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Town Board Supports Residents’ ‘Elk’ Concerns

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Bigos Philipps Lauded for Lifesaving Efforts

By Jann Wiswall

The Town of Ellicottville’s board agreed to recommend to village authorities that the townhouse development planned for the east side of Fillmore Drive not be named Elk Creek Homes.

The issue was brought to the board’s attention by residents of the Elk Creek Road housing development in the town of Ellicottville and by a resident of Elk Street in the village. They argued that there is already confusion among delivery personnel and others concerning multiple “Elk” addresses.

The issue also arose at last week’s Village Planning Board meeting during which one of the developers assured attendees that the proposed name would be changed. However, after a conversation with the developer the following day, one resident said he was not convinced of the developer’s intent to change the name.

The town board does not have jurisdiction over the development but agreed to make the recommendation to support its residents.

Supervisor’s Report

Town Supervisor John Burrell reported on a number of upcoming projects and issues the board needs to address:

Burrell and staff are preparing for the annual audit and asked the board to schedule a work session. He also said the Ellicottville Historical Society will be audited this year.

As a result of last November’s vote to create an appointed highway department head (rather than elected), Burrell suggested the board committee tapped to address reorganization begin to prepare a draft document for the full board’s review.

The Ellicottville Town Center (formerly known as the Extension Service Building) will become the village’s and town’s official election polling place beginning in November.

Burrell asked the board to approve a bid for cemetery lawn mowing.

The board has asked Kelly Bigos Philipps to serve as the town’s new dog control warden effective July 1, 2015. Philipps, who is also an Ellicottville police officer, will construct an appropriate shed with kennels on skids at her home, pending Ellicottville Zoning Board approval. The cost will be shared by the town and village.

During the meeting, Police Officer in Charge Don Auge awarded Philipps with a “lifesaver” pin on behalf of the department for her response to the November emergency call for medical assistance for Dave Golley, the town’s past highway superintendent. Philipps used an AED and performed CPR on the patient until an ambulance arrived and got him to the hospital. Golley died a few weeks later, but his widow, Barbara, told Auge that Philipps’ valiant life-saving efforts gave him a few extra weeks with his family.

The board conducted a preliminary review of a draft alarm system local law aimed at reducing the number of false alarms in the town and village. A number of definitions still need clarification and many logistical issues, including enforcement, are being discussed. The board will take up the subject again at its next meeting.

Highway Department Report

Burrell reported that only one bid had been received for a new snowplow, which was accepted, but no bids came in for a cab and chassis to go with it because some of the specifications described are no longer available. The board agreed to advertise this equipment again with updated specs.

Burrell informed Highway Superintendent Loyd Hovey that the department’s personnel budget will not allow for Hovey’s request to bring on a part-time, seasonal employee as a full-time employee. However, Burrell did tell Hovey that it may be possible to bring that employee back earlier next season.

Hovey expressed concerns about some dead-end roads in the town where his vehicles have no place to turn around, due to either easement limitations or the presence of parked cars. Hovey, Town Engineer Mark Alianello and Town Attorney Kathleen Moriarty will discuss options and relay them to the board. There will be costs associated with these efforts.

Engineer’s Report

Alianello reported that village and town officials are working on developing a standard policy and fee structure related to allowing the village’s Department of Public Works to service frozen sewer lines on private property. The village has purchased some new equipment that makes the process quicker, but, as municipal employees, staff has not been permitted to service private lines. With the new equipment, however, residents would save money and time going through the process of hiring contractors and plumbers to make repairs.

Alianello also asked the board to authorize him to ask the DEC for a six-month extension on the closing deadline for the East Tank project in order to get the remaining road and other work completed. The board agreed to the request.

Alianello also asked the board to authorize him to go out to bid on sewer and water-related materials needed for the Holiday Valley Road realignment project. The town is purchasing the materials; Holiday Valley’s contractors are doing the construction.

Finally, and following a public hearing on the matter, the board adopted the town’s new “Local Law for Flood Damage Prevention as Authorized by the New York State Constitution Article IX, Section 2, and Environmental Conservation Law, Article 36.” The law puts into effect the new floodplain maps with revised elevations that were authorized by the Federal Emergency Management Agency this year.

The April meeting of the town board has been scheduled for Tuesday, April 21 at 6 p.m. in the Town/Village Hall.

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