Approves $530K+ in Spending
By Jann Wiswall
Village Mayor Charles Coolidge informed the board at its Monday, July 14 meeting that Nu Way Sanitation, the village’s trash collection company, is going out of business at the end of July and, therefore, is breaking its contract with the village. The board approved Coolidge’s request to get emergency estimates from at least two other companies and to sign the shortest-term contract that can be negotiated with the low bidder. Every effort will be made to provide continuous service during the transition period.
Business from the Floor
Persistent problems with the village’s aging water lines continue to challenge residents and the village board.
Village resident Jack Rogan attended the meeting to address specific concerns about dirty water coming into his home. With three filthy water filters used over the past month and a half and a jar of water with visible sediment from the taps in hand to illustrate, Rogan explained that the filters, which should last three months, can’t keep up with the sediment. He said he has done everything he can think of to resolve the problem from his end, including replacing the water pipes in his home. The Department of Public Works (DPW) has flushed the main water supply line, which has not resolved the issue.
After Rogan’s presentation, board member Patra Lowes added that she has replaced the entire water system in her home and still has problems similar to Rogan’s. In addition to showing the board dirty water filters from her system, she provided a dried sample of the sediment coming from her taps.
While their systems are different, Morton noted that both residences are serviced by two different and aging 2-inch mains. He and Coolidge felt that replacing those mains with new 8-inch mains could make a difference for all of the homes supplied by the old mains. Coolidge asked the board to approve a proposal to replace the mains at a cost of no more than $40,000. The work will be done primarily by the DPW.
On a water infrastructure-related topic, Village Engineer Mike Smith drew the board’s attention to a proposal to bring in a water data logging consultant to continue its efforts to identify leaks throughout the village system. The firm identified more than a dozen leaks on public and private lines last year, but after the excessively cold winter of 2014, new leaks are suspected based on water loss calculations. The fee for the consultant’s service is $10,000.
Board member Greg Cappelli argued that while replacing the 2-inch mains and identifying leaks is a good start, the village must develop a long-term, comprehensive plan for replacing all inadequate mains over time that will stand up to the State Comptroller’s Office scrutiny and will eventually solve the entire problem. The board concurred and approved the motion to replace the mains and hire the data loggers on that condition.
In regular board business, Morton reported that local roofing contractor Chris Woodarek has offered to replace the aging roofs on two pavilions and a storage shed at the village park for just the cost of materials. He will donate the labor.
The board thanked Woodarek for his generosity and approved the expense of $8,500 for the 100-year roofing materials.
Smith’s report to the board included a request for its approval of an easement agreement between the village and the Town of Ellicottville Consolidated Water District No. 1. The agreement gives the water district right of way on village-owned property along the side of the Town Center’s parking area and the Nannen Arboretum in order to give it permanent access to build and maintain the new water system known locally as the East Tank Project. The board approved the easement agreement pending approval by the village attorney.
Smith also reported that FEMA has agreed to present the revised flood plain maps drawn by the town and village’s consultant, with FEMA’s annotations, to area residents for their review and comment. This is good news since originally FEMA had said it would need to redraw the maps on its own and estimated that process would take many more months.
Beginning next week, the proposed revised maps and FEMA’s analysis will be available for public review for six months at the clerk’s offices of the village and the town in the Village/Town Hall. An announcement with further information will be placed in the Ellicottville Times.
Finally, Smith asked the board to approve Nussbaumer & Clarke’s proposal to complete the final engineering designs, plans and projects needed before construction of the new wastewater treatment plant can begin. The engineering firm will improve pump station hydraulics, install a new electrical system, purchase and install some new lagoon equipment, purchase a pontoon boat for lagoon servicing and more. Its fee of $474,000 over the next six months is not included in the $3.9 million estimated cost to construct the new plant, which is slated to begin in 2015. The village will tap its sewer surplus budget to pay for these services.
The board approved the proposal by a roll call vote of 4 ayes to 1 nay (Cappelli).
Lowes asked the board to approve the street closures necessary for four upcoming village events, including the Taste of Ellicottville, Oldies Weekend, Christmas in Ellicottville and the Christmas Stroll. In addition, she reported that Town Police Officer in Charge Don Auge has met with other area police agencies whose help will be needed during October’s Fall Festival. The first step is to prepare a budget for their services. Next, members of the Special Events Committee will meet with representatives of those agencies to discuss expectations. The committee is working on other festival logistics and will report back to the board next month.
The next meeting of the Village Board will be held on Monday, Aug. 11 at 6 p.m. in the Village/Town Hall.