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Village of Wellsville government meets, “People are terrified”


Mayor Randy Shayler and village trustees tackle fear, horse manure, and commend first responders and village police for recent work

Michael R. Baldwin Reports

“People are terrified”

“People are terrified.” That’s what Brian Newark of Gardner Heights Apartments on Pine Street told the Wellsville Village Board Monday Night. He was referring to four recent major house fires, including one fatality – all in close proximity. He said neighbors wanted answers, because with so many serious fires, “they’re scared.” Trustee Mike Roeske said he spoke with one Allegany County Fire Investigator, but wasn’t sure it was proper to publicly disclose that conversation. Wellsville Fire Chief Kevin Fleischman issued this statement late Monday night to The Wellsville Sun – “I can confirm that the recent fires are accidental. I can’t officially speak for yesterday (Earley Street), because I wasn’t there, but from my understanding it was accidental.”

The horse poop has to stop

Mike Raptis also addressed the Village Board about the messes horses were making on local streets. He was quick to clarify that he is an animal lover, but said downtown merchants want an ordinance requiring people to clean-up the messes horses are making. “The rain doesn’t wash it away,” Raptis said, “It just spreads it.” He noted that in February 2020, downtown merchants issued a statement calling for the Village to establish an ordinance holding animal owners responsible. There has been an outreach effort to the Amish Community on the issue and it was going to be discussed. However, Raptis said “they shouldn’t monitor themselves.” He was told that the Village is currently working with Code Enforcement on some draft regulations. Ironically, within minutes of the end of the meeting, a horse and buggy came down Main Street and stopped around the corner from the Village Office (almost on cue).

Nothin’ but crickets

The Village Board Monday Night held a public hearing on a proposed amendment to a Local Law. All the Board heard was the sound of crickets. The Board learned that the new owner of the former K-Mart building discovered that the building was inadvertently classified as residential. The Board later passed the amend law converting the property to Business B-2.

Job well done

Led by former police officer and current Trustee Jeff Monroe, the Board commended Police Chief Tim O’Grady and officers on the recent arrest of the man accused of desecration at the Sacred Heart Cemetery. O’Grady said “Lt. Kear spearheaded that whole thing.”

We are indebted to them

The weekend “mayday” call when the roof of a burning building on Earley Street collapsed on top of two volunteer firefighters caused some tense moments. Both volunteers went home that day with no serious injuries. Mayor Randy Shayler had this to say Monday Night…“my thoughts on something like that points out how indebted we are to what they do. They run toward danger when the rest of us run away.”

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