March 7, 2012


Homer to fix up Village Green bandstand

GazeboBob Ellis/staff photographer
The village this spring will repair the bandstand on the Homer Village Green.

Staff Reporter

HOMER — Just weeks after the Village Board approved one Main Street renewal project, a second project is being proposed.
The village plans to spend $80,000 to $100,000 to renovate the bandstand on the Village Green. The building is between 625 and 900 square feet.
There is an extensive amount of work to be done, said Ken Teter, who is overseeing the project.
“In essence what we’re trying to do is stabilize and secure the bandstand,” he said.
The first part of the project will be to repair around a dozen wooden support posts in the structure.
The second part is to replace or repair the concrete cap that goes around the top of the structure.
Finally, the project will repair the corroded steel access gates and the surrounding brick, which is starting to fall apart.
The project was submitted for review to the state Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation because the bandstand is so old and it is in Homer’s historic district, Teter said.
“The bandstand is around 70 to 80 years old,” he said. “Once we get through that review we’ll be able to move ahead with the project.
Homer received a $310,000 Main Street grant in January 2011.
The village would use $60,000 from the grant, said Ann Hotchkin, program manager for Thoma Development. The rest will come from village funds.
The plan is to have the renovations completed by Holiday in Homer, which is July 21, said Mayor Genevieve Suits.
The board also received an update from Town Board member Kevin Williams on his project, which is also using the grant money.
Williams owns the Homer Village Market at 7 S. Main St. He is using $80,000 from the grant to renovate the building, including a new storefront and improvements to the four apartments on the upper floor.
As part of his project, Williams wants to include a canopy on the front of the store, as well as either outside display space or room for tables and chairs.
“We’re trying to develop the front of the building and live within design guidelines,” he told the board. “We want to create an environment that’s inviting and appropriate with the look we want to put out.”
So far, drawings and plans for the proposed changes look great, Suits said.
Williams still needs to go through the village Planning Board before moving forward with the project. Some of the proposed changes, including the canopy and some proposed brick-work on the sidewalk in front of the market, will require a variance.
In other businesses, the board adopted a policy to ban smoking in all village parks.
The program is sponsored by the Cortland County Health Department. The village will put up signs in the parks. The board questioned how the village could enforce the rules and whether there would be a certain radius smokers needed to stay outside of.
Any enforcement will have to be voluntary on the part of smokers, Suits said.
The program does a great job of protecting kids from secondhand smoke and letting them know that smoking is bad, said Jen Hamilton public health educator for the county Health Department.
“It really provides a positive role model for them,” she said. “The department uses a state grant to provide the signs for municipalities at no cost to them.”
The city of Cortland, Cortlandville, Harford, McGraw have also adopted a tobacco-free parks policy, said Hamilton.
Suits also brought up the idea of screening all future volunteer youth sports coaches in the village to make sure there were no issues with child abuse or violent crimes.
The board did not discuss any costs or specific programs because it was not sure what screening measures it would use.
“I’d rather be proactive on this issue than reactive,” she said. “There will be a cost to the village but its better than the alternative if something happened.”


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