Fredonia renews lease agreement with opera house

The lease agreement between the 1891 Fredonia Opera House Inc. and the village of Fredonia has officially been renewed.

The Fredonia Village Board approved the five-year agreement (Feb. 1, 2014 through Jan. 31, 2019) during a recent meeting. The lease expired several months ago and the renewal contains the same terms and conditions as set forth in the Sept. 30, 1997 agreement while still including the Aug. 1, 2008 amendments.

“They (opera house officials) need to get it renewed because they can’t get grants without a lease,” Village Attorney Samuel Drayo explained. “We’ve done five-year renewals in the past.”

“The lease renewal is pretty much the same as it’s been previously,” Mayor Stephen Keefe said after the meeting. “We work very closely with the opera house.”

Keefe added the agreement allows for the village to utilize the opera house for special occasions and large meetings if necessary. Since the opera house and the village hall are located within the same building, the lease stipulates the village pays for certain utilities while the opera house pays for other utilities.

“It’s kind of a mutually beneficial situation,” Keefe said. “They’re using the facilities and yet the facilities are still available to the village on an as-needed basis.”

Also during the meeting, Keefe provided an update on the village comprehensive plan’s rough draft, which is still being looked through by the planning board before adoption.

“The meetings of the Complete Streets committee have been going very strong,” he added. “Right now, Gov. Andrew Cuomo just put out a budget for $50 million for state alternatives to transportation, which would be walkability, bicycles and things like that. It might be a golden opportunity to pass a policy for Complete Streets, work it into our comprehensive plan, and when money is available, we can apply for it and put it to work.”

The committee will give a presentation to the board at an upcoming meeting and will discuss Complete Streets in Fredonia and a possible Central Avenue bike lane.

A claim by Sgt. Brian Johnson requesting benefits as a result of a performance of duty injury was granted.

Joshua Czekanski of Chestnut Street was added to the active rolls of the J.S. Lambert Hook and Ladder Company. Jeff Knoop of Center Street was added to the active rolls of the Fire Police Company Inc.

The board entered into executive session to discuss personnel at the streets department.

Comments on this article may be sent to