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News from the Village

Village awarded $600,000 in grants for Community Development

December 19, 2019

On December 19, 2019, Governor Cuomo announced grant awards for the the 2019 Regional Council Competition. The Village of Perry was awarded a total of $600,000 for two projects to continue community and economic development in the Village.

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These two grants will assist the ongoing commitment of the Village Board, local businesses, Village staff, and residents in reinvesting and improving our community. The first grant will allow the Village to install an elevator and secondary egress in the Village Hall. This will provide community use to a large public hall space that has been underutilized for decades. The second grant is a continuation of the New York Main Street revitalization work that downtown Perry has seen. This grant targets several buildings on the south end of Main Street near Memorial Park that have largely stood vacant for decades. Grant money will provide assistance for commercial and residential redevelopment of those properties. The grant awards are $300,000 each.

The Village is excited about this recognition of the continued trust and investment our community has made in revitalizing our identity. We look forward to finalizing these grants and moving forward with these projects. Questions regarding these grants should be directed to the Matthew Jensen, Village Administrator. He can be reached at (585) 237-2216 or by email at

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Village Seeking Consultant for TAP Grant Project

October 8, 2019

The Village of Perry is seeking qualified firms with experience in engineering and landscape architectural design services as well as construction inspection services for a $1.2 million project in relation with the Transportation Alternatives Program grant program that was awarded the Village of Perry for a multi-use trail to connect the Perry Beach to downtown Perry. 

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The project proposes to take ideas from developed through the Silver Lake Trail Feasibility Study (SLTFS) and bring it into reality. Emphasis will be given to a rigorous and thoughful design process and not just a ceremonial implementation of the general guidelines outlined in the SLRFS.

Proposals will be due on Wednesday, October 30, 2019 at 2:00 PM. The following attachments provide information regarding the original application for the TAP grant. For more information on a bid, please contact Matt Jensen at or by calling the Village Hall at (585) 237-2216.


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Village to perform smoke test of Village sewer system

September 9, 2019

The Village of Perry Department of Public Works along with our engineering consultant, MRB Group will be conducting “Smoke Testing” in the sanitary sewer system beginning Monday September 16, 2019 and concluding on Friday October 4, 2019.


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A non-toxic smoke will be blown into the sewer system to reveal leaks that allow storm water and other surface waters to enter. Locating and correcting these leaks will conserve capacity in the sanitary sewer system.

The smoke is manufactured specifically for this purpose, leaves no residuals or stains, and has no effects on people, plants or animals. It has a distinctive, but not unpleasant, odor. The visible smoke and odor last only a few minutes, where there is adequate ventilation.

The smoke should not enter your home. However, if smoke does enter your home, any of the following items are the probable cause:

  • The vents connected to your building’s sewer lateral are inadequate, defective, or improperly installed.
  • The traps under sinks, tubs, basins, showers, floor drains, etc. are dry, defective, improperly installed, or missing.
  • The pipes, connections, and seals of the building’s sewer system are damaged, defective, have plugs missing, or are improperly installed.

During the days prior to Monday September 16, 2019, pour about 1-2 gallons of water down ALL drains in your home or building to ensure that traps are full.

If traces of the smoke or its odor enter your house or building, it is an indication that odor from the sewer system may also be entering. This can be unpleasant, dangerous, and a potential health hazard. The location, identification, and correction of the source of any smoke entering your house is urgently advised.

We have attached to this letter, a list of frequently asked questions regarding smoke testing of sanitary sewers.

We can provide assistance in locating the source of smoke entering your house. However, correction of any defects in the pipes and sewer on private property is the responsibility of the owner. If smoke is observed in your home and the source is not readily identified or you have any questions, please call the Village of Perry Village Hall at (585) 237-2216 for assistance.


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Tree Board to hold Open House for Village Tree Inventory Report

August 26, 2019

The Village of Perry Tree Board will host an open house on Wednesday, September 4, 2019, at 7 p.m. to present the findings of an inventory of street and park trees.

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The inventory, conducted this summer by a certified arborist, is the first task of a Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Urban Forestry Grant. A management plan is the second task provided by the grant.


Tree Board members will present key findings of the inventory, including the number of trees and tree planting spaces, species breakdown, disease threats and tree condition. Importantly, the inventory highlights the many benefits of trees to the Perry community and initial steps to care for the village’s trees.


Residents' questions about and suggestions for the village’s “urban forest” are an important part of the grant and the tree board’s efforts.


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Village Park Paving Project

August 20, 2019

Village will be performing asphalt pavement replacement work at Village Park.

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The Village has contracted with Midland Asphalt to perform a full depth reclamation project on the pavement in the Village Park. This approach grinds up the existing asphalt layers and mixes it together with fresh rock and a polymer base to create a solid foundation for new pavement. Initial work will begin on Wednesday, August 21st. Two days of grinding will take place to provide a base. A second phase of work will occur the first week of September which will include laying a chip seal on the new surface. The resulting roadway will be similar to what work took place at the Warsaw Village Park last year. The surface will be smooth, pothole free, and will have a small gravelly type consistency over the winter. The Village anticipates following up with an additional layer of asphalt during June of 2020 depending on the results of the full depth reclamation effort. 

We appreciate residents and visitors patience and understanding as the Village takes this necessary step to improve the roadway through the Park and establish a firm base for road work for decades to come. Please contact the Village Hall with any questions or concerns.

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Notice for Bids - Perry Public Beach Improvement Project

August 2, 2019

The Village of Perry is seeking bids from qualified construction firms for work on the Perry Public Beach.

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The attached document provides information for acquiring bid information and submission of bid packets. The project has a budgeted amount of $685,000 with funding coming from two grants, one sizable donation from Perry Rotary, and other fundraising options to supplement the Village's own investment. Bids will be due on August 27th at 2:00 PM. SWBR is the managing architect for the project.

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Wood Chips Not Available in 2019

June 21, 2019

Many residents are awaiting news of the annual free wood chips pick up that the Village provides during June. Unfortunately, this year those will not be available.

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The piles that the Village has will be required as part of the sewer plant processing this year and as such the Village does not have surplus to provide the public. We regret the inconvenience and hope that this service to our community may be renewed in the future. 

Please contact Village Hall at 237-2216 with any questions or concerns.

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2018 Water Quality Report

May 22, 2019

The Village of Perry presents its 2018 Water Quality Report. 

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This report, as required by state regulators, represents the statistical information on treatment and distribution of water throughout the Village. The Village appreciates the ongoing efforts of its employees that work diligently to maintain water quality levels above minimum standards and provide a clean, fresh tasting experience to all our customers.

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Perry to Engage in Urban Forest Inventory

May 15, 2019

Funded through a NYSDEC Urban Forest Grant, the Village of Perry has contracted with Wendel Architecture to inventory and identify the health and status of trees on Village property and Village right of way areas.

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This project anticipates inventory efforts of nearly 1,225 trees along the Village streets and parks. This inventory will be used to provide a database for managing the ongoing health of the Village's tree canopy. The first step of this project will include a certified arborist to physically inspect and categorize trees during June and July of 2019. We ask property owners, pedestrians, and drivers to have patience as these professionals will be walked the streets and parks of the Village. 

Please contact Matt Jensen at the Village Hall with any questions.

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Clean Sweep 2019

May 2, 2019

Join the Village of Perry, Holiday Lights, and Perry Rotary in the annual Clean Sweep service project on May 18, 2019 at 9:30 AM. 

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Citzens of all ages, business owners, and not-for-proft groups all pitch in and lend a hand to beautfy our great community. The “Sweep” will take  place at the Village Park and other locatons around the Village of Perry. Projects include paintng/staining, carpentry, general landscaping, trash pickup, along with general cleanup in various areas. Community groups are encouraged to partcipate!

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RFP for Downtown Redevelopment Opportunities

April 29, 2019

Two Main Street properties that has been vacant for some time has been given over to the Village of Perry. The Village is seeking parties interested in securing one or both of the properties and bringing them back to usable condition.


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As such, the Village is posting a Request for Redevelopment Proposals. The properties are located at 58 South Main (commonly call the Old Post Office) and 59-61 South Main (commonly called the Old Sears building). Interested parties should review the RFPs below and submit proposal packages by 2:00 PM on May 29, 2019. Questions may be directed to Matt Jensen by phone at (585) 237-2216 or by email at

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Public Information Meeting for Proposed Sewer Rates

January 17, 2019

The Village of Perry will be holding a public information meeting on January 24th, 2019, 7:00 PM at the Perry Fire Department's Recreation Hall in the Village Park.

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Discussions will revolve around the need to increase sewer rates to update the Waste Water Treatment Facility. The current facility is over 40 years old, is in sore need of update, and does not meet compliance standards that are being introduced by state and federal regulators. The total cost of the project will be $10 million which will come from user fees and state grant monies. The attached Notice PDF shows the proposed rate change. 

A formal public hearing will be held in April 2019 to finalize consideration of proposed sewer rates. Additional information on that hearing process will be posted at least 30 days prior to the meeting and publicized in local newspapers.

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Village Beach Improvement Survey

October 11, 2018

The Village is pursuing a master plan and design plans for improvements at the Village Beach. A web survey is now available to allow public input and direction for the steering committee to consider over the next few months.

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The Village invites all interested parties to participate in the survey that will help craft the discussion of what the priorities are for the coming project and beyond. The initial kick-off meeting for the steering committee will be held on October 16th but this survey will be open throughout the following weeks to gather information and comments. Please take some of your time to help the Village understand your needs and goals for this project!

The survey can be found at thr following link:

More information will be made available on this website under the Initiatives tab.

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Curbside Leaf Bags and Brush Pick-Up

June 26, 2018

In order to keep our neighborhoods clean and to increase work efficiency at our Department of Public Works, the Village of Perry is reminding residents that leaf bags and brush pick up will occur only on the first week of each month through October.

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Here are a few specific instructions for bags and brush pick up:

  • Bags and brush should be placed out near the curb the weekend before the first week of the month (i.e. June 30th for the first week of July). Owners putting bags and brush out during others weeks will receive a warning notice, asked to remove the bags and brush, and could be open to citation.
  • Please do not pile bags and brush next to trees, poles, hydrants, or any other fixed obstacles. Brush piles should not be over 5 feet long.
  • The Village is not responsible for picking up whole trees or trees that were cut down by contractors.
  • Bagged leaves must be in brown biodegradable bags. Leaves that are in plastic bags will not be picked up. Bags loaded with dirt and soil will not be picked up.
  • Bulk leaves will not be picked up until this fall.
  • Please do not rake leaves, stones, or grass clippings into the street or catch basins.

Please call Village Hall at (585) 237-2216 for any questions or concerns.

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Standard Work Day and Reporting Resolution

June 6, 2018

The Office of the New York Comptroller requires the Village to post information regarding work hours for elected and appointed officials.

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The following report presents the information for Village employees matching the requirements for the report. Please address any questions to Gail Vosburg at 237-2216.


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2018 - 2019 Village Tentative Budget Approved

March 19, 2018

The Tentative Budget for the fiscal year running from June 1, 2018 through May 31, 2019 has been approved and is available for public review.

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The Village of Perry Board of Trustees has adopted the 2018-2019 Tentative Budget and is making it available for public review and input. The budget document is available in PDF form as shown below. A public hearing will be held on April 2, 2018 at 8:00 PM. The Board of Trustees invites all interested parties to attend and comment on the budget during that forum. Any immediate questions on the budget can be addressed by Matt Jensen, Village Administrator. Matt can be reached at 237-2216.

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Arbor Day Foundation Names Perry Tree City USA

March 14, 2018

Village of Perry earns Tree City USA from Arbor Day Foundation.

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Perry, N.Y., was named a 2017 Tree City USA by the Arbor Day Foundation in honor of its commitment to effective urban forest management.

Perry achieved Tree City USA recognition by meeting the program’s four requirements:a tree board or department, a tree care ordinance, an annual community forestry budget of at least $2 per capita, and an Arbor Day observance and proclamation.

“Tree City USA communities see the impact an urban forest has in a community first hand,” said Dan Lambe, Arbor Day Foundation president. “Additionally, recognition brings residents together and creates a sense of community pride, whether it’s through volunteer engagement or public education.”

“Less than one in five municipalities have achieved this Tree City USA status,” said Dr. Dan Zerbe, Village of Perry Tree Board chairman. “As a tree board we are proud of what this designation says about our community.  Our village board and our residents recognize the magnificence of trees, especially street trees, and want to preserve and increase the number and variety of trees in our beautiful village for the future.”

Trees provide multiple benefits to a community when properly planted and maintained. They help to improve the visual appeal of a neighborhood, increase property values, reduce home cooling costs, remove air pollutants and provide wildlife habitat, among many other benefits.

The Village of Perry formed a tree board in November 2015. Since its formation, the board has taken multiple actions to enhance the village’s tree population. It developed the necessary documents, such as a local law and a tree master plan. That document aids in prioritizing the planting, maintenance and replacement of trees on village rights-of-way and public spaces. The board developed Tree Standards and Specifications that includes a comprehensive list of recommended trees. It has also reached out to residents asking them to request replacement trees where compromised ones have been removed.

The tree board received a New York State Urban Forestry Council Arbor Day Community Grant in 2016. With those funds the village purchased nine trees that tree board members planted in the village park. The tree board also applied for a NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Urban Forest Grant to conduct a comprehensive inventory of village trees and their conditions. The village did not receive that grant, so tree board members conducted their own “windshield tree survey” of all village streets.

In addition to Dr. Zerbe, Village of Perry Tree Board members are village employee Andrew Lowry, student representative Levi Hauser, Felisa McKay, Robin Redding, Lori Schofield, Steve Townes and village trustee Eleanor Jacobs. The board will plan a spring Arbor Day event to celebrate receiving the Tree City USA designation. To learn about that event and for more information about the Village of Perry Tree Board,  see the village website: Search for Tree Board.

More information on the Tree City USA program is available at

About the Arbor Day Foundation: The Arbor Day Foundation is a million-member nonprofit conservation and education organization with the mission to inspire people to plant, nurture and celebrate trees.

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Mayor's Column - Where do my Village taxes go?

February 22, 2018

I hear that question pretty regularly. Prior to the start of my public service, I wondered it myself and had only the vaguest notions of how our tax money was divided and used. After all, reading that “this year’s budget included $2,482,093 of general fund appropriations” doesn’t really bring it home...

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I hear that question pretty regularly. Prior to the start of my public service, I wondered it myself and had only the vaguest notions of how our tax money was divided and used. After all, reading that “this year’s budget included $2,482,093 of general fund appropriations” doesn’t really bring it home.

On the other hand, scouring the 640 itemized rows of numbers known as our Village Budget may technically answer the question, but does not address the spirit in which it is usually asked. 

So, with the help of my colleagues at the village, I’ve put together a different way of answering the question: “Where Do My Tax Dollars Go?”. I hope this helps! 

What Does $100 Buy? 

If you own a median-priced home in Perry it’s assessed at about $78,000, and you pay $1200 per year in village taxes. That’s convenient - Mr. and Mrs. Median Homeowner therefore pay $100 per month to support the services of the village. 

Regardless of whether you happen to be Mr. or Mrs. Median Homeowner, for every $100 you pay in village taxes, over $90 of it is spent on six things: Public Works, Law & Order, Parks & Recreation, Emergency Services, Insurance and the Administration/Management of them all. Here’s how it breaks down: 

Public Works: For $32/month... 

  • Your streets are plowed, paved, patched, swept, striped, signed and trimmed at intersections, catch basins and curb boxes are replaced, and the village assists property owners via sidewalk plowing (and resultant lawn repair) 
  • Your brush and leaves are regularly picked up, snow piles removed, trees trimmed, removed and replaced. 
  • Your sidewalk replacement costs are shared by the village if you participate in the Sidewalk Express program, street-tree-heaved sections are replaced when reported, and annual replacement work is undertaken on the most needy sections. 
  • Municipal buildings, property and equipment are regularly maintained and kept in good repair. 
  • There are always special projects (like the Splash Park, or portions of village storm drainage improvements), emergency response efforts (like frozen waterlines or flood repair), and utilities coordination with new and expanding businesses (like East Hill Creamery or Creative Foods). 

Law & Order (Police and Courts): For $28.40/month... 

  • Your streets are patrolled by 4 full-time plus part-time officers. Each month on average, 300 calls are received, 100 summons issued, and about 12 arrests made (about two are felonies, the rest misdemeanors). About $500/month of stolen property is recovered. 
  • Nightly patrols include business and locked-door checks. 
  • Your needs, anxieties and complaints are addressed - for example each month averages 10 harassment calls, 10 animal complaints, 10 suspicious person calls and15 lockouts. And your officers also assist other agencies and are usually the first to arrive on scene - this happens roughly 35 times each month. 
  • Your special events are given extra support, such as parades, festivals, 5K’s, and holidays. 
  • A safe speed limit is enforced 

Management: For $12.60/month..

  • Day-to-day oversight of staff, projects, budget, bills. 
  • Your calls, concerns and visits are handled, routed and addressed, financial, tax and budget matters are reviewed, collected and prepared. This year, a new village website was launched.
  • +/- 22 employees managed, including payroll, benefits, and support.  

Parks & Recreation: For $6.80/month... 

  • Your Village Park, Barney Kalisz Park, Memorial Park and the Village Beach are maintained. This includes ball field maintenance, tennis and basketball courts, track, pavilions, skate cabin, bathrooms and overall property. 
  • Your splash park is operated, supported and maintained. 
  • Your summer recreation, soccer and tennis programs are supported. 
  • Your senior programs are supported. 
  • Flower baskets and planters downtown are provided and maintained; seasonal decorations, lights and banners are hung, and weed control is taken care of. 
  • Your community festivals, tournaments and events are supported and assisted. 

Emergency Services: For $6/month... Your remarkable volunteer fire department is sheltered, equipped, supported and maintained with a variety of trucks and gear, in order to respond effectively and safely to emergencies including fires, accidents, carbon monoxide or hazardous materials scares, extrications, flooded basements, and more, all with an average en route time of under 3 minutes. (Ambulance service is currently being reconstituted under the Town and supported with Town taxes.) 

Insurance: For $5/month... The other $95/month of your tax dollars are protected against lawsuits and accidents. 

Zoning: For $2.25/month... Your Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals are supported by a part-time officer, who also helps enforce your laws, along with a part-time property maintenance officer and a zoning clerk. Your zoning law is being updated (otherwise this category will cost less). Legal help is also involved. 

Street Lights: For $2.10/month... Your village streets are lit at night. 

Engineering & Grant-Writing: For $1.50/month... Your village infrastructure and DPW is supported through reports, designs, and construction drawings that are prepared by engineering consultants, and often covered in part by funding secured by a grant-writer. 

Computer Support/Systems: For $0.90/month... Back-up and maintenance, encryption, security service, website, email, hardware, software and support are provided for all village data including police and courts. 

Village Hall: For .80/month... Your Village Hall is maintained, repaired, electrified, heated and cooled. 

Audits: For .75/month... An outside auditor annually reviews all the books, transactions, and revenue for signs of fraud, discrepancies, or accounting errors. This includes court audits that involve sending verification letters to those who have paid fines. 

Village Board Stipends: For .50/month... Your Village Trustees, Deputy Mayor and Mayor oversee all this, help develop and review policy and annual budgets, plan for the future, and respond to citizen concerns. As mayor I attend 15-20 meetings each month and your trustees each attend 5-10, including regular and special meetings of the board, committees, negotiations, reviewing of vouchers for payment, and managerial, employment or legal matters. 

Communication/Notices: For .40/month... You are provided with information about your village; legal notices about the actions of village/planning/zoning boards; regular advertising to raise awareness of important village laws, planned projects, services, policies and dates. 

So, those are the facts, in simplified form. (For example, water and sewer costs are paid for out of user fees and thus not reflected here. Also, there are some other revenue sources other than property taxes). I hope this helps you better understand what our tax dollars buy and give insight into the relative costs and benefits of living in the village. 

Of course, I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that your village tax rate is 4% lower now than it was in 2010. For context, other villages in our county have seen their rates increase between 6% and 27% during that time; while the county tax rate has had to increase 19% since 2014. As I mentioned in last month’s “state of the village”, your board has focused investments on infrastructure, growing our tax base, and efforts to restore population. All while continuing a policy of a flat or declining tax rate. The goal? A vibrant, well-managed, fiscally sustainable village that can continue to provide a high level of services, while keeping our village taxes in line. 

Many of us just received preliminary assessments from the Town Assessor. She operates independently of the village, town, school or county. I’d say her challenging job is to calibrate property values with actual market value. So by all means sit down with the assessor to discuss your assessment (I do). But if the town assessor and/or grievance board concludes that properties’ values are going up (a good thing) because of demonstrated investment, demand, and the market, please know that will simply allow us at the village to lower the tax rate some more, and still take in the revenue needed to keep up all these services. That’s been the practice of your village board, and it’s also my pledge. 

-by Rick Hauser, Mayor

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2018 State of the Village

January 27, 2018

Somehow I blinked, and now I’ve been mayoring for five years. But when I think about the big strides we’re taking as a village, the progress on the goals we enumerated five years ago, and all the efforts by our terrific staff and community volunteers, it sometimes seems instead that much more time has elapsed. Thank you for the opportunity to continue to serve.  —Rick Hauser, Mayor

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Restore Population, Revisited

When I started, we set our sights on one primary theme: Restore Population, and with the indisputable fact that our village had been losing population for 20 years – from 4,215 in 1990, to 3,673 in 2010. That’s 542 fewer people here, volunteering, contributing to our tax base, investing in our homes, starting businesses or supporting existing ones. The concern was that if this trend continued, then when 2013’s newborns were high school seniors we would be living in a village with 25% fewer people than when 2013’s high school seniors were born. Even maintaining our current services as a village would be challenging, and as these were cut and as pressure on property taxes rose, we would be at a competitive disadvantage - creating a vicious cycle rather than a virtuous cycle.

As a result, many of our efforts - investing in our infrastructure, our downtown, promoting fresh economic development partnerships, recruiting business, identifying recreational amenities in which to invest - have had this goal in mind of restoring population and jumpstarting a virtuous cycle. The 2020 census will be as good a measuring stick of our success as any - will we have reversed the loss and returned to the population levels of 2010 by then? If so, we’ll be on solid footing. 

Positive Signs

There are lots of good indicators. We have recovered from the loss of large manufacturing with many new, diversified businesses. At each gateway to the village we have major employers – some new, some recently expanded, some acquired, reorganized and saved. And if “downtown” were a business it would be the one with the most new jobs, adding roughly 85 jobs there in the past decade or so. 

Growing Regional Partnerships

We have strengthened our reputation as a regional recreation destination, and built partnerships not only with Wyoming County  but with Geneseo and Mount Morris through the Letchworth Gateway Villages (LGV) Initiative launched last year. The County’s Rural Arts Initiative (RAI) has provided funds to support 11 artists throughout Wyoming County, eight of whom have studio or business space in Perry related to dance, theater, photography, ceramics and the visual arts. The County’s FastTrac Entrepreneurship training, and the County Chamber both continue to support our small- and start-up businesses. Meanwhile, LGV had a great first year and is funded for year two thanks to the USDA, the three villages and their respective towns. The initiative already has provided business assistance and developed strategic direction for the future based in part on results of a summer-long survey of Letchworth Park visitors and what they’re looking for (One example: if you’re interested in being an AirBnB host, let me know - we’ll be helping folks get established in 2018 to host visitors, earn some income, and encourage those visitors spend more time locally). 


We’ve seen millions of dollars of private investment in new and expanded factories and equipment in the past four years. One example? Creative Food Ingredients - our progressive, meticulous and delicious-smelling cookie (ingredient) factory - is in the midst of its second multi-million dollar facilities upgrade in the past 4 years; each has resulted in job opportunities that are largely filled locally. Newer businesses - such as East Hill Creamery and Silver Lake Brewing Project - have become regional models, hosting tours and inspiring the next generation of new enterprises.  Like our established businesses, they also benefit from loyal locals like you, who walk the walk when it comes to “shop locally”.  Plus, Perry broke through regionally via “destination tourism”-themed publicity, with multi-page spreads last summer in the Democrat & Chronicle and (585) Magazine.

This all isn’t just great news for jobs and the economic ripple effect. Let’s talk numbers. We’ve seen over $20 million of investment in properties over the past three years. The Village of Perry has led Wyoming County in the number of building permits issued, and in the total cost of construction. Increased demand from homebuyers have resulted in the median home sale price increasing 9% over one year ago, while the inventory of homes for sale has dropped 22%. 

Over the next 5, 10 and 15 years, it is investments like these that stabilize our tax base and allow us to maintain a high level of village services while lowering your tax rate. On that front - so far, so good: your village tax rate is 2% lower than it was 9 years ago,. By way of comparison, neighboring villages have seen their rates increase by 7%, 16%, 22% and 28% during that time. 

The village continues to invest in its infrastructure too. We are poised this spring to complete the latest $700,000 drainage improvement project, this time on South Main Street. These drainage projects not only keep basements from flooding. They also deal with serious interconnection problems between our stormwater collection system and our sanitary (wastewater) treatment plant. When stormwater finds its way to the plant, we waste resources treating it, and sometimes it overloads our capacity. 

To that end, we’re in the midst of a $7 million investment in our wastewater treatment plant. Phase I is almost complete and Phase II will happen over the next year or so. In 2016, we completed $1.4 million of work via the Main Street Improvement Project fixing drainage, replacing streetlights and sidewalks, creating a more accommodating pedestrian environment, and helping re-activate downtown’s traditional role as a civic and commercial center.  In 2017 we completed $200,000 of road paving and sidewalk repair/replacement,  hitting streets based on an updated condition survey. Sidewalk-wise, Covington, Leicester, Church, North and South Main were the main targets, along with neighbors who signed up for the village’s Sidewalk Express program. The village plans to allocate more funding towards paving and sidewalks in 2018.

Businesses and Buildings

In 2017 alone, you witnessed the renovation of no fewer than 18 commercial spaces or facades in the downtown alone (yes, 18; that’s not a misprint); throughout the village seven new businesses opened and five more expanded, relocated and grew employment. 

In 2018, 11 additional upper-floor residential units will be coming online, and my best guess is we will see at least seven more new businesses opening this year. The Village plays our part in all this - supporting and connecting entrepreneurs and existing owners with resources, seeking and administering grant programs that help owners take the leap and invest their own substantial dollars and sweat into their properties. We also just launched the Building Improvement Loan (BIL) fund to help commercial properties needing investment. Inquire within.

Take Stock, Abate, Enforce, Assist

We undertook a vacant parcel inventory to better understand our potential assets and be poised to recruit developers. The proposed Perry Knitting Mill Apartments is one result of being prepared when developers come knocking - final word on funding for that project will happen this spring. It would add 48 fully accessible housing units aimed at seniors and veterans, an identified need in our comprehensive plan, plus millions invested in a former factory that had an uncertain future, and add annual payments to the village and town to support emergency services and fire truck replacement needs. We’re now working with the Center on Leicester Street owners on a plan to create up to 10 additional apartments on the largely vacant 1st floor.

Another component of making Perry a place of choice for residents is an expectation that reasonable standards of property maintenance that are currently law - in order to protect property value and prevent blight - will be enforced. Over three years ago we added a part-time property maintenance officer. In the short time since, over 160 property owners have completed related work, and another 93 are in process. Thank you to everyone for stepping up as part of this community-wide effort. 

On the incentive side, we’ve adopted property tax abatements and supported County-led PILOTS (Payments-In-Lieu-Of-Taxes) that give owners of residential and mixed-use properties a way to defer increases in their property’s assessed value that would result from improvements. Yes, that’s right - if you make improvements to your home that increases its value, the village will abate any increase in property taxes for a period of eight years.

These recruitment tools, incentives and heightened expectations of basic standards were augmented by $400,000 over the past few years in funding the Village obtained to assist income-qualified owners with essential repairs to single-family, owner-occupied homes throughout the village. That program helped two dozen homeowners and has been closed out. If you think you’d be interested in a “Round 2”, please leave contact information with the village clerk. When we have enough demonstrated demand to re-apply, we will do so. 


With broad citizen involvement, we rewrote the comprehensive/strategic plan for the village and are following its priority action plan. This guiding document is also now helping us with the updating of our village zoning laws to help guide and direct future development, and what our community will look like. We’ve been at that for 18 months and are looking to finalize things this spring.

Wherever funding exists to support building owners and developers with planned improvements, your village has stepped up to pursue it on their behalf. That’s why you saw significant private-sector investment in buildings throughout Perry in 2017, including downtown where a $500,000 Restore New York Grant is helping with over $1.5 million worth of investment on the long-vacant N. Main block, and a $275,000 New York Main Street Program assisted a dozen other property owners with renovations and facade work. Some new Letchworth Park and Historic District signage just went up as a result of that program as well. Did you spot them?

Jumpstarting the Virtuous Circle

All of this takes us back to the goal of jumpstarting a virtuous cycle of investment. Such investment in improved conditions (infrastructure, appearance and amenities) strengthens your community’s image, resulting in improved market demand, which in turn strengthens your tax base and thus your village’s fiscal capacity to continue to invest while keeping taxes lower. That is a recipe for long-term success - and we are nothing if not in it for the long haul.

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Building Improvement Loan Program Adopted

January 2, 2018

The Board of Trustees has passed a resolution restructuring the Building Improvement Loan (BIL) Program. This program aims to help property owners improve the appearance and physical structure of qualifying properties. 

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Two different projects types are expected to be available for funding:

Façade Renovation - This program includes projects that address the structural repair, maintenance, and preservation for street-facing exteriors of commercial, industrial, historical, and landmark buildings within the Village. Loans range from $500-$2,500.

Adaptive Reuse – This program includes construction efforts that re-use a pre-existing building or site within the Village for a purpose other than what it was originally built or designed for or to significantly update the physical nature of the building to improve utilization of the space. Loans range from $2,500-$25,000.

Application forms are available through the Clerk's Office and online

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Silver Lake Trail Feasibility Study

March 15, 2017

The Silver Lake Trail Feasibility Study is a long-ranged strategic goal for connecting Silver Lake to Letchworth State Park via a walkable trail for resident and visitor enjoyment.

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The purpose of the Silver Lake Trail Feasibility Study is to develop and evaluate concepts and alternative route scenarios for a 11+/- mile trail that would connect Letchworth State Park and the Genesee Valley Greenway to the Village of Perry and Silver Lake via the Silver Lake Outlet. This multi-use trail will take advantage of existing roadways where appropriate, optimizing them for bike travel. It will also include an existing multi-use trail, and incorporate several small informal trails in its design. The Silver Lake Trail could serve as a jumping off point for an even more extensive trail system, which could potentially include several large connected loops, including a trail around Silver Lake.

Project goals include:

  • Increased pedestrian and bicycle transportation access and safety in the project areas
  • Improved transportation choices between the communities and the two state parks served by the prospective trail
  • Enhanced and increased use of key existing public spaces along the trail including the public beach
  • Increased emphasis on the Perry area as a nearby tourist destination for visitors to Letchworth State Park.
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Tree Law Adopted

February 21, 2017

The Board of Trustees has adopted a Tree Law and established an advisory Tree Board.

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It is the purpose and intent of this law to promote and protect the public health, safety and general welfare by providing for the regulation of the planting, maintenance and removal of trees within the Village of Perry which are on Village property or within the right-of-way of any public street.  It is also the purpose of this law to establish and maintain diversity of tree species and maximize tree canopy through tree planning and preservation.


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Zoning Update

May 31, 2016

The Village Board appointed a Zoning Committee to update the ordinance to better reflect the goals and objectives developed in the 2015 Comprehensive Plan.

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Perry has an Official Book, Henry Loves Hills

October 1, 2015

A new book titled 'Henry Loves Hills' has been selected as Perry's Offical Book. It is a tale of a school bus named Henry who travels the rolling hills of the scenic Perry area, safely delivering children to school and home. Henry, driven by Ed, confronts and overcomes his biggest challenge during a raging January snow storm, inspired by the Blizzard of 1977. Sally Snowplow helps out.

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The book is written by Perry native Patrick Brennan and loosely recounts an experience he had on a school bus ride during the Blizzard of '77. Dan Butler, Perry resident, illustrated the book.

Perry's Official Book is a project of Read Around Perry, a Perry Rotary Initiative, and the Town of Perry Bicentennial Committee.

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Comprehensive Plan Adopted

September 30, 2015

The Village of Perry adopted a new Comprehensive Plan on September 21, 2015. The final adopted plan and supporting documents prepared throughout the project can be found online.

Masonic Temple in Spring
Perry Public Library, home of the Stowell-Wiles Gallery
His 'N Hers & Jake's Barber Shop on Main Street
Looking South from Burlingham Books, on Main Street
Rachel says Hello! from Olive & Ink, on Main Street
Arts Council for Wyoming County, on Main Street
Artworks by PCS kids on display at the Wyoming County Fair
A sunset over Silver Lake in Winter
Reading at the Bookstore
Read Around Perry (RAP) 5K Medals
Pitching in at the Village Park on Clean Sweep Day
Hold onto your Last Night Perry!
Hello Honeycombers!
Milk! on Main Street.
Reading with Rotary, oh my!