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Photo by Kathryn Ross

A privately owned pocket park on State Street in Wellsville where walkers are allegedly harassed.


By KATHRYN ROSS

WELLSVILLE — Village trustees on Monday evening heard from two women who are not happy with the streets and parks in the village.

Cassie Hawley expressed her concern over the men occupying the pocket park along her South Broad/State Street walking route, saying their behavior is rude and obnoxious.

“Some of these people are very belligerent,” she said. “Something has to be done. These people are taking over the village. It is not the way the village should be.”

Mayor Randy Shayler acknowledged her concern. After a brief discussion in which he commiserated with Hawley, he explained that the pocket park in question is privately owned and the village can do nothing about it, unless a formal complaint is made.

Shayler went on to express his chagrin that the pocket park is being inhabited by people who fail to respect others.

“Whoever owns this park went to a lot of trouble, time and effort and a lot of money to clean up an area that was trashy for the neighborhood, but it is having an inverse effect. Maybe he can talk to his neighbors about the use of the park,” he said.

But Hawley said that wasn’t the concern she came to talk about. She referred to a previous meeting when the planned demolition of six abandoned and condemned buildings and turning the properties into pocket parks was discussed.

“Are you going to police these parks?” she asked.

Shayler said that it was a moot point at this time because the pocket park initiative was abandoned. The village’s request for grant funding was turned down, he said.

He went on to say that the village still wants to pursue the idea and will be looking for alternate funding sources. He also said the village would like to pursue the demolition of buildings on the six sites, but they are privately owned.

Before leaving the meeting Hawley said that the properties in question are health and safety hazards and that the village should look into the matter before something terrible happens.

“I don’t think she was satisfied,” Shayler commented after Hawley left the meeting.

Sally Dannheim is also worried about safety. She is concerned about an unhealthy tree and deteriorated sidewalk at the corner of Grover Street and North Main Street.

She said tree limbs are falling on the sidewalk, which is frequently used by children from local daycare facilities on their daily walks.

“It is a dangerous situation if a tree limb was to fall while the children are there,” she said.

She went on to say that the tree, located on private property, is hollow and in danger of coming down itself during a heavy windstorm or snowfall.

Due to the fact that the tree is privately owned, Shayler said the village can do little about it or the sidewalk except send a strongly worded letter to the landowner asking him to remove the tree and fix the sidewalk.

The board also received two letters of concern, one from Daniel Sheridan, who complained that the decorative crosswalks on Main Street are dangerous and that he has fallen twice on them due to their uneven footing.

It was pointed out that the decorative crosswalks were part of the Main Street Beautification Project and that the plans were designed and approved by the state Department of Transportation. Due to the fact that Sheridan’s complaint has been the only one received by the village, the matter was dismissed.

The board also heard a request to remove no parking signs in front of a residence on Broad Street. The board will take the matter up with Police Chief Tim O’Grady before addressing the signs.

Before adjourning, the board approved four event requests, the first for the Headstart Program to canvas village neighborhoods to inform families about its services.

The second request came from the Chamber of Commerce to hold a Brew Fest in Island Park on Oct. 1.

The fire department had two requests, the first for a pulled pork dinner drive-thru at the Dyke Street Engine Co. on Oct. 8, and the second for the annual Holiday Extravaganza craft show at the Main Street headquarters on Nov. 26.