Story by Shelley R. Clapper
Roger Dowd, representing the Seward/Mapes Homestead Restoration Committee, presented the Florida Village Board with a matching donation of $10,000 at the Village Board meeting on Wed., May 10.
The money will be applied towards the New York State Matching Fund Grant for the Mapes House restoration. Dowd presented two checks of $5,000 each – one representing the fundraising efforts of the Seward/Mapes Homestead Restoration Committee and the other from a bequest from the estate of the late Gloria Parmerter.
Dowd explained that the first check included a $2,500 donation from Steven Mapes, an active member of the committee and a direct descendent of Mortimer Mapes, along with a $1,500 sponsorship donation from Copper Bottom Grill and Bar and with $1,000 in revenues from the Society’s recent fundraising lectures (Ghosts of Gettysburg and Children of the Civil War).
“The second $5,000 check is a bequest from the estate of Gloria Parmerter, a former resident of the Village of Florida. Before her death, in her correspondence with members of the Seward/Mapes Restoration Committee, she let it be known that she wanted her intended bequest to be applied to what was left of the Seward’s birthplace at the back of the Seward/Mapes Homestead property,” said Dowd.
Although William Henry Seward’s birthplace may be regarded as a carriage house or barn in its relation to the Mapes House, under the terms of the State matching fund grant for the landmark property which focuses primarily on the Mapes House, Parmerter wanted her charitable donation to be applied specifically and solely to work done on the carriage house/barn/Seward birthplace.
“It has yet to be determined what will be done with that building. We are requesting that Mrs. Parmeter’s $5,000 be earmarked for work on that building when the time comes, in accordance to her wishes,” said Dowd.
Fees on Sidewalks Not Shoveled Disputed
The Florida Historical Society had written a letter disputing the charge for sidewalks not being shoveled on Mar. 14. In the letter it was written, “The reason it was not shoveled during this particular storm was for safety reasons because the sidewalk ends at the bridge end of 13 Bridge St. This causes an unsafe situation, as I have witnessed, for pedestrians, especially children, when there is no place to continue walking west on Bridge St. except on the road.” President of the Florida Historical Society Gary Randall attended the meeting to plead the case. He addressed the Board saying, “I did it for safety reasons. Even if there is no snow it is a dangerous intersection. As a Village, you are responsible to ensure the public’s safety. I think the Florida Historical Society has been unfairly fined for this.”
Mayor Jim Pawliczek said that there were about 15 people who did not shovel their sidewalks and several appeals were made to the Village.
“If we give one exemption we have to give everyone an exemption,” said Pawliczek
A motion passed not to give any waivers for the fines.
Memorial Day Parade
Among other correspondence addressed at the meeting was a letter from the American Legion Post #1250 requesting permission to hold its annual Memorial Day services and parade on Mon., May 29, with line-up beginning at 1:30 pm. A motion was made to approve the use of Village streets for the parade and to authorize the expenditure in the amount of $600 to the cost of the band passed.
The Florida Farmers’ Market requested a vendor license to operate on Tuesdays from Jun. 13 through Oct. 31 from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. A motion was approved to issue them with a vendor license.
The next regular Village Board meeting will be held on Wed., Jun. 14 at 7:30 p.m. in Village Hall, located at 33 S. Main St. in the Village of Florida.