COVID slows Schoharie projects


By Patsy Nicosia

To the list of everything COVID’s disrupting add the Village of Schoharie’s Main Street.
It was just a few days into 2020 when Schoharie County turned out to celebrate the sale of the Parrott House to Nick Ahmetaj and Alex von Zehle of Windham, restaurateurs who plan to restore the 1870 landmark.
Then, in February, Agni and Grigorios Verroias of Utica bought the Taylor Block, across Main Street, with plans to renovate the ground floor for their third Greek Gyros restaurant.
Work on the Taylor Block has stopped because of COVID, Mayor Caza said Tuesday; Code Enforcement Officer Lloyd Stannard’s been keeping an eye on things there after reports that some work had been going on inside, not in violation but before the necessary permits had been issued.
The electrical inspection has been completed, but not the final inspection.
The Parrott House owners had shored up the back of the building and cleaned up around the outside, Mayor Caza said, and have been looking for an architect and engineer to begin work there; in fact, Clerk Lelsie Price said Tuesday, they’d been in that day to drop off some of their plans for Mr. Stannard to look over.
“A lot of their financing comes from the five restaurants they own and they’ve been hit very hard by COVID,” Mayor Caza said.
“But their intent is to move forward.”

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A couple of other buildings also came under discussion at Tuesday’s Village Board meeting.
While Mr. Stannard said the two homes across Main Street from the Langan Funeral Home aren’t violating local code, Trustee Peter Johnson pointed out at least one is an home-based business and so prohibited from storing merchandise outside--or face a $200 fine for the first offense.
Trustees agreed to let their Justices know that they want their concerns taken seriously if any of them show up in court.
Trustee Jeff Palmer also suggested trying a different tact—particularly with the second home.
“This is all great, but do we ever try anything different? What about knocking on the door and asking if there’s anything we can do to help?” even if just helping the residents connect with someone who can deliver a dumpster.
“What we’re doing isn’t working…To extend an olive branch isn’t a bad idea.”
The idea drew support from Mayor Caza and the rest of the board; Trustee Sal Medak will go with Mr. Palmer.