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Babbott Playground Opens

Babbott Field, including the playground, reopened last week as the area continues to phase out of the pandemic.

Waterville Village Board members decided to open the facility during their Zoom meeting last week. While the walking track had been available for use, the playground and the ballfield stayed shuttered since mid-March.

DPW Superintendent Jamie Bechy said the village had a request from Waterville Little League to make the field available for a potential July 6 start of youth baseball. Bechy said Tri-County Little League President Lee Pavlot said the teams are discussing how regulations can be met to put together a season.

While the Oneida County Health Department does not have regulations on how often public bathrooms need to be cleaned and sanitized, board members decided to have the bathroom at Babbott cleaned once a day.

Trustee Brian Bogan said with the start of summer vacation, he did not want to wait to open the playground. This will give kids something to do, he said.

Also during the 80-minute meeting, board members discussed a request by a resident on West Bacon Street. The resident asked to sell food out of his food truck at his residence.

Doing so, Attorney Bill Getman said, creates a business, which is not allowed under the zoning there as residential. He and board members said it will be fine for the food truck to park downtown and sell, as long as the resident has the required permits and inspections.

Other than permission if the truck is parked on private land, the food truck can operate in the village’s business district, Getman said.

Bechy said a pre-construction meeting for the WasteWater Treatment Plant’s capital project set a timetable. The wastewater tank will be taken out of service July 13 and water send to the pond.

By the end of that week the tank will be drained and painting, cleaning and sandblasting can start. Because of delays caused by the Covid-19 shutdowns, some equipment will not arrive until spring.

Dodson Engineering has starting a survey for the Upper White Street reservoirs as is required by FEMA for a study.

The larger fuel tank for village equipment has arrived; Bechy said there already was a savings in fuel costs shown.

A resident near the village line by St. Bernard’s Cemetery raised concerns about speeding in that area both in and out of the village. The board agreed to buy three more solar speed signs as the first four have made an impact on reducing speeding, board members and Bechy said. Bechy said he will come up with a plan to replace DPW employee Brayton Furner, who is leaving.

A water leak was detected in on a line in the middle of a field on Canning Factory Road. Bechy said the leak has been going on since the fall and cost the village 15,000 to 20,000 gallons of water a day.

The new keyless door security system at Village Hall has been installed; a similar one is being put in the Waterville firehouse. Village Hall will reopen to the public July 6. Village Court has reopened for a limited number of cases.

With the cancelation of the Summer Recreation program the village is exploring craft kits to provide to kids.

Bogan said the Summer Concert series will be done in August.

An empty lot owned by the village at 107 Berrill Ave. will be listed for sale at a price of $5,000.

In the DPW report for May, Bechy said 53.1 tons of garbage was taken to the Transfer Station at a cost of $3,292 and 9.03 tons of trash taken at a cost of $560.

Village residents recycled 10.23 tons for free and put out 14.46 tons of green waste taken at a cost of $217. Village water use in May was 7,884,00 gallons, averaging 254,000 gallons a day.

The full story is in this week's edition of the newspaper. 

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