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VILLAGE BOARD DISCUSSES DOWNTOWN PARKING PROBLEMS

The owner of a vacant lot located just west of Franklinville's downtown business district intends to build a fence around the property this summer to prevent others from using it as a parking lot and driveway at no cost.

Property owner Bill Friend described the boundary lines of the .53-acre site at Monday night's Village Board meeting in response to questions from Mayor Judy Harrington.

"I'm eager to try to get some of the money I have put into it," Friend said, referring to the cost he incurred several years ago in carrying out a village-ordered demolition of a large dilapidated building once located along the Church Street side of the site.

But he refused to place a value on the property or state how much he spent on the demolition, offering instead to meet privately with Village Board members about purchase or lease of the site as a parking lot.

"I'm not just going to give it away," he said.

The problem of limited downtown parking is an issue in the village and may be further aggravated during planned improvements to Route 16 through the business district. Some community leaders have suggested several vacant downtown areas be explored for possible use as a public or private parking area.

Mrs. Harrington said she will discuss the availability of the site among local business owners who have expressed some interest in creating more parking in that location.

"It's difficult to maintain the businesses we have if people can't reach them," she said.

In other business, the board took no action on a request to increase library funding from several members of the Blount Library board of directors.

Board President David Dickinson said state funding for a mature worker (55 or older) ends in 1998 and the library must raise $7,472 to meet the program requirements.

The New York State Library System's mandate for increased hours of operation is being met by 34 volunteers who keep the building open with a rotating Monday night shift, he added.

He outlined the library's 1998 budget, with projected expenses of $29,381 outweighing revenues of $23,600.

In another matter, the board decided to discuss cost estimates for a proposal to share a new fuel-storage facility at Franklinville Central School's bus garage if one is built as part of the school district's proposed capital improvements project.

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