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FVA wants gates closed, separate funds

The Frontier Village Association at its Monday meeting agreed to take a dispute regarding a gated public road, and the organization's primary source of funding, to the Jamestown City Council and the voters.

The Frontier Village Association at its Monday meeting agreed to take a dispute regarding a gated public road, and the organization’s primary source of funding, to the Jamestown City Council and the voters.

At its Monday meeting the Frontier Village Association voted 6-0 to have members speak at the 5 p.m. Monday, March 5, City Council meeting at City Hall. FVA board members Jay Diemert and Kay Benson were not present.

Nellie Degen, FVA president, said communications have been sent to National Buffalo Museum asking that its staff open and close the shared access gate to Frontier Village during the off season. A Feb. 14 letter from the city attorneys to the National Buffalo Museum stated that the 2003 platt lease from the city to Frontier Village, designates Louis L’Amour Lane and a maintenance road as public right of way.

If the road is designated public access and the City Council decides it needs to remain open then the best course of action is to ask that the road be made exempt, Degen said.

“We can present our concerns to the City Council and ask them if they can do this amendment,” Degen said. “...we are duty bound make sure that it is protected.”

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Frontier Village merchant-tenant Tom Mueller and Frontier Fort owner Charley Tanata, were present to speak in favor of the gate. Mueller said there are no access issues with anyone else on the dead end road.

Tanata, a past FVA president, said there was a handshake agreement with the National Buffalo Museum board years ago. There haven’t been issues with the agreement to maintain gate security in the off-season until recently, he said.

Karen George, the manager of the stagecoach and pony ride at Frontier Village, said she would be concerned for the security of equipment if the gate were removed. In addition to theft and vandalism the site could attract RVs looking for somewhere to park and plug in overnight.

JoAnn Herrick, acting FVA vice president, said the lack of a gate could lead to “care, custody and control” issues regarding insurance policies. The lack of a gate could lead to liability issues should someone enter and get hurt when the village is closed, she said.

The FVA members said they would also prefer funding from the hotel and restaurant taxes to come direct from the city rather than applying for them through grants and Visitor’s Promotion Capital Construction Funds through Jamestown Tourism.

The board voted to present information to an attorney who would place the two issues into petition language in order to seek having the two issues as questions on the next primary election ballot.

(This article was corrected on March 1 to remove a factual error in a quote that stated that Frontier Village is a state historic site. Frontier Village is a tourism site and is not a state historic site. The article also states that FVA would be placed the next City Council agenda. The FVA issue discussed at this meeting is not on the March 5 meeting agenda, but an issue related to the FVA road is on the agenda.)

Related Topics: TOURISM
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