Friday, June 29, 2012

Village Reforming Merchants Association

The Village of Middleburgh held a meeting to re-form the Middleburgh Merchants Association, which has been defunct since around 2003. The Village Board hosted about 20 people during the meeting, including members of the public and many of the community's businesses. Represented at the meeting were officers from the Rotary and Renaissance Council. Dan Merrill from National Grid gave a presentation on programs to make businesses more energy efficient. Mayor Avitabile mentioned that he had asked National Grid for money to help repair store fronts and fix the clock in front of the Library.

Dan Merrill from National Grid presents options for businesses to save on energy costs 
Various topics were discussed, including the organization of any such association and its activities. Most business owners agreed that the group should be loose, and not a chamber of commerce. There was also discussion on possible events to bring more people into the Village. One concern that was addressed was the need for a grocery store. The Mayor presented the chains that the Village had contacted to come into the community. One potential plan is to have the Great American from Cairo move into the old Grand Union Building.

In addition, there was wide consensus on the need for more parking. Some suggested moving Middleburgh to a two-hour parking schedule. The business leaders agreed with a plan to turn the former NAPA building into a parking lot. To offset the loss of one property, the Village is planning to sell or lease its lot behind the NAPA for another business to come in.

The meeting was organized by Mayor Avitabile, Jamie Casterlin, the Branch Manager at NBT Bank, and Trustee and Business Liaison Sheryl Adams. Adams and Trustee Tinker organized seventeen different members for the Merchants Association. Trustee Adams said, "Hopefully this will be a turning point for the businesses and Village to work together."

Another meeting is being set up to discuss a possible charter. The Village has taken the lead on the project and would like to build upon it to create a medium to long-term economic plan for Middleburgh.

Middleburgh Hosts Officers Dinner

The Village of Middleburgh hosted the June meeting of the Schoharie County Village Officers Association. The Village chose Mrs. K's Kitchen as its eatery for the thirty people attending. The event helped the different Village governments communicate ideas and events and pumped about $750 into the local economy.

Monday, June 25, 2012

Volunteer Day a Success

The Village of Middleburgh organized its first volunteer day since the aftermath of Irene and Lee on Saturday. About 30 volunteers worked on eight projects in and around the Village. This effort was joined by the Middleburgh Library. Led by Mayor Avitabile, Trustees Gruning and Morton, and Steve LaMont, the volunteers were able to repair various scars left from the flood. Volunteers led by Morton, Gruning, and LaMont removed debris from the Schoharie Creek near the Library, as well as gravel and dirt from other sites. The Mayor mowed lawns of flood abandoned properties and planted flowers. Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church served lunch to the volunteers and added to the sense of community. SALT helped organize some of the volunteers.

Trustee Gruning and Volunteers at the Library

"It's yet another sign that things are finally getting done." Mayor Avitabile said. The reopening ceremony of the Village pool was the same day. In addition, the wall along River Street is being repaired and should be done by August 1. LaMont lauded the initiative, "It is very admirable that people travel long distances to help others week after week. It is a perfect reminder that we do live in a great place."

The large mower was donated by Village Code Enforcement Officer Lloyd Stannard. One volunteer donated an additional wheelbarrow to the Village. The Village will consider another volunteer day for this or next year. The amount of debris in the Village has been significantly reduced in the last several months, as the Village's free dumpster program removed much of the remaining brush and damaged items. The Village is also working with the County's initiative to hire temporary workers to remove many of the remaining scars of last year's storms.

Wall Work Underway

The wall along the Schoharie Creek in Middleburgh is currently under repair. The New York State DOT is working with the Village to complete the project by August 1st.

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

Park Projects Moving Forward, Creekside Completed

The Depot Museum project is moving forward, with a slated end date of this fall. The engineering firm working on the project has submitted revised plans to the NYSDOT and is expecting approval for the plan shortly. Mayor Avitabile reported the completion of the Creekside Park project, with the exception of final paperwork.

The Tim Murphy park project is moving forward, with some money for the Tim Murphy monument already collected. Trustee Morton stated that after the money was collected, it would take eight weeks to etch the stone. He also reported that the mural is expected to go up later this month on the side of the Artisan's Gallery.

Village Organizing Commerce Assocation

The Village is opening a new Commerce Association. Twelve businesses have already indicated that they would like to join, with others expected to follow. Trustee Sheryl Adams and Mayor Avitabile met with one leader of local business and discussed the logistics of the new organization, which may include a subgroup for women in business. A meeting to set up the association will be held June 26th at the Municipal Building at 6pm. The public is invited, especially to bring ideas.

Middleburgh Sets Volunteer Day

The Village of Middleburgh has announced a community Volunteer Day for June 23rd from 10am to 3pm. About 30 volunteers have already been lined up to help with mainly unskilled labor. If you would like to volunteer or need any help, mainly with debris removal, please contact the Village Hall at 827-5143 or Mayor Avitabile directly at 763-6854. Both the SALT and Southern Valley relief organizations have been reached out to and are hoped to participate.