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Black bear raiding gardens in Silver Creek

SILVER CREEK – A large adult black bear has been raiding gardens in backyards on Burgess Street in Silver Creek, and village residents are being asked to notify the Chautauqua County Sheriff’s Department if they see the bear.

Mayor Nick Piccolo said the state Department of Environmental Conservation has agreed to tranquilize the animal and transfer it to another area.

The animal could be dangerous to small animals, and residents should be cautious.

On another animal issue, the plan to catch and spay or neuter cats that live at the former high school building on Main Street is on-going. The mayor reported that volunteers said 31 cats were caught in the last capture. After the procedure at the veterinary office, the animals are returned to the area.

In other matters, the summer youth recreation program in Silver Creek is filled to capacity with 90 children registered and participating.

The program is for children from 5 to 12 years old and includes lunch and a snack. There are activities in the ball park from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. daily for the next five weeks.

Amendments to the village zoning laws were approved after a public hearing on Monday. The changes include a fine of up to $250 for not complying with the code enforcement officer’s request to mow a lawn. There could also be a charge of $75 per hour for village work crews to mow a lawn that has not been maintained.

The code was also amended to allow the code enforcement officer to issue appearance tickets to landlords who fail to comply with inspection requests at rental property locations. The code requires that rental properties be inspected periodically for building code compliance.

Trustee Vincent Tampio reported that a village employee contracted a bacterial infection that required hospitalization because of exposure at the village’s wastewater treatment plant. He suggested that the board may want to consider more safety equipment to protect employees from contact with infectious substances.

Piccolo said that Burgess Street is scheduled to be repaved within the next few weeks. Residents will experience detours during the work.