The Journal Register (Medina, NY)

September 11, 2013

Lyndonville passes aesthetically pleasing laws

By HOWARD BALABAN howard.balaban@journal-register.com
Medina Journal-Register

Medina Journal-Register — LYNDONVILLE — Four public hearings came and went with little fanfare at Monday’s Lyndonville Village Board meeting. The issues discussed during each were then unanimously adopted or passed.

The first public hearing dealt with the village’s grass and weed removal law. The previous law, which had been on the books for many years, needed to be updated, the board said. It required residents to mow their lawns at least once a month.

The new law now limits the height of the grass and the growth of the brush. Residents must now mow their yards if their lawns reach 10 inches or higher. The 10-inch barrier is in compliance with state statute.

Should a resident not comply, the village now has the right to have a person cut the grass and then charge the resident a fee.

“This gives us the ability to pursue those who don’t like mowing their lawns a little bit better,” said Lyndonville Mayor Stephen McAvoy, who added that this law would likely only affect a small amount of people in the village.

The second public hearing involved how the village will handle turning off a homes water service. In the past there had been a shut-off and turn-on procedure the village followed in the rare cases that it did shut off a home’s water. The passage of the local law on Monday gave the village the authority to require a certificate of occupancy in order for a homeowner to have their water turned on. McAvoy said the intent of the new law is not to be “malicious” but rather to save time and man power.

“We live in a type of place where we spend too much time chasing too few,” he said, referring to both tenants and owners who tend to pay their water bills late. He said the intent of the law is for the “uncommon repeat offender.”

Public hearing number three involved trees. Namely, it gave the village the right to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens by providing for the removal of trees in public right of ways, and by allowing for village workers to prune, maintain, and plant trees. The trees in question would normally be in public areas. However, trees on private property that are dead or diseased and might pose a threat could be ordered to be removed by the village. The removal would be at the cost to the owner.

The board noted that there are “many old trees” in the village, which prompted this law. It was also noted that the law allows for the village to respond to complaints one neighbor might have about a neighbor’s tree that hangs over the adjacent property.

In the final public hearing of the night, the board discussed increasing the sewer rate. According to information provided by the board, the rate had not been changed since it first became chargeable about 30 years ago. The quarterly availability rate jumped from $20 to $25 after unanimous approval.

In other board news, Trustee James Tuk was appointed deputy mayor.

Also, Lyndonville became the final municipality in Orleans County to pass its own resolution opposing the SAFE Act. Earlier in the evening Medina did the same.

According to Mattie Zarpentine, Regional Director of NY Revolution-Western NY, Orleans County is one of 52 counties out of 62 statewide with anti-SAFE Act resolutions. Lyndonville became the 326th municipality to have its own resolution against the act.

“At what other time in our history has such an outcry been made?” she said in an email. “It is time that Albany listen to its citizens and repeal the SAFE Act.”