GLOVERSVILLE - The Gloversville Business Improvement District threw away more than $1,500 in dead flowers because they were not maintained by the city like they had been in previous years, according to BID President Karen Smith.
"We're very upset," Smith said. "It's been a past practice of the last several administrations [to water the flowers]."
The Department of Public Works has been watering the flowers for more than 10 years, according to Smith.
However, city Public Works Director Kevin Jones said the city was under no obligation to water the flowers, which were hung high on posts and required a truck for watering.
At a Common Council meeting June 10, Jones said he advised the BID to water its own flowers to eliminate the need for a DPW employee to do the daily task.
He also suggested the city sell its watering equipment - a water tank with a pump on a trailer - for $200.
Jones said watering the flowers was a one- person job that took about four hours.
BID members removed the 30 hanging baskets from posts on Main Street and disposed of the dead flowers July 12, Smith said.
Smith said the BID - which is made up of downtown merchants - purchased the flowers. She said the BID could not water the flowers because it does not have the proper equipment.
City 6th Ward Councilman Wrandy Siarkowski made a motion to sell the equipment to the Gloversville BID for $200. First Ward Councilwoman Robin Wentworth seconded the motion, and it passed.
However, Jones said the group never bought the equipment.
Smith said the city was only selling the watering device. She said the BID still would need a tractor or truck for the job.
The BID will not replace the flower baskets but may put flowers on bikes in front of downtown businesses.
She said the BID still has eight extra flower baskets that were not hung on the posts. The BID plans to install the flower baskets on old bicycles and attach them to posts on Main Street. The BID already has spoken to eight business owners who have agreed to water the flowers, Smith said.
Business owners would be able to water these flower baskets because they would be close to the ground, Smith said.
BID has one bike and is looking for more. To donate an old bicycle to BID, call Smith at 725-3243.
Smith said if the group receives more than eight bikes, they will be stored and used for next year.