January City Council Preview

City Counselors

The first Wednesday of the New Year also means that it’s the first Wednesday of the month!  City Council is teed up to take on a range of issues to advance Geneva toward her vision.  Here’s what’s on tap:

Public Property Sales

What it is:  City Council is considering two resolutions authorizing the sale of properties at 58 Middle Street, and an unaddressed parcel at the corner of Clark and Dixon Streets.  The properties were the subject of two public hearings at the regular December City Council meeting.

Why it’s important:  City Council acquires properties as the result of various processes, and in many cases there is no public purpose satisfied by retaining ownership.  Properties are evaluated by staff to determine whether a future municipal use can be identified, and in those cases where future public use isn’t evident, staff recommends sale of the parcel.  Returning these properties to private ownership results in reduced maintenance costs and increased property tax and other potential revenues to the City.

What action is City Council taking:  City Council is being asked to sell 58 Middle Street and an unaddressed parcel at the corner of Dixon and Clark Streets.

Wastewater Treatment Ordinance Update

What it is:  The City’s wastewater treatment plants are regulated by the New York Department of Environmental Conservation and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency.  Every five years, the EPA conducts a review of plant operations and City regulation related to industrial treatment.  The EPA has made several recommendations for updates to the treatment ordinance.  As part of that review, staff has made an additional recommendation, encouraging Council to seek cost recovery for water quality testing generated by a specific user.

Why it’s important:  In addition to the critical nature of compliance with federal and state regulations, it is imperative that we protect our asset in Seneca Lake; which provides safe drinking water to our residents, and serves as an economic generator for tourism and industry.

What action is City Council taking:  Staff is recommending approval of the proposed changes.  This requires two readings by City Council.  This is the first of two readings.

Discussion Regarding Seasonal Closure of Linden Street

What it is:  For the past two summers, City Council has authorized the weekend closure of Linden Street, to provide for outdoor dining and entertainment.  Staff is seeking insight from City Council on whether and how this program should be developed for 2017.

Why it’s important:  The City is constantly seeking opportunities to enhance downtown vibrancy.  Proponents of this effort have suggested that vibrancy is augmented by seasonal closure and programming.  Council is mindful of the associated impacts on residents of Linden Street, unaffiliated businesses, and the transportation network.

What action is City Council taking:  Staff is seeking feedback from Council on how best to proceed with this effort in 2017.  No action will be taken, but information will be gathered for a potential formal approval at a later date.

The full agenda is available on the City’s website.  Council meets the first Wednesday of each month at 7 p.m. in the Public Safety Building at 255 Exchange Street.  All are welcome to attend, but if you can’t make it, we’re broadcasting live on Finger Lakes TV, and the meeting is rebroadcast throughout the month.

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