Sept. 19, 2022

Auburn Beautification Commission

September 19, 2022 at Auburn Memorial City Hall

Present: Chuck Mason, Sue Secaur, Claire Lovell, Tim Donovan

  • Call to order at 5:01
  • Potential new members
    • Mike Novak, suggests Sue.  Monday evenings don’t work for him.  We’ve sent him some emails already so he might not be interested.
    • Members will ask friends and colleagues, especially in the school district.
  • Social Media
    • Claire asked to be added to the social media accounts.  She’ll ask Sarah over email.
  • Historical markers
    • Sue didn’t find any particularly bad ones.  However, she wasn’t able to be methodical.  Tim notes a bad one on State Street near the Welcome to Auburn sign (for the Irish cemetery there).
    • Chuck put up a graphic with a before and after view of the historical marker on Facebook and it got a lot of engagement.
    • Chuck will ask Mitch about the date mistake on the sign in front of the Seward House.  He’ll get an estimate from Tarjac to repaint the sign. He expects it to be $500-$600.
      • We could temporarily fix it up as the Seward House raises funds for a replacement (which is likely to be nearer to $10,000 because of the size). There may also be a temporary fix for the date mistake, if we’re creative.
      • The foundries are 4-6 months out for new signs.
    • Willard Chapel has a new sign coming from the Pomeroy Foundation.  The Seward Park sign just installed this summer was also through Pomeroy, applied for by the City.
    • Chuck notes that the Pomeroy Foundation suggests a cleaning day at the end of April, which will help with maintenance and longevity. 
  • Treasurer’s Report (Chuck)
    • Two checks written since the last meeting:
      • Custom accounting company, $140.50.  Over the course of a year, it’s about $1,000 for them and our board insurance for another $650-700.
      • $300 for sign company
  • Maintenance & Continuing Projects list
    • Franklin Street Triangle: weeding (put in brown bag), mulching
      • We just have to make sure to do this maintenance every spring.
    • South & Genesee Garden: more soil, mulch?, weeding
      • The Downtown Revitalization Initiative plans to open that space up for public art around 2024, so that garden might be torn out.  (The DRI funds are related to the bicycle statue coming to Freedom Park and the Skywoman sculpture going near William Street). 
    • Welcome to Auburn, Lake Ave: weeding, mulching
      • Glenn has taken care of the solar lights each spring and winter.
      • Joe used to do the mulch; we’ll do it in the spring.
    • Welcome to Auburn, East Genesee Street: weeding, mulching
      • Glenn has taken care of the solar lights
      • We’ll do mulch in the spring.  We’ll just grab some bags from Lowe’s.
    • Permaculture Park
      • This is Pete’s project but he’s very busy.  Claire will reach out and ask if he needs someone else to manage.  He has a group of volunteers.  We’ll ask him for direction in what he needs done.
    • Park Pick up Day
      • Around Earth Day every year. In 2023, it’ll be on Saturday the 22nd.
      • Chuck suggests we ask the county soil and water conservation agency about getting a lot of little saplings and give them out for free on Earth Day.  Seth, the director of Municipal Facilities, will open up the hydro facility to give tours this year.  We’ll make a really big deal out of this year.
    • Bulb Planting
      • Chuck notes that they do need to freeze, and maybe last winter wasn’t harsh enough.  It’s possible that the crocus will come up this year.
      • Tim suggests the island on Lincoln street and Loop Road for planting tulips.  He’d done some planting there about a decade ago.
      • The group brainstormed places around the northwest part of the city.  Tim mentioned the Wall Street playground is meant to be redone with CBDG funds in future years. 
      • The arterial will probably be fixed up in the next few years by the state.  North Street is also under the state’s purview but that’s not likely to be fixed up in the next few years.  
      • Aurelius bridge will be redone next year and Lake Ave in a few years.  
      • Claire will order 400 tulip bulbs and we’ll figure out where to plant them later.
    • Historical Markers
      • Cleaning! – end of April. We could start on that day and do sporadic marker cleaning through the month.
      • We’ll refer to them on
    • Seward Park sign
      • Chuck takes care of this every year, doing mulch and weeding.
      • Karen Bovey also helps with the garden around the Seward statue. 
  • Potential Projects
    • Welcome to Auburn on Route 38, into the city headed south.
      • It’s missing the N.  Claire’s efforts with the missing W on Lake Ave were a plop.  Chuck will ask Mike Talbot if the city replaced the W.
      • ABC paid for this one.  There’s not enough room to landscape.
    • Any others?
    • Tim notes that the Owasco RIver sign on the railing between Hunters Diner and Buonocore Park is missing; someone must have unscrewed it.  Chuck will add it to the list of things to ask Mike Talbot about.

Meeting adjourned at 6:18pm