By GREG KLEIN • Special to www.AllOTSEGO.com
The village of Cooperstown will remove a controversial solar-powered speed limit sign from Pioneer Street.
The village’s Board of Trustees voted unanimously Monday, April 26, to remove the sign, which was in front of 100 Pioneer Street and told motorists heading south on Pioneer if they were exceeding the village’s 30-mile-per-hour speed limit.
The meeting was held in person in the village ballroom at 22 Main St.
As part of the motion, the trustees agreed to relocate the sign to the southern entryway to the village on State Route 28.
The sign has drawn complaints from dozens of current and former village residents, complaining about the aesthetics of the sign and dismissing the need to put it in a residential area. Two residents spoke against the sign Monday, leading Cooperstown Mayor Ellen Tillapaugh to tell the crowd of about 15 people that the trustees would fix the sign problem later in the meeting.
“The intent of the meeting tonight will be to remove the solar-powered sign … and nothing will be on Pioneer.
Deputy Mayor Cindy Falk voted for the resolution, but suggested the trustees make it more open-ended, so they were not limited to placing the sign in one location. Trustee Richard Sternberg was not at the meeting.
The trustees also set a public hearing for 7 p.m. Monday, May 24, at 22 Main St., to consider a special use permit for a multi-family home proposed for 10 Chestnut St.
Josh Edmonds, the managing partner for Simple Integrity, and his partner in the property, Glimmerglass Festival Artistic and General Director Francesca Zambello, presented detailed plans for a 13-unit building to be built on two lots, which are between Main and Lake streets.
A similar proposal drew resident opposition in 2019, but Edmonds said he went back to the drawing board to create something that looks like a normal house from the front and is designed to be minimally invasive to the rest of the neighborhood.
Zambello said affording housing for professionals is something Cooperstown is lacking and she wanted to find a solution, in part, to help her staff find housing.
Long-time village resident Hilda Wilcox also spoke at the beginning of the meeting, complaining about unsafe stairs at Fairy Spring Park. Wilcox said the park, which is owned by Cooperstown, but is located in the town of Middlefield, just north of the village boundary, has been the secret go-to-spot for locals for the 50-plus years she has lived in Cooperstown, but now it is becoming inaccessible for her, as the stairs to the water have become compromised.
“They have become unmanageable for us older people to manage safely,” she said.