Klugo chastises board

Mary Perham
Chip Klugo warns the board the Masonic Temple project could halt due to parking issues on the street.

A $2.1 million renovation of the Masonic Temple on Pulteney Square could be scuttled unless more parking becomes available for future tenants.

Chip Klugo, the building’s owner and developer, told village trustees Monday a prohibition against parking on the street means he needs four more parking spaces needed for tenants

Klugo said village officials told him last fall parking would not be a problem. But since then, he has learned his tenants will not be able to park on the street at night, Klugo said.

The project, which is expected to include apartments and office space, now has four off-street parking spots.

Klugo told the board the project is as important to the village as it is to him, and asked the board to help him find solutions.

“This project has to succeed for you, too,” he said. “I’m not here to beg -- or to raise Cain… but this puts me up against the wall.”

Klugo said he is trying to work with nearby property owners to locate more off-street parking, but asked the village board for help.

Last fall, village officials applauded Klugo’s decision to buy the property from U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, and develop it into upstairs apartments and office space on the first floor. The project was backed by Restore NY funds, and was expected to be a keystone in the village’s economic growth.

Police Chief David Rouse said the village can’t relax its parking policy for one business or owner.

“We can’t do that,” Rouse said. “Do it for one and you’ve opened a whole Pandora’s box there.”

Street Supervisor Jeff Muller said the parking prohibition allows his department to clear the streets in the winter. He said village officials need to revisit the policy, which also could affect future development in the downtown area.

“Plowing is not the problem, it’s the snow removal,” Muller said.

Rouse said he will look at the overall impact of changing parking restrictions and report back to the village board.

Klugo said he hoped the village and he could work as a team to solve the issue.

“I’m just here to see what we can do,” Klugo said. “I just wanted to hash this through.”

In other action before the board, Geneva Street resident Bob Naples said he is concerned about conflicting village codes, which would have allowed Guthrie to build a hospital on his street but prevented the agency from building a clinic.

Naples said the area doesn’t need either another hospital or a new clinic, and said the project would have led to heavy congestion in the residential area. He told the village board there needs to be better communication between the village and residents who may be affected by potential projects.

Village Trustee Mark Bardeen agreed with Naples, adding the codes need to be amended or corrected.