SIGN OF THE TIMES — The pedestrian sign for the Western New York Southtown Scenic Byway has been installed in the M&T Bank Park at the corner of Main and Mechanic streets. Photo by Lizz Schumer.
SPRINGVILLE — The village of Springville has turned an eye to the future, as Mayor William Krebs announced the Village Center Economic Development and Improvement Plan, at the board’s July 15 meeting. This 12-part initiative was drawn up, to devise a long-range plan of attack for enhancing the village center, in the areas of landscaping, public space, land use and other aesthetic and usage adjustments.
The plan was drawn up by Krebs, Village Administrator Tim Horner, Erie County Director of Business Assistance Ken Swanekamp, Deputy Erie County Executive Richard Tobe and representatives from Erie Cattaraugus Rail Trails Inc., the Springville New York Main Administrator, TVGA Consultants, Joy Kuebler Landscape Architects and the Western New York Southtowns Scenic Byway.
Item one on the docket is the master plan update, which will include TVGA, a civil engineering consulting company, working with local officials to revise the master plan for the village.
“The master plan is our major concern and will be done right away,” Krebs said, noting that this strategy will take at least six months to complete. “The important thing is that we include projects that follow and reveal a consensus, on the part of the committee, that they are worthwhile and should go forward.”
The committee will include Krebs, Trustee Alan Chamberlin, Code Enforcement Officer Mike Kaleta, representatives from the planning board, zoning board and historical preservation committee and Gregory Keyser, an environmental planner and local resident. Resumes from four University at Buffalo students, who can act as interns, were provided by TVGA.
Joy Kuebler will provide a landscape design plan for local parks, with funding’s for that plan, and its subsequent implementation, coming from the New York State Department of Transportation’s Transportation Enhance Program and other sources. Renovation of the M&T Bank park on Main and Mechanic streets is already underway. The total timeline for this stage is expected to be completed by November.
Streetscaping improvements are slated to take approximately one year and will require the cooperation of TVGA, the Springville Area Chamber of Commerce, Kuebler, elected officials in Erie County, New York state and United States Congress representatives, as well as village officials and special interest groups. Proposed funding sources for this phase, which will cost approximately $2 million, include grants from NYSDOT TEP, New York state Consolidated Funding Award grants and the Erie County Smart Growth Fund.
According to Krebs, the scope of what needs to be done to gather effective grant applications is such that village officials decided to wait until next year’s cycle, to submit those applications.
“To get that kind of funding and support will take some time,” he said. “We need to sit down with the DOT [and] the chamber and get the support of officials at the local, state and national levels.”
Those improvements will include plateau crossings at Pearl, Mechanic, North Buffalo, Central and Waverly streets, a Rail Trail crossing, retaining wall and kiosks at the Gentner Auction, gateway improvements at the Route 219 ramp and South Cascade Drive, plantings and decorative banners.
In a continued effort to attract the New York State Energy Development and Research Authority CFA grants, the plan also includes a “trail town” initiative, to link the Pop Warner Trail to the village’s municipal parking lot, to “increase walkability and encourage tourism and pedestrian traffic in the village,” according to Krebs.
The planning and design funding of the trail town initiative is expected to be completed in August, with village officials’ participating in meetings with the Sustainability Plan Transportation Group, which has been designated to enact that project.
Krebs noted that the village has also asked Erie County to support the rail banking of the Pop Warner Trail, which would give Springville site control of the portion of the ECRT that runs through the village. Trail improvements are estimated to cost $400,000, and funding could come from the TEP or CFA.
“We are not going after any funds [for this project] until we have site control,” he explained. The railbanking process target date for this step is October. The board continues to support the Pop Warner Rail Trail Steering Committee, as site acquisition and planning continues.
Village officials have submitted 12 projects for review, to the New York State Historic Preservation Office, under the New York Main Street Grant. Three additional projects have already been approved and the scope of that work is being finalized. Krebs said he expects those projects to continue through next July.
A Certified Local Government Award will enable the village to prepare a brochure to explain the CLG and historic preservation, within the village. Grants to expand the National Historic Preservation District, with the stated goal of allowing more residents to take advantage of related tax credits, will also be pursued. Krebs said that brochure should be completed by this February.
A negotiation process has been opened to develop community space, within the village center. A CFA New York Parks Grant is one funding source grant writers are pursuing and village officials will negotiate for property to increase civic space and develop specific design and implementation plans for that property.
The village is also waiting for information from the Springville-Griffith Institute School District, before striping crosswalks at the high and middle schools. Krebs said striping is expected to be completed before school opens, in the fall. The Safe Route to Schools Orogram has been discontinued and Superintendent of Public Works Karl Lux will follow up with S-GI officials, to plan striping.
Construction is ongoing at the Springville Center for the Arts locations at 5 East Main St. and 37 North Buffalo St. Krebs reported that village officials are waiting for monthly progress reports from Executive Director Seth Wochensky, and will report on that progress, as it becomes known.
The Western New York Southtown Scenic Byway pedestrian interpretive sign has been installed in the M&T Park and an official dedication will be held on Aug. 3, during the Fiddlers Green Country and Bluegrass Festival. The booklet advertising the byway is in its final edits and the WNYSSB will bill participating municipalities $250, for participation. That tourism initiative is ongoing.
In other board news:
– Lux reported that the power system and supervisory control and data acquisition software at the Springville substations is out of date and no longer works and must therefore be replaced.
He recommended Robert Mathisen, professional engineer, following a bid submitted on the project that delineates a plan for design and engineering.
“It’s broken down into phases, over an 18-month time period,” Lux explained. “I feel confident that Bob will do a good job.”
Lux also reported that the DPW has replaced placard faces on two pedestrian crosswalk signs on Main Street and surface-treated 18 village streets, last week, with assistance from the town of Concord. The department planned to begin sidewalk replacement work on July 18 or 19 and will continue with brush pickup, mowing and maintenance in local parks. Additional spruce trees are planned for the east end of the SkatePlex, to act as screening for Spring Street residents.
– The electric division rebuilt the primary electric service to Bertrand Chaffee Hospital, in a cooperative effort by the streets and electric divisions.
– The water and sewer division passed its annual Erie County Health Department inspections. Repairs to the filtration tanks and booster pump station, as well as cleaning of well No. 1 are underway.
– The waste water treatment division is awaiting a new State Pollutant Discharge Elimination System Permit from the NYSDEC, which will be good for eight years. Upgrades to the plant and finalized lawn restoration are continuing, as are work on primary tank repair and recoating.
– The New York state secretary of state was designated as an agent of notice of claim, in accordance with the uniform notice of claim act. That act amends the general municipal law, which requires all public corporations to file a certificate with the secretary of state, designating it as an agent for service of a notice of claim.
Village Attorney Johanna Healy was designated to forward that certificate and designated Horner as the person to whom the secretary of state will forward notices of claim.
The next Village of Springville Board of Trustees meeting will take place at 7 p.m. on Aug. 12.