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Guest Column: Mayor Gerry Messmer

“Summer is here, and Odessa is bustling”

The following is the fifth in a series of columns about life in Odessa written by Mayor Gerry Messmer.

ODESSA, June 28, 2019 -- As I get ready to head out on my 1825 journey, Ashley’s Return, I am excited about all the great stuff happening in Odessa! I will be gone on a 2200 mile, 90+ day journey recreating a great sojourn by William Ashley and the Rocky Mountain Fur Company. For more information, check out the Facebook page called Ashley’s Return and another called The Journey of the Keelboat Muskrat.

In my absence, Deputy Mayor Tom Letteer will step in and continue to run Village operations. Tom has great experience and has been helping me every step of the way with our projects. I have full confidence he will keep things moving just fine. Tom is a superb asset to Odessa. In the office, Pam Kelly will keep things moving as well. She has been a tremendous asset to Odessa, and we are fortunate to have both her and Tom looking after things while I’m out. Make sure to stop by and say hello to them.

Our Waste Water Treatment System project is in full swing, thanks to C&S Engineers out of Syracuse and lead engineer Ron Jackson. We are well into surveys as you may have seen from the surveyors around town. Next, for those in the sewer district, they will need access inside your residence or business to measure distance for the sewer line design. If you are not at home, they will leave a letter on your door to contact them. Please work with them to get the data they need. Our WWTS is being funded by an EFC Grant ($750,000) and a bond that the new sewer district will be able cover with income from the system.

We are well underway addressing the poor water quality in the Village as well. We are working with lead engineer Travis Long of JHA Companies to finish off the engineer design grant. Travis will be working on the upgrades to our water treatment system at the well, testing lines and determining which lines need to be replaced to fix our problems and then putting together the entire design package so we can move ahead. We have one payment left on the Village Water Bond that we used to put in the new well 20 years ago. Once that is paid off in the spring, we will be in great financial position to execute a new and much less expensive bond to complete this work.

If the timing works out for both of these projects, they will go into the RFP (Request for Proposals) process this fall and break ground in the spring. It looks as though DOT will be re-doing Main Street next spring as well, so we hope to do all of the underground work on Main Street simultaneously. Keep your fingers crossed!

The Fire Department got great news this week. It looks as though our new fire truck will come to us about five months early. We expect a late August delivery, so stand by for a potential wetting-down ceremony! Thank you to Chief Tomassi and Assistant Chief Jeliff for their hard work making this happen. OFD will continue to be a premier Fire Department looking out for all of us. Our EMTs are out there as well with many calls a week, literally saving lives and taking care of us! We are fortunate to have such dedicated and talented volunteers in our community. Thank you for all you folks do!

DPW has been in full swing this month. Steve Siptrott and Ty Rogers are working hard to keep things cleaned up and they do great work. We were fortunate enough, through state CHIPs funding, to be able to buy a new skid steer this spring that will bring much needed capability to DPW. We purchased a bucket that will make picking up brush more effective and less damaging to the ground. Additionally, we purchased a jack hammer attachment for repairing roads and broken water lines, especially in the winter when we have to break through frozen ground and dig deep. This will keep our guys safe from having to use a hand held jack hammer and working in a deep hole in extreme conditions. A local municipality will allow us to use their milling machine attachment which will help us fix the bad spots on our streets like Brooklyn Terrace. Give DPW some time and they will get to these issues. I know Steve and Ty always appreciate some fresh cookies!

Last week David Orr from the Cornell Local Roads Program came down and spent time with Steve and I looking at troubled intersections and bad spots in our streets that need repair. We are waiting on his report to guide us with some improvements to calm and slow traffic, make intersections safer and to maintain our streets. This is a free service by a highly qualified engineer.

Our local community organization, the Odessa Community Celebration Organization, has some great things going on as well. They are bringing back the Halloween Parade with the Wesleyan Church in the lead for October and we are working toward bringing back the Olde Home Day event. OCCO is looking for volunteers to join their group and help with activities. If you would like to find out more and how you can become a part of this exciting group, e-mail to: or call President Alyssa Wixson at: 607-351-9670. Their next meeting is July 2 at 6:30 p.m. in the Village Hall Community Room.

See you in October and be on the lookout for a public presentation I will be doing at the Schuyler County Historical Society after I return!

--Gerry Messmer

Photo in text: Odessa Mayor Gerry Messmer

To see Mayor Messmer's first column, click here.
To see Mayor Messmer's second column, click here.
To see Mayor Messmer's third column, click here.
To see Mayor Messmer's fourth column, click here.








© The Odessa File 2019
Charles Haeffner
P.O. Box 365
Odessa, New York 14869