Village officials in Scotia are taking great strides to keep their promise of maintaining the quaint hometown charm that the village is known for. From helping businesses upgrade storefronts to holding homeowners accountable for property condition, several programs are being implemented in an attempt to put taxpayers' money to good use.
With the start of the new year, the Economic Enhancement Fund, a street paving program and a renewed focus on neglected properties, are all efforts the village is hoping will make a noticeable difference.
Trustee Armon Benny said the village is looking into a registry of all rented properties, which would allow village authorities to contact the owners in the event of issues ranging from neglect to not shoveling the sidewalk.
If you look at unshoveled sidewalks, a lot of the time they are in front of a multi-family structure. This type of registry will allow us to make a phone call to the owner and say, 'You need to clear the sidewalks,' said Benny at a recent trustees meeting.
Benny distributed a newsletter recently that contained information regarding village finances, upcoming sidewalk paving programs, and what the town is doing to be proactive about registered sex offenders.
Benny said that, while talking to residents on Glen Avenue, he learned that major concern of residents are unkempt lots that contain dead trees and other evidence of neglect.
"Just as people are concerned about homes in their neighborhood that they be neglected, I heard a concern about lawns that are neglected that may have trees that may be a hazard," said Benny.
The Scotia Business Enhancement Fund is also helping the village keep up on cosmetic appearances and structural improvements. Mayor Kris Kastberg is helping to get the loan program back up and running. Kastberg said it's not meant to replace traditional bank financing but instead help the businesses that support the village.
Gabriel's Supermarket recently received such a loan to use for renovations ranging from new ovens to new windows and brickwork.
"We want Scotia to be attractive to businesses, and we want to be able to support those who are already here. We hope this will stay as a viable resource for our businesses," said Kastberg.""