The chairman of the Ilion Recreation Commission presented plans for upcoming events to the Ilion village board during a meeting last week.
Recreation Commission Chairman Adam Fowler said the group has developed plans for several activities. The first is an open stage night, a talent show with participants divided into various age groups. Recreation volunteer Elaine Mabry said he plans to post information about the event on social media and make up posters to publicize it.
Board members liked the idea, but raised several concerns including the need for chaperones, eligibility — would the event be open only to Ilion residents — and setting rules about appropriate clothing and musical selections. The commission will discuss the concerns, Fowler said.
He reported the commission is also planning a skating trip to a New Hartford rink on Feb. 17 and a trip to the MOST Museum on March 23. Advance registration will be required so buses can be reserved. Fowler noted a skating trip had been scheduled for December, but had to be canceled due to lack of participation. The commission is hoping for more interest in its upcoming activities.
“It’s discouraging at times,” he said.
“You can’t build community without spending time together,” said Mabry.
Fowler said he had met with the village of Mohawk Recreation Commission to discuss the possibility of offering joint activities and sharing the cost of the buses.
In other business:
• The board authorized the mayor to sign a state assistance contract amendment for the former Wood Service Station at 123 W. Main St., extending the contract until December 2014. The former service station has been classified as a brownfield site since 2006, but the cleanup project has not been closed out by the state Department of Environmental Conservation.
• The board turned down a request to waive or reduce the $50 late fee on a customer’s water bill, saying the village couldn’t waive the fee for one person and not others. Village Treasurer Connie Gagliardi explained the fee was instituted because the mayor and village board decided something had to be done about the number of customers who were delinquent in paying their water bills. Eventually, the amount owed would be added to the customer’s property taxes, she said, “but then the village of Ilion doesn’t receive the revenue.” The village had also tried using collection agencies, but had to pay the collector. “We have customers who are delinquent up to $600,” she said. She noted customers can choose to sign up for automatic payment to avoid the late fee.
• The village policy on sewer line problems was discussed after the board received a request to pay a resident’s plumbing bill. Department of Public Works Superintendent Jack Sterling said when there is a sewer backup, the problem is almost always in the customer’s line rather than in the village line, so the village doesn’t respond unless the customer brings in a plumber to determine where the problem lies. In this case it was in the village line and village employees had to be called in to deal with it, but the customer was left with a $240 bill for the plumber.
Page 2 of 2 - Deputy Mayor Beth Neale, who presided over the meeting in the absence of Mayor John Stephens, said the board would discuss the matter, although she didn’t know if anything could be done about the bill. She wondered if some plumbers might be willing to charge a reduced fee in such a case as a professional courtesy.
Sterling said many of the problems with backups are caused by grease in the lines. People pour grease down the drain. “We pulled out a grease ‘log’ that was four feet long and eight inches around,” he said. While businesses, such as restaurants, are supposed to have grease traps, there is no way to regulate this for homeowners.