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February 27, 2014

Village to address business issues in March

It will be all business at the Cooperstown Board of Trustees meeting in March. 

Or, at least, one public hearing that was set by the board at its February meeting on Monday will address a prominent business concern: the village’s sign laws. 

”I think we need to do something with communicating (changes) because the businesses need to know,” said trustee Lou Allstadt.

Trustee Cindy Falk said that relatively few businesses will be affected, but the ones that have signage need guidance as to what is and isn’t legal in time for the tourist season. 

The board also delayed taking action on non-conforming zoning laws, pushing the matter back to March after it was decided that the planning board rules require it to have two months to review changes to the law that fall under planning board jurisdiction. 

Another public hearing that was set for the March 24 meeting will address the two-percent tax cap. As the board has done for the past two years, it will vote to go over the cap. However Mayor Jeff Katz said that the measure will again be strictly precautionary.

“In the past what we have done, since the two-percent cap became law, we have always voted in advance to override it, more as a precautionary measure, in case of a mistake,” he said. “There’s really no (need) in doing it once the budget is done. It is just to protect ourselves from accidentally going over it.

“Going forward, once the budget is done, we can rescind it,” he continued.

The board also voted unanimously to look into contracting the summer trolley service to a vendor such as Birnie Bus Service, which could be done as an amendment to Otsego County’s contract with the company. 

“I really don’t see any downside to it,” VIllage Clerk Teri Barown told the trustees. “It would still be the village’s transportation system, but you wouldn’t have to do unemployment, social security, background and DWI checks and things like that.” 

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