At 9 a.m on Saturday, July 14, in the Hall of Philosophy, members of the Chautauqua Property Owners Association gathered for their first general meeting of the season.
CPOA President Barbara Brady opened with praise of the work done within the last year and an introduction of people who played a key role in doing that work, including Richard Parlato, director of Property Owners Who Rent, and Bill Neches, class B trustee for the Institution.
Brady spoke briefly about the area “porch parties,” which are small gatherings for residents and will be organized by each area’s representative. She said she hopes to offer more parties this season, as the four last year were incredibly successful.
“We are striving to have at least one porch party per area,” she said.
Brady then invited Neches, a member of the CPOA Outdoor Lighting Committee, to the stage to discuss the advancements in the decade-long process of replacing Chautauqua’s street lights.
A lighting contract between the Chautauqua Utility District and National Grid was finalized in December 2017. Currently, the initiative is awaiting approval by the New York Public Service Commission before the CUD can purchase 240 light fixtures from National Grid and begin installing new lights.
The original plan, Neches said, was to install 10 new lights — donated by a Chautauquan — along Pratt. Due to a delay in obtaining a temporary approval from National Grid, the company contracted to install the lights had limited time before the start of the season, and agreed to install one light, which can be seen in front of Hurlbut Church.
The Institution also installed one of the new lights in June in Odland Plaza, adjacent to the new gazebo.
When the new lighting fixtures are installed, they will be LED lights in an effort to save energy, reduce glare and work toward becoming a Dark Sky Community, which is defined by the International Dark Sky Association as “a town, city, or municipality that has shown exceptional dedication to the preservation of the night sky through the implementation and enforcement of quality lighting codes, dark sky education and citizen support of dark skies.”
Finally, President Michael E. Hill took the stage to discuss the developing strategic plan for the community, which includes a diversity and inclusion plan, a security assessment plan, positioning research, a strategic financial plan and a campus master plan that includes a golf course master plan and waterfront management plan.
Hill said that the Institution is still gathering information and comments to be compiled and sifted through in September, which he considers “the critical part of the strategic planning process.”
The Q-and-A that followed Hill’s description included thoughts and concerns about Spectrum and cable TV, inclusion of the art schools in the master strategic plan and more accessible bike racks.
Trish Beagle, CPOA member, said more bike racks were needed near the Hall of Christ because of the large crowds in the area at times.
The next and final CPOA general meeting of the season will take place at 9 a.m on Aug. 11 in the Hall of Philosophy. All are encouraged to attend, including non-members and non-homeowners.