Story by Danielle Barbour
The Florida Village Board held their regular meeting on Wed., Jul. 12. Trustee Craig Olejniczak reported that the recreational programs are at about the mid-way point. He would like to encourage parents to ask about upcoming events and put said events in their calendars.
Trustee Brian Slattery reminds residents that they will be smoke testing on Wed., Jul. 26 and Thur., Jul. 27 in the Village of Florida. He also reported that the Mapes Restoration Project has been undergoing general clean up but after the Florida Fun Fest, to be held on Thurs., Aug. 13, work will begin on the porch.
Mayor James R. Pawliczek, Sr. will be getting three boards to meet to discuss what’s needed for Florida’s master plan. The Mayor stated that the Visioning going on for the Warwick Valley does not fit with what Florida needs.
Trustee John C. Barczak, Jr. reported that grant money has come through and construction has begun on the parking area behind the Village Hall to create more municipal parking.
Concerning the changing of the current street lights to updated safer LED lights, the construction has been put on hold, as they are awaiting more information from O&R. The decision as to whether or not they plan to buy them out right or to pay for them over time while having O&R maintain them will be made after that information is received.
Lastly Barczak reported on the treatment of Glenmere Lake with copper sulfate. According to Lake Restoration Incorporated, “Copper Sulfate is used as an algaecide and a parasite treatment. Also it helps to prevent swimmers itch and leeches.”
Village Building Inspector Adrian Mateosian brought up the illegal use of motor bikes on the trails of Glenmere Park. The question was posed whether the cameras would be able to help catch the perpetrators. Signs are already clearly posted stating that there is to be no use of motor bikes on the trails. The Village board said that the recordings will be reviewed.
Zen Wajcik, long time Florida resident, came to the meeting to find out the status of the repair on the Jayne St. bridge. The Village of Florida Board advised that they have been waiting on the Town of Warwick to get the project under way. One wing of the bridge has been approved to be replaced. In the meantime, two large rectangular concrete boxes have already been put in place to sate the erosion till the wing can be replaced.
The Board would like to have the whole bridge replaced and raised up but for now only one wing is approved. Wajcik said that he felt it should have been repaired sooner because they did the Meadow St. bridge ten years ago. Upon observing the Jayne St. bridge, one can see the broken wing as well as a round hole approximately a foot in diameter. It is by the bridge wall near the broken wing side. This appears to be a result of erosion caused by the water getting around the broken wing.
Two local businesses, Roe Brothers Hardware Store and the Center for Metal Arts, have connecting parking lots with the bridge. The owners of Roe Brothers, Scott and Tim Bielings, voiced their concerns regarding the bridge. Scott remembers a time when the prison inmates would dredge and maintain the creek that runs under the Jayne St. bridge. When the prison closed, the maintenance ended.
Several times they have had bad flooding, the worst being during Hurricane Irene. Their lumber floated around and fencing was destroyed. Tim said, “Because the gas line is strapped right to the bridge, I’m concerned. I would love to see it fixed.” They both agreed they would like to see the whole creek maintained again and the bridge fixed as soon as possible.
Quinn Patrick, a blacksmith at the Center for Metal Art, would love to see it widened because cars go fast over the narrow bridge and he has to cross often to get back and forth to the hardware store. He said, “Seriously, I would love to make a new iron bridge.”
The only one who didn’t mind the broken bridge was the little friendly black neighborhood cat Quinn calls Licorice. Quinn joked, “She looks both ways before crossing.”