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Ellicottville Town Board to discuss solar farms at next meeting

By Caitlin Croft

The May meeting of the Ellicottville Town Board opened with a presentation by 3 + 1 Financial representative Alex DeRosa. This company works with public entities to collect data on their cash management. They have worked to much success with Batavia, who referred them to Ellicottville, Elma and Aurora, to name a few.

Their goal is to make the taxpayers’ dollar work as hard as possible while it is sitting idle in the bank. The algorithm that they use was developed and used by banks since the 1990s. They then went on their own after allowing their non-compete to expire in 2014. This is when they started to offer their services to smaller municipalities.

The first phase would be a complete data analysis of the cash flow. This would include all transactions and the most recent audit. After this analysis is complete if the municipality decides to proceed after it is $7,500 and will be $1,875 quarterly going forward. The town of Le Roy earned an additional $2,400, after paying 3 + 1, the first year and are on track to earn over $40,000 this year.

Essentially this is a liquidity analysis and 3 + 1 will negotiate better interest rates on CDs on behalf of the town. A key component of their program that sets them apart is all decisions are left in the hands of the Town Board, 3 + 1 does not communicate final decisions that must come from the Board.

Also, they do not ask the town to change banks, but work with the local bank the town already uses. The board members thanked DeRosa for attending and said they would discuss further after talking we the references that DeRosa provided.

Next, was an informal presentation regarding Solar Farms. Gary Palumbo, Village Planner, spoke about the need for our zoning to address solar power. There could be projects in front of the Planning Board in the future and processes and procedure need to be set.

NYSERDA has great source material for planners to best advise on the matter of Solar Power. Joe Mendelson of Omni-Navitas spoke about a Solar Farm Project. He explained that a Solar Farm takes up two to five acres and does not disturb wooded land. They aim to disturb as little of the landscape as possible, preferably using open level fields. There will be a formal presentation at the June meeting and the Board urges the public to attend. 

In the Supervisor’s Report, there was a discussion of a Cable Contract Review in November. The board is looking into getting Poverty Hill done immediately. A letter was received from Assemblyman Gigilo stating that the CHIPS and NYPave program funds have been reinstated and remain the same. 

Discussed in the engineering report, National Grid has done an inventory of the street lights and what it would cost to either buy them or at least convert them to LED bulbs. Both would yield savings with the latter being less expensive initially but buying them outright would give better long term returns.

Pierson has charged the New York Power Authority to draw up an analysis on each option. The Sommerville Valley Box Culvert project bids were in and the lowest bid was D&H Excavating at $148,900.

On June 1, the work at the Town Center is expected to begin. The AC project at the Historical Society is complete and the Joint Water District is moving forward.

In new business, the town board approved the Championship Rodeo request.

In old business, the EVGV Trail has after a long time finalized all insurance issues and all Grading Releases have been signed. They are now working on DEC permission to start breaking trail.

The next Ellicottville Town Board meeting will be June 26th at 6 PM at the Town/Village Hall.

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