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Triplets by John Tucker

OP-ED: Seneca Street Bridge homeless camp concerns

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“Now we have God knows who living under a bridge just yards away from a peaceful quiet neighborhood? Seriously?”

To the Village of North Hornell:

I have enjoyed living in the Village for over 20 years now. Never in these decades have I had a reason to cite a formal complaint, until now. While walking our dogs in Barillo Memorial Park this afternoon I noticed a homeless camp under the Seneca Street bridge. I found this to be a highly unusual and potentially dangerous situation.

The news is literally filled with stories of how allowing such camps to take root has led to the deterioration and destruction of the town.  I loved raising our kids here as I never worried about them being outside riding their bikes and playing. Now we have God knows who living under a bridge just yards away from a peaceful quiet neighborhood? Seriously?

They say if you see something say something, so I did. On calling the Village office I learned the fact that a homeless camp exists in our fair Village is quite well known and has been for months! I was handed the usual platitude of “its public property and there is nothing we can do.”  Spoken like a good little lazy bureaucrat.

Here is something: In less than a ten-minute online search I found three non-confrontational methods that have successfully removed the vagrants that thought to move in uninvited to other towns.

  1. In one town the nursery rhyme “Baby Shark” was played in a loop over several nights to make the homeless move away. (1)
  2. In another cold showers were automatically activated so homeless people could not sleep on town property. (2)
  3. Another town used solar powered animal repellant and ultrasonic deterrents. (3)

Town board members, please feel free to use any or all these measures to take back our town. You ran for office, so it is on you to deal with such issues. I beseech you to do so as soon as practicable. As an incentive I will close with this, let this note serve as notice both public and private that I have advised you of a potentially dangerous situation. Having had such notice the town could be held liable for any harm that comes to person or property as a result of your inaction.


Frank C. Kilcoyne

444 Cleveland Avenue

Hornell, New York

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