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Retiring Medina codes officer called ‘catalyst’ for downtown renaissance

Photo by Tom Rivers: Marty Busch, Medina’s code enforcement officer the past 24 years, is pictured on Main Street in Medina on Tuesday. Busch helped the village of Medina craft regulations for design standards and property maintenance that have helped with the look and upkeep of the downtown business district.

By Tom Rivers, Editor Posted 14 August 2019 at 2:04 pm

MEDINA – Marty Busch is being praised for helping the Village of Medina implement several local laws and policies that have encouraged investment in the downtown business district, Maple Ridge Corridor and some of the struggling residential neighborhoods.

Busch had his last day in the office on Tuesday after 24 years as code enforcement officer. Medina Mayor Michael Sidari has declared Sept. 28 as “Marty Busch Day” in the village. That is Busch’s last official day working for the village.

In a proclamation on Tuesday, Sidari said Busch has made Medina a safer community by enforcing the instruction and building codes.

Busch helped Medina pass several local laws for property maintenance, sign standards and a vacant house registry, laws that Sidari said “will have a long-lasting positive influence on the village.”

Early in his career with the village, Busch was at a conference in Saratoga, where he was wowed by the community’s thriving historic business district.

“They passed historic preservation standards and they stuck with it,” Busch said.

He brought that message to Medina, and the Planning Board and Village Board implemented similar standards.

Buildings owners took on ambitious projects, breathing new life into buildings from the 1800s. The investments spurred more investments, and now the downtown is a destination and an envy of many small canal towns.

“People saw someone take on a building and bring it to its potential,” Busch said.

The community is fortunate to have many people with a vision for businesses and buildings, he said.

Marty Busch accepts a proclamation declaring Sept. 28 as “Marty Busch Day” in Medina. That is Busch’s last official day of work. The Village Board hosted a retirement for Busch on Tuesday afternoon, which was attended by Kathy Blackburn of the Medina Business Association and Jim Whipple, chief executive officer of the Orleans Economic Development Agency.

Busch has been the code officers while new businesses built in the Medina Business Park or along the Maple Ridge Corridor. Busch and the village officials often pushed chain stores to up the ante with their proposed buildings, going for brick and some extensive landscaping.

“We really do have a gem of a village,” Busch said at a retirement party on Tuesday at the Village Office. Our Main Street is second to none. We have outstanding parks. I think the best is yet to come. We’ll keep rolling and Medina will be incredible in a very short time.”

Mayor Sidari credited Busch with working well with property owners and businesses while they developed plans for projects, and then did the construction.

“Marty was the catalyst for the transformation of downtown Medina,” Sidari said. “Not only the downtown, but the entire village as well. Between the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals, they brought several ideal laws to pass.”

Sidari said a recent law establishing a vacant building registry, which includes fines, has encouraged those property owners to either fix up the houses or sell them. It has reduced the number of vacant homes from about 80 to 45.

Busch admitted the codes officer is a job “where you never make everybody happy.” People usually don’t like being told what to do with their property, or if there are violations.

Cindy Robinson, the Medina Business Association president, said Busch was fair and helped people understand the zoning ordinances.

“If you did things right, there was never an issue,” she said. “Marty never scared anyone away (from investing) in Medina.”

Dan Gardner of Lyndonville is following Busch as code enforcement officer.

Medina firefighter Jeff Tuohey shakes Marty Busch’s hand on Tuesday, Busch’s last day in the office. Busch said h has had a great working relationship with Medina firefighters and police officers.

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