The Greenport Farmers’ Market will open in the northwest parking lot on Adams Street between First and Main streets on May 28, but the bid to operate in Mitchell Park never got off the ground.
Plans call for market organizers to pay the village $1,000 for the 20-week season running through mid-October. The resolution provides that the Greenport Business Improvement District will either vet the vendors or designate someone to do so to assure there won’t be unfair competition with village merchants.
But BID president Mike Acebo hasn’t indicated whether that’s acceptable to his members.
Sts. Anargyroi & Taxiarhis Greek Orthodox Church members also received thumbs down on the application to move the church’s July 16 to 17 festival from Main Street to Mitchell Park. Mr. Nyce said he tried without success to broker a deal with church members to move the festival to the Polo Grounds on Moore’s Lane, he said.
There’s no indication where the festival might be held, but the Rev. Gerasimos Ballas agreed last week with criticisms of using church grounds, which he said are too small.
Village Board members also voted 3-2 to issue a request for proposals for a vendor to operate a concession at the Fifth Street Beach. Mr. Nyce and Ms. Phillips voted no. The measure’s supporters said the village must first determine if the village code permits such commercial operations at village parks.
SEWER RATE HIKE
Village residents will get to weigh in May 23 on a proposed hike in sewer rates, but no information is yet available on how much the hike might be.
Mr. Nyce promised that he’ll have information at least two weeks prior to the hearing and said if there’s any delay, he’ll postpone the hearing.
Members of Greenport’s Civil Service Employees Association returned to the Village Board for the second successive month, this time abandoning their silent protest of last month in asking village officials to return to the bargaining table.
At the union’s request, the two sides are slated to meet with a mediator on May 19.
“There has to be a point where both sides can come together,” CSEA Riverhead unit president Matt Hattorff said. “Greenport’s a beautiful town and it’s kept that way by our members.”
Union members have been without a contract for almost a year.
“All we’re asking for is to be treated fairly,” CSEA member Peter Collins said.
Mr. Nyce said the village has bargained in good faith and it was the union’s decision to seek mediation. He said the board has put “a very fair offer” on the table, has no animosity toward its 23 union members and looks forward to reaching a contract settlement.
Trustee Mary Bess Phillips refused to approve the latest monthly report from utilities director Jack Naylor, complaining that there are “discrepancies.”
Generally, department chiefs’ monthly reports are approved without question. Ms. Phillips said she’s dissatisfied with information in the report pertaining to work on the waste water treatment and electric plant projects.
Mr. Naylor has been criticized by board members for failing to move faster on getting the light plant work under way. Last month, the board accepted bids for several parts of the project but asked Mr. Naylor to rebid to find a company that can calibrate instrumentation, controls and protective relays for outdoor switch gear. That hasn’t happened, Ms. Phillips said.
She added that Mr. Naylor has said the waste water treatment plant work schedule shows completion by September, even though he has said completion’s not likely before January 2012. Ms. Phillips said she visited the site and saw a revised schedule showing the January date. She wants to know why Mr. Naylor either isn’t aware of that revised schedule or hasn’t reported it to the board.
Mr. Naylor didn’t return calls for comment.
Trustee Chris Kempner found herself alone when she tried to reverse a decision made by Mr. Nyce to not take public comments during Village Board work sessions.
She argued that the public should have as much time as needed to address the board. The mayor said that was “derailing” work session discussions. Mr. Nyce said he wanted to prohibit public discourse during work sessions for at least a six-month trial period.
“It’s the mayor’s meeting” and he can close it to public discussion by law if he wishes, Ms. Phillips said.
“This is a tough one,” Trustee George Hubbard said. But ultimately, he voted with the majority to continue to take public comments only at the regular monthly meeting. New Trustee David Murray abstained, saying he had too little experience on the board to weigh in on the issue.
A BOAT FOR GREENPORT?
Leueen Miller, who is active in a number of village civic groups, wants the Village Board to “adopt” a tall ship. The South Street Seaport Museum in New York City is facing financial difficulties and furloughed 32 of its employees in February, she said. Now it’s looking to other maritime centers to temporarily or permanently berth some of the tall ships.
Among them are the Lettie and Pioneer and Ms. Miller suggested the village take a look at providing a home for one of them.
“This would be Greenport’s boat,” she said. There may be some money available to defer insurance costs, Mr. Miller said.
Board members had no comment.