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Albion hires program coordinator to work with businesses

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 27 October 2013 at 12:00 am

Photo by Tom Rivers – Sid Beaty dressed up as SpongeBob SquarePants and helped plan the Beggar’s Night event Friday in downtown Albion. She is pictured with her dog Archie, named for the family’s seasonal home on Archbald Road.

ALBION – The two-month trial run is over. Sid Beaty is hired.

The Village Board voted to add Beaty to the village staff as a program coordinator, working to promote businesses in the community in the downtown and on Route 31.

She worked two months for free with local businesses, planning events, including a shopping tour and Beggar’s Night event that was on Friday. She also has been developing a concert series for next year and submitted a grant to the local arts council to help pay for the entertainment.

“All the feedback we’ve got has been very positive,” said Mayor Dean Theodorakos. “She is truly an asset and it would be great to keep her.”

The board voted last week to hire Beaty as an independent contractor for $10,000 a year. She will be paid about $800 a month beginning Nov. 1 and the position will run until May 31, when the village fiscal year ends. Theodorakos and the board said they would look at continuing the position in 2014-15 based on the village budget talks in April. Beaty works out of the village office.

Carolyn Ricker, president of the Albion Merchants Association, urged the board to bring her on staff to help coordinate some of the events in the community.

Beaty, in the part-time role, wants to look at other longer-range projects in Albion, including the possibilities of historic walking trails, a downtown farmers’ markets and other events to promote the community.

“We’re trying to draw people down here to increase the critical mass for the businesses,” Ron Vendetti, the village code enforcement officer, told the Village Board. “If you want viable businesses here you have to help them.”

Beaty is working on events for the upcoming holiday season as well as helping with the Christmas decorations for the downtown.

Beaty dressed as SpongeBob SquarePants on Friday as part of the Beggar’s Night. She isn’t a stranger to the area. Her parents, Anne and Bruce Beaty, have a cottage at Point Breeze. She is the granddaughter of the late Dick Eddy, a long-time community leader in Albion. Beaty is named for Dick’s father, Sid Eddy.

She earned a degree in city and regional planning from Cornell University in May 2012. She sees a lot of potential in Albion, especially Main Street and the downtown area, which is named to the National Register of Historic Places.