By Dave Warner

The Little Falls Common Council held its regularly scheduled meeting on Tuesday at 7 pm. After approval of the minutes, bills, and monthly reports from February 2024, Resolution #22 was up for consideration.

There was a vacancy on the Urban Renewal Board, and Kip LaQue had volunteered to serve in the position. Mayor Deborah Kaufman stated, “We had one person step off the board because of a work conflict, and we’re delighted to have him.”

The resolution passed unanimously.

Resolution number No. 23 was regarding a public hearing for Local Law #1 – Land Use Moratorium. It stated, “Now, therefore, be it resolved, by the Common Council of the City of Little Falls, that the Public Hearing shall be scheduled and held on April 2, 2024, at 6 pm at City Hall, Little Falls, NY to hear all interested parties on Local Law #1 of 2024 for Land Use Moratorium.”

Kaufman stated, “A Land Use Moratorium is a temporary measure to preserve the status quo while planning revues are made to address long-term community planning and zoning objectives. When I started working with the planning committee, I realized that we were lacking a lot of the things we need in order to make sound decisions for the future.”

She mentioned a Comprehensive Plan, which is still in draft form and needs to be finished. Planning Board members need to take state training as well. Codes are supposed to be reviewed every other year. “We haven’t done that in thirteen years or better.”

Subdivision and site plan regulations are also not in place. “I want to tighten up everything and get the tools into the hands of the people who will be making decisions. I think it’s tremendously important,” Kaufman stated.

The Resolution passed unanimously.

Resolution No. 24 was for a public hearing on the Tentative Budget for April 2, 2024, at 6:45 pm at City Hall.

The Resolution passed unanimously.

In the Mayor’s comments section, Kaufman mentioned that the application for the DRI facade improvement grant was now available online. “When this project started, it was just East Main St. Now it’s East and West Main and covers a larger territory. Ten businesses will be selected.”

The grant is an 80% reimbursement from the state. “It’s a wonderful opportunity,” she said.

The Mayor next mentioned the 311 app that has been in development for the City and is currently in beta testing. The staff will be trained on Friday, and the app is scheduled to be rolled out to the public before the end of March.

City Engineer Chester P. Szymanski III stated, “I think it’s going to be a very useful app for us—for both external and internal projects.”

Kaufman also stated that she’s getting a lot of good comments about the new City website.

She also discussed a program where the police officers are more proactive in checking empty buildings each shift.

“The Police Chief and I have also been collaborating with other Mayors and Police Chiefs in our region” about the homeless problem. She said that Catholic Charities is now working with the City and has done ride-a-longs to understand the City and the issues better.

“They are going to be doing one every month with outreach for substance abuse,” she said. The City is also looking at other groups that can help with the issue. “I think this will help on the social side of the equation.”

Full audio of the Council meeting is located at https://thisislittlefalls.com/live-streaming/