Staying Open?

SHERMAN – It appears that the collective voices of Sherman residents have been heard.

During Wednesday’s Sherman Village Board meeting, Mayor John Patterson announced that the Sherman county Department of Public Facilities Shop likely will not be shutting down this summer.

The Sherman county shop is one of three shops in the county responsible for the safe and efficient operation of the county’s roads, bridges and tunnels. It houses equipment necessary for keeping roads safe, including some of the county’s snow plows. In November, it was announced that the shop would be closing for the summer months, sending the shop’s workers to either Falconer or Sheridan to work.

However, Wednesday, Patterson outlined conversations he has personally had with County Executive Greg Edwards since a December public meeting, held to discuss the topic.

“Between that meeting and a week ago, Wednesday, I have met with Greg Edwards probably four or five times,” Patterson said. “The last meeting we had, he called up and asked if he could come over here.”

Patterson said he and Edwards talked for several hours last week, as Patterson voiced the concerns of business owners and county shop workers.

“I brought up every single argument that I could possibly bring up,” Patterson told the trustees.

Saturday, Patterson said he received word from a county shop employee, saying that interviews were going to be held for a new district supervisor for the Sherman county shop, to replace the one who had retired. Additionally, Patterson said he was told by Ken France, district supervisor of the Sheridan Shop, that the Sherman shop would remain open for the summer.

“I know that the people who have worked out there for 18, 20, 25 years are real happy about being where they’re used to being,” Patterson said. “So, I want to thank everybody that helped me out on that. I’m just waiting for an actual confirmation, to hear it from Greg Edwards’ mouth, saying it’s open.”

Edwards was unable to be reached for comment by The Post-Journal on Wednesday.

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Also during the meeting, Patterson addressed the number of parking spaces available on Main Street.

“Parking has been kind of a hot subject,” Patterson said. “We know that since the state said we could no longer diagonally park on Main Street, we have to parallel park, we lost close to 60 percent of the parking spots.”

Some business owners in the village have been complaining about the parking situation, according to Patterson. It was suggested by residents that a parking garage be built, in order to accommodate customer parking. However, Patterson said the he was able to count 47 parked vehicles recently downtown during a private event.

“If they can park 47 cars and trucks down there for a celebration, then they certainly can park 47 cars and trucks for patrons spaces to frequent their shops uptown,” Patterson said. “I don’t see where there is a shortage of parking.”

Patterson suggested to the board that signs be put up to designate specific parking places for specific businesses in town. The board agreed that the suggestion was a good one. No further action was taken.

Finally, the Village of Sherman will hold a public hearing March 6 at 7 p.m. to discuss a proposal to override the 2 percent tax cap.

“That is something that has to be done yearly, we did it last year,” said Ann Gilbert, village clerk. “John (Patterson) wants to go ahead and do that again this year so we need a public hearing.”

Patterson explained to the board that the tax cap override is not something he wants to use, however it is beneficial to the village to have it in place.

“We have that tax cap override in place in case we need it. I don’t want to use it,” Patterson said. “I do want to have it in place in case we find out that we can’t make ends meet without another half a percent or a percent increase in taxes.”