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Student’s request to close down street meets opposition from Fredonia board

FREDONIA – A college student’s request to close down a village street on the same weekend that the cancelled Fred Fest events would have been held met with a roadblock Monday at the regular meeting of the Village Board.

Tim Fairhead lives on Canadaway Street and requested that a portion of the street be closed from noon to 7 p.m. on Saturday, May 2. He said that other students on the street would like an open space to set up grills, picnic tables and games and utilize the time for socializing. The date is the same weekend when the annual Fred Fest would have been held. The event was cancelled by the college this year due to safety concerns.

Police Chief Bradley Meyers said he had some serious concerns about closing down the street. He said that crowds on the street were difficult to maintain in previous years. Last year, some of the permanent residents of that street called police when people would not leave their property when they were asked, the chief said.

Trustee Janelle Subjack was opposed to the idea of the party. “I think we would have block parties cropping up and I don’t feel like sanctioning it,” she said.

Meyers also said there would be issues enforcing the legal drinking age of 21 and that no alcoholic beverages would be allowed on the street.

Trustee Joseph Cerrie said he had concerns about safety because there is a firehall on the street. He said closing the street could cause a problem for emergency response personnel and vehicles.

The matter was not brought up for a vote at the meeting.

In other business

• The board heard from attorney John Gullo, who said he wanted to urge members to consider funding a full-time officer position on the police force. Meyers said he still has not heard a decision from the board about his request to hire a full-time officer and bring his department back to their full service of 14 members.

“To maintain the quality of life, we need an adequate police force and we need to adequately fund them,” said Gullo.

The board had scheduled a talk about the police budget for Monday but changed the schedule, he said. The chief received an informal approval to interview candidates for a part-time opening in his department.

• The board approved a resolution for a public hearing at 7:30 p.m. March 16 to consider a local law allowing them to set a property tax higher than the state property tax cap.

• There will be a special meeting at 4:15 p.m. March 17 at Dunkirk City Hall to plan a water transmission line between the two communities.