Top Stories, August 29, 2023

Flooding On I-86 In Chemung County

The D.O.T. reported yesterday that there was flooding on Monday in Elmira and Horseheads on I86 there.  As of this morning, the Chemung County Sheriff’s department has an online posting which says I86 is closed both ways at Exit 54 towards Rt 13 due to flooding. Detour for West bound at Exit 56 Elmira and East bound Exit 53 in Horseheads.  Also, WVIN got a text this morning from a reporter in that area and the text says, one lane of 86 East is back open right now.  We checked with Steuben County Public Safety Director Tim Marshall, who said that the flooding was more of a Chemung County problem, "but nothing much reported in Steuben County."  


Regarding Local School Board Seats In The Area

WVIN checked in with local school boards, to see if any changes had been made to board seats over the summer months.  Hammondsport Central School Superintendent Kyle Bower says, at Hammondsport, Kevin Bennett is still President and Carre Doyle is now Vice President.  At Campbell Savona, they say that Shawn Corey is the School Board President and Stacie VanSkiver is the Vice President, and Dale Seeley was sworn in this summer as a new school board member for Campbell-Savona.  In the Bath Central School District, Michael Mishook is still school board president and Amy Rusak is still school board vice president.


Statement From Bath Village Mayor Michael Sweet

(Yesterday) morning I addressed the Steuben County Legislature in my attempt to get assistance from them to assist with making Liberty Street safer for all of us. Here is a copy of my three minute speech:

Good morning! As Mayor of Bath, it’s my responsibility to make sure everyone that comes downtown feels safe and I can say that not many parents would allow their children to walk Liberty street unattended. In fact – my 11-year-old said she feels comfortable on Market Street, Main Street Hornell and walking the square in Hammondsport – but doesn’t feel safe on Liberty Street. That is a shame. So –one year ago I met with senior leadership from the county. We suggested that the county offer assistance to the village as we felt much of our police department’s efforts were directed at individuals placed in the village on DSS. We were laughed at and told – “the village has a lot of issues, but the county is not one them”. Not having data to back us up at the time – we went on to collect data and came back to the county public safety committee on June 5th – where not only did we present data about arrest and other concerns that we have downtown, we offered and asked for resolutions – a joint effort to make sure everyone that visits here feels as safe as those walking Market Street or the square in Hammondsport. After two months of not hearing anything, I reached out to the Chairman who informed me that the committee decided NOT to advance any of our request, because if they do something for Bath, then they would have to do something for other communities. Well, let me tell you – Bath – is very different to these other communities. First, we have nearly 30% of all DSS placements and 5% of the population. We already have more placements here in Bath than the cities of Corning and Hornell, both much bigger than Bath. This is before another temporary housing structure is being renovated in the Town of Bath, steps away from the village. The same owner of this property owns and operates the boarding house on Bridge Street. This owner told me everything on Bridge Street is great. Well – this owner apparently is disconnected from reality. Corning PD has been called to the Bridge Street location 130 times since January with 23 arrests. This is the same guy telling you and I how great this space will be in Bath. We have asked repeatedly that you not place transient housing in our business district, because just like Bridge Street – Liberty Street suffers from these policies. Our data shows nearly 40% of all arrests are DSS related (self-reported) - we actually feel the number is closer to 60%. Nearly 100% of all repeat offenders are DSS related.

Here is a summary of what we asked the Public Safety Committee:

• We asked that the county end contracts to house transient DSS placements in the business district.

• We asked that the Mental Health Offices be moved out of our business district.

• If moving the office is not an option – we ask that you add a security guard to the building and move the entrance to the rear of the building to prevent loitering on Liberty Street.

• Finally – we asked that your fund additional security in the Village of Bath. Perhaps assign a deputy to the village who can respond to calls out of the business district and allow our PD to focus on the downtown area.

In closing – I do want to thank the DA’s office for their efforts to help us. I know we are working together on several projects that will have a positive impact on the Village.

Thank you for your time – and I’m convinced that by working together we can have an impact and make Bath safe once again for all to enjoy – including YOUR children.  

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