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Village Board presented with $10,000 check during Nelliston Days

Thursday, July 17, 2014 - Updated: 10:07 AM


C-S-E Editor

NELLISTON -- This past weekend's 23rd Annual Nelliston Days celebration featured a $10,000 check presentation, the money being granted to the village of Nelliston by Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara, targeting necessary repairs to the village-owned Nelliston schoolhouse.

Currently, the schoolhouse is used only for each year's Halloween Haunted House, though village officials think it could one day be utilized at a much greater capacity.

Since 2007, the village has been attempting to secure grant funding for the building's roof repair, then changing their intent to heating and plumbing, which is what this round of money will help to replace. The village next needs to get estimates for the work, although they have to first spend the money, then being reimbursed.

Former Nelliston Mayor Donnie Yerdon said that he's always wanted to see original lighting re-installed, and would love to see the one-foot square tiles removed from the floor, hoping that restorable hardwood lies underneath.

In the future, Nelliston Village Clerk Lynda Conrad hopes to see the clerk's office operating out of the schoolhouse, along with a mayor's office, which the village currently doesn't have, as it operates out of a tiny space shared with the DPW vehicles.

Santabarbara stated of the schoolhouse, which was placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 2002, "It's a part of our local history. Since I've been in office, I know the village has been looking to get the funds for those necessary repairs … to make sure local history remains vibrant and we preserve structures like this."

He continued, "This has been a priority of mine because I know it's important to the village of Nelliston. It's part of our history. This schoolhouse has meant so much, and it's so important that it's preserved."

"It's nice to have somebody interested in our village," commented Mayor Russell Vance of Santabarbara.

Yerdon, who was honored during the event for his years of service to the village as mayor, also took a moment to honor three important women in his life -- his partner, Debbie; his mother, Louise; and Conrad, who he said was like a mother to him.

"Everybody says that behind every good man is a good woman -- i have three good women," Yerdon stated.

Yerdon also took the opportunity to implore Santabarbara to introduce legislation that would require all public employees having suffered a traumatic incident to undergo mandatory counceling. Post traumatic stress, he said, is what made it impossible for him to continue on as mayor.

"What I'm challenging the assembly to do is to make it mandatory for all public employees to go for mandatory counciling … so that they may have a fuller life than what I'm living today."

While this year's Nelliston Days celebration was threatened with a downpour on Sunday afternoon just as the check presentation was about to take place, the light rain that started falling immediately stopped, making way for a day primarily filled with sun. Classic cars filled the field as Big Al's Car Cruise-In got underway at Noon, and people made their way out from under the tents and Nelliston Park pavilion as if no rain had fallen.

This year, as they have since the beginning of Nelliston Days, Conrad's family and friends came to help from places such as Florida, Pennsylvania and New Hampshire. The volunteers arrive Thursday night, starting work early Friday morning, marking spaces for vendors, rides, cars and attractions.

"There's a lot to do, but it's fun," commented Conrad, noting that she's always sad to see family leave following the event.

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Nelliston Days 2014

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