OLEAN – Paper streets, sliding-fee scales and budgetary transfers are on the minds of city aldermen.
A public hearing has been set to discuss the abandonment of three streets that are not really streets in the city. The “streets” in question, Queen Place, Park Avenue and Division Street Extension, don’t have one inch of pavement. In fact, there are trees, grass and property borders along the routes. The paper streets border no less than 22 privately owned lots.
The streets, owned by the city, cannot legally be used by residents bordering them. That is why Council President Ann McLaughlin, who is also Ward 2 alderwoman, has sponsored a bill that would have the city abandon the three rights of way. The abandonment would allow the adjacent property owners to have access to the land. No land purchase would take place in the action.
According to city officials, the rights of way serve no municipal use and would better serve the abutting property owners who will receive equal percentages of the right of way that abuts their property.
Public hearings on the matter will be held at 6 p.m. June 11 in the Olean Municipal Building, 101 E. State St.
Council members also have voted to amend the administrative fee schedule from an across-the-board $250 fee to a sliding scale that is meant to add to the fee as more time and resources are used to remedy situations of snow removal from sidewalks, noxious weeds and grass, and garbage situations. The scale would start with a $50 administrative fee and could go as high as $250.
The lone dissenter, Ward 6 Alderman Nate Smith, said the sliding scale would allow code enforcement personnel to use a biased discretion when administering the fees.
The next meeting of the Council will be at 6:30 p.m. May 29 in the courtroom of the Municipal Building.