design] is beyond the capabilities of anyone sitting around at a meeting at 7 p.m.”

The board agreed to enter into that agreement, should the grant be awarded.

The board also re-approved the village property tax relevy, which Horner explained involves taxes that remain unpaid as of June being paid by Erie County in the spring, after tax bills have been sent out. This is according to county law, Horner explained, and totals $72,543.

The winter parking ban will go into effect on Nov. 10.

Krebs commended Superintendent Karl Lux for “having a team ready in case we got hit with the storm” during Hurricane Sandy. “I got a phone call today about whether there are local, non-profit or religious organizations collecting for the relief effort,” he added. “I said that ... I would ask that all who are collecting items or sending people to help, that they call the village office to let us know. I said that I would anticipate some, since we do have people who like to help out those who are less fortunate.”

The next Springville Village Board meeting will take place on Nov. 19 at 7 p.m. at the municipal building.

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