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Column: Mayor Luke Leszyk
“A Minute with The Mayor”
The following is the first in a series of columns about life in Watkins Glen written by Mayor Luke Leszyk.
WATKINS GLEN, July 2, 2019 -- The summer season is upon us and as you can tell by the traffic and people on the streets of Watkins Glen, our tourist season is in full swing.
Our Franklin Street project is nearing its end. A project that started in the spring of 2018 and was projected to be completed by June 28th of this year is running a little over. This project included new sidewalks, paving, traffic lights, brick work, medians and bases for our new street lights. I would like to thank the residents and businesses for their patience and cooperation through this difficult and disruptive time.
Speaking of our street lights, for which we received a $1.5 million grant: they are on order. We are expecting to start receiving them by the end of August. Bid requests have gone out to install all 167 of them by the end of summer. They will include our new village logo that will be unveiled with a ribbon-cutting on our main street later this summer. The logo was created by a local resident who participated in a logo design contest that was open to all earlier this year.
Our kayak launch located on the east side of Clute Park is now finally open for use. There are still a few odds and ends to finish up, but the launch itself is open to the public. There will soon be a vendor down there to rent kayaks too.
As far as Clute Park goes, we have received grant monies for an upgrade and revitalization of the park, and the architects have come back with some of their first designs. There is more work to be done, and we will be having public meetings to get feedback.
In other parts of the village, we have a new water tower going up on Padua Ridge above the end of 2nd Street. The base is laid and the tank is being erected. We are hoping to have the tank on line by August 1st, give or take a few days. This is also being paid for by a grant and not directly costing our residents.
Much progress is happening with our new wastewater treatment facility that is a joint project with Montour Falls. This is roughly a $32 million project that has been years in the making. Concrete has been poured, framing has begun and tanks will soon start to be erected. This project is projected to be on line by this fall, but no promises on that.
Because of that project, a new force main had to be installed down the length of Magee Street. I would like to thank the residents of Magee Street for their patience and understanding for the disruption that this project has caused. They will be rewarded with a new street to include new curbing by the end of summer.
With the new wastewater facility coming on line, we will turn our focus to the old facility located on the lake. This will be torn down and cleaned up. We have begun public meetings to discuss what people feel should go in its place. I can assure our residents that the property is not for sale and the village will retain ownership of the land. We are very open to the many possibilities that this beautiful piece of property has to offer.
We have some wonderful village residents who have volunteered their time and energy to a veterans' banner program. They have 66 veteran banners to be put up down 1st Street and the length of Decatur Street. The seven on 1st Street will represent residents who have fought in every war from the Civil War to Operation Iraqi Freedom. It is residents like this who make our community the great place that it is.
I will be putting a column of this nature out periodically to keep our residents informed of what is happening. I would like to thank The Odessa File for the great service it offers our community. Also remember that our public board meetings are the first and third Tuesday of each month, so please feel free to stop by and see your government at work. Thank you and God Bless.
Village of Watkins Glen