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Merchants urge Albion to hire coordinator for downtown, businesses

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 10 October 2013 at 12:00 am

ALBION – About six weeks into a volunteer job, Sid Beaty is being praised by downtown Albion merchants for her efforts in coordinating events and planning for the future.

Beaty and the Village Board agreed to a two-month contract on Aug. 28. Beaty isn’t being paid for the first two months. She is based out of Village Hall.

Two merchants, Linda Smith of Krantz Furniture and Carolyn Ricker of Bindings Bookstore, asked the Village Board on Wednesday to hire Beaty once the two month “trial run” is over.

“Her help has been invaluable to me,” said Ricker, president of the Albion Merchants Association. “It would be very wonderful to have someone to help with the overall downtown scene.”

Ricker said she and other business owners and community members have been trying to plan events. Beaty has been instrumental in connecting the merchants and helping to get projects moving, Ricker said.

Beaty helped organize an upcoming Albion Shopping Tour on Oct. 19 from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. The event includes businesses and sites in the downtown and also between routes 31 and 104. Mayor Dean Theodorakos said he supports business development efforts that extend beyond the downtown, and include businesses in the village on Route 31 and South Main Street.

The mayor said he doubts the village will be able to make Beaty a full-time employee, but he said the board may be able to offer her a paid stipend to continue.

She also has helped with the Oct. 25 Beggar’s Night in the downtown, and put together a grant application for a concert series.

“I’m very pleased with the amount of enthusiasm she has for the community,” Smith told the board. “She is very enthusiastic and very approachable.”

Beaty, 23, earned a degree in city and regional planning from Cornell University. 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 told the Village Board on Wednesday she would like to stay on after the initial two-month commitment.

“It’s a necessary function,” she said about the job. “It takes some of the burden off the merchants.”