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Albion looking to go wireless with downtown speakers

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 15 June 2013 at 12:00 am

ALBION – Village officials support bringing music to downtown Albion, but it won’t be a simple addition.

Town Councilman Jake Olles last month approached the village about adding the speakers. The town offered to pay for the speakers, using funds from its park budget. Olles said it would cost about $700 for 10 outdoor speakers.

Those speakers would have wire and would be attached on the light poles on East Bank Street. However, the poles already are at capacity with wires.

“They’re already full of wire,” Dale Brooks, the Department of Public Works superintendent, told the Village Board this week. “We can’t pull the wires through without hurting the other wires.”

Brooks and village electrician Rick Albright are looking at wireless speakers. They are expected to cost more.

The village may also need to pay to play copyrighted music. Albion could play songs in the public domain, but Mayor Dean Theodorakos said that might be similar to just playing “elevator music” in the downtown.

“We need to find out the costs for the speakers and then you get into what kind of music,” Theodorakos said. “There’s a lot to it.”

Trustee Pete Sidari said songs performed by the Albion jazz band and other local musical groups could be recorded and played.

Medina has the outdoor music system, and Trustee Kevin Sheehan believes it creates a nice atmosphere in the downtown.

“I liked it when I heard it in Medina,” he said.

In another initiative, the village is considering allowing alcohol on village property for special events only. Code Enforcement Officer Ron Vendetti noted the success of a wine-tasting event in Holley on June 1 at the community’s Canal Park.

Albion could try similar events, but would need to change its policy to allow for wine-tastings, as long as a permit is secured for a special event. Village attorney John Gavenda said he would check with Albion’s insurance provider to see if there is an impact in coverage and costs.