September 28, 2021

Village of Homer hires 3 police officers

The Homer village board voted unanimously Tuesday to hire two full-time and one-part time police officer to fill vacancies dating back to September.

Officers Jacob Brester, Sarah Cresap and Andrew Malone will fill vacancies created in September and May, Chief Robert Pitman said.

“We’ve been down two officers and had the need to fill those vacancies,” Pitman said. “We’ve been back filling those vacancies and filling those voids.”

More staffing will allow the Homer police department to resume other duties, like a bike patrol, Pitman said.

Also at Tuesday’s meeting:
n The village plans to increase enforcement of trash and recycling regulations following problems with recycling contaminated with trash, Mayor Darren “Hal” McCabe said.

“We had two contaminated loads last week and recycling was rejected,” said Treasurer Tanya Digennaro. “They had to be moved over to garbage because garbage was being put into recycling again.”

Residents must have trash and recycling bins outside of their homes by 6 a.m. the morning of pick up, McCabe said. Garbage will not be picked up if trash is placed next to or on top of cans or if trash and recycling are placed in the wrong bins.

Police will enforce the regulations, McCabe said. People who place trash or recycling in bins that are not theirs will be fined.

n The board discussed a state Consolidated Funding Application for a grant that will fund a water tank and a vacuum truck for up to $1.1 million, McCabe said. Grant applications are due by the end of July.

“We have about seven to eight different things
going into the CFA,” McCabe said. “Each grant
has a different local match amount and they will
be different depending on what we are on the hook
for.”

n Board members learned that Cortlandville will help pay for the demolition of Route 11 properties for the linear park.

Cortlandville will provide half of the match for the parcel that was in the town, said Rich Cunningham, principal of Thoma Development in Cortland. The southern tip of the village lies in the town of Cortlandville. However, the amount the town will match for the property, the former Budget Inn, is undetermined.

Once the state approves the demolition contract, demolition will begin, McCabe said. But New York State Electric & Gas Corp. is under contract at the site for another two years while stream bank remediation is underway.

“At this point, because of the NYSEG work going on there, we’re just taking the two buildings down and putting down topsoil and seed, making it a grass area until NYSEG is done before demolition,” McCabe said.

McCabe and board member Ed Finkbeiner agreed the grassy area would make a nice dog park.