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Falconer Board OKs Square Site Proposal

The Falconer Village Board approved the Falconer Square Site Plan that is set to refurbish and rebuild a portion of West Main Street. The Board also approved a resolution that requests amendments for the new criminal justice reforms impacting Chautauqua County. P-J photo by Jordan W. Patterson

FALCONER — A portion of West Main Street in the village of Falconer will be refurbished and undergo reconstruction.

The Falconer Village Board approved the Falconer Square Site Plan at Monday’s meeting that looks to rebuild a section of Main Street that was impacted by structure fires in 2017.

“It’s another step in process of it going forward,” said Falconer Mayor James Jaroszynski. “We’re just looking to the future for the development to get up and get going.”

The Village Planning Board approved its recommended site plan at a Jan. 21 meeting. The planning board previously approved a preliminary site plan in November.

According to the site plan, the planned construction for Falconer Square will include 15,904 square feet of mixed-use building and 4,847 square feet of townhomes located at 13-37 W. Main St.

At Monday’s meeting, the resolution approving the plan included stipulations that the village board will have final input on brick facing/parapets, landscaping, greenspace/amenities, fire lanes/fire systems and sidewalk replacements.

In other news, the board also approved a resolution that requests amendments be made to current criminal justice reforms; the board received an update about the ongoing annexation process; and board members are contemplating postponing its Farmer’s Market for one year.

REFORMS

The board supported the resolution to call for amendments regarding current bail reform and discovery reform impacting Chautauqua County.

Last year, the New York State Legislature approved two criminal justice reforms that have since taken effect impacting how discovery and bail are handled.

Regarding bail reform, many non-violent offenders are now being issued appearance tickets at the time of arrest instead of being taken into jail. Under the law change, district attorneys are limited to the offenses that they can request bail. More than 400 offenses are considered “non-qualifying” and are not be eligible for bail, with some exceptions. Offenders will be given appearance tickets and released on their own recognizance, or ROR. Under certain circumstances like violating an order of protection, individuals can have their ROR revoked.

“Right now, they’re mandated,” Jaroszynski said. “They have to release them.”

Under the new law, district attorney offices across New York state will have 15 days to present full discovery evidence in all cases or they will be dismissed.

ANNEXATION

Jaroszynski updated board members on the ongoing annexation process being pursued by the city of Jamestown. The city began a second attempt to annex the city Board of Public Utilities Dow Street Substation located in the village in 2019. Falconer officials have maintained their opposition to the city’s efforts.

Jaroszynski said the village, the town of Ellicott and the Falconer Central School District has been in contact with City Mayor Eddie Sundquist and are optimistic that an alternative resolution will be reached. All involved parties held a meeting in January to discuss the potential annexation.

“We are still meeting with them, hoping to come up with something,” Jaroszynski said. “There is nothing concrete right now.”

Jaroszynski said Monday that he anticipates some form of an alternative proposal from the BPU and the city that the village would be able to review.

“They’re supposed to come up with proposals for us,” the mayor said.

Additionally, board members said it would begin to research the potential cuts they would have to make if the annexation was upheld the second time around.

FARMERS’ MARKET

The village continues to look for a volunteer to helm its Farmers’ Market program. However, a lack of interest has left trustees willing to postpone its Farmers’ Market one year to better prepare and curate interest.

At the conclusion of Monday’s meeting, board members agreed that they would likely “table” the Farmers’ Market one year unless someone came forward soon to manage the program. Discussion was heard about even seeking a local agency to advocate for and manage the program.

“Unless someone comes forward in less than week and says ‘I really want to do this and take it over’ because it is a great deal of work to do and if someone has the heart to do the work we’d be happy to have them do it,” said Tim Dunn, village trustee.

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