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Ellicottville Town Board Fall Festival Police Issues, Ongoing Projects Reviewed

townparkingcolorBy Jann Wiswall

Joany and Phil Bund attended the Oct. 16, 2013, meeting of the Ellicottville Town Board and reported that their dog was recently hit and killed by a car on Horn Hill Road. They asked for the board’s help getting approval for a 45 mph speed limit there. The road currently is not posted, which means the speed limit is 55 mph. The Bunds and a number of other neighbors signed a petition requesting the reduced speed limit.

Highway Superintendent Dave Golley explained that the request has to go to the county and the State for approval, that a traffic study on the road would have to be conducted and that the process can be lengthy. The board, however, agreed to get the process started.

Supervisor’s Report: Town Supervisor John Burrell reported that the parking lot at the Town Center has been repaved and striped.

He said, “It’s the nicest parking lot in Ellicottville thanks to the hard work of Dave Golley and his team.”

Burrell also said that the 2014 budget process is well under way. The board has already met to work through it and has several more meetings scheduled. Burrell suggested the board set a date for a public hearing on the budget. It was set for Wednesday, Nov. 13 at 5 p.m. If there are no objections from the public, the board will be able to move to approve it at its next regularly scheduled meeting on Nov. 20.

Burrell also reported that at the Cattaraugus County Supervisors meeting on Oct. 3, the group discussed the possibility of reducing the number of justice courts in the county. Each municipality has its own justice court and many run at a deficit. Burrell and others feel that consolidating justice courts would be more cost effective and efficient.

Golley asked the board to pass a blanket resolution to “piggyback on other municipalities’ bids” to simplify the purchasing process. If two municipalities need the same plow, for example, and one has already gone through the bidding process, the other can purchase the plow from the same vendor at the same price without repeating the bid process. The board thought this was a good idea and approved the resolution.

Engineer’s Report: Mark Alianello, town engineer, said that an agreement between the town and a landowner for conveyance of an easement needed for the East Tank project is being drafted by Town Attorney Kathleen Moriarty. Alianello asked the board to authorize him and Moriarty to finalize the easement paperwork and to allow him to move forward with a topographic study and soil borings as soon as they are completed. The board agreed.

Fall Festival: Town Police Chief Don Auge was unable to attend Wednesday’s meeting, so Officer Amber Justice reported on Fall Festival on his behalf. Justice provided data on citations issued by town officers and the County Sheriff’s Office (reports from the Village and State Police were not yet available). The Sheriff’s Office issued 31 open container citations, one disorderly conduct citation, one obstruction of governmental administration citation, one public urination citation and one appearance ticket for unlawful possession of marijuana. Town of Ellicottville police issued 29 open container citations, one appearance ticket for unlawful possession of marijuana, one public urination citation and six parking tickets. Town officers also handled nine motor vehicle accidents.

Justice noted that Auge felt the tour buses that brought in college students from around the area caused the most problems for police. One issue was that students were arriving at the festival already under the influence of alcohol and exiting the buses with drinks in hand. Another issue was that bus drivers were avoiding police. And finally, buses were dropping people off at unauthorized locations.

Justice said that Auge had contacted most of the colleges and universities in advance to inform them about Ellicottville’s policies. Several board members thought solutions to this problem could be found, whether that means banning buses altogether or finding other solutions.

There also were reports of strangers found sleeping in homes, businesses and yards without permission or the owner’s knowledge.

In general, the board felt that, from the town’s perspective, the festival went better this year as a result of the increased police presence.

New Business: Burrell asked the board to ratify Jack Rogan’s appointment to the board of the Ellicottville Joint Fire Commission. The board approved the motion.

Old Business: Board Member Ken Hinman reported that the Ellicottville–Great Valley Trail Committee’s booth at Fall Festival was well received and several donations were made. He also reported that the trail committee hopes to have enough volunteer and in-kind support to be able to rough-in the trail between the Town Center and Tim Horton’s beginning as soon as next spring, assuming all approvals are in place.

At the end of the meeting, Burrell said that he had been talking with the County Department of Aging about bringing meal and nutrition services back to the Town Center for area seniors. A stumbling block seems to be proof of interest in the program. Interested seniors or friends of seniors should contact Burrell directly to express their support.

The next meeting of the Ellicottville Town Board will be held on Nov. 20 at 6 p.m. in the Village/Town Hall.

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