Long grass an issue in Sharon Springs


By Patsy Nicosia

Uncut lawns are costing a Sharon Springs B&B business.
Bruce Button, who owns the New York House on Center Street with his wife, Kelly, said Thursday it’s not a new issue, but when would-be customers see what’s become a hayfield at the corner of South Street “they just keep going.”
Sharon Springs is a community where people come to shop, eat, and stay, Mr. Button told Mayor Doug Plummer and trustees, but in his neighborhood, the Zoning Code isn’t being enforced equally or fairly.
It’s not for lack of trying, Mayor Plummer said and it’s one many communities are struggling with; the property is owned by a bank and when Code Enforcement Officer Cliff Dorrough has brought proceedings against the previous owner “they don’t show up. They say it’s in bankruptcy.”
In the past, Mayor Plummer said, the village crew would mow unmowed properties and then forward the bill to Schoharie County, which would apply the charge to unpaid property taxes and then reimburse the village.
But he said that’s now considered an illegal gift of services and they’ve been warned not to do it.
“And if we go in and just mow it, what stops everyone in town [from doing the same]?” he asked—a question the Village of Schoharie is also struggling with.
Mayor Plummer said the property is on the county’s possible foreclosure list and he expects to hear something on it by the end of July.
“Once the county takes it over, there’s someone to talk to,” he said.
“I haven’t got that much time,” Mr. Button answered. “I’ve got a lot of volunteers who’ve offered to mow it, but that’s not the point. I pay a lot of taxes.”
And, he pointed out, the county is investing a tremendous amount of money ns tourism.
In the end, Mr. Button may have found a way through the issue—even if it’s not the one he wants.
“So if it happens to get mowed, it’s not an issue?” he asked.
Not at all Mayor Plummer said.