Cortland Common Council approves budget items, solicits ideas for downtown projects

Main Street looking north, June 22, 2016 (Cortland Voice file photo)

CORTLAND, N.Y. - Cortland Common Council held its first meeting of the month Tuesday night, approving a number of budget proposals for 2018 before discussing initiatives to boost economic and cultural growth in the downtown area.

Council members voted to adopt the city’s proposed budget for wastewater funds and water funds, with an expected vote on the general budget later this month. Council also voted to approve a resolution to add an article on “recreational fires” to the City of Cortland’s Code Ordinances. Several members of the public had been petitioning for a resolution to regulate, and potentially curb, uncontrolled wood-burning fires in the city.

After discussion on the dangers of light decorations for downtown during the holiday season, city officials decided to explore different options for upcoming seasons. Lighting trees along sidewalks on Main Street have proven to be not only dangerous to city workers, but difficult and time-consuming, and ultimately not cost-effective, city officials said. Light strings and bulbs are constantly having to be replaced, and in many cases, transformers have been recovered melted.

Got ideas for improving downtown?

Mayor Tobin said he was pleased with the attendance at last week’s first public hearing on the city's Downtown Revitalize Initiative (DRI), where more than 100 community members gathered Cortland Repertory Theatre to provide feedback on the city's plans to use $10 million in state grant funding to revitalize downtown Cortland .

“This is moving forward very, very quickly,” Tobin said. We are still open to ideas, general concepts, and potential projects. If people have ideas or if you have a specific project in mind, we need to know about it, and it has to come forward within the next couple of weeks because we have to start narrowing our focus.”

More meetings scheduled

  • The Friends of Downtown Cortland, a community group established by concerned residents, will meet Wednesday, Nov. 15, at 5:30 p.m. at the Cortland Community Center at 90 Central Ave.
  • The second of several public hearings for the DRI will be held on Thursday, December 14, at a venue and time to be announced.
  • The next Local Planning Committee (LPC) meeting will be held Thursday, December 16 at TC3’s Cortland Extension Center on Main St. in Cortland at 7:00 p.m. The meeting is open to the public.