January 19, 2021

Members Present:

Joe Sarnicola, Sarah Dibble, Glenn Thomas, Chuck Mason, Claire Lovell, Dan Orzechowski

Members Absent:

Tim Donovan, Peter Cramer

  • Call to order at 5:05 pm
  • Approve Previous Meeting’s Minutes
    • Joe made a motion to approve the minutes from December 14, 2020, with a date change to the minutes
    • Glenn seconded, unanimously approved
  • Officially Vote in Slate of 2021 Officers & New Members
    • Chair: Sarah Dibble
    • Vice Chair: Peter Cramer
    • Treasurer: Joe Sarnicola
    • Secretary: Claire Lovell
    • Member: Dan Orzechowski
    • Motion to approve the 2021 slate of officers made by Joe, seconded by Glenn, unanimously approved
  • Budget Update – Joe
    • Pete made one more purchase (fencing for $99) but it’s not yet on the ABC books.
    • One additional line is under programs & projects: $422.18 for plants ordered now that will be delivered in the spring.
    • Ending 2020 balance of $9,777.72
    • Claire made a motion to approve the 2021 budget, seconded by Chuck, unanimously approved. 
  • Review Tentative 2021 Budget
    • Delineate General Project Line Item Budget for 2021 Projects
    • Currently budgeted for $5,610, of which $2,360 remains for “general projects”
    • We already have buckets, grabbers, and bags for clean up projects.  We may need one more $20 grabber.  Sarah would donate boxes of gloves.
      • Annual Park Pick-up Day (already budgeted at $150)
      • Clean-up nature trail in Flemming/Dunning Ave
      • Clean-up West-End of Genesee Street (need clarification on exact place)
      • Clean- up of Y-Fields
      • Routine riverwalk cleanup
      • Routine Bonocore Park cleanup, Market Street Park, and Freedom Park
    • Planting at the triangle at the welcome to BID District – near St. Mary’s
      • Sarah will check with Stephanie Devito of the BID about permissions, in order to plant perennials, add landscaping paper, lay down mulch, and add a solar light (to match the other four Welcome to Auburn signs).
      • Sarah will email Pete for plant recommendations.
      • Glenn recommends that we plan to remove the solar lights before winter to keep them safe.
    • Clean Cross @ Veteran’s Park
      • The group isn’t sure if the cross is a stone that requires careful, professional cleaning, in which case we’ll need to get three quotes for cleaning it. Either way, we will need permission from the city before we touch the cross.
      • If it can be done with a power-washer, both Sarah and Glenn have personal power-washers.  Glenn suggests we could look into an anti-mold solution.
      • Chuck confirms that there’s a water hookup there.  He suggests we compile our list of project plans and then bring a comprehensive list of city-property projects to Mike Talbot, head of DPW, for his input and help with coordination.
      • The same would be true for planting Tulips or Snow Alyssum @ Veteran’s Park.
    • Do something with Arterial – Near Mark’s/Byrne Dairy 
      • Julie Liccion had started some application process with the state for the Z-club to do a pollinator garden.  This was prior to COVID.  The New York State Department of Transportation will need to be involved.  Sarah will ask Julie.
      • Chuck noted that the median, where there’s grass, is probably filled in with bad-quality fill, so planted trees would not be successful there.  
      • Given the barriers and complications, this will be a low priority for 2021.
    • Assist with funding/installation of Harriet Tubman Mural (on side of Nolan building)
      • This was way out of our budget, but we might do something as a token effort.
      • Laura Ullyette had contacted Joe initially, and he’ll follow up with her.
    • Adopt the corner flower garden in front of Wild’s on Genesee St.
      • Claire had planted some azaleas and other plants and found that the quality of soil was very poor, with only a few inches of dirt before finding large rocks.  Pete had shared a lot of helpful insight over email, noting that the spot is also difficult for plants because of the lack of sunlight.  Joe and Sarah suggest a rock garden or art installation instead.
      • Chuck added that this project should be brought up with Stephanie Devito of the BID.
    • Casey Park plywood figures
      • Joe got an email from the superintendent that they’re “still looking into it.” Joe will follow up in a few weeks if he doesn’t hear more.  
      • Joe suggested about $400 to be budgeted for this project if we can get the figures.
    • Historical Markers
      • Glenn will follow up about the possibilities for repainting chipped and faded signs.  There are certain colors to use, and the sign has to be treated properly.  Chuck noted that Seneca Falls had re-done many of their historical markers leading up to 2020 and would have a company name.
      • Claire brought up a new Legends and Lore marker program from the Pomeroy foundation.  Claire will email the link (Legends & Lore® Marker Grant Program | William G. Pomeroy Foundation ( 
      • Chuck mentioned that the city will find out in the spring if the Pomeroy Foundation will fund Women’s Suffrage markers that will be purple and white.
      • Chuck added that Cayuga County has one of the highest number of the markers, and the historian’s office is really good at keeping track of them.  However, more markers mean more maintenance.
    • Social Media presence
      • Sarah created an Instagram account for Auburn Beautification Commission: ABC (@aubbeautificationcom) • Instagram photos and videos. Dan will take it over, as that is his professional expertise.  Dan and Claire both suggest sticking with Facebook and Instagram, not bothering with Twitter.
      • Claire suggested we not just post our events and before-and-afters, but we also share and re-post pretty pictures from other Facebook groups and Instagram accounts, where possible. 
      • Claire made a motion to appoint Dan the social media coordinator, Joe seconded, unanimously approved. 
  • 2021 Fundraising Ideas & Planning
    • Claire had previously suggested re-selling young plants from the Cayuga County Conservation Plant Sale.  Pete had replied with a thoughtful email about just how young (and therefore delicate) those plants often were, so that re-selling them might not be feasible.  Claire will forward his information to the rest of the group to consider.
    • Could we do a scarecrow contest?  Sarah will look into the details of the inspiration contest.
    • ERHC – reselling tulip bulbs – but that Saturday weekly market might not happen this year, reports Chuck.
    • Joe suggests a coordinated yard sale when we’re able to do events again.
  • Schedule next meeting
    • Our next meeting will be Monday, February 8 at 5 pm.
  • Adjourn
    • Glenn made a motion to adjourn, seconded by Joe, unanimously approved at 5:54 pm

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